Vehicle classification can be helpful when determining different features of cars. Below, we outline some of the most common car body types & their different characteristics; including number of passengers, fuel efficiency, handling & storage space.

Common Car Body Types:


One of the most common car body types you will see in Australia is the sedan. The sedan has four doors, a standard size boot & seats a maximum of 5 people. Sedans have a separate area for the engine at the front, the passenger cabin in the middle, & the cargo at the rear. Because of this, they have a good weight distribution & thus, driving stability. They also offer far more leg room in the second row of seats but less boot space than a hatchback.


SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) are one of the bigger vehicles & are versatile in that they are suited to on-road driving, but also provide extra ground clearance for driving over rough terrain. They are usually a powerful 4WD (four-wheel-drive) or AWD (all-wheel-drive) & offer a smooth ride with some off-road capability. They often come with off-road accessories such as improved suspension and large wheels.

The SUV has elevated seating for a superior view of the road & seats 5-7 people with (up to) three rows of seats. SUVs possess a sturdy, body-on-frame chassis & include a station wagon-like cargo area that is accessed through a flip-up rear hatch door.


Traditionally, the car body of a hatchback is similar to a sedan with comparable features to a station wagon, but its rear door swings upward. It comes with 2 – 4 doors & seats up to 5 people, while the rear seat backs can lay down to create a flat floor load area. They may often look more compact than your typical sedan, but they offer increased storage capacity & better fuel efficiency.


A convertible is a 2 or 4 seater vehicle that has a retractable hard-top (steel or plastic) or soft-top (a textile material such as vinyl or canvas) roof. A convertible is often viewed as a luxury vehicle owing to its stylish appearance & versatility.

Sports Car

Sports cars are often two-seater convertibles, but they can also be a sedan or coupe, (or basically anything that has a ‘sporty’ appearance). They are usually low to the ground, sleek, stylish, luxury vehicles with excellent road capabilities including a powerful engine & acceleration.


A coupe is similar to the sedan; a compact vehicle seating 4 – 5 people & having a traditional boot, but with only 2 doors. The front seats fold forward to allow passengers to enter the back seats. Car manufacturers describe the coupe with its sloping roofline as having a ‘sleek/ sporty’ design, as well as excellent handling & lots of horsepower.


A van carries 2-3 people with very high load capacity & is often used to transport goods. They can have a separate cargo area from the passenger cabin, & can have glass windows at the rear doors. They can include sliding doors at the side & doors that open at the rear.

People Mover/ Minivan

The minivan is a van, but instead of storage space, it seats 8 -12 people in rows of seats. This ‘people-mover’ capability makes it popular with large families or businesses needing to transport groups of people comfortably; such as a ‘maxi-cab’. The van is a ‘box’ shape with sliding doors on one, or both sides, giving practical access to the spacious cabin and a rear hatch that opens to a large cargo area. Most minivans have adjustable seats in their second and third rows that often can be removed or even folded down to create a huge open cargo bay. It is often designed for a very large cabin space rather than a large cargo space.

Station Wagon

Station wagons have the shape of an extended sedan with a hatch door at the rear instead of a boot. They are almost like a mix of a hatchback and a sedan. They not only give the benefit of extra storage space in the rear compared to a sedan or hatchback, but are also more fuel efficient than a SUV.


Utes are short for ‘utility’. They are often used a work vehicles because they have powerful engines and are practical with their large, open, sturdy cargo tray in the rear, suitable for carrying heavy loads. They have an enclosed 2-door or 4-door passenger cabin, which seats 2-5 people & often have a 4WD or AWD capability.

Service You Can Trust

At Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic, our trusted and qualified technicians service all makes and models. We follow manufacturer guidelines and specifications, use quality parts, and our log book service won’t void your new car warranty. Ask about our mobile service; we can pick up your car and drop it back to you when we are done. We strive to make our service convenient & hassle free & educate our customers. Call 0412 161 776 to talk to one of our friendly team today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more information, tips and specials.