What's Your Type? Seven Kinds of Auto Bodies and How to Know Which One is for You
Human bodies come in all forms: short, tall, fat, thin, curvy, willowy, mixes of sizes, and a rainbow of colors. It’s a wonderful thing. Cars have their own wonderful variety as well, but they are narrowed down to seven categories. If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle from used car dealers around Utah, it is worth exploring each style to see which fit is the right one for you.


We’ve all dreamed of having one, right? A fast car with the roof down on an open highway sounds pretty amazing to almost everyone. But, there are some other things to consider.


Well. . . the pros of a convertible are probably pretty obvious. It’s a convertible! The wind in your hair, the music blaring, the sun shining. Few things evoke the image of summertime freedom like a convertible. They are fun, sporty, and liberating.

These days it is even easier to lower that roof and hit the road. Generally, it can be done with a touch of a button as soon as the weather gets warm enough. Not only does having that roof down set your soul free, but it also means a wide range of visibility with no obstacles. See, convertibles do have one safety feature!


But, let’s be honest, convertibles aren’t known for their safety. With that top-down, you leave yourself exposed to more injury in an accident. It’s just the reality of that car body.

Besides the safety issues, there are some other annoying drawbacks when it comes to a convertible. While the wind rushing through your hair sounds lovely, it also sounds LOUD. That can get old eventually. It might not get better when you put the top up either. It isn’t a thick cover and the road noise can cut through it.

Noise isn’t the only thing that can cut through it. . . so can knives. That leaves a convertible vulnerable to theft and damage. You can’t slice open the top of an SUV. Well, you can if you’re Wolverine. But, if you’re Wolverine you probably don’t need to steal a car anyway.


What is a coupe? It depends on who you ask! Generally, the word comes from France and describes 19th-century carriages with no rear-facing seats. The name stuck and now describes a sedan-like car that generally only has two doors and much less room in the back. They are often sporty and fast. Is it for you?


These are often very good-looking cars. They are stylish, sleek, and aerodynamic. With that usually comes a good bit of power under the hood. Those are some very big strengths in the coupe’s corner!


These generally don’t make great family cars. While they often have back seats, they are not roomy. And they aren’t easy to get to, often having to slide the front seats up to climb in. This can be awkward and off-putting if you have to do it often.

Your guests won’t be the only things that are cramped. Anything you are trying to lug around in a coupe won’t have much space. These are built for style, not storage! And with that style, you sometimes get a frame that doesn’t lend itself to good, clear sightlines.


A hatchback is a sedan with extra headroom and storage. Instead of a trunk, the hatchback is just one enclosed space, making it a popular style for families and campers.


The wide-open style of a hatchback means wide-open views. They are more obstructed than a convertible, but far more open than a coupe. You also have easy access to anything you are hauling around because it is all reachable from within the car. Need those goldfish crackers immediately? The hatchback has you covered.

Because the roof extends straight out over the “trunk” area, it also means more headroom for anyone sitting in the backseat. Growing kids might call this a serious perk! So might your 6’3” brother.


If a thief can get in a door to your hatchback, then they can get to all your stuff (even the goldfish!). That is a little less secure than a sedan. It is also a bit heavier than a sedan, so the gas mileage won’t be as good.


That said, let’s move on to the sedan! There are a wide variety of sedans on the market, but they mostly just vary in size. The basic format is the same: Four Doors + One Trunk.


Those four doors come in handy when you are towing guests. It is easy in and easy out. Sedans are also the most fuel-efficient option of all the body types. If it is a commuter car you need, sedans are the most common choice.

Due to the lower center of gravity, sedans are nice and safe. This isn’t just good for you, it’s also good for insurance companies, which means premiums are often lower for sedans.


Some sedans are roomier than others, but in general, sedans aren’t meant for large groups or families. Five people can generally fit in a sedan, but it might not be comfy for a long road trip. They also have low clearance, so if you go on rough roads regularly, a sedan might not be a good fit.


Rough roads are dessert for an SUV. An SUV is basically a station wagon on a truck chassis. They can fit lots of people and stuff and go over rough terrain with ease.


Let’s face it, SUVs are fun! Again, there is a wide variety of power and drivetrain options with SUVS, but generally, they can get you anywhere you want to go, and make sure you have friends and supplies with you on the way! They can haul and tow all sorts of toys wherever your adventure might take you.

SUVs can be quite big, able to hold plenty of people. And, they have a bit more of a “cool” factor than a van. But, we’ll get to that later.


If you are looking for adventure, trucks are another option. They have power and capacity to tow and haul, and sometimes even more storage than an SUV.


Trucks are super versatile. You can get an extended cab to hold plenty of people, though the price will reflect it. And in the bed you can haul, tow, or even camp! They have higher clearance and, generally, great four-by-four capacity. Their durability is a good sign to insurance companies, and so you can sometimes get lower premiums on a solid and safe truck.


The biggest con of a truck is that you will suddenly be asked to help people move with far more frequency!

The size and power of a truck usually means more trips to the gas station. And the trucks themselves are pricier than a sedan or other type of car. You will, across the board, pay more for a truck. But, you can also do much more with a truck.


There are big vans out there, but the most common type of van is the minivan, so that’s what we will discuss here.


Minivans are versatile, roomy, and safe. Newer models have all sorts of features that make it easy to change the configuration and take seats out to make room for lugging big loads. Or, you can just pack them full of kids and snacks. Party wagon!

Minivans are safe. They are designed for families and loaded with plenty of quality safety features.


You probably know where we are going here. Two words: Soccer Mom.

Yep, minivans get a bad rap. It might be hard to feel “cool” in a minivan and that is an important thing to consider. You want to enjoy driving your vehicle, whatever kind it is.

It takes some time to get used to driving a minivan. It can feel a bit like steering a yacht on the highway at first. Eventually, it is second nature, but it does take time in the beginning.


What’s the difference between a wagon and a hatchback? Windows. A station wagon will have at least three sets of windows. The roof extends over the seats AND over a large storage area, which makes them longer than a standard hatchback.


A station wagon is functional and versatile. Like its cousin the minivan, station wagons are safe, efficient, and convenient. Also, station wagons are, generally, fairly affordable.


Station wagons are also, generally, not known for being edgy or cool. They also aren’t known for their power. They have a niche, and they fill it well.

There’s a right fit for everyone. Buying a car doesn’t mean that this car is perfect for every possible stage of your life. Life is full of different chapters, and those different chapters will drive best in different cars. Be open and honest with yourself about what you need right now.

If you want to explore your options, contact our team at TJ Chapman. We specialize in rebuilt title cars (sometimes referred to as “restored title”). That means we take cars that have had an insurance incident (sometimes a wreck. . . sometimes something as minor as hail damage.) We then restore that car to like-new condition but sell it for far less than a new car.

Come in and test drive different body types at our branded title car dealership in Salt Lake City—or shop online from anywhere in the U.S. and have your dream car shipped to you.