List of different types of cars

Updated February 21, 2017

According to the U.S. Highway Department of Transportation, “there were 190,625,023 licensed drivers in the United States in 2000.” Many of these drivers have different needs for their vehicles, so car manufacturers produce several types of cars. Whether you participate in a carpool or are a single driver with a concern for the environment, there’s likely a car that suits your needs.


These cars typically have 4-doors and range in size from compact to full-size. Prices in 2010 for new sedans typically run between £6,500 and £39,000, though some luxury and exotic models might cost more than £195,000. Sedans seat 4 to 5 adults and often have concealed cup holders that flip out, power sources and a stereo system. Engines for sedans are usually four, six or eight-cylinders, but some have five and 12-cylinder engines. Some features available in sedans include front-seat airbags, stability control, heated leather seats, sunroof, ABS and navigation. Other options might include lane-departure warnings, media options, run-flat tires, keyless entry and parking sensors. Trunks for compact sedans are typically 12 to 13 cubic feet and full-size sedans are between 17 and 21 cubic feet. Sedans come in all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. Some are automatic and others depend on manual shifting. Compact and mid-sized are the cheapest to buy and maintain. These models are inexpensive to insure and typically get good gas mileage.


Hybrid cars offer economic gas mileage and environmentally friendly options for drivers. These vehicles operate with a gas engine and an electric motor. Some hybrid models, called parallel hybrids, use the engine and motor together to power the vehicle. Other models, called series hybrids, use the engine to power the motor, which powers the vehicle. When a hybrid idles, the engine shuts itself off, saving on fuel and wear-and-tear. Once the car is put into gear again, the engine turns on and powers the vehicle.


Wagon models come in budget and luxury with several styles in between. If you don’t haul a lot of people or have need for a lot of storage, a smaller, compact version would suit you well. If you need room for big adults or a large family, however, some wagons actually fit a third-row seat. This vehicle style is practical and roomy for its size. The back row seats typically fold flat, allowing for a lot of storage and space. Though it sits lower to the ground than SUVs, some models are built tough enough to go off-road and endure rough winter conditions.


If you live in a warm climate, or at least enjoy a warm season, convertible cars are a fun vehicle option. Convertibles have a hard top, which you manually remove, or a soft-top, which folds down into the back of the car. Some have a targa-top, which means a section of the roof is removable, and a full roll bar rises behind the front seats. Most modern convertibles seat 2 to 4 people, range in price from moderate to extremely expensive and often cost a little more to insure than a non-convertible.

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About the Author

Jennifer Erchul has been a freelance writer since 2002. Writing primarily about family and travel, her work has appeared in the "Idaho State Journal," "Portnuef Valley Parents Magazine" and "Western Flyfisher." She writes for numerous websites and is a published author. Erchul studied English and psychology at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.