Downsized Cars

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Dec 6, 2017
Why do car rental companies get away with calling a mid-sized car, full-sized; a compact car mid-sized; and a subcompact car, compact? Just rented a compact from Payless, but received a Ford Fiesta, which is a subcompact. I've argued with Budget representatives about this before when they called a Corolla a mid-size. It is wrong - we are being downsized!
Jan 6, 2015
For some reason the article Christina posted (good find) has a lot of white space (for Ads that aren't loading) on my laptop (on two browsers). The same article, which is properly formatted is here:

In that article there is at least one reference to rental companies using the number of people, bags, and doors which is what I see using Kayak (on my system I have to refresh the page after loading with the following URL):

This is far better way to assess the size of the vehicle you need.

Nonetheless, your point is well taken ...
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2015
VoR61 hmm I wonder if the article I posted may have come up strange as I did it from my phone-- maybe mobile format? Thank you for catching that and finding a better link.
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
thank you - I get what the article is saying - BUT, they are ripping us off - they know what they are doing and are always looking to upsize us. A lot of what the rental cars reply is legal mumble jumble - It is about squeezing every dollar they can out of us...
I gave the article link to show that your complaint is not the only one. I no longer look at the category, I look at the type of car and make a decision, as the category names can vary from company to company.
Likes: ADM and VoR61


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
This is beyond infuriating, Chrisg, I know EXACTLY what you are saying. Just another avenue to increase revenue when you find out the vehicle you booked is smaller than a rollerskate. I loathe little cars and spend time in places like I-95 up and down the coast of Florida and the freeways around Houston, so I want something big enough to offer me a little protection ... when one of those little old ladies or guys in jumped-up pickups just sideswipe me for no reason, for instance.

Last two 'intermediate SUVs' turned out to be station wagons, and rather little station wagons at that. When I complained, I was offered a nice upgrade for about $100 more for the week. Uh, OK, is this how things are going now in the rental car biz? I believe it is, and we will all have to triple our research into what size car we want to rent and how much we're willing to pay for it.
Likes: VoR61