10 Cars for sale in the USA that weigh less than 3,000 pounds

A rather extensive list of lightweight cars was posted on Reddit, and I chose a few to feature.

4w ago


It's always entertaining to put old cars next to new cars and see the overwhelming difference in size. One of my favorite examples of this is the Porsche 911.

Over the course of its nearly 60-year life span, the 911 has gone from 2381 pounds to 3354 pounds. That's an incredible amount of weight, and moves this incredibly iconic sports car off of Valourunbound's list of all cars sold in the USA that have a curb weight of less than 3,000 pounds. In fact, even the 911's lighter brother, the Boxster, tips the scales at 3,017 pounds, meaning that it too, doesn't qualify for this list of featherweights.

The list is actually pretty extensive, and includes 46 models from 16 brands. So for the sake of time, both mine and yours, I have selected 10 models that stood out to me and have listed them below, for a full breakdown of the list, click here. And without further ado, starting from the heaviest, let's begin.

10. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (2,996 pounds)

Hybrids are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, but all of those fuel-saving gizmos like electric motors and batteries, not to mention the wiring, wind up adding on quite a bit of weight. In a strictly Top Trumps comparison, that puts the Hyundai Ioniq ahead of the Toyota Prius which does not appear on this list, except in the already discontinued "C"-guise. It should be said though that the new Honda Insight does come in nine pounds lighter, or 36 Quarter-Pounders from McDonald's. No cheese obviously.

9. Subaru Impreza (2,978 pounds)

Seeing the Impreza on this was surprising, as I, along with many of the commenters thought that the all-wheel-drive system would have made the Impreza too portly for this list, but we are mistaken. It should be also be said that the Impreza Hatchback also makes this list, as the fifth door and the sheetmetal only affects the curb weight by 13 pounds, or the approximate weight of a fully grown Bichon.

8. Mazda CX-3 (2,952 pounds)

With a curb weight of 2,952 pounds, the Mazda CX-3 is the heaviest of the crossovers on this list, with competitors like the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Kicks coming in several hundred pounds lighter. Still, the CX-3's chuckable nature and sporty attitude makes it an enjoyable daily driver, and a base CX-3 comes reasonably well equipped, so if you're interested in a sporty-ish, and nimble crossover, the CX-3 deserves your attention.

7. VW Jetta (2,888 pounds)

Ah, the Jetta. Arguably the carriest car that ever car-ed. The Jetta has come a long way, and many would argue that it still has a long way to go in comparison to cars like the Honda Civic and Mazda3. The Jetta does however keep a low profile, and is less flashy than its competitors which adds to the overall experience of owning a new Jetta. It's effectively the automotive equivalent of a fridge, a rather heavy fridge, like a Viking Virtuoso.

6. Hyundai Veloster (2,822 pounds)

Shifting gears from fridges to sporty hatchbacks, we arrive at the Hyundai Veloster. This 4-door hatchback comes in well under the 3,000 pound limit, which means that you can option it up. In 1.6T spec, the heaviest Veloster comes in at 2,987 pounds, but it also brings horsepower up from 147 to 201, which makes a world of difference for Hyundai's quirky little hatchback. In its lightest form it comes in 178 pounds under the limit, which is nearly the weight of a fully grown Kangaroo.

5. MINI Cooper 2-door (2,767 pounds)

While the MINI is another example of a car that has become bloated and is almost a caricature of their original model. the 2-door, 4-door, and convertible-spec Coopers all come in below 3,000 pounds. Even the S variant comes in below 3,000 pounds, which helps reinforce that "go-kart like feeling" that every journalist brings up when talking about the MINI. It's nice to see that this German-powered Brit is still light on its feet.

4. Honda Fit (2,522 pounds)

It's a shame that we will not be getting the new Honda Fit, because the Fit was an incredibly versatile vehicle if a bit boring in terms of performance. The Magic Seats, and overall strong cargo capacity played in the Fit's favor, but the HR-V, which also holds a spot on this list, is a crossover, and will always sell faster and in more numbers than the Fit. Luckily, the HR-V has the Magic Seats, and a lot of similar tricks and tech that the Fit did.

3. Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (2,487 pounds)

I'll be honest, I forgot Alfa was still producing the 4C, because after its launch nearly four years ago, when everyone was leasing these brilliant Italian roadsters, I can go months without seeing one of these on the road. Still, this Alfa is still kicking for 2020, and comes in under 2,500 in its lightest form. It still makes 237 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder and starts at $67,150 making it the most expensive car on this list by nearly twenty grand.

2. Mazda Miata (2,341 pounds)

It would be sacrilegious to have a list of the lightest cars on sale and not include the Mazda Miata. The Miata in both conventional convertible and targa-esque RF-guise come in under the 4C Spider, with the RF tipping the scales at 2,452 pounds. That extra 110 pounds, or one adult North Pacific Giant Octopus, does give the Miata an equally as gorgeous coupe profile, and helps makes America's favorite roadster that much more appealing.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for...

1. Mitsubishi Mirage (2,018 pounds)

Coming in nearly one fully grown panda bear lighter than the Miata, is the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Mitsubishi Mirage, which is also sold in Mexico as the Dodge Attitude, comes in at 2,114 pounds, which makes this pair of Mirages the lightest cars on sale in the USA. The Mirage needs to be as light as physically possible, because its 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine only produces 78 horsepower, which is actually appalling. The Chevrolet Spark, the third-place contender on the full list has 20 more horsepower than the Mirage, but the Spark also has to carry around an extra 200 pounds compared to the Mirage.

The Takeaway

Having a light car is not always a good thing, unless its a low car like the Miata or the 4C, most of these cars are likely to wander a lot in a crosswind out on the highways. My advice? Don't spend roughly $20,000 on these cars and buy a 12-year-old Buick LaCrosse. You'll be comfortable, get respectable gas mileage by comparison, and be able to blow the doors off of most the cars that are on the full list of lightweights, which can be viewed here.

What do you think of this list? Which of these lightweights is your favorite? Comment Below!

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Comments (9)

  • The mirage is light, because its crap, and made almost entirely of plastic.

      28 days ago
    • Really? I thought it was because they replaced the ICE with a rather well-behaved hamster.

        27 days ago
    • Nope. It's still an awful car. Too slow for highway driving, and rides really bad. Everything inside is of horrible quality, and feels like it will fall off any second.

        27 days ago
  • Side note: apparently I weigh more than a fully grown panda.

      27 days ago
  • That 4C is ridiculous! Almost $70,000 for a turbocharged 1.7 liter 4 cylinder?!

      22 days ago