Car class deflation?

Old Aug 11, 18, 10:34 am
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Car class deflation?

It seems that, when I was just out of college and renting with Avis for my job at E&Y, a midsize/intermediate car was a smallish sedan, like an Olds Alero or a Chevy Malibu. Now, renting with Enterprise at my current work, I was just given a Ford Fiesta as a midsize car. LEaving aside my general dislike of Enterprise, I'm not sure on what planet anyone considers a Fiesta midsize. It seems this has been happening more and more of late, though I can't tell if it's just ENterprise or if everyone now considers small cars to be midsize. What have others encountered?
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Old Aug 11, 18, 11:01 am
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In my experience, it's Enterprise.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 1:26 pm
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Not just Enterprise. Among other things, the obvious examples at Avis are that Fusion and Malibu are Full Size.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 7:44 pm
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They list a Ford Fiesta as an Economy Car on their site - https://www.enterprise.com/en/car-re...s/compact.html

Check the key fob and see if it has an ACRISS classification - e.g. ecar, ccar etc. My guess is it is not classified as a Mid Size (icar), they just told you it was.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by mmmgood View Post
They list a Ford Fiesta as an Economy Car on their site - https://www.enterprise.com/en/car-re...s/compact.html

Check the key fob and see if it has an ACRISS classification - e.g. ecar, ccar etc. My guess is it is not classified as a Mid Size (icar), they just told you it was.
I returned the car yesterday. I'm sure the car was an Economy car. My issue is that there have been several times that I've reserved a midsize car with Enterprise and gotten an econobox.instead. IN this particular instance, I arrived in MCI late on Tuesday night. The check in agent walked me out to the lot, as Enterprise usually does (ugh). We walked past several small SUVs to the Fiesta. He asked if this was OK. I said sure, since it was late and I just didn't want to deal with it. I guess I'll just start making more of a stink...or rent with National, which Enterprise owns anyway.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 12:34 am
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
Not just Enterprise. Among other things, the obvious examples at Avis are that Fusion and Malibu are Full Size.
The Fusion is almost as big as the Taurus and the Malibu is almost as big as the Impala. Mid-size is now full-size, and full-size is now premium. I guess that means compact is now mid-size.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 10:09 pm
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Class deflation has been happening for many years. Both the car rental companies and the manufacturers are to blame.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
Class deflation has been happening for many years. Both the car rental companies and the manufacturers are to blame.
I'm curious how you feel manufacturers are to blame? They make vehicles that (they hope, sometimes incorrectly) people/fleet buyers want to purchase. The arranging into classifications is done by the rental agencies and the EPA (for fuel economy standards), not manufacturers.

As an aside, but relevant for this thread: I wish the EPA standard classifications would be forced upon rental agencies (similar to how the federal government regulates nearly everything with airlines). Then the rental companies could differentiate based upon options ("Medium Car - Basic" or "Large Car - Basic" could have basically zero options; "Medium Car - Premium" or "Large Car - Premium" could have leather, GPS/etc; "Medium Car - Luxury" or "Large Car - Luxury" could have heated seats/wheel, full safety gear, auto parking, etc). But I think that's just a pipe dream of a frequent renter.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:55 am
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National/Enterprise/Alamo have standardized car classifications across the U.S. A Ford Fusion is a full size everywhere.

Now, if you want to argue that a Fusion is a midsize (that's the way the EPA classifies it based on passenger compartment volume + trunk volume) I would not disagree. Car rental companies have been playing this game for decades.

The OP's car had a sticker on it citing car classification. There are threads in the major car rental forums on FT naming what cars are commonly found in what class. Olds Aleros have been gone for ~15 years.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
I'm curious how you feel manufacturers are to blame? .
With some exceptions, traditional full size, premium and luxury models have gotten smaller over the years.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
With some exceptions, traditional full size, premium and luxury models have gotten smaller over the years.
Except the cars have gotten bigger. As an example, a Taurus used to be a fullsize, but is now typically a size up. Except today's Taurus is more than a foot longer than the Taurus of 1990.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:17 am
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Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
Except the cars have gotten bigger. As an example, a Taurus used to be a fullsize, but is now typically a size up. Except today's Taurus is more than a foot longer than the Taurus of 1990.
As I said, "With some exceptions."

Cadillacs are smaller, Buicks are smaller, Lincolns are smaller and "full size" Chevrolets are smaller.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
As I said, "With some exceptions."

Cadillacs are smaller, Buicks are smaller, Lincolns are smaller and "full size" Chevrolets are smaller.
I'd disagree: I'd say that premium cars now also make smaller sedans. They still (often) make the big boats. For example, the Lincoln MKT Town Car/Cadillac CT6/etc. They have also make the huge SUVs that took the market segment of many huge boats.

The classification of all vehicles, though, is down to the EPA. So the premium brands are now also making cars in smaller categories to meet the demands of their (potential) customers.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
They have also make the huge SUVs that took the market segment of many huge boats.
This is the key issue - Americans have stopped buying bloated sedans, and now buy bloated SUVs instead.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
I'd disagree: I'd say that premium cars now also make smaller sedans. They still (often) make the big boats. For example, the Lincoln MKT Town Car/Cadillac CT6/etc. They have also make the huge SUVs that took the market segment of many huge boats.

The classification of all vehicles, though, is down to the EPA. So the premium brands are now also making cars in smaller categories to meet the demands of their (potential) customers.
Forget newer smaller models and the EPA. The largest Cadillac today is smaller than a DeVille, the largest Buick is smaller than a LeSabre , the smallest Lincoln is smaller than Town Car and the smallest Chevrolet is smaller than a Caprice.
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