Economy Vs Compact Car

One of the ways cars are classified is according to size. This classification comes into play in situations such as car rentals. Cars of the same size and capacity fall under the same category. One such category is the Economy and Compact cars.  

Most people use the term Economy and Compact car interchangeably. Although both car models share many similarities, they are not the same. Some differences set both types of cars apart. This article will give you a better understanding of each car brand. That includes the features of each and their similarities and differences.

What is an Economy Car?

Also, Economy cars are lightweight vehicles that are designed to be both small and fuel-efficient. It is similar to compact cars, so confusion may be forgiven. However, economy cars are smaller compared to their counterparts. It does have a fuel consumption of 30 to 35 miles per gallon depending on the brand. Examples of economy cars include the Audi 51, Mercedes-Benz A-class, Austin Mini and so on.

What is a Compact Car?                                                                             

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, compact cars are small vehicles with a volume index of 2.8-3.1m³; passenger and cargo volume combined. Good examples of these include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Mazda Mazda3, and so on. This measurement gives an average passenger capacity of four persons excluding the driver. 

Features Of Economy Cars

To have a better understanding of the Economy car and its makeup, you need to understand its features. These are some of the features of economy cars.

a. Lightweight

Economy cars are designed with the word economy in mind. The body of the cars is made with lightweight materials. Apart from the engine and other parts, the car is generally light in nature. With these cars, manufacturers get the chance to cut down on production while making cars that are functional to the average man. This nature aids in the sleek movement and maneuverability of the vehicle on the roads.

b. Fuel Efficiency

Though the cars are equipped with a small displacement engine with just four cylinders, they are not just able to cover loads of distance on the road but consume less fuel as well. This is another feature that makes economy cars suited most for movement and traveling.

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c. Cheap Cost

Besides the cheap cost of purchase, maintaining an economy car is cheaper than cars in other categories. Economy cars serve as a good choice for first-time car owners.

Features Of Compact Cars

These are some of the features that make compact cars unique.

a. Easy Maintenance

It is easier to maintain a compact car than cars of other sizes. Generally, compact-sized cars are easier to build with a minimum room for error to worry about. The technology for these cars is simple, so the chance of such vehicles developing sudden faults due to manufacturing error is low. This does not mean that bigger-sized vehicles are not safe to drive. But the ease of making something flawless cannot be compared between the two.

It will take quite a while, usually two-three years, for a new compact vehicle to develop faults. That depends on the warranty and environmental conditions. Some owners claim a longer duration for their rides.

b. Parts Readily Available

Another point to note is the availability of spare parts. Since it is easy to produce and cost-efficient, spare parts will be readily available to use. Car faults generally are unavoidable, some of which call for outright replacement. With the spare parts being readily available, it is cheap to procure. If it was rare, the price tag would be high, making corrective maintenance difficult and expensive.

c. Functionality And Class

 It is rare to see bigger vehicles looking so stylish and clique. Bigger vehicles are not eye-catchy enough. Smaller vehicles on the other hand give you that sporty look with ease.

These cars especially the new models have new exterior designs to give them more of a sporty look that is eye-catching and stands out a lot. Some are also fitted with alloy wheels, new LED daytime running lights, sleek lines, and new accent pieces. If this is not class, then I do not know what it is to you.

d. Maneuverability

One other feature that makes the compact car stand out is that it is easy to maneuver.  This reason alone holds tightly to all road users, with the greater percentage being the new guys. The nagging fear of getting involved in an accident is real, so a driver must be confident in his road skills.

 This is assured if the vehicle is easy to maneuver through traffic. Plus this makes driving less tedious and more fun. Another feature that ensures a smooth driving experience is the safety functions it comes with. The airbags, pre-collision warnings and, rear cameras lift off most of the paranoia of a car crash.

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e. Fuel Efficiency

Apart from the forenamed features, this serves as the most important of them all. Whether it is to reduce fuel expenses or the carbon footprint on the environment, compact cars sure come in handy to solve the problem. Though not all, most of them provide a good distance in proportion to the consumption of gas.

Toyota has gone a long way to satisfy this condition with their compact vehicles. An example of a fuel-efficient engine is a 1.5 L four-cylinder engine with a four-speed transmission and EPA of 33 combined mpg, which works well with six-speed transmission. All these features can be discussed with the car dealer upfront. But most compact vehicles have a good fuel-efficient engine.

 Differences Between Compact And Economy Vehicle

FeaturesEconomy CarCompact Cars
SizeSmaller in sizeBigger in size
Seating CapacityCan seat 4 personsCan seat 5 persons
Luggage CapacitySmaller space to feet12 feet space to feet
Fuel EconomyMore fuel efficientLess fuel efficient
CostCheaper to buy, maintain and rentLittle bit expensive

Let’s go into other differences that exist between these similar vehicles

a. Size

This is the main difference that exists between the two, the compact-sized car is slightly bigger than the other. This is despite both of them being sedans.

b. Seating Capacity

The economy car can seat at most four people, while the other can seat one more person also. However, the size of the passengers may affect this stat.

c. Luggage Capacity

Between both of them, the compact cars can fit in luggage with about twelve feet of space. This can accommodate one large and a medium package plus other small ones. The other class has a smaller space, this can accommodate only small luggage.

d. Fuel Economy

The ability to consume little fuel while giving you good mileage goes to economy cars, compact cars may do the same but the difference is set. The consumption rate compared to mileage varies a lot.

e. Cost

Economy cars are cheaper even in rentals. Both are however pocket friendly.


At the end of the day, both cars are exquisite and adapted for management. Instead of buying with no direction or consideration to your needs and regretting later, opt for these smaller vehicles. After all, they provide the basic functions at a cheaper rate.