Cars are an essential part of our lives with plenty of options to choose from, but this can be a double-edged sword. People can easily get confused and fail to realize which models are better suited for their particular lifestyle.
It is important to be able to put into words exactly what you are looking for in a car, depending on your situation – married with kids, college student, eligible bachelor/lady, a serious company executive, etc.
It’s not wise to listen to others and pick a car based on a single piece of information like horsepower, top speed or a beautiful exterior. What you need to do is go through the different types of cars and see which one seems like the best option for you.
The different types of cars and their intended purpose
Here are some of the different types of cars with some of their main characteristics, best suited lifestyles and notable examples listed:
- Small Hatchbacks – these are very small, two door cars that can seat between 2 and four people. They don’t have the strongest engines or the most luxurious interiors, but they are great for busy urban environments as they can get through tight spots and need less room to park. They are also a great option for students who can’t afford bigger cars. Notable examples include the Fiat 500, Peugeot 107 and the Smart.
- Hatchbacks – these are full-sized four door cars, with some two door models that are too big to be considered small hatchbacks. They are somewhat compact as their trunk area just rounds off and they are a great overall option as they tend to have either a decent inline-4 engine or the stronger V6 and a reasonable level of comfort. Notable examples include the Ford Fiesta, VW Golf, Mini Cooper and the Peugeot 207.
- Low-to-Mid-Priced Sedans – sedans are the big, long vehicles that provide their passengers with plenty of room, more accessories and a more elegant overall look. They can be more difficult to park and maneuver around town due to their great size, but are well suited for family people with kids, businessman looking to leave a good impression and anyone else that doesn’t mind sacrificing good mileage and performance for a bit more luxury at an affordable price. Notable examples include BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Ford Fusion, Cadillac ATS and Hyundai Accent.
- Luxury Sedans– these are cars that you see company executives drive and are best suited for those who have a little extra money to spend and don’t mind flaunting their wealth. Some entry level luxury sedans can be a good investment even for typical middle class families as they are roomy, incredibly safe and comfortable. Notable examples include Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus and Jaguar models, with super luxury limo-style cars like Rolls Royce and Bentley topping the list.
- Station Wagons – they are closely related to sedans, with one notable exception; they have much more room in the back and are less performance oriented. They are the workhorses of the modern world and perfect for people that live in rural areas, those with kids or anyone that needs to transport a greater amount of cargo with some frequency. Notable examples include Volvo XC70, VW Jetta SportWagen and Audi Allroad.
- SUV’s– they are the big bag wolves of the automotive industry. They are notorious gas guzzlers, not very fast and pretty huge. They have a ton of room and plenty of storage space so people with kids and those living in rural areas would benefit the most from these. Their great size and weight also makes them safer as far as collisions are concerned. Notable examples include the Ford Flex, Audi Q5 and the Land Rover Range Rover.
- Minivans – the soccer mom’s vehicle of choice, the minivan can transport a small army of kids, college students or work colleagues on a carpool. Their main selling point is the fact that they can seat a lot of people comfortably, but they sacrifice a good amount of performance and speed, and aren’t the easiest to drive around town and park. Notable examples include the Honda Odyssey and the Nissan Quest.
- Sports cars – not very roomy or practical and often need to be pampered, but they do offer supreme performance and great enjoyment. There are some excellent sports cars in the $30.000 to $40.000 range so they are not just toys of the rich and famous. These mid-priced models can have a decent level of functionality all things considered, but they are generally considered a bachelor car or a midlife crisis remedy. Notable examples include muscle cars like the Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang, sporty rally cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX all the way to supercars like the various Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani models.
There is plenty to choose from, even within the same type and price range, so once you have a clear idea of what you need you can proceed to make minor adjustments and customize your car
. There are often several models to choose from, ranging from cost-efficient fuel savers to more sporty versions to sporty models focused more on performance.
Buying a car is a matter of knowing what you need, comparing your needs with the available options and looking for the best model, accessories and pricing
There are plenty of payment options to look into, e.g. leasing, as well as alternatives like looking at the used car market or hiring car brokers that use their connections to search for the best options for you based on the information you give them.
All in all, it comes down to finding something that fits in well with the lifestyle you lead as opposed to looking for something pretty, shiny and/or powerful.
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