20 Different Types of Cars and Their Key Features


Vehicles, including passenger cars and truck-based SUVs, can be grouped into 20 vehicle types, from sedans to hatchbacks and pickups. It is easy to classify all types of cars. It informs and guides you to better understand the special features of your vehicle. But sometimes it can be misleading.

As useful as this classification is, its usefulness should not prevent us from understanding the value and unique characteristics of a car. The easiest way to define a vehicle is its appearance. What is the first thing you notice when a car approaches you on the road? This is called “body style”. Big and boxy? How many low and flat doors are there? Body style is the easiest way to categorize your vehicle.

Types of Cars Body Style

Here are the top 21 cars on the market, sorted by body style.

Types of Car
SedanCoupeSportscarsStation wagon
HatchbackConvertibleSport-utility vehicle (SUV)Minivan
Pickup truckJeepElectric carCUV/Crossover
SpyderHot hatchLimousineUTE
Pony carSports sedanMilitary vehicleDragster


sadan (Types of Cars)

A sedan is a typical example of a four-door passenger car. Sedans often have a three-box design with the engine, passenger and cargo in separate compartments for better weight distribution and a more stable ride.

In addition, the unibody structure significantly reduces the vehicle’s weight and improves fuel efficiency. This sedan does not have glass windows in the cargo compartment, which provides good protection of the cargo against theft.

This sedan has four doors and a regular trunk. As with many car categories, they range from small (subcompacts like the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio) to compact (Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla), midsize (Honda Accord, Nissan Altima) and full-size (Toyota Avalon, Dodge Charger). Luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Lexus have similarly sized sedans.


Types of Cars

A coupe is a type of car defined by simplicity. The word “coupe” conjures up images of compact sedans. That is, a two-door car with a trunk and a fixed roof. But the exciting attraction of this car is the sloping roofline that gives it a more stylish and sportier look.

As far as looks go, coupes are usually loaded with extra bells and whistles, from sharp handling to hundreds of horsepower. This coupe takes up minimal space and is an impressive minimalist car. Not together with family or friends. For single riders or couples who want to explore the world.

Previously, a coupe was considered a two-door car with a trunk and a fixed roof. This includes cars like the Ford Mustang and Audi A5, as well as two-seater sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche Boxster.

Recently, however, automakers have started using the term “coupe” for four-door cars or crossovers with low, sleek rooflines that they consider “coupe-like.” This includes vehicles as diverse as the Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan and the BMW X6 SUV. But we still think of the coupe as a two-door.


SPORTS CAR (Types of Cars)

A sports car is a car designed for dynamic performance such as handling, acceleration, top speed and driving excitement. A sports car is a small luxury car that is designed for speed and minimal cargo and cabin space, and usually accommodates two people and has good handling and speed. Sports cars are usually considered luxury cars, but they are completely designed for performance.

By definition, a sports car is a two-seater convertible that can be driven in open air and has a sporty appearance. Automakers pack great features like nimble maneuverability, better acceleration and better handling into sports cars that contribute significantly to their unmatched power and thrilling ride.

Cars like the Porsche 911 and Mazda Miata are typical sports cars, but the definition can also be extended to muscle cars like the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger.

Then there are the exotic dream cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Aston Martin Vantage, which stop traffic with their spaceship looks and cost a whopping 1%.



Most importantly, station wagons, also called estate cars, look like stretched versions of sedans and offer more cargo space. One of the most obvious of them is the combination of sedan and hatchback.

Station wagons are ideal for large families who need reliable transportation. Aside from the extra space, station wagons also get better mileage than similar SUVs.

Some, like the Subaru Outback and Audi A4 Allroad, have more ground clearance and rugged bodywork, making them more like sport utility vehicles (SUVs), but still closely related to sedans. Wagons have declined in popularity over the past few decades, and relatively few are sold in the United States.



The most notable part of the hatchback is the upward-moving rear hatch. These types of cars usually have two or four doors, excluding the trunk. Hatchbacks are very similar to sedans and both are classified as passenger cars.

