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Car Make and Model: What Does it Mean and the Difference?

We will simply run you down to what Car make and model is and the difference between them, more so, is why each affects car costs and insurance coverage. Read on.

The make and model of car are often interchanged when trying to describe a car, however, both differ in many ways, and it’s important you learn the difference especially if you are planning to buy a car which will require you talking about a car with a car dealership or a friend who already owns a car.Car Make and Model

Car Make and Model: What Does It Mean?

Every field has the right language or terminology, so do cars, so at the end of this post, you will be able to tell the difference between a car brand and a model and as well what both means. When talking to a knowledgeable car dealer or owner combining model and make as the name of your car portrays you as less knowledgeable about the car, which you wouldn’t want to be seen or related to. Here is what a car model and make is.

Car Make: What Is it?

If you read the above explanation carefully, you will find out that I interchanged car make with a brand, which simply tells you that the make of a car is the brand that manufactured that car. I will make a list of the most popular car brand or make in the world below;

Which is the most popular car brand in the world?

They are handful list of the most popular car brand, but for the sake of allowing you read other more vital info on this blog post, I will mention just a few now and give you the complete list down the post, if that’s why you visited this page, you can as to why scroll down to view the list of the most popular car brand today.

  1. Audi
  2. Lexus
  3. Ford
  4. Chevrolet
  5. Mercedes-Benz
  6. Nissan
  7. Honda
  8. Chrysler
  9. Toyota
  10. Volkswagen

Now, you know what a car make or brand is, it will be so easy to know what a model is, to help you always remember what a car make is, a car make is the name of the car company that manufactured the car, take for instance the make of a mobile smartphone phone is Apple, while a mode is iPhone 11 pro max. So, make is a company while a model is all the products manufactured by that company, just like apple makes iPhone, iPad, iPod, iWatch, mac and then when you come down to the model of iPhone, you have iPhone 6, 7, 8, 11, 11 Pro, 11 pro max, etc.

Similarly, Toyota is a car make but offers several models including the Camry, Corolla, 4Runner, Tundra, etc. The car makes are always world known and always has a country of origin and its headquarter but different models of such car brands might be preferred or liked in different countries or regions of the world.

Car Brands and their Headquarters

  • Toyota is headquartered in Japan
  • Volkswagen in German
  • Ford in American

Car Make and its Subsidiaries

Come to think of it, you might say, but they are car makes that is housed under another make right, yea, they are some car makes housed under another car brand, I chose to call them subsidiaries, reason, because these each brand under the parent make, is created for a specific customers needs and use.

Take, for instance, the company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Fiat and Chrysler are the same make, However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles houses other makes such as Dodge and Jeep. Secondly, Honda is a car make but the company also manufactures its luxury make called Acura, the same thing goes with Toyota which owns the luxury make Lexus. That said, let’s move on to what a car mode is.

Car Model: What is it?

The model of a car is the name used by a manufacturer to market a range of similar cars. It can also be likened to the methods used by car manufacturers to categorize their product range. Models vary between manufacturers. Take, for instance, Manufacturers of BMW cars use only initials and numbers to differentiate between their car models. So, you can see BMW SUV models X1 through X7, sedan models 2 through 8, and then the i3 and i8.

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Companies such as Ford highly known in the United States give each of their model’s different unique names according to what they feel the car offers in value; Ford Explorer or Expedition SUV models and the Ford Fusion or Fiesta sedans.

How Do I Describe My Car?

There are three things you need to combine to best describe the car you drive or you want to buy; the make or brand of the car, the car model, and the year the car was manufactured.

Though, if you want to go more detailed you will need to add the trim levels. But if you had combined the mentioned above without adding the trim levels you would have given an excellent description of the car you want to buy or drive which would be able to help you search for the car cost online or inquire about the cost from a car dealer or automobile selling shops. Take for instance; 2019 Ford Explorer or 2017 Ford Expedition or 2018 BMW SUV X7

Add in the model year to your description, and you’ve got a complete name for your car, like: “I drive a 2018 Ford Explorer.” Under the umbrella of the model are trim levels, which is another factor that determines the type of vehicle and its cost.

