Full-size car—also known as large car—is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars larger than mid-size cars, it is the largest size class for cars. In Europe, it is known as F-segment.
After World War II, the majority of full-size cars have used the sedan and station wagon body styles, however in recent years most full-size cars have been sedans. The highest-selling full-size car nameplate is the Chevrolet Impala, sold as a full-size car from 1958 to 1986, 1994 to 1996, and from 2000 to 2020.[ citation needed ]
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fuel Economy Regulations for 1977 and Later Model Year (dated July 1996) includes definitions for classes of automobiles. 120 cu ft (3.4 m3) for sedan models, or 160 cu ft (4.5 m3) for station wagons.Based on the combined passenger and cargo volume, large cars (full-size cars) are defined as having an interior volume index of more than
From the introduction of the Ford Flathead V8 in the 1930s until the 1980s, most North American full-size cars were powered by V8 engines. However, V6 engines and straight-six engines have also been available on American full-size cars, especially until 1950s, and have become increasingly common since the downsizing of full-sized cars in the 1980s.
The lineage of mass-produced full-size American cars begins with the 1908 Ford Model T. In 1923, General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Superior, becoming the first vehicle to adopt a common chassis (the A-body) for several brands. In comparison to the cars of the 21st century, these vehicles are small in length and width.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, most manufacturers produced model lines in a single size, growing in size with each model redesign. While length and wheelbase varied between model lines,[ when? ] width was a relatively constant dimension, as the American federal government required the addition of clearance lights on a width past 80 inches.
In 1960, following the introduction of compact cars (such as the Chevrolet Corvair, Ford Falcon and Plymouth Valiant), the "full-size car" designation came into wider use. In the 1960s, the term was applied to the traditional car lines of lower-price brands, including Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth.As a relative term, full-size cars were marketed by the same brands offering compact cars, with entry-level cars for buyers seeking the roominess of a luxury car at a lower cost. Into the 1970s, the same vehicles could transport up to six occupants comfortably (or eight in a station wagon), at the expense of high fuel consumption.
The sales of full-size vehicles in the United States declined after the early 1970s fuel crisis. 121–127 inches (3.1–3.2 m) and overall lengths of around 225 in (5,715 mm).[ citation needed ] In response to the 1978 implementation of CAFE, American manufacturers implemented downsizing to improve fuel economy, with full-size vehicles as the first model lines to see major change.By that time, full-size cars had grown to wheelbases of
While General Motors and Ford would reduce the exterior footprint of their full-size lines to that of their intermediates, AMC withdrew its Ambassador and Matador full-size lines (to concentrate on production of mid-size vehicles).To save production costs, Chrysler repackaged its intermediates using the erstwhile full-size names, moving on to exiting the segment in 1981.
During the 1980s, to further comply with more stringent CAFE standards, manufacturers further reduced the exterior footprint of several model lines out of the full-size segment into the mid-size class. For 1982, Chrysler exited the full-size segment entirely, with the mid-size Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury serving as its largest sedan lines.
Following the 1985 model year, General Motors replaced most of its full-size rear-wheel-drive model lines with smaller front-wheel drive sedans on the H and C platforms. Only station wagons, the Chevrolet Caprice, and the Cadillac Brougham remained. Initially developed to replace the Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the 1986 Ford Taurus was produced alongside it as the Ford mid-size model line.
After largely abandoning the full-size segment for compact cars and minivans, Chrysler gained reentry into the full-size segment in 1988 with the Eagle Premier (also produced as the Dodge Monaco). Developed by AMC before its acquisition by Chrysler, the Premier was a version of the front-wheel drive Renault 25 adapted for North America. The Saab 9000 took a special position at the end of the 1980s, as for a long time it was the only imported car to be classified as a "large car" by the EPA.
From the 1980s to the 1990s, the market share of full-size cars began to decline; along with the increased use of mid-size cars, vans and SUVs grew in use as family vehicles. From 1960 to 1994, the market share of full-size cars declined from 65 percent to 8.3 percent.From 1990 to 1992, both GM and Ford redesigned its full-size car lines for the first time since the late 1970s.
For 1992, Chrysler developed its first front-wheel drive full-size car line, replacing the Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco with the Chrysler LH cars (Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, Chrysler Concorde/New Yorker/LHS). The same year, the Buick Roadmaster was introduced, becoming the first rear-wheel drive GM model line adopted outside of Chevrolet and Cadillac since 1985; the Chevrolet Impala was returned for 1994.
