Full-size car

Full-size car

A full-size car is a marketing term used in North America for an automobile larger than a mid-size car. In the United States, the EPA uses "large car" to denote full-size cars.

Full-size is defined in measurement as greater than 120 ft³ (3,300 L) of interior volume. [Cite web | url = http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#sizeclasses | title = How are vehicle size classes defined? | publisher = fueleconomy.gov | accessdate = 2007-08-22] Previously, a wheelbase greater than 110 inches (2.79 metres) was the criterion. The term first appeared in the early 1960s to define what also became known as "standard" size cars from the new compact and intermediate models then being introduced.Fact|date=September 2008

A "large family car," the equivalent of a full-size car class in Australian termsFact|date=August 2008, often denoted by widthFact|date=August 2008. Therefore, the Ford Falcon, Toyota Aurion and Holden Commodore are considered large cars in the Australian and New Zealand markets. These cars are sometimes referred to as "family cars" in Australia, and are typically 4.8 meters (about 15 ft, 9 in) or more in length.

In Europe, the terms "executive car" and "luxury car" may refer to cars of this size (which are mostly luxury cars), such as the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Jaguar XJ.

Decline and renaissance

The sales of full-size vehicles in the United States declined after the early 1970s fuel crisis. By that time, full-size cars had grown to wheelbases of 3.07 to 3.23 m (121 to 127 in), and overall lengths of around 5.72 m (225 in). In the 1970s due to the fuel crisis and the resulting rise in fuel costs, many people traded in their full-size cars for smaller models such as the Chevrolet Nova, Ford Maverick, and Plymouth Valiant, also it was during this time Japanese cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic gained popularity. American Motors discontinued its full-size AMC Ambassador in 1974; starting in the late 1970s, the other American automakers began selling full-size cars with smaller exterior dimensions and relatively smaller, more fuel efficient engines. That, combined with gas being cheap once again in the 1980s, full-size cars regained popularity.

Chrysler discontinued its full size cars (Dodge Diplomat, Chrysler Fifth Avenue, and Plymouth Gran Fury) in 1989. General Motors discontinued its full size cars (Chevrolet Impala/Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and Cadillac Fleetwood) in 1996. As of 2008, Ford still sells its full size Panther platform cars (the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car), retaining the 1978 dimensions, as the scion of the traditional Ford full-size line.

SUVs have supplanted full-size car sales through the 1990s, due to the fact they maintained rear wheel drive and many had optional V8 engines, and that full-size station wagons have been all but discontinued.

Today, with fuel costs being high once again, people are looking towards today's efficient V6 full size sedans such as the Buick Lucerne, and Honda Accord for their primary family car.

In Europe, full-size cars have only recently gained in popularity. During the 1980s, full-size cars were rare in Europe, but now they have become a common sight. In Germany, full-size cars make up 15% of the total number of cars (VDA annual report), roughly the same average as in the United States.

List of full-size cars

Current full-size cars

An asterisk denotes a car available with 6-passenger seating
*Acura RL
*Audi A8
*Bentley Arnage
*Bentley Continental Flying Spur
*BMW 7 Series
*Buick Lucerne*
*Cadillac DTS*
*Chevrolet Impala* (Chevrolet calls it a mid-size car, and it competes primarily with other large mid-size vehicles.)
*Chrysler 300
*Dodge Charger
*Dodge Magnum
*Ford Crown Victoria*
*Ford Falcon
*Ford Taurus
*Honda Accord (The current US generation, 2008+, is classified as "large" by the U.S. EPA)
*Holden Commodore
*Holden Statesman/Caprice
*Hyundai Azera
*Hyundai Sonata
*Hyundai Genesis
*Hyundai XG
*Infiniti Q45
*Jaguar XJ8
*Kia Amanti
*Lexus LS
*Lincoln Town Car*
*Maybach 57 and 62
*Maserati Quattroporte
*Mercury Grand Marquis*
*Mercury Sable
*Mercedes-Benz CLS
*Mercedes-Benz S-Class
*Nissan Maxima
*Nissan Teana
*Nissan President
*Pontiac G8
*Rolls-Royce Phantom
*Toyota Aurion
*Toyota Avalon
*Toyota Century
*Toyota Crown
*Volkswagen Phaeton

Recent full-size cars

*Mercury Montego
*Ford Five Hundred
*Buick LeSabre
*Buick Park Avenue
*Cadillac Deville
*Chevrolet Caprice
*Chevrolet Impala* (full-size up to 1996)
*Mercury Marauder
*Chrysler 300M
*Chrysler Concorde
*Chrysler LHS
*Dodge Intrepid
*Lexus LS 400
*Mitsubishi Diamante
*Oldsmobile Aurora
*Oldsmobile 88
*Oldsmobile 98

ee also

*Car classification
*Vehicle size class


External links

* [http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#sizeclasses Official US government car size class definitions]

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