Characteristics and Dimensions of Mid-Size Cars
Considering they come from a variety of different brands, it can be tricky to pinpoint the key qualities that make for a good mid-size car; examples include the Toyota Camry, Tesla Model 3, Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, and Jeep Wrangler - all of these very different. But, what do these different models all have in common that sees them sell so well?
- Configurations, styles, and powertrains: As we’ve seen, mid-size vehicles occur in all segments, with pickup trucks, sedans, coupes, and even SUVs included. And since there are various types of mid-sized vehicles, you also get various power plants motivating them - whether it’s hybrid or gas, the range generally includes efficiency-minded options and more potent motors, too.
- Dimensions: Naturally, their actual size within their respective lineups is a key component. Most authorities suggest that to fall into the mid-size car segment, dimensions shouldn’t exceed 198.6 inches in length. They also cannot have more than 120 cubic feet of combined volume. This limits their overall weight, too. On the other hand, there is no limit to how wide they can be, though most manufacturers stick to around 70 inches. Height is also averaged out at between 60 and 72 inches depending on the style - sedan or SUV.
- Practicality: All of these dimensions equate to a decent level of practicality, even if the combined volume is limited. A good medium-sized car will provide sufficient room for both front and rear passengers to be comfortable over long drives, meanwhile trunk capacity can range from 15 to 20 cu-ft in a sedan up to almost 100 cu-ft in the leading mid-size SUV. However, this does usually require the folding down of some seats.
- Price: It only stands to reason that new mid-size cars are ranked higher on the price list than a more diminutive compact. You are, after all, getting a whole lot more car for your money. Similarly, their size and weight impact fuel economy, affecting the overall cost of ownership. This is not even accounting for the stronger engine you will usually need to move a larger vehicle.
What to Consider When Buying a Medium-Sized Car
When you compare mid-size cars with other popular categories, it is important to know what each brings to the table. Naturally, you also need to be aware of your own budget and your specific needs in a new car in terms of lifestyle and taste. Here are some strengths and weaknesses of the classification to help you figure out if this is the type of car you really need:
- A good balance between passenger and cargo space
- Comparatively more comfortable than smaller cars
- Loads of choices between economy and luxury brands
- Stronger engine options are common
- Easier to maneuver in the city than full-size options
- Broad price range usually available - from budget to fully-loaded with features
- Not as spacious as full-size options
- Costs more to own and run
- Generally less leg and headroom than bigger options
What is considered a mid-size car?
Generally, a mid-size vehicle with an overall interior volume of 110 to 120 cubic feet is considered mid-size. Vehicles like these slot in between the largest and smallest vehicles in their lineups.
How many suitcases fit in a mid-size car?
A mid-size sedan will usually stow 3-4 suitcases, while an SUV can handle between 5 and 10 carry-on suitcases. Cargo space in SUVs and crossovers is more versatile, while the mid-size sedan can be a little more restrictive.
What are the best mid-size cars?
Some of the cars that make it onto the ranking of the most popular mid-size cars in the USA include sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Kia K5. Meanwhile, SUVs including the Toyota 4Runner, Honda Passport, Kia Telluride, and Mazda CX-9 all sell very well.