A Car Body Style Guide for Beginners: Everything You Needs to Know about Cars Size and Shapes


Cars come in various sizes. For anyone new to the automobile market, it can be a little confusing to know the difference between basic car sizes and types.

If this is the time cars have interested you and you want to know more about them, we will share important information with you which will help you purchase a car or simply get more educated.

How many car body types are there?

There are several car body types including:

SUV or Sport-Utility Vehicle
Pick-up Truck
Sports car

And it does not stop here. You will find many other mixed-up body styles like a roadster, MPV, Grand Tourers and many more.

Sport Utility Vehicle or SUV

SUVs are taller and sporty than sedans. Offering a driver, a commanding position on the road — these provide a better view of the road. Instead of a traditional trunk, SUVs have a rare hatch door that is connected to the passenger area of the car and allows you to access the large cargo area.

SUVs come in different sizes including:

Compact crossover

Crossover: Crossover, whether compact or bigger, are SUVs that are designed to perform on roads and highways. Usually, they feature a four or six-cylinder engine. You can take it in mild off-road conditions, but they cannot handle wild and extreme terrains.

Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover featuring 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, while Honda CR-V is a compact crossover that comes with a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine.

Mid-size SUVs: These are sizeable SUVs and can accommodate 7 or 8 people at a time. These are designed to handle rough and uneven terrains and if equipped with a four-wheel drive system, you can even take them to extreme off-road conditions. Usually, these vehicles come with a six-cylinder engine.

Honda Pilot is a good example of a mid-size SUV. Coming with a 3.5L V-6 engine, it delivers 280-horsepower and 262 lb-ft torque.

Full-size SUVs: These are rugged cars with truck-like appearance. Full-size SUVs have a massive towing capacity. Having a tall and large size, these vehicles offer enhanced traction in extreme off-road conditions. The disadvantage is, due to the bigger size, the car is more likely to experience rollover. Also, it takes a lot of time to accelerate and catch the pace. Ford Explorer is a good example of a large-size SUV. The basic trims come with 2.3-litre turbo-4 that makes 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.


Although SUVs have gained massive fame in recent years, sedans are still the most popular body type. These vehicles come with a trunk at the rare and four doors. Sedans are available in an array of different sizes including:

Subcompact sedans such as Kia Rio that comes with a 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-litre engine
Compact sedan such as Honda City that comes 1.5-liter engine that makes 118-horsepower
Mid-size sedan such as Honda Accord that comes with a turbocharged, 1.5-litre engine that produces 192-horsepower and 192 lb-feet of torque.
Large-size sedans such as the Dodge Charger that comes with a 3.6-litre, V6 engine.


The easy way to understand hatchback is to think of it as a subcompact or compact sedan with a flip-up hatch door at the rear that allows you to access the cargo area instead of a trunk. Honda’s Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf are two popular hatchbacks.

While these vehicles are like sedans, they are more agile and spacious. The Honda Civic Type 2L turbocharged inline-4 engine with VTEC™ valve train produces up to 306-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.


Traditionally, cars which had two doors were considered coupes. But now, car manufacturers consider coupe a car which has four doors. The coupe is slightly different from sedans as it has a smaller appearance with low and sleek rooflines.

It makes sense to consider a two-door car coupe only because only a few four-door coupes like Mercedes-Benz CLS are there in the market.


While knowing the difference between car body types, it is crucial to make a logical and practical decision before buying a car. There are some other factors that you need to consider as well. For instance, you need to set a realistic budget that does not put a strain on you financially.

Or, if you have shortlisted a few vehicles, you need to take a test drive to assess your needs thoroughly. Let’s say, Honda City is among the list of shortlisted cars. Now, when you go for Honda City Test Drive take your time to evaluate the car comprehensively. Predict all the requirements that you will have after buying the car, so you can make a smart decision.


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