How Big is a Small Car?

Yes, Virginia, that is a Chevy Aveo looking every bit as big as a 2nd-gen Chevy S-10 pickup.  My, my.

I snapped the picture a few months ago, and had intended to use it as a comparison shot between the Aveo and its replacement, the Chevy Sonic.  Sadly, I forgot all about the snapshot until I decided to clear out my phone’s memory … and there it was, staring me in the face.

That “it” I’m referring to?  A simple fact:  a 2009-ish Chevy Aveo (the smallest car GM will sell you) isn’t that much smaller than Chevy’s 1999-ish body-on-frame S-10 pickup.

Oh, sure – there’s a bit of “perspective” being played out in that photo … but not much.  Not enough to make the image seem “forced” or “mis-leading”, I think.  No, the real issue here is bloat – something that we (via Jalopnik) covered back in December of last year by tracking the bloat of Honda’s Accord, which has grown from 170″ long, 2050 lb econocar into a 195″ long, 3200 lb land beast (below).

Click to Enlarge.

What about Chevy’s “little” Aveo hatchback?  I’d compare that to Chevy’s famous “Metro” hatchback, which was sold under the Geo nameplate in the early 90’s.  That car, the original Metro, which was a 147″ long, 1650 lb runabout that inspired futurists and shade-tree inventors alike.  The Aveo?  154″ long, 2560 lb.  Chevy’s replacement for the Aveo, the Sonic, is bigger still.

So, what cars are small cars, anymore?  What cars are big cars?  What do you think, readers – are our conceptions of “big” and “small” on a sliding scale, or are cars getting bigger because we are getting bigger?  Let us know what you think, in the comments.

Sources:  Me, Jalopnik,

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.