Characteristics of Full-Size Vehicles
Since you can fit so much into large cars, there is a lot of room for variety and customization. As such, there may be fewer similarities between competing brands and models. That doesn’t mean you won’t notice some common threads when you compare them, though. These are the qualities that you will almost always encounter in the best large cars:
- Body styles: Large cars are not limited to just sedans. You get large SUVs, large trucks, and large coupes that fit into this category too, where these are the largest in their respective stables.
- Dimensions: Most authorities define a full-size vehicle according to its overall interior space, which should be greater than 120 cubic feet. However, you can also expect it to be longer than a midsize car, which caps out at 197 inches in length. They are also more often than not more than the average 70 inches wide, though height remains pretty standard. This all combines to give a hefty overall weight, especially in vehicles that can support more than five passengers.
- Powertrain: Since they are so large, most cars that fit into this category have powerful engine options, and, in some cases, torque-rich power plants to enable hauling heavy loads.
- Practicality: A benefit of the dimensions of large cars is that they can more easily fit people and all of their stuff. That’s not to say that they are all so practical, as some luxury full-size car examples with a focus on passenger comfort have a lower trunk capacity. However, models that focus on this area are eminently spacious, and large SUVs can store ridiculous amounts of cargo.
- Luxury: Speaking of the premium brands, where they may fail in terms of practicality, they more than make up for it in opulence. This entire segment is punctuated with flagship models that offer more head and legroom than any midsize car could hope to, as well as the highest levels of luxury.
- Price: As one might expect, you pay for the amount of car you get. Full-size car models are naturally more expensive than their smaller brethren, and the cost of ownership is further increased by the fact that they weigh a lot more and generally have pretty potent powertrains. This means poorer fuel economy and more frequent trips to the gas station. And models in the upper echelons of the lineup are usually packed to the brim with luxury features that push the price up even further.
What to Consider When Buying Large Cars
Just because full-size cars are often considered the best an automaker has to offer, that doesn’t mean they are the best choice for you. There are so many cars available in the USA that you may just as easily find a midsize model that manages to tick all the right boxes at a lower price. If you’re looking to buy a new car, keep these points in mind when looking at the full-size market:
- Plenty of powerful engine options
- Loads of passenger space and often a decent amount of cargo room
- Luxury models generally showcase the best a brand has to offer
- Larger, heavier cars usually have good crash-test scores
- Presence on the road is a given
- Usually loaded with features to make for a comfortable ride
- Way more expensive to own and run than smaller cars
- Not always as practical as they may seem
- Less suited to busy urban streets
- Cumbersome handling
What defines a full-size car?
The EPA recognizes any vehicle with more than 120 cubic feet of cabin volume as a full-size car. In the case of naturally more spacious vehicles like station wagons, the figure has to exceed 160 cu-ft. Many vehicles straddle segments, however.
What are the best full-size cars?
While there is no shortage of options when it comes to large vehicles, there will always be those that stand above the rest for one reason or another. Any list of the best full-size cars should include the Genesis G90, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Land Rover Range Rover.
Are there any cheap full-size cars?
There are certainly a few large vehicles that don’t ask for an equally large investment. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 are both particularly good deals in the large sedan segment at just over $30,000. Naturally, SUVs are a bit pricier, but you can pick up a Chevrolet Tahoe or Nissan Armada for about $50k.