Your smart car parks itself – less sprawl; more livable cities

North American Vehicle Lengths and Potential Trends

Posted by itsparker on April 27, 2010


My previous blog posts have raised the possibility of constructing much smaller parking garages, based on the use of ITS-Park technology, and driven by an expected public social and economic based move to smaller car sizes. But where do we stand now on vehicles sizes and weights? What kinds of trends seem to be occurring relative to car sizes and weights. I’ve done some digging in this regard and have to express my appreciation for Automotive News’ technical data web site for providing great aggregate statistics.

Maximum length data

A so-called “sweet spot” for North American vehicle sizes is greater than 170 inches in length. There are currently only 13 vehicles with maximum lengths of 150 inches; 60 vehicles with maximum lengths of 160 inches; and 176 vehicles with maximum lengths of 170 inches – but we still have 4-500 vehicles with lengths in excess of 170 inches.

Typical Vehicle Lengths of 140 to 150 inches

There are currently only 10 vehicles in this category. Vehicles coming in 2011 in this size range include:

  • Ford Ka – 142.5 inches
  • Chevy Beat – 141.5 inches
  • Smart for Four – 142.0 inches
  • Fiat 500 – 140.0 inches

Typical Vehicle Lengths of 150 to 160 inches

There are currently 47 vehicles in this class. Typical vehicles are:

  • Nissan Cube – 156.7 inches
  • Toyota Yaris – 150.6 inches
  • Mazda Miata – 157.3 inches
  • Ford Fiesta (2011) – 153.1 inches
  • Mazda2 (2011) – 153.1 inches

Typical Vehicle Lengths of 160 to 170 inches

There are currently 116 vehicles in this class. Typical vehicles are:

  • Volvo C30 – 167.4 inches
  • VW new Beettle – 169.1 inches
  • Kia Soul – 161.6 inches
  • Chevy Aveo5 – 169.7 inches
  • Toyota Celica (2011) – 167.3 inches

Typical Vehicle Lengths of 170 to 180 inches

There are currently 176 vehicles in this class. Typical vehicles are:

  • Hyundai Elantra – 177.4 inches
  • Toyota Corolla – 178.7 inches
  • Dodge Caliber – 173.8 inches
  • Honda Civic – 176.5 inches
  • Nissan Sentra – 179.8 inches
  • Chevy Cruze (2011) – 178.5 inches

Typical Vehicles longer than 180 inches include those listed below:

Please note that, according to, there are about 56 large sedans; 138 large SUV’s; and 14 large minivans.

  • BMW 7 Series – 199.8 inches
  • Cadillac STS – 196.7 inches
  • Chrysler 300 – 196.8 inches
  • Dodge Grand Caravan – 202.5 inches
  • Lexus GX 460 SUV – 189.2 inches
  • And, of course, the previous mentioned Ford Expedition – 205 inches

The above data make the following points: 

  1. Reference my post of 4/15/2010 – “Auto Trends to Impact Future Parking Approach”. Mr. Eric Fedewa surmised that (1) by 2015, U.S. vehicles will be equal to European and Japanese fleets in both fuel economy and emissions; and (2) technology additions will make such cars very expensive, so people will be going for smaller vehicles.
  2. My post of 4/16/2010, “New Trends in U.S. Parking – Toward ITS-Park Technology?”, indicted that U.S. mayors have become very concerned about the relationship of parking decisions to city growth and design. Any trend toward smaller vehicles, along with ITS-Park technology, will provide major assistance in managing future parking.
  3. More vehicles are coming that fit into the less than 140-150 inch class – looking toward planned vehicles for the year 2012, and concept vehicles beyond that time frame. More on that subject to come in a future blog.
  4. Is there already an important and discernable major U.S. trend toward smaller vehicles? Is the trend going to accelerate as ITS-Park garages takeover future parking directions, and people can experience direct benefits – economically and socially? Time will tell!




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9 Responses to “North American Vehicle Lengths and Potential Trends”

  1. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such
    detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  2. Dale said

    The design of our garage limits us to a maximum car length of 160 inches. Is there any way to see the list of all the vehicles you found that are that length or shorter? It would really be helpful to us.

  3. Jason said

    Can you list some standard of steel wheel for car with North American vehicle size?,

  4. Dave Moxam said

    Hello, I find this data interesting but dated. Do you have updated information in a different location. I am particularly interested in a list of all vehicles with total length between 170 and 180 inches since this would be the ideal length for my garage. If this information is available elsewhere I would appreciate if you could point me in the correct direction.



  5. This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.

    Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  6. Trista said

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your webpage? My website is in the very same niche as yours
    and my visitors would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide
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  7. I used to be suggested this website by my cousin. I am now not positive whether this post is written by means of him as nobody else recognize such precise about my difficulty. You are wonderful! Thank you!

  8. jessica said

    Can you list all of the 57 vehicles between 140 and 160 inches or where you found that data?

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