In this article, we take a look at popular types of cars, vehicles, VANs, trucks, and body styles. For each type of car, you will find a picture and a list of popular models.
Let’s get started.
The four-door sedan is one of the most common body styles of cars on the road today. While people are gradually trading in their sedans for crossovers, sedans are still immensely popular.
With four doors, there is enough room for a family of four or even five. You have a large trunk to hold things like picnic baskets, multiple airbags to keep everyone safe, and an engine that delivers excellent fuel economy while providing enough power to make progress.
Good examples of sedans are cars like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, two of the best selling cars in the world.
List of popular 4-door sedans:
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord
- Ford Fusion
- BMW 3-series
- Mercedes C-Class
Next on our list is the station wagon. While these are not the most popular body styles, they have made a small comeback in recent years.
The purpose of the station wagon these days is much like the four-door sedan, except with a wagon hatch. You still have four or five seats and all the trappings of a regular sedan, but now you have a massive trunk with a liftgate.
In essence, the station wagon is the same as a standard sedan, but with a much larger trunk and a different roofline. Some older station wagons even had rear-facing bench seats in the back, although modern safety standards have rendered this unusable.
List of popular station wagons:
- Mercedes E-Class Wagon
- Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
- Volvo V90
- Audi A4 Allroad
- Audi RS6 Avant
Ah, the classic minivan. For the family that needs the space of a bus, and the gas mileage of a Toyota Camry. While the minivan is often the subject of ridicule, there is no denying the level of engineering genius that goes into them. You have a vehicle shorter than a Chevrolet Suburban that delivers the same amount of interior room while delivering superior gas mileage and aerodynamics.
Minivans have two large sliding doors, sometimes power operated, to let the children out of the second and third rows. Vans also have seating for up to 8, although, in the third row, there is no space for anyone more than 5 feet tall. In addition to three rows of seating, you have a deep, although narrow, trunk that will hold all the groceries and sports equipment too.
Minivans in higher trim levels, often come with entertainment systems and have ports to bring your own if so desired. Minivans also have a large number of airbags, especially the curtain airbags over the doors, so they are quite safe in an accident. Upfront, there is usually a naturally aspirated V6, of between 3.3 and 3.8 liters. This delivers adequate power, although nothing extravagant. If you have a hitch installed, a minivan can even tow up to 3,400 pounds, enough for a small boat. In short, the minivan is the jack of all trades, master of many.
List of popular minivans:
- Dodge Caravan
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna
- Kia Sedona
Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV)
Moving up the size scale, we have Sport Utility Vehicles or SUVs. Examples of this type include the Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition. SUVs trade gas mileage and maneuverability for massive interior space, big engines, smooth rides, and enough towing capacity to drag a battleship. SUVs come in two sizes: Big and Bigger. On the lower end, we have vehicles like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Kia Telluride. These are SUVs in that they have enough space for seven while being more blocky than a minivan. However, they are SUVs in name only, and they are based on minivan platforms, so they do not have the underpinnings of a truck, like larger SUVs.
At the top of the scale, we have the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, Dodge Durango, and Toyota Sequoia. These are essentially trucks with different bodies on their frames. They all have V8 engines that deliver well over 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque; not one achieves over 19 mpg, and each one can tow over 5000 pounds. They also have large, comfortable interiors with seating for up to eight people, which makes the full-size SUV an ideal candidate for a long road trip while towing a trailer. In conclusion, the SUV makes perfect sense if you have a large family and frequently need to haul/tow more than a minivan can realistically handle.
List of popular SUVs:
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Toyota Sequoia
- Dodge Durango
- Ford Expedition
- Chevrolet Tahoe
The iconic pickup truck, one of the best selling types of vehicles in America. Pickup trucks are extremely popular these days because they are gradually becoming a do-it-all vehicle. Trucks these days offer a comfortable ride, luxurious interiors, and plenty of towing and hauling capacity.
They are also becoming more fuel-efficient thanks to advancing technology. A pickup truck has a simple design: Two or four doors, a bed between 5 and 8 feet, an automatic transmission, and a choice of either a gas or diesel engine. The largest pickup trucks with the correct setup can tow up to 35,000 pounds, while the smallest trucks may be suitable for no more than hauling some mulch on the weekends.
You must take all factors into consideration when buying a truck, however. As useful as trucks are, you sacrifice gas mileage and maneuverability when purchasing one, so think carefully, especially if you live in the city.
List of popular pickup trucks:
- Ford F-150
- Dodge Ram
- Toyota Tundra
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Nissan Titan
Vans are what help keep the world moving. Vans help deliver packages, food, equipment, and more. A typical van has a spartan interior, a bench seat for three followed by a cavernous storage area. You can outfit this area with whatever you want, whether that be for plumbing, auto repair, or delivering food.
A van usually is powered by a four or six-cylinder engine, something that prioritizes low cost overall. You can also put seats in a van and turn it into a minibus for a summer camp, or a church.
List of popular vans:
- Mercedes Metris
- Ram ProMaster
- Chevrolet Express
- Ford Transit
- Nissan NV3500
This type of car is a sports car. Now, one does not usually have a sports car as their first car. This is the second or third car in the garage. A sports car has two doors, is a coupe or a convertible, and is either rear or all-wheel drive. A sports car is usually an expensive purchase, although many used sports cars are relatively cheap if you are willing to buy one that needs some work.