Car Model – Is there any Difference between Car of the same Model?

Without any equipment, upholstery, and exterior trim is usually determined by the trim level, the car model often defines the platform (which determines the engines, drivetrains and chassis options available), body styles and aesthetic theme.

Some models have only one body style (e.g. the Mazda 2 hatchback), while other models are produced in several body styles (e.g. the Audi A3, which has been produced in hatchback, sedan and convertible body styles).

In some cases, a manufacturer has marketed a body style as a separate model — for example the Volkswagen Jetta and the BMW 4 Series, which are based on the Volkswagen Golf and BMW 3 Series platforms respectively. Some models have an only engine (or electric/hybrid powertrain) option available, while other models have multiple powertrains available.

Car Model Differences

It’s obvious sometimes the same car models appear to be different in looks, functions, and features like specific trim levels, body style. When knowing more details about your car becomes an important factor is when you are about to buy, sell, register, or get car insurance coverage from a car insurance company.

In other words, the make, model, model year, body style, and trim level all impact the cost of a vehicle and its insurance rates.

Car Model Body Style

Body style is the easiest twist you will see in the car, that makes people buy the same car model over and over again because of different car body style that makes for different use and luxury. Mostly the body style of a car is what most buyers consider aside from the engine longevity, speed, and fuel consumption which makes for affordability for non-luxury buyers, for example, Volkswagen, Honda Civic, Lexus, Mercedes Benz can appear in different body style as; Sedan, Coupe, Convertible, Hatchback, SUV, Wagon

Car Model Trim Level

Most importantly, trim levels majors on luxury and performance, and almost every model offers a handful of trim levels along with body styles, most car models also have at least a few different trim levels. The Trim levels inform the exterior and interior features of the vehicle.

For example, the 2019 Dodge Charger has the following trim level options: SXT, GT, R/T, SXT AWD, Scat Pack, and SRT Hellcat. Trim levels can be used in a tiered method where the lowest trim is the vehicle with the least amount of options while the luxury trim is at the top with the most options. More so, trim levels are specified by initials like L, S, or EX, but some models use names.

However, sometimes trim levels are used to distinguish a vehicle’s different use category. In the example used above, the SRT Hellcat is a top-level sportscar trim. In another case, the Rubicon is a Jeep Wrangler trim designed more for off-roading.

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Some car makes logically distinguish trim levels while others have to be decoded. Mercedes-Benz is one of these that uses a combination of letters and numbers. The C 300 and the AMG C 43 are both C Class car models but are different trims.

Another 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.

Note: in trim level, 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.

Car Model Year

Car model years are another important way to distinguish vehicles and assess their value. Carmakers often completely redesign car models and the year is a meaningful way to know this. However, it’s important to remember that the model year does not necessarily indicate when the car was manufactured.

For example, cars from the 2019 model year were available to purchase back in 2018. So if a redesign of a specific car model occurred for the 2019 model year, it was most likely manufactured in 2018. 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.

Does the car make and model impact insurance rates?

Your car’s make, model, year, trim level and body style are all factors your insurance provider uses to determine how much your car is worth. And they care because the more your car is worth, the more it costs to repair or replace it after an accident. And insurers pass that extra cost along to you in the form of higher premiums.

How much do all of these factors matter? It depends. Make is a big player in the premium-setting game. Insuring a Ferrari is going to be more expensive than coverage for a Subaru.

Model matters, too. In their 2019 The State of Auto Insurance report, The Zebra showcases the difference between the cost of insuring different models from the same company. Covering a 2018 Toyota RAV4 costs $1,556 while ensuring a 2018 Toyota Camry costs $1,692. The difference between getting insurance for a 2018 Honda CRV ($1,692), Civic ($1,801) and Accord ($1,624) isn’t too significant. Still, if you want a sedan, choosing the Accord over a Civic could keep over $150 in your pocket each year.

