What Are the Make and Model of a Car?

2020 Kia Telluride SX front grille and headlight 2020 Kia Telluride | photo

The “make” of a car is its brand, such as Chevrolet, Lexus or Lincoln, and the model is the name of a specific vehicle of a brand, such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Lexus RX or Lincoln Navigator.

Related: Buying Guide: How to Buy a Car

Shop the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox near you

2020 Chevrolet Equinox 2LT
36,363 mi.
Good Deal
2020 Chevrolet Equinox 1LT
54,015 mi.
Good Deal

Some make names are the same as the manufacturer name, such as Ford, Honda and Toyota, though all those manufacturers also have other brands.

The make is not always the same as the manufacturer of a vehicle, because many manufacturers have more than one brand. For example, Ford owns the Lincoln brand; Honda has Acura; and Toyota has Lexus.

GM manufactures four brands or makes: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. Globally, Volkswagen manufactures eight different car makes: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen.

And then there’s Mazda, which abandoned traditional model names for its sedans several years ago and instead dubbed them Mazda3 and Mazda6. That means that officially — such as on a DMV registration form — the make is “Mazda,” and the model name is, for example, “Mazda3” or “Mazda6.” (Ask an owner what car they drive, though, and the answer is likely to be just the model name.)

More From

Model names can encompass more than one body style. Over the years, for example, the Honda Accord and Civic have been available as sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and wagons.

Within model lines there also is a hierarchy of trim levels based on standard features and price. The LX is the cheapest and most modestly equipped Civic trim level, for example. The amount of standard equipment and the prices escalate incrementally as you move higher through the Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring and Sport Touring versions.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Latest expert reviews