Compact cars are situated between subcompacts and mid-size cars. In Europe, they are mostly assimilated with the C segment. Generally, cars are assigned to the compact class based on their overall dimensions, including length, wheelbase and engine displacement. For example, in the United States a compact car should have a wheelbase of roughly 100 inches.
The Austin Bantam was the first small-class car to be sold in the American Market. Between 1930 and 1934, roughly 20.000 units were sold on the American continent. While there were other models trying to open a niche for small, economy-conscious vehicles, the US public wasn’t entirely prone to the idea.
Almost three decades later in the 1960s, compact cars were the smallest vehicles you could acquire in America. Some of the more famous models include Studebaker Lark, Ford Falcon or Plymouth Valiant.
In Europe, compact cars don’t only come in the form of hatchbacks and sedans. In fact, some brands also derived compact MPVs. The first compact MPV ever produced on the old continent is Renault Megane Scenic, back in 1996.
Overall, compact cars are designed to appeal for a more budget-wise family with one or no children. Given their shape and size, compact cars offer enough space to fit a medium amount of luggage and still provide space for rear seating. Compact cars are usually fitted with rather small displacement engine to reduce noise, improve mileage and keep emissions low.
Nevertheless, there are various models that provide a significantly higher power output. These are usually known as hot-hatches. Departing from the utility purpose, this breed of compact cars aims for a more dynamic experience behind the wheel, all while maintaining a small size to fit city traffic.
See below latest news about all compact cars!
Compact cars news – see all about spects, opinions, quick reviews of and pics with every new model of Compact car on auto market.