How to Find Your Car’s Make and Model – Check Car Brand & Model

Car makes are identified by logos and by their name. You can always find both on your vehicle in one place or another. The emblem appears prominently on the grille for example. The car model is usually also indicated somewhere on the vehicle, but in the case that it’s not, it will also be on the registration and owner’s manual but if not there, you can find it using the below instructions;

To find your car make and model you just need your VIN (vehicle identification number) to identify your car.

Find your VIN by looking for it printed on the dash on your driver’s side, in the front of your engine block, or printed on the metal part of your driver’s side door. Open up the door and check the edges.

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.

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According to valuepenguin below are list the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of two 2018 Toyota sedans.

Camry XSE V6  Corolla L   Difference

$34,950   $18,550   $16,400

How Do Make and Model Impact Price and Insurance Rates?

The make and model of the car plays a huge role in things such as safety and performance. However, perhaps the most significant effect it has is on price. The make and model of the vehicle not only impact its value but insurance rates as well.

You’re probably well aware that the make of a vehicle has a tremendous impact on price. For example, BMW, Audi, and Lexus are all vehicles makes associated with high costs. Honda is a vehicle make known to be a bit more budget-friendly.

Furthermore, the model and body style and trim levels that you choose can also end up affecting the price of the vehicle. For instance, variations within the Honda Civic line tend to fluctuate by $1,000 or so. The more you upgrade the car, the more expensive it’s going to become.

Not only will vehicle upgrades affect your upfront costs, but they’ll also impact your insurance rates as well. This is for a few reasons. Insurance companies determine your rates based on the value of your car. Insurers base rates based on how often other drivers have filed claims for a particular make and model and Your insurer will also look at how safe your car is for you and your passengers. Additional safety features will usually lower insurance premiums.

Fast and flashy cars that are more likely to have a higher rate of liability claims, like the Chevrolet Corvette, will often cost more to cover than more modest vehicles that have lower rates of liability claims like the Chevrolet Malibu.

So, if you upgrade to a convertible or sports body style, your insurance rates will likely go up. Your insurance company will deem these cars riskier because people tend to drive them more aggressively, therefore filing more insurance claims. You could lower your insurance premiums by instead opting for vehicles with better safety features.

The Most Popular Car Brand Today: What is the Most Popular Car Brand Trending 2020?

I will quickly run a list of the most popular trending car brand today, the list is comprehensive but if something has changed within the next few months before the trending car brand statistics and research we carried out, you can do well by letting us know using the comment box below.

  • Acura
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Aston Martin
  • Audi
  • Bentley
  • BMW
  • Bugatti
  • Buick
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Chrysler
  • Citroen
  • Cupra
  • Dodge
  • Ferrari
  • Fiat
  • Ford
  • Genesis
  • GMC
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Infiniti
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Kia
  • Koenigsegg
  • Lamborghini
  • Land Rover
  • Lexus
  • Lincoln
  • Lotus
  • Maserati
  • Mazda
  • McLaren
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mini
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Opel
  • Pagani
  • Peugeot
  • Porsche
  • Ram
  • Renault
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Seat
  • Subaru
  • Suzuki
  • Tata Motors
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Vauxhall
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

Note that the above list is populated alphabetically and not by the brand trending and popularity order or priority.


  • Christian Ehiedu

    I write for Educational, Financial, technology, and social media content producers. I am deep into doing credible research that will benefit you the reader. You can contact me on Tumblr, Chris Adam Facebook, Shopfortool Pinterest Account. I am a Technician and a woodworker. I have lots of years of experience in Technical work. I did some per time work at an electrical store. Having gathered lots of experience in the use of various tools link Mechanic Tools, Woodworking Tools, Power Tools, and Plumbing tools, I decided to put up this blog to help advise intending buyers or new biz on the right tools to buy on the market. My social Handle:

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