240, Royapettah High Road,
Chennai - 600 014
Phone: 044-28133333

E-Mail: info@tsmcars.com
Anna Nagar
E15, Anna Nagar East,
Phone: 044-26260882
Fax: 044-26260610

Infoline. 2813 3333
#20, Car Track Road,
Chennai - 600042
Mobile: 98412 85585
98415 74842
#20, Car Track Road,
Chennai - 600042
Mobile: 98412 85585
98415 74842

Types of Cars on Indian Roads

Basic classification in Cars

Ever felt embarrassed because you fail to recognise a type of car on the road? If you are buying or selling a used-car, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of the types of cars on the road. So let’s get started!


This is likely to be the most common type of car you are going to see on Indian roads. A hatchback is a car that is small with a below 3000 mm length with five doors (four entry doors and the boot lid) or at times even three doors (two entry doors and the boot lid like the mini cooper). The most recognizable characteristic is the rear door or “hatch” is hinged at the top so that the door opens upwards to reveal the boot area. There is no protruding boot space in the back. The hatchbacks range from the cost effective Tata Nano, Maruti Alto, WagonR, Renault Kwid to the mid-range options like Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo, Honda Jazz or the expensive ones like the Mini Cooper S, Mercedes Benz A class, Volvo V40, etc. This segment has the maximum number of models and variants in India. The best selling cars also fall under this category

More powerful hatchbacks are called hot hatchbacks. For eg- the Ford Focus RS


This segment has seen the maximum growth in recent years as the office going professionals are increasingly seeking out a sedan as their primary choice. Sedans have a boot extension and are longer than the hatchbacks which is what primarily differentiates them from the hatchback. The boot extension is about half the height of the body and resembles the front engine cover. Sedans are a very broad class of car because they can range from the small everyday sedan like the Maruti DZire to the luxurious Rolls-Royce Phantom, Mercedes Benz S Class etc. So let’s leave out the high-end ones (we’ll come to those in a separate category later) and stick to the ones we might find during our daily drive. The average sedans can be broadly segregated based on their length and their pricing follows accordingly. There are the small ones (3279mm-4280mm) like the Honda Amaze, Maruti Swift Dzire, Hyundai Xcent or Mid-sized ones (4280mm-4990mm) like the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Skoda Rapid or the big sized (4990mm-6970m) ones like Toyota Camry or Merc E Class.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV)

With improvement in quality of roads across India, SUVs are getting increasingly popular as they are built for long distance, inter-city rides. They are big, bulky, fast and deliver a comfortable journey on and off the roads. They look like overgrown hatchbacks but with bigger wheels, flat boot lid and rugged stance. Some of the biggies in this segment are Ford Endeavor, Range Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Pajero, Mercedes Benz GLC, Volvo XC90. Compact SUVs are smaller versions of SUVs which give all the perks of owning an SUV but with the practicality of an everyday car. Some common SUVs in this segment are Renault Duster, Honda CRV, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV and Maruti Vitara Brezza.

Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPV)

MPVs (Multi Purpose Vehicles) are the new sub category under the SUV umbrella. They are meant to be practical, seven-seat vehicles that are long, have a stretched body and a flat boot lid but don’t carry the same power and strength as the original SUV. MPVs are also known as people movers or people carriers in other parts of the world. MPVs are large cars which are comfortable and seat seven adults like the SUVs but at a much lower price tag. This segment has been made popular by the legendary Toyota Innova and now many brands have an offering in this segment –  Renault Lodgy, Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti Ertiga to name a few.

Luxury Vehicles

Luxury cars are big, comfortable and powerful sedans that are expensive and as the name suggests, quite luxurious. The engine power and smoothness, the richness of its interiors and features all add up to their “luxury” tag. The high and mighty of the society are always spotted in one of these or nowadays (See what the South Indian Super Stars choose to drive here). The starting range for these luxury models is near a crore and they can keep climbing up. Some popular luxury cars that are popular in India are the Mercedes Benz S Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8.


Convertibles are a sub-class under the luxury segment and are sedans with removable or detachable roofs. There are many alternate words used instead of convertibles like Spyder, Cabriolet, Targa Top etc. These cars are also expensive and come loaded with features and functionality available in the best of sedans. The Audi A3 Cabriolet, Porsche 911, Rolls Royce Phantom are some of the luxury convertibles that have been spotted on Indian roads.


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