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Rental Car Size Guide
A wide variety of rental cars are available to suit your needs. (Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images )
Rental car companies use a variety of labels to indicate the size of their cars. Each company uses different car brands and types, so you need to ensure you know what type of car you are obtaining. A compact car at one agency might be midsize at another. Many rental companies also offer customer loyalty or membership cards that provide free upgrades to members. Obtain one in advance or look for Internet specials when booking.
Sub-compact, compact, economy or small are the standard labels used for cars at this end of the spectrum. These cars are usually suitable for four to five people and a couple of suitcases, have two or four doors and are likely to be automatic transmission. The smallest cars — models such as the Chevy Aveo, Kia Rio, Ford Focus and Hyundai Accent — are the cheapest to rent and have great gas mileage.
The next biggest category is known as intermediate, standard or midsize. At Dollar, this size includes cars such as the Ford Fusion and Dodge Avenger. Five people can fit a little more comfortably than in the smaller classes, and there is room for more luggage, but gas mileage decreases as the car gets bigger.
Next to an SUV or van, full-size cars have the most storage room and passenger capacity. At Enterprise, the Chevy Impala, Nissan Altima and Dodge Charger are the featured full-size vehicles and are four-door sedans with lots of features, including air conditioning, power locks and windows, an AM/FM stereo and a CD player.