Did you know that many architects and contractors are required to know the average car length? That helps them plan the dimensions of parking lots and garages, for example. To be honest, however, every vehicle owner needs to know the length of their car. There are different reasons for that, and I’ll get to them in a minute.
But before that, here’s a quick overview of the questions this article is about to answer:
- What is the average car length?
- How does the length of different car types differ?
- Why do you need to know the length of your vehicle?
- How to find out how long your car is?
What Is the Average Car Length?
Generally, the average length of a car is 4.5 meters, or a little over 177 inches. That’s how long the family car Honda Civic and compact SUV Audi Q Sportback are. Both vehicles measure exactly 4.5 m in length.
Of course, cars come in various sizes. Therefore, they tend to differ when it comes to their length too. For instance, mid-size sports utility vehicles are longer than city and sports vehicles. That’s why I have prepared for you an exhaustive car length list based on car types.
Average Length of Different Car Types
This article will list vehicle categories in an order based on their average car length. Then, I’ll gradually progress to the longest car types.
City automobiles are quite small since many cities struggle with shortage of parking spaces. Typically, urban cars measure anywhere between 2.7 meters to 4 meters or 106.3 inches to 157.5 inches. So, their average length is about 3.7 meters, or 145.7 inches. Such vehicles make driving even on the narrowest city center streets a lot safer.
An example of an urban car: Hyundai i10
- Length: 3.67 meters or 144.5 inches
- Width: 1.68 meters or 66.14 inches
- Height: 1.48 meters or 58.2 inches
Another category of automobiles that cruise easily in the city are small cars. Often referred to as mini automobiles, they are slightly longer than their urban counterparts. As a result, their average length is 3.9 meters. That is equal to approximately 153.5”.
Some of the tinier small cars are just over 3.7 meter long. That is the case with Suzuki Swift, for example. However, they do not go beyond 4.1 meters in length.
In comparison to city cars, minis are more spacious. Also, their boot capacity is a bit bigger.
An example of a mini car: Toyota Yaris
- Length: 3.95 meters or 155.5 inches
- Width: 1.69 meters or 66.5 inches
- Height: 1.50 meters or 59 inches
The small sports utility vehicle category often includes compact crossovers. However, the features and functions of small SUVs tend to contradict one another. For instance, these cars often demonstrate good off-road performance, but they are designed to be driven on city roads.
When it comes to their length, it never measures more than 4.2 meters (165,35”). On average, small SUVs are 3.95 meters long.
In contrast to larger SUVs, these automobiles have no 4×4. That’s why they only look rough on the outside. Once you jump in them, however, you will notice that their dimensions resemble those of a sedan.
An example of a small SUV: Ford Ka+ Active
- Length: 3.95 meters or 155.5 inches
- Width: 1.74 meters or 68.5 inches
- Height: 1.55 meters or 61 inches
Compact automobiles are also known as mid-sized cars. Their length varies between 4.1 m to 4.4 m (161.4” to 173.2”). So, the average is around 4.25 m (167.3”).
Although crossovers enjoy a huge popularity nowadays, compact cars continue to be among the best-selling vehicle categories on the market. Many people love them because they feature both a sleek exterior and a spacious interior.
An example of a compact car: Kia Ceed
- Length: 4.3 meters or 169.3 inches
- Width: 1.8 meters or 70.1 inches
- Height: 1.45 meters or 57.1 inches
Like most other SUVs, the compact ones are also characterized by a high driving position. That allows the driver to have a better view of the traffic ahead.
The average length of compact SUVs is set at 4.35 meters, or 171.25”. Still, some vehicles from this class can be as short as 4.2 m, but they’re never longer than 4.5 m. Therefore, they are not difficult to drive in a city environment.
This type of automobiles also includes some medium-sized crossovers such as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. What is notable about them is their small boot. So, drivers who like to mix city driving and long-distance driving may prefer a traditional SUV that is more spacious.
An example of a compact SUV: Honda HR-V
- Length: 4.34 meters or 170.8 inches
- Width: 1.77 meters or 69.7 inches
- Height: 1.6 meters or 63 inches
Sports vehicles are truly powerful. Among them are Ford Mustang, Lamborghini Aventador S Coupe, Ferrari 812 Superfast, and Chevrolet Camaro. These are the cars you get if you’re having a need for speed (or a midlife crisis). Although they pack a lot of power under the hood, their average length is 4.45 m, or approximately 175.2”.
