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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old February 13th, 2010, 17:15   #1
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Default Car Size Classifications

I've read several things recently talking about compact, sub-compact, small, mid-size, full-size, etc. cars. Are any of these "official" sizes. IOW, do insurance companies, government agencies, etc. have rules about what is called a compact car, and what is a mid-size car, etc. Is it based on length, or curb weight, or wheelbase, number of seats, number of cupholders, or what?

I'm just curious if anybody actually knows about this.


2009 Jetta SportWagen TDI (gone but not forgotten)
2018 VW Tiguan SE (I wish it was a TDI)
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:48   #2
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Good questions. I'd like to know as well............................
2006 Jetta TDI
5 speed, Manufactured 06/06
DC stage 1 SMF Clutch
Draw-Tite hitch
Dash Tray
Blue tint aspherical mirrors
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Euro Light Switch
2nd grocery hook
VCDS Hacks: DRL Disabled-Seatbelt Chime Disabled-Key fob Power Windows
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Old February 14th, 2010, 08:42   #3
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I believe EPA does this by interior volume; how they calculate that is quite another matter.
Brian P.
formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue
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Old February 18th, 2010, 16:51   #4
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Originally Posted by GoFaster
I believe EPA does this by interior volume; how they calculate that is quite another matter.

Per wiki, the classification is indeed determined by interior volume.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 23:25   #5
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EPA size classes are done by interior volume, which may not necessarily produce the same size classes as perceived by the market.

For example, the Nissan Versa hatchback, Toyota Yaris hatchback, and Chevrolet Aveo hatchback are widely perceived to be in the same size and market class. But the Versa is EPA classified as a midsize car, while the Yaris and Aveo are EPA classified as subcompacts (if you look at a Versa up close, you'll see that it is actually fairly big, even though it is cheap).

Now, if you are renting a car, the rental car companies seemingly make up their own size classes.
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