If you’ve ever read or watched car reviews on web articles or youtube, you can hear the reviewers mention that this car may be a B-segment, C-segment, or even E-segment. This might seem confusing for non-car guys, but once you know the differences it’ll be easy.

Why split into so many segments?

If I gave you the exact measurements of a car, it would be hard for you to actually compare it with different cars, let alone know of those similar in size. So having them split into different segments is easier for people to estimate the car’s sizes and compare them between others.

There are many different standards as to how car segments may be differentiated, different countries all have their own standards, different naming of car segments, thus cars may be designated as different segments based on the location they are in.

The list we’re using here is based on European standards, that splits the segments into different letters and is one of the most used ways of differentiating car segments. A segment may also include sedans or wagons that are similar in size.

A list of segments (but not all):

A-segment – mini cars that are tiny in size, usually 2 or 2+2 seaters (such as Perodua Axia or Proton Saga)

B-segment – small cars that are usually hatchbacks or small sedans that are great for town use and the most popular car segment in Malaysia (such as Perodua Myvi or Toyota Vios)

C-segment – medium cars that can comfortably sit at least 4 people (such as Honda Civic or Honda CR-V)

D-segment – large cars that include large sedans and some SUVs (such as Toyota Camry or Honda Accord)

E-segment – executive cars that are big and luxurious, and also quite pricey (such as Mazda CX-9)

F-segment – luxury cars that are just expensive luxury cars

J-segment – sports utility cars that are mostly SUVs

M-segment – multi-purpose cars that are mostly MPVs

S-segment – sports cars that are more performance-orientated

These are some of the more common car segments, but there isn’t really a solid set of measurements that determine which segment a car belongs to, so a car may overlap between different segments, based on how people may view it.

But in Malaysia, of course we “campur” the way we split cars into different segments, as we commonly use A to E-segments, but then for pickups, MPVs and others we call them as-is, so don’t really get caught up in trying to differentiate the different segments of cars as it is all acceptable.