Word Choice Matters: How to Paint a Picture of an Automobile

“Sporty.” “Luxurious.” “Comfortable.” “Spacious.” “Peace of mind.”

Common words to describe an automobile are designed to evoke an image or a feeling. Why are these specific words chosen, though? What thought goes into naming a vehicle “luxurious?” Hint: it’s not just brand essence, but brand personality is certainly a component. Here, we will delve into why specific words and phrases are selected to describe vehicles, and what we really mean when we use them.


So what is a sporty vehicle, anyway? While “sporty” can mean that the vehicle has excellent performance specifications, that’s not always the case. Sporty more often than not refers to the vehicle style components. Does the vehicle have a rear spoiler or a roof spoiler? Are certain interior design elements included, such as red or blue stitching, or model name embroidery? Does “Sport” literally appear in the model name? All of these factors are taken into consideration when deciding whether to name a vehicle “sporty.” Sporty can also be a vibe, or a “cool factor.” What makes this car, truck, or SUV stand out from the rest?


Luxury can refer to a certain class of vehicles, but this term also refers to materials used in a vehicle. Genuine leather upholstery is a material used in luxury vehicles to evoke a sense of class. Wood trim along the dashboard and door panels adds texture differentiation. Heated and ventilated front seats with massage functionality will deliver a relaxing experience for the driver and front passenger. These types of features and materials are often found in luxurious models because they come with certain expectations of first-class treatment. 


Many associate comfort with luxury, but that isn’t always the case. Everyone has their expectation of what comfortable looks like. A comfortable vehicle may include heated front seats. Comfort can relate to infotainment, upholstery material, whether the vehicle includes captain’s chairs in the second row. Can you get to the third row easily, or does accessing the third row involve folding down the second row? Do you require wide seats or ample legroom? These features and dimensions are what designate a vehicle as roomy and comfort-focused.


Spacious will typically be assigned to an SUV or truck as a label, but a larger sedan can also be deemed “spacious.” Space is typically about cargo and passenger capacity. The more stuff you can stow in a vehicle, the more spacious it is. Bonus points may be given to a vehicle if it has clever cargo storage solutions such as underseat storage. Three-row SUVs are, by their very nature, spacious, as are minivans.

Peace of Mind

When someone says, “your peace of mind is our top priority,” what do they mean? Peace of mind often refers to driver-assistance technologies and safety features that are either included on your vehicle or part of an available upgrade. These can include, but aren’t limited to, hands-free driving features, blind spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control. Peace of mind is simply the superlative used to house these incredibly useful features.

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