Cars - "in its class"

Just about every car ad claims that the car in the ad is the “best” or “fastest” or “gets best mpg” or “roomiest” or something “in its class.” Is there an objective “class” structure for cars? Or are the class boundaries, as I suspect, very fluid? For example, if my Belchfire 300 has 27.1 cubic feet of trunk space, can I define my “class” as cars-with-trunks-up-to-27.2-cubic-feet, and then claim “largest in class”?

It’s what the EPA calls it–subcompact, compact, midsize, etc.

It depends on the award.
J.D. Powers has it’s own classes.
Consumer Reports has it’s own classes.

It is sort of like the Emmys, where everone seems to win something, but since the whole point is to make JDPowers respected and Consumer Reports subscribed to, it’s in their interests to have a lot of categories and a lot of manufacturers hyping for them.

Actually, Consumer Reports prohibits manufacturers from “hyping” them or mentioning the magazine’s ratings in advertisements.

From the replies so far, my suspicions appear correct. The Belchfire 300 could choose, say an EPA class to have the best interior space, a JDPower class to have the best acceleration, and so on. I still think the car makers / advertisers just create “classes” with max/min limits that allow them to claim whatever superlatives they want. Any one out there from the Auto Industry care to shed some light?

The car manufacturers don’t choose the class their car is assessed in. It is up to the reviewers pre-determined classes.

The car manufacturers can, however, pick and choose which reviews they put in their adds. Then it is up to the consumer to decide whose opinions they value the most.

From my experience, (in the UK) many of the magazines and tv programmes etc all seem to have similar boundaries and classes. The manufacturers usually seem to have a target market for a car they design anyway. They know who they will be competing against (which models from their competitors) and who their car is aimed at.


from what I can tell, classes are determined by size of the car, and size of the engine… (as well as price bracket)
for example, they will compare a Honda Civic with a Toyota Tercel, but not with a Camry, since the Camry is in the same class with the Honda Accord… but I don’t think a similarly outfitted Mercedes would be put in the same class, since it would fall into a ‘luxury class’.

I just found this at

<cut & paste>
A sedan or coupe with a wheelbase of up to 105 inches

A sedan or coupe with a wheelbase of 105.1 to 110 inches

A sedan or coupe with a wheelbase longer than 110 inches

A passenger vehicle usually with a squared-off rear end with an expanded cargo area behind the seats
</cut & paste>

Lets assume 2 fictional cars about the same size as a Civic;
(I’m too lazy to look up real numbers right now)
Say, for example, the French-built Go-Vite, with a 1.6L engine, has 145hp, and gets 45mpg.
Now, the German-built Friggengrüven, with also a 1.6L engine, has 120hp, and gets 73mpg.
You could say the Go-Vite has the most powerful engine in its class. But then the Friggengrüven has the best fuel milage in its class. Both cars are comparable, in size, and engine size. it’s the small differences (exaggerated here)that the car makers capitalize on.

sorry for being long-winded…