Body types have changed a lot over the years and it’s a bit more complicated than it used to be. The definitions have been blurred by new models and the combination of new and old to provide greater customer satisfaction. The following is my best attempt to explain the different models that are available.
The wagon is usually a four door car with a roof line that extends to the very back of the vehicle. This allows an increased cargo area that can be accessed from inside the vehicle. An optional fold down rear seat back can increase cargo capacity when rear seating is not needed. Wagons are almost non existent, having been replaced by the mini van and more recently the crossover.
The sedan can be described as a family oriented, four door car, with enough seating for at least four people. The roofline only extends as far as the rear of the passenger compartment, isolating the cargo area (now called a trunk) from the interior of the car.
Shorter and a bit more stylish than the sedan that it is based upon, it is a two door car that may not have quite as much interior room, or trunk space as its bigger brother.
The Sports Car:
Two doors, two seats, a bright color, plenty of power and style are prerequisites for the sports car. As long as it looks good and goes fast, it’s a good one!
The ultimate sports car, the roadster is a completely open car. No roof or side windows make this a choice for fair weather driving only!
The convertible option may be available on the sedan, as well as the coupe and sports car. Most convertibles consist of a folding top that will seal out the weather when up, and allow us to let it all hang out roadster style when the weather co-operates. Most convertible tops are made of a durable fabric, with the smaller tops manually operated and the larger ones power operated. Some cars have power operated hard-shell tops made of metal or fiberglass, making them much more durable.
The Pickup Truck:
The pickup truck came into being as a no-frills work vehicle. Enough room in the cab for three people, and an open cargo area in the rear for picking stuff up. A lot has changed since then, bigger trucks, smaller trucks, four doors, room for seven, covered cargo areas and who knows what else!
The van came to us as a work truck with a completely enclosed, weather tight and lockable cargo area, similar to the station wagon. The van however sacrificed passenger space and comfort for an increase in cargo capacity; after all, it’s a work truck. Customers soon realized that if the van was outfitted with more seating it could become an efficient people mover. Manufacturers quickly responded with several seating options.
One manufacturer responded with a smaller, car like van that was more fuel efficient and maneuverable. The minivan was born! The minivan is not much different than the original station wagons, but customers appear to like them better. The station wagons are hard to find and minivans are everywhere.
Let’s take a pickup truck, enclose the cargo area and make it available from inside, give it a bit more style, but don’t entirely lose the truck look. Bingo, the SUV is born! Some are small, some are gigantic, two doors, four doors, tailgates, lift gates, four wheel drive, you name it you can get it.
Let’s take a front wheel drive car, extend the passenger area, give it a bit more style, stay away from the station wagon look but don’t go totally truck. Bingo again, the crossover was born! Two doors, four doors, tailgates, lift gates, two wheel drive, all-wheel drive, whatever your heart desires!