How many types of sedan car are there?

Updated Dec 26, 2022

Do you know how many types of sedan are there and how to categorize sedan segment?

Together with SUV, MPV, truck and van, sedan is one of the most popular cars that you can find in every street corner in the Philippines. So, which car can be dubbed sedan? Below are all things you should know about sedan.

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What is a sedan?

Sedan (or saloon) is a passenger vehicle generally, in a 3-box configuration with A-, B- and C-pillars and is divided into three separate compartments: engine compartment, passenger compartment and cargo compartment. Normally, a sedan has 4 – 5 seats and 2 - 4 doors on both sides.

Accordingly, the passenger compartment has two row seats in total (excluding rear-engined sedans like the Volkswagen Type 3, Chevrolet Corvair and the Renault Dauphine). But there are also special cases that lack engine compartment. The Tesla Model S, for example.

A typical sedan

A sedan is divided into three separate compartments

In terms of functionality, the sedan is mainly in charge of carrying people and their luggage on ordinary roads.

Nowadays, it’s the rapid growth of auto industry along with the development of communications that has partially expanded the concept of sedan. As to many car manufacturers, sedan is automatically labeled a kind of passenger car which brings heightened levels of luxury and comfort for users.

Nonetheless, designating a sedan becomes more and more bewildering when some of the carmakers are now trying to mix two or more body type designs in a car. Consequently, the classification of sedan is quite complicated depending on each car market.

To categorize sedan segment, we often base on five basic criteria: design, size, performance, equipment and price. As for the performance, it’s essential to consider cylinders and engine output. Among those five criteria, equipment is a comparative aspect which is strictly determined by variants in different markets. Besides, this factor is also used to delineate regular and luxury car segments. To cite an instance, higher-end models are always pampered with high-quality materials as well as a whole host of advanced features in the cockpit, creating a sharp difference in price.

In defiance of different names among auto markets, sedan, basically, is classified into six types as follows:

1. Subcompact sedan

The Toyota Vios, Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, … can be grouped in this type. As a rule, most of these models have another 5-door hatchback version.

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Toyota Vios side view

Toyota Vios is an identical subcompact sedan

2. Compact sedan

Compact sedans, in general, measure from 4,250 – 4,500 mm in length and feature a 1.4- – 2.5-liter engine displacement.

>>> Related: What is a car’s wheelbase and how do you measure it?

Ford Focus sedan side view

Ford Focus is a compact saloon

Examples of such lineup are the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla Altis, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic 2021, etc.

3. Large family/Mid-size sedan

Large family or mid-size sedans are typically 4,700 – 4,900 mm long and come with 2.0- or 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engines. Depending on each market, each lineup will get its own engine and equipment options.

Toyota Camry angular front

Toyota Camry is representative of this segment

Representatives of this segment are the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata. For the Toyota Camry, it has up to eight different variants with different price tags. Philkotse has plenty of affordable mid-sized sedans for sale, like Hyundai Sonata 2019 for example. 

4. Full-size sedan

They’re sedans which are longer than 4,900 mm and get an extremely spacious cabin.

Ford Crown Victoria angular rear

Ford Crown Victoria is very long

The Toyota Avalon, Ford Crown Victoria, Chrysler 300 C are several common names of this segment.

5. Executive/Mid-luxury sedan

Also measuring >4,900 mm in length, but the executive or mid-luxury sedans pack 2.5- – 5.0-liter and 6 – 8-cylinder powerplant. All devices in car are sumptuous. In particular, the rear seats on the right are engineered to provide the most comfortable feeling for users.

Audi A6 side view

Audi A6 – an executive saloon

Sedans used for this definition include the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF and so on.

6. Full-size luxury/Grand sedans

This term is mostly used in North American car market, referring to the largest affordable saloon. Featuring a length of over 5,000 mm, the grand sedans are motivated by engines with more than 4.0-liter displacement and 6 – 12 cylinders.

side view of a grand sedan

All of the state-of-the-art features will converge in this type of saloon

All of the state-of-the-art features will converge in this type of saloon. On the inside, the second-row seats on the right are exclusively designed to govern all applications and functions in car but for steering. We sort the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 into this folder.

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TOP 5 Luxury Sedan Cars 2018

Via those six types of sedans, you can realize that classification is mostly found on the sedan’s size. This is the most popular classification on the market today. Other than that, you can also refer to another arrangement, which is seemingly more complex yet interesting.

Club sedan

a club sedan angular front

A club sedan has shorter roof and smaller cabin

This implies 2- or 4-door sedans which ride on normal chassis, have a shorter roof and smaller interior space than other types of saloon.

Notchback sedan

Chevrolet Impala angular front

Chevrolet Impala is a notchback

It’s a 3-box sedan in which the passenger compartment is largely separate from the cargo trunk. Further, the car roof is on one plane and parallel to the ground while the rear windows are at a sharp angle to that roof. Again parallel to the ground is the trunk lid.

Fastback sedan

angular rear of a fastback sedan

This odd saloon owns a swooping roof

This is a 2-box saloon, not a 3-box one. This odd saloon owns a swooping roof. In the main, this design is only served for aerodynamic advantages.

Hardtop sedan

angular rear of a hardtop sedan

Hardtop model has frameless door glass

A sedan with a hard roof will be billed as a hardtop sedan? Maybe. But, the hardtop model has frameless door glass, which significantly helps provide greater visibility.

Hatchback sedan

This sort closely resembles the fastback sedans but in lieu of a trunk lid, the whole rear part lifts up. You can take a look at the Ford Focus, Fiesta or Volkswagen Golf for a better understanding.

Volkswagen Golf angular front

Volkswagen Golf is classified as a hatchback sedan

Chauffeured sedan

You may name it limousine sedan owing to its length. Instances for this type are the Lincoln Town Car, Rolls-Royce and Cadillac.

Lincoln Super Stretch Town Car Limousine side view

Lincoln Super Stretch Town Car Limousine

In reality, there are also many other different types of sedans, but Philkotse hopes that this article is useful enough to give you a broad overview of such a favorite vehicle. If you’re pondering over a sedan and an SUV, click here. Don’t forget to visit our page at for more useful car buying tips.

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