Welcome to our guide on car body styles. Whether you’re in the market for a new car or simply curious about the different types of body styles available, this guide will provide you with an overview of the most popular car body styles. From sedans to SUVs, we’ll take a closer look at the characteristics and features of each body style, helping you understand the pros and cons of each one. So, let’s get started and explore the different types of car body styles available on the market today.
Types of Cars Body Style
- Station wagon
- SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)
- Pickup truck
- MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle)
- Luxury cars
- Sports cars
- Electric cars
- Hybrid cars
- Compact cars
- Full-size cars
- City car
- Off-road vehicle
- Hardtop convertible
- Gran Turismo (GT)
- Coupé utility
A sedan, also known as a saloon car, is a type of car body style that typically features four doors, a fixed roof, and a separate trunk compartment for storing cargo. The term “sedan” comes from the French word “berline,” which refers to a car with a fixed roof and separate compartment for passengers and cargo.
Sedans are known for their spacious interiors, making them a popular choice for families and individuals who need a car with ample room for passengers and cargo. They are also known for their smooth ride and comfortable seats, making them great for long trips. Sedans come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from compact cars to luxury vehicles.
They are typically powered by a gasoline engine, but some models are also available with hybrid or electric powertrains. Some popular examples of sedans include the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, and BMW 3 Series.
A hatchback is a type of car body style that features a rear door that opens upward to provide access to the trunk or cargo area. This door is often referred to as a “hatch” and is hinged at the roof. The hatchback body style is characterized by its sloping rear roofline and a liftgate that provides access to the cargo area.
The cargo area is usually located behind the rear seat and can be expanded by folding down the rear seat. Hatchbacks are known for their compact design, versatile cargo space, and fuel efficiency. They are often smaller in size than sedans and are generally considered to be more practical for city driving and easy parking.
Many hatchbacks are also equipped with sporty features and are marketed as sporty or even sport-luxury vehicles. The most popular example of a hatchback is Volkswagen Golf.
A coupe is a type of car body style that typically has two doors and a fixed roof. It is often designed with sporty or luxurious features and is smaller in size compared to a sedan. The interior of a coupe typically has less space than a sedan, with a focus on sporty or luxurious features.
The rear seat is usually smaller, and may only be able to seat two passengers. Coupes are often chosen for their sleek and sporty design and are popular among car enthusiasts. They typically have a shorter wheelbase and a lower roofline than a sedan, which gives them a more aerodynamic and sporty look.
The main disadvantage of a coupe is its limited rear seat space and trunk space, making it less practical for families or those who need to transport larger items.
A convertible, also known as a cabriolet or roadster, is a type of car body style that features a retractable roof. This allows the occupants of the car to open the roof and enjoy open-air driving. Convertibles can have either a soft-top or hard-top roof and can come in a variety of different sizes and styles.
Some convertibles are designed for luxury and performance, while others are more compact and fuel-efficient. The main drawback of convertibles is that they typically have less interior space and trunk space than other body styles due to the roof mechanism. They also tend to be more expensive and less practical than other body styles.
5. Station wagon
A station wagon, also known as an estate car or simply wagon, is a type of car body style that is similar to a sedan, but with a longer roofline and a tailgate that opens to a large cargo area. Station wagons are typically larger than hatchbacks and coupes, and often have three rows of seats, making them a popular choice for families and those who need extra cargo space.
Station wagons generally come with a more traditional design, with a long hood and a trunk area. They usually have more space in the trunk area compared to sedans or hatchbacks, which makes them a great choice for long trips or for those who need to carry a lot of luggage.
6. SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)
An SUV, or sport utility vehicle, is a type of car that combines the features of a traditional passenger car with those of a light truck or off-road vehicle. They typically have a higher ground clearance, four-wheel drive, and a rugged, boxy exterior design. SUVs come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from compact crossover SUVs to full-size, luxury models.
They are popular for their versatility and ability to handle a variety of different driving conditions, from city streets to off-road terrain. Some popular features of SUVs include spacious interiors, advanced technology, and advanced safety features.
7. Pickup Truck
A pickup truck is a type of vehicle that typically features an open cargo area in the back, with a cab in the front for the driver and passengers. Pickup trucks are designed for hauling and transporting cargo or equipment and are often used for work-related tasks such as construction, farming, and landscaping.
They typically have four wheels and are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine. Pickup trucks are available in a variety of sizes, with full-size and mid-size options being the most common. Many modern pickup trucks also come equipped with features such as four-wheel drive, towing capabilities, and advanced safety and technology systems.
