18 Types of Vehicles – Car Body Styles

Different Vehicle Types

It can be challenging to purchase a new car or vehicle if you are not familiar with the different vehicle types.

Just like clothes, cars also have classifications. Each car model serves a specific purpose.

First, you will need to identify your specific needs like luggage space, the number of passengers, engine size, and fuel efficiency before purchasing a new car.

Technological innovations have led to new car types that did not exist a few years ago. Here are the most common vehicle types in 2021:

1. Microcar

Smart Car

These are tiny cars that often come with an engine size of less than one liter and 700c. They come in various unusual designs and are ideal for city traffic due to their fuel efficiency and parking ease.

The microcar is most often a two-passenger vehicle. Examples of microcars include cyclecars, bubble cars, and the Tata Nano car. Modern microcars are most often electrically powered.

2. Sedan

Sedan Car

A sedan has four doors and a separate boot. The difference between a hatchback and a sedan is that the rear trunk door does not include the rear window. The door hinges are installed under the window.

Sedan cars are often quite limited of space in the trunk, but they often have a little bit sportier look if you are looking for it.

3. CUV (Crossover)

Crossover Car

A crossover is often confused with an SUV. The crossover is a light off-road car with some SUV features. A crossover does often come with a two-wheel drive but can also come with 4-wheel-drive. It is basically an off-road car chassis but more built for city traffic.

A key differentiating factor is a chassis – the crossover uses a light monochrome while the SUV utilizes a ladder frame chassis. Basically, it means that a CUV shares the frame of a car, and the SUV shares the frame of a truck. It can often be referred to as a mix of an SUV and a hatchback.

4. SUVs

Suv Land Cruiser

The SUV is a large car that can carry five to seven passengers. They are basically the same as a crossover, except they are built on a body-on-frame chassis. They are often 4wd and have good off-road capabilities.

They often come armed with the latest electronics and are very comfortable to ride in. They also often come with off-road accessories like enhanced suspension and large wheels. You can have SUVs in varying sizes – compact, mid-size, and full-size. A good example of an SUV is the range rover, Jeep Cherokee or Suzuki Vitara.

5. Hatchback

Hatchback Golf

A Hatchback car is basically a mix of a sedan and a combi car. They often come in a 5 door setup and have a trunk door that opens upward. Like the combi, a hatchback has door hinges above the rear window. The difference between a combi and a hatchback is often the size and the fact that the combi often has a much steeper angle on the trunk door.

6. Roadster

Roadster Car

A roadster car is basically a cabriolet car, but with two door and does often not have a backseat. They are therefore good for only two people. When it comes to the size, they are often very small.

They do often have a sporty look and are perfect for those who like to enjoy good weather together with your friend or fiancee.

7. Station Wagon

Volvo V90

A Station Wagon is not a very common car model type, but they do absolutely exist. They are basically a combi car, but they are often very long with more angle on the trunk.

A good example of a station wagon is the volvo v90.

8. Pickup

Pickup Truck

Pickup cars have become very common in recent years. A pickup has an enclosed cab with an open cargo area. They can either be two passengers or four.

Pickups are ideal for farmers and transporting goods due to their large cargo areas. They do come in both 2WD and 4WD.

9. Van

Van Truck

A Van is a two or three seated car model that is often used to transport goods. They often have a sealed cabin from the cargo area. They most often do not have windows to the cargo area, but there are glass windows at the rear doors in some models.

10. Coupe

Coupe Car

A coupe car is basically a sedan but with two doors instead of four. Coupe cars often have a back seat for two or three more passengers, but you often have to fold any of the front seats to get there. A little bit of sportier car models mostly uses coupe cars.

11. Supercar

Supercar

These are high-performance cars with large engines. Most are two-seaters while being very expensive – some are going for as high as one million dollars. Most have V8 or V12 while generating over 500 hp. Depending on the model, the sports car comes with an open roof.

12. Camper Van

Campervan

A camper van is often a truck chassis rebuilt for camping. They do often have a kitchen, toilet, and other necessary accessories for a perfect camping trip. A camper van can also refer to a minivan rebuilt for camping, like a Volkswagen transporter, for example.

13. Mini Truck

Mini Truck

A mini truck is exactly what it sounds like – a small truck. It is a mix of a Pickup truck and a truck. They often have two or three seats and an open cargo area but can also come with a closed area. They are often built on a truck chassis and are often pretty strong built for heavy loading.

14. Cabriolet

Cabriolet

These car models come with a retractable roof. They can both be two-seaters or four-seaters. They can basically be any car model with a retractable roof, while the roadster is often a special car model.

15. Minivan

Minivan

A Minivan is a Van, but instead of a cargo area, it has seats for passengers. It often has 7 or 8 passenger seats, making it perfect for bigger families or taxi cars. They do often have a sliding door on one or both sides of the car.

16. Truck

Truck

Most people know what a truck is. It is a two or three seated vehicle type, sometimes equipped with a bed behind the seats. It has a large cargo area and is primarily used for transporting goods by companies.

17. Big Truck

Volvo Big Truck

A big truck is exactly what it sounds like – a truck but bigger. These trucks do often have a whole living area behind the seats and often a much longer cargo area made for transporting a lot of goods for long distances. They do often have very big and powerful engines.

18. Limousine

Limousine

On the last place on our list, you will find the limousine car. A limousine is a stretched car that is often used by celebrities and pop stars. It features an elongated base and can be created from various car models.

They are often not created like this in the factories but are rebuilt after leaving the factory, often by special companies.

Did we forget any car model? Let us know in the comments!

Written by: Magnus Sellén

Founder, owner & main author of Mechanic Base. I have been repairing cars for more than 10 years, specialized in advanced diagnostics & troubleshooting. I have also been a drifting driver and mechanic for over 7 years.