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Wide Body Vs Narrow Body Car Pros And Cons

Are you planning to install a wide body kit, and you want to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of a wide body and a narrow body? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Here are the summarized advantages and disadvantages of wide- and narrow-body cars:

  • Narrow body advantages
    • Better fuel mileage
    • Better aerodynamics
    • Most are cheaper to buy and maintain
  • Narrow body disadvantages
    • Less traction at higher speeds
    • Less room for passengers and luggage
    • Less safe
  • Wide body advantages
    • Keeps the car on the ground during high-speed turns
    • Improved downforce
    • Transfers power from the engine more easily to the ground
  • Wide body disadvantages
    • Car becomes heavier
    • Harder to get into tight parking spaces
    • Can be expensive

Let’s take a closer look at each advantage and disadvantage in the succeeding sections.

Read on!

suzuki Swift car parking next to the buliding, Wide Body Vs Narrow Body Car Pros And Cons

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of narrow-body cars?

The development of cars started with small and narrow bodies in the past and evolved into larger and wider cars today. Here are some size-evolution examples.

Some of a narrow cars in the highway

Mustang 1964-1973 1974-1978 1979-1993 1994-2004 2005-2014 2015-Present
Length

181.6 in

175 in

179 in

183 in

187 in

188 in

Width

68 in

70 in

69 in

73 in

74 in

107 in

 

BMW 3 Series 1983-1992 1993-1998 1999-2005 2006-2011 2012-2018 2019-Present
Length

172 in

167 in 175 in 178 in 182 in

185 in

Width

64 in

67 in 68 in 71 in 80 in

81 in

 

Why Cars Grew In Size

Cars grew in size as more safety features were added to them. Crash beams and crumple zones, for example, need space. This made modern cars safer than cars made 20 or 30 years ago.

An increase in car size also means that car manufacturers can charge more for a car.

Additionally, people had to pay upfront to buy a car in the past. Nowadays, financing institutions pay for the (more expensive) car, then the buyer pays these institutions monthly.

Advantages Of Narrow Body Cars

Fuel Efficiency

Narrow cars are smaller and lighter. You need only a small engine to move a small car. Thus, they are more fuel-efficient.

Better Aerodynamics

The smaller body makes less air drag because there is less surface area to resist the flow of the wind. This is an advantage when it comes to aerodynamics.

Better aerodynamics improves fuel efficiency even further.

This is important in the face of growing fuel prices.

Smaller Means Cheaper Cost And Upkeep

Small cars are best for people who travel to work alone. Smaller cars mean that you don’t need to pay for more fuel to bring a bigger car to work and back home when you’re the only passenger.

Another advantage of narrow-body cars is that they are mostly cheaper to buy. Because they have smaller bodies, you need fewer materials to manufacture them. Fewer materials mean cheaper tag prices.

Disadvantages Of Narrow Body Cars

Front view of gray shiny empty car parked in quiet area on wide alley under big trees on blurred green and yellow folliage bok

With smaller and narrower bodies comes a price, though—safety. Small modern cars still have the standard safety packages that can fit into their small bodies.

However, they miss the additional layer of safety when your vehicle is bigger. A bigger car has more metal to absorb the impact of a collision before it gets to the passengers or the driver.

Less Wheel Traction

Narrow cars have less room for wheel wells. This means that they are equipped with narrow tires.

Narrower tires mean that there is lost power from the engine to the tires and to the road. Narrow tires do not have the surface area to grip the road to convert all the power from the engine into acceleration.

Less Room

Narrow-body cars have smaller bodies, and that means they have less room for passengers and luggage. Less room inside the car can also mean that they are less comfortable for long drives.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of wide-body cars?

Cars modified for racing commonly install wide body kits (also known as ground effect kits) to improve performance. You will also occasionally see street cars that have body kits to improve performance and cosmetics. Not all cars look good in wide-body kits, though.

Mass-produced wide body kits are made from fiberglass, plastic, or a combination of both. Some are also made from carbon fiber because it is a light yet tough material.

