By body styles:
A type of car in which the cargo area is located behind the rear pillars of the car, often separated from the passenger cabin. Compared to hatchbacks, sedans have better protection for the cargo against theft due to the lack of glass window.
A type of car in which the rear cargo door swings up when opened. The rear window exposes the content of the cargo space but can be covered up using the mat. Traditionally, hatchbacks are usually taller than sedans with the taller roof and taller driving position. With the seats folded, the cargo space can be linked with passenger room, creating a larger cargo space. Hatchbacks have shorter cargo length than sedans but in exchange, they have superior height.
Minivans are bigger sized hatchbacks that often come with third-row seats (6–8 seats). The main emphasis is on cabin space, which is why it’s often associated with family cars.
SUV is a type of car that emphasize on off-road capability. They are characterized by the tall ride height, boxy body shape (to make it easy to look around), tall bonnet (to see the distance between bonnet and object ahead), and most importantly, they use ladder frame chassis, which is also found in trucks. Ladder frame chassis is heavier than the usual monocoque chassis but has an advantage on off roading.
Often mistaken as SUV, CUV/crossover is probably the most confusing type of car. Some CUVs resemble the design of SUVs, but what makes it different is the chassis. SUVs use ladder frame chassis like trucks, while CUVs use the lighter monocoque chassis like sedans and hatchbacks. They are taller than hatchbacks but not as spacious as minivans.
Pickup is a type of car in which the cargo is separated from the passenger cabin and has an open cargo bed, which can be closed with the mat. The open cargo bed allows unlimited vertical space.
Coupes are basically cars with 2 doors. It can be based on sedan or hatchback.
Convertibles are cars that can fold its roof out, allowing passengers to interact with the outdoor wind.
They have longer cargo length than the sedan (or equally to sedan) with hatchback style cargo door. Station wagons are often a variation of an existing sedan/hatchback.
By length size (from smallest to largest):
The smallest size category for cars is micro. They are extremely small and can only fit 1 person. They are extremely rare because the size is not practical. Examples: BMW Isetta, Corbin Sparrow, Heinkel Kabine.
City car/Kei car/A-segment
They are considered small in most countries. In exchange for the short length, they often have the tall height to maximize space. In Japan, there is a size category called Kei cars. Kei cars are made to avoid size taxes and insurance cost. Examples: Smart Fortwo, Suzuki Wagon R, Volkswagen Up, Ford Ka.
The most common size for cars in developing Asian countries, which is considered a decent size. Examples: Toyota Yaris/Vios, Honda Fit/Jazz/City, Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta.
Compact/small family car/C-segment
The most common size for cars in developed countries. They are spacious enough for groceries and family. Examples: Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Golf/Jetta, Ford Focus, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series.
Midsize/large family car/D-segment
Usually, for family need, but some benefit from their engine size and cargo space. Examples: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series.
Considered the longest size for those who need for space or simply want the premium of extra space. Examples: Toyota Crown, Honda Legend, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series.
The most basic class for mainstream needs.
Have superior features and quality above economy cars.
Sports cars that are faster than average sportscars.
Faster than supercar (usually they are some of the fastest production cars of their time), but sometimes hypercars are also called supercars.
A type of car that emphasize on performance. Body style is traditionally coupe or convertible, but a sedan or hatchback can also be a sportscar. The requirement to become a sports car is very subjective. Usually, the must exceed certain horsepower depending on the era.
Hatchbacks that have sports car performance and handling.
Cars that have a stretched length, either to accommodate more passengers or to increase legroom.
Sedan/Coupe/sports car with the pickup bed and sports car performance.
Mid-size sportscar that emphasizes on power over handling for saving cost.
Like the muscle car, but compact size. Sometimes pony cars are also classified as muscle cars.
Sportscar with 4 door sedan body.
Cars that are either designed or modified to go racing; often sacrifice comfort for the sake of performance and lighter weight.
2 door sports cars that are designed to be comfortable for the long trip with extra 2 seats at the back and a relatively spacious cargo space.
A modification style in which the car receive different engine (usually V8). Most hotrods are based on pre-war American cars. Some common features include visible engine from the outside and exposed tires.
Basically hotrod with rusty/old appearance. The body paint is often matte finish.
A modification style using full-size American cars from the 60s-80s. Often feature complex details and low ride height. The signature feature is hydraulic suspension system, allowing independent suspensions to adjust the height, creating an impression that the car is dancing. Chrome grille and chrome wheels are very common as well.
The Japanese-inspired modification that focuses on performance and handling. They often come with big spoiler and big bumpers.
Japanese modification that reflects a gangster lifestyle, characterized by the extreme size of exhaust pipes and bumpers.
A modification style with the Californian beach theme. Volkswagen Beetle is usually the popular choice.
Japanese style modification that reflects modern luxury lifestyle. The cars are usually full-size luxury sedans with large chrome wheels, large bumpers, low ride height, and wheel camber angle that are pop out.
Cars modified for drifting stunt.
Cars modified for rally motorsport, or simply for recreational driving on dirt.
Cars modified for drag race (straight line race).
To improve off-roading capability.
Same as off road, but more military themed.
Front engine layout
Engine located at the front of/above front axles. Found in most cars.
Mid engine layout
Engine located between the front and rear axles, creating a more balanced weight distribution.
Rear engine layout
Engine located on the back of the rear axles. It used to be popular in economy cars, but not anymore. Rear engine layout’s center of gravity makes it very hard to control. Today, only Porsche 911 use this strange layout and it attracts certain fans.