United Kingdom car database

UK car databaseSmall database:
Make, Model + image SAMPLE .xls

BIG database:
Make, Model, Version + image SAMPLE .xlsx
Make, Model, Version + full specifications SAMPLE .xlsx

FREE updates every 2-3 months for one year!

Coverage: passenger cars sold in United Kingdom from 1980 to present. Businesses from continental Europe are advised to purchase German Car Database, which include also light commercial vehicles.

Demo video to show high level of completion

List of car makes included

Abarth, AC, Aixam, Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Asia, Aston Martin, Audi, Austin, Bentley, BMW, BMW Alpina, Bristol, Cadillac, Caterham, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Coleman Milne, Corvette, Cupra, Dacia, Daewoo, Daihatsu, Daimler, De Tomaso, Dodge, DS, Eagle, Farbio, FBS, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, FSO, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Invicta, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Jensen, Kia, KTM, Lada, Lamborghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Ligier, Lotus, LTI, Marcos, Marlin, Maserati, Maybach, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Benz, MG, MG Motor UK, MIA, Microcar, MINI, Mitsubishi, Morgan, Nissan, Noble, Opel, Perodua, Peugeot, PGO, Polestar, Porsche, PRINDIVILLE, Proton, Reliant, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Rover, Saab, San, SAO, SEAT, Skoda, Smart, SsangYong, Subaru, Suzuki, Talbot, TD Cars, Tesla, Toyota, TVR, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Volvo, Westfield, Yugo.

Data fields included

Naming: Make 100%, Model 100%, Submodel 100%, Version 100%, Date from 100%, Date to 100%.

Costs: New Price 8.18%, Used price range 86.08%, Fuel consumption (mpg) 89.99%, Insurance group 84.51%, Annual road tax 99.68%, Monthly company car tax cost (Basic Rate) 88.66%, Monthly company car tax cost (Higher Rate) 88.66%.

Performance: Power (bhp) 98.77%, Top Speed (mph) 88.53%, 0-60 mph (secs) 88.10%, Torque (Nm / ft-lb) 88.64%, CO2 Emissions (g/km) 88.35%, Euro Emissions Standard 87.05%, Miles Per Tank 86.59%.

Dimensions: Length (mm) 97.04%, Width (mm) 96.69%, Height (mm) 81.35%, Wheelbase (mm) 88.42%, Turning Circle (m) 80.00%, Fuel Capacity (litres) 88.25%, Weight (kg) 83.44%.

Engine: Engine Size (cc) 99.65%, Cylinders 88.55%, Valves 87.56%, Fuel Type 100%, Transmission 100%, Gearbox 93.07%, Drivetrain 100%.

Cabin & Luggage: Doors 99.97%, Seats 90.35%, Luggage Capacity (litres) 72.93%, Unbraked Towing Weight (kg) 65.65%, Braked Towing Weight (kg) 74.05%.

Safety ratings: EuroNCAP Rating 33.27%, EuroNCAP Rating description 33.27%, Adult Occupant 12.25%, Child Occupant 12.25%, Pedestrian 12.25%, Adult Occupant % 19.29%, Child Occupant % 19.29%, Pedestrian % 19.29%, Safety Assist % 19.29%

Bonus: Country of origin 100%, Status (production/discontinued) 100%, Submodel production years 100%, Image URL 100% (you can use Tab Save extension for Chrome to download image JPG files).

Percentages calculated at 7 May 2019 update.


I created this UK car database in January 2019 after multiple people requested me to do this job. For long time I avoided spending additional effort to make an UK car database because I already had the Car Models & Engines Database for whole Europe that has been purchased by many people in UK without problems, and the more detailed German Car Database was not selling well.

But… a small number of people wanted a more detailed database than European one (which have 1 row per body / engine / drivetrain combination, ignoring trims / equipment versions). Some did purchased German one but the ones from UK wanted an UK-specific one. The UK website turned much easier to scrap than originally expected, easier than other German and American websites I have scraped data from. I feel sorry for not creating this UK car database earlier!

List of updates:

2389 models, 80406 versions – 20 January 2019, initial scrap, beta version. 45 columns.
2389 models, 80485 versions – 3 February 2019, re-scraped to fix the incorrect car prices in initial scrap.
2383 models, 81501 versions – 28 March 2019.
2418 models, 81873 versions – 7 May 2019, removed unit of measurement after values, made multiple tables and VLOOKUP formulas in order to add model production years (different than version production years) and image URL from small database into big database, also status (production / discontinued) for purpose of selling a “new cars only” package with discount. 52 columns.
101 makes, 2439 models, 83314 versions – 5 September 2019.
101 makes, 2439 models, 83430 versions – 16 September 2019.
101 makes, 2467 models, 84532 versions – 7 December 2019.
102 makes, 2481 models, 84966 versions – 14 February 2020.

Study: car evolution trends

Who have more photos such as the following ones, showing contrasts between old vs new cars, small vs big cars, please give me link to photo or email me the photo. I love collecting!

1959 Mini vs 2001 Mini Smart vs Maybach

Car length evolution

Car classification in Europe is not officially regulated, instead, it is defined in relative size with other cars.

Today the average lifetime of a car model is 6 years for compact and medium cars and 8 years for mini and luxury cars. Is normal for cars to grow over years, as technology advance and more gadgets should be included under body, but in Europe since 1990s, the cars are growing crazy with about 10-20 cm per model change, which is exaggerate, based on technology evolution, 5 mm per year is enough. This non-natural grow causes companies to abandon large models and introduce new smaller models below existing models.

Some brands do not follow the common class sizes, making cars with intermediate sizes, these are usually considered being part of the smaller class, causing further increase in size of car classes.

Seems that all European companies wants to make a car bigger than competitor’s cars of same class. This leads to 2 cm / year increase in average car length in each class. The cars get fatter also in width, this is an issue for parking design, since in most countries the parking lots are 2.5 m width, most compact cars were under 1.7 m width in 1998 but since 2008 most are over 1.8 m.

Common car classes 1960s to 2010s

During 1950s and 1960s, engine size played a bigger role in classifying cars than car dimensions. Citroën 2CV belong to economy class while Fiat 850 was a superior class despite of smaller size.

During 1970s the cars started being classified by dimensions, compact class (3.8 m, 4.0 m sedans), medium class (4.3 m), large class (4.6 m).

Due to oil crisis, there was a boom of cars smaller than compact class / small family cars around 3.5-3.6 m. Example: Fiat 127 (1971), Audi 50 (1974), Volkswagen Polo (1975), Ford Fiesta (1976), Austin Metro (1980), Talbot Samba (1981), also mini class around 3.3-3.4 m: Peugeot 104 (1972), Citroën LNA (1976), Fiat Panda (1980), Autobianchi / Lancia Y10 (1985).

During 1980s growth in dimensions was very slow. In early 1990s the classes were small class / supermini (3.6-3.7 m), compact class / small family (4.0-4.3 m), medium class / large family (4.3-4.4 m), large class / executive (4.7-4.8 m), luxury class (4.9-5.0 m).

