One of the most noticeable features of today’s vehicles, with the exception of increased comfort and safety, is the performance. Modern hot hatches have acceleration times of yesterday`s supercars, and even the most ordinary family sedans or crossovers have 0 to 60 mph time well below 10 seconds. Evolutions in drive train technology, close-ratio automatics, and turbochargers has almost turned today’s vehicles into yesterdays drag racers.

Despite these advancements though, there are still some modern cars that are painfully slow. So slow, that you might think the engines broken.

Tata Nano

The Tata Nano was once considered the next big thing in affordable transportation since it was advertised as the world`s cheapest car at just below $3000. However, for that kind of money, you got an equally tiny performance and power output. The 600 cc engine with a mighty 37 HP and 51 Nm of torque was just enough to take it to 60 mph top speed. Although somebody could consider the Nano`s specifications adequate for urban driving, acceleration times were perhaps the biggest surprise.

At a whopping 29.4 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, the Nano was one of the slowest modern vehicles on sale, including trucks, pickups, and busses! A full half a minute time for accelerating to 60 mph made the Tata Nano not only terribly slow but also quite dangerous since it was well below the standards of normal traffic. Just imagine driving the Nano in rush-hour, trying to accelerate away from the traffic lights and keep up with the rest of the cars. Scary!

Volkswagen Golf SDI Mk5

Even though Golf diesels have never really been hot hatches, they usually represent a decent balance between performance and economy. However, this version is surprisingly slow and incredibly dull to drive. That would be the Volkswagen Golf 2.0 SDI sold from 2004 till 2009. At an incredible 16.7 seconds to 60 mph, this Golf is easily beaten by far smaller and cheaper cars.

How could a 2 liter be so slow? The reason, of course, is that its the SDI version, a non turbo diesel engine with just 75 HP, in a golf! Considering the MK5 golf weights over 1.3 tons, it is clear that 75 HP isn’t even going to cut it for any decent performance. That said, the SDI is extremely fuel-efficient, and more importantly, absolutely bulletproof. If you’re a cheapskate who’s never in a hurry (seriously), then it might be an option for you!


Daewoo Matiz

Just a step up from the Tata Nano, we have the Daewoo Matiz. Quite popular in Europe and Asia, the Matiz is a tiny car with an 800 cc engine and 53 HP. Compared to the Tata Nano, the Matiz could be considered a performance model since its almost 12 seconds faster to 60 mph. However, before you think that Matiz is a fast car, it still needs a whopping 17.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. Its cheap and fuel efficient sure, but that’s slow as hell.

Smart ForTwo Diesel

Although the original Smart ForTwo initially proved to be quite a success, at least on the European market, today, Smart is struggling to sell them. The unique concept was well received by people looking for fashionable urban transportation, which could be parked anywhere and with low running costs. To improve already fantastic fuel consumption, Smart introduced a diesel version with an 800 cc engine and just 45 HP. For people looking just for a great fuel economy, this was fine, but for those who expected some performance, it was a terrible disappointment.

Amazingly, the 0 to 60 mph time of the Smart ForTwo Diesel is just below 20 seconds which is hilarious and close to the acceleration of a Double Decker bus. Luckily, these days the Smart ForTwo Electric is much better with a 0 to 60 mph time of around 12 seconds and its even more efficient.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV/Citroen C-Zero/Peugeot Ion

Mitsubishi`s attempt to a introduce cheap and modern electric vehicle was a little disappointing but I suppose new technologies usually are. Although it was a good car, a range of 80 miles and price of around £17,000 was pretty damn offputting for most. With a 0-60 time of 15.9 seconds too, in an age of blisteringly quick electric vehicles it seems very slow! To be fair, its pretty nippy off the line due to its single gear, but still.

Its high price meant sales were rather low and its low range meant it could only really be used for short journeys. That said, they were one of the first mainstream manufacturers to make an EV so we have to commend them for that, lets just hope the next gen iMiev is a little bit quicker!