26 Types of Cars You Can Choose From for Your Ride

There are many different types of cars. 26 of them in fact. We list them, describe them and include photo examples.
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Cars lined up on the road


The car, or the automobile, as it was originally called, is a motor vehicle that runs on four wheels, has an engine to push it forward and is used as the dominant form of transportation in the world. Ever since its invention in the late 19th century, cars have captured the imagination of people around the globe. They are seen as status symbols, symbols of stability in a family, and are useful in getting around cities, driving between provinces and states, and serve as a major form of sport in racing circuits.

Cars have been developed in different shapes and sizes throughout the 20th and the 21st century. They come in small and large sizes and have taken on various innovations throughout the years. However, their basic function remains the same. Today, investing in a car is considered to be a major purchase in the lives of most people.

Sedan
Black Sedan against a white background

A Sedan is a type of car in which the cargo area is behind the rear pillars. It is separated from the cabin where the passengers are seated. Sedans offer great protection for the cargo against theft since they don’t have glass windows in the cargo area.

HatchbackA hatchback car

This is a specific type of car where the rear cargo door swings up when it is opened. The rear window exposes the content of the cargo space and can be covered up using mats. Hatchbacks are usually taller than Sedans. Due to this feature, they have higher roofs and driving positions.

MPV/MinivanSilver Minivan

Minivans are usually designed with an emphasis on the size of cabin space rather than the size of storage space. It is often associated with station wagons and family cars. It is made with the specific idea of fitting an entire family inside it. It does have plenty of cargo space, but not much in comparison to the Hatchback.

SUV

SUV vehicle

An SUV or Sports Utility Vehicle is made keeping in mind the long journey. It is designed to travel the long journey to another city or a state. It has a high ride height and a boxy shape which makes it easier for people to look around. It uses a ladder frame chassis which is usually found in trucks.

CUV/CrossoverCompact Utility Vehicle

It can be very easy to confuse an SUV with a CUV. However, they’re both different in function. The chassis is the main differentiator here. The ladder frame chassis of the SUV resembles those used in trucks. The CUVs use a lighter monocoque chassis, which is similar to the ones that are sported by Sedans. They are taller than hatchbacks but they don’t have the same amount of space as minivans.

PickupPickup

A pickup is one of the most recognizable cars in the world. It is distinguishable from other automobiles due to its distinct design. Its cargo space is completely divided from its cabin space and it usually seats no more than 3 or 4 individuals at a time.

Jeep

Jeep on dirt road

Jeep is like Kleenex.  It’s a product model that’s become synonymous with an entire product line.  Jeep, as a model, is designed and built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.  The Jeep hit the scene in November 1940, just before the USA entered WWII.  They were widely used throughout the war and subsequent wars due to their ability to travel on all kinds of terrain.

In 1987 Chrysler bought the Jeep brand and has expanded the models ever since.  While the traditional design is still popular, Chrysler also developed the SUV model Cherokee.

CoupeCoupe in a showroom

A coupe is a car that is defined by simplicity. It has two doors, a small cargo space, and takes its cues from both the Sedan and the Hatchback. It has minimal space and is a minimalist car that is designed to impress. It isn’t for the family or for a get together of friends. It’s for the lone rider or a couple that wants to explore the world.

Convertible/CabrioletConvertible car with the top down

Convertible cars have been famous for their recognizable aesthetic and their lovely designs for decades. They have been popular for decades because they have been made icons of cinema and symbols of freedom and youth. They have retractable tops and minimal cabins for passengers, sometimes, seating only two people. They also have small cargo space.

SpyderSpyder Car

The Spyder is a type of car that has two seats and the appearance of a sports car. It has many variants, one of which is the popular Lamborghini Spyder. Its use has spread all over the world and is recognized as a luxury car. There was a time when it was used as a racing car in the United States Auto Club during the 50s and 60s.  The Spyder is also often called the Roadster, which was originally used to describe a horse that is suitable for traveling on the open roads.

Originally the Spyder was only fit for one person to ride, but it has gradually adapted to the two-seater model that is internationally known.

Station Wagon/EstateRed Station Wagon

The station wagon is a car designed with space in mind. It has a large cabin with loads of space for people to sit and also offers a large cargo space. It is the ultimate family vehicle and is perfect for long trips. It has its roots in the sedan or hatchback design (the back hatch swings open upwards). Originally produced in the 1910s in the US, the car was once the standard family vehicle in America, though the popularity has declined due to the onset of the minivan and the SUV.

SportscarsSportscar against a black background

A sportscar or a sports car is a small, luxury automobile that is built for speed and minimal cargo and cabin space. It is usually a two-seater and is high in the metrics of handling and speed. Though usually considered a luxury car, the sports car is strictly designed with performance in mind.

Sportscars like the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, and the Jaguar, are considered to be some of the most famous and most expensive cars in the world.

Hot HatchWhite hot hatchback car

The hot hatch car is a high-performance car that takes its design from the hatchback. It has the same door that swings open in the back and a similar shape. Though not as spacious or large as the hatchback, it can still fit up to 5 passengers and quite a bit of cargo. It began being manufactured in the late 1980s and is a favorite among consumers in Europe and Asia.

LimousineA driver standing next to an open door of a limousine

A limousine is considered one of the most luxurious cars in the world. It is a car that is noted for its large length and the partition between the back and the front. The limousine is driven by a chauffeur in most cases and is pre-booked for formal affairs. Limousines are usually owned or used by movie stars, businessmen, dignitaries, or politicians.