During 1990s and 2000s the cars entered in a rapid growth. Many manufacturers abandoned the executive segment: Ford Scorpio (ended 1998), Rover 800 (ended 1999), Opel Omega (ended 2003), Peugeot 607 (ended 2010), Citroën C6 (ended 2012) and replaced their medium / large family models with a new model that its dimensions are nearer former large class / executive cars rather than medium class / large family cars, further aggravating the growth. No wonder that these cars had poorer sales than their predecessors, since most buyers choose cars based on car size, engine size, price, not based on model name or designated class.

The growth of small class / superminis allowed a boom of a new mini class: Renault Twingo (1993), Ford Ka (1996), Seat Arosa (1996), Volkswagen Lupo (1997), Audi A2 (2000), Opel Agila (2000), Citroën C2 (2003), Citroën C1 (2005), Peugeot 107 (2005). Note: mini class had existed since 1950s with Fiat 500 and british Mini. Most manufacturers introduced at least one model at bottom of range: Audi A3 (1996), Mercedes A-Class (1997), BMW 1-Series (2004), Alfa Romeo Mito (2008), Jaguar X-Type (2001).

Prestige brands like BMW and Mercedes add only 5 cm per model changes, allowing some compact / small family sedans to overtake their medium / large family cars. Example 2005 Volkswagen Jetta V (4554 mm) overtook 2005 BMW 3-series (4531 mm). A4, 3-Series, C-Class started being defined as “compact executive”.

During 2010s the growth in dimensions slowed down. We have mini (3.6 m), supermini (4.0 m), small family (4.3-4.7 m), large family (4.7-4.9 m), compact executive (4.6-4.7 m), executive (4.9-5.0 m), luxury (5.1-5.2 m). Opel Astra K (2015) is even smaller than predecessor, however surprises can appear from the other manufacturers.

MPV and SUV followed same rapid evolution during 1990s and 2000s.

Renault Espace (1984) was the first European MPV (short and tall car with 7 seats), only 4260 mm long. Renault Mégane Scénic (1997) was the first MPV on compact car dimensions, 4134 mm, followed by Fiat Multipla (1998) 3994 mm, then Opel Zafira (1999) the first compact MPV to offer 7 seats, in 4317 mm long. Mini MPVs appeared few year later, Ford Fusion (2002), Opel Meriva (2003), Fiat Idea, Lancia Musa, Renault Modus (2004), all around 4 meters. This pushed up compact MPVs to 4.6 m and original MPVs to 4.8 m by 2010.

Opel Meriva was replaced in 2010 by a new model 25 cm longer, 4288 mm, Fiat 500L Living (2013) 4352 mm is the first European MPV smaller than compact MPV that offer 7 seats, they hardly can be classified as mini MPVs.

Japan produced compact and mini MPVs for long time, even 7-seater mini MPV sold in Asia where people are smaller: Honda Mobillo (2001) 4060 mm, Toyota Sienta (2003) 4100 mm.

Off-road cars are produced since pre-WW2 times but they were not popular except for army use, as most them featuring open body and wooden seats.
The first SUV (vehicle with off-road abilities and comfort of a car) was Range Rover (1970) and it remained the only SUV in Europe for 2 decades. Was followed by Land Rover Discovery (1989), Opel Frontera (1991) and Ford Maverick (1993). Early SUV were offered in 2 wheelbase, with 3 and 5 doors.

Japanese manufacturers had SUVs in lineup since 1980s. During 1990s and 2000s most European manufacturers joined SUV segment and 3 classes have been defined: compact (4.0-4.4 m), medium (4.4-4.6 m), large (4-6-4.8 m). Few so-called “mini SUV” appeared during 2010s: Skoda Yeti (2009) 4223 mm, Opel Mokka (2012) 4278 mm, Fiat 500X (2014) 4248 mm, but they are actually bigger than some compact SUV from 10 years ago.

See also: smallest cars and biggest cars.

Examples of length over-increase

Ford: 1993 Mondeo I (sedan 4556 mm), 2000 Mondeo II (sedan 4731 mm), 2007 Mondeo III (sedan 4844 mm). 29 cm increase in 14 years.

Opel: 2002 Vectra C (sedan 4596 mm, estate 4822 mm) replaced both 1995 Vectra B (sedan 4477 mm, estate 4490 mm) and 1994 Omega B (sedan 4787 mm, estate 4819 mm). 33 cm increase in just 7 years for estate version, being even longer than previous large-class Omega B Caravan.

Obviously the compact-class Ford Focus and Opel Astra were replaced with bigger models to fit the gap to growing medium-class brothers.

The gap between compact/medium cars and large/luxury cars is getting smaller: 2010 Opel Astra Sports Tourer (4698 mm) is just 17 cm shorter than 2009 Mercedes E-Class (4869 mm) which is 2 classes larger.

Opel is the best example of car growing

Opel had a constant lineup of 4 car models during last 40 years, BUT… take a look in this table:

1970s lineup 1990s lineup current lineup
1973 Kadett C – compact car 3922 mm 1993 Corsa B – small car 3741 mm 2007 Agila B – mini car 3740 mm
1970 Ascona A – medium car 4178 mm 1991 Astra F – compact car 4051 mm 2006 Corsa D – small car 3999 mm
1971 Rekord D – large car 4567 mm 1995 Vectra B – medium car 4477 mm 2009 Astra J – compact car 4419 mm
1969 Diplomat B – luxury car 4920 mm 1994 Omega B – large car 4787 mm 2008 Insignia – medium car 4830 mm

Once known for low-cost cars like Kadett and Ascona, the last Astra and Insignia models are LARGEST models in their class. Same for Meriva and Antara. Surprisingly, 2014 Opel Corsa E gained just 30 mm while 2015 Opel Astra K is even smaller than predecessor.

Opel Rekord vs Vectra vs Astra


Japanese car evolution is more stable, they do not increase cars so crazy, also they do not install bigger engines than necessary.

Solution: Europe should urgently implement a tax system similar with Japanese one, taxes depending not only by engine size but also by car size. This would make manufacturers to stick under some size limits…

Volkswagen Golf evolution Mercedes S-Class evolutionBMW 5-Series evolution

European car classification

50 years ago the european car classes were: small (3.5 m), compact (3.8 m), medium (4.1 m), large (4.5 m), luxury (4.8 m).
Today main car classes are: mini (3.6 m), small (4.0 m), compact (4.3 m), medium (4.7 m), large (4.9 m), luxury (5.1 m).

If this stupid trend continue, how do we classify the cars in the year 2050? Probably nano (3.5 m), micro (4.0 m), mini (4.5 m), small (5.0 m), compact cars were equivalent of today’s Maybach, while medium-class cars were definitely dead!!

With other words, in 1960s most cars were the “medium” ones, being 4 meter in length, in 1990s “compact” cars became common, being again 4 meters in length, in 2010s “small” cars enjoy growing popularity, having the same length of 4 meters.

Also, what the fuck are the crazy supersport engines on regular cars? Example: 2008 Audi RS6 with 580 horsepower. Most today cars, even in their base model, can reach max speed over 200 kmph, while most today highways have speed limit up to 130 kmph. Also who needs to reach 100 kmph in under 5 seconds?

