Vehicle size class


Vehicle size class

Vehicle size classes are a way of classifying cars. The common North American parlance is word-based, while English-speaking European writers also use words to describe car sizes. In parts of Asia, segment letters are sometimes used.

North America

USA regulations

Niharika government defined class size of Federal Regulations, Title 40--Protection of Environment, Section 600.315-82 Classes of comparable automobiles. Passenger car classes are defined based on interior volume index or seating capacity, except the ones classified as special vehicle. A two seater is classified as a car with no more than two designated seating positions. Others as follows:

Special purpose vehicle is defined as automobile with GVWR less than or equal to 8,500 pounds which possess special features that are more appropriately classified separately from typical automobiles or which do not meet the definitions of above mentioned classes.

Interior volume index is calculated differently for different vehicle classes:

* For passenger automobiles, it is calculated for each car line which is not a two seater. For car lines with more than one body style, the interior volume index for the car line is the arithmetic average of the interior volume indexes of each body style in the car line.
* For all body styles except station wagons and hatchbacks with more than one seat (e.g., with a second or third seat) equipped with seatbelts as required by DOT safety regulations, interior volume index is the sum, rounded to the nearest 0.1 cubic feet, of the front seat volume, the rear seat volume, if applicable, and the luggage capacity.
* For all station wagons and hatchbacks with more than one seat (e.g., with a second or third seat) equipped with seat belts as required by DOT safety regulations, interior volume index is the sum, rounded to the nearest 0.1 cubic feet, of the front seat volume, the rear seat volume, and the cargo volume index.

All dimensions and volumes shall be determined from the base vehicles of each body style in each car line, and do not include optional equipment.

Front seat volume is calculated as product of:
*Effective head room-front
*Average of shoulder and hip room-front, if hip room is more than convert|5|in|mm less than shoulder room; Shoulder room-front, if hip room is not more than convert|5|in|mm less than shoulder room
*Maximum effective leg room-accelerator

Rear seat volume is calculated for vehicles within a rear seat equipped with rear seat belts (as required by DOT), as product of:
*Effective head room-second
*Average of shoulder and hip room-second, if hip room is more than convert|5|in|mm less than shoulder room; Shoulder room-second, if hip room is not more than convert|5|in|mm less than shoulder room
*Minimum effective leg room-second

For passenger automobiles with no rear seat or with a rear seat but no rear seat belts, the area to the rear of the front seat shall be included in the determination of usable luggage capacity.

Cargo volume index is calculated as follows:
* For station wagon, it is the product of Shoulder room-second, Cargo height, Cargo length at belt-second.
* For hatchback, it is the product of:
**Average cargo length, the arithmetic average of Cargo length at second seatback height-hatchback and Cargo length at floor-second-hatchback
**Shoulder room-second
**Second seatback to load floor height.

Canada regulations

Cars are divided into six classes based on interior volume. An interior volume index is calculated from the combined passenger and trunk or cargo space. Pickup trucks, special purpose vehicles and vans are segmented in their own respective classes.

In case of light-duty trucks, all 3 conditions must be met, otherwise it is classified as heavy-duty vehicle. In addition, light-duty must also be:
* designed primarily for the transportation of property or that is a derivative of a vehicle that is designed for that purpose;
* designed primarily for the transportation of persons and has a designated seating capacity of more than 12 persons; or
* available with special features that enable it to be operated and used off-road, the special features being four-wheel drive and at least four of the following characteristics, that are calculated when the vehicle is at curb weight and on a level surface with the front wheels parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal centerline and the tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure:
**an approach angle of not less than 28 degrees
**break-over angle of not less than 14 degrees,
**a departure angle of not less than 20 degrees,
**ground clearances of not less than 17.8 cm under the front and rear axles, and
**a ground clearance of not less than 20.3 cm under any point other than the front or rear axle.

Medium-duty passenger vehicle is classified as a heavy-duty vehicle that is designed primarily for the transportation of persons but does not include any vehicle that
*is a truck that is incomplete because it does not have a primary load carrying device or container attached;
*has a seating capacity of more than 12 persons;
*is designed to seat more than 9 persons behind the driver; or
*is equipped with an open cargo area (for example, a pick-up truck box or bed) of 183 cm in interior length or more or with a covered box not readily accessible from the passenger compartment.

