Supermini (also called B-segment across Europe) is a class of automobile larger than a city car but smaller than a small family car.
Superminis are usually available in hatchback body styles.
The term supermini developed in the UK in the 1970s as car manufacturers sought a new design to surpass the influential Mini and journalists attempted to describe such a vehicle.
While manufacturers produced new designs, the term was adopted as an informal categorisation.
In October 1984, the Consumers' Association used the term in its annual Car Buying Guide. It gave an explanation at the start of a section entitled Small Hatchbacks. It said small hatchbacks were known popularly as superminis and while similar to the Mini they were more spacious inside and more versatile. This definition made clear that a "supermini" was something larger than a Mini yet smaller than a typical car of the time. In its 1984 report, it included such cars as the Austin Metro, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Smaller or more basic cars were grouped under a Bargain Basement heading and included the Mini, Citroën 2CV, Fiat 126 and Volkswagen Beetle.
By the mid-80s, the term had become established as a formal car classification term, eventually being adopted as the B-segment in European Commission classification.
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