American car classification

American classification is different. Do not confuse American compact-size with German compact cars (British small family cars), is just a coincidence that today they have same size. American mid-size imported in Europe are long like german large cars (british Executive cars) but priced like german medium cars (British large family cars), American full-size equals the length of European luxury cars but they are just big and cheap.

American cars were even bigger until 1973 oil crisis. If in Europe everything was growing, the American cars had successive downsizing starting from 1977 to 1990s.

1957 Fiat 500 vs 2007 Fiat Nuova 500 Mercedes E-Class evolution Porsche 356 and 911 evolutionCar badges compilation


Car engines evolution

First, some basic notions of physics:

Horsepower is never measured, instead the torque is measured at various rpm then horsepower is calculated from torque.

Torque value in Nm x rpm / 7024 = power value in PS. Do note that numerical values of max power and max torque given in car manuals are not directly related because at the rpm of max power, torque is lower than its max value.

Top speed is proportional to square root of engine power, and also depends by area of car viewed from front.

Acceleration is related with engine power but also with mass. A loaded car will have same top speed like an empty car, but require longer distance to accelerate and reach top speed.

A car with two engines, gasoline and diesel, having same max power but the diesel one have more torque, is likely to have same top speed but the diesel one will accelerate slower because diesel engines are often heavier. Actual performance figures depend also by gearbox.

Most gasoline engines run at 5000-6000 rpm, and their torque numerical value in Nm to be 1.2-1.3x the numerical value of power in PS, Ferrari engines which run at 8000+ rpm have less Nm than PS. Diesel engines always have less horsepower / litre than gasoline engines because they run slower (about 4000 rpm), making torque numerical value in Nm to be more than double of numerical value in PS.

Engine comparison
Image source: http://www.competition-car-engineering.com/PvTquiz.htm, also explaining torque-power relation.

Catalytic converters, appeared for first time in 1973, for cars produced or imported in USA, because in 1974 US EPA imposed limits of exhaust emissions. European car manufacturers introduced catalytic converters in 1985. Cars without catalytic converters were produced until 1988 in Germany and 1990 in rest of Western Europe. Japan don’t know when introduced but in 1985 they already had catalytic converters for most domestic cars. They are meant to reduce pollution, but they also reduce engine torque and power and increase fuel consumption, this also introduced fuel injections for mainstream cars, which counter-balance the loss of power, however the sport cars which were already fuel injected have lost about 10% of power.

In the above article we discussed primarily growing of car length, but they grow also in width and height, making frontal area larger thus require more powerful engines to maintain the speed.

Comparison of base engines:
Opel Astra F in 1991 (1.4 litres, 60 PS, 160 kmph, 16.5 s 0-100 kmph)
Opel Astra J in 2010 (1.4 litres, 87 PS, 168 kmph, 15.1 s 0-100 kmph)
45% more power but almost same performance figures, due to increase in car width, height, and weight.

During 1970s to 1990s, most gasoline engines had 50-60 PS / litre, thus bigger and bigger engines were installed in small cars. For example Golf III in 1991 was the first compact car with V6 engine (2.8 litres, 174 PS). Mercedes C 43 AMG was in 1997 the first medium car with V8 engine (4.3 litres, 306 PS), it was followed by Volkswagen Passat W8 in 2001 (4.0 litres, 275 PS).

Other manufacturers choose to use a turbocompressor for top-range model instead of bigger engine. Interestingly Mercedes in 2004 replaced C 32 AMG (3.2 litres turbo, 354 PS) with C 55 AMG (5.5 litres non-turbo, 367 PS). What was the reason?

Since 1990s attempt to increase power per litre was used instead of increasing engine size. 4-valve per cylinder raise power with about 10% compared with 2-valve per cylinder engines, they became common since 1990s, but few manufacturers such as Volkswagen continue to produce 2-valves per cylinder even in 2010s.

From 1970s to 1990s. Diesel engines are about 25-35 PS / litre while turbodiesel around 35-50 PS / litre.

First turbodiesel car was Peugeot 604 in 1978 (2.3 litres, 80 PS).

Direct injection in diesel engines was introduced by Audi 100 in 1989 (2.5 litres, 120 PS), it helped popularity of turbochargers and caused extinction of naturally-aspired diesel engines in early 2000s. Turbodiesel entered in a rapid evolution, from 60 PS / litre in 1990s to over 100 PS / litre: BMW 335d in 2013 (3.0 litres, 313 PS).

Direct injection in gasoline engines was introduced by Mitsubishi in 1999 for multiple models, followed by Volkswagen in 2002, however it did not became common until 2010s, when together with turbochargers, helped achieving power over 100 PS per litre, allowing even 4.8-meter long cars like Ford Mondeo to be powered by tiny 1.0 litres engines. V6 engines disappeared from compact cars and even from medium cars except for premium brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes. Saab and Volvo were the first manufacturers to stop producing naturally-aspired engines. Even the highly popular Porsche 911 Carrera will go turbo in 2016!

Car evolution records

Mercedes hold most records, especially in engines:

Most models produced at same time (17 models as 2014):
A, B, CLA, C, E, CLS, S, V, SLK, SL, SLS, G, GLA, GLK, ML, GL, R.

Most engine options at same time in one model: (E-Class)
10 engines as 1997: 200, 240, 280, 320, 430, 55 AMG, 220 Diesel, 290 Turbodiesel, 300 Diesel, 300 Turbodiesel.
10 engines as 2003: 200 Kompressor, 240, 320, 500, 55 AMG, 200 CDI, 220 CDI, 270 CDI, 320 CDI, 400 CDI.
11 engines as 2011: 200, 250, 300, 350, 500, 63 AMG, 200 CDI, 220 CDI, 250 CDI, 300 CDI, 350 BlueTec.

Largest engines:
In a medium car: C 55 AMG, (5.5 litres).
In a large car: C 63 AMG, (6.2 litres).

Smallest engine in a large car:
E200 Kompressor, from 2003 to present (1.8 litres), all other large cars starts at 2.0 litres.

Most underpowered diesel engines during 1980s and 1990s:
W124 D until 1985 (2.0 litres, 60 PS, 135 kmph), 45% less power than base gasoline engine (109 PS)
W124 200 TD / E200 Diesel T until 1995 (2.0 litres, 75 PS, 150 kmph), 45% less power than base gasoline engine (136 PS).
Even VW Golf III base engine in 1991 had higher top speed (1.4 litres, 60 PS, 157 kmph). At other brands, base diesel engine is max 10-15% less power than base gasoline engine.

Mercedes hold also the record of smallest car in modern world (if we include Smart) and longest car in modern world (if we include Maybach), note that in 1970s some americans cars were longer.

Car Models List & Timeline

The original version of Car Models List in .DOC format, started in 2003. It dates back from the childhood hobby for writing book-style printer-friendly documents in Word (although I never printed it and I guess that nobody will do this).

This file is intended for READING only. If you are web developer you are advised to purchase Car Models list in XLS format, easily to dump into a MySQL database, it does cost few $ because web developers are supposed to make profit. If you really do not want to pay $ for Excel version and prefer this FREE Word version, please inform me how many hours you spent to make this .DOC ready to be dumped in MySQL.