UteLight Utility Vehicles

A Ute, which is an abbreviation of utility, is a term for a car that is usually bought in Australia and New Zealand for cars that tray behind the passenger cabin. It can be driven with a regular license. It was originally used to refer to cars built on passenger car chassis with the cargo tray attached to the passenger body.

Any vehicle with an open cargo area in the back is now referred to as a ute in the New Zealand-Australia region.

Pony CarBlack and white picture of Pony Car

The Pony car has its roots in the Ford Mustangs of the 1940s and 50s. It was wildly popular in the 1960s and even broke sales records in the US. It created the pony car craze and was designed as an affordable, compact, and a highly stylized alternative for Americans. It was a direct consequence of customers’ interests in small cars that had a sporty and luxurious design.

Sports SedanSports car zooming away

The Sports Sedan or the Sports Saloon is a very subjective term for a car. It is designed for great performance and impeccable handling features. The term goes back to the 1930s and includes the Rover 14 and 16 cars. Sports Sedan was a term that began being applied to sports versions of cars for different manufacturers in the 1960s. The originals used manual transmissions and rear wheel drives. However, as time passed, a number of other transmission types and layouts became common.

Some important cars that fall into the category are the BMW M5, the Jaguar XJR, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

Military VehicleMilitary vehicles in transit

Military vehicles are designed for combat and for endurance on the battlefield. They are designed to withstand bullets and explosions and are fitted with extensive armor and protection. They are fit to carry soldiers, ammunition, lots of cargo, and run at top speed while carrying cargo.

DragsterDragster car

Dragsters are modified racecars. With modified engines, they are specially built for drag racing. They were first built during the 1960s and fitted with front engine rails, slingshots. They can be supercharged or turbocharged based on their designs. They can run on alcohol, natural gas, or a mixture of nitromethane and gasoline. Rear engine dragsters have now become the standard dragster design because of their durability and performance benefits.

Grand TourerGrand Tourer car

The Grand tourer, or the Gran Turismo, as it is known in Italy, is a performance and luxury automobile. It’s designed for high speed and durability and for long distance drives. It has a two-seater design with doors that can open upwards or outwards, depending on the design. It began being manufactured during the 1950s, taking after the designs of the sports cars manufactured in the 1930s.  With time, it has become more streamlined. The most famous Grand Tourer is perhaps the Aston Martin, which is the most famous Bond car, featured in the famous film, Goldfinger.

Shooting BrakeThe Shooting Brake standing near a scenic view

The Shooting brake is a term for a vehicle that has a particular body style. It was once used for horse-drawn wagons that were used to transport shooting parties to their hunting grounds. The first ones with automotive capabilities were designed in the early 1900s. They are known for having elongated rears and large cabin spaces. They take several hints from the hatchback. One of the most common Shooting Brake cars made today is the Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Hot RodOld School Hot Rod

Hot rods are considered classic cars that are sometimes fitted with large engines that are modified for speed. The origin of the term is not clear but it is often referred to a stolen vehicle. It is recognized for a specific design that shows its engine slightly exposed or the exhaust pipes forming a significant part of its exterior design aesthetic. It began being manufactured in the 1920s. First used by bootleggers during the Era of Prohibition, it gained popularity after the Second World War.

Rat RodClassic Rat Rod

This is a type of hot rod that exaggerates the features of the hot rod, specifically its large tires and open engine with huge exhaust pipes. It became popular in the 1940s and remained in demand until the 1960s. The rat rods were so named because they were cheaper alternatives to the high priced hot rods. The latter were usually used for decoration pieces and seldom driven, while the rat rods were the complete opposite. The typical rat rod is usually one that was manufactured during the 1920s through the 1950s.

Low RiderLow Rider Car

A Lowrider or a Low Rider is a class of style of customized car. It is different from a lowered vehicle of the standard kind. It is often painted extravagantly. However, its most recognizable characteristic is that it’s fitted with a hydraulic system or an airbag system that allows the vehicle to be raised above the

ground. It can be held in place for long for comic effect. It is driven on wire spoke wheels with whitewall tires. The Lowrider car can be made to bounce and hover above the ground on one side of its body.

TunerRed tuner car

A tuner car is a car that is customized or tuned for performance. It is modified for speed and performance as well as for handling and better fuel economy in some cases.

Cars come in many different shapes and sizes as this article has shown. They can come tuned for performance, for speed, for handling, for comfort, and for strength. It depends on what you want from the car. Some are expensive, some are affordable, and others are weird and fantastical. Since there are those who need a small car for home and those who want extravagance and oddity, there can be no accounting for taste. However, one thing is for certain, the automobile has captured the imagination of the general public, and it will continue to do so in the future.

Electric Car

Tesla electric car

I cannot wait to lease my next car, which will be an electric car.  This is an exciting time because over the next few years, most automobile makers will be rolling out many electric car options.  Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes are all rolling out a fleet of electric cars.  Tesla, of course, is the current top dog in the arena, but will be facing tougher and tougher competition over the next 5 years.  GM’s Volt is also a good option.

While I like Tesla’s designs, it doesn’t come close to how cool the first Porsche electric car looks.  Check it out… the Mission E.  What I love about the Mission E is it’s a 4 door and still looks super cool.  I have young kids so a 2-door is out of the question.

Porsche Mission E electric car

Porsche Mission E electric car






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