However, it is essential to remember that a sports car will often require more maintenance than a regular car. Still, do not let that put you off, a sports car is a good purchase if you can afford it.
List of popular sports cars:
- Ford Mustang
- Mazda Miata
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Toyota Supra
- BMW M4
The coupe comes in many flavors. It can be a relaxed tourer for covering continents in style, it can be a cheap little sports car, or it can be a two-door hardtop version of an economy car. A coupe is just a sedan, but with only two doors. The engine choice depends entirely on what the manufacturer wants the coupe to do.
For instance, the Ford Mustang comes with a V8 and is a muscle car, while the Mazda Miata has only four cylinders and is a two-seater sports car.
List of popular coupes:
- Ford Mustang
- Mazda Miata
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Dodge Challenger
- BMW M4
A convertible is simply a coupe, but with a roof that can fold back on sunny days. The roof is either metal and fully power-operated or cloth and manually/power-operated. A convertible is a perfect choice for a sunny autumn drive, or when you want to feel the wind in your hair.
List of popular convertibles:
- Ford Mustang
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Mazda Miata
- BMW M4
- Porsche Boxster
The hybrid is a popular model of car these days. As the world collectively attempts to use less gasoline, the hybrid steps up to handle the job. A hybrid typically has a gasoline engine paired with a small battery and electric motor, and it is up to the maker to determine the size of these two powerplants.
Some hybrids, like the Chevrolet Volt, are mainly battery-powered and use the gas engine as a range extender for when the battery is too low to safely continue on electric power only. Other vehicles, like the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, primarily use the gas engine and have the battery as a way to cruise for a few miles in electric mode, like when driving in the city.
Most hybrids need to be plugged in periodically to charge the battery, and while on the move, use the gas engine as a generator to recoup energy. These are called PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Other cars, like the Mclaren P1, go the different route and use the battery as a performance booster for the gas engine, to squeeze out as much power as possible. However, hybrid vehicles are not necessarily more environmentally friendly than standard, as the mining necessary to get the battery materials is quite damaging. Still, a hybrid is the right choice if you live in the city and need both gasoline and electric power.
List of popular hybrids:
- Mclaren P1
- Toyota Prius
- Chevrolet Volt
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
The electric car is not a new form of transportation, but it has recently become more and more popular as technology advances. Electric vehicles are powered entirely by the battery, which provides power to an electric motor that is coupled to a single-speed transmission.
Tesla is the front runner in this category, as their cars have the most useable range and highest performance. Part of the reason Teslas is so popular is that they are both genuinely useable and disturbingly fast for their size and weight. This means Teslas are seen as regular cars, just electric.
Other carmakers are producing their electric vehicles. Nissan is making the Leaf. Chevrolet produces the Bolt and Volt. Even Ford is making its own electric car, the Mustang Mach-E. If you live in a place where you do a lot of short-distance stop and go driving, an electric vehicle would be an ideal mode of transportation.
List of popular electric cars:
- Tesla Model S
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model X
- Tesla Model Y
- Chevrolet Volt
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Nissan Leaf
The diesel engine is most prevalent in heavy-duty trucks, owing to the massive torque they produce, and their efficiency under long-distance, steady-state cruising. Diesel cars are most popular overseas in Europe and the Middle East, while diesel trucks are very popular here in America because of their capability.
The trucks can haul massive loads in their beds and tow even more, which makes them ideal for carpenters, construction workers, or anyone who needs to move a lot of equipment on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they are not very environmentally friendly, as the exhaust gases are full of particulates and soot, although the manufacturers try to mitigate this with filters.
Still, a diesel truck is a good choice if you need a truck with a strong motor behind it.
List of popular diesel trucks:
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500/3500
- Ram 1500/2500/3500
- Ford F-150/F-250/F-350
- Chevrolet Colorado Duramax
- GMC Canyon Duramax
- Mercedes R, ML with BlueTec
The crossover is becoming increasingly popular in America these days. It is perhaps the most popular type of new car being sold currently.
The reason for this is that crossovers offer a crossover, so to speak, between a car and an SUV. They are based on car platforms, so they are economical, but they also have more room than the standard 4-door sedan.
Crossovers also ride higher and have more ground clearance, which allows you to see more things around you. Often, a crossover is just as or more efficient than a traditional sedan. Hence the reason for their massive sales numbers.
List of popular crossovers:
- Chevrolet Trax
- Mazda CX-3
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Toyota Rav-4
The final type of vehicle on the list is the luxury vehicle. This type of car is not usually concerned with fuel economy or over the top power;
It is concerned with making sure its occupants are as comfortable and safe as possible, all the while maintaining a reserved, handsome exterior. Luxury vehicles are usually intended to be comfortable while cruising long distances at speed, often for hours at a time.
List of popular luxury vehicles:
- BMW 7-Series
- Mercedes S-Class
- Audi A8
- Cadillac Escalade
- BMW 6-Series
In this article, you will find some of the most common types of vehicles and body styles.
Several of these car types may fit in more than one category. For example a Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG can be coupe, convertible and sports car at the same time.