2003-2014 editions vs 2015 edition
Now it is black & white, printer-friendly (although I believe that nobody will want to print this)
Car Models List Car Models List


Buy FULL file:

Coverage: all cars produced in Europe, all cars and trucks produced in America, and all cars produced in Asia for European market. Due to difficulties about multi-market model lineups, the Car Models List .DOC is NOT COMPLETE for cars produced in Asia for domestic market or for American market, instead the Car Models List Worldwide .XLS is complete, and include regular updates.

Since its launch in December 2012, although I keep adding new models in the .DOC at random times of year and launch a new edition each year, I never checked the .DOC version against Excel version to guarantee completion. Also over time when I found errors I corrected them only in Excel version.

List of updates:
2011 edition: 65 brands on 70 pages. 195 KB file.
June 2012 edition: 75 brands on 80 pages, 266 KB file.
November 2012 edition: 88 brands on ? pages, ? KB file
March 2014 edition: 119 brands on 100 pages, 267 KB file.
May 2015 edition: 138 brands on 62 pages, 421 KB file. First change of format in its 12-year history. Previous editions had each brand starting on a new page (except about 20 minor brands which were showed on the last 4 pages of file), this caused many pages to be mostly white with few row of text at top… the 2015 edition have entire list of models on 2 columns with NO page breaks, this provide a constant amount of text on every page. Added an empty low below class too, not just above, to make the text better spaced apart.

Car Models Timeline

Same vehicles like in Car Models List but displayed in an easy-to-visualize timeline chart.
The Car Models Timeline exclude brands with less than 2 continuous model lines.


Buy FULL file:

Started in 2003.
June 2012 edition: 69 brands included.
March 2014 edition: 86 brand included, 547 KB file.
May 2015 edition: 97 brands included, 595 KB file.

More details & change log.

Don’t have 1 EURO? I can give you for FREE… just contact me!

In 2013 the Car Models List & Timeline were downloadable in full version via a plain link.

In 2014 the Car Models List & Timeline were posted in Simple eCommerce’s plugin product grid at €0.00 price but since the plugin is for paid downloads only, you still had to go through PayPal checkout and do a null payment, so I posted also a SAMPLE file and a message “Contact me if you want this, I will email you for FREE“, in one year, 3 people contacted me for Car Models Timeline and 1 for Car Models List.

In May 2015 I replaced Simple eCommerce plugin with Easy Digital Downloads which allow FREE downloads so the Car Models List & Timeline could be purchased for FREE via Add to cart.

I hoped they will help raising sales of paid products, because not everyone trust that will get download link automatically by email. Contrary happened: by August 2015 about 50 people have purchased the FREE products and only 1 purchased the paid product Car Models List in Excel afterwards. Also people who purchased PAID products, purchased directly without doing a test purchase of a FREE product.

I realized that leaving these products FREE reduce the sales of PAID products. This is why in September I set the price at ONE EURO. Anyone who want them for FREE can contact me.

I sent emails like the following example, to about 10 of customers who purchased them, without getting a single reply!

Hi there!
I see that you purchased Car Models List and Car Models Timeline on 25 july 2015….
I need your feedback to decide I should continue offering these products for FREE
In May 2015 I changed website plugin to one that allow free downloads, the idea was people that do not trust the automatic delivery system to do a TEST purchase of a free product, then purchase the actual database they are needing, hoping to increase sales. But contrary happened, sales felt down since May. I done a lot of changes last 2 months but still did not succeeded to bring sale volume to previous level. Maybe offering too much for free is the reason?
I see that you opened the SAMPLE files of Year-Make-Model, Car Models Database, Car Models & Engines, etc…. but didn’t purchased any of them after purchasing the free products.
Are these two free products really satisfying you thus you don’t need to purchase the paid products? Or you were disappointed by the free products thus didn’t returned to purchase more? Or you purchased just because saw them FREE and you were not really interested in them, probably you deleted them afterwards?

Future updates

During whole year of 2016:
Car Models List DOC got 4 people buying at 1 euro plus 1 asking to be given for FREE
Car Models Timeline XLS got 7 people buying at 1 euro plus 2 asking to be given for FREE.
Meantime the Excel version of Car Models List got 50 people buying at 24-45 euro.

I offer updates to all databases that cost 10 euro or more. To turn the above ones into regularly updated products I should increase the price, but as you can see even when they can be given free, not many people bother asking for them. It’s pretty obvious that the Car Models List DOC and Car Models Timeline XLS are useless products.

Does not worth my effort to update them anymore! I will focus on the other databases that gets more sales.

Car Length Evolution

PDF chart with 640 most common car models from Europe since WW2 to present. Took 10 hours to write each car model at correct position in the chart, based by year of launch and length in millimeters, using AutoCAD then exported as PDF, I leave it for FREE download… useful for garage builders and students or hobbyists researching the car evolution.

I made it in April 2013, after I was contacted by an architect, interested in “average car length”, for an automated parking system.

Current version contains only cars produced in Europe and focus on hatchback, saloon, estate, coupe, cabriolet, etc, excluding MPV, SUV, etc, as their length are within range of regular cars (no SUV sold in Europe is longer than Mercedes S-Class). Also it do not contains Asian imports because they offer a small range of cars within middle range of European cars, or American imports because are too rare in Europe. Adding too many cars would make names overlapping and the PDF chart would be harder to read. If you want ALL car models sold in Europe you can buy Car Models Database.

Updated November 2014.
Further updates will be done when someone request updates.

Car Length Evolution

Car Models Encyclopedia

Download SAMPLE:
Car Models Encyclopedia.DOC (sample showing BMW and Dacia)

Buy FULL encyclopedia (all makes):

2005-2012 original format vs 2013 improved format
Like a book but optimized for on-screen display, the colors make it NOT printer-friendly.

2015 edition
Black & white, now it is printer-friendly (although I believe that nobody will want to print this)

You may ask WTF is this… in the era of Excel and SQL databases.

Car Models Encyclopedia contains external car dimensions (length, width, height, wheelbase), weight, cargo space, and list of engines (displacement and horsepower). Each piece of text (Make titles, Model titles, Car class, Body text, etc) is a separate style in Word, easy to manipulate the appearance, changing formatting of one row will change all the rows in entire file.

It can be compared with the info boxes seen on Wikipedia in each car model page (this is a coincidence, when I started my own encyclopedia I did not had internet access and did not knew Wikipedia). It dates back from the childhood hobby for writing books in Word (although it was optimized for on-screen viewing).

Coverage: 1945-present with 99% completion for 1980s-present, for worldwide cars sold in European market (and few bonus cars not imported in Europe). See the list of manufacturers included.

Development history

In 2001-2003 I wrote an encyclopedia in Word with 2-4 pages per car model.

In 2003 I had Car Models List and The BIG Car Database. Two new files were started around 2005, Car Database List.DOC (sorted by manufacturer) and Car Database Timeline.XLS (sorted by class and year, for purpose of comparing how cars evolved in dimensions over last 60 years). Originally containing ONLY European cars, were posted on website in 2011, given for free.

I invested great efforts to add non-European cars in April 2012 and put on sale both files as one package.

