Car Sizes Through The Years [Infographic]

By Automotive Staff | August 29, 2012

One of the great joys of living in Los Angeles is the wide variety of cars you see on the road. It provides a great contrast, especially when comparing between generations. For example: a while back, news director Keith Buglewicz was driving down the freeway when he found himself behind a 2013 Ford Mustang, and its 1967 fastback equivalent. The modern Mustang dwarfed its predecessor in every dimension; comparatively speaking, it was mammoth. When did car sizes get so big? <--- Tweet This! Not all at once, that's for certain. As the design of vehicles has evolved over the years, so has their sizes. Modern cars have inevitably grown longer, taller and wider over the years, thanks to the introduction of new technology and safety requirements. For most cars this growth is significant; for others it’s borderline astounding. We’d be quick to say that today’s automobiles are safer, faster and more comfortable than ever, so it should be no surprise that they’re bigger, but we would have never thought they’d be this much bigger. Draw a before-and-after comparison, and the last several decades reveal quite the spurt of growth in our favorite automobiles. In fact, that's what we've done here, literally. From the Honda Civic to the Ford Explorer, and some of our other favorite cars in between, check out this infographic we’ve put together to how much car sizes have changed over the years. Feel free to geek out over all the changes and similarities in the design language for each car—there’s a bunch—and try to imagine yourself sitting in and driving one of these older (or newer) models.
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4 comments
Mike
Mike

Automotive manufacturers are simply trying to keep up with the ongoing size increase...of Americans! I remember a fellow college student (circa 1980) who was gigantic yet drove a Rabbit - he looked like Ziggy from the comic papers! He was the exception in 1980, but sadly, the rule too often today.

martin
martin

Just to point out that there's no such thing as an FG Type R. FN2 or FD2.

BSR1979
BSR1979

What I don't understand is why all these small cars are getting bigger (including sports cars), but then at the same time large cars are getting smaller? Even a Honda accord today has marginal legroom compared to an old American sedan. Is the reason because of MPGs? That doesn't make sense because small/light is better so why the growth? Is it simply for the reasons of safety? That would make sense but I just wish they would keep our sports cars simply and small, just the basic safety, and no need for heavy technology like sat navs and power seats in a car like a Porsche and S2000 Honda's.. My Boxster and even my friend's 996 GT3 has stripped out weight and that's the way it should be on sports cars. I hope with advances in material engineering and whatever else safety advances come out of F1 and other racing, that automakers can bring back pocket rockets and more importantly, simple straight-to-the-point sports cars.

Josh 1
Josh 1

Honda is on a roll!

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