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Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

01 February 2021

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

Getting a new car is an exciting process, right? Yes, it is, but it can be a somewhat daunting one, too. That’s because, from the moment you first sit down to start researching your next purchase, you realise that there’s an incredible amount of choice out there – probably too much, in fact.

If you’re starting with a blank slate, the big question is where on earth do you begin with rounding down your options? With so many different types of car available in today’s market, we’d recommended starting by identifying the car body type that’s suitable for your needs going forward. From there, you’ll be able to start looking into brand and model options within your chosen category.

With all that in mind, we’ve put together a quick walkthrough of the five major types of cars available at Robins & Day. Plus a few of the finest examples in each category to help you along the way with the age-old question of “what car should I buy?”

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

The hatchback – simple and practical

The humble hatchback is often associated with being a “my first car” type of choice. But, the modern hatchback market offers so much more than being cannon fodder for newly passed drivers. Today’s hatchbacks are still great choices for new and young drivers, but they also offer affordable individual and family practicality which has made them a viable choice for the majority of drivers.

The benefits of a hatchback:

·       Affordability - cheap to buy and insure, economical to run

·       Compact design - great for city driving and parking

·       More space than you think

·       Cool design, with sportier “hot hatch” options that are fun to drive

Best for:

·       New and young drivers

·       Budget buyers

·       Growing families

·       City drivers

Our picks from the segment:

·       All-new Vauxhall Corsa and Corsa-E

·       All-new Peugeot 208 and e-208

·       Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

The saloon – business ready

While you might not find families and casual “A to B” drivers rolling around in one, the saloon is the undoubted and dominant choice of the modern professional. Whether it’s just a comfortable morning commute you’re after or you need a car that will meet the demands of lengthy business trips up and down the motorway, your typical saloon car is built to offer space, comfort and luxury. Complete with aesthetics that are designed to make an impression on your peers.

The benefits of a saloon:

·       Professional, sophisticated styling

·       Spacious, comfortable and premium interior layout

·       Low centre of gravity for a relaxed and comfortable ride

·       Sense of prestige, executive demeanour

Best for:

·       Professionals, particularly those who travel regularly

·       Those looking to make an impression

Our picks from the segment:

·       Peugeot 508 and 508 Plug-in Hybrid

·       DS 9

·       Insignia Grand Sport

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

The estate – the traditional family choice

It’s fair to say that the popularity of the SUV has definitely eaten into the estate car’s dominance of the family car market. But, the practical and spacious build of the estate car means it’s still an incredibly popular choice with families who prioritise that space factor alongside running an efficient, comfortable car. Typically based on a hatchback or saloon blueprint but with a bigger, boxier rear to create that extra space. The estate car also has crossover appeal for professionals looking for additional storage beyond the capacity of a saloon.

The benefits of an estate:

·       Storage and practicality – massive boot space and accessibility

·       Similar qualities to many hatchbacks and saloons

Best for:

·       Families

·       Professionals who require more space

·       Those looking for a practical step down from an MPV

Our picks from the segment:

·       Peugeot 508 SW and 508 SW Plug-in Hybrid

·       Peugeot 308 SW

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

The SUV – the trendy jack of all trades

The recent rise of the sports utility vehicle has been dramatic. The sheer volume of SUV options arriving from all the major manufacturers in the last few years is an indicator of just how universally popular they are across the market. The meteoric success of the “crossover” SUV – a crossover between a larger SUV format and a more compact passenger car – means buyers in the segment now enjoy a huge choice of extremely high-quality options that offer space, practicality, efficiency, safety and durability in equal measure.

The benefits of an SUV:

·       All round offering – adopting a jack of all trades design approach to offer drivers a little bit of everything

·       Growing choice of quality model options

·       Universal appeal

Best for:

·       Families

·       Anyone looking for all around utility

Our picks from the segment:

·       Peugeot 2008, e-2008 and 5008

·       Citroen C5 Aircross and C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid


·       All-new Vauxhall Mokka and Mokka-e

Hatchback, saloon or SUV – which body type is right for me?

MPV – the heavy-duty mover

If your priorities lie in space and versatility beyond the realms of the average five-seater, the multi-purpose vehicle is the choice for you. Most MPVs seat five or more passengers while accommodating considerable baggage space, making them the ultimate choice practicality wise.

The benefits of an MPV:

·       Space, space and more space

·       Numerous seven-seater options

·       Heavy duty and durable practicality

Best for:

·       Large families

·       Anyone requiring maximum storage space

Our picks from the segment:

·       Peugeot Traveller

·       Citroen Berlingo and SpaceTourer

·       Vauxhall Vivaro Life

So, what car is right for me?

Hopefully the above has helped you to shed some light on the different types of cars available and what car body type is most likely to make sense for you. As for the question of “what car should I buy?”, unfortunately there’s no black and white answer such as working professionals must get a saloon or those on a budget should look at hatchbacks only. What you can do is establish your biggest needs from a car and use them to eliminate options that you know won’t work for you.

The good news is if you head down to your local Robins & Day dealer, you’ll find we’ve got outstanding options in each category. So, whatever car type you go for in the end, you’re bound to end up with a very solid choice.


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