The Word file was the “base”, being complete with all vehicles produced (1100 models counted), including every dimension change, having each car written in a standard format, 4-10 models per page, somewhat successor of an early encyclopedia done in 2001-2003 with one model spread on 2-4 pages, which was a MESS without a standard format.

The Excel had only the vehicles with dimensions available (~950 models estimated), it showed dimensions of original model launch, omitting possible dimension changes at various facelifts, to be clean-looking.

The package got several sales during 2012, when I noticed that the customers are companies buying the package for Excel tables rather than for reading Word documents.

In December 2012 I re-sorted the .XLS version alphabetically by manufacturer and added all vehicles from .DOC, even those with no dimensions available, making .XLS COMPLETE but messy-looking with some missing data in case of old cars (car specs for pre-1990 models are hard to find – don’t worry, over time I will find them and complete the empty fields).

I updated the .DOC too, until January 2013, reaching 1220 car models (same like in .XLS version as Jan 2013) on 160-page file… when I started questioning what is the purpose of a database in .DOC format?
Probably automobile enthusiasts may appreciate this Word encyclopedia, but the audience of website turned to be programmers and other professionals and not hobbyists.

The Excel version was named Car Models Database (or Car Body Specs Database between April-October 2013).
The Word version is now sold separately under name Car Models Encyclopedia at HALF PRICE.

In July 2013 I redesigned the encyclopedia, now each piece of data is on separate row, instead of original in-line paragraphs to save space on screen. The 160 pages became instantly 260 pages, 2-6 models per page.
A slow updating was started, and in October 2013 I released new version with 1430 car models on 320-page file.

One person complained that this .DOC is hard to read. Meantime many website visitors complained that the website itself is crowded, cluttered, etc, suggesting to split website paragraphs into smaller pieces and add additional spaces around. So I applied their suggestion for Car Encyclopedia too. Maybe the problem “hard to read” was not for being .DOC, but due to the style of writing data in in-line paragraphs?

I posted Word encyclopedia separately from Excel database, and resumed updating, exceeding 1500+ car models in late 2013, when I stopped because 1 year passed without any sale. I will concentrate on Excel files which generate sales constantly.

In May 2015 I done a 10-minute aesthetic change of Word file to align it with my new style of books.

Someone purchased encyclopedia in 2015 and another one in 2016, none of them answering when I emailed asking how they use this Word file.

Updates are ON HOLD until someone give me an actual use of this Word encyclopedia.

What use would have this Word encyclopedia?

In December 2012 I was thinking convert the above Word file into a web-based car encyclopedia, a blog with 1500+ posts, completed with car photos, tags by car classes, allowing filter and search. But soon after this customers told me that good websites store data in MySQL database, and allow car comparisons, reviews, etc, NOT blog-style posts, so I abandoned the idea of making a car blog, and making a MySQL-based website exceed my abilities, hiring developers cost money, how I can recover investment?

In 2013 I was thinking to sell the encyclopedia as e-book in PDF format, completed with images, but adding 1500+ images will make the file very big… is anyone willing to purchase such thing?


Do I should maintain Car Models Encyclopedia in Word?

Keep updating, I am interested to purchase a .DOC or .PDF for reading.
Stop wasting time updating a .DOC, nobody will ever pay even $1 for a Word file, you offer “Car Models Database” in Excel format with approximately same data, we can buy .XLS one.
I am interested in this .DOC but it should be provided FREE, for people to read / consult the car dimensions and engines available, while web developers can PAY for the .XLS table (note: free stuff will be updated once per year instead of every month like paid stuff).
Please Specify:

Poll Maker

See also: results of the old poll (9 votes 2013-2014)

Carmakers produce too many models?

The number of models produced by each car manufacturer increased over years, modular platforms allow car markers to produce a large number of models with little cost, creating new niches to cater different types of buyers. But is this really necessary? How long this trend can continue until they realize that have too many models?

A funny text from jalopnik.com: If you make a saloon on a platform, and a wagon on a platform, why not make a crossover? Why not make a slightly sportier version of that crossover? Why not make a really sporty version of that crossover? Why not make a coupé version of that crossover? Why not make a slightly sporty version of that coupé version of that crossover based on the saloon? Why not make a really sporty version of the slightly sporty version of that coupé version of that crossover based on the saloon?

Too many niches?

During 1960s and 1970s, Fiat was the manufacturer with largest lineup of models, ranging from the mini Fiat 500 to the large Fiat 130, plus a lot of coupé and spider models. Presently, the premium German automakers, Mercedes and BMW are fighting each other to have the largest lineup of models. Japanese automakers, especially Toyota, also produce a large number of models, but they form separate lineups for each region of the world.

Mercedes introduced A-Class in 1997, a very small and tall car, then introduced B-Class in 2005 as compact tall hatchback, however the 3rd generation A-Class introduced in 2012 became 454 mm longer and 160 mm longer, making it a regular hatchback, while B-Class remains a tall hatchback, additionally introduced CLA and GLA in 2013, making Mercedes to have 4 models in compact segment. Was this really necessary?

Off-road cars are produced since pre-WW2 times but they were not popular except for army use, as most them featuring open body and wooden seats. The first SUV (vehicle with off-road abilities and comfort of a car) was Range Rover (1970) and it remained the only SUV in Europe for 2 decades. Was followed by Land Rover Discovery (1989), Opel Frontera (1991) and Ford Maverick (1993). Number of SUV models increased dramatically after 2000. BMW having 4 SUV and crossovers in the year 2009.

BMW introduced the first crossover, SUV with coupé-style roof, X6 in 2006, followed by a coupé-style liftback, 5 Gran Turismo in 2009. Audi joined the niche with A7 Sportback in 2010. Mercedes joined the niche with GLE Coupé in 2015.

Mercedes introduced first sporty saloon, or 4-door coupé, CLS in 2004, also added an estate version, CLS Shooting Brake in 2012.

How many models and niches they have now? See in the following table, showing years they covered each niche.

