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Difference Between Economy and Compact Cars

Economy vs Compact Cars

The terms economy car and compact car are often used interchangeably. But as are you are about to find out, they are quite different from each other. The main difference between an economy car and a compact car is what their primary attribute is. A compact car is essentially a small car while an economy car is one that requires a very minimal cost to own and operate.

As economy cars are intended for those on a tight budget, the first thing that must be cheap is the price. Although some compact cars are also affordable, many are expensive. The second component to lower cost is increased mileage. Economy cars are not known for having large engines; they have more reasonably sized engines that are just able to get you through your daily tasks. Some compact are equipped with 2L engines or even bigger, giving them much better performance, especially when you consider their reduced weight. Many of the compact cars have better mileage than standard sedans and the like, leading to the common misconception that compacts are also economy cars.

The last component to the economy car’s low cost is repair and maintenance. Because economy cars are built in bulk, the manufacturer also makes a lot of spare parts for them; making it very easy and cheap to buy the appropriate parts. Manufacturers also ten to use tried and tested technologies in economy cars in order to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

As already mentioned above, a compact’s primary attribute is its small size. Nice if you are driving in a city with small roads, not so nice if you have a lot of stuff to bring with you. An economy car is still the best option as a primary car as it gives you a bit of flexibility in how much stuff you can carry.

If budget is a concern, an economy car is still the best bang for the buck. It is also the more reasonable option if you are expecting your family to grow in the next couple of years.


A compact car puts emphasis on size while an economy car puts emphasis on low costs
Economy cars are cheaper than compact cars
Economy cars tend to have better mileage than compact cars
Economy cars are easier to maintain and cheaper to repair than compact cars
Economy cars are often bigger than compact cars

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