A van is a type of vehicle that is typically larger than a car and is used for transporting cargo or passengers. Vans are available in a variety of sizes and configurations and can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as commercial delivery, transportation of goods, or as a family vehicle.
Vans typically have a boxy shape and a high roof, which allows for ample cargo space and headroom. They also often have sliding side doors and rear cargo doors for easy loading and unloading. Some popular examples of vans include the Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and the Honda Odyssey.
9. MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle)
MPV, or Multi-Purpose Vehicle, is a type of car body style that is designed to provide a combination of passenger and cargo space. MPVs are typically larger and taller than traditional sedans, and they often have a minivan-like design with sliding doors and a spacious interior that can be configured to seat between six and eight passengers.
Some MPVs also have a third row of seating that can be folded down to increase cargo space. MPVs are often used for family transportation, as well as for commercial and recreational purposes. They are also known as minivans or people carriers.
10. Luxury Cars
Luxury cars, also known as luxury vehicles, are high-end vehicles that are designed for comfort, performance, and style. They typically feature premium materials, advanced technology, and powerful engines. Luxury cars are often larger and more opulent than standard cars and come with a higher price tag.
Examples of luxury car brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Audi. Some luxury cars are also considered exotic cars, which are rare and high-performance vehicles that are typically only produced in limited quantities. Examples of exotic car brands include Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.
11. Sports Cars
Sports cars, also known as sports coupes, are designed for high-performance driving and are often characterized by their sleek and aerodynamic body styles, powerful engines, and advanced handling and suspension systems. They typically have two doors and seating for two or four passengers.
Some common features of sports cars include a low-slung stance, large wheels and tires, and a focus on speed and agility. Examples of sports cars include the Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, and Ford Mustang.
12. Electric Cars
An electric car (EV) is a vehicle that runs on electricity from a battery instead of gasoline. The electricity is stored in the battery and can be charged from an external source, such as a charging station or a wall outlet. EVs have an electric motor and a control system that deliver power to the wheels, which makes them emission-free, quiet, and smooth to drive.
They are also more efficient than conventional cars and cost less to operate, as electricity is cheaper than gasoline. Some common benefits of EVs include reduced environmental impact, reduced fuel costs, and improved driving experience.
13. Hybrid Cars
A hybrid car is a vehicle that uses two or more power sources to move the vehicle. The most common type of hybrid car is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), which combines a conventional gasoline engine with an electric motor and battery. The gasoline engine powers the car at high speeds, while the electric motor provides power at low speeds, or during acceleration. The battery is charged both by regenerative braking and by the gasoline engine, and stores energy that can be used to power the electric motor.
Hybrid cars offer better fuel efficiency compared to conventional gasoline vehicles and can reduce emissions, as the electric motor can power the car alone for short distances, reducing the need for gasoline. However, they are generally more expensive than conventional cars and their battery has a limited range.
14. Compact Cars
Compact cars, also known as subcompact cars, are small vehicles designed for city driving and urban commuting. They typically have a smaller engine, shorter length, and lighter weight compared to larger vehicles. This makes them more maneuverable, easier to park, and cheaper to operate, as they consume less fuel and have a lower cost of ownership.
Compact cars offer the advantages of small size, good fuel efficiency, and low emissions, making them a popular choice for those looking for an affordable, eco-friendly and practical mode of transportation. However, they may have limited interior space and may not be suitable for long road trips or transporting large cargo.
15. Full-size Cars
Full-size cars are larger vehicles that offer more interior space and comfort compared to smaller vehicles. They typically have a longer length, wider body, and larger engine, and are designed to accommodate five or more passengers and their luggage comfortably. Full-size cars offer the benefits of a spacious interior, a smooth and comfortable ride, and more premium features and amenities compared to smaller vehicles.
They are a popular choice for families and for those who need a larger vehicle for long road trips or for transporting cargo. However, full-size cars tend to be less fuel-efficient than smaller vehicles and can be more expensive to purchase and operate.
A supercar is a high-performance sports car designed for speed and handling. Supercars are typically powered by large and powerful engines and are built with lightweight materials and advanced aerodynamics to optimize performance. They offer exceptional speed and handling and often feature sleek and stylish designs that are unique and eye-catching.
Supercars are often considered luxury vehicles and can be very expensive. They are not typically used for everyday driving or practical transportation, but rather as a status symbol or for driving enthusiasts who want a high-performance vehicle for racing or for pure enjoyment.