Class Mercedes BMW Audi
Niches covered 32 29 23
Small hatchback A-Class (1997-2012) A2 (2000-2005)
A1 (2010-)
Compact hatchback A-Class (2012-) 1-Series (2004-) A3 (1996-)
Compact saloon CLA-Class (2013-) A3 Limousine (2013-)
Compact estate CLA-Class Shooting Brake (2015-)
Compact coupé 1-Series Coupé (2007-2014)
2-Series Coupé (2014-)
Compact cabrio 1-Series Cabrio (2008-2014)
2-Series Cabrio (2015-)
A3 Cabriolet (2008-)
Medium hatchback C-Class Sportcoupé (2001-2008)
CLC-Class (2008-2011)
3-Series Compact (1994-2005)
Medium saloon 190 (1982-1993)
C-Class (1993-)
3-Series (1983-) 80 (1972-1994)
90 (1984-1991)
A4 (1994-)
Medium estate C-Class T (1996-) 3-Series touring (1987-) 80 Avant (1992-1995)
A4 Avant (1995-)
Medium estate bulky A4 Allroad (2010-)
Medium coupé C-Class Coupé (2011-) 3-Series Coupé (1975-2013)
4-Series Coupé (2013-)
Coupé (1980-1996)
A5 Coupé (2007-)
Medium cabrio C-Class Cabriolet (2015-) 3-Series Cabrio (1978-2014)
4-Series Cabrio (2014-)
Cabrio 1993-2001)
A4 Cabrio (2002-2009)
A5 Cabrio (2009-)
Medium liftback 3-Series GT (2013-) A5 Sportback (2009-)
Medium sporty saloon 4-Series Gran Coupé (2014-)
Medium sporty estate
Large saloon E (1960s-1993)
E-Class (1993-)
5-Series (1972-) 100 (1968-1994)
200 (1979-1991)
A6 1994-)
Large estate TE (1960s)
E Class T (1993-)
5-Series touring (1991-) 100 Avant (1977-1994)
A6 Avant (1994-)
Large estate bulky A6 Allroad (2000-)
Large coupé CE (1960s)
CLK-Class (1997-2009)
E-Class Coupé (2009-)
6-Series (1975-1989 2003-) 100 Coupé (1968-1976)
Large cabrio CE (1960s)
CLK-Cabrio (1998-2009)
E-Class Cabrio (2010-)
6-Series Cabrio (2004-)
Large liftback 5-Series GT (2009-) A7 Sportback (2010-)
Large sporty saloon CLS-Class (2004-) 6-Series Gran Coupé (2012-)
Large sporty estate CLS-Class Shooting Brake (2012-)
Luxury saloon SE/SEL (1960s-1993)
S-Class (1993-)
7-Series (1977-) V8 (1988-1993)
A8 (1994-)
Luxury coupé SEC (1981-1993)
S-Class Coupé (1993-1996)
CL-Class (1996-2014)
S-Class Coupé (2014-)
8-Series (1989-1999)
Luxury cabrio S-Class Cabrio (upcoming)
Superluxury saloon 600 (1963-1981)
Maybach 57 & 62 (2002-2013)
Maybach S-Class (2015-)
Leisure activity vehicle Vaneo (2001-2005)
Citan Tourer (2012-)
Compact MPV 5-seat B-Class (2005-) 2-Series Active Tourer (2014-)
Compact MPV 7-seat 2-Series Gran Tourer (2015-)
Large MPV V-Class (1996-2003)
Viano (2003-2014)
Sport compact coupé Z1 (1989-1991)
Z3 (1996-2002)
Z4 (2002-)
TT (1998-)
Sport compact roadster SLK-Class (1996-) TT (1990-)
Sport car SL (1954-) M1 (1978-1981)
Z8 (2000-2003)
R8 (2007-)
Supercar SLR McLaren (2013-2010)
SLS AMG (2010-)
Off-road vehicle G-Wagen (1979-1993)
G-Class (1993-)
Small SUV Q2 (2016-)
Small crossover
Compact SUV X1 (2009-) Q3 (2011-)
Compact crossover GLA-Class (2013-) X2 (upcoming)
Medium SUV GLK-Class (2008-2015)
GLC-Class (2015-)
X3 (2003-) Q5 (2008-)
Medium crossover GLC-Class Coupé (2016-) X4 (2014-)
Large SUV M-Class (1997-2015)
GLE-Class (2015-)
X5 (2000-)
Large crossover GLE-Class Coupé (2015-) X6 (2008-)
Luxury SUV GL-Class (2006-) X7 (upcoming) Q7 (2006-)
Luxury crossover R-Class (2005-2013)

Too many engine options?

Beside having too many models and body styles, we have also too many engine options and other versions. For example: Porsche 911 in its 964 generation offered 7 versions: Carrera Coupe, Cabrio, Targa, each rear wheel drive and all wheel drive, plus Turbo model. Presently Porsche 911 is offered in versions like Carrera, Carrera S, Carrera GTS, Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, GT2.

Mercedes E-Class holds the record of most engine options at same time in one model:
10 engines as 1997: 200, 240, 280, 320, 430, 55 AMG, 220 Diesel, 290 Turbodiesel, 300 Diesel, 300 Turbodiesel.
10 engines as 2003: 200 Kompressor, 240, 320, 500, 55 AMG, 200 CDI, 220 CDI, 270 CDI, 320 CDI, 400 CDI.
11 engines as 2011: 200, 250, 300, 350, 500, 63 AMG, 200 CDI, 220 CDI, 250 CDI, 300 CDI, 350 BlueTec.

Majority of them are offered rear wheel drive and all wheel drive, and further divided into trims like Comfort, Elegance, Avantgarde.

Smallest cars

I am concerned about car dimensions that grow over years, getting too big for our garages, I was always fascinated by small and basic cars, can such cars be produced in today world? This article shows the smallest cars with 4 seats.

See also: biggest cars

BMW 600

BMW 600Shortly after World War II, many small cars appeared in the European market. BMW 600, featuring rear engine and frontal access door from 2-seater Isetta bubble car, managed to make a 4-seat car shorter than Fiat 500 and Mini.

Production: 1957-1959, 34,813 units built according Wikipedia.
Engine: 0.6 litres L2 (19.5 PS), top speed 100 kmph.
Dimensions: length 2900 mm, width 1400 mm, height 1375 mm (cube 5.583 m³), wheelbase 1700 mm, weight 515 kg.


Fiat 500

Fiat 500Fiat 500 was the smallest car ever produced after World War II (as cube dimensions), although not the shortest.

Production: 1957-1975, 3,893,294 units built according Wikipedia.
Engine: 479 cc, 499 cc, 594 cc.
Dimensions: length 2970 mm, width 1320 mm, height 1320 mm (cube 5.175 m³), wheelbase 1840 mm, weight 500 kg.




MiniThe british Mini was the only 4-seats car under 3.2 meter length that remained in production until end of 20th century… thanks to conservative British population. The new Mini made by BMW in 2001 is 60 cm longer.

Production: 1959-2000, over 5 million units built according Wikipedia.
Engine: 0.85 – 1.3 litres L4.
Dimensions: length 3054 mm, width 1397 mm, height 1346 mm (cube 5.743 m³), wheelbase 2036 mm, weight 617-686 kg.


Dacia Lăstun

Dacia LastunTotally unknown by rest of world, Romania have produced Lastun, the shortest conventional 4-seat car in the world post-WW2 history, even shorter than Fiat 500 (except Isetta’s unconventional styling). Nicolae Ceauşescu attempted to create a very basic car that any Romanian can afford. After 1989 fall of communism, a prototype of a longer and improved Lastun was presented, but project was scrapped and car production was suspended due to very low quality.

My family owned a Lastun during 1990s, it was the only car we could afford in ravaged Romanian economy after 1989 fall of communism.

Production: 1988-1991, 6532 units according Wikipedia, 1985-1992 according other sources.
Engine: 0.5 litres L2 (22.5 PS), top speed 106 kmph.
Dimensions: length 2950 mm, width 1410 mm, height 1352 mm (cube 5.624 m³), wheelbase 1915 mm, weight 590 kg.

Lada Oka (VAZ-1111)

Lada Oka (VAZ-1111)Don’t know if inspired by Romanian Lastun, or by Fiat Panda or Uno, USSR’s Kamaz factory launched a car in similar size and similar design in 1987, sold also under name Lada Oka. Surprisingly it remained in production until 2008. An electric version was also produced in 1989-1998 at special-order basis.

