D-segment (or large cars) is defined by European Commission 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.
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.
|Model||9 month sales 2013|
|BMW 3 Series||154.985|
|Mercedes C Class||91.824|
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|
- "REGULATION (EEC) No 4064/89 - MERGER PROCEDURE". Office for Official Publications of the European Communities L-2985 Luxembourg.
- "Europe 9 months 2013: Discover the Top 344 best-selling models!". Best Selling Cars.