Get To Know Your Car Better: A Detailed Guide To Automotive Terms — Car Segments

Cars are beyond just metal and rubber. The world of cars unfolds in a multitude of segments, each representing a unique blend of style, functionality, and purpose. From small and handy hatchbacks to sleek and fancy limousines, each type has its own story. In this week’s edition of automotive terms, we will delve into different segments of cars.

The car world started with a few standard segments of cars. As the trend changed towards compact and eco-friendly cars, the primary segment is now branched into various sub-segments. Before we move ahead with the exciting section of car segments, here is a beginner’s guide to basic terminologies to make you confident in speaking about cars. Now, back to the different segments.


Example: Volkswagen Golf

Hatchbacks are known for their compact size and versatile design. The Ford Fiesta, for instance, combines fuel efficiency with a surprising amount of interior space, making it a popular choice for urban drivers. Hatchbacks are often preferred for their easy manoeuvrability in city traffic.

Sub-segments: Entry-Level Hatchback, Premium Hatchback, 3-door Hatchback, 5-door Hatchback, Hot Hatchback

Check out hatchback cars for sale in the UAE.


Example: Toyota Camry

Sedans, like the Honda Accord, offer a sleek and elegant profile with a separate trunk compartment. The Accord, known for its reliability, is a staple in the sedan segment. Sedans are often chosen for their comfortable and smooth rides on long journeys.

Sub-segments: Entry-Level Sedan, Sub-compact Sedan, Compact Sedan, Mid-Size Sedan, Premium Sedan, Performance Sedan, Luxury Sedan, Long-wheelbase Sedan

Check out sedan cars for sale in the UAE.

SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)

Example: Toyota Land Cruiser 300

Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are designed for versatility, offering a higher driving position, ample cargo space, and often all-wheel-drive capability. SUVs are popular for families and individuals seeking a vehicle capable of handling any terrain that nature could throw at them.

Sub-segments: Sub-compact SUV, Compact SUV, Mid-size SUV, Full-Size SUV, Crossover SUV, Premium SUV, Luxury SUV, Long-wheelbase SUV

Check out SUVs for sale in the UAE.

MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle)

Example: Mitsubishi Xpander

Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) are designed with a focus on spacious interiors and multiple seating rows. They are ideal for larger families or those requiring extra cargo space, providing comfort and practicality. MPVs are often referred to as “people carriers” due to their capacity to accommodate large groups.

Sub-segments: Compact MPV, Midsize MPV, Full-size MPV, Luxury MPV

Check out MPVs for sale in the UAE.


Example: BMW M4 

Coupes are sedans that feature a sleek and stylish design and have two doors. These cars prioritise a sporty appearance and driving experience, sometimes at the expense of rear-seat space.

Sub-segments: Luxury Coupe, Sports Coupe, Grand Tourers

Check out Coupe cars for sale in the UAE.


Example: Mazda MX-5

Convertibles, or cabriolets, have retractable roofs, allowing drivers to experience open-air motoring. They offer a unique driving sensation, making them popular in fair-weather climates.

Sub-segments: Soft-Top Convertibles, Hardtop Convertibles, Targa Top Convertibles

Check out Convertibles for sale in the UAE.


Example: Ford F-150

An open cargo area at the rear characterises pickup trucks. They are designed for hauling and towing, making them popular for work purposes and outdoor activities. Pickups are often favoured for their versatility, serving both work and recreational purposes.

Sub-segments: Single Cab Pickup, Double Cab Pickup, Ute, Heavy-duty Pickup, Premium Pickup

Check out Pickups for sale in the UAE.


Dynamic photo, Colour: Mythos Black metallic

Example: Audi RS6 Avant

Estate cars, also known as station wagons, prioritize extended cargo space. They maintain a similar design to sedans but offer a longer roofline, providing additional storage capacity.

Sub-segments: Compact Estates, Midsize Estates, Full-size Estates, Luxury Estates, Sports Estates


Example: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Limousines are luxurious, often chauffeur-driven cars with spacious interiors and high-end features. They cater to those seeking the utmost in comfort and prestige. 

Sub-segments: Standard Limousine, Luxury Limousine, Stretch Limousine, Exotic Limousine

Sports Car

Example: Porsche 911

Sports cars emphasize high-performance engines, dynamic handling, and a focus on driving pleasure. They often feature aerodynamic designs and are built for speed and agility.


Example: Lamborghini Huracan

Supercars push the boundaries of performance, featuring advanced technology, high horsepower, and exotic designs. They represent the pinnacle of automotive engineering and luxury.


Example: Bugatti Chiron

Hypercars take performance to the extreme, combining cutting-edge technology, aerodynamics, and immense horsepower. They are among the fastest and most exclusive cars on the market.

Track-oriented Cars

Example: Caterham Seven

Track-oriented cars are designed specifically for high-performance driving on race tracks. They often feature aerodynamic enhancements, lightweight materials, and advanced suspension systems. All track-oriented cars might not be road-legal as they might not follow the standard road car rules of design.

Liftback Car

Example: Tesla Model S

The liftback is a type of car body style that combines features of both sedans and hatchbacks. The distinguishing feature of a liftback is its rear door, which is hinged at the roof and opens upwards, providing access to the cargo area. This design allows for a more versatile use of the rear space compared to traditional sedans.

Micro Car

Example: Smart EQ ForTwo

Microcars are ultra-compact vehicles designed for efficient urban mobility. They are ideal for navigating congested city streets and parking in tight spaces. Interestingly, microcars are often chosen for their fuel efficiency and eco-friendly footprint.


Example: Renault Twizy

Quadricycles are small, lightweight vehicles designed for short-distance urban travel. They offer a minimalistic and eco-friendly approach to transportation in urban settings.

From the nimble hatchback to the high-performance hypercar, the world of cars includes a diverse range of segments, each catering to specific preferences and needs. Understanding these segments allows enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike to make informed decisions on their next car purchase.

Here are used cars for sale in the UAE and new cars for sale in the UAE.

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