Skip to main content

Car Coach Reports: Confusing Automotive Acronyms

Written By | Sep 12, 2019

BUFFALO, NY — Have you heard of any of these confusing automotive acronyms? Auto manufacturers love their alphabet soup, so let’s break some of it down and complain a little!

We communicate much differently today than we have in the past, with text messaging we have come up with some pretty simple acronyms like LOL, ROFL, WTF and TTFN.

Click here to read more from the Car Coach

When it comes to the automotive industry the 3 and 4 letter acronyms can be extremely confusing, not just to you, it can be confusing to some automotive journalists too. It seems that every manufacturer likes to be crafty and creative to explain the same safety feature or technology with a different name and a different acronym.

Maybe you’ve even driven an EV in an HOV lane. Often concocted as a kind of branding exercise these acronyms can prove frustrating.

Do you know what these mean? I am sure you have a view of your own for the comment section.

Here’s the run-down on the most common confusing automotive acronyms:

MSRP – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. The price, excluding fees, that the manufacturer suggests the dealer should ask for a car.
VIN – Vehicle Identification Number. A unique 17-digit code assigned to all vehicles in North America. VINs are used to register the vehicle, search for liens or research the vehicle’s history.
ACC – Adaptive cruise control or automatic climate control.
ADAS – Adaptive drivers’ assistance systems.
BLIS – Blind Spot Information System. Radar sensors installed inside the rear of the car that scan a large area behind the car. A small light beside your rear-mirror illuminates when a car or other vehicle appears in your blind spot.
LDW and LKA – Lane departure warning and lane keep assist.
Sometimes packaged together these technologies use a camera to track road markings to determine if a driver is straying out of his or her lane.
MMI – Multi-media interface. In-car user interface media system.
TSR – Traffic sign recognition
TFT – “Thin Film Transistor.” Transistors used in high-quality flat panel liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), employed in the little screen between the gauges.

Of course, we also have the standard SUV, SAV and CUV descriptives, too.

Why do manufacturers keep confusing customer?

Watch this video and learn more.

For more automotive industry news go to

Tags: , ,

Lauren Fix

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news and safety issues.