The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV, now SARS-CoV-1), middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), Neo-CoV, and 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) are the most notable coronaviruses, infecting the number of people worldwide by targeting the respiratory system. All these viruses are of zoonotic origin, predominantly from bats which are one of the natural reservoir hosts for coronaviruses. Thus, the major goal of our review article is to compare and contrast the characteristics and attributes of these coronaviruses. The SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and COVID-19 have many viral similarities due to their classification, they are not genetically related. COVID-19 shares approximately 79 % of its genome with SARS-CoV-1 and about 50 % with MERS-CoV. The shared receptor protein, ACE2 exhibit the most striking genetic similarities between SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV primarily replicates in the epithelial cells of the respiratory system, but it may also affect macrophages, monocytes, activated T cells, and dendritic cells. MERS-CoV not only infects and replicates inside the epithelial and immune cells, but it may lyse them too, which is one of the common reasons for MERS's higher mortality rate. The details of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 and lytic replication mechanisms in host cells are currently mysterious. In this review article, we will discuss the comparative highlights of SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Neo-CoV, concerning their structural features, morphological characteristics, sources of virus origin and their evolutionary transitions, infection mechanism, computational study approaches, pathogenesis and their severity towards several diseases, possible therapeutic approaches, and preventive measures.