Automobile market is so dynamic that every now or then, manufacturers come up with a vehicle so unique, that it can't be placed under any category. But, speaking of mass markets, various genres and categories are defined to categorize automobiles, to make it easier for buyers. One such category is the body type, under which a person can categorize a vehicle based on its looks and design.
We bring you a comprehensive guide to understand various body types.
Easily the largest selling body type in the world, it is a four door car, with three-box configuration. Be it a chauffeur driven or self driven, the car appeal to folks looking for more comfort and room inside the car, primarily because of a separate boot. The three-box design consists of an engine upfront, the cabin in the middle and a separate boot at the rear with its own door. While this configuration is more suitable in cars with longer lengths, a new segment of compact sedans have been seen lately, with smaller lengths, majorly under 4 metre, to meet the tax norms. But, this sort of arrangement may not suit a person looking for larger boot.
Examples of Sedan/Saloon range from luxury cars like the Mercedes S-class, premium sedan like Honda Accord and a compact hatchback like Maruti Swift Dzire.
While the sedans were aimed to suit customers looking for inside the car, Hatchbacks were made for customers looking for space outside the car. Confused? This design was made to reduce the overall dimensions of the car, making it more suitable for city driving. A hatchbacks comes with three pillar design as against the four pillars of a sedan. The boot is where the car differs from a sedan, as it is integrated into the cabin only. A rear door, mainly a lifting one is provided to access the boot. These types of car are more sensible in today's time when the roads are becoming congested day by day. Another stark difference in the buying preferences globally and in India can be seen from the car type people buy. While we already stated that saloons are the most selling body type around the globe, in India, hatchbacks are preferred more.
Examples of Hatchback range from premium hatchbacks like the Mini Cooper (5door), to a normal hatchback like Maruti Swift and small hatchback like Tata Nano.
MPV or Multi Purpose Vehicle, as the name suggests, is made for playing various roles. But the most important of them all is, transporting as much number of people, 5 or 7 seater, as they normally are, from point A to B, with an ability to carry maximum luggage. While, MPVs are considered to be a family vehicle aborad, in India, they are mostly considered for commercial purposes, transferring tourist or office staff. The reason is the low cost, fuel efficiency and passenger carrying capacity. The body type is quickly becoming one of the most sought after genre in Indian markets lately.
Examples of MPV’s include the most famous Toyota Innova, recently launched Honda Mobilio and the king of its time, Tata Sumo.
While the MUV served the purpose of transferring most number of people efficiently, the SUV or Sports Utility Vehicle is aimed otherwise. It is called so because of its off-roading capabilities and going to any terrain. While abroad, the SUV is a proper 4*4 vehicle, in India, it is mostly considered a macho looking car, which may or may not come with 4*4 equipped. And most of the time, they don't.
Examples of SUV include the famous Mahindra Scorpio, the rugged Ford Endeavour and the most selling and macho looking Toyota Fortuner.
Practically speaking, a Coupe is nothing more than a sedan with two doors. It can be a two seater or a four seater car, but the design of the car is such that the car looks sportier. This can be seen easily via a sloping roof towards the rear and a short height. The four seater arrangement is not too successful, due to less space inside and hence, more of a two seated coupes are famous. The coupes are famous because not only of their sporty stance, but also for the performance. Though the coupe image costs more viz-a-viz a sedan version of the same.
Examples of Coupe include famous Nissan 370Z, which is considered as the best race car ever, BMW Z4, which is often considered the best looking coupe and Audi TT, the most practical coupe.
If you though coupe is not the most practical of cars, a convertible is even less so. As the name suggests, a convertible is a car which gives you options to make your car both the conventional closed roof car or a more aggressive and fancy looking open top car. The very fact that the roof can retract, makes practicality compromised, as the roof goes inside the boot, making it smaller in size. Yet, for all its inconveniences, driving with the top down, especially on a warm spring noon makes the convertible worth every penny. Though the pennies spent on a convertible are way more than any other car. The roof is generally made of canvas in this case or sometimes, metal too.
Examples of Convertible include cars like Mercedes-Benz SLK, the all new Jaguar F-Type and the fast Audi R8 soft-top.
Pick Up Truck
Although not quite as popular here as they are overseas, the Pickup truck is wonderfully practical when it comes to transporting people and luggage together. The practicality is overshadowed by the looks though. The very road presence and appeal makes them a desirable mode of transport. Sadly though, India is not yet ready for such genre of transport, with far more road presence and appeal.
Examples of Pick Up include the homegrown Tata Xenon XT, the monsterous Ford-150 and the Isuzu D-Max truck.