The journey towards truly falling in love with vehicles starts with knowing everything there is to know about the cars. Especially in a country like India, making your purchase decision starts with understanding the type of car you want to drive and whether it will suit your needs. We have compiled a list of all the prevalent car body types in India that you can buy, along with the iconic cars of each body type.
Hatchbacks are one of the most popular car body types in terms of overall sales in India. A hatchback can be defined as a vehicle body type that comprises small cars with 4 doors along with an additional rear hatch that opens upward to access the boot space. Hatchbacks are generally designed with compact bodies, and are perfect for comfortably seating 4 passengers, despite a seating capacity of 5. Nonetheless, the most striking feature of this segment is the boot; a space behind the rear seats that exists inside the car itself, rather than as a separate space. Thus when you open up the hinged boot of a hatchback, you are practically opening the car itself.
Hatchbacks are considered to be the best for city driving, as they are easy to maneuver through the traffic and are also cheaper to maintain. As hatchbacks are also designed to be smaller, they become easy to park. Though there isn’t a specific criterion for size and engine displacement, hatchbacks usually come with a size of under 4 meters and with an engine capacity of 800 to 1.5 liters. The most striking feature of this segment is its impeccable fuel economy and affordable price tag.
Best Hatchback Body Type Cars
- Maruti Suzuki Alto
- Hyundai i20
- Honda Jazz
Derived from the Latin term “sedere” which means “to sit”, sedans are designed to provide utmost comfort and convenience for passengers both at the front as well as the rear. The major component of a sedan is its longer body that’s built with a three-box configuration consisting of pillars identified as A, B, and C pillars. Compared to hatchbacks, sedans have a separate boot compartment, which exists as an addition to the vehicle’s bodyline. Thus, when you open up a sedan’s boot, you’re opening just the boot and not the car itself. With the boot being a separate compartment, a sedan can comfortably seat 5 passengers.
As compared to other body types, sedans are considered to be one the most feature loaded, and are thus priced higher than hatchbacks, and sometimes even SUVs. In terms of design, sedans come with an average dimension of 4 meters and above, and with engine capacity of 1.5 to 1.8 liters. Another advantage of a sedan is its larger boot space that can be quite useful when going on trips. A sedan also possesses a larger wheelbase that directly translates to a spacious cabin, especially in the rear.
Best Sedans Body Type Cars
- Hyundai Verna
- Honda City
- Skoda Octavia
SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)
Quite popular in the Indian market, SUV is a car body-type that comprises vehicles that are both passenger vehicles as well as off-roaders. SUVs are generally large and measure well over the 4 meter mark, with compact SUVs being the exception, coming under 4 meters. Built with a tall bodyline, SUVs provide the driver with a commanding view of the road ahead. Moreover, SUVs have high ground clearance providing better terrain handling capability as well as a stance higher from the ground. This is a feature that makes them distinct from all other vehicle body-types.
In terms of the comfort, SUVs have spacious cabins, and can seat up to 7 individuals with sheer comfort. The versatility offered by SUVs allows for a range of seating options that help adapt the car to the specific needs of the situation. As a rugged vehicle, SUVs are capable enough to drive on harsh roads quite easily. An SUV is generally built with mechanical parts that are specifically designed for tough usage, all-terrain conditions and heavy loads. These include features such as 4-wheel-drive system, mechanical differentials etc. In terms of engine capacity, almost all SUVs come with the most powerful engine offered by the OEM.
Best SUV Body Type Cars
- Ford Endeavor
- Toyota Fortuner
- Tata Harrier
MUV (Multi-Utility Vehicle)
Although the SUVs and MUVs are similarly designed, the two are inherently different. While SUVs are sporty off-roaders, MUVs are built for maximum practicality and utility. An MUV vehicle is thus a multipurpose vehicle that is often dubbed as a people’s carrier. Capable of seating as many as 10 people sometimes, MUVs are a bigger version of passenger cars that are mainly designed to transport passengers comfortably in cities and highways.
MUVs are generally built with a high strength chassis frame, capable of carrying extra passengers as well as luggage. In terms of day-to-day utility, MUVs generally offers better fuel efficiency when compared to SUVs that are similarly sized. Typical powertrains of an MUV include an engine capacity of somewhere between 2.0 to 2.5 liters. Thus, for those who want practicality and efficiency over rugged looks and off-road capabilities, an MUV could be the perfect fit.
Best MUV Body Type Cars
- Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
- Renault Triber
- Mahindra Marrazzo
- Kia Carnival
A body type that isn’t conventional like other bodylines, Coupes are known for their sporty avatar and aerodynamic stance. Unlike Sedans, SUVs, Hatchbacks and even MUVs, the most striking features of a Coupe, is the fact that it has two doors only. Coupes are characterized by their two-doors, three-box design, fixed roof, and sleeker roofline. And even though Coupes are generally two-door, modern day OEMs are also manufacturing four door Coupes, which are generally given characteristics like a sloping roofline, and a sportier stance.
Coupe cars are generally performance oriented vehicles, and are thus capable of going to triple digit speed in a matter of seconds. They pack in large engines, and are all about sheer performance. Coupes are therefore generally preferred when OEMs need to develop a fast, high-performance, top of the line vehicle.
Best Coupe Body Type Cars
- Jaguar F Type
- BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
- BMW M2
- Mercedes CLS
When it comes to vehicle body-types, there is nothing more desirable than a convertible. Convertible cars are a body-type that is characterized either by a foldable or a completely removable roof. Generally, the roof on-board a convertible is made up of canvas or vinyl material, but it can also be a hard top. This allows you to feel the wind in your hair as you drive and provides nothing short of pure driving pleasure.
Thus, the striking feature of a convertible is the fact that the roof is not only foldable but also removable in some cases. Convertibles are also fitted with sophisticated mechanics that fold the roof in a step-by-step manner within a few seconds. Convertibles are versatile to give you the freedom to enjoy the pleasant weather and keep yourself protected from the bad weather.
Best Convertible Body Type Cars
- Porsche 718 Boxster
- BMW Z4
- Mini Cooper convertible
Pickup trucks are a fairly unique vehicle body-type, offering immense utility in a package that is usable. The unique feature of this body type is that there is a large open cargo space behind the passenger section. This cargo space provides high payload capacity that combines well with the off-roading capability as well as passenger carrying ability of a pickup truck.
The dimensions of a pickup truck are therefore evidently large and the body is usually constructed with a built-on-chassis frame so that maximum load can be carried. A pickup truck is therefore the best vehicle segment, if you are someone who is looking for something that has been built for utility above anything else. A pickup truck also comes handy when you need to carry loads around more often, and do not want to opt for a wholly commercial vehicle.
Best Pickup Truck Body Type Cars
- Mahindra Bolero Camper
- Tata Yodha Pickup
- Isuzu D-Max
- Isuzu D-Max V Cross
FAQ about Types of Cars
Q. How many car body types are there in India?
A. India has a diverse range of cars available to own but most cars come in one of seven car body types: Hatchback, Sedan, SUV, MUV, Coupe, Convertible, and Pickup Truck.
Q. Which is the most compact car body type?
A. The hatchback body type are the most compact cars you can buy. These are often under 4 meters in length and are best suited for driving in crowded cities.
Q. Which car body type can carry the most people?
A. MUV body types are designed to carry up to 9 people in comfort and feature seating according to their carrying capacity.
Q. Which car body type is the most luxurious?
A. Sedan body type cars offer some of the most luxurious cars in India with car brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi offering some of the most premium sedan cars.
Q. Which body type is suited for off-road driving?
A. Off-road driving requires high ground clearance which is offered by SUV body type cars.
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