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Cars can be classified according to different criteria.

Diesel engine is remarkably different from petrol engine. The basic difference between them is the way explosion happens. Briefly, a petrol engine uses flames to light up a mixture of fuel and air, while a diesel engine uses only air compression to flare the fuel. The former engine is cheaper, but the latter is more fuel-efficient.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies vehicles into several categories by their curb weight (total vehicle’s weight manufactured with a standard set of equipment):

- Mini passenger cars


1,500–1,999 lb

- Light passenger cars


2,000–2,499 lb

- Compact passenger cars


2,500–2,999 lb

- Medium passenger cars


3,000–3,499 lb

- Heavy passenger cars


3,500 lb and over






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The United States Environmental Protection Agency categorizes vehicles by interior space, either passenger or cargo:

- Two-seaters cars manufactured to sit up to 2 adults

- Mini compact with less than 85 cu ft

- Subcompact cars with 85–99 cu ft

- Compact cars with 100-109 cu ft

- Mid-size cars with 110-119 cu ft

- Large cars with 120 cu ft or more

Here are several examples of passenger automobiles:

1) Microcar (engine under 1.0 L, today electric powered): Tata Nano

2) Hatchbacks, sedans, estate:

- City (to be used in urban area): Ford Ka,

- Subcompact (designed for four passengers): Opel Corsa,

- Small family (most popular): Toyota Corolla,

- Large family (five passengers and trunk): Chevrolet Malibu,

- Full size (large sedan): Dodge Charger,

- Entry-level luxury (luxurious equivalents to mid-size): BMW 3 Series,

- Mid-luxury (powerful and luxurious): Chrysler 300,

- Grand saloon (most powerful): Cadillac XTS

3) Sport:

- Compact (based on small family cars): Citroën Saxo VTR,

- Saloon (version of the saloon): Mazdaspeed6/Mazda 6 MPS,

- Sports car (small-size): Porsche 911, Grand tourer, etc.

4) Convertible (Honda S2000)

5) Off-roaders: sport (Land Rover Discovery) and crossover (Lexus RX).

6) Multi-purpose ((minivans) Ford B-Max, SEAT Altea, Mazda5).

Many terms refer to car body styles: crossover (unibody construction), hatchback (a shared passenger and cargo space), minivan (wagon-type car), and sedan (2 to 4 doors full-height up to the rear window).

Code: writers15

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