Car Segmentation: Everything That You Need To Know

The car segmentation is used for numerous purposes such as classification purpose that are conducted through Governments and several private organizations. We are here to have a detailed description about cars classification or cars segmentation.

There’re uncountable vehicles and the cars classification option allows us to categorize these vehicles into different categories and these vehicles remain in their categories always. These classifications allow us to know about all the cars and vehicles because these cars can’t be categorized by name only as several countries use several name for the cars.

The North America already has a set of classifications and in the same way, the Europe also has their classification set for the cars.

Classification Methods

There are several methods to do classifications; we can categorize the cars based on several factors such as:

Car Segmentation

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  • Shape
  • Sizes
  • Manufacturing years
  • Features
  • Body style
  • Number of doors
  • Types of roof
  • Sedan
  • Convertible
  • Hatchback

Classifications are also used for determining a tax amount by the Regulatory agencies as the United Kingdom Government charges the tax according to the vehicle’s construction type, engine, weight, type of fuel and other factors as well. As the UK, The United States charge vehicle taxes differently. There is a standard for all the types of road vehicles is ISO 3833-1977 but this is not used for the Australia, India, and the U.S.

Car Segmentation

There are different types of segments for different types of cars:

A-Segment Mini-Compact

A-Segmentation Car

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  • The A segment is used for the Mini-compact cars classification, these types of cars fall into A segment.
  • They are designed to be used in urban areas because they are small and so they are the perfect ones for driving in the cities because the size makes the driving much easier.
  • Generally, they introduce only four seating system because they have to be small, they are small so the passenger back seat doesn’t have much leg room.
  • Because of the size, they are not too comfortable and also the small engine is fitted that is not enough to struggle for better performance.
  • Other than the leg space, the boot space is also significantly less.
  • They charge you very low cost so they are ideal for students.

B-Segment Super-Mini

B-Segmentation-Car

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_208

This car is a link between the min-compacts and slightly bigger family cars, so it’s the medium sized version. It is somewhat bigger than an A-segment, so it introduces a total of five seats.

There are five seats and the car is not big enough so you have to feel somewhat rough experience for longer journeys. However, they are great for transporting small luggage as these cars have somewhat big boot space as a hatchback; this is the perfect car for the people who are tight on their budget.

C-Segment Small Family Car

C-Segmentation-car

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The car is bigger than both the A and B segment cars, it’s enough for a small family that’s why it is referred as small family car and sometimes it can also be referred as a compact car. Like the supermini, this model also comes with five seating system and sufficient boot space, which is bigger than the supermini. This is an ideal car for small families and you can transport average-sized luggage in your car.

The engine for this segment starts at 1.4 liters, which is quite sufficient and for a better ride, 1.6-1.8 liter engines are good, also, the cost of this segment is affordable.

D-Segment Large Family Car

D-segmentation-car

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Fusion_(Americas)

These are also known as a compact executive saloon. Only a badge difference comes between a large family car and a compact executive saloon, which is not official. However, a Toyota Camry and a BMW 3 Series come without this badge difference.

These cars also have five seats as the previous segments but it introduces a pretty big space in comparison to the previous segments. The engine range starts at 1.8 liters that are enough for motorway driving; this is mainly designed for big families that travel with extra luggage.

E-Segment Mid-Size Executive Cars

E-segmentation-car

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The executive car term is a British term. We use this term for the cars that are bigger than the D segment cars. These Mid-size are most common in the form of saloon cars. Peoples with bigger families prefer this option. Also, other than D segment cars because the E segment provides more space and leg room. The cost you will pay depends on the badge, but the cost in normally higher than a D segment car but they are quite affordable.

F-Segment Full-Size Luxury Cars

F-segmentation-car

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This category is famous for Full-size luxury cars as they are luxurious so the cost is quite expensive. Saloon cars are the main category for this segment or the saloon leads this segment. These cars have and they longer wheelbases to provide utmost comfort.

The cost is higher not only because of the interior and extras but also because of the effortless driving feature. So if you buy this car you buy the utmost comfort with a big boot space. One more thing, not all the F segment cars are suitable for families because some of them include only four seats.

M-Segment Small Mid and Full-Size MPV

M-segmentation-car

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Here MPV refers to Multi-purpose vehicles, they are introduced to the large families and transporting people. There are three categories for M segment:

  • Small
  • Mid
  • Full-size

People own them as per their traveling needs.

  • A Small MPV comes with five seats but the UAE doesn’t include these.
  • Mid-size MPVs come having five or seven seats.
  • Full-size MPV includes a seating system of seven to nine people, so the entire M segment is perfect for bigger families.

The MPV offers a lot of practicality, with folding seat options that allow you to transport large goods. In spite of the MPV are for larger families there are limitations if you buy a seven seated, such as the boot space is not enough, which is quiet disturbing because the rear seats are very close to the luggage space.

