When you look at the latest developments in the automotive world, you will often find that the car is in the X segment or the best in the Y class. Enthusiasts who find themselves perfectly at home with the topic have no problem deciphering this strange-sounding abbreviation. However, those starting their automotive adventure may feel confused, especially if the interlocutor uses professional vocabulary.
Note! A car segment and class are terms that mean exactly the same and are used interchangeably. They are extremely important from the consumers’ point of view, because they are used for car categorisation, and belonging to a particular class or segment gives basic information on external dimensions, body types, price, number of doors or wheelbase.
So what does the car segment mean? How to find way amongst strange symbols and mysterious letters?
Classification of passenger cars
To begin with, it should be mentioned that the classification of passenger cars is different for Europe and America. For the American, the main dividing line is the price, while in Europe, the generally accepted classification is by car size. Currently in Europe there are 10 basic segments, marked with letters from A to K, and the prestige and price of the car increases in direct proportion to successive letters of the alphabet.
Characteristics of individual segments
A-segment – cars with small dimensions and engine capacity. Most often these are 3-door hatchbacks and their length does not exceed 3.50 m. A small engine allows for economical driving in the city, it does not cause any problems while parking – in short, this category of city cars is very popular and cheap in operation. Examples of segment A cars: Fiat Seicento, Toyota Aygo, Fiat 500, Kia Picanto
B-segment – still small and economical cars, usually with three doors, but the B-segment also includes small saloons; they are equipped with a boot and more space for passengers. Examples of B-segments cars: Fiat Punto, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Seat Ibiza.
C-segment – the most popular and optimal compromise between a cheap and small version of segments A and B and expensive and prestigious limousines. C-segment is the most frequently chosen segment for a comfortable ride with little combustion. It will be perfect both for the city and for longer routes. Examples of C-segment cars: Opel Astra, Ford Focus, Peugeot 308, Kia Ceed, Volkswagen Golf
D-segment – typically family cars with quite significant luggage space, which is larger and more comfortable than in the C-segment; it enables comfortable travel even over long distances, while common accessories, such as dual-zone air conditioning, significantly increase the luxury of use. D-segment cars will prove to be a good choice in the city, but their size may make it difficult to park efficiently, while the size of the engine influences greater combustion. Examples of D-segment cars: Opel Insignia, Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Toyota Avensis
E-segment – commonly referred to as upper-middle segment, with high-performance engines, comfortable, with decent quality suspension and rich accessories, which often include leather seats or DVD players in headrests. The price is adequate to the prestige of the car, that is why E-segment cars are cars for people for whom operating costs do not matter much. Examples of E-segment cars: Audi A6, Honda Legend, Lexus GS, BMW 5
F-segment – luxury cars, typical business limousines with powerful engines and the latest technology. The most important issue in F-segment cars is the comfort of the passenger, who can benefit from many amenities while driving. Examples of F-segment cars: Lexus LS, S-class Mercedes, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series
G-segment – sports cars with low suspension, powerful engine and a streamlined, aggressive silhouette. The most popular representatives of G-segment are: Porsche 911, BMW 6 Series, Maserati Gran Turismo
H-segment – this segment includes convertible vehicles, i.e. models with automatically folding roof. Examples of H-segment cars: Porsche 718 Boxter, Mazda MX-5, Audi TT Roadster
I-segment – off-road vehicles and SUVs of various sizes, with large and powerful engines and suspension with damping properties. These models are designed for use in challenging terrain, which is why they are a popular choice of those who prefer to ride on snow-covered roads, forest tracks and unevenly shaped surfaces. Examples of I-segment cars: Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler
K-segment – vans, which are perfect for a large family because they can easily accommodate all the necessary equipment, including a pram or sports equipment. Spacious vehicles that comfortably carry 5 or more people. Examples of K-segment cars: Seat Alhambra, Opel Zafira, Volkswagen Sharan, Mercedes Vito
Knowledge of car classification is useful not only when buying a vehicle. It is equally important when we want to rent it in a selected car rental company, and the choice must be based on the car segment we are interested in.
What car segments can we find in a car rental?
Everything, of course, depends on the offer of a particular rental company. Renowned and popular car rentals have a large fleet, ranging from low-cost A-segment cars, through luxurious and representative limousines, to family and large cars for transporting more people or for long holiday trips. The best solution is to speak directly with an experienced employee of the selected rental company, who will provide all necessary information and help to choose a car tailored to the current needs of the customer.
Whether you need a car to travel in the urban jungle or as a safe and comfortable means of holiday transport, you will find a model that is optimal and meets all criteria, including the financial one. Thanks to the above range of all car segments, making a good choice will be much easier.