The BMW Isetta was a world removed from the Bavarian manufacturer's premium saloons. The firm produced more than 160,000 examples of the tiny microcar between 1955 and 1962.
The Citroen 2CV had as little as two horsepower when it was launched, but it became one of France's most recognisable cultural symbols, and one of its best-selling cars.
The original Volkswagen Beetle enjoyed considerable popularity outside of Europe, with strong sales in the United States and a factory in Mexico that continued building the car until 2003.
The Peel P50 holds the Guinness World Record for being the smallest production car. It is just 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) long, holds only one occupant and has no reverse gear; you pick it up and swing it around if you need to make a tight maneuver.
The original Mini is one of the landmark small cars. Clever packaging meant that it could cope with a family of four, while still being cheap to buy and run.
The Fiat 500 is still a surprisingly common sight in Italian villages. It was even smaller than the Mini, and the original version had just 13 horsepower.
Fiat reinvented the 500 in 2007 -- although the new edition was considerably larger and more refined. It has proven a smash hit with customers worldwide.
Fiat tried to replace the 500 with the 126, but while it was ultimately killed off in 1980, production continued in Eastern European countries like Poland, right through until 2000.
Japan's 'kei cars' offer tax benefits because of their tiny size and small engines. Most Japanese manufacturers offer them in their domestic market. Mini-MPVs like Toyota's Pixis Mega are popular choices.
The most distinctive design element on the Isetta was its door - which was, in effect, the entire front bodywork of the vehicle. It opened up to offer surprisingly easy access.
The 'new Beetle' was launched in 1997. It uses many of the original car's styling cues, but is designed as a fashionable alternative to a regular hatchback instead of basic family transport.
The kei-cars feature some of the Japanese brands' most tortured attempts to hijack the English language. Mazda's offering in the category is called the Scrum Wagon.