A Quick Guide to Understanding Different Car Body Styles


A Quick Guide to Understanding Different Car Body Styles

Since the invention of cars, the one feature that has been radically transformed over the years is the appearance and style.

With over 400 models and car types available in the market, buyers are often faced with numerous choices of different sizes and shapes.

Cars are commonly categorized into two-box (e.g., hatchback) or three-box (e.g., sedan) body designs. However, to make sense of these designs can be quite challenging for some people.

So here is a guide to help you understand the different car body styles


Hatchbacks are cars with a sloping back and hinged rear a door that opens upwards to provide easy access for loading. The body style of hatchbacks is a two-box design and it is much more compact than SUVs or vans. However, the rear seat can be adjusted to lay completely or partly flat to make the boot area more spacious.

Volkswagon Golf and BMW 1 series are great examples of typical hatchbacks. They are ideal for the crowded and fastpaced lifestyle of cities. 


Sedan, also known as the saloon is the most popular car body style. It is a passenger car with separate compartments for the engine, cabin, and boot area. Named after an ancient chair carriage, a sedan typically features four doors, a fixed roof, and a three-box configuration design. Sedans provide better fuel economy and mild performance at affordable prices.

Sedans are t ideal cars for buyers looking for a practical and commuter vehicle with space for passengers. An example of a sedan is Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.


Coupes are sporty looking two-door cars with a solid roof and a trunk. The sloppy roof and the long hood are the characteristics of coupe cars. The coupe is a French word that translates to “cut” and was applied to horse carriages capable of seating two passengers.

The sleek and elegant look of coupe cars appeals to many car buyers. Perfect examples of coupe cars are the Ford Mustang and Porsche Boxster.


Convertibles, also known as cabriolets, can convert from an enclosed car into an open-air car. These cars have a folding or completely removable roofs.

The majority of convertibles folding roofs are made from fabric like canvas or vinyl (soft-top). Some convertibles cars have a retractable hardtop made from materials like metal or plastic.

The modern convertibles can automatically fold into the trunk whereas detachable hardtops can be removed by hands as well. Examples of convertibles include BMW Z4 and Audi A5

Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV):

A sports utility vehicle or SUV is a car that features elements of both on and off-road vehicles such as high ground clearance, bigger proportion, and four-wheel drive. It is a large vehicle that has been classified as a light truck. SUVs are typically a two-box design and can easily seat 7 to 8 people.

They have a towing capacity and of a pickup and offer a raised seating area of the Sedan. SUVs come in all shapes and sizes from subcompact Nissan Kicks to full-size Chevrolet traverse.

Deep tread tyres also play a crucial role in making them distinctive from sedans and coupes. Best rated SUV tyres can endure rough conditions such as rock crawling or mud driving, while sedans and coupes can only perform on highways and roads because the tyres cannot maintain traction on uneven terrains.

Station Wagon:

A station wagon is a car body style that has a two-box design, an extended roof, and a rear door that is hinged at the roof level. The station wagon body type is quite similar to the sedan apart from an extended hunched back tailgate which provides sufficient space for luggage and cargo.

Station wagons are a four-wheel-drive that offers a spacious interior and high performance. They are perfect for urban or country driving and have handling capabilities for rugged terrains. Audi Allroad and Volkswagen Golf is great example of station wagon cars.


A pick-up is a light-duty truck that has a passenger area referred to as either a single cab or a double cap. At the rear is an open cargo area known as a “bed” along with low sides and tailgate. They are specifically designed to provide better handling on rugged terrains.

Pickup trucks come in two sizes full-size and mid-size. They are quite popular among consumers and are ideal for those who love to drive around.

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