Compact car is term that is used for smaller sized vehicle. US EPA or Environmental Protection Agency classifies passenger vehicle with car and interior area of around 100 to 109 cubic feet as compact car. Such cars are larger as compared to sub compact vehicles which have interior space of 85 to 89 cubic feet and smaller than mid sized vehicle having interior area of 110 to 119 cubic feet.
There are different examples of compact cars like Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cobalt, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, and Honda Civic. Compact car is used popularly for any of the smaller sized cars even if they aren’t classified officially. Hence, vehicles like Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit are known as compact cars when they are designated officially by EPA as sub compact cars.
Due to smaller weight and size, such cars mostly give better mileage and are easy to move around and park. Their price is also less than bigger vehicles. Hence, compact cars attract a lot of people easily and they are purchased by the ones who travel a lot or who live in high traffic/density areas. Also, people who are buying a car for first time or people who want second car prefer compact cars. When the prices of fuel increased in 2008, a lot of people sold their bigger cars and chose compact cars instead.
Compact cars were once called stripped down or bare boned automobiles as they offered little features and comfort for both passengers and drivers. However, the latest compact cars have features that are primarily found in more expensive cars as well. there are features like ABS or Anti-lock brakes, keyless entry, electronic stability control, power locks and windows, GPS navigation, side curtain air bags, and high end sound systems. all these goodies were previously found only on higher end cars.
Interior space in compact cars too has increased over a period of time. car makers have maximized space and size of interiors without enlarging exterior dimensions. Cars such as Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, and Toyota Yaris are good examples of interior spaciousness and are as good as bigger cars.
On the other side, such small cars are often not considered as safe as bigger ones due to small weight and size. Smaller size of the cars makes it less useful for carrying cargo and people. Small cars are increasingly getting popular in some places but in some places, such cars are considered as cheap and economic cars. In spite of this, a lot of drivers drive such compact cars as they are effective, fuel efficient, and economical alternative to bigger cars.