In this paper, a literature review is made on the most recent research work being published which can contribute to a novel approach to the design of bus body-in-white structures. The main goals of such novel approach are weight reduction, increased energy absorption capacity, reduced material usage, and simplified production processes. The review is focused on dimensioning of complete bus structures, composite or metallic skin sandwich panels, and thin-walled and/or functionally graded components because significant input can still be found in recent research efforts in these fields. Most of these contributions are slowly adopted by the bus industry, if ever. An effort was also made to identify gaps in research to be investigated in the future.