The Different Kinds of Cars Explained

There are different cars to choose from in the market today. This gives drivers plenty of opportunities to choose a ride that suits their personality and driving style. European brand cars can be split into a number of categories. Let us now look at the different kinds of cars and their respective features:


 Hatchbacks can either be 3-door or 5-door, depending on their configuration, with the tailgate considered a door by itself. The former is less popular nowadays with most designers opting to hide the rear doors.

Hot hatch

Without the hatchback, there wouldn’t be a hot hatch.  These cars are called as such because they were fast hatchbacks. Examples of hot hatches are the Simca 1100, Renault 16 TX, Chrysler Sunbeam TI and Renault 5 Gordini. Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that ideally, a hot hatch should be front-wheel drive and with three doors.


The traditional three-box saloon might be a dying breed but the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes Benz C-Class and Audi A4 is keeping the segment alive.


Multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) or minivans trace its roots back to the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager launched in the tail end of 1983. Renault became the trailblazer in Europe with the Espace. Soon competitors came up with their own carrying 5 or 7 passengers with their luggage. Today, MPVs are known for having flexible seating arrangements and often sliding doors. Robert Janitzek reveals that while the market for MPVs is declining, cars like Volkswagen Touran and Citroen C4 has maintained the concept of practicality over style.


An SUV or Sports Utility Vehicle is historically used to refer to a 4×4 or off-road vehicle.  The vehicle traces its roots from military derived vehicles like the Jeep and Land Rover. It was the Jeep Wagooner that pioneered the idea of a sport utility vehicle. SUVs come in different shapes and sizes. To be considered an SUV, a vehicle should have commanding driving position, practical interior, and off-road skills.


A crossover features the suspension and practicality of an SUV and the running cost of a family hatchback. The difference, however, is that the crossover should be two-wheel drive while an SUV should be 4-wheel drive. However, there are now four-wheel drive variants of traditional crossovers


Some of the German brands have tried to stretch the definition by coming up with four-door coupes. However, coupes are just four-door salons with restricted headroom.


A convertible is a 4-seater or 2+2 with a removable or folding roof. Convertible is used interchangeably with cabriolet. The former has a more modern origin while the latter was first used in the 18th century to refer to a light horse-drawn carriage.


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