What Are the Different Sizes of Cars?

by Katina Blue
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Car manufacturers use several different categories to classify vehicles according to size. Each size category has specific features in regard to space, passenger and storage capacity. Knowing the details of each size classification will help you understand your needs and make an informed decision when considering the purchase of a new car.

Economy and Compact

Economy and compact cars, such as the Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla, are the smallest and most lightweight of all vehicle size types. They are convenient, fuel-efficient vehicles with front-wheel drive, four-cylinder engines and seating for four-to-five passengers. Economy cars are usually slightly smaller than compact cars, but both sizes are so similar in regard to measurements that you may not notice any differences. Measurements for economy and compacts cars range from 4240 mm to 4500 mm, and their engine capacity is about 1.4 to 2 liters.


Midsize or intermediate cars are slightly larger and offer more interior space than compact vehicles, but models from both size categories have some similar features, such as four-cylinder engines. Midsize cars can carry four-to-five passengers comfortably and usually have more storage and trunk space than compacts. Most cars in this class have four doors, although models such as the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima come in two-door models. In addition, higher-end intermediates like the Toyota Camry offer V-6 engines and standard upgrades such as a navigational system and leather seats, which are usually optional add-ons for compact models .


The fullsize car category includes larger sedans, such as the Toyota Avalon and spacious sporty models like the Dodge Charger. Fullsize vehicles consist of more cargo room, trunk capacity and passenger space. The average size starts at 4900 mm and engines are generally V-6, although some models like the Grand Marquis have V-8 engines. More space, larger engines and standard upgrades are some advantages of fullsize vehicles, but an increase in size means higher fuel costs. Accordingly, fullsize vehicles are generally not as economical in terms of fuel efficiency as compact or midsize cars.

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