A look at body-on-frame, unibody and skateboard chassis

Unibody frame

» Underpins passenger car, crossover, minivans and a few light trucks, such as the Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline

» Advantages: Saves weight. Boosts fuel economy. Adds rigidity over body-on-frame. Increases interior space. Simplifies manufacturing.

» Disadvantages: Reduced towing capacity over body-on-frame. Less capable for driving off-road. Styling changes more expensive and complex. Because the body panels are welded in place, accident and rust repairs are more expensive


» Percentage of unibody frame frame type based on new-vehicle registrations in the U.S.

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