In 1995, the Toyota Avalon was introduced, becoming the first Japanese non-luxury full-size car with six seats to be sold in the North America.[ citation needed ] The 1989 Lexus LS400 luxury sedan was the first Japanese full-size car sold in North America.
Following the 1996 model year, GM ended production of rear-wheel drive sedans.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(February 2019)
By 2000, with the sole exception of the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car, full-size cars had abandoned rear-wheel drive and body-on-frame construction. Instead of model lineage, the EPA "large car" definition of over 120 interior cubic feet came into wide use.
Initially developed for the midsize Oldsmobile Aurora, the GM G-body chassis was expanded into the full-size segment for Cadillac in 2000 (for the Deville, later the DTS) and adapted by Buick (the Lucerne) in 2006. In 2005, Chrysler replaced the LH cars with the LX cars (returning to rear-wheel drive). The same year, Ford introduced the Five Hundred, its first front-wheel drive full-size car (the first American full-size car offered with all-wheel drive); in 2008, the Five Hundred was renamed the Taurus.
After the 2011 model year, Ford ended production of the Panther platform, shifting to the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS; in 2017, the latter was replaced by the Lincoln Continental. In 2011, General Motors ended production of the G-body for several chassis (with Cadillac later shifting its largest sedans to rear-wheel drive). In 2012, the Tesla Model S became the first fully electric full-size car sold in North America. For the 2013 model year, the Chevrolet Impala became the final American-market full-size sedan sold with a front bench seat.
By the mid-2010s, full-size cars began seeing a steep decline in sales in North America,with SUVs replacing much of the full-size segment. At the end of the decade, demand for sedans (of all sizes) shifted towards vehicles of other layouts, reducing or shuttering production of sedans entirely. In 2018, Ford announced the sales of all Ford-branded passenger cars (except for the Mustang) would end in North America by 2022. GM announced the closure of several manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, with the production of the Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse ending in 2020. As of 2021, full-size cars from Asian manufacturers include the Genesis G90, Kia K900, and Lexus LS.
In 2018, the three highest selling cars in the full-size sedan category in the United States were the Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Impala and Chrysler 300.
Minivan is a North American car classification for vehicles designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row(s), with reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. The equivalent classification in Europe is the M-segment, more commonly known as an MPV or a people carrier / mover. Minivans often have a 'one-box' or 'two-box' body configuration, a higher roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers, and high H-point seating.
Muscle car is a term for a high-performance American car, by some definitions an intermediate sized car fitted with a large displacement V8 engine. Historically they were all rear-wheel drive, but that changed with technological advance.
The Chevrolet Impala is a full-size car built by Chevrolet for model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 until 2020. The Impala was Chevrolet's popular flagship passenger car and was among the better selling American-made automobiles in the United States.
Personal luxury car is a North American car classification describing somewhat sporty, sophisticated mass-market coupés that emphasized comfort over performance. The North American manufacturers most often combined engineering, design, and marketing to develop upscale, distinctive "platform sharing" models that became highly profitable.
Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation, description, and categorization of cars.
The Chevrolet Caprice is a full-sized automobile produced by Chevrolet in North America for the 1965 to 1996 model years. Full-size Chevrolet sales peaked in 1965 with over a million sold. It was the most popular American car in the sixties and early seventies, which, during its lifetime, included the Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala.
The Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries were introduced for model year 1981 as the first "K-cars" manufactured and marketed by the Chrysler Corporation. The Reliant was available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, or as a 4-door station wagon, in three different trim lines: base, Custom and SE. Station wagons came only in Custom or SE trim. Unlike many small cars, the K-cars retained the traditional 6 passenger 2 bench seat with column shifter seating arrangement favored by many Americans. The Reliant was powered by a then-new 2.2 L I4 SOHC engine, with a Mitsubishi "Silent Shaft" 2.6 L as an option. Initial sales were brisk, with the both Reliant and Aries each selling over 150,000 units in 1981. As rebadged variants, the Reliant and Aries were manufactured in Newark, Delaware, Detroit, Michigan, and Toluca, Mexico — in a single generation. After their introduction, the Reliant and Aries were marketed as the "Reliant K" and "Aries K".
Pony car is an American car classification for affordable, compact, highly styled coupés or convertibles with a "sporty" or performance-oriented image. Common characteristics include rear-wheel drive, a long hood, a short decklid, a wide range of options to individualize each car and use of mass-produced parts shared with other models.
