Top 10 Least Powerful Cars on Sale in the U.S.
We love horsepower as much as the next enthusiast, but everyone and their mother has written a list of the top 10 most powerful cars on the road. With automakers constantly trying to one-up one another in an effort to be the most powerful, the lists can become outdated soon after they’re published. What we think might be more interesting then, is a list of the top 10 least powerful new cars currently on our roads.
10. Nissan Leaf, 107 hp: You know you’re in low-powered company when the all-electric Nissan Leaf is the most powerful car on your list. The eco-friendly Leaf makes just 107 hp (though it produces a stout 207 lb-ft of torque) from its front-mounted electric motor, good for a 9.6-second 0-60 mph run.
9. Toyota Yaris, 106 hp: Slotting in at number nine on our list is the compact Toyota Yaris hatchback. The Yaris is the most powerful gas-powered vehicle on this list, with 106 hp and 103 lb-ft or torque on tap from its 1.5-liter I-4.
8. Fiat 500, 101 hp: This one’s no surprise; no one has ever described the Fiat 500 as powerful (though the 500 Abarth is another story). The little Italian city car is powered by a 1.4-liter I-4 that produces 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque.
7. Mazda2, 100 hp: The Mazda2 embodies the idea that it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. Though the Mazda2′s 1.5-liter I-4 only makes 100 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque, the Mazda2 in our most recent subcompact comparison weighted 2266 lbs, allowing drivers to make the most of the little engine.
6. Toyota Prius C, 99 hp: The Toyota Prius C is the most powerful hybrid on this list, though with just 99 hp from its 1.5-liter I-4 and electric motor combo, that’s not saying much. That said, fuel economy is the Prius’ focus: the hatch has a 53/46 mpg city/highway EPA rating.
5. Honda Insight, 98 hp: The Honda Insight is powered by a 1.3-liter I-4 and electric motor combo, good for 98 hp and 41/44 mpg on the 2012 model.
4. Scion iQ, 94 hp: Even though its 10.8-second 0-60 mph time won’t help it win many races, the Scion iQ is still far from the least, least-powerful car on this list. The compact city car features an even more compact 1.3-liter I-4 under the hood, producing just 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque.
3. Chevrolet Spark, 84 hp: The new Chevrolet Spark is the sole American contender on this list dominated mostly by Japanese brands. The Spark is Chevy’s smallest car, and has its smallest engine: a 1.2-liter 84-hp and 83 lb-ft of torque I-4.
2. Smart ForTwo, 70 hp: The Smart ForTwo is the least-powerful gas-powered car on this list, and also the only car not to have either an electric motor (though one’s coming) or a four-cylinder engine. This pipsqueak is powered by a 1.0-liter 70-hp I-3 mounted behind the driver.
1. Mitsubishi i, 66 hp: The Mitsubishi i is currently the least powerful car you can get in the U.S. today, but is also the most efficient vehicle on this list. This subcompact electric car is powered by a rear-mounted 66 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque electric motor. In our testing it needed 13.4 seconds to hit the 60-mph mark, or 2.8 seconds longer than it takes the Lamborghini Aventador to complete the quarter mile at 133.9 mph.