Car classification

As vehicle class refers to a distinct group of motor vehicle models that compete on the shape of its size or price among themselves.

Different classification systems

In Germany, and Europe, widespread and supported by governmental organizations classification systems are:

  • Vehicle segment (European Commission)
  • Vehicle segment ( Federal Motor Transport Authority)
  • EC vehicle classes
  • Vehicle and body types (national ) ( Federal Motor Vehicle Office)
  • Emission classes
  • Types of fuel or energy sources

There are also other class assignments that are not supported by any organization or defined, nonetheless very common. Among the sedans, station wagons and MPVs classification is quite possible since the mentioned properties are closely related. For convertibles and SUVs a distinction between the purchase price and size of the vehicle does not take place. Size, weight and performance are subject to constant growth. Therefore, the vehicle classes during the time frame must be interpreted.

Škoda Octavia, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Avensis, Toyota Prius, Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen Passat

Classes of sedans and station wagons

Among the sedans and station wagons following classification in Europe is common. They largely coincides with the do not match the vehicle segments of the KBA, but this also includes the sports car of that length here. Prices are current market prices in Germany, outliers and niche models are not considered here.

  • Light vehicle
  • City Car
  • Microcars
  • Small cars
  • Compact class
  • Lower middle class
  • Middle class
  • Upper middle class
  • Upper class

Classes of MPVs

For a few years there is a trend to higher passenger cars offer the same footprint considerably more space than corresponding limousines, as the passengers sit upright. Thus, a third row of seats can be partially accommodate. In addition, the height facilitates boarding. The seating position is especially preferred by older people.

Long tradition have the minibuses that are not derived from cars. Since the 1980s, there are the vans with seven seats and in the 1990s, the high-roof station wagons were popular. The terms Microvan, minivan and MPV are younger and not yet clearly defined. They are based on the corresponding classes of sedans, with whom they often share the platform.

  • Microvan
  • Minivan
  • MPV
  • Kompaktvan
  • Van
  • Minibus

Classes of off-road vehicles

  • Soft roader
  • Sports Utility Vehicle ( SUV)
  • SUVs


As a convertible open-top cars in all price ranges are combined. In most cases, a closed counterpart, the price has been designed for higher than corresponding sedan exists. A special subtype is the two -seater roadster, an open sports car.

Sport car

Sports car called two-seater in all price ranges, in some cases also with two rows of seats or auxiliary seats, if they have appropriate handling. They are assigned to the motor vehicle registration statistics of the class of sedans and station wagons. In the breakdown statistics and to the classification by the trade press these vehicles are assigned to a separate class. Subclasses of sports cars:

  • Compact sports car
  • Sports coupe
  • Sport Sedan
  • Sport car
  • Supercar