A microcar is a small and ultra-compact car designed for city driving and urban commuting. Microcars are characterized by their tiny size and lightweight, which makes them easy to maneuver in tight spaces and economical to operate, as they consume less fuel. They typically have a small engine, a minimalist interior, and basic features.
Microcars are a popular choice for those who live in crowded cities and need a compact and practical mode of transportation. However, they may have limited interior space, may not be suitable for long trips, and may not be as safe as larger vehicles.
18. City Car
A city car is a small and compact vehicle designed for urban driving and city commuting. City cars are characterized by their small size, maneuverability, and fuel efficiency, which make them ideal for navigating busy city streets and finding parking in tight spaces. They typically have a lightweight design and a small engine, which contributes to their low cost of ownership and low emissions.
City cars offer the advantages of small size, easy handling, and low operating costs, making them a popular choice for city dwellers and for those looking for an affordable and eco-friendly mode of transportation. However, they may have limited interior space and may not be suitable for long road trips or for transporting larger cargo.
19. Off-road Vehicle
An off-road vehicle is a type of vehicle designed for off-road driving on rough and uneven terrain, such as mud, rocks, and gravel. Off-road vehicles typically have higher ground clearance, four-wheel drive, and specialized tires and suspension systems, which allow them to traverse rough terrain and handle difficult driving conditions. They are also equipped with features such as skid plates and heavy-duty bumpers to protect the vehicle from damage.
Off-road vehicles include SUVs, trucks, and recreational vehicles (RVs) and can be used for activities such as camping, hunting, and off-road racing. Off-road vehicles are not designed for high-speed driving on paved roads, and may not be as fuel-efficient or practical as vehicles designed for on-road use.
A roadster is a type of sports car with an open-top design and two seats. Roadsters are designed for performance and handling, and often feature a powerful engine and lightweight construction to optimize speed and agility. The open-top design offers a unique driving experience and allows drivers and passengers to enjoy the wind and sun while driving.
Roadsters are typically sportier and more focused on driving performance than convertibles, which are similar in design but offer more comfort and luxury features. Roadsters are often considered luxury vehicles and can be expensive, but they offer a unique combination of style, performance, and driving enjoyment.
A fastback is a type of car body style that features a sloping rear roofline that seamlessly blends into the trunk or rear deck of the vehicle. The fastback design offers a sleek and sporty appearance and is often found in sports cars and high-performance vehicles. Unlike a traditional sedan or wagon, which has a vertical rear window and separate trunk lid, a fastback has a single, sloping rear window that extends down to the rear bumper.
This design provides a more aerodynamic shape, which can improve fuel efficiency and handling performance. Fastbacks also typically offer more interior space and cargo capacity than a coupe or a convertible, as the sloping roofline does not take up as much space inside the vehicle.
A Targa is a type of car body style that features a removable roof panel over the front seats, but with a permanent roof structure over the rear seats. The Targa design was first introduced by Porsche and is named after the famous Targa Florio road race in Sicily, Italy. A Targa provides the open-air experience of a convertible, but with the added security and protection of a permanent roof structure over the rear seats.
This makes it a popular choice for sports car enthusiasts who want a combination of open-top driving and a more secure and weather-protected interior. The removable roof panel can be stored in the trunk when not in use, and some Targa models also feature a foldable or retractable rear window for added versatility.
A hardtop is a type of car body style that features a solid roof, as opposed to a convertible, which has a retractable or removable roof. The hardtop design provides a more weather-tight and secure interior, as well as better noise insulation, compared to a convertible. Hardtops are typically found on coupes, sedans, and sports cars, and can offer a sportier and more stylish appearance than traditional sedans or wagons.
Some hardtops also feature a retractable or removable roof panel for added versatility, offering the best of both worlds by combining the benefits of a solid roof with the open-air driving experience of a convertible. Hardtops are often considered to be more practical and safer than convertibles, as they offer better protection from the elements and improved crash safety in the event of an accident.
A soft top, also known as a convertible, is a type of car body style that features a retractable or removable roof. Soft-tops are designed for open-air driving and provide a unique driving experience compared to hardtops or sedans. They are typically found on sports cars and convertibles and offer the flexibility to switch between a closed and open-air driving experience. Soft tops can be either manual or automatic, and the roof can be raised or lowered with the push of a button.
The roof is typically made of a flexible material, such as cloth or vinyl, that can be easily stored in the trunk or rear deck when not in use. Soft tops offer a stylish and sporty appearance, but may have less structural integrity than hard tops and may not provide as much protection from the elements.