Motorcycle is classified as an on-road vehicle with a headlight, taillight and stoplight that has two or three wheels and a curb weight of 793 kg or less, but does not include a vehicle that has an engine displacement of less than 50 cc, or that, with an 80 kg (176 pound) driver:

*cannot start from a dead stop using only the engine; or
*cannot exceed a speed of 40 km/h on a level paved surface.

Europe

Vehicle segments in Europe don't have formal characterization or regulations. Where models are attributed a segment, it is based on comparison to generalist brands models. For example, a car the size of a Volkswagen Golf would be its competitor. The VW Polo is smaller, so it belongs one segment below the Golf, while the bigger Passat is one segment above.

EuroNCAP applies a standard safety test to all new cars, the results are listed in separate categories to allow prospective vehicle purchasers to compare models of a similar size and shape:
* Superminis (it includes city cars)
* Small family cars (also for stand-alone saloon superminis, like the Dacia Logan)
* Large family cars (includes compact executive cars)
* Executive cars (for expensive cars over 4.80 m long)
* Roadsters
* Small off-roaders (similar to the North American crossover SUV category)
* Large off-roaders (similar to the North American SUV category)
* Small MPVs (both mini MPVs and compact MPVs)
* Large MPVs

Asia

China

Vehicle size categories for passenger vehicles for the China NCAP program as defined by the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) may appear similar to the European system, but are closer to the Japanese in application.

*Small cars, sometimes referred to as the A0-segment, are vehicles including MPVs of less than 4 m in length (roughly corresponding to the European A- and B-segments, and the US EPA's mini- and subcompact classes).
*Category A (A-segment) vehicles are 2-box vehicles (hatchbacks, MPVs or wagons) of between 4 and 4.5 meters in length, "or" 3-box vehicles (i.e. sedans with a trunk) with engines of less than 1600 cc.
*Category B (B-segment) vehicles are longer than 4.5 m in length with engines of over 1600 cc.
*Multi-Purpose Vehicles, or MPVs: those with more than two rows of seats.
*Sport Utility vehicles or SUVs.

Japan

Vehicle size classes in Japan are rather simple compared to other regions. There are just three different classes defined by regulations:

* "Keijidosha" (light cars): Buyers of "Kei" cars enjoy a number of tax, registration and other benefits to encourage the purchase of these tiny vehicles (among road vehicles requiring a license only the smart fortwo and Russian Oka are smaller). Regulations have been updated a number of times over the years to allow larger, more powerful cars to be developed and maintain demand as buyers become more affluent but now define a vehicle less than 3.4 m long, 1.48 m wide, 2 m high and with an engine under 660 cc.
* Small size vehicles, commonly called "5 number" vehicles in reference to their license-plate prefix. Historically subject to different design rules than "normal size" vehicles, this class is defined as limited to vehicles less than 4.7 m long, 1.7 m wide, 2 m high and with engines under 2000 cc. Vans, trucks and station wagons (considered commercial vehicles in Japan) in the small size class receive a "4 number" license prefix. Since the 1980s an increasing number of Japanese vehicles have grown beyond the confines of the small size class as most automakers now design vehicles primarily for export, and most compact and even subcompact cars well under 4.7 m in length are now too wide, or have engines too large.
* Normal size vehicles, commonly called "3 number" in reference to their license-plate prefix (trucks and buses over 2000 cc have license plates numbers beginning with "1" and "2" respectively), are those more than 4.7 m long, 1.7 m wide, 2 m high or with engines larger than 2000 cc. While in the past vehicles such as the original Honda Legend were produced in both "small size" ("just" under 4.7 m long and 1.7 m wide) for the domestic market, and longer and wider "normal size" versions, primarily for export markets, it is now only passenger and commercial vans which are produced with versions for both regulatory classes.

External links

* [http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#sizeclasses US EPA Vehicle Size Classes]
* [http://frwebgate1.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=779959306331+99+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40--Protection of Environment, Part 600 Fuel Economy of Motor Vehicles]
* [http://www.ec.gc.ca/CEPARegistry/regulations/detailReg.cfm?intReg=65 On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations (SOR/2003-2)]

ee also

* Car classification
* Car body style


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