Car terms vary between different retailers

(WPRI) — If you’re looking to buy a new car, now may be a good time because interest rates are low. But are you aware of the fact that many terms used by car manufacturers can mean many different things to different automakers?

“I had to really research what a lot of these terms meant,” recalled Nihar Suthar, who just bought a new car.

The terms that he is referring to are words like “all new,” “redesigned,” and “refreshed.”

Call 12 for Action recently learned that there are no federally regulated or industry-wide definitions, and the meanings of these words depend on who you ask.

“The terms, they vary across automakers,” said auto industry expert Dave Sullivan. “It’s really up to the marketing, there’s not one uniform classification that everyone can slot into.”

According to Chrysler, “all-new” refers to a model that is pretty much “new” from the ground up. Meanwhile, Cadillac says that “all-new” means a car that has not been seen before.

“Sometimes in order to save money, automakers will basically change the sheet metal, the headlights, the tail lights, and then kind of call that maybe, an all-new car,” Sullivan said. “Underneath it might have the same engine, the same transmission.”

The one term and meaning that car makers seem to agree on is “redesigned”.

According to Mark Takahashi of, “redesigned” means an existing model that has had significant improvements.

Often, car manufacturers use “redesigned” and “all-new” interchangeably.

It is recommended that you research these terms, and be aware of the differences when shopping for a new car.

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