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Rental Car Sizes - Choosing the Right Rental Car in 2022

What Are the Types of Rental Cars?

A rental car is a vehicle that you can hire for a short period. The market size of the U.S. car rental industry is currently $56.3 billion in 2022.      

Car rental needs vary from customer to customer. Various factors, such as budget, comfort, a need for cargo space, and the vacation type, can influence customers' decisions when choosing a particular rental car. To meet the diverse needs of customers, rental companies offer different types of rental vehicles.

We’ve compiled a list of nine car types offered by rental companies across the United States:

  1. Economy Car

  2. Compact Car

  3. Mid-size Car

  4. Full-size Car

  5. Luxury Car

  6. SUV

  7. Minivan

  8. Passenger Van

  9. Cargo Van

In this article, we’ll review the benefits and features of these rental cars as well as the models typically available for each type.

1. Economy Car

An economy car is a small, fuel-efficient, light-weight, and inexpensive hatchback car that accommodates four people. An economy car is a perfect choice for a small family planning a vacation or a group of friends taking off on a road trip. Economy cars typically provide a mileage of up to 35 miles per gallon (MPG). They often come with two, three, or four doors and can easily accommodate one medium suitcase and multiple smaller bags.

Models typically available in the economy cars sector are:

  • Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Chevrolet Bolt

  • Chevrolet Spark

  • Toyota Yaris

  • Nissan March

  • Ford Focus

2. Compact Car

Compact cars are a little bigger and more spacious than economy cars. These are also lightweight and inexpensive vehicles available as both hatchbacks and sedans. Compact cars can typically accommodate a family of five people and hold up to two medium-sized suitcases. Four adults can also comfortably sit in compact cars, which is ideal for those looking for an adventure with friends. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a compact car will have an interior volume between 100 and 109 cubic feet. The length of the compact car may range between 161 and 187 inches long.

Models typically available in the compact cars department are:

  • Nissan Versa

  • Chevy Cruze

  • Nissan Leaf

  • Volkswagen Golf

  • Toyota Corolla

  • Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

  • Volkswagen Jetta

3. Mid-size Car

A mid-size car, or an intermediate car, is a vehicle that is bigger than a compact car but smaller than a full-sized car. These cars are available in various body styles, including hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, and convertibles. They have an interior volume between 100 and 119 cubic feet and a maximum length of 196.8 inches.

With five doors, a midsize car can accommodate five passengers and two big-sized suitcases comfortably. They typically provide a mileage of up to 32 MPG and offer better ride comfort than compact and economy cars.

Most midsize cars offer:

  • Sufficient legroom and spacious seats,

  • Four to six airbags,

  • Dual air conditioning

  • A high-quality stereo system with FM/AM and CD player

  • An automatic transmission system

You can ride in comfort and style to your vacation destination!

Models typically available in the mid-size car segment are:

  • Chevy Malibu

  •  Honda Accord

  • Toyota Camry

  • Kia Optima

  • Nissan Altima

  • Ford Fusion

  • Chevrolet Camaro

4. Full-size Car

A full-size car is the largest size class for cars. These are bigger than midsize cars and offer better legroom and seating comfort. Most full-size cars are available in body styles of luxury sedans and station wagons.

According to the EPA, a full-size car will have an interior volume of more than 120 cubic feet for sedan models and 160 cubic feet for station wagons. All full-size cars can accommodate five adult passengers. A bit on the taller size? No worries! Taller passengers with a height exceeding six feet may feel less cramped in full-size cars when compared to mid-size cars due to the ample legroom and headroom.

Features include:

  • Dual A/C

  • Automatic transmission

  • Hill assistance

  • A seamless infotainment system,

  • Six airbags

  • Rear parking assist

  • Lane braking system

  • Built-in Wi-Fi

  • GPS

  • Auto high-beam headlamps 

With this extensive list, a full-size car can be an ideal option for a family vacationing with elderly people.

Models typically available in the full-size car segment are:

  • Chevrolet Impala

  • Chrysler 300

  • Ford Mustang

  • Dodge Charger

  • Toyota Avalon

  • Ford Taurus

  • Nissan Maxima

  • Toyota Prius

5. Luxury Car

A luxury car can be defined as a premium car that provides increased comfort, superior quality interiors, best-in-class amenities, and advanced safety technologies. Today, luxury vehicles are available across all car sectors, including hatchbacks, sedans, crossovers, sports utility vehicles (SUV), and minivans.