A notchback is a type of car body style that features a separate trunk and a vertical rear window. The term “notchback” refers to the distinctive shape of the rear roofline, which forms a “notch” between the rear window and the trunk. Notchbacks are often found on sedans, coupes, and sports cars, and are considered to be a more traditional and practical car body style compared to fastbacks or hatchbacks.
Notchbacks typically offer more trunk space and cargo capacity than fastbacks, as the separate trunk lid and vertical rear window provide more usable space. The notchback design also provides a more traditional and formal appearance, which is often favored by drivers who prefer a more conservative and understated look.
A fastback is a type of car body style that features a sloping rear roofline that seamlessly blends into the trunk or rear deck of the vehicle. The fastback design offers a sleek and sporty appearance and is often found on sports cars and high-performance vehicles. Unlike a traditional sedan or wagon, which has a vertical rear window and separate trunk lid, a fastback has a single, sloping rear window that extends down to the rear bumper.
This design provides a more aerodynamic shape, which can improve fuel efficiency and handling performance. Fastbacks also typically offer more interior space and cargo capacity than a coupe or a convertible, as the sloping roofline does not take up as much space inside the vehicle.
A liftback is a type of car body style that features a rear hatchback and a sloping roofline. The term “liftback” is often used interchangeably with “hatchback”, and refers to a vehicle that has a combined trunk and passenger compartment, with a rear door that opens upward to provide access to the cargo area. Liftbacks are similar in design to fastbacks, but with the added practicality and versatility of a hatchback.
This makes them a popular choice for families and drivers who need a vehicle with a good balance of style and practicality. Liftbacks offer more interior and cargo space than a sedan, and the rear hatch provides easy access to the trunk and interior. Some liftbacks also feature foldable or split-folding rear seats, which can be used to expand the cargo area when needed.
28. Hardtop Convertible
A hardtop convertible is a type of car body style that features a retractable or removable hard roof. Hardtop convertibles are designed to offer the best of both worlds, combining the sleek and stylish appearance of a convertible with the weather-tightness, security, and noise insulation of a hardtop. Hardtop convertibles typically have a metal roof that is either retractable or removable and can be operated either manually or automatically.
When the roof is in place, the vehicle provides a solid, weather-tight interior, much like a hardtop or sedan. When the roof is retracted or removed, the car provides an open-air driving experience, much like a convertible. Hardtop convertibles are often considered to be a more practical and versatile alternative to traditional convertibles, as they offer the convenience and protection of a solid roof when needed, and the open-air driving experience of a convertible when desired.
A landaulet is a type of car body style that features a convertible top over the rear passenger compartment and a fixed roof over the front driver compartment. Landaulets were originally designed as a luxury form of transportation and were often used by royalty, politicians, and other VIPs. The landaulet design provides the rear passengers with an open-air driving experience, while the driver remains protected from the elements by the fixed roof.
Landaulets typically feature a distinctive, elegant design, with plush, comfortable seating and luxurious amenities. Today, landaulets are a rare and exotic type of car and are typically reserved for special events, such as weddings and other formal gatherings.
A shooting brake is a type of car body style that originated as a horse-drawn carriage for hunting. The term “shooting brake” refers to the versatile design of the vehicle, which is capable of transporting both passengers and gear for shooting parties. In modern usage, shooting brakes are typically described as a type of station wagon that features a more stylish and sporty appearance than a traditional wagon.
Shooting brakes often have a distinctive, sporty roofline that slopes down towards the rear of the vehicle, providing a more aerodynamic shape and a more sporty appearance. Shooting brakes typically offer a good balance of style and practicality, offering more interior and cargo space than a sedan, coupe, or convertible, but with a more stylish and sporty appearance than a traditional wagon.
A T-top is a type of car roof that features a pair of removable panels, typically located over the front and rear seats. T-tops provide a convertible-like experience by allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy the open air, while still providing the security and protection of a hardtop roof. T-tops were first introduced in the 1970s and were popular in sports cars and performance vehicles of that era.
T-top roofs consist of a pair of removable panels that are attached to the main roof structure of the vehicle. The panels are typically made of metal, glass, or a combination of both, and can be removed and stored in the trunk or rear compartment of the vehicle. The T-top design provides a sporty and stylish appearance, while also allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy the open air.
However, the T-top design is not as versatile as a full convertible roof, as the panels are typically smaller and do not provide as much open air as a full convertible top.
