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BMW 3 Series in 2013 became the best seller in Europe, shifting the segment versus a luxury scale
VW Passat has been a longtime leader in the European market

D-segment (or large cars) is defined by European Commission[1] as the fourth segment in European market car classification. It approximately corresponds to Mid-size car and Entry-level luxury car segment in North America, or Large family car or Compact executive car in British English usage.

In Europe, they are mainly offered with sedan version, for which the size is approximately between 4,600 mm (181 in) and 5,000 mm (197 in).

As recently as the 1970s, this sector was dominated by rear-wheel drive saloons and estates, including the Ford Cortina/Taunus, Vauxhall Cavalier/Opel Ascona, Morris Marina and Peugeot 504, although there were a few front-wheel drive hatchbacks available, including the Chrysler Alpine and Renault 16. However, the hatchback bodystyle became more popular in the 1980s, and rear-wheel drive became the mainstay of upmarket offerings like the BMW 3 Series, with the Ford Sierra being the only mainstream model of this size still being produced in Western Europe by the late 1980s.

Since the 1980s, many cars of this size have been available with high performance variants which have a performance more akin to that of a sports car than a family car. Early examples include the Ford Sierra Cosworth, Vauxhall Cavalier GSi and Renault 21 Quadra Turbo.

European Market[edit]

D-segment as well as the C-segment are shifting to a more luxury scale in Europe. In 2013, the BMW 3 series overtook longterm bestseller VW Passat for most unit sales. The Audi A4 and Mercedes C Class took places #3 and #4 respectively.[2]

In the segment is generally recognized also the Audi A5, a model with significant sales which is the coupe version of the Audi A4 and sold also in a convertible option.

Generalists are currently behind (Opel Insignia leading after the Passat). Segment has also space for a couple of convertibles such as Lancia Flavia and Opel Cascada.

Model 9 month sales 2013
BMW 3 Series 154.985
VW Passat 117.333
Audi A4 99.255
Mercedes C Class 91.824
Opel/Vauxhall Insignia 53.341
Peugeot 508 44.858
Audi A5 40.577
Ford Mondeo 37.795
Volvo S60/V60 36.254
Škoda Superb 31.628
Others 173.409
The new Mazda6

Others models in the segment includes:

Fiat Group General Motors Honda Group Hyundai-Kia Group Mazda Group PSA Group
Lancia Flavia II Opel/Vauxhall Cascada Honda Accord Hyundai i40 Mazda6 Citroen C5
Alfa Romeo Giulia Chevrolet Malibu Kia Optima Citroen DS5
Renault-Nissan Group Saab Subaru Group Suzuki Toyota Group VW Group
Renault Laguna Saab 9-3 Subaru Legacy/Outback Suzuki Kizashi Toyota Avensis Škoda Superb
Renault Fluence Toyota Camry
Infiniti QX50/EX Lexus IS

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "REGULATION (EEC) No 4064/89 - MERGER PROCEDURE". Office for Official Publications of the European Communities L-2985 Luxembourg. 
  2. ^ "Europe 9 months 2013: Discover the Top 344 best-selling models!". Best Selling Cars.