A few main features of luxury cars include: 

  • Integrated seat massagers

  • Water-resistant windows

  • An advanced automatic safety mechanism

  • A fully-loaded entertainment system

  • Tire monitoring system

  • Forward collision alert

  • Lane departure warning

  • Side blind zone alert

Models typically available in the luxury car segment are:

  • BMW 440i

  • Porsche Panamera

  • Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

  • Genesis G70

  • Audi S5

6. SUV

Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are perfect for road trips, family vacations, and weekend getaways. With ample legroom, additional cargo space, a powerful engine, and superior suspension, an SUV can increase ride comfort significantly.

SUVs are available in three sizes: Standard SUV, Luxury SUV, and Premium SUV.

  • A standard SUV accommodates five passengers and provides bigger cargo space than hatchbacks and mid-size sedans. Ford Edge, Toyota 4Runner, and Mitsubishi Outlander are a few well-known models of standard SUVs available on the market.

  • A luxury SUV can accommodate up to seven people and three large luggage bags. It can provide a mileage of up to 22 MPG. The best examples of luxury SUVs are Audi Q7, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Volvo XC90.

  • A premium full-size SUV is a vehicle that accommodates up to eight passengers and provides cargo space for up to three luggage bags. You can rent premium SUVs such as Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon XL, and Ford Expedition to experience a never-before vacation trip.  

Both luxury and premium SUVs come with a powerful engine, better suspension, and unparalleled safety mechanisms compared to standard SUVs. 

7. Minivan

A minivan is the best alternative for an SUV if you are looking for additional cargo space, ample legroom, and advanced safety features. With over 41 inches of front legroom and 40 inches of front headroom, minivans are best suited for family vacations and long-distance road trips that call for comfort and convenience for both taller people and old-aged people.

Minivans are available in two sizes: 7 passenger minivan and 8 passenger minivan.

  • 7 Passenger Minivan: These minivans can easily accommodate seven passengers and three large luggage bags. They have spacious seats with cup holders, hand rests, moving headrests, and dual A/C. The best options for 7-passenger minivans are Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, and Nissan Quest.

  • 8 Passenger Minivan: Do you know you can convert a 7-seater minivan into an 8-seater? All 7-seater minivans can accommodate eight people if seats in the second row are replaced with a bench seat. Many minivan models, including Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna, are available in 8-seater configurations. Just ask your renter for an 8-seater minivan if you want to accommodate your crew.

8. Passenger Van

Passenger vans are best suited for large groups, typically ten or more, who are traveling for a vacation. Most passenger vans come with dual A/C, a high-quality entertainment system, automatic transmission, pre-collision alert, and 4-doors to increase the convenience for people moving in and out. Passenger vans typically give a mileage of up to 15 MPG.

Passenger vans are available in three sizes: 15 passenger vans, 12 passenger vans, and 11 passenger vans.

  • A 15 passenger van is a full-size van that accommodates up to 15 passengers and three big-sized luggage bags. You may opt for models such as GMC Savana, Chevy Express, and Ford Transit if you are looking for 15 passenger vans.

  • A 12 passenger van provides sufficient seating space for 12 passengers and five luggage bags. All 15 passenger van models such as GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express, and Ford Transit can be converted into 12 passenger vans.

  • An 11 passenger van accommodates up to 11 passengers and six luggage bags. The best examples of 11 passenger vans are Kia Carnival, Ford Transit, and Chevy Savana.

9. Cargo Van

A cargo van is a vehicle that helps you move your belongings across the country. You may want to choose cargo vans when moving to a new house, transporting large objects to an event, or clearing out a storage area.

Today, cargo vans come with unparalleled features such as automatic transmission, powerful sliding doors, a high-quality stereo system, mileage of up to 15 MPG, and cargo volume to accommodate 16 bags of luggage.

Models typically available in the cargo van area are:

  • Ford Cargo E150

  • Ram Promaster City

  • Nissan NV200

  • GMC Savana Cargo Van,

  • Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo

Get Top-of-the-line SUV and Van Rentals with AVR

There’s nothing worse than unnecessary stress during your trip. That’s why it's essential to choose a suitable rental vehicle for your vacation and eliminate the opportunity for this stress to arise. 

Before choosing a rental car, have a clear understanding of your travel needs, including the budget, the number of people traveling, the type of vacation, and the need for the cargo space.

Airport Van Rental (AVR) is a market leader in renting all types of cars and vans that meet your unique travel needs. AVR has been helping people take stress-free vacation trips for the last 12 years.

AVR is recognized as the most trusted and reliable rental company in the nation for more than a few reasons, including:

  • Premium fleet of vehicles

  • Flexible pick-up and drop off options

  • Premier customer support

  • Over a dozen rental locations across the nation

  • Discounts on rental prices for AAA and USAA members.

Book a rental car of any size with AVR for your family vacation today to receive the best prices and enjoy a stress-free vacation!

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