Unfortunately, commercial wide body kits are only available for popular models of cars. If you have a car that doesn’t have a commercially made wide body kit, your only option is to have a custom wide body kit made for your car.

It is not uncommon to see custom-made wide body kits.

Body Kits For Cars

Personalizing the things that belong to you is an art that is almost as old as civilization. Thus, customizing your car is not an odd idea.

It is said that a car reflects the personality of the owner.

There are different body kits that you can install on your car to make it look unique and better reflect your personality.

And all the body kit types below can also be installed on a narrow-body car.

Lips Kit

A lips kit is added to the bottom of your car’s bumper to give it a more intricate look. This kit can give your car a subtle improvement in the looks department.

Some car manufacturers even offer this as an add-on to specific trims.

There are lip kits that give your car a slightly wider profile at the bumper area. Some kits include add-ons to the bottom side of your car.

Full Body Kits

Full body kits include replacement bumpers for the front and rear of your car. They also include add-on side skirts. Adding these kits to your car can greatly modify how it looks.

Some full-body kits include wide bumpers to match fender flares and other moldings. Not all full-body kits will make your car wider but expect some to do so.

Fender Flares

Rear view of Honda S2000 Turbo, sport car on race track, LED tail lights, spoiler, carbon diffuser

Fender flares are added to the side of the fenders to make the wheel area look wider. You can install these kits with a matching wide side skirt so that the front fender flare will flow towards the rear fender flare.

Fender flares add space to your wheel well so that you can equip your car with wider wheels without resorting to a wide body kit which is more expensive.

BLACKHORSE-RACING universal fender flares are available on Amazon through this link.

Wide Body Kits

These kits have everything you need to make your car wider.

Wide body kits make your car wider by changing the front and rear bumpers. It also includes fender flares and side skirts that connect seamlessly with the wider front and rear bumpers.

Some wide body kits even include add-ons for the doors to make them look wider too.

Advantages Of Wide Body Cars

Wide body cars were developed with performance in mind. Wider bodies allow the installation of wider wheels on a car. Wider wheels provide a larger tire area that will grip the road.

This means that wider wheels are better at converting the power from the engine into acceleration.

The improvement in acceleration that you get from wider tires may be small, but any millisecond that you can gain over your opponent in a race is always worth it.

Improved Downforce

If narrow-body cars are good at minimizing the resistance against airflow, a wide-body car uses the same airflow to push the car down.

Going fast means that the flow of air can get under the car and lift it up. This can cause you to lose control of your car.

Thus, going fast means that your car must also have a way to counter that upward force. Wide body cars use their wide bodies to catch the airflow on top of the car and use that to keep the car on the ground.

Improved Performance At Turns

Because wide-body cars capture the airflow to keep them on the ground, they can make sharp turns at higher speeds. This is important during a race. Making a turn at a higher speed is an advantage against your opponents.

Additionally, the wider width of the car’s body will require a greater force to flip them over when they make a turn at a high speed.

Disadvantages Of Wide Body Cars

Wide body cars do not get all those advantages without gaining some disadvantages.

And one of the disadvantages is that the car becomes heavier. The weight of the wide body kit will add to the weight of the car.

Wide body kits made of lighter materials are commonly more expensive than those made of heavier materials.

Harder To Get In And Out Of Tight Parking Spaces

You might find it challenging to get in and out of tight parking spaces with a wide car. So, when you install a wide body kit, make sure that you are confident in your parking skills.

Can Be Expensive

Orange Lamborgini is parked on a cobblestone street in historical center in Brno, Czech Republic

Most wide-body kits and full-body kits are sold without paint. This means that installing one on your car would require a paint job after the kit installation. Even if a kit is sold with paint, it is unlikely that it is the same paint as your car.

Additionally, if you still have the unexciting stock wheels, you will need to replace that too. The stock wheels will likely stand out like a sore thumb after you install a kit.

Conclusion

suzuki Swift car parking next to the buliding

Wide-body and narrow-body cars each have their advantages and disadvantages. Picking one over the other should depend on how you plan to use your car.

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