S-Segment Sports Cars, Supercar, Cabriolet

S-segmentation-car

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The entire segment is for sports cars, convertible cars, and supercars, this segment is not developed based on the seating system or the boot space, and however, it has enhanced in looks and style and the overall exterior of the cars as the Cabriolet that is a convertible car with four or five seats, and a roadster is a two-seater that is also a convertible and because of the stylish roof option, there is not much boot space, so they are suitable for single person or for the people without babies and families.

GT is also a classification of the S segment; it is both luxury and a sports car with 2+2 seating. Supercars are not quite practical in terms of seating and space because they have to be fast, look good and they are very expensive as well.

J-Segment SUVs

J-segmentation-car

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SUVs like Mini, compact, mid-size and, full-size fall in J segment. In the UAE, they are the most preferred car because of the seating, robustness, and protection ad space system. Also, they provide the maximum protection from accidents.

Mini and compact SUVs are not for additional benefits; they are quite same as B, C, and D segments, so they are preferred as a lifestyle vehicle, for small transporting like some equipment, bicycles etc. The engine lies between 1.6 to 2.5 liters, but the main advantage is that they are easily affordable.

However, Mid-size SUVs like Toyota and other popular are suitable for bigger families, they provide large seating system and sufficient boot space for big families’ luggage system. Toyota sequoia falls in the category of Full-size SUVs, these are huge SUVs, and very large families prefer these.

Along with being this big they offer excellent practicality they offer, but they are quite expensive than other SUVs and the Engine starts at 2.5 to 5 liters. Other than SUVs, J segments also include Mini, mid and full-size pickup trucks, they are not officially a part of this segment but they are considered in J segments.

Car Shows Class Definitions

There are other classification systems as well according to the car shows. Car shows across America uses these following classes:

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  • Street Rod: It’s a motor vehicle, which is a creation of the year 1948 or older and has been changed significantly by adding essential vehicle parts according to the registered gross weight, which is not more than 9,000 pounds.
  • Classic car: A motor vehicle, which shows itself as at least 30 years old and the vehicle that, is not modified or no addition or replacement of the parts has been done ever. It represents its original car.
  • Hot Rod: This classification is referred for the cars that have been modified for a sporty look, faster speed, faster acceleration, and other things. The used or newly fabricated parts can be used to achieve the speed and other things.
  • Custom car: It’s an original car directly taken from the factory or also referred as factory built and has been modified in order to enhance the performance levels by changing mainly the engine and transmission. The builder can also modify its looks and body to give a unique and appealing look unlike any other car, so it can’t be referred as a kit car.
  • Antique car: A vehicle, which is at least 25 years old, which has been maintained to a condition in, which it doesn’t work any longer but shows the specifications and appearance.
  • Particular Interest: It’s a vehicle too but specialized in a particular area from the normal vehicles and designed for a particular purpose such as fire truck, tank, bus, race cars etc that attracts the attention of the people significantly because of its uniqueness or special functions.
  • Kit car: A vehicle that is manufactured mainly as a kit vehicle or the vehicle that modified its parts mainly from the prefabricate parts; it is also referred as a reproduction. But a factory-built vehicle, which replaces its damaged parts by using the prefabricated parts, will not be a kit car.
  • Veteran car: These are the vehicles that are built prior to 1905.
  • Edwardian car: A vehicle that is built from the year 1905 to 1918, all brass era cars fall into this category.
  • Vintage car: These are the cars built between 1919 and 1930.
  • Pre-war car: These cars began with the Great Depression in 1930. As the name, they ended with ended with the Second World War.

Some Other Classifications

Economy Car

Economy-Car

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An economy car takes special care of your economy, in the other way; it doesn’t financially hurt you much. The economy car is designed in such a way that it doesn’t charge you very much and available for low cost. These types of cars are small, lightweight, and reasonably priced so that anyone can afford them.

The designers of the Economy cars are forced by several restrictions to design creative cars yet inexpensive. As the economy cars used innovative ideas for designing their cars, so several car manufacturers inspire from these designs of economy cars and design their own cars such as the Ford, Austin Mini.

While designing the Murray T.25 city car Gordon Murray, who is the Formula 1 and McLaren F1 designer said, that creating a car, which has to be inexpensive but with every facility and with minimum quality issues is very difficult than designing a McLaren F1, or any racing car because you have to include all the qualities at a very low price and also have to take care of the company’s advantage. So, this is the biggest challenge ever that I’ve faced till now from the designing point of view.

Micro Car

Micro Car

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These types of cars are the smallest in the cars’ classification when compare with any classification in the automobile industry. These were very much small so they were sometimes referred as cyclecars until the 1940s. Most of them, which are recent models, are also known as bubble cars due to their bubble type of manufacturing or exterior. Different countries describe these microcars differently. These cars have their own tax advantages for the engine size.

