Types Of Cars You Might Not Ever Think

By body styles:

Sedan

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.

Hatchback

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.

MPV/Minivan

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/4X4

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.

CUV/Crossover

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

 

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.

Coupe

Coupes are basically cars with 2 doors. It can be based on sedan or hatchback.

Convertible/spyder/cabriolet

 

Convertibles are cars that can fold its roof out, allowing passengers to interact with the outdoor wind.

Station wagon/estate

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):

Micro
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.

Subcompact/supermini/B-segment
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.

Full size
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.

By class:

Economy
The most basic class for mainstream needs.

Executive/Luxury
Have superior features and quality above economy cars.

Supercar
Sports cars that are faster than average sportscars.

Hypercar
Faster than supercar (usually they are some of the fastest production cars of their time), but sometimes hypercars are also called supercars.

Others:

Sportscar
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.

Hot hatch
Hatchbacks that have sports car performance and handling.

Limousine
Cars that have a stretched length, either to accommodate more passengers or to increase legroom.

Ute
Sedan/Coupe/sports car with the pickup bed and sports car performance.

Personal luxury
Full-size coupes.

Muscle car
Mid-size sportscar that emphasizes on power over handling for saving cost.

Pony car
Like the muscle car, but compact size. Sometimes pony cars are also classified as muscle cars.

Sports sedan
Sportscar with 4 door sedan body.

Racing car
Cars that are either designed or modified to go racing; often sacrifice comfort for the sake of performance and lighter weight.

Grand tourer
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.

Modification Styles

Hotrod
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.

Ratrod
Basically hotrod with rusty/old appearance. The body paint is often matte finish.

Low Rider
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.

JDM
The Japanese-inspired modification that focuses on performance and handling. They often come with big spoiler and big bumpers.

Bosozoku
Japanese modification that reflects a gangster lifestyle, characterized by the extreme size of exhaust pipes and bumpers.

Cal looker
A modification style with the Californian beach theme. Volkswagen Beetle is usually the popular choice.

VIP Style
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.

Drifter
Cars modified for drifting stunt.

Rally
Cars modified for rally motorsport, or simply for recreational driving on dirt.

Dragster
Cars modified for drag race (straight line race).

Offroad
To improve off-roading capability.

Military
Same as off road, but more military themed.

Engine layouts:

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.