Car manufacturers are constantly innovating and producing new car models and body types to appeal to customers. This has led to there being at least 25 different types of cars and body types in the market! Fret not, today we look at the most classic car designs you might come across while searching for your car of choice. Understanding the types of cars available in the market will help you narrow down your options and choose the car with a perfect fit for your needs and lifestyle.
Sedan / Saloon
Depending on whether you are looking at cars out of the US or UK, the sedan or saloon type car is a car with 4 doors and a boot. The sedan itself has a few sub-types but a key technical feature of a sedan is it has a 3-box structure where each of the boxes is used for the engine, passenger and cargo. Although the boot on a sedan can be narrow and small, they offer more comfort than other car types out there.
Contrary to popular belief, hatchbacks are not automatically small cars, its size may vary but it’s key distinctive feature is that it has a rear door that opens upwards giving you quick access to the boot space. Hatchbacks are also very practical as the second-row seats can be folded down to open up more boot space that can be easily accessed via the rear door. Often times hatchbacks are powered by economical engines and this type of car is very popular in countries with limited parking space and higher fuel prices.
Wagon’s are built on the sedan platform and are said to be extended hatchback’s featuring, even more, boot space. They offer similar cabin space a sedan would give but with more headroom due to their high tops. Similar to hatchbacks, wagons also offer ample boot space made available once the rear seats are folded down, making them close in comparison to vans.
Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or Multi-utility Vehicle (MUV)
Under this category, we have MPVs, MUVs, Vans and Minivans. These cars are designed to comfortably transport more people and cargo compared to the cars mentioned above. Commercial vans will only have front seat row, with the remaining space used for cargo. Often called people movers, they have larger doors for easy entry and exit as well.
Trucks are full on utility vehicles commonly used for commercial reasons. They can be either two-door or four-door with an open cargo space and low sides providing easy access and a loading gate at the back. Trucks are excellent for off-road performance and towing, and generally come equipped with an all-wheel-drive system. Trucks are extremely popular in countries that have areas that are not connected by advanced road systems. Trucks are also very popular for commercial use in the construction industry.
Sports utility vehicle (SUV)
The sports utility vehicle (SUV) is a car built on sturdy chassis akin to that of a light truck, has increased ground clearance, large wheels and off-roading capabilities of varying degrees. The SUV and Crossover (discussed in the next point) are often confused as they look visually similar, however, SUV’s have a harder exterior and design. SUVs also deliver superior off-road abilities as they have four-wheel drive coupled with the hardy design. SUVs were designed for rough off-road use, but as they are more prevalent on public roads, we see the rise of SUVs called soft-roaders. Find examples below for a clearer picture.
The Crossover was born as the result of innovation and has the characteristics of a true SUVs and regular hatchbacks. Unlike the SUV the crossover is usually built on car platforms and to achieve the same off-road look they are fitted with plastic body parts. Although crossovers may be equipped with a four-wheel drive system, they are mainly built for public roads and are closer to soft-roaders because of their car like construction and not the body-on-frame platform used by SUVs.
A sports car is known for its innovative design, superior technology, enhanced performance, precise steering, great handling and speed capabilities. Sports cars vary in size but are mostly two-door cars that seat two. Sports cars are designed for public roads but can be upgraded for racing purposes as well. This is the one class of cars that allows manufacturers to showcase their best technology. Sports cars vary from those that are a bit more economically valued but can easily go up to cost millions of dollars.
The stylish convertible’s main feature is the retractable roof, a that can either be a folding textile roof, detachable hardtop or retractable hardtop. Convertibles are built for one driver and passenger although back seats are sometimes available too.
Considered sporty by nature, Coupe models are named based on the French definition of a cut carriage. Coupe’s feature top of the line engines and their key difference from regular sedans is their innovative design. You will notice many sports cars have a coupe design with either two-seat or four-seat but with limited space in the rear of course. The characteristic definition of a coupe has changed over time and now cars with four doors are named coupe for their largely sporty charm and coupe-like proportions instead of just the number of doors.
*Photos are courtesy of Google Image Search