It is perhaps unsurprising there are so many distinctions between British and American English when it comes to automobiles: they were invented long after American independence.
In the 1890s, before motor cars were in wide usage, horse-drawn wagons called “shooting-brakes” were used to transport shooting parties and their guns, ammunition and game from the hunt to the estate. In the 1900s, automotive models, with plenty of storage space in the back, were made for this purpose. The terms “shooting-brake” and “estate” were used interchangeably for these in England during the 1920s and 1930s, after which the former term largely disappeared.
In the US, cars with storage space in the back (initially, these were often specially converted Model T Fords) were used to carry people and their luggage to and from train stations. These became known as station wagons.
The distinction between estate car and station wagon still exists in British and American English, as does that between the words for a type of passenger car: in British English, a “saloon” — derived from the French salon, meaning “gathering” — and in American English a “sedan” — perhaps inspired by the “sedan chair” (a wheel-less compartment carried by two people and seating a single, usually wealthy, individual) — after the Speedwell Motor Car Co. of Dayton, Ohio, US, began manufacturing the Speedwell Sedan in 1911.
(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)
英式和美式英文中仍有「estate car」和「station wagon」之區別，一種載客汽車的名稱在英式和美式英文中也有所不同：轎車∕房車在英式英文中稱為「saloon」」──源自法文「salon」（沙龍）一字，意為「聚會」；美式英文則稱做「sedan」，沿用美國俄亥俄州岱頓市的Speedwell 汽車公司一九一一年開始生產的「Speedwell Sedan」車款名。該車型名稱之靈感來源或許是「sedan chair」（轎子）──由兩人扛著、可乘坐一個人（通常是有錢人）的無輪車廂。
A: How are your legs? Not too tired? This is the final stretch. We’re almost at the top. B: So do we need to walk up that path? I think I’ll be fine: it looks like a gentle ascent, and there are steps all the way. A: Appearances can be deceptive. The path gets quite steep further on, and the steps become broken and irregular. We’re not out of the woods yet. B: What does that signpost say? If we take the right fork we will get to a temple in 25 minutes. A: Nice try. We’re going