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3 Types of Car Sizes Explained: What You Need To Know!

blue bmw car

Most of the time, we don’t consciously think of car sizes. However, they are absolutely essential when cars are developed and marketed. Understanding different car sizes can help you determine what options are best for you and help you narrow down your car search.

Luckily, most manufacturers use the same general car sizes when designing their vehicles. We’ll take a look at the most common designations below, however, they may differ a bit from brand to brand.

car and road divider

The 3 Types of Car Sizes

1. Economy or Compact Car

yellow compact car on the road
Image By: Cock-Robin, Pixabay

These cars are the smallest. They are lightweight and designed to be as fuel-efficient as possible. Most of the time, they have front-wheel drive and four-cylinder engines since they don’t exactly need much power. Usually, they can seat four to five passengers, though not with much room to spare. They’re mostly used for driving around urban areas and are not designed for off-road driving.

Economy cars are actually slightly smaller than compact cars. However, the size difference is often blurred and difficult to distinguish. Therefore, we’ve included them in the same category.

2. Midsize Cars

toyota camry
Image Credit: bahonya, Pixabay

As the name suggests, these cars are between compact cars and full size cars. They are slightly larger than economy cars and offer more interior space. However, they typically come with the same features otherwise, including the same four-cylinder engine. Usually, they also fit four to five passengers, though much more comfortably than a compact.

Also, these cars often have more storage space.

Some of these cars feature luxury add-on features, which may include a stronger engine and leather seats, but these are common add-ons in compact models as well.

3. Fullsize Cars

black dodge charger on the road
Image Credit: RJA1988, Pixabay

A fullsize car is one of the larger options. Cars like the Dodge Charger fit into this category. Usually, these cars are just bigger all around, which provides more room for storage and passengers. Most of the time, these cars have at least a V6 engine since they require a bit more power to get around. Certain fullsize cars may come with a V8, though, especially if they are marketed as a luxury vehicles.

While the larger size does make the interior more comfortable, it also means that you’ll likely spend more on gas. These cars are not very economical on gas when compared to the other options we’ve discussed.

car and road divider

What is the Order of Car Sizes?

Fullsize cars are the largest size option out there. These cars usually have more passenger space and trunk space. However, they also require more fuel and typically have larger engines.

Next, you’ll have midsized cars. These are the “in-between” cars. They are too large to be compact cars but are too small to be fullsize cars. They provide a bit more space and are more comfortable to ride in – while still being at least somewhat fuel-efficient.

Compact cars are the smallest. Usually, economy cars are pretty close to compact cars and are included in the same category. These cars are very small, but they are very gas efficient. Usually, they are commuting cars for those living in urban areas, where small cars are often far more practical.

car and road divider


All the size designations we’ve discussed above typically apply to most cars found in the United States. However, when it comes to other countries, the standards are a bit different. On average, other countries have smaller cars than those in the United States. Therefore, a fullsize car is often a bit smaller, and a compact car is extremely small – sometimes only seating two people.

However, the same basic principle remains the same. Compact cars will be the smallest, followed by midsized cars and then finally fullsize cars.

Featured Image Credit: Mikes-Photography, Pixabay


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