How Long Is a Car?

The average length of a car has gradually increased over time. What used to be considered a compact family car in the past, now seems almost cartoonishly small and impractical. Length is the most important dimension for a car, as width is dictated by the road and height doesn’t play a major role aside from point of balance. But with so many cars on the market, it can be difficult to figure out the average lengths by type and class.


City Cars

City cars, or minicompact/A-segment vehicles, are the smallest you can buy. They're uncomfortable even for short city trips and have very little leg room in the back row where only two people can sit. Most models have two doors but there are a few with four. You can compare their design to that of a hatchback style vehicle. The most popular city cars include the Citroen C1, Fiat 500 and Volkswagen up!. City cars only measure up to 3.7 meters in length (or 145 inches).


Small Cars

Small cars, also called superminis or B-segment cars, are versatile and practical. Popular small car options include the Toyota Yaris, Mini Cooper, and Ford Fiesta. Small cars typically measure between 3.7 and 4.1 meters (145-161 inches) in length.


Compact Cars

The C-segment, or small family class cars, are popular for their economy and practicality in the city. While they might not be the most exciting cars on the market, they serve their purpose well and can accommodate a small family comfortably. Some of the more popular compact car models include the Toyota Corolla, Audi A3, and Volkswagen Golf. These types of cars generally have an average length of 4.1 to 4.4 meters (161-173 inches).


Family Cars

Most people envision a family car as being large, like a minivan or SUV. However, there are many economical options that still offer plenty of space for four to five passengers. These cars are also practical and handle well on the open road. 

Some of the most popular models in this category include the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Audi A3 & A4. The average length of these cars is between 4.4 and 4.7 meters (173-185 inches).


Executive Cars

The executive, full-size or E-segment cars are a bigger, more luxurious, and more powerful version of the family car. The size significantly contributes to the comfort and aesthetics of the vehicle, but it also has some negative effects such as maintenance cost and fuel economy.

The most popular executive cars are made by Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Audi. These vehicles tend to be longer than 4.7 meters or 185 inches.


Estate Cars

A misunderstanding about estate cars is that they generally are longer than sedans. The main reason for this belief is that estates appear more spacious, making them look both taller and lengthier than a usual car. Although there are some variations, if both vehicles share the same chassis, the designer can'telongate the estate excessively because it would lose its center of gravity.