This list isn’t everything I suppose, but these are the most common body styles.
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A coupe is a two door car. Usually a bit sportier than other cars in the line. Sometimes a coupe is just a two-door version of another unsporty car that looks a little more sporty because it has two doors. Coupes tend to be more expensive on insurance. Subaru offers one coupe that is definitely designed to be sporty. That is the BRZ, seen here in the 2017 Subaru BRZ series.yellow.
My customers often say “a car…a CAR car” when asking about a sedan. This might be the most common body style. A sedan is four doors and a car with a trunk. For our purposes here that’s enough. For an extremely in depth discussion of body styles check out this body style page on the Q&A site Quora.
A hatchback is a version of a coupe or sedan with room in the back. Instead of a rear window that drops down in front of the trunk, the roof of a hatcback goes straight back to the bumper and the back window and trunk lid are one piece called a hatch. Pictured is an Impreza 5-Door. Subaru calls the hatchback version of their Impreza sedan a “5-Door”. There really is no difference, but since there are two names for the same body style, this is where people start to get confused.
A January 2008 Wall Street Journal blog article called crossovers “wagons that look like sport utility vehicles, but ride like cars.” Crossovers have been around for a long time, but they got popular in the early part of this century. Trucks and SUVs are usually bodies bolted onto frames. Crossovers are more like cars in that they are usually built of unibody construction, like a car. Subaru’s Crosstrek was originally called the XV Crosstrek where XV stood for “Crossover Vehicle”. As you may have noticed, when you compare it to the Impreza hatchback above, they are the same exact body. The Crosstrek has a different suspension, higher ground clearance and different wheels.
SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)
There are many different SUV’s out there; some the size of giant walk-in freezers tipped on the side with wheels. Subaru’s Forester SUV is classified as a small SUV by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. SUVs are based on trucks. The Forester is all about getting out there, going anywhere and taking your stuff. It gives you a lot of flexibility and still rides ok on the open road or city streets.
Like a hatchback, the station wagon has a roof extended back almost as far as the bumper and a “hatch” instead of a trunk. Room in the back is the draw and the room on the roof gets well used too. Our Subaru Outback is called a Crossover, a wagon and even an SUV. It has many of the features people look for in an SUV like high ground clearance and all-wheel drive.