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The vehicle’s make and model are used to describe and classify specific vehicles. The make refers to the vehicle’s brand, while the model refers to the specific vehicle model. For a Toyota Corolla, Toyota is the manufacturer and Corolla is the model. Identifying a vehicle’s make and model can be quite confusing for a beginner, so we’ll break it down in this article.

What’s the Vehicle’s Make?

The vehicle make is the vehicle’s brand and manufacturer. Think of a product like Doritos. Doritos is the product, and it’s made by the company Frito-Lay. Vehicles also have a product name and a company that manufactures the product.

Examples of popular car manufacturers include:

rear of a toyota corolla
The vehicle make is the vehicle’s brand and manufacturer like Toyota.

Identifying a vehicle’s make can be difficult at first. Often, vehicles don’t have an explicit manufacturer label. They just have a logo or a badge, which can be difficult to identify for someone who’s unfamiliar with these images.

Vehicle manufacturers are often worldwide corporations that have offices in several countries, yet most have a country of origin where their primary headquarters are located. Honda and Toyota are based in Japan, Chevrolet and Ford are in the US, while Volkswagen is based in Germany.

Some car brands are owned by parent companies that are also considered to be a make. For example, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a company that’s responsible for Fiat and Chrysler vehicles. But at the same time, FCA is also the parent company of other makes like Jeep and Dodge. The Volkswagen Group is another make that handles brands like Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini, among others.

What’s the Vehicle’s Model?

Most vehicles have the vehicle model labeled at the back, near the tail lights. Each make has a unique way of naming its vehicle models. For example, BMW names their SUV models X1 to X7, with the number corresponding to the SUV’s size. BMW’s sedans have names like 335i and 520d. The hundredth number corresponds to the sedan’s size. The 3 is a compact sedan, while the 5 is a midsize sedan. The tenths and ones correspond to its engine, with the 335i having a more powerful engine variant. The letter “i” means that the sedan is fueled by regular gasoline. A “d” designation means it’s powered by diesel.

Most vehicle manufacturers don’t have such complex naming systems. Often, they just assign a name. For example, Toyota has the Corolla and Camry sedans. There’s also the 4Runner and RAV-4 when it comes to SUVs.

What’s the Vehicle’s Trim?

People can identify a vehicle’s type, look, and identity based on its make and model alone. However, vehicle models are also split between different trim levels. Different trim levels have subtle differences in their interior, engine, and exterior. Certain vehicle models can also offer different body styles. For example, the 2022 Honda Civic sedan is offered in several trim levels, ranging from the base LX to the top-of-the-line Touring.

toyota corolla xse side view
Most vehicles have the vehicle model labeled at the back, near the tail lights, and are also split between different trim levels. In Toyota Corolla XSE, Corolla is the model while XSE is the trim level.

Different manufacturers offer different features for each trim level, so it’s best to check out their website or dealership to learn more. Each dealership and region might also offer different features for each trim level. To illustrate how trim levels differ, here are the trim levels of A Toyota Corolla from a Nashville dealership:

The 2019 Corolla has a total of six trim levels called L, LE, LE Eco, XLE, SE, and XSE. The L model is a Corolla with standard features like Bluetooth connectivity, airbags, LED daytime running lights, and LED headlights. The LE trim adds an improved infotainment screen, backup camera, remote keyless entry, and premium seats. LE Eco adds to the LE trim with an engine that achieves 40 MPG. The XLE model features multi-LED headlights, a Smart Key System with a push-button start, a moonroof with a sunshade, and heated seats. The SE and XSE models have upgraded front fascias, grilles, and wheels, to make them look sportier. Finally, the XSE trim offers integrated navigation, premium audio, and 8-way adjustable premium seats.

Why Do Make and Model Matter?

Specific makes and models have different characteristics like being high performance, luxurious, and good for off-roading. A vehicle’s make and model is also very useful if you’re buying or selling a vehicle, or if you’re looking for vehicle insurance. Many insurance companies charge higher premiums for specific models. Sports cars and vehicles with high-performance capabilities are typically more expensive to insure because their components are more expensive.

Overall, knowing your vehicle’s brand and model is essential. Learning about all the brands and models available can be quite challenging, but familiarizing yourself with makes, models, and their differences can help you have a deeper understanding and appreciation of your vehicle.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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