Production: 1987/1988-2008/2009, about 700,000 units built according Wikipedia.
Engine: 649 cc B2 (29 PS), 750 cc L2 (33 PS), 996 cc L3 (50 PS).
Dimensions: length 3200 mm, width 1420 mm, height 1400 mm (cube 6.362 m³), wheelbase 2180 mm, weight 645 kg.

Shuanghuan Noble

Tata NanoShuanghuan Noble is a Chinese car sold in various European and Asian countries, it has generated controversies due to its similar styling to that of the Smart Fortwo, despite that it offer seating for 4 passengers. The rear seats provide enough room for two adults with plenty of space for their knees, although the low roof-line restricts headroom significantly. The rear seats can fold down to reveal a flat loading space, which otherwise is negligible. A full size spare wheel is housed under the rear seats. An electric version is sold under name Wheego Whip.

Production: 2004-2016.
Engine: 1.1 litrers L2 (68 PS).
Dimensions: length 3010 mm, width 1605 mm, height 1600 mm (cube 7.730 m³), wheelbase 2025 mm, weight 875 kg.

Tata Nano

Tata NanoThe Indian Tata Nano is not just a small car but also the cheapest car in the world. at initial launch it was only $1,500 USD. A very basic car to keep costs low, the rear engine is accessible only via interior as the car does not have tailgate.

Production: 2008-2018, production stopped due to poor market demand.
Engine: 624 cc L2 (38 PS).
Dimensions: length 3099 mm, width 1495 mm, height 1652 mm (cube 7.654 m³), wheelbase 2230 mm, weight 600-635 kg.


Toyota iQ

Toyota iQA very big surprise to see a 4-seat car with less than 3 meters in the 21th century. Toyota iQ looks from outside like the 2-seat Smart but it does have 4 seats. Actually 3+1 seats because the seat behind driver do not have space for an adult. The car do not have any cargo space.

Production: 2008-2015.
Engine: 1.0 litres L3 (68 PS), 1.3 litres L4 (98 PS), 1.4 litres diesel L4 (90 PS), top speed 150-170 kmph.
Dimensions: length 2985 mm, width 1680 mm, height 1500 mm (cube 7.522 m³), wheelbase 2000 mm, weight 860 kg.

Biggest cars

If you are an architect and designing parking garages you may ask how big are the biggest cars. Biggest mass-produced cars are today in 5.1-5.3 meters range, such as Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS, Mercedes S-Class. However, there are few even bigger cars produced in low numbers, some over 6 meters long, they are listed in this article.

See also: smallest cars

Bugatti Royale

Cadillac FleetwoodBugatti Royale hold several automobile superlatives, longest wheelbase in history, longest length for a car with just 2 rows of seats, and biggest engine in history: 12.8 litres straight-8 engine. Ettore Bugatti planned to build 25 cars, but due to 1930 Great Depression, Bugatti was able to sell only three of the six made.

Production: 1927-1933, only 6 units built.
Dimensions: length ~6400 mm, wheelbase ~4300 mm.


Cadillac Series 70-75

Cadillac FleetwoodSince 1960s to 1973 oil crisis, American full-size cars were in average 5.6-5.7 meters, but one car was much longer than others: Cadillac Series 70-75, being longest car in history with only 2 rows of seats.

Production: Model Year 1936-1984.
Dimensions: length 6404 mm (1974-1976 models), width 2027 mm, height 1443 mm.


Checker Aerobus

Checker AerobusOne of the weirdest cars in the world, Checker Aerobus was offered as 6-door and 8-door sedan and wagon.

Production: Model Year 1962-1977.
Dimensions: length 6852 mm (8-door variant), width 1930 mm, height 1581 mm, wheelbase 4801 mm.



Mercedes 600 Pullman

Cadillac FleetwoodMaybach did had a predecessor, Mercedes 600 was during 1960s and 1970s longest car produced in Europe, the 7-seat Pullman version was even longer than Maybach 62 from 2002-2012.

Production: 1963-1981, 2677 units built (short and long wheelbase).
Dimensions: length 6240 mm (long-wheelbase Pullman), width 1950 mm, height 1510 mm, wheelbase 3900 mm.

7-seat Pullman were also produced on W140 and W220 models, based on special orders for governments. Since the car is not available to purchase for public, exact dimensions are not known.

ZIL 4104

ZIL 4014U.S.S.R. also produced one of the longest cars in the world, a limousine for communist government elite, ZIL 4014, with its 7-seat variant ZIL 41047.

Production: 1985-2002, 234 units produced.
Dimensions: length 6339 mm, width 2086 mm, height 1500 mm, wheelbase 3880 mm.

Another Russian car over 6 meters length is GAZ Chaika, for lower-ranked government members.


Maybach 62

Maybach 62Mercedes returned in 2002 with a car that had to compete with Rolls-Royce: Maybach 57 and 62, an oversized car considering that it did not had 3 rows of seats like other limousines such as Mercedes 600 Pullman.

Production: 2002-2012, 3000+ build including 57 and 62.
Dimensions: length 6160 mm (Maybach 62), width 1981 mm, height 1575 mm, wheelbase 3828 mm.




Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce PhantomRolls-Royce Phantom (VII) launched in 2003 is the biggest British car. Phantom VIII launched in 2017 is slightly under 6 meters length.

Production: 2003-2017, 10,327 units produced.
Dimensions: length 6091 mm, width 1980 mm, height 1641 mm, wheelbase 3820 mm.

Phantom V (1959-1968, 832 produced) and Phantom VI (1968-1990, 374 produced) are also around 6 meters long, exact dimensions vary between each car built.

Car body types

Saloon (british english), Sedan (american english), Limousine or Stufenheck (german), Berline (french), everyone know what it does mean, most common body type, the 3-box style with trunk separated from passenger compartment, usually 4-door, but 2-door and 6-door sedans also exists. Do note that original Mini (1959-2000) although lacks visible trunk box, is a saloon and not hatchback because rear window does not open with trunk lid.

Hatchback (british & american english), Schrägheck (german), 2-volume car with tailgate, short back without visible trunk area.

Estate (british english), Station Wagon (american english), Kombinationskraftwagen (german), Break (french), Familiare (italian), Combi (other countries), 2-volume car usually with nearly vertical tailgate, long back like sedans.

Liftback (british english), Fastback (american english), Fahrzeugheck (german), a term less used, denoting cars shaped like a sedan but with tailgate that open more upwards rather than backwards. When liftback term is not used, the cars are called hatchbacks. Liftbacks are popular in France, first liftback car was Renault 16 (1965), miscalled “the first hatchback” but actually Renault 4 (1961) was hatchback too and was not the first. Other examples: Citroën XM, Ford Mondeo, Scorpio, Opel Vectra, Renault Laguna, Safrane, and the recent BMW 3/5-Series Gran Turismo.

Pick-up truck, everyone know what it does mean.