These cars are designed to be as light as possible. For that reason, you are not likely to find a sports vehicle longer than 5 meters. And don’t even hope for large luggage capacity.
Another thing you may have noticed about these bad boys is that they have quite a low profile. That helps them to be more aerodynamic and ensures smooth airflow and faster acceleration.
An example of a sports car: Porsche 911 Carrera
- Length: 4.52 meters or 178 inches
- Width: 1.85 meters or 72.8 inches
- Height: 1.30 meters or 51.2 inches
Family automobiles are designed to fit a family of up to five people, but they can sometimes fit even six occupants. So, the average length of a family car is about 179.1” or 4.55 meters.
One of the main characteristics of these vehicles is their impressive practicality. They have a spacious interior and a big luggage capacity. It is precisely these features that set them apart from compact and small cars.
An example of a family car: Toyota Prius
- Length: 4.54 meters or 178.7 inches
- Width: 1.76 meters or 69.3 inches
- Height: 1.47 meters or 57.9 inches
You may notice that these vehicles have the same average length as mid-size SUVs and MPVs (4.6 meters, or 181”). However, I have chosen to rank them after family cars because they are never longer than 5 meters. Also, they can be as short as 4.2 meters, and that is well below the average for a car.
Even though station wagons are not very long, they may appear to have a prolonged body shape. The reason behind it may be the raised roof of such vehicles, which gives them a boxy appearance.
An example of a station wagon: Hyundai i30 SW 2017
- Length: 4.59 meters or 180.7 inches
- Width: 1.79 meters or 70.5 inches
- Height: 1.46 meters or 57.5 inches
Mid-size SUVs are perfect for drivers who live in the city but like to escape to the countryside on weekends. In comparison to compact sports utility vehicles, these vehicles are longer (4.5 meters to 4.7 meters), as well as more spacious and able to fit more luggage.
Unlike full-size SUVs, this mid-sized category is considerably more fuel-efficient. At the same time, however, it drives equally smoothly on both city streets and off-road trails.
An example of a mid-size SUV: Subaru Forester 2019
- Length: 4.62 meters or 181.9 inches
- Width: 1.81 meters or 71.25 inches
- Height: 1.73 meters or 68.1 inches
Contrary to their name, multipurpose vehicles have one main rather than multiple goals. Namely, they aim to make the most of the space inside the car. That’s why they often have up to seven seats. So, if you are looking for a perfect road trip vehicle, this is the category you should look into.
Most MVPs are around 4.6 meters long. Generally, however, the length of these vehicles can range from 4.1 meters to 5.1 meters (161.4” to 200.8”).
Although multipurpose vehicles look bulky and have a large trunk, they are fairly easy to control on the road.
An example of an MPV car: Ford Galaxy 2015
- Length: 4.85 meters or 191 inches
- Width: 1.91 meters or 75.2 inches
- Height: 1.75 meters or 68.9 inches
Unlike family cars and station wagons, full-size cars don’t boast an impressive luggage capacity. However, that does not mean that they are not spacious. It’s just that the extra space that they offer is reserved for the occupants and not for their bags. The length of these large automobiles starts at 4.7 meters, or 185”.
An example of a full-size car: Toyota Camry
- Length: 4.88 meters or 192.1 inches
- Width: 1.84 meters or 72.4 inches
- Height: 1.45 meters or 57.1 inches
Full-Size SUVs and 4x4s
If you are a maximalist, this car category will not fail to meet your driving needs and expectations. For starters, it is large both on the inside and outside. The length of full-size SUVs can measure up to 5.2 meters. That is equal to more than 204.72”!
Also, the height and width of these vehicles can reach up to 1.82 meters and 2 meters, respectively. So, there is plenty of room for a number of suitcases, passengers, and whatnot.
Compared to other sports utility vehicles, full-size ones are more powerful, so they can conquer even the most difficult terrains.
An example of a large SUV: BMW X6
- Length: 4.94 meters or 194.5 inches
- Width: 2 meters or 78.74 inches
- Height: 1.69 meters or 66.5 inches
Every luxury automobile must provide both the passengers and the driver with three key things — comfort, premium-quality features, and high-end performance. Generally speaking, these special cars have everything from modern design to a powerful engine and even a top-grade audio system.
To be able to fit all the extra features, an average luxury car has a length of 5.05 meters. In some cases, these vehicles can be up to 5.5 meters long.
