Choosing a vehicle that is right for you is an important decision. The price of cars and trucks are at an all-time high and there are many things to take into consideration.
Below is just a quick overview of the different types of vehicles on the market today. Weigh the pros and cons. Think about what you like, what you dislike, how much you can spend, what your needs are, family, recreation, work etc. What is right for you?
Sport Utility Vehicles
There have been many changes in the ever-growing SUV market. Most notable is that the once crude four-wheel -drive is now a better riding and more comfortable vehicle that seems to be leaving the once popular minivan in the dust.
Almost all compact SUVs are based on a car chassis which makes for a smoother and better ride. They are usually four or six-cylinder and front wheel or all-wheel-drive. Don’t expect to do much off-road driving. These vehicles are good in snow and loose surfaces such as dirt and gravel.
Midsize SUVs were originally almost always based on a ladder frame which made the ride very truck like, stiff and bouncy. They are typically six or eight cylinder, four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Many are equipped with third row seating and generous cargo space. These are great family vehicles and an alternative to the minivan.
Large SUVs are based on full-size pickups and are extremely powerful. These SUVs are the choice for hauling cargo such as boats and trailers. They can also tackle almost any kind of off-road scenario with ease. They are manufactured in either four-wheel-drive or rear wheel drive and always with an automatic transmission. If you live in a climate where snow is a factor or you’ll be doing a lot of off-road driving than a four-wheel-drive may be the best choice. Remember due to the design you still will get a very stiff and bouncy ride.
Many SUVs can be very luxurious, even more so than some luxury sedans. Although beware because there is usually a hefty price tag. Also remember to take into consideration the price of fuel. It may be worth looking into the many hybrid choices that are available.
There are many different types vehicles on the market today. With soaring gas prices the car may be making a comeback. With so many choices including the fuel friendly subcompact, compact and hybrid the choices seem to be endless.
Subcompact cars are gaining much popularity these days due to their reasonable prices and most notably because of the high price of gasoline. These vehicles are great for the single person. Don’t expect much cargo space or very comfortable rear seating although on many models there is very generous front leg room. These vehicles are not very powerful and are not equipped with many options. They also can be very noisy especially during highway driving. Are they safe? By law they are all equipped with dual front air bags. Remember the problem being is that these cars are competing on roadways where there are many large cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and tractor-trailers. If you need to sell your used car, you can always do this via the dealership, private party or even a used car buying service like CarMax.com
Compact cars, with so many models to choose from, seem to be making a comeback. Most seat four comfortably and have large trunk space. Unlike years ago they can be very plush and come with many choices of options. Like the subcompact the compact is a good choice for the single person or even the small family. Since they are four-cylinder they still get better gas mileage than most vehicles.
The midsized car is the most popular in this category. Since they are great for families they give the SUV and minivan a run for their money. With a combination of cargo space, fuel economy, affordability and many vehicle choices the midsized car is worth a look. Most are manufactured with four-cylinder or six cylinder engines although there are some models with eight cylinder engines. Remember the old saying, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Many models offer cutting edge styling, high performance and luxury once only found in more expensive larger vehicles.
The typical large car is not what it used to be. These days they are only slightly larger than some midsized cars. With the popularity of sport utility vehicles interest in the large car has been greatly diminished. The large car now tends to be more of a sporty vehicle with many amenities and very luxurious. These cars are manufactured in usually six or eight cylinder.
The sports car may be one of the most diverse groups of all vehicles. They consist mainly of sporty hatchback’s, convertibles and muscle cars. They are fast, fun to drive and usually quite expensive. The front-wheel-drive hatchback is probably the least expensive of the bunch while the rear wheel drive muscle car is the most expensive. Who needs a vehicle like this? Nobody and everybody. These cars are manufactured for sheer enjoyment.
Pickup trucks have gained much popularity over the years. They have gone from being simple workhorses to everyday comfortable transportation.
The compact pickup is truly not compact anymore. Every year the models seem to get larger and really cannot be classified as compact. The extended cab and the popularity of the crew cab have really helped the pickup truck to not be a one-man vehicle anymore. You may be able to fit five people in an extended cab and six in a crew cab. How comfortable? It all depends on the seating configuration of the particular model and of course the size of the passengers. Pickups are manufactured in rear wheel drive or four-wheel-drive. Rear wheel drive can be treacherous in rain or snow and four-wheel-drive can make the truck stiff and bouncy. Most bed sizes are standard 6 feet.
The large pickup truck like the compact pickup truck despite its size is very popular. As much as they are still considered powerful workhorses they can be very luxurious vehicles. They are manufactured in extended cab and crew cab versions and are either four-wheel-drive or rear wheel drive. Like the large SUV the current price of fuel is an issue to take into consideration.
The minivan has seen better days. Many automobile manufacturers are phasing out their models. Manufacturers such as Chrysler, Toyota and Honda are showing no end in sight. Minivan sales are definitely down due to the popularity of the sport-utility vehicle.
The minivan though does have much to offer. All minivans due to their size and weight have V-6 engines. One of the best things manufacturers did a few years ago was to put in that second rear door making loading and unloading packages and the kiddies easier. Most vans accommodate seven passengers and some accommodate eight. Folding down the rear seats is a plus when needing to transport large items. Some come standard with a DVD player and drop down LCD screen and audio and video jacks for video game systems. You can also get optional all-wheel-drive or traction control on some models.