As well as model choices, the extra features of each vehicle type should also be considered in your selection. What kind of engine do you need? Petrol, diesel, or hybrid power? Do you need economy or hauling power? What type of transmission – automatic, manual or auto-manual? How about sound systems, air-conditioning, and optional upholstery? The basic vehicle package often won’t include many optional extras that you want, so you may have to outlay more money to ensure you get the features you want.
Features aside, what car is going to be right for you? Here’s a brief run-down on some popular car models and their main features:
Economy or Small Car – This model is typically a small two-door hatchback or small car. These types of vehicle offer great basic transportation and generally deliver good fuel mileage. They are great “city cars” and are ideal for short trips with up to four passengers.
Economy Crossover – These vehicle models have a more functional body type – think “station wagon”. They generally have a good fuel mileage, and can carry four or five passengers as well as stow some gear. Economy Crossover’s are more costly that the economy small car, but are a lot more functional.
Compact SUV – These cars are designed for more rugged use. The compact SUV often has four-wheel-drive and can handle less than favorable road conditions, but are not designed for heavy off-road use. There are some trade-offs in fuel economy and higher base prices when compared to crossovers or small cars.
Mid-sized Coupe or Sedan – The Coupe has bigger dimensions, more interior space, more comfort for passengers and better for longer trips. This model can be economical with appropriate engine and transmission choices. The base models will often have more accessories and luxury features but the cost is generally higher than more compact car models.
Mid-sized SUV – This is like the compact SUV, but with larger dimensions and is more appropriate for off-road usage, towing and other heavy-duty activities. The mid-sized SUV can comfortably carry four of five passengers and their gear on long distance trips. The big downside of the mid-sized SUV is the fuel consumption – particularly as we see fuel prices and global warming concerns on the rise.
People Movers – these van-types of vehicles have large interior spaces and generally seat five to eight passengers, plus storage space. The People Mover is suitable for longer trips or transporting the kids’ sports teams and all their equipment. Again they are not as economical as the small car, but they are far more appropriate for large families or frequent transportation of groups.
Sports Cars – Small, high-performance vehicles that usually only carry two people comfortably, but can sometimes carry up to four. Sports cars have minimal storage space and are a fun drive for the auto enthusiast, but are not that practical for a family.
Large Coupes, Sedans and SUVs – These large car models are like the mid-sized, but with larger dimensions and are generally even less fuel efficient.