What You Need to Know about Different Car Body Types

If you are looking for a car to buy, you should consider the car body type that you want. There are plenty to choose from, but the most popular ones are the Sedan and SUVs. While the aesthetics of the car is important, consider the functions and space that you will need.

Some car body types are not very popular, partly because of stigma surrounding them. Consider the minivan. It is unpopular because those driving these types of cars are associated with “soccer moms”–mothers of kids and teenagers who need to store a lot of sports gear and other things for their kids in the cargo area. Because of its resemblance with the minivan, hatchbacks have also received a similar backlash.

But you really shouldn’t care about what others think of your own car. When you consider the form and function that you need, then just go for it. Here are the different car body types.


Hatchbacks come in different sizes as they could have large lift backs or they could just be a small city car. The car with this body types come with 2 options: five-door and three-door options. It also has a back door that opens upward to reveal cargo space. Economical engines are normally used to power hatchbacks. Some examples of Hatchbacks include Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.


Crossovers are a combination of normal hatchbacks or sedan and SUVs. They however have bigger wheel and higher clearance from the ground compared with hatchbacks and sedan. This type of body tends to combine the best elements of a sedan and a SUV in terms of cargo space and fuel efficiency. Examples include the Renault Captur and Toyota RAV4.

Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)

A lot of people often confuse SUVs with crossovers because these 2 types of car body have various similarities. These include the aggressive design of the exterior, big wheels and ground clearance. The major difference between SUVs and crossovers is the fact that the SUVs are a better option for off road adventures, for hauling, and if you just want comfortable space for people and cargo. SUVs have sturdy chassis to help support load. The sturdy chassis is very similar to light trucks. Other features that makes it great for off-roads is the brutal design and the option for four-wheel drive. Some examples of Sport Utility Vehicles include Mitsubishi Montero, Mitsubishi Pajero, Range Rover, Cherokee, and Jeep.

Saloon/ Sedan

The Saloon car which is also popularly known as sedan is a passenger car. The engine is covered by a bonnet while the boot is located at the back. It is the most common body type for cars. Cars that that feature this type of body type have the ability to transport at least 4 persons. There are also different classes and sizes of sedans. This could be grouped into sports sedans, luxury sedans, executive sedans, full size sedans and mid size sedans. Some example of cars with sedan body type include Chevrolet Malibu, BMW 5-series and Toyota Camry.

Sports car

The body type referred to as sports cars are mostly 2-seater bodies with 2 doors. They are designed in such a way their performance is enhanced as they have a powerful drivetrain and exquisite design. Their steering are also sharp making it very easy to handle them. Cars with this body type are usually bought for entertainment or show purposes as opposed to functionality. They also tend to be very expensive. Most people buy them only after they already have at least one other functional car, probably a sedan. Examples of sports cars in the uber expensive price range include Bugatti Chiron/Veyron. Other examples include the posh Porsche 911 and the Mazda Miata/MX-5 (which is more on the economical side compared to the Bugatti).


A lot of car lovers are often attracted to convertibles because of its luxury and style. Also sometimes known as cabriolet, the most distinguishing feature of this body type is its retractable roof. The makers of these cars provide for only one passenger alongside the driver of the car. There are however few instances, where there is a back seat that can seat 2 people or maximum of 3 people. The retractable roofs come in various types such as the retractable hardtop, the folding textile roof and the detachable hardtop. The retractable hardtop is getting more common in recent times. Some examples of cars with the convertible body type include Jaguar XK, Porsche Boxter and Cardillac Eldorado.


Cars with this body type usually have 2 doors and look like the sedan in shape. The seats in the car could be for just 2 people or 4 as the back seat will have a limited space. The major difference between the look of coupe body type and sedan is the edgy design in coupe cars. Examples include Ford Mustang and Honda Civic Coupe.


Van body types could be for minivans and multipurpose vans that are meant for transporting a larger group of people comfortably. Commercial vans also have this body type where there is only the front row of seat and the rest space use to transport goods. Vans are perfect for large families, or for organizations that need to transport many people from one place to another. Churches, hotel shuttles, and other organizations dealing with more people typically use vans. Examples of cars with vans body type include Volkswagen Type 2 and Dodge Caravan.

Truck/Pick-Up Body Type

Cars with this body type are normally used for commercial purposes. They serve as utility vehicles and have a cabin for passenger which could be 2-door or 4-door. They have an open cargo space at the back, making it possible to transport bigger and taller items such as refrigerators, big glass doors or windows, couches, and even mattresses among others. Cars with this body type also have towing capabilities and powerful off-road performance. Examples of cars with this body type include Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Hilux.


Wagon is another body type of car that tend to look like sedan except that they have a bigger space for luggage, thereby making such cars to have a hatchback that is extended. The space for passengers are however the same, except that the head space might be a bit higher. Examples include Audi A4 Avant and Volvo XC70.


No matter what type of car you prefer, what’s important is for you to know what you need and what you can afford. By understanding these car body types, you will be able to understand which ones you can consider for your transportation needs.

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