What is the model of a car? Apart from helping you distinguish one car from another, the make and model of a vehicle play an important role in other ways than you think.
Especially when it comes to buying a car (or selling it), maintenance, and replacing parts, knowing the correct details can actually help. Similarly, the car make, and model can influence the rates for which you buy auto insurance.
What Is The Model of a Car?
The model of a car refers to a specific version or variation of a vehicle within a particular make and denotes distinctive features and characteristics, such as its size, body style, engine type, and trim level. For example, the Camry is a model of a vehicle within the Toyota make.
When shopping for a car, the model can be a salient factor to consider, as it can give you a clearer idea of what you can expect from the vehicle. For example, the Toyota Camry is a mid-size sedan with various engine options and trim levels. At the same time, the Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV with different engine options and trim levels.
In addition to the specific features and characteristics, the model influences the price. Different models within the same make can have significantly different price points, depending on the features and options included. For example, a base model Toyota Camry may be more affordable than a fully loaded Camry with all the bells and whistles.
Differences Between Vehicles of the Same Model
Even if you have two vehicles that are the same model in front of you, they could still look very different. Beyond obvious differences like paint color and wheels, most models offer specific trim levels, body style, and appearance packages that can vary the look drastically.
According to ValuePenguin, you may need to know the trim of your vehicle if you’re trying to buy, sell, register, or get car insurance coverage for the car.
The body style is the basic build of the car, and certain models might offer two or three body styles
For example, the Honda Civic can be found in a coupe, sedan, or hatchback style. The body style usually refers to the number of doors the vehicle has and certain mechanical specifics like the drivetrain.
Almost every model offers a handful of trim levels. These basically inform the exterior and interior features of the vehicle. Typically, trim levels are specified by initials like L, S, or EX, but some models use names.
For example, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler offers trim levels like the Sahara, Sport, Rubicon, and Freedom. Sometimes the differences between trim levels can be quite drastic. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon includes off-road specs and features that the Sport trim does not.
Generally, trim levels are focused on performance and luxury. So, there’s usually a base trim that comes with the basic features you’d expect in the model, and then the higher you go in the trim levels, the more features you get.
Sport trims normally add a performance-focused drivetrain, suspension, or transmission. On the other hand, luxury trims usually boast features like heated seats, leather upholstery, or a sunroof.
The model year of a vehicle can be tricky because it’s usually not the same year the car was manufactured. Model years are important, as the design of a vehicle can undergo a huge change from one year to the next. Also, model years are grouped into generations. The start of a new generation of vehicle notes that some major changes were made to the vehicle’s design.
For the most part, you can purchase a car with the following model year in the fall of the current year. So, you can get a 2020 Honda Pilot in the fall of 2019.
Engine Size and Type
Cars of the same model may have different engine sizes and types. The engine size may be measured in liters, such as a 2.5-liter engine with four cylinders or a 3.5-liter engine with six cylinders. A smaller engine may generate better fuel economy than a larger engine, while a larger engine may generate more torque and horsepower.
The engine type of a vehicle can be gasoline or diesel. This is the case for models with an internal combustion engine. All-electric vehicles don’t have internal combustion engines and run on electric motors fueled by rechargeable batteries instead.
Quality of Interiors, Speakers, and More
Cars of the same model may have different interior features. Some versions of a car model, for example, may feature leather-trimmed seats with multi-stage heating. Some versions may feature more speakers than the base model, and premium versions may feature a sunroof.
Differences Between Car Makes Of The Same Manufacturer
Manufacturers can have several distinct makes — or brands — of vehicles that they produce. The Toyota Motor Corp., for instance, has had several different car brands, including Toyota, Scion and Lexus.
When you are asked the make of your car, you should provide the car’s brand name.
So even though your Scion might be manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corp., it would be inaccurate to say that its make is Toyota.
Car companies sometimes have different brands because they have bought or merged with other auto manufacturers. For example, General Motors Corp. has, over the years, acquired Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac. These were all at one point stand-alone car manufacturers.
Manufacturers also might create separate brands to target different markets. For example, the Toyota Motor Corp. created Lexus to focus on the luxury car market.
Why Does The Difference Between Make And Model Matter?
So why is it important to understand the difference between the make and model of a car? Well, there are particular reasons and things to keep in mind:
- Compatibility. Knowing the make and model of a car can be important when it comes to finding compatible parts and accessories. For example, a set of floor mats that fit a Toyota Camry may not be suitable for a Toyota RAV4, even though they are both made by Toyota.
- Resale value. Understanding the resale value of a particular make and model can be important when buying or selling. Specific makes and models tend to hold their value better over time, while others depreciate more quickly, so it’s best to keep track of things.
- Insurance rates. The make and model of a car can also affect the cost of insurance. Specific makes and models tend to have higher or lower insurance rates due to various factors, such as the car’s safety record, repair costs, and overall risk profile.
- Brand reputation. Finally, the make of a car can be an essential factor to consider due to the brand’s reputation. Some car makers are known for producing high-quality, reliable vehicles, while others have a bad reputation overall. Understanding the prominence of a particular make can give you an idea of what to expect from the car, not to mention recalls, which plague specific models and, similarly, affect brand reputation.
How to Find Your Car’s Make and Model
Unsure of the make and model of a car? WhyUnlike.com says you can usually determine these by checking the emblems, logos, and badging on the exterior. The vehicle’s registration certificate will also list its make and model. You can find more information, like model year, manufacturing location, and equipment specs, by searching the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number).
Locating the VIN is pretty straightforward. Check where the dashboard meets the windshield on the driver’s side. There, you’ll find the VIN, which is 17 digits long.
When Does Make and Model Matter?
Specific makes and models are known for different things such as high performance, luxury, off-roading, etc. So, it’s essential to understand the make and model of a vehicle when you’re purchasing or selling it. This information also matters when shopping for car insurance. You may have heard the myth that red cars equal higher insurance rates.
While that’s untrue, many insurance carriers do charge higher premiums for certain models. Sports cars and vehicles with high-performance capabilities conventionally cost more to insure.
Even trim levels can cause a huge gap in the cost of a car. There can sometimes be a difference of $30,000 to $40,000 between the base trim and top trim of the same model.
Why Knowing Your Car’s Make, and Model is Important
Knowing the make and model of a car is crucial in many situations. It starts when you are purchasing a new vehicle. Unless you already have a specific vehicle in mind, you must do some market research before buying a car. You might have to look through many models across different brands and consider factors like initial cost and cost of ownership.
Similarly, the make and model of the vehicle influence its value. So it is important to know these when you are selling your car, not to lose money. Even the model year can also vary in initial cost and ownership value.
Also, insurance premiums for cars depend on factors, including the brand and model of the vehicle. Even for the same models, different trims will have considerable differences in how much you pay your insurance provider.
The higher the value of the car, the higher the insurance premium. Such performance cars like supercars, hypercars, and even luxury models will have higher premiums than the average family car.
Is Honda a car make or model?
Honda is an example of a car maker. Honda is a Japanese automobile manufacturer that sells a considerable number of vehicles in the US. The market share of Honda in the US market is around 6.7 percent in 2022.
Is Toyota the make or model?
Toyota is an example of a car make. It is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer founded in 1937. Toyota Motor North America sells conventional and electric vehicles in the United States.
Is Kia a make or model?
Kia is a car make. It is a South Korean automobile manufacturer that was founded in May 1944. Now, it is one of the top five vehicle manufacturers in the world.
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