Compact class

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Best-selling compact car worldwide: Toyota Corolla
Best-selling car in Germany: VW Golf

Compact class is the name for a car - vehicle class , which above the small car and below the middle class is located. Sometimes the class is also referred to as the lower middle class . In the vehicle segments of the European Commission , this segment is called middle class or C-segment . Most new car buyers are commercial, not private.

Two of the world's best-selling car models, the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus , are in the compact class. In Germany, referring to the VW Golf, people often talk about the golf class .

Features and demarcation

A typical feature of the compact class is a hatchback with a tailgate that can also be used to load the interior. Most of the time, the back seat can be folded down so that bulky goods can be transported. The tailgate, which theoretically, albeit in practice rather inconvenient, allows access to the interior, is the reason for the designation three or five-door . The compact class models of many model series became larger, heavier and more powerfully motorized over time, e.g. B. VW Golf I 3705 mm long, 1610 mm wide, 750–875 kg empty weight, VW Golf VII 4255–4586 mm long, 1799 mm wide, 1205–1615 kg. Most of the models in this class also have engines that are quite powerful in relation to the mass of the car, which makes compact cars interesting for drivers who want to combine “sporty” driving with a good price-performance ratio .

The hatchback can also be a feature of other vehicle classes. Accordingly, the term compact class should be understood less as a designation for a specific body shape, but rather as a description of a vehicle size and price segment above the small car and below the middle class. The compact class was only established by the media as a separate class after the success of the VW Golf I in 1974, although the Golf only implemented the concepts that other manufacturers with hatchback models had years before. Ultimately, it was a matter of renaming the previous lower middle class to the compact class . The Federal Motor Transport Authority therefore also includes notchback models in the corresponding size and price segment of the compact class. In Germany, however, the demand for classic notchback models has steadily declined, so that at present it is actually mainly compact bodies in the compact class that can be found. However, this is a typically German phenomenon, in many other countries notchback models of the compact class are much more popular than the variants with a compact body.

In the USA there is the term compact car , which was introduced in 1960 for vehicles like the Ford Falcon , which were compact compared to full-size cars of the time, but still large by European standards. In the course of the oil crisis in the 1970s, these were then replaced by much smaller models, which are now almost entirely based on European or Asian compact-class vehicles.

More and more premium manufacturers opened up the market for themselves. Audi made the start in 1996 with the first A3 . Other models are the Mercedes-Benz A-Class , the BMW 1 Series , the Alfa Romeo Giulietta , the Lexus CT and the Ford Focus Vignale .


New registrations in Germany

For figures on the annual new registrations of passenger cars in the compact class segment in Germany according to statistics from the Federal Motor Transport Authority , see the list of new passenger car registrations in Germany by segment and model series # compact class .

Individual evidence

  1. Car prices within the European Union at 1 January 2011. (PDF) European Commission , 26 July 2011, accessed on 8 February 2015 .
  2. Commercial registrations determine the new car market. (PDF) Federal Motor Transport Authority , accessed on June 21, 2014 .
  4. Fiat tries cheap golf from Turkey. Retrieved July 22, 2015 .
  5. Info "compact class". Retrieved July 22, 2015 .
  6. The most reliable used car compact class. Retrieved July 22, 2015 .