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View Full Version : Mid-size car for family of four big enough?


uncool
11-08-2009, 09:34 PM
Staying off site for a WDW trip in January. Basically I need a car big enough to get the family and luggage from the airport to the condo. Once we get set up at the condo car space shouldn't be an issue since it will just be the family going back and fourth to the parks.

So is a mid sized car big enough for two adults and two kids (8 and 5) plus two suitcases and various carry-on bags?

Car style and features mean nothing to me - just looking for the best deal.

Have you rented a car that turned out to be small? Did you bring home more luggage than you arrived with? Was that an issue with you rental car?

mareed
11-08-2009, 10:24 PM
A full-size is the smallest that my family of 4 can fit in with our luggage. But we typically stay for 8-10 days and probably have more luggage. We usually have 2 large roller bags, one small roller bag, and 2-3 duffle bags. The duffle bags are good because they can squish in places in the trunk or back seat that the rigid roller bags cannot.

The only time we fit in a mid-size car was when we had a very short, 4 night summer trip (so no jeans/jackets). Even then, it was pretty tight - we got a PT Cruiser and it seemed very small to us.

I think I've also read that rental companies are re-sizing their cars so that they're effectively smaller for each category... So a mid-size car may even be something smaller now. My family can fit for driving around, but there's no way our luggage would fit!

HeatherC
11-09-2009, 06:00 AM
We usually rent a full size for a family of five if a minivan is too expensive. Never have a problem with luggage so I would think for 4 you could do it. I just wouldn't bring one of those super sized suitcases though.

hsmamato2
11-09-2009, 08:52 AM
I don't know how much stuff most people haul on vacation,but we are a family of 4 and rent a compact with no problems fitting ourselves and everything in:confused3 I can't imagine NOT fitting in a 5 person car(yes,a compact can squeeze 5 in)- we go for 2 weeks,one smallish bag per person. no problem- to save money,we squish for a while. trunks are usually rather roomy... one vaca.,we accidentally rented an economy car w/ 2doors,it was TINY! we still fit in no problem. And this was when ds still used a car seat!

BigTigger
11-09-2009, 01:10 PM
AI think I've also read that rental companies are re-sizing their cars so that they're effectively smaller for each category... So a mid-size car may even be something smaller now. My family can fit for driving around, but there's no way our luggage would fit!

Spot on with this remark. We rented from Alamo 10 days ago at MCO and the mid-size section had a Ford Focus, a Suzuki Forenza, and a PT Cruiser. Upon questioning the lot attendant, he showed the choices sheet to me and all of these are now options in the mid-size class. After some discussion, he told me to take a Pontiac G6 from the Emerald Aisle line if I wanted a bigger mid-size.

DVC-Don
11-10-2009, 08:46 PM
We use a mid size when our two kids come along (we only travel with carry on luggage). When it's just the two of us we rent a compact.

Cee
11-12-2009, 05:25 PM
We just rented a car in Sept. It was a Toyota Corolla and it fit the four of us(all adults, 2 over 6') just fine. :thumbsup2 I think it was considered a compact.

duffy
11-12-2009, 06:01 PM
I don't know how much stuff most people haul on vacation,but we are a family of 4 and rent a compact with no problems fitting ourselves and everything in:confused3 I can't imagine NOT fitting in a 5 person car(yes,a compact can squeeze 5 in)- we go for 2 weeks,one smallish bag per person. no problem- to save money,we squish for a while. trunks are usually rather roomy... one vaca.,we accidentally rented an economy car w/ 2doors,it was TINY! we still fit in no problem. And this was when ds still used a car seat!

I agree!! :thumbsup2

We will be a party of 5, the youngest will be 5 years old, and we also have rented a compact. If the kids have to ride with their duffels in their laps, then they can just suck it up and do it!! Geez, you're in Orlando, on your way to DisneyWorld! So your thighs are touching! You're on your way to DisneyWorld!!:banana:

:confused3

mareed
11-12-2009, 06:18 PM
I think the general consensus is that the people will fit, but the trip to/from the airport depends on how much luggage a family is bringing. And it sounds like that varies quite a bit, which explains why a compact works for some families of 4 or even 5, but would never work for others (like mine!).

To the OP, I'd say you need to look on the car rental website to see what types of cars are classified as a compact, and then see how much luggage you'll be bringing. Then either look online for pictures or see if you can actually get your hands on a car to look at the trunk room to see if your luggage will fit.

The OP also asked if we bring home more luggage than we went with, and our answer is frequently "yes". I always pack an emplty duffel bag that's often filled with either souvenirs or dirty clothes that always take more room in luggage than clean ones. I also take a mostly empty carry-on tote bag that frequently comes home with our breakable, fragile souvenirs.