Economy cars and compact cars both are low-budget cars. The terms ‘economy’ and ‘compact’ used for these types of cars is generally used in American continent. These cars can be taken as same but technically, they are different from each other in various aspects. The differences are described below:
1. Size of the Car
The major difference between both these cars is of the size. The compact car is standardized as the one which is bigger than a supermini car and smaller than a mid-sized car. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency compact cars have an interior volume between 100 to 109.9 cubic feet whereas, the economy cars are the one which are slightly smaller than compact cars.
2. Design of the Car
Economy car designers have to face some design constraint. As these cars are smaller in size, these cars usually have 2 doors. Some of the variant may have 3 or 4 doors. The compact cars, on the other hand, have typically 4 doors. Some variant of compact cars may have a hatchback.
3. Car Occupancy
Economy cars can be occupied by 4 people; 2 adults and 2 children can easily fit in the car. Compact cars can be occupied by 4 to 5 people; 4 adults can easily fit in this car. Compact cars are referred to as small family cars and economy cars are best for couples.
4. Speed of the Car
The speed of a car basically depends upon the design capacity. The economy cars are available with a speed up to 141 miles per hour (Audi A1). The compact cars are available with a speed up to 155 miles per hour (Audi RS 3).
5. Fuel Consumption
The fuel consumption also depends upon the design capacity. The economy cars generally consume 30 to 35 miles per gallon (mpg), whereas, the compact cars typically consume 25 to 30 mpg.
6. Baggage Space
With the facility of a hatchback, the compact cars provide more baggage or goods space, that is, one or two medium sized suitcases and a few small bags. The baggage space in economy cars is less, typically 1 medium sized suitcase and a few small bags or hand carries.
Both these cars are economical and affordable. Economy car is lightweight, small size and low cost. Economy car is best suited for couples for everyday use and small trips. The compact car is also economical provides more speed, mileage and extra space. Compact car is best for small families for everyday use and one day trips.
8. Examples of the Cars
Audi A1, 2016 Fiat 500, Hyundai Accent, Chevy Spark are some examples of the economy cars. Whereas, 2014 Chevrolet Sonic, 2020 BMW 1 Series, 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven are the examples of compact cars.
These cars were designed for everyday use of low-income salary men and small families. The cars may differ from each other. One is slightly smaller but lightweight and low cost (economy car), the other one has more space, speed and mileage (compact car). But both cars are affordable, economical, low maintenance and comfortable.