The word “car” is just too broad of a term. Cars come in many different varying shapes and sizes. We see and hear the words “compact,” “mid-size,” and “full-size” all over car advertisements today, but what do those words really mean? Does a full-size car really have more room than a compact car? Let’s take a finer look at some of these terms and look at some examples of what they’re really describing.

Now there are obviously more than just three car sizes. Minicompact, subcompact, economy, and city cars are becoming more prominent than ever and there are more size terms than those. However for the sake of this article, I’m just going to stick with the three listed in the title and how they relate to modern cars. Compact, Mid-Size, and Full-Size are the three most common ways that car makers describe their vehicles.

2017 Chevy Cruze Orange

2017 Chevy Cruze Compact Car

Let’s begin with Compact. The Unites States EPA defines a small, or compact, car as having between 100-109 cubic feet of combined passenger and cargo volume. According to them a compact car also needs to be between 161 and 187 inches long. Many different types of cars from sedans to convertibles and hatchbacks can fall into the compact category.

The 2017 Chevy Cruze is a compact car with seating for five. It has 107.4 combined cubic feet of cargo room and measures 175.3 inches long and 70.5 inches wide, which is appropriately the smallest of the three vehicles mentioned. So technically a compact car should be the smallest of the three and the easiest to fit into a tight parking spot.

2017 Chevy Malibu

2017 Chevy Malibu Mid-Size Car

For a mid-size car, the EPA says it must have between 110 and 119 combined cubic feet of volume and have a max length of 196.8 inches. The 2017 Chevy Malibu is a perfect example of a mid-size vehicle. The Malibu has 118.7 combined cubic feet of cargo room, which perfectly fits the EPA’s standards. This car also has seating for five and measures 193.8 inches long and 73 inches wide.

2017 Chevy Impala Red

2017 Chevy Impala Full-Size Car

A large or full-size car basically just has to be bigger than a mid-size one. So anything with 120 cubic feet of combined volume or more technically falls into that category. The 2017 Chevy Impala is a great example of a full-size car. The latest Impala has 123.3 combined cubic feet of cargo volume and is 201.3 inches long and 73 inches wide. So the mid-size Malibu and the full-size Impala have the same width, but the Impala is 7.5 inches longer. With that knowledge in mind, the Impala will indeed be slightly harder to parallel park, but will have the exact same width in a parking spot.

So at least with Chevy cars, they truly follow the small to big concept with compact to full-size cars. Unfortunately the lines between these car sizes can get very blurry. The US has different standards for car sizes than Japan, Australia, UK, Europe, and pretty much everywhere else in the world. But unless you’re moving overseas any time soon, you can now rest assured knowing what you should get when a car is described as “compact.”

New Compact, Mid-Size, and Full-Size Cars for Sale in Forest Lake, MN

You can come test drive these differently sized vehicles for yourself at our dealership in Forest Lake! We have a great selection of all of the vehicles mentioned in this article. All of our new cars come with a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty as well, so you’ll be covered for as long as you own the vehicle. Come and see us today and let us know if you’re looking for a compact, mid-size, or full-size car. We’re close to North Branch, Roseville, and White Bear Lake.

New Chevy Cars for Sale

Source: Chevy

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