Car Model Terms with Definitions

Here are all the car model terms with definitions you will ever need to know.

Cabriolet: Just another slick term for a car with a convertible top.

Classic: A vehicle over 25 years old. Classics are cars made between 25 and 50 years ago.

Convertible: Cars with a removable or retractable top. Convertibles are sometimes called “Ragtops”.

Conversion Van: Vans that are taken from the car lot and then converted into vans with beds, sinks, cabinets, custom wheels and paint jobs, etc.

Coupe: A vehicle with two doors and a hard top. A “Sport Coupe” is generally a two door car with factory options like: a more powerful motor, special pin stripes, air dams, moldings, etc.

Also known as “Custom”. A stock vehicle with lots of after market modifications. Often these cars hardly resemble the car that they originally were. Many cars seen at car shows fall into this category.

Family Sedan: Family sedans have four doors. They are usually referred to as just “Sedans”.

Full-Size Van: Large boxy vehicles used for seating many (up to 12 people). Often used by shuttle services. These vehicles are also available with no rear seating and are used to carry cargo. Dodge, GMC, Chevrolet and Ford make full size passenger and cargo vans.

Like a “Classic” this is a vehicle that is over twenty five years old. Usually historical vehicles are more than fifty years old.

Kit Car: Also referred to as “Replica” cars if they are replicating a vehicle that was or is produced by a car manufacturer. You can assemble yourself as a kit or pay someone else to assemble. They usually have fiberglass bodies and are fitted to the frame of an existing vehicle. Some look like replicas of old cars.

Luxury Sedan: Any four door sedan, large or small, that is loaded with just about every available accessory or option. Usually in the $30,000 plus range and the sky is the limit with how high the cost of these vehicles can be.

Minivan: Just like full size vans but much smaller and usually only used for carrying people. Unlike full size vans, which are built on truck frames, minivans are built on a car frame. The minivan market has been a huge market since started in the mid 80’s. Minivans are now morphing into a combo of the minivan, suv, car and station wagon.

Muscle Car: Sometimes called “Pony Cars” too. Big giant V8 engines with super chargers and special exhaust created these gas-guzzlers that were really fast! Muscle cars reached their epitome in the 1960’s with the advent of the GTO, certain Mustangs, Camaro’s and some Chyrsler models like the Challenger, etc. Unfortunately the “energy crisis” killed this genre of cars.

Pickup Truck: Pickup trucks have gone from being bare boned utility vehicles with zero creature comforts and a rough ride to being extremely comfortable and even luxurious great driving vehicles. You can buy them at whatever option level you choose. They are also the largest selling vehicles in the world. You now have your full sized by Chevy, GMC, Ford and Dodge to mid sized by Dodge, Toyota and Nissan and your small pickup trucks by Toyota, Nissan and the American truck manufacturers too.

Roadsters are small two seat convertible sports cars. Some have removable hard tops too. A car like the Mazda Miata would be considered a roadster.

Sedan: A car with four doors (usually), a hardtop with front and rear seats.

Suv: Also known as “Sport Utility Vehicle” or “Ute”. Everyone now makes a sport utility vehicle. This market started out with the Chevy Suburban back in the 1920’s and then much later came the big one from International Harvester and then the Ford full sized Bronco’s. Their was nothing sporty about them at all. They were strictly for utility purposes until much later and most were four wheel drive. Suv’s are one of the fastest selling vehicles in North America. Aside from the huge Chevy Suburban and Ford Expedition most are sold in the mid sized range with smaller suv’s becoming increasingly popular. Unlike the old Suburbans, they are now extremely comfortable vehicles with every option imaginable available.

Sports Car: Many sports cars are merely sedans with numerous “go fast” options on them. Some functional and some only for looks. They come in all shapes and sizes and every price range too. From a sporty Ford Mustang for $20,000 to a true sports car (in my humble opinion) like an $80,000 Porsche 911 and way way beyond that. Their is pretty much no limit to what you can spend on an exotic sports car.

Station Wagons: These are mostly four door vehicles with the roof extending all the way to the back of the car where your trunk would be. They have one large rear door or two. In North America, this market has been mostly taken over by minivans and suv’s but now their is a morphing of the suv, station wagon and minivan and its getting harder to tell what category these vehicles are in now.

Sub Compact: Smaller than your typical compact car. Most come in two and four doors with either a sedan, hatchback or station wagon configuration. These cars normally have your most fuel efficient engines.

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