Leisure Activity Vehicle (british english), Hochdachkombi (german), Ludospace (french), some kind of passenger cars based on vehicles designed primarily for commercial use, popular only in Europe. Example: Citroën Berlingo, Fiat Doblo, Opel Combo, Peugeot Partner, Renault Kangoo, Volkswagen Caddy.

MPV (british english), Minivan (american english), Van or Großraumlimousine (german), Monospace (french), similar with station wagon but over 1600 mm height (EU definition) or over 1700 mm height (US definition). European MPV in 1600-1700 mm range when imported in US they are classified as hatchbacks or wagons rather than minivans.

Off-road vehicle, Jeep CJ, Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender, rugged vehicles with no comfort features (or less comfort features that modern SUV).

SUV, vehicle with off-road abilities and comfort of a car. First SUV is considered to be Range Rover (1970) and it was the only SUV produced in Europe for 19 years. Was followed by Land Rover Discovery (1989), Opel Frontera (1991) and Ford Maverick (1993).

Crossover, a marketing term used since late 2000s, with no clear definition yet. Some 2000s SUVs started being called crossovers in 2010s. A possible definition is cars (usually hatchbacks) with bulky design like SUVs but with low ground clearance and limited off-road abilities (example: Range Rover Evoque, Renault Captur) and cars tall like a SUV but without boxy shape of typical SUVs (example: BMW X6).

Coupé (international) usually 2-door car with sport style, but 4-door coupés (example: Mercedes CLS) appeared in recent years, 2-door sedans exists too. The CORRECT European definition of coupe is a car without B-pillar and without frame around window door, 3-door coupes do also exist, called Kombicoupe in german. In America coupe is strictly defined as 2-door car so the 3-door and 4-door ones are called hatchback and sedan.

Convertible (american english), Cabrio (british english, german, french, etc), everyone know what it does mean.

Roadster (international), convertible car with 2 seats, the difference compared with Cabrio is unclear, most roadsters have convertible roofs too.

Targa top (international), Targadach (german), open-roof car distinct than Cabrio by having fixed rear window.

Hardtop (international), car with roof detachable to be stored on garage (not on vehicle), popular in 1920s and 1930s, or car with fixed roof without B-pillar, popular in USA between 1940s and 1970s for sedans, wagons and coupes, last american hardtops being 1978 Chrysler Newport and New Yorker. What is the difference between 2-door hardtop and coupé is unclear

Landaulet, front seats covered, rear seats in open air. No longer popular after World War II except for custom-made presidential limousines (example). Citroen 2CV is sometimes considered landaulet because is convertible but with fixed side frames.

Town car, front seats in open air, rear seats covered. Popular in early days of automobiles, no such car was produced after World War II.

Car classification

European car classification

Car classification in Europe is not officially regulated, instead, it is defined in relative size with other cars. Since 1990s, the cars in Europe are growing in length with about 10-20 cm per model change. Seems that all European companies wants to make a car bigger than competitor’s cars of same class, increasing car class standards with about 2 cm per year, which is exaggerate, based on technology evolution, 5 mm per year is enough. Read more: Car Evolution.

My own classification
(translated german)
United Kingdom
United States
Typical size
as 2010s
A Micro car Kleinstwagen Micro car Micro-citadine <3500 mm
Mini car Kleinstwagen City car Citadine 3600 mm
B Small car Kleinwagen Supermini Subcompact car Polyvalente 4000 mm
C Compact car Kompaktklasse Small family car Compact car Compacte 4400 mm
D Medium car Mittelklasse Large family car Compact car Familiale 4700 mm
E Large car Obere Mittelklasse Executive car Mid-size car Routière 4900 mm
F Luxury car Oberklasse /
Luxury car Full-size car Limousine 5100 mm
Superluxury car Oberklasse Luxury car Full-size car Ultra-luxueuse >5400 mm
M Small MPV Minivan Mini MPV Minispace 4100 mm
Compact MPV Kompaktvan Compact MPV Monospace
4400 mm
Medium MPV Van MPV Minivan Monospace 4700 mm
Large MPV Van MPV Minivan Monospace 5000 mm
Minibus Kleinbus Minibus Full-size van Minibus >5000 mm
Leisure activity
Hochdachkombi Leisure activity
Ludospace any
S Roadster /
Sport compact
Sportcoupé /
Roadster Roadster Petite sportive 100-300 PS
Sport car Sportwagen Sport car Sport car Sportive 200-500 PS
Grand tourer Gran turismo Grand tourer Grand tourer Grand tourisme 500+ PS
Supercar Supersportwagen Supercar Supercar Supercar 500+ PS
J Off-road vehicle Geländewagen Off-road vehicle ? ? any
Small SUV Geländewagen Mini SUV Subcompact SUV SUV 4100 mm
Compact SUV Geländewagen Compact SUV Compact SUV SUV 4400 mm
Medium SUV Geländewagen Medium SUV Compact SUV SUV 4600 mm
Large SUV Geländewagen Large SUV Mid-size SUV SUV 4900 mm
Luxury SUV Geländewagen Luxury SUV Full-size SUV SUV 5100 mm

American car classification

American cars in 1940s and 1950s were one-size, about 5 meters long.

The 1950 Nash Rambler being 4500 mm long started the new “compact” segment while normal cars were named full-size. Since early 1960s, most manufacturers launched compact cars, and during mid-1960s the mid-size cars were added between compact and full-size.

The 1970s american car models were the biggest, compact 4800 mm long, mid-size 5200 mm long, full-size 5700 mm long. 1970 AMC Gremlin was the first subcompact car, 4100 mm long. All american car models had successive downsizes from 1970s to 1990s, reaching today sizes of compact 4300-4600 mm long, mid-size 4700-5000 mm long, full-size 5000-5300 mm long.

The longest car produced in significant numbers was 1971 Cadillac Series 75 – 6.4 meters long.

American cars are limited to 2032 mm width (80 in) and most full-size 1960s and 1970s cars had this width. Nowadays cars are 1800-1900 mm wide.

I have included car classes in my databases, but beware, they are official only for cars produced in US, imported cars often fall between car classes so each person may categorize them differently (example: Mazda CX-7 – quote from Wikipedia: “Sales of the CX-7 were mediocre, as it slotted between the sizes of compact and midsize crossovers, so it was not competitive in either category“.

Many imported cars, growing over years, migrated between classes (example: Nissan Maxima, a “large car” by European classification, fitted in american “compact” during 1980s but meantime it grew, the 2004 Nissan Maxima falls between mid-size and full-size). During 1970s, some European medium cars were considered subcompact by american standards, but during 2000s decade the European “medium car” became similar in size with American “mid-size car”, same for compact.

Note about height: Europe classify as MPV the cars over 1600 mm height while United States classify as Minivan the cars over 1700 mm height, so the Small / Compact MPVs from Europe that are around 1600-1700 mm tall, when imported to USA they are classified as hatchbacks.

Japanese car classification

Japan is the ONLY country in the world where car tax system is based on vehicle dimensions, thus encouraging manufacturers to stick under some limits…

Kei cars” are currently limited at 3400 mm length and 1480 mm width, and 64 horsepower.
Most popular are “compact cars”, up to 4700 mm length and 1700 mm width.
Any car model above this limit is heavily taxed.