Thanksgiving Day Special – “Stuffed” Cars
Five cars that went a little overboard on the gravyby Jonathan Lopez, on
Happy Thanksgiving, TopSpeeders! As the nation settles in for a full day of overeating and inter-family political debate, we wanted to offer you a quick breather to look back at a few nameplates that have grown a bit husky over the years. To be fair, cars in general have a tendency to add pounds to the curb weight and inches to the exterior dimensions, with higher safety standards, demand for roomier interiors, a seemingly endless appetite for crossovers, and a fatter public all contributing towards the trend. That said, we think these five examples in particular could use a gym membership.
Maybe we’re being insensitive. Maybe we shouldn’t shame these cars, and instead focus on what’s under the metal, you know, where it really counts.
Updated 11/23/2017: We first published this article on Thanksgiving last year, but we liked it so much, we decided to go back for seconds. Enjoy!
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The 3 Series first hit the scene in 1975. Dubbed the E21, this fun little Bimmer was offered as either a lithe two-door hardtop or cabriolet, and came powered by a four-cylinder engine, although it was later equipped with a straight-six. The original dimensions came in at 171 inches in length, 63 inches in width, and 54 inches in height.
These days, the 3 Series is eagerly waiting for a seventh generation, and with the new gen is sure to come even more bulk. Current dimensions look like 182 inches in length, 80 inches in width, and 56 inches in height. Oh, and it’s gained a pair of love handle doors, as well.
Size Increase: 11 inches longer, 17 inches wider, 2 inches taller
The Fiat 500 is classically small car, framed as the perfect conveyance to zip around narrow European streets. The original was launched in 1957 as a two-door, rear-engine city car, and measured in at 117 inches in length, 52 inches in width, and 52 inches in height.
But that was almost 60 years ago, and now the 500 is a whole lot bigger. While still considered quite small by modern standards, the Nuova model is 140 inches long, 64 inches wide, and 59 inches tall.
Size Increase: 23 inches longer, 12 inches wider, 7 inches taller
This one should’ve been obvious, no? The name says it all, and when the British Motor Corporation first introduced the Mini in 1959, it truly was a small car, with just 120 inches in length, 55 inches in width, and 53 inches in height.
But that quickly changed when Mini was sold in 2000 to (surprise!) BMW. Nowadays, the marque is looking pretty bloated, with the 2017 Countryman measuring at 170 inches in length, 72 inches in width, and 61 inches in height.
Size Increase: 50 inches longer, 17 inches wider, 8 inches taller
But with the Z’s popularity in the states came significant plumping, and now, the current 370Z is 170 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 52 inches tall.
Size Increase: 7 inches in length, 9 inches in width, 1 inch in height
The 911 has experienced a long, fruitful existence as one of Germany’s most respected sports cars. When it made its initial air-cooled debut in 1963, Stuttgart’s darling was just 164 inches long, 63 inches wide, and 52 inches tall.
Now, the 911 is a whole lot quicker, but it’s also a whole lot bigger too. The current 991 generation measures in at 177 inches in length and 71 inches in width. Interestingly, it’s also a little lower at 51 inches.
Size Increase: 13 inches in length, 8 inches in width, -1 inch in height