Middle class

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Mid-range vehicle with the most registrations in 2019: Mercedes C-Class

Middle class is the car - vehicle class above the compact class and below the upper-middle class . In the vehicle segments of the European Commission , this segment is called the upper middle class or D-segment . New car sales are mainly made to companies and less to private individuals. The latter accounted for 13.2% of new sales of the VW Passat in 2008, for example. An exception is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class , which always has a high private share of 35 to 50 percent of total registrations both for this vehicle class and in general. The new prices for middle class cars show a broad spectrum.

The best-selling mid-size vehicle in the world: Toyota Camry

Models currently offered in the EU


The middle class was historically the third vehicle class to emerge. After the luxury vehicles of the upper class and the small cars used for mass mobilization , a middle class was created here in between .

The lower middle class or compact class with smaller models split off from this class . The V6 models, some of which were somewhat larger, were not defined as a separate class - the so-called upper middle class - until the 1980s .

Middle-class vehicles are usually offered as a four-door sedan with a notchback and as a station wagon . The basic engine currently (as of 2012) is mostly a four-cylinder engine with around 75 to 90 kW (102–122 hp).

The market for very large cars in Western Europe has shrunk significantly as a result of rising petrol prices and the fact that cars are getting bigger and bigger. As a result, many manufacturers end their model range with the middle class. In individual cases, a common successor to models of the middle and upper middle class is developed, which is then classified in the middle class. A particularly clear example of this is the Peugeot 508 I , which replaces the mid-range model Peugeot 407 and the larger Peugeot 607 .

The North American term mid-size car or intermediate car is legally defined and describes the local middle class, which has only been equivalent to the European one since around 1980. Before that, the mid-range models there were significantly larger. There is no upper middle class in the legal sense, but some premium manufacturers offer two middle class models, of which the larger compete with models from the upper middle class from Europe.


New registrations in Germany

For figures on the annual new registrations of passenger cars in the middle class segment in Germany according to statistics from the Federal Motor Transport Authority , see the list of new passenger car registrations in Germany by segment and model series # Middle class .

Individual evidence

  1. Car prices within the European Union at 1 January 2011. (PDF) European Commission , 26 July 2011, accessed on 8 February 2015 .
  2. Commercial registrations determine the new car market. (PDF) Federal Motor Transport Authority , accessed on June 21, 2014 .
  3. New registrations of passenger cars by segment and model series in December 2008. (PDF) Federal Motor Transport Authority , archived from the original on May 31, 2014 ; accessed on June 21, 2014 .