Bubble Car

Bubble-Car

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_car

As we talked in the above-mentioned classification, these are same as the microcars except the exterior. The cars have a Bubble-shaped manufacturing for their bodies. The cars are small like microcars, which were usually produced from 1950 to 1960.

  • The creation like Messerschmitt KR175, KR200, and FMR Tg500, had bubble appearances for their bodies and since then the term bubble has been in use.
  • Europe was the continent that mainly preferred these bubble cars than any other continent or sub-continent.
  • These bubble cars were famous because of the cheap transport and fuel price.
  • Many of the bubble cars were three-wheelers that time, so many of them were qualified for cheap taxes and were licensed as motorcycles.

Most of these bubble cars were created in the country Germany, by the Messerschmitt and Heinkel, which is a former German military aircraft maker. For the bubble cars, BMW, which is a manufacturer of the Automobile and motorcycles created the Italian Iso Rivolta Isetta using an engine of their own motorcycles and got the license.

Like other manufacturers, France also created the production of three tiny vehicles by the name voiturettes, but the vehicles were not sold overseas like the Germany and others.

The United Kingdom also built bubbles and got the driving license from the Heinkel Kabine and the Isetta. The British built the version of Isetta but with only one rear wheel instead of the pair of wheels in order introduce the three-wheel vehicle in the United Kingdom. In the UK, There were also native three-wheeled cars, manufactured by the Peel Engineering Company.

City Car

City-Car

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_car

These were made for driving in the city without the hassle of traffic and space, so they are created in the way to look small and easily adjustable in the traffic and at the parings. So, the car is perfect for the urban and developed areas. These are also like microcars but with a greater speed and more fuel capacity, also, they are great in safety and right for traffic environments and weather conditions.

These cars are perfect for driving on highways at higher speed, the cars are also known as “kei cars” in Japan with the restrict size and engine requirements, the engine can have a maximum 660 cc and for the length, it must be under 3400 mm.

Minivans

Minivan-car

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minivan

This is same like a van but smaller than that, so it is known as a minivan. The minivan is designed for passenger safety and comfort. The van includes three rows of adult seats and the door system is sliding.

  • Minivans are famous for their resourcefulness; they can be an alternative to the sports utility vehicle because these can be used to transport more people than that.
  • Along with space, they also provide comfort and space for the other stuff as well with a better fuel economy.
  • An aerodynamic hood is also the main feature of the minivan and they are taller than sedans or wagons and they stay good on the roads and these are the reasons why people prefer them very much.
  • Their name has been derived from the North America when they were slightly smaller like cars and not like the full-sized vans such s the Ford E-Series, and the Chevrolet Van.
  • British also call them as a multi-purpose vehicle as they are used for people and luggage carriers.
  • These minivans look like tall estate cars and the larger vans can have seven to eight seating system for the passengers.
  • Being taller, it can be referred as a family car that improves visibility for the driver while driving and they are also helpful for the disabled or elder people to access them.

Estate Cars

Minivan-car

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An estate car is also called as a station wagon or simply wagon. Estate has its roof extended backward. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a station wagon consist one or more rows of removable seats that situate behind the driver and the luggage can be loaded in this area. The cars such as Hyundai i40 Tourer, Jaguar XF Sportbrake and Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, are the perfect examples of the estate cars.

All the wagons fall in this classification such as All-steel wagons, Full-size wagons, and the Two-door wagons

  • All-steel wagons were begun to be manufactured After World War second with the new technology and made all-steel station wagon bodies instead of the wooden bodies to get the more practical wagon in order to eliminate the high cost, noise, and maintenance charges.
  • Full-sized wagons were famous in America as station wagons that were designed for six or nine passengers and the arrangement of the seats was like three passengers in the front and three in the back area.
  • To provide nine seating system, a third bench was installed in the rear area.
  • The two-door wagons having 100-inches of wheelbase were introduced by the Nash Rambler line.

After the fusion of Nash and Hudson, the American Motors reintroduced the two-door wagons with a few modifications. This was perfect for economy and load purposes.

Off-Roaders

Off-road vehicles refer sturdiness having a muscular look. These are the finest vehicles at off- road driving. It consist four-wheels and is capable of driving on gravel surface smoothly. The main characteristic is the broad and tires.

These vehicles are the first choice of driving passionate people because of their rigidness and versatility. These vehicles create no problem on the plane surface and can be driven efficiently on rough surfaces. These off-roaders are also used for several competitions as Desert Racing, Rock crawling and other driving contests on rough lands.

Conclusion

People can think that these provide the minimum safety level because of tier off-road use, but the off-roaders are specialized for the higher center of gravity to decrease the risk of rollover. Though there are several precautions used for off-roaders to prevent accidents but they have higher accidents rates than passenger cars and also the death rate is higher in the case of rollovers.

Michael
 

Hi! I'm Michael. I am passionate about automotive mechanical engineering. I graduated from the automotive industry. I'm glad to share with you about what I have learned and experienced during a long time in the automotive industry. I hope you will find what you need here.

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