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 automobile that defined this size in the United States was the Rambler Six that was introduced in 1956, although it was called a "compact" car at that time.Much smaller than any standard contemporary full-size cars, it was called a compact to distinguish it from the small imported cars that were being introduced into the marketplace.
By the early 1960s, the car was renamed the Rambler Classic and while it retained its basic dimensions, it was now competing with an array of new "intermediate" models from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.The introduction of the 1962 Ford Fairlane was viewed by consumers as too close to the compact Falcon in size and performance as well as too close to the full-sized Ford models in price. It was the introduction of General Motors "senior compacts" that grew the mid-size market segment as the line of cars themselves kept increasing in size. By 1965, these GM "A platform" mid-size models matched the size of 1955 full-size cars.
During the 1970s, the intermediate class in the U.S. was generally defined as vehicles with wheelbases between 112 inches (2,845 mm) and 118 inches (2,997 mm). Once again, the cars grew and by 1974 they were "about as large as the full-size cars of a decade or so ago ... best sellers include Ford Torino, Chevrolet Chevelle, AMC Matador, Plymouth Satellite ..." The domestic manufacturers began changing the definition of "medium" as they developed new models for an evolving market place.
A turning point occurred in the late 1970s, when rising fuel costs and government fuel economy regulations caused all car classes to shrink, and in many cases to blur. Automakers moved previously "full-size" nameplates to smaller platforms such as the Ford LTD II and the Plymouth Fury.A comparison test by Popular Science of four intermediate sedans (the 1976 AMC Matador, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Torino, and Dodge Coronet) predicted that these will be the "big cars of the future." By 1978, General Motors made its intermediate models smaller.
New "official" size designations in the U.S. were introduced by the EPA, which defined market segments by passenger and cargo space. 130 cubic feet (3.68 m3), and were now considered "full-size" automobiles.Formerly mid-sized cars that were built on the same platform, like the AMC Matador sedan, had a combined passenger and cargo volume of
Cars that defined the mid-size market in the 1980s and 1990s included the Chrysler K-Cars (Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant), the Ford Taurus, and the Toyota Camry, which was upsized into the midsize class in 1991. The Taurus and Camry came to define the mid-size market for decades.
Mid-size cars were the most popular category of cars sold in the United States, with 27.4 percent during the first half of 2012, ahead of crossovers at 19 percent.
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. 110–119 cu ft (3.1–3.4 m3).Based on the combined passenger and cargo volume, mid-size cars are defined as having an interior volume index of
A station wagon, also called an estate (UK) or simply wagon (US), is an automotive body-style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door, instead of a trunk/boot lid. The body style transforms a standard three-box design into a two-box design — to include an A, B, and C-pillar, as well as a D-pillar. Station wagons can flexibly reconfigure their interior volume via fold-down rear seats to prioritize either passenger or cargo volume.
American Motors Corporation was an American automobile manufacturing company formed by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company on May 1, 1954. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.
Rambler is an automobile brand name that was first used by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company between 1900 and 1914.
Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation, description, and categorization of cars.
Compact car is a vehicle size class — predominantly used in North America — that sits between subcompact cars and mid-size cars. The present-day definition is equivalent to the European C-segment or the British term "small family car". However, prior to the downsizing of the United States car industry in the 1970s and 1980s, larger vehicles with wheelbases up to 110 in (2.79 m) were considered "compact cars" in the United States.
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.
The Ambassador is an automobile manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1957-1974 over eight generations, in two- and four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, station wagon and convertible body styles. It was full-size from 1957 to 1961 and 1967 to 1974, and mid-size from 1962 to 1966.
Subcompact car is an American classification for cars which is broadly equivalent to the B-segment (Europe) or supermini classifications, and smaller than a compact car.
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.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a gasoline-electric hybrid powered version of the mid-sized Ford Fusion sedan manufactured and marketed by Ford, now in its second generation. A plug-in hybrid version, the Ford Fusion Energi, was released in the U.S. in February 2013.
The AMC Hornet is a compact automobile, manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in a single generation from model years 1970 through 1977 — in two- and four-door sedan, station wagon, and hatchback coupe configurations. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American line, marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets.
The AMC Matador is a car model line that was manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) across two generations, 1971–1973 (mid-size) and 1974–1978 (full-size), in two-door hardtop and coupe versions as well as in four-door sedan and station wagon body styles.
The Eagle Medallion, also marketed as the Renault Medallion, was a rebadged and mildly re-engineered North American version of the French Renault 21 marketed by American Motors Corporation under the Renault brand for the 1988 model year, and by Chrysler’s Jeep/Eagle division for the 1989 model year.
The AMC Rebel is a midsized car produced by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1967 to 1970. It replaced the Rambler Classic. The Rebel was replaced by the similar AMC Matador for the 1971 model year. The Rebel was positioned as the high-volume seller in the independent automaker's line of models.
The Rambler Classic is an intermediate sized automobile that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from the 1961 to 1966 model years. The Classic took the place of the Rambler Six and Rambler Rebel V-8 names, which were retired at the end of the 1960 model year.
The Nash Rambler is a North American automobile that was produced by the Nash Motors division of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation from 1950 to 1954 in sedan, wagon, and fixed-profile convertible body styles.
The Rambler Rebel is an automobile that was produced by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) of Kenosha, Wisconsin for the 1957–1960 model years, as well as again for 1966 and 1967.
The Rambler Marlin is a two-door fastback automobile produced in the United States by American Motors Corporation from 1965 to 1967. A halo car for the company, it was marketed as a personal luxury car.
The Rambler Six and the Rambler V8 are intermediate sized automobiles that were built and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1956 to 1960.
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.
AMC plans to offer a more luxurious Matador model to compete in the full-size market