Meaning of Sedan Vs. Convertible
Vehicle classifications can get confusing. It seems like all sorts of names are batted around to describe the latest rides, with new ones coming out all the time. What once seemed like a simple matter of describing a vehicle’s body style has now become more complex and seemingly contradictory.
But through it all, some terms have remained common, such as “sedan” and “convertible.” What do these two descriptors mean, and can a sedan be a convertible?
No, a sedan cannot be a convertible because “sedan” and “convertible” are two different body types.
Basically, if a vehicle has a soft-folding top or retractable hardtop, it’s a convertible, which can also be referred to as a cabriolet or roadster, but not a sedan. Vehicles that come as convertibles can often also be purchased in a sedan variation.
A sedan has a fixed ceiling, four doors and a conventional trunk separated from the area in which the drivers and passengers sit, with a separate compartment in front for the engine. This is called a “three-box configuration,” and is delightfully straightforward. Sedans can vary in size.
What is a coupe?
A coupe is a vehicle with two doors and a conventional trunk. The main difference here from the sedan is that the coupe has two doors instead of four. Some coupes have removal roof panels, which may make them seem like a convertible, but technically, if it doesn’t have a soft-folding top or retractable hardtop, it’s not a convertible. It’s just a coupe that the roof can come off.
Coupes often have sportier, sleeker styling than a traditional sedan, which can impact practical elements such as cargo space and rear head-room but which boost appearance points.
Automakers have recently tried to get away with classifications like “four-door coupe,” but these categories are questionable at best; they’re more of a marketing gimmick.