SIZE MATTERS

Cars
| 2022

The matter: cars have grown quite a bit over the past few decades. Many cars today are just as long or even longer than higher-end cars where before. The data in the images below speak volumes; look and compare.
THE MATTER:
What is a large car in Europe, falls into the mid-size category in the US. This applies, for example, to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is almost 5 meters long. This makes it not only a ruler longer than its predecessor from 1999, but also more than a decimeter longer than the Commander, a full-size SUV at the time. Want even more cubic inches in your Grand Cherokee? That's possible: the Grand Cherokee L measures no less than 5.20 meters / 204.9 inches. With such dimensions, it deserves the Grand and the L for long in its name.
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THE MATTER:
Alfa Romeo has facelifted the Giulia for model year 2023; a good reason to juxtapose a number of beautiful Alfas. If you compare the Giulia with ancestor 156, then the Giulia is a lot bigger. That makes sense, however, since the Giulia should in fact serve the D and E segment. However, it is also almost a decimeter longer than the 164. If you look at slightly more recent ancestors (swipe to the second image), you will see that the Giulia is slightly shorter than the 159 and 166. The wheelbase of the Giulia, however, is longer. That's because it has rear-wheel drive, unlike the shown predecessors. As a result, the Giulia has a shorter overhang at the front and more space between the front wheels and the front door seam, which contributes to the dynamic appearance. Add to that the subtle changes of the facelift and you have the beautiful appearance that you expect from an Alfa Romeo.
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THE MATTER:
In 2009, Citroën introduced the luxury sub-label DS, which continued as the independent brand DS Automobiles from 2015 onwards. The 2011 Citroën DS4 was called DS 4 from 2015 until 2018. It was only in 2021 that DS introduced the new 4. The fact that this car was not designed as a Citroën, like its predecessor, is clearly visible, especially if you compare it to a contemporary Citroën. In terms of size, the current DS 4 falls between its predecessor and the DS 5, which makes sense, since the DS 5 didn't get a direct successor.
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THE MATTER:
With the Jogger, Dacia has returned a bit to the concept of the Logan MCV: a somewhat raised station wagon with a lot of space. This is in contrast to the Lodgy, which was more of an MPV. Also notable: the Jogger is longer than the Logan MCV, but has a shorter wheelbase. I think that is the result of stricter safety regulations.
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THE MATTER:
The platform of the original Fiat Tipo (Type 160) was used for many Fiats, Alfa Romeos and Lancias. One of these was the Marea, in fact the sedan version of Tipo successor Brava. Hence the same wheelbase as the Type 160 Tipo. The current Tipo (Type 356) not only has a larger wheelbase, but is also almost as long as the Marea. It is even slightly longer than the Tempra, say the Type 160 Tipo sedan.
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THE MATTER:
In recent years, one compact SUV after another has been launched on the market, but the Kia Sportage is one of the few where there are several previous generations. That makes it suitable for Size Matters, because here too we see significant growth in less than two decades. Remarkably, the length has increased more than the wheelbase. Both are closer to the dimensions of the 2002 Sorento than the 2004 Sportage.
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THE MATTER:
In 2020, Alfa Romeo announced that the upcoming Tonale would have to fill the gap that the Giulietta would leave behind. The Tonale is almost two decimeters longer than the Giulietta, but has almost the same wheelbase. The Tonale concept from 2019 had different proportions, which makes it much nicer in my eyes (swipe to the 2nd image). The 156 Crosswagon Q4 comes closest to a predecessor of the Tonale as a compact SUV. Although that was a D-segment car (predecessor of the Giulia), it was smaller in all directions...
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THE MATTER:
The first S60 was a four-door coupe before the competition came to use that term and in my opinion still one of the best car designs ever. A greater contrast to the angular 740 is almost impossible. In terms of size, the S60 has grown with the competition, so that the current S60 is not only two decimeters longer than the first, but also almost as long as the 740. The wheelbase of the S60 is even larger than that of that former top model.
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THE MATTER:
Compared to the 'original' 500 of 1957 (2970 mm /116.9 inches short), the 2007 500 was already a giant, but the latest 500 takes it even further: at 3.63 meters the 500e is almost as long as the Uno from 1983. Yet you could take a lot more luggage in the latter...
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THE MATTER:
Like the original 2001 C5, the new C5 X is a large D-segment car, which should also attract E-segment customers, as the C6 hasn't been around for nearly a decade now. Size-wise, the C5 X should be up to the task: it's even longer than a 1989 XM!
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THE MATTER:
Once more a car that seems to have shifted a segment upwards, as the current Ford Fiesta is about as long as the 1990 Escort (it's even a little bit longer). Compared to the 1976 original, the Fiesta has grown nearly half a meter (19 inches) in length!
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THE MATTER:
The new Opel Astra Sports Tourer is quite significantly bigger than a 1996 Vectra Stationwagon, let alone a 1992 Astra Stationwagon. The wheelbase even is almoast exactly as big as the one on the 2008 Insignia. That's seriously big...
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THE MATTER:
The new Honda Civic e:HEV hatchback has a bigger wheelbase than a 1998 Accord sedan and is almost as long. As a sedan the new Civic is 4,674 mm / 184.0 inch in length, outgrowing even the 2002 Accord! By the way, the very first Civic from 1972 was only 3,405 mm / 134.1 inch long...
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THE MATTER:
The new Toyota Aygo X isn't just quite some longer than the Aygo it replaces, it's even slightly longer than a 1999 Yaris!
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THE MATTER:
The new Peugeot 408, a C-segment liftback, is much taller than its Talbot-conceived ancestor 309, and even slightly longer than the D-segment sedan 407 from a mere two decades ago...
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