Vehicle classes explained

The classification of vehicle classes in Germany and Europe

A vehicle class is a defined type in the car sector. Numerous definitions have prevailed, each of which has its own characteristics worldwide, in North America or in the EU. We'll take a look at the divisions here:

The different classification systems in Germany and Europe

There are different classification systems in Germany and in Europe. A distinction is made between the following systems:

  • Types of fuel or energy sources, emission classes
  • Vehicle type and type
  • EC vehicle classes
  • Vehicle segment (Federal Motor Transport Authority)
  • Vehicle segment (European Commission)

In addition, the classification between station wagons, limousines and small cars has become established in Germany and Europe. Most consumers are familiar with this classification and are based on the division between limousines, station wagons, small cars and off-road vehicles.

A distinction is made between the following classes, whereby the first six levels are to be regarded as ascending. The lower the class, the higher the quality is usually:

  • Mini cars
  • small vehicles
  • Middle class (compact class)
  • upper middle class
  • Upper class
  • luxury
  • sports car
  • Minivan

The most successful vehicle class in 2012 was the compact class. The success here is borne by the “compact SUV models”. Their share of the total market has been growing considerably for about 10 years.

The classification of station wagons and sedans

In the area of ​​station wagons and sedans, a distinction is made between the following vehicle segments:

  • light vehicles
  • City Car
  • microcars
  • small car
  • compact class
  • middle class
  • upper middle class
  • Upper class

The classification of people carriers

  • microvan
  • Minivan
  • Leisure activity vehicle
  • Compact van
  • From
  • Kleinbus

The classification of off-road vehicles

The classic off-road vehicle is dying out. The “compact SUV” is taking its place. The subdivision of the vehicle segments is done as follows:

  • soft Roader
  • SUV
  • SUVs

With SUV and soft roaders you have to accept a limitation of the off-road capability. Classic SUVs are superior to SUVs in off-road use.

The classification of sports cars and convertibles

This vehicle class is primarily a two-seater. Some of these representatives still have two emergency seats such as the Audi TT or the Porsche 911. This is identified with the abbreviation 2 + 2 seats.

A distinction is made between the following classes:

  • Hot hatch
  • Sport Coupe
  • Sport sedan
  • sports car
  • Supercar
  • Convertibles, on the other hand, are all vehicles that have an open top. Convertibles are a lot more expensive than a sedan in terms of prices and design, as the body has to be stiffened and the drive unit of the roof is also very expensive. With the convertibles, the only distinction from the classification is the roadster and the sports car.