An example of a luxury car: Mercedes-Benz S
- Length: 5.14 meters or 202.3 inches
- Width: 1.9 meters or 74.8 inches
- Height: 1.5 meters or 59 inches
Pickups or pickup trucks consist of a cabin and a cargo area. As a result, they rank high among the longest consumer automobiles on the market. Their minimal length is 5 meters. Still, if the vehicle has a double cabin, it can reach up to 5.7 meters, or 224.4”.
Due to their impressive size, pickup trucks can be tricky to drive. Needless to say, a large cargo area and a record car length can be a recipe for blind spots. However, that shouldn’t be a problem for skilled drivers.
An example of a pickup: Nissan NP300 Navara
- Length: 5.33 meters or 209.8 inches
- Width: 1.85 meters or 72.8 inches
- Height: 1.84 meters or 72.4 inches
Car Lengths: Comparison
To get a better idea, here is a list of average car lengths by vehicle type:
- Urban cars – 3.7 meters or 145.7 inches
- Small vehicles – 3.9 meters or153.5 inches
- Small SUVs – 3.95 meters or 155.5 inches
- Compact cars – 4.25 meters or 167.3 inches
- Compact SUVs – 4.35 meters or 171.25 inches
- Sports cars – 4.45 meters or 175.2 inches
- Family automobiles – 4.55 meters or 179.1 inches
- Station wagons – 4,6 meters or 181.1 inches
- Mid-size SUVs – 4.6 meters or 181.1 inches
- Multipurpose vehicles (MVPs) – 4.6 meters or 181.1 inches
- Full-size automobiles – 4.85 meters or 190.94 inches
- Full-size SUVs & 4x4s – 4.95 meters or 194.9 inches
- Luxury vehicles – 5.05 meters or 198.8 inches
- Pickups – 5.35 meters or 210.63 inches
Why Is It Important to Know Your Car’s Length
It may come as a surprise to you, but knowing the length of your vehicle can be crucial. For instance, having that piece of information may help you estimate your towing costs in advance. Some towing providers charge extra to service large automobiles since they need to use bigger towing trucks.
Also, let’s say that you are planning to rent a car or replace your old ride with a new one. Wouldn’t you prefer to choose a vehicle that is similar to your current car length-wise? That may help you to get used to the dimensions of the other car quickly. Besides, such familiarity may make you feel more confident behind the wheel.
Shopping for certain exterior accessories would also require you to know the length of your car. For example, you must never order a car cover without measuring your vehicle first. The same goes if you are planning to invest in a travel or a utility trailer. So, make sure you check the average length of your automobile to find a suitable trailer for it.
See also: Curb vs. Gross Weight of a Vehicle
Ways to Figure out the Accurate Length of Your Car
Now that you’ve learned the importance of a vehicle’s length, you need to measure your car. Fortunately, you have the freedom to do that in a few different ways.
Try With an Online Auto Store
Some online auto stores have a built-in tool that will let you find out the dimensions of your car. That includes not only its length but also its height and width. However, to get access to that information, you will need to enter your license plate number. So, unless you completely trust this website, consider using some of the other options on this list.
Measure It Yourself
To find your automobile’s length, use a yardstick or a tape measure. Still, avoid relying on measuring tools that are shorter than 5-6 meters. The average car length is 4.5 meters. So, a yardstick shorter than that won’t do.
Next, put the tape measure or yardstick under the vehicle and measure it from the front to the rear bumper. Of course, that is not the most accurate way to check how long your automobile is.
Use a VIN Decoder
Look in the manual of your car for a Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. Then, go online and type in ‘VIN decoder.’ Enter that number in the provided box to get the precise dimension of your automobile.
Check With a Car Dealer in Your Area
If you have purchased your car from a local dealer, you can learn your vehicle’s length in no time. Simply call the dealership and give them your VIN and license plate number. After a quick check, they will provide you with the information you need.
Rely on This Guide
Finally, you can try and figure out the approximate length of your automobile with this guide. Go back to the paragraphs that describe your car’s category and take note of the details provided in them. While that won’t let you know exactly how long your car is, it will serve as a basic reference point.
See also: How Much Does an Average Car Weigh?
The average car length is 4.5 meters. Still, every vehicle type sticks to different dimension standards. Instead of blindly trusting them, measure the precise length of your automobile. That will help you buy the right accessories for it or even pick your new dream ride.
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