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Not to be confused with Mini.
This article is about the automobile class. For the minicomputer category, see Superminicomputer.
Ford Fiesta, European market leader in 2013.[1]
Peugeot 208, European market best gainer in 2013, with +48%.

Supermini (also called B-segment across Europe)[2] is a class of automobile larger than a city car but smaller than a small family car.[3]

Superminis are usually available in hatchback body styles. The term subcompact car is used for similar cars in North America.

Origins of the term[edit]

Peugeot 205 GTi, produced at 5.3 million units between 1983 and 1999.

The term supermini developed in the UK in the 1970s as car manufacturers sought a new design to surpass the influential Mini and journalists attempted to describe such a vehicle.[4][5]

While manufacturers produced new designs, the term was adopted as an informal categorisation.[6] By 1977, the term supermini was used regularly by the British newspaper The Times.[7]

In October 1984, the Consumers' Association used the term in its annual Car Buying Guide. It gave an explanation at the start of a section entitled Small Hatchbacks. It said small hatchbacks were known popularly as superminis and while similar to the Mini they were more spacious inside and more versatile. This definition made clear that a "supermini" was something larger than a Mini yet smaller than a typical car of the time. In its 1984 report, it included such cars as the Austin Metro, Vauxhall Nova and Ford Fiesta. This report was also published soon after the launch of a host of other foreign-made superminis which were selling well in Britain - these included the Fiat Uno, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 205, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Polo.

Smaller or more basic cars were grouped under a Bargain Basement heading and included the Mini, Citroën 2CV, Fiat 126 and Volkswagen Beetle - these accounted for a much smaller share of the market than the modern superminis.[3]

By the mid-80s, the term had become established as a formal car classification term,[8][9] Eventually being adopted as the B-segment in European Commission classification.[10]

In Europe (B-segment)[edit]

2013 Renault Clio, ranking #2 for 2013 European sales of superminis.
Dacia Sandero, from Renault-Nissan Group, is an example in how no-gadget models are getting popularity in Europe
Citroen DS3, named 2010 Car of the Year by Top Gear Magazine, is a premium supermini.
The Fiat Punto used to be one of the top selling cars in Europe. Sales have declined in recent years.

In 2013, 22.4% of European sales are currently B-segment cars, making this segment, together with C-segment (at 22.2%), the two most popular ones in the Region and where all Global manufacturers are present (although segments such as J-segment (SUV)'s and M-segment (MPV's) are getting popularity eroding B-segment market share).

Half of the sales are covered by five best selling models such as the Ford Fiesta, the recently renewed Renault Clio and Peugeot 208, the VW Polo and the Opel Corsa together with its twin Vauxhall.

Recently no-gadget models such as mainly Dacia Sandero, ranked seventh in the European market, had significant success, while other popular model in the past like Fiat Punto are declining in sales. On the other hand, the premium class increased its market shares thanks to the success of cars like the Citroën DS3 awarded first four times in a row by the JD Power Satisfaction Survey UK.[11][12][13]

The Renault Zoe, a 5 seater electric car with a range of 210 km, is the best seller in the category of electric superminis, with 8,262 sales in 2013.

Model Eight first months of 2014
Ford Fiesta 204,755
Renault Clio 199,941
Volkswagen Polo 178,543
Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 165,156
Peugeot 208 146,683
Toyota Yaris 111,713
Dacia Sandero 97,105
Citroën C3 89,769
Others TBA

Other models include:

Alfa Romeo MiTo Audi A1 Chevrolet Aveo
Citroën DS3 Daihatsu Sirion Honda Jazz
Hyundai i20 Kia Rio
Lada Kalina Lancia/Chrysler Y Mazda2
Nissan Micra Mitsubishi Colt Peugeot 206+
Peugeot 207 SEAT Ibiza Suzuki Swift
Tata Indica

Examples sold in Asia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Motor Industry Facts 2013". The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 2013. p. 28. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Which? Car Supplement". Which? (Consumers' Association): 5. October 1984. Popularly known as superminis, these cars are a size larger than the original BMC Mini and are typified by the Austin Metro. 
  4. ^ Webb, Clifford (11 August 1976). "Leyland management denies 'pushing too hard' over output". The Times. p. 15. There are also said to be fears within the state-controlled motor group that Ford, having displaced Leyland from their traditional market leadership, will stay top for the rest of the year and could consolidate this position further with the introduction of the super "Mini", the Ford Fiesta. 
  5. ^ "Plans for super Mini". The Times. 18 August 1976. p. 1. Leyland Cars announce a plan to mass produce a super Mini in an integrated operation at Longbridge. 
  6. ^ Waymark, Peter (30 May 1977). "Basic design changes are the only way to cut car costs". The Times. p. 16. From the fuel-saving point of view there can have been no more welcome trend in the past five years than the appearance from one european Manufacturer after another of what has become known as the "supermini" - the Fiat 127, Renault 5, Peugeot 104, Volkswagen Polo and most recently, the Ford Fiesta. 
  7. ^ Waymark, Peter (5 May 1977). "Motoring". The Times Digital Archive. p. 33. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  8. ^ European Motor Business (Economist Intelligence Unit) (4-7). 1986. 
  9. ^ Mann, D (1999). "Car definitions and forecast methodology". Automotive Plastics & Composites - Worldwide Markets & Trends to 2007. Elsevier. p. 176. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  10. ^ European Commission classification
  11. ^ "Citroën DS3 first supermini in the 2012 JD Power Satisfaction Survey". JD Power. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2014-10-28. 
  12. ^ "Citroën DS3 first supermini in the 2013 JD Power Satisfaction Survey". A. New Zealand Herald. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2014-10-28. 
  13. ^ "Citroën DS3 first supermini in the 2014 JD Power Satisfaction Survey". JD Power. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-10-28.