The biggest difference between them is their cargo capacity. Hatchbacks can usually carry more cargo than sedans. Plus, you can get rid of bulky shopping bags and other heavy loads more easily. If your priorities are more cargo and better fuel economy, a hatchback is the way to go.

Volkswagen Golf and Kia Rio are two common hatchback models. More recently, hatchbacks have been adopted for larger vehicles such as the Audi A7 and Kia Stinger.

It looks like a sedan, but it actually has a sloping tailgate that allows easier access to the cargo area and offers more cargo capacity than a traditional trunk.



Convertibles have been known for decades for their recognizable beauty and endearing designs. These types of cars have been popular for decades, as they have become icons of cinema and symbols of freedom and youth.

It has a retractable canopy and small cabins that sometimes only accommodate two people. They also have small holders.

Can the roof be folded into the body and the cabin exposed to the elements? If so, it’s a convertible. Most convertibles have full power folding fabric roofs, but some must be lowered manually.

There are also a number of models with retractable hardtops as well as rare semi-convertibles (so-called Targatops) such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, Porsche 911 Targa and Corvette. Only the front part of the roof can be folded or removed by hand.



A sport utility vehicle (SUV) is defined by its off-road capabilities and interior space. These types of cars are made with long journeys in mind. Cross-country riding is comfortable on rough and rugged terrains. The seat position is relatively high and you can see the road.

These features are made possible by the rigid body-on-frame construction borrowed from trucks. So, if you enjoy outdoor adventures and expect to haul a dirt bike, an SUV might be right for you.

They include station wagon-like cargo spaces accessible through sliding hatchback doors, and many have all-wheel drive. The larger one has 3 rows of seats. Sizes range from small cars (Hyundai Kona, Nissan Kicks) to medium to large cars (Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe). Luxury brands offer many SUV models in almost the same class.


MINIVAN (Types of Cars)

When designing a minivan, the size of the cabin is usually more important than the size of the storage space. These types of cars are often associated with station wagons and family cars.

It was built with the special idea that the whole family can fit in it. The cargo compartment is large, but not satisfactory compared to a hatchback.

Minivans are the workhorses of the family car world and the best way to move people and luggage in one efficient package. It’s called a minivan, but it’s definitely not a “mini.” That’s because it’s a tall box on wheels with sliding side doors for easy access and a tailgate that opens into a large cargo area.

Most minivans have second- and third-row seats that can often be removed or folded into the floor to create a large open cargo area. Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica are good examples of this breed.


PICKUP TRUCK (Types of Cars)

Pickups are one of the most famous types of cars in the world. Its unique design makes it stand out from other cars. The cargo space is completely separate from the cabin space and usually only accommodates 3-4 people at a time.

A pickup truck has a passenger cabin and an open bed in the back. Almost all pickups offer some form of all-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive, although the latter is off-road only. With one exception, the mid-size Honda Ridgeline pickup truck is a cab mounted on a separate steel frame.

The Ridgeline is like a cross, with the back of the roof cut away to reveal the cargo bed. Currently, there are two size categories for pickup trucks: full size and medium size.


Jeep (Types of Cars)

Jeep is like Kleenex. A product model that is synonymous with the entire product line. Jeep is designed and manufactured as a model by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Jeep appeared in November 1940 just before America entered World War II.

They were used extensively during the war and subsequent wars, as they could move over all types of terrain.

Chrysler acquired the Jeep brand in 1987 and has expanded its model range ever since. While the traditional design is gaining popularity, Chrysler also developed a Cherokee SUV model.


ELECTRIC CAR (Types of Cars)

I can’t wait to lease my next car, which will be electric car. It’s an exciting time as most automakers will be offering many electric vehicle options in the next few years. Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes all have fleets of electric cars.

Of course, Tesla is currently the top dog in this space, but it will face stiffer competition in the next five years. General Motors Volt is also a good option.

I like Tesla’s design, but it doesn’t quite match the look of Porsche’s first electric car. Check it out… Mission E. What I love about the Mission E is that it’s a four-door, and yet it looks so cool. I have a small child so 2 doors are not possible.


If we want to describe this crossover in one word, it will be “combination of an SUV and a hatchback”. This crossover has the practicality of an SUV, but with a lightweight and fuel-efficient integrated structure, it has excellent hatchback-like fuel efficiency.


