Economy vs Compact - 01

Economy vs Compact – Here’s the Difference

Many people don’t know much about the difference between a compact car vs economy car. If you are finding them then you have come to the right place. Both these cars might look the same but there are some points to highlight the difference between economy and compact car.

The primary difference between economy vs compact car is that the former is smaller than the latter. Besides that, economy cars don’t have many cubic feet of luggage space while compact cars do come with a decent amount of it and there is much more space to accommodate more people.

Economy Car

  • Economy cars can conveniently accommodate 2 adults in the front and 2 children in the back. You can also fit in 4 adults but with a very limited amount of space. And a number of doors ensure easy access.
  • The storage space allows you to place a single medium suitcase and multiple carrying bags.
  • Fuel consumption varies from model to model. But the mileage of such cars typically ranges from 30 – 35 mpg. Which effectively earns them the title of fuel-efficient cars. Watch this video to learn more.


Size and luggage capacity

In terms of size, this car is the smallest of the two in this comparison. It comes either with 2 or 4 doors, but 2 is the usual number. These vehicles feature four seats so they can accommodate four passengers.

But you will not find much leg room available or the backseats. Therefore, fitting in four adults into these cars is pretty irksome. And when we talk about trunk space, you can only fit in a medium-sized suitcase. So you will be better off with your bags when you are using these economy cars.


But in the comparison of compact vs economy car the small size of the latter doesn’t always put you at a disadvantage. With a smaller size, the fuel consumption of economy cars is going to be less as well. Different models from different car manufacturers vary in gas mileage but it usually averages around 30 to 35 miles per gallon.


In the comparison of economy vs compact, prices of the former vary from which brand you choose and from where you buy. You can conveniently check your local listings to find the best deal on your economy rental car. But if you are looking for rental car options then this is one of the best options for you over a compact car.

The primary reason why economy car rental is better for car rental services is that it is fuel-efficient. It has a smaller size and for car rental, it will not impact your overall traveling budget.

Compact Car


  • Compact cars usually come with 4 doors or more like regular cars.
  • And just like regular cars they also come with 5 or more seating capacity and provide you with a better driving experience.
  • You have room for one large suitcase, along with a medium suitcase as well as a few smaller bags in these compact cars.
  • The fuel economy of compact cars can vary from one model to another, but it can average around 30 35 mpg.


Size and luggage capacity

Compact cars are larger in size and this is one of the prominent differences between the two. This type of vehicle usually comes with 5 doors and five seats and this thing can conveniently accommodate your whole family. Due to these features, a compact car is the best-suited traveling vehicle for families.

It can fit in a couple of suitcases and can also hold in a few bags too. But that entirely depends upon how many passengers will be going on the ride. Roughly, the storage space equates to 12 14 cubic feet in number.


Despite being larger in size you can conveniently get 30 to 35 miles per gallon on average. And these numbers stay relevant no matter which brand or model do you go for. So when it comes to gas mileage there is not much difference between them both. But with a max load inside it’s less fuel-efficient.


Due to its larger size, as well as more headroom a compact rental car is going to cost you more. This model is all about saving. This type of car will keep fuel consumption under check and won’t break your wallet if you choose it to buy.

But in comparison a compact rental car is costly but a compact rental also comes with a lot more storage space. For long trip compact car rental services, it is the best option. That’s the primary difference between an economy car and a compact car. If you are on a budget then fuel consumption will be one of the biggest questions for you to ask.

So, Which One You Should Buy?

Number of people traveling

Before you go for a rental car, you need to keep in mind how many people are joining. If you have more than 2 adults with you then you need to go for a compact car because you won’t find the back seats very comfortable as there is not much leg room available in an economy car.

If you are just looking to rent a car that you can use for your nearby trips then an economy car can work for you. You won’t need a big type of compact car for such a trip to all the vehicle classes.

It is especially the case if you don’t have much luggage to carry either. A big difference between an economy car vs compact car is the size. Consider it before you go to rent a car service.

These attributes are available in the app when you are looking to hire a car rental service. Such an app can also provide you with different details on how much luggage you can take with you.

Luggage capacity

The fuel economy of economy cars is only good enough to fit in a medium suitcase and several small bags, as we mentioned above. And if you have more luggage then you will have to use your back seats.

But space is not that big of an issue with a compact car because you can easily place a large suitcase, a small one, and several small bags to go with them. And that is what is a suitable option for a short trip car rental service.


Budget is an important consideration when it comes to car rentals. If you are looking to save money then go for an economy car. And size is the biggest reason why it is cheaper between the two.

Fuel consumption contributes a lot towards the rental cost and due to its size, fuel costs are going to be on the low side. So fuel efficiency is in favor of economy car rentals. Smaller size answers the question of efficiency.

When it comes to rental cars from rental agencies in the United States, these are a bit more expensive than economy cars. For longer ride car rentals, the better performing rental cars are economy vehicles. So pick them when it comes to car rental. And this is especially the case if you don’t have luggage with you.

But with more occupants and more luggage, you will need a bigger vehicle for car rental with more room available. And in such a scenario a compact car is going to be the best option as rental cars. So choose them for your car rentals.


In this comparison, there is no winner. To settle most of the questions, both economy and compact vehicles cater to different needs. The formers are better suited for shorter trips with only a couple of people and with a single medium suitcase and some bags.

On the other hand, compact vehicles are better suited for shorter trips and if you have more people with more luggage. For instance, if you are looking for a ride from the airport to the hotel then an economy car will be a better option. And if you are looking to do some sightseeing then a compact car is not the best choice for you.

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