Car body types


In just a few decades, the automotive industry has made a significant breakthrough in the field of technical equipment of cars and design. Particularly well developed and large-scale work among car manufacturers in the exterior design and structural differences between cars. Not little attention is paid in this new type of body. Therefore it is not rare today, the old models get a new life just by changing the design of the body.

With this in mind, try to figure out what types of bodies offer automakers today and their features. Especially that sometimes in some models of cars, the boundaries between different types of bodies are erased, and therefore seldom manufacturers call such a body in its own way.

The classification of car bodytypes

Let’s start with the most common – sedan body type. This body type is called in different countries in different ways. In UK it is Saloon; Berline in France; Germany – Limousine; Spain – Berlina. This body type is a classic. It may consist of two or three-box body. The main elements are: engine compartment, passenger compartment, the luggage compartment.

car body types

2015 Honda Accord as an example of sedan

At the same time the passenger compartment can have two rows of seats, front and rear, but the interior is respectively for 4 or 5 people. This type of car is a 4-door. If the letter «L» is used in model name, this means that this model has an elongated base. The elongated body type active and widely used in the creation of executive sedans and luxury class. For example, BMW 750iL.


This body type is similar to a sedan in appearance. The only difference is that the body has two side doors. In the interior, only one row of seats usually placed. While there are popular models in coupe, which have two rows of seats. There is also could be a small second row with seats usable only for baggage or kind. This kind of cars named 2+2. The front passenger seat have the ability to fold to clear way to the second row. Some manufacturers call this body type as Gran Turismo.

car body types

Subaru BRZ as an example of coupe

Hardtop sedan

This type of car body is different from the normal sedan. It does not have a car body side middle rack. Therefore, the lowered side windows forms open space in the interior. This bodytype was popular in the middle of the last century in the United States. The current models are extremely rare. This is largely due to the fact that with the absence of side pillars it is impossible to provide the necessary strength of the roof of the car, which reduces the safety in case of the vehicle rollover.

car body types

1970 Cadillac Deville as an example of hardtop sedan


Fastback – one of the rare types of car bodies. The structure is a two-box body, equipped with two or four doors. At the same time the roof of the back has a smooth slope. Currently, there are almost none models that have this type of body. The most popular vehicles are used in the first half of the last century. One of those cars was first generation Ford Mustang.

car body types

1967 AMC Marlin as an example of fastback


In fact it is one of the varieties of the sedan, but with a long base. The essential difference from the sedan limousine is the presence of an additional row of seats and the partition between the front and rear of the cabin.

car body types

Lincoln Town Car limousine version


Landau (or landaulet) is another representative of rare types of car bodies. Externally, the car with a body reminiscent of a limousine. The only difference, which determines the body type is the opening part of the roof over the rear rows of seats.

car body types

Maybach Landaulet

Cabriolet (Convertible)

Cabriolet also is one of the variations of the sedan. A distinctive feature of the convertible body type is the presence of folding roof over the saloon. At the same time the side windows fully lowered. There is also a coupe-cabrio variation which has foldable hardtop.

Cabover body

This body type is for passenger cars. It is used in the construction of passenger cars as a monocab. Recently, Korean and Chinese car manufacturers are actively using this arrangement of the body to create its compact cars. This body features steering wheel axle in front of the front axle of the car.

car body types

Legendary VW T1 as an example of cabover body


Van body type is markedly different from previous versions. Sinceit has a clear division to accommodate the driver and passengers, and space for cargo. However, there are varieties of utility vans. Their difference is the availability of seats for passengers in the rear of the car, and installation in the wall of a body of additional windows. Sometimes these cars do not have a utility partition between the compartments.

car body types

Chevrolet Express van


Speaking of vans remember such a popular modification of the body as a minivan. This name originated from the United States, where such cars have received the glory of family cars and gained much popularity. By design, the minivan is a one-box close type passenger car. Three or four rows of seats inside its body. This car is capable of carrying six or more passengers. If the car is assembled on the basis of the van, it is called a minibus (or microbus, depending on size), and this is not the passenger class, it’s in between – so-called small commercial vehicles.

car body types

Chrysler Town & Country as an example of minivan


So we call the body, which is the two-box design with the rear door. This body type is used to transport passengers and cargo. And the dimensions of the vehicle are comparable in size with other passenger cars. As a rule, cars with hatchback body have a folding rear seats, increasing their payload and volume of the luggage compartment. More frequently the compact class cars are 3-door or 4-door hatchbacks.

car body types

Chevrolet Sonic as an example of 4-door hatchback

Station wagon

Station wagons were popular at all times. And to this day not lost its popularity due to the high load capacity and large luggage compartment. This body type is a two-box, and has a back door, but the roof at the same time has a constant level. The rear compartment is not fenced off from the passenger. Also called versatile, estate in UK, Break in France, Kombi in Germany.

car body types

1981 Ford LTD Country Squire is a perfect example of station wagon car


Probably there are only a few who have not heard about roadster cars. Such cars often still classified as Spider (primarily by Italian manufacturers). It has the same convertible soft-tent that piled up, and the two-door layout. But comparing to cabriolet, it has only two seats. This body type is often used for the production of sports and charged versions of popular models.

car body types

Mazda MX-5 is a roadster


Targa – an interesting and little-used configuration of the body. It is characterized by a removable middle part of the roof over the driver and passenger seats. It is a rear type, used in some previous generation Chevy Corvette.

car body types

Targa version of Porsche 911 Carrera 4S


Literally, the name of this body Pickup derives from English to pick up. It can always be distinguished in the flow of cars at the expense of a clear separation of passenger and cargo compartment is constructed as a loading platform. Sometimes over the loading platform (body) are set special cases, which makes it similar to the wagons. In United States high-load pickup vehicles referred to trucks.

car body types

2015 Toyota Tacoma is an example of mid-size pickup truck


Classification of vehicles by body type would be incomplete if you do not recall the SUVs.. Such vehicles may have five or six doors. The difference is determined by the configuration of the rear door. It can be a two-step or single. Bodies of this type are large and reinforced by bearing elements. This allows the car to operate in difficult road conditions. Many experts in the automotive industry say: “the SUV is all-terrain wagon.” The vast majority of these off-road vehicles have frame body design.

car body types

Jeep Grand Cherokee is a frame body SUV

Crossover [SUV]

Crossover – the term literally appeared in the last decade. It represents two-box body of the closed type for the carriage of passengers. There could be both mid-size and compact size crossover SUVs. Unlike the off-road car, body plays the role of a main frame and supporting structure. It is, in fact, a compromise between high traffic and off-road durability, compactness and comfort of hatchbacks (wagons).

car body types

Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-size crossover SUV
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