Rebranding in the automotive industry is a form of market segmentation used by automobile manufacturers around the world. To allow for product differentiation without designing or engineering a new model or brand, a manufacturer creates a distinct automobile by applying a new badge or trademark to an existing product line.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is a form of engine and transmission layout used in motor vehicles, where the engine drives the rear wheels only. Until the late 20th century, rear-wheel drive was the most common configuration for cars. Most rear-wheel drive vehicles feature a longitudinally-mounted engine at the front of the car.
The Chevrolet Citation is a range of compact cars that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The first Chevrolet sold with front-wheel drive, a single generation of the Citation was sold from the 1980 to 1985 model years. The successor of the Chevrolet Nova, the Citation was initially slotted between the Chevrolet Monza and the Chevrolet Malibu in the Chevrolet product line, later replaced by the Chevrolet Cavalier and the Chevrolet Celebrity.
Mid-size—also known as intermediate—is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars that are larger than compact cars, but smaller than full-size cars. The equivalent European category is D-segment, which is also called "large family car". Mid-size cars are manufactured in a variety of body styles, including sedans, coupes, station wagons, hatchbacks, and convertibles. Compact executive cars can also fall under the mid-size category.
The Chevrolet Lumina APV is a minivan that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The first front-wheel drive minivan sold by Chevrolet, the Lumina APV was sold in a single generation from the 1990 to 1996 model years. Marketed alongside the Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette, the Lumina APV competed against the Dodge Grand Caravan/Plymouth Grand Voyager, the extended-length Ford Aerostar, and the Mazda MPV.
The B platform is a full-size rear-wheel drive car platform produced by General Motors (GM) from 1926 to 1996. Originally made for Oldsmobile and Buick, all of General Motors's five main makes would use it at some point. It was closely related to the original rear-wheel drive C and D platforms, and was used for convertibles, hardtops, coupes, sedans, and station wagons. With approximately 12,960,000 units built, divided across four marques, the 1965-70 B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.
The Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser is an automobile that was manufactured and marketed by Oldsmobile in three generations from 1971 to 1992. The first full-size station wagon produced by Oldsmobile since the 1964 Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta, the Custom Cruiser was produced exclusively on the General Motors B platform as a five-door station wagon. The nameplate was first used by Oldsmobile from 1940 to 1947, denoting the top trim level of its C-body model line. 451,819 Custom Cruisers were sold over the years.
The Dodge St. Regis is an automobile that was marketed by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation. The first example of downsizing of the full-size Dodge sedan line, the St. Regis replaced the Monaco after its 13-year model run. Deriving its name from a 1950s Chrysler trim package, the St. Regis was the largest Dodge sedan, slotted above the mid-size Diplomat and Aspen. In contrast to its predecessor and the smaller Diplomat, the St. Regis was offered solely as a four-door sedan.
Police vehicles in the United States and Canada are produced by several manufacturers and are available in three broad vehicle types: Police Pursuit Vehicles (PPV), Special Service Vehicles (SSV), and Special Service Package (SSP).
An opera window is a small fixed window usually behind the rear side window of an automobile. They are typically mounted in the C-pillar of some cars. The design feature was popular during the 1970s and early 1980s that was adopted by domestic U.S. manufacturers most often with a vinyl roof.
Hi-risers, also known as donks or quan-cars, are a type of heavily-customized automobile, typically a full-size, body-on-frame, rear-wheel drive American sedan modified by significantly increasing the vehicle's ground clearance and adding large-diameter wheels with low-profile tires. Depending on the model and style of body, autos customized in this manner can be labeled "donk," "box," or "bubble."
In the context of the automobile industry, downsizing is a practice used to transition vehicles from one size segment to another. Often done in response for consumer and government demands to increase fuel economy, vehicle downsizing has been achieved through several methods. As product lines complete model cycles, during a redesign, automobile manufacturers reduce the exterior footprint of a vehicle to allow for weight reduction, shortening wheelbase and body length.
The turnabout in the downward trend of energy prices that occurred during the mid-1970s caused large changes in the size and fuel efficiency of cars demanded by U.S. consumers and in turn changed the products produced by U.S. car makers.
In a rather stunning move, AMC is cutting its number of models from 13 in 1974 to eight in 1975. Partly because the company is able to sell practically anything it builds, three cars — Ambassador, Javelin and AMX — have been discontinued.
With all its full-size cars discontinued, those gas-guzzler names are transferred to the remaining 112.7-in wheelbase, rear-drive, intermediate, four-door sedans.