Body type - definition
Cars come in different styles and shapes, and over the decades the market has pretty much settled into a few recognizable car types. The EVs are still cars, after all, so they have adopted a subset of types that have been used by internal combustion engine vehicles.
When describing the body type in our spec pages, we have three main elements that we consider: the name of the type itself, the number of doors, and the number of seats. These three together should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect, overall.
While the number of seats is pretty self-explanatory, when considering the number of doors keep in mind that a traditional sedan trunk doesn't count as a door, while a hatchback's 'hatch' is counted as a door.
As for body types, the most popular for EVs are:
- SUV: an acronym for Sports Utility Vehicle, this combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and (sometimes, but not always) all-wheel drive
- hatchback: a passenger vehicle with a rear door that swings upward to provide access to a cargo area
- coupe: a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roofline
- sedan: a passenger car in a three-box configuration with separate compartments for engine, passenger, and cargo
- crossover: a type of sport utility vehicle-like vehicle built with unibody frame construction. A term that originated from North America, crossovers are based on a platform shared with a passenger car, as opposed to a platform shared with a pickup truck. Because of that, crossovers may also be referred as "car-based SUVs". Basically, think of these as halfway between a regular hatchback and an SUV
- minivan: a North American car classification for vehicles designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row(s), with reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. The equivalent classification in Europe is the M-segment, more commonly known as an MPV (multi purpose vehicle) or a people carrier / mover. Minivans often have a 'one-box' or 'two-box' body configuration, a higher roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers, and high H-point seating
- estate: also known as station wagon, an automotive body-style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door (the liftgate or tailgate), instead of a trunk/boot lid. The body style transforms a standard three-box design into a two-box design — to include an A, B, and C-pillar, as well as a D-pillar