Top 10 least powerful cars on sale in the U.S.
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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 With automakers constantly trying to one-up one another in an effort to be the most powerful, the lists can become outdated soon after they’re published.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-MiEV, 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.