James May on the Volkswagen Up
You saw it on last night's show, now read Captain Slow and Paul Horrell compare it to the Fiat Panda
Posted: 15 Jun 2015
JM I have a theory about that. Small cars through the Eighties and Nineties gradually became quite big. To give them the appeal and the apparent usability of a small car, you have to give them the proportions of a small car. And you do that by raising the roof because it makes the car look stubby. I bet if you lowered the Panda's roof by four inches, it would look like a largish hatchback. Because it isn't small. It's bloody huge - bigger than my Panda. Do you think makers of small cars have lost the courage to make a car that feels like a cheap, small, utility car?
PH Yes, there's a want of courage. They don't believe there are enough people out there who will buy something very basic. You do it with a pen - you're sat there with a biro - but not with a car.