You thought a Mini Cooper was cuddly? Jalopnik readers are here to make you lose your mind.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Before I go on, I just want to say that there was a clear winner for this competition, but it had to be disqualified. This pedal-cart version of the French Isetta is so cute I lost my shit like a two year-old seeing a penguin for the first time. The problem is it's not really a car, but more of a toy, so it can't be on the top ten.
The real irony of this list is that 70% of all these cars are total deathtraps. They're made out of steel so thin you could poke through it with a pencil. Most of them were designed in the ‘50s and ‘60s when Europeans were just overcoming the destitution of WWII. The cars needed to be cheap, and they ended up so small and light and crude that you could lift them up with one hand. If you got into an accident, your legs were the crumple zones.
But oh jeebus look at these little guys I'm dying right now just staring at their peppy motors and teeny wheels.
Photo Credit: Brian Gaid
Everyone knows the super-cute original Fiat 500, but there was an even cuter version, the Jolly. Built for hot-weather beach bums, it's like they made the seats out of picnic baskets. We want one full of puppies.
The ‘Frogeye' Sprite has one of the happiest faces in all of motordom, but what hard to see in pictures is just how tiny these things are. You can pretty much stuff them in your pocket.
Smaller still is the world's littlest car, the Peel P50. You can drive these things right into office buildings they're so small. And look at its little front wheels, poking out like an angry Dachshund!
The Autobianchi Bianchina took the underpinnings of the Fiat 500 and made them even cuter. It hurts to look at for too long because my brain starts to melt. A dead-ringer for the ‘60s Bianchina was the very retro Nissan Figaro of the ‘90s, which also makes my heart weep with joy.
The award for cutest car in production today goes to the Geely Panda because holy crap it looks like a panda and I want to feed it bamboo and read it bedtime stories.
Another one of Nissan's retro follies was the S-Cargo van. It's got the same little face as the other cars on this list, but a bulky body for moving stuff. That makes the S-Cargo look something like a super chubby baby seal, all smiley face and pudgy butt. Practicality is the new cute.
It's hard to get cuter than the "bubble cars" made after WWII. The Paul Vallee Chantecler has all of five horsepower and is as close as you can get to driving around in an egg.
This little British (and sometimes Egyptian) charmer clearly wins the award for the cutest name in the car world. Friskysport!
Japan's little Kei-cars are cute, but even cuter are their kei vans and pickups! You could probably fit a whole potted plant in the back of this ‘60s Mazda, which would probably struggle up hills like the little engine that could.
The Meyers Manx is about as adorable as a car can be. It's got a happy face, it's shaped like a baby pug, and it jumps like a puppy. You can't beat a car built for running around in the dirt and jumping stuff.