A quick guide to the most common car types


This is by far and away one of the most popular body styles throughout Britain, offered by the likes of Citroen and Renault. Affordable and economical, hatchbacks are so named because the entire rear end opens to provide access to the boot. This offers a particularly high level of storage space that make hatchbacks a versatile and popular purchase for families. What’s more, the rear seats generally fold down too, which creates even more loading space. 

‘Hatchback’ is quite a broad-ranging term that can cover a wide variety of different sub-types of cars, from small city runabouts to larger family vehicles. They tend to have a pretty stylish, sporty image, and their compact build makes them famously easy to drive, especially around urban areas. All this makes them a popular choice for younger drivers, particularly for a first car. 

City cars

Notably smaller even than hatchbacks, city cars are some of the most compact cars on the roads. Their small build tends to be characterised by a short bumper and wheels that are pushed out right to the edge of the chassis. This makes it a doddle to manoeuvre them around potential obstacles, and means they’re great for zipping amongst the dense traffic of tight urban environments. As you’d imagine, parking them is an absolute dream, too. However, all this comes at a sacrifice of space, as their small size doesn’t leave much boot room. 


Popular amongst salespeople, business executives and other drivers looking to make a powerful statement with their personal transport, saloons are generally the remit of premium brands like Audi and Mercedes. They tend to be characterised by a ‘three box’ design - the engine bay is Box One, the cabin is Box Two, and the boot is Box Three. While the boot space may not be as generous as that offered by a hatchback, saloons have undeniable luxury credentials, with longer wheelbases than hatchbacks - which contributes to a comfortable ride and considerably more legroom. 


Coupes are typically two-door versions of saloon cars, with all the effortless style and prestige that entails. Granted, they’re not necessarily as practical as some of the other types of vehicle we’ve got on this list, but they’re undeniably fun to drive, and sure to turn heads. There’s also a growing trend for four-door versions of coupe cars, so if you’ve got your heart set on one as a family car, there are plenty of options available to let you have your cake and eat it. 


Take a hatchback car, put a large rear extension on the back, and you’ve got yourself an estate car. While their appearance might not be quite as snazzy as the other types of car we’ve covered above, estate cars have an undeniable practicality which makes them an attractive option for family buyers. 

In fact, they’ve been a staple of British family life for generations, and they’re supremely capable of accommodating buggies, bags or large amounts of luggage which mums and dads so often find themselves having to lug around. They’re also notably longer than saloons or hatchbacks, and that means that drivers have plenty of space to store things on the roof, too. It’s worth its weight in gold when the holiday season comes around, and if you’re an adventuring sort who regularly transports bikes or other sorts of adventuring equipment, an estate car is certainly worth considering.


MPV stands for multi purpose vehicle, and they do exactly what it says on the tin. Another popular one for families, MPVs offer no shortage of storage space, coupled with plenty of room to accommodate up to seven passengers (which is why they’re still sometimes known as ‘people carriers’). With a higher driving position than hatchbacks and estates, MPVs offer a more comfortably car-like driving experience than some similarly large vehicles, and more affordable running costs than SUVs. They’ve got that great combination of practicality and fuel economy to make them a reliable and versatile choice. 


Standing for Sports Utility Vehicle, this is another one that’s become quite a catch-all term, and today can be used to describe crossovers, 4x4s and off-roaders. Older SUVs were specifically designed to handle rough and rugged terrains like moors and mountains, using a powerful engine, four wheel drive and plenty of storage space to keep all sorts of handy equipment that an adventurer might need. 

These days there are still plenty of SUVs that are up to the task, but many others are designed purely for use on the tarmac. They offer an especially comfortable drive at higher motorway speeds, which is great if you tend to find yourself regularly doing long range drives. 

Whatever you’re after, you can find great bargains on all these and more amongst our online car auctions right here at RAW2K. We’ve got models from a variety of leading global manufacturers, including hatchbacks from Vauxhall and Peugeot, saloons from BMW, and SUVs from Toyota. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?