Get to know car categories by Euro-standard segments

The Philippine market has become accustomed to the North American way cars have been labeled with terms like ‘compact’, ‘subcompact’, ‘mid-size’, etc. Recently, more and more automakers have been classifying vehicles (especially for European and ASEAN markets) with a system called the ‘Euro Car Segment’. In 1999, the European Commission designed a way to categorize automobiles with the use of lettered ‘segments’ in order to streamline models into less classes for better comprehension.


These are usually microcars and city cars that buyers will consider for their first-ever car. In the Philippines, sales for A-segment cars saw significant growth along with a growing middle class. Older models like the Toyota Starlet fall under this category — later joined by the Suzuki Swift, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Chevrolet Spark to name a few.


These subcompacts are cars that are smaller than compact vehicles, but still offer basic four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions. The B-segment includes the Honda City, Toyota Vios, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, and Hyundai Accent.


These compact cars can seat five, while also providing good trunk space. Such features have made the C-segment a popular choice for companies and families. Models like the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and Honda Civic fall under this class.


D-segment cars are mid-size and entry-level luxury models. These vehicles start to get bigger and plusher while receiving more features and equipment. Some D-segments are the Toyota Camry, Subaru Legacy, Mazda6, Honda Accord, and BMW 3-Series.


These executive cars are sedans that boast cruising powers, advanced features, and luxurious interiors. German automakers dominate the E-segment with high-end models like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Audi A6.


The F-segment refers to full-size luxury cars with opulent interiors and formidable horsepower. These included the Lexus LS, Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


This segment concentrates on sporting character and encompasses roadsters, grand tourers, convertibles, and muscle car. Examples range from the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche 911, to the Toyota 86 and Nissan GT-R.


These multi-purpose transport vehicles ferry passengers and cargo. Falling under the M-segment are vans and minivans like the Hyundai Starex and Mercedes V-Class.


4x4s, SUVs, and crossovers reside in the J-segment — a class of cars meant to provide off-road capability to different degrees. The J-segment can refer to city-oriented vehicles like the Chevrolet Trax, Mazda CX-5, and Kia Sorento. While including more competent off-roaders like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Range Rover, mid-size SUVs built around pickup platforms also fall under the J-segment.


Pickup trucks of all sizes are not sorted into a lettered category according to the Euro Car Segment. They stay within their very own classification.

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