A spider is a type of car body style that features a roadster or convertible design, typically with two seats. Spiders are known for their sleek and sporty design, as well as their open-air driving experience. Spiders typically feature a soft-top or retractable hardtop roof, which can be lowered to provide an open-air driving experience. The name “spider” is derived from the open-air design of the car, which is said to resemble the body of a spider.
Spiders are often favored by car enthusiasts for their sporty handling and performance, as well as for their stylish design and open-air driving experience. Spiders are typically smaller and lighter than other types of cars, which makes them well-suited for winding roads and high-performance driving.
Berlinetta is an Italian term for a type of car body style that features a coupe design with a closed roof. Berlinettas are known for their sporty and stylish design, as well as their aerodynamic shape. Berlinettas typically have two doors and a fixed roof, which provides a sleek and aerodynamic appearance. The roofline of a Berlinetta typically slopes down towards the rear of the vehicle, which provides a sporty and stylish appearance. Berlinettas are often favored by car enthusiasts for their sporty handling and performance, as well as for their stylish design and aerodynamic shape.
Berlinettas are typically smaller and lighter than other types of cars, which makes them well-suited for high-performance driving and winding roads. Berlinettas have a rich history, dating back to the 1950s, and have been a staple of the Italian sports car market for many decades.
34. Gran Turismo (GT)
Gran Turismo (GT) is a term used to describe a type of car that is designed for high-speed, long-distance driving. GT cars are typically larger and more luxurious than other types of sports cars and are designed to provide a comfortable and sporty driving experience on the highway and on long road trips.
GT cars are typically two-door coupes or convertibles with a stylish and aerodynamic designs. They often feature spacious and comfortable interiors, with amenities like air conditioning, comfortable seating, and advanced audio and navigation systems. GT cars are also designed for performance, with powerful engines, advanced suspension systems, and precise handling.
GT cars are favored by car enthusiasts for their combination of luxury and performance and are often used for long-distance road trips and high-speed driving. The term “Gran Turismo” is derived from the Italian word for “grand touring,” which refers to the long-distance, high-speed driving that these cars are designed for.
Touring is a term used to describe a type of car body style that is designed for comfort and long-distance driving. Touring cars are typically larger and more luxurious than other types of cars, and are designed to provide a comfortable and relaxed driving experience on the highway and on long road trips. Touring cars are typically four-door sedans with a spacious and comfortable interiors, featuring amenities like air conditioning, comfortable seating, and advanced audio and navigation systems.
They are also designed for performance, with smooth and powerful engines, advanced suspension systems, and precise handling. Touring cars are favored by car enthusiasts for their combination of luxury and performance, and are often used for long-distance road trips and high-speed driving. The term “touring” is derived from the idea of touring, or traveling, in a comfortable and stylish vehicle.
36. Coupé Utility
A Coupé Utility, also known as a Ute, is a type of car body style that combines elements of a coupe and a utility vehicle. This type of car features a two-door, closed-cabin design with a pick-up truck bed at the rear.
Coupé Utilities are designed to provide the practicality of a pick-up truck, while also offering the style and driving experience of a coupe. They typically feature a smaller and more aerodynamic design than traditional pick-up trucks and are often favored by car enthusiasts for their sporty handling and performance.
Coupé Utilities are popular in Australia, where they are used for both personal and commercial purposes. They are often used for light hauling, camping, and off-road adventures, due to their combination of style and practicality.
What is a car body style?
A car body style refers to the overall design and shape of a vehicle, including the number of doors, the type of roof, and the position of the engine.
What are the different types of car body styles?
Some common car body styles include a hatchback, sedan, SUV, coupe, convertible, station wagon, and pickup truck.
What are the factors that determine a car body style?
Factors that determine a car’s body style include the intended use of the vehicle, the type of driving experience desired, and the number of passengers to be accommodated.
What is the difference between a coupe and a convertible?
A coupe is a two-door car with a fixed roof, while a convertible is a two-door car with a retractable roof.
What is a liftback?
A liftback is a type of car body style that combines elements of a hatchback and a wagon. It has a sloping roofline that leads to a rear hatch, providing easy access to the cargo area.
What is a shooting brake?
A shooting brake is a type of car body style that is similar to a wagon but has a more sporty and stylish design. It typically features a two-door design with a sloping roofline and a long, spacious interior.
What is a Berlinetta?
A Berlinetta is an Italian term for a type of car body style that features a coupe design with a closed roof. Berlinettas are known for their sporty and stylish design, as well as their aerodynamic shape.