Seven of the Best City Cars

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If you spend a good deal of time swerving around sharp city streets, negotiating traffic and finding parking spaces that are big enough for your car, then it might be time to ditch the big wheels and start looking towards city cars for your motoring needs. These metropolitan movers are compact, nippy and easy to park - and the best of them will drive just as smoothly outside of the city as well.

Here are just seven of my favourite city cars:

Toyota Aygo - With its one-litre engine and pop-out rear windows, the Aygo may sound like it's constructed from the cheapest materials around, but in fact the choice of components comes down (in a large part) to their lightness. Reduced weight means better fuel efficiency, better handling and a lively drive from a modest engine. Like most city cars, it doesn't have a lot of storage space, but it more than makes up for this in bold charisma.

Peugeot 107 - The 107 is quite similar to the Toyota Aygo, as it is also powered by a one-litre engine, which boasts fuel efficiency of 62.7 miles per gallon - as well as CO2 emissions of just 103 grams per kilometre. However, it also comes with a CD player, power steering and ABS brakes, making it unusually feature-packed for such a small car. It looks better than the Aygo, too.

Fiat Panda - Another fine entry in the pantheon of small Italian city cars, the Fiat Panda sacrifices traditional beauty for an incredible amount of space. Its boxy outer shell may draw confused glances but there's more than enough room for four people, plus a fair-sized boot. It also feels extremely safe, with its high driving position offering a sense of security that is sometimes lacking in small city cars.

Hyundai i10 - Hyundai's small city-orientated car also puts the driver in a high seated position, but this only makes it easier to get in and out of. In fact, the whole car seems to have been designed with usability in mind - you'll be hard pressed to find a car that's easier to park. It also boasts stop and start technology, which helps it to clock up an impressive 67.3 miles per gallon, as well as CO2 emissions of only 99 grams per kilometre.

Kia Picanto - First launched in 2004, the Picanto kick started a sales boom for Kia, thanks in no small part to its low price and even lower running costs. It is also surprisingly spacious, boasting five doors as standard.

Ford Ka - The original Ka was one of the most popular city cars in recent memory. The new model hasn't had quite the same public appeal, but it's still an excellent metropolitan run-around. It improves on the original model in terms of space, build quality and the smoothness of its engine.

Smart Fortwo - In my description of the Hyundai i10 above, I wrote that it would be hard to find a car that is easier to park. Well, here it is. The unbelievably small Smart Fortwo has to be one of the tiniest city cars ever made. Despite this, it offers an impressive amount of space (though only seats two people).

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