Spider is a two-seater car that looks like a sports car. There are many variations, one of which is the popular Lamborghini Spyder. Its use has spread all over the world and it is known as a luxury car.

There was a time in the 50s and 60s when it was used as a race car by the Automobile Club of America. Spiders are also often referred to as roadsters, originally used to describe horses suitable for running on public roads.

Spyder, which was initially a single-seater car, gradually became known internationally as a two-seater model.


The hot hatch car is a high-performance car that takes its design from the hatchback. It has the same door that swings open in the back and a similar shape.

Though not as spacious or large as the hatchback, it can still fit up to 5 passengers and quite a bit of cargo. It began being manufactured in the late 1980s and is a favorite among consumers in Europe and Asia.


A limousine is considered one of the most luxurious cars in the world. These types of cars are noted for its large length and the partition between the back and the front.

The limousine is driven by a chauffeur in most cases and is pre-booked for formal affairs. Limousines are usually owned or used by movie stars, businessmen, dignitaries, or politicians.


A UTE, an abbreviation of utility, is a term for a car typically purchased in Australia and New Zealand for cars standing behind the passenger cabin.

It can be driven with a regular driver’s license. It was originally used to refer to cars built on passenger car chassis with the bed attached to the passenger body.

Any vehicle with an open cargo area at the rear is now referred to as a UTE in the New Zealand-Australia region.


The Pony car has its roots in the Ford Mustangs of the 1940s and 50s. These types of cars were wildly popular in the 1960s and even broke sales records in the US. It created the pony car craze and was designed as an affordable, compact, and highly stylized alternative for Americans.

It was a direct consequence of customers’ interests in small cars that had a sporty and luxurious design.


The Sports Sedan or the Sports Saloon is a very subjective term for a car. It is designed for great performance and impeccable handling features. The term goes back to the 1930s and includes the Rover 14 and 16 cars.

Sports Sedan was a term that began being applied to sports versions of cars for different manufacturers in the 1960s. The originals used manual transmissions and rear-wheel drives. However, as time passed, a number of other transmission types and layouts became common.

Some important cars that fall into the category are the BMW M5, the Jaguar XJR, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG


Military vehicles are designed for combat and endurance on the battlefield. They are designed to withstand bullets and blasts and are equipped with extensive armor and protection. Capable of transporting soldiers, ammunition, and lots of cargo, they run at top speed while transporting cargo.


Dragsters are modified racecars. With modified engines, they are specially built for drag racing. They were first built during the 1960s and fitted with front-engine rails, and slingshots. Dragsters can be supercharged or turbocharged based on their designs.

They can run on alcohol, natural gas, or a mixture of nitromethane and gasoline. Rear engine dragsters have now become the standard dragster design because of their durability and performance benefits.


The Shooting Brake is a term for a vehicle with a specific body shape. It was once used for horse-drawn wagons used to transport rifle squads to their hunting grounds. The first with automotive capabilities were developed in the early 1900s.

They are known for their elongated sterns and large cabin spaces. They take several clues from the tailgate. One of the most commonly manufactured Shooting Brake cars is the Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Classification Of Cars

Cars are classified into various categories depending on several factors. Here is a list of those classifications.

1. Based on Body Style:

Vehicles are categorized according to the styling of the body. Some of the cars that come under this group are convertible, coupe, hatchback, minivans, crossover, etc.

2. Based on the Car Segment:

Vehicles are categorized based on the elements that your car has. Subcompact cars, green cars, compact cars, muscle cars, and luxury cars are some the examples of this group.

3. Based on Size:

These vehicles are segregated based on their size. Microcars, compact cars, mid-size cars, and extra-large cars are some of the examples in this group.

4. Based on Fuel:

Vehicles are divided based on the type of fuel used in them. Some of the cars that come under this group are diesel cars, electric cars, natural gas cars, hydrogen cars, etc.

5. Based on Purpose:

This is a category of vehicles that are divided according to the purpose they are used. Commercial cars, family cars, exotic cars, racing cars, and sports cars are some of the vehicles that come under this group.

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