Lots of car owners and lovers alike have used the words sedans, saloons and SUVs loosely. Over the years, Nigerians have settled for their a definition of a sedan. They call it a saloon car. When asked to even define the saloon car, they simply tag it "any small car that is not a jeep (SUV)". Well the definition isn't entirely right or wrong. Yes the sedan is also known as the saloon. Yes the sedan is smaller than the SUV. But this article by Naijauto is meant to clearly define what a sedan is and the various types of sedans.
1. What is a sedan?
A sedan is a kind of passengers vehicle that is made up of the major areas, boxes or compartments - the engine area, passenger compartment and the cargo area.
Other definitions call them the 3 box configuration. The first compartment is the engine area which houses the engine and major components that ensure the vehicle moves and operates well enough. It's usually in front - except for Tesla model S and other electric lift back cars which have empty front and back compartments. The second configuration is the passenger compartment which is usually in the middle. This is where the driver and passengers enter and exit. It's usually made up of two rows of seats, front and rear. Then lastly, there is the third compartment known as the cargo area. This is where luggage is kept. Nigerians commonly call it the boot of the car.
It's worthy to note that there are just a few sedans that don't exactly follow this configurations. The Renault Dauphine, the Volkswagen Type 3 and the Chevrolet Corvair all have their boots in front - just like the classic Volkswagen Beetle.
2. What are the types of sedans?
2.1. The notchback
The popular three compartment sedans are known as notchback. There is the engine area in front, a bigger compartment in the middle for passengers and then the boot. The windows at the back and rear tilt towards the roof. The roof is parallel to the ground, and in a single plane. The passenger area has two seats in front for driver and one passenger, and one long one at the back for 3 adults. Although most Nigerians carry 4 people at the back. Examples include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord 2002, Mercedes Benz flat boot and much more.
The Notchback sedan is the everyday sedan you see everyday
2.2. The fastback
The fastbacks are those with the sporty look. They have two compartments - the engine area and passenger box. This is because the passenger area has a slope from the roof down to the boot cover. When you fold the rear row of seats, you actually get a bigger cargo space. Honda, Nissan and Toyota have lots of these.
Many new model sedans come as a fastback
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2.3. The hatchback
Hatchbacks are almost life fastbacks. But the roof doesn't slope down to the lid of the trunk. Instead it's almost straight down and is lifted by a liftgate or a hatch. Another name for the hatchback is liftback. The Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and the Audi A5 sportback are some examples.
Nigerians generally know the hatchback is the wagon
2.4. The chauffeured sedans
The chauffeured sedans are the really long ones with two separate passenger compartments. Most people generally know it as the limousine. There's usually the area for the driver and one passenger in front, and then people at the back facing each other. Lincoln, Cadillac, Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce make this type of sedans.
The chauffeured sedan is commonly known as the limousine
2.5. The hardtops
A hardtop sedan is one without middle window frames that also serve as roof support. It's designed to be have no pillars and was really popular in the 70's. Cadillac and Japanese automakers made lots of those.
The hardtop sedans have no window frames
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2.6. The club sedan
Club sedans can't really be seen anywhere these days. They were in vogue in the 1920's. They are quite small with low roofs. They weren't sold like normal cars but for elite clientele who just wanted something different.
You might never see this type of club sedan in modern days
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