What Is a Full-Size Car?

Once all the rage, these large sedans have lost a lot of market share within the last decade.

2022 Toyota AvalonToyota

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Before crossovers took over the automotive landscape, full-size cars were once the family rides of choice. Some people still prefer these large sedans to SUVs for their low ride heights, superior handling, comfortable rides, and spacious interiors. Automakers tend to offer them with a high level of equipment and near-luxury features, pushing them close to their premium peers.

Which Brands Sell Full-Size Cars?

There are fewer full-size cars on the market with each passing year, but a handful of companies continue to build these large automobiles. Stellantis builds the comfortable Chrysler 300 sedan and sportier Dodge Charger sedan on the same platform. The Kia Stinger is another intriguing performance option in this segment, while the Nissan Maxima, Volkswagen Arteon, and Toyota Avalon deliver insulated, refined driving experiences.

If you’re looking for a relatively modern full-size sedan on the used-car market, consider expanding your search to recently discontinued models such as the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala, and Kia K900 and Cadenza.

How Much Does a Full-Size Car Cost?

Outside of SUVs and pickups, full-size cars are generally more expensive than any other model in the showroom. The lowliest 300 opens at $33,370, while an entry-level Charger starts at $34,095. The rest of the full-size segment hovers around the $38,000 mark to start, apart from the Arteon, which begins at $41,190.

Base pricing for top-spec models generally doesn't stretch past $46,000, except for a couple of performance-oriented trims: the Stinger GT2 begins at $52,565, and the Charger’s opening outlay can reach all the way up to $88,190 if you spec the 807-hp SRT Jailbreak.

How Big Is a Full-Size Car?

Intended to cart around the entire family, full-size cars not only provide spacious seats, but also a lot of cargo room. Adults will be comfortable regardless of where they are sitting, and parents should have no trouble installing or removing car seats thanks to the large door openings. Trunk space ranges between 14 cu.-ft. in the Maxima to 17 cu.-ft. in the Charger. The Stinger and Arteon, which make use of a hatchback design, present a whopping 23 and 27 cu.-ft. of cargo volume behind the rear seats respectively.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Does a Full-Size Car Get?

Big cars often come with big engines and big curb weights — factors that push down fuel economy. Expect in the neighborhood of 16 to 24 mpg in city driving and 24 to 34 mpg on the highway for most models. The gas-guzzling eight-cylinder Chargers perform worse, hitting as low as 12 mpg city and 21 highway, but the hybrid version of the Avalon sees up to 44 mpg in combined driving.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.