We all know what cars look like, but what are the differences between them? Dick Lovett offers vehicles of all shapes and sizes, better still our website allows you to narrow down your car search by many factors, including body style. Here’s the differences between each of those body types…
A hatchback is defined as having a boot lid and rear windscreen as one unit that opens together. They are often applied to smaller city cars such as the BMW 1 Series or MINI 3/5 Door. Hatchbacks have one thing in common - you can fold the rear seats down to create more loading space.
Hatchbacks are often better suited to young people and new drivers - not only because they are easy to manoeuvre due to their smaller size but because they typically don't carry lots of passengers and have a need for masses of luggage space.
Saloons have longer wheelbases than the typical hatchback which can result in a more comfortable ride with more legroom in the cabin, especially for rear passengers. They are known to be described as ‘three-box’ cars.
The first box is the engine bay, the second the cabin and the third the boot. Since the boot has its own space, it's not possible to lower the seats like a hatchback to allow for more room. Due to its design it can make loading larger amounts of luggage a little harder, however it's still ideal for the weekend family trip. Great examples of a Saloon is the BMW 3 Series or the Jaguar XE.
Coupé is derived from the French verb meaning ‘to cut’. Coupés typically have two doors, this is to give them a sportier more meaner look, especially at the rear. Although most have two rear seats, it’s not ideal for those who regularly carry passengers since legroom can be restricted.
Due to the shape of a Coupé, headroom is slightly more limited than their saloon / hatchback counterparts. They again are generally for those who are young since the luggage space is often restricted or for those who are older looking for something sporty - see the BMW 2 Series Coupé as a perfect example. SUV’s can also be designed as a Coupés take the Porsche Cayenne Coupé as another great example.
Estate cars are based on hatchbacks and saloons, for example the BMW 5 Series Saloon is also available in an Estate version although the official term is BMW 5 Series Touring. Estate models have vast amounts of boot space so are practical if you often transport large loads, passengers and even four legged friends.
The longer shape also allows for easier roof-loading when using accessories like a bike rack or roof box, whereas saloons don't usually have this as an option.
Convertible’s are also known as ‘Cabriolets’ and can come with either a soft (fabric) or hard top. They are commonly found with only two doors. Whilst they compromise on space, they are highly desirable for their sharp looks and summer appeal with the ability to have the roof down on a hot sunny day.
Convertibles aren’t so ideal as a family car however, you can actually get convertible SUVs such as the Range Rover Evoque Convertible which will comfortably seat 4 people.
MPV stands for ‘multi-purpose vehicle’, which as the name suggests means it's a vehicle that can handle almost anything in terms of luggage space and passenger comfort. They are more commonly known as people carriers. They slightly resemble a van but have rear doors and windows with either one or two rows of seating (7 seater).
The BMW 2 Series Grand / Active Tourer is the perfect example.Not only does the BMW 2 Series Tourer look great, it's highly spacious, fun to drive and perfect for a family trip.
SUV’s proper term is ‘sports utility vehicle’. Its ride height is typically higher than an ordinary car. You'll often find they are 4x4 driven meaning all wheel drive but can be 2 wheel drive such as the BMW X3 (unless going for the xDrive model) - considering their larger size they offer good handling.
SUV’s can range in body shape from the MINI Countryman to the more well known SUV the Land Rover Discovery The major benefit of an SUV is the space you gain compared to other body shapes, you also can transport more people comfortably therefore are great family cars.