Cars come in a range of shapes and sizes, to suit a range of motorists. There are small cars, which can carry less in the way of luggage and passengers, but can manoeuvre through tight spaces. Then there are bigger ones, which can carry huge amounts over hills, valleys, and mountains.
Transmission can be automatic or manual. A range of technologies can be introduced into the cabin, making the driving experience that little bit more pleasant. Nowadays, we even have a choice between an internal combustion engine, an electric equivalent, and a hybrid of the two.
Whatever your needs and budget, chances are good that there will be a make and model that matches them exactly. Let’s assess a few of the options. Bear in mind here that are some cars that straddle the boundary between two – or even more – of these categories.
If you were to draw a car, then the chances are that it would be a saloon. This is a typical arrangement, with four doors and a traditional boot space. Just about every manufacturer offers a saloon (or ‘sedan’) of some kind.
A coupe dispenses with the rear two doors. They tend to be built with performance and touring in mind, ahead of more practical concerns. The boot tends to be estate-style, though it might equally mimic a hatchback. If you’re deciding between a coupe and a saloon, then you might look to models which strike a balance between the two.
For motorists who love the experience of driving, it’s difficult to beat a sports car. These are built with performance in mind; they will accelerate, corner, and brake better than any of the other varieties we list here.
Sometimes, a saloon’s roof extends to the back of the vehicle, forming a kind of extended hatchback. These vehicles mark a compromise between an SUV and a saloon. If you’re looking for a used Volvo, the chances are good that you’ll encounter one of these – though SUVs and saloons are provided, too.
A hatchback is a smaller car with an eponymous hatch at the back that opens upwards from a vertical starting position. Ford Fiestas, Fiat 500s, and Vauxhall Corsas all fit into this niche.
The term ‘convertible’ covers any car whose roof can be folded down. In practice, they’re usually sports cars or coupes.
If you need something as big and capacious, then you need an SUV. These are descended from the sort of all-terrain vehicle used by the army and by national parks. They’re able to tackle muddy fields and the dirt tracks you find on farms. They’re also a popular choice for the family car.
Bigger even than the SUV is the people carrier. If you find that you’re regularly transporting seven (or more), people, then this might be your only option.
Finally, we should mention the pick-up truck. These come with big open spaces in the rear, which can be used to transport goods and equipment.