Automotive Glossary

Android Auto

Developed by Google, Android Auto is a mobile app designed to bring the convenience of a smartphone to the car, but with specific modifications to emphasize safety. The app includes larger touch targets and a simplified interface to minimize distractions.

Certified Preowned Vehicle

A type of used car (no older than ten years) that typically has between 60,000 to 80,000 miles on it. CPO vehicles undergo rigorous inspection and are backed by the original manufacturer with an extended warranty to ensure buyers have a better idea of what they’re investing in.

Cold Start (machine learning & computing)

Cold start is a problem in machine learning systems which involve a degree of automated data modeling. Specifically, it concerns the issue that the system cannot draw any inferences for users or items about which it has not yet gathered sufficient training data.


A convertible, also occasionally described as a cabriolet, refers to an automobile body type that can be converted from a closed-body style to an open-air mode.


The way car companies market their models has resulted in some variations of this definition, but ‘coupe’ generally refers to a closed-body car with two doors that is smaller than the sedan version of the same model.

Down payment

Down payments are generally used during larger purchases, such as a house or car. The down payment is the portion of the cost needed upfront and is usually given in cash.


Refers to a car with a rear door that opens in a hatch-type manner.

Interest Rate

An interest rate is the portion of a loan that the lender charges the borrower when the borrower begins to pay back their loan. Essentially, it is the rate the lender charges the borrower when they are given a loan. 

Loan term

A loan term is a loan that is repaid in regular intervals over an agreed-upon amount of time.


‘Minivan’ is an American size classification that describes a vehicle with a high roof and an interior that can be changed with relative ease. Minivans often have a boxlike shape and are frequently used by those who regularly need to transport large items.

Monthly Payment

A monthly payment is the amount of money owed each month in the wake of a loan.

New Car Loan

NCL’s typically have lower interest rates and APR’s (Annual Percentage Rates) than used car loans. Automakers also sometimes offer deals and special rates in order to incentivize car searchers to buy new over used.

Pickup Truck

Pickup trucks are multi-duty vehicles that consist of an enclosed cab component and an open cargo component with low sides and a tailgate. 


A broad term that generally refers to a larger vehicle with a closed body that has four doors and stores the vehicle’s engine, passengers, and cargo in separate compartments.

Snow tires

Tires designed specifically for snow and cold weather that give the vehicle more traction while driving.


A small automobile designed low to the ground, usually with seating for two. Sports cars are generally known for their easier maneuverability and ability to be driven at high speeds.

Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV)

“SUV” is an automotive classification for a multi-use vehicle that features both on and off-road characteristics. SUVs typically have four-wheel drive and are large with ample passenger seating and lots of room for ground clearance.


A combination of the words ‘telecommunications’ and ‘informatics’ that refers to the computer and electronic technology that can be found in most modern cars.


Telemetric systems in automobiles provide automatic measurement capabilities, location tracking, data transmission, recording and analysis. Recent advancements in telemetrics have enabled new capabilities including usage based insurance pricing and autonomous vehicle systems.


The tendency of a force to rotate an object around an axis. In car terms, that generally refers to how powerful a vehicle is by measuring engine output. Torque readings are taken at various engine speeds, or revolutions per minute (RPM).

Used Car Loan

UCL’s have lower average prices and slower depreciation rates than new cars, which can lose up to 20% of their value in the first year. Used car loans also generally have shorter loan terms, and are more accessible to buyers with a diverse range of credit.


A car body type that has an extended interior, two-box design, large cargo area, and a hinged back door for easy cargo area access.