Full-size is defined in measurement as greater than 120 ft³ (3,300 L) of interior volume. Previously, a wheelbase greater than 110 inches (2.79 metres) was the criterion. The term first appeared in the early 1960s to define what also became known as "standard" size cars from the new compact and intermediate models then being introduced.
A "large family car," the equivalent of a full-size car class in Australian terms, often denoted by width. Therefore, the Ford Falcon, Toyota Aurion and Holden Commodore are considered large cars in the Australian and New Zealand markets. These cars are sometimes referred to as "family cars" in Australia, and are typically 4.8 meters (about 15 ft, 9 in) or more in length.
Chrysler discontinued its full size cars (Dodge Diplomat, Chrysler Fifth Avenue, and Plymouth Gran Fury) in 1989. General Motors discontinued its full size cars (Chevrolet Impala/Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and Cadillac Fleetwood) in 1996. As of 2008, Ford still sells its full size Panther platform cars (the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car), retaining the 1978 dimensions, as the scion of the traditional Ford full-size line.
SUVs have supplanted full-size car sales through the 1990s, due to the fact they maintained rear wheel drive and many had optional V8 engines, and that full-size station wagons have been all but discontinued.
In Europe, full-size cars have only recently gained in popularity. During the 1980s, full-size cars were rare in Europe, but now they have become a common sight. In Germany, full-size cars make up 15% of the total number of cars (VDA annual report), roughly the same average as in the United States.
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