What Are Automobiles?


Automobiles are the cars, trucks and other vehicles that allow us to commute, run errands and travel for leisure. They can run on gasoline, diesel fuel or electric power, with engines ranging in size from tiny to massive. They are usually designed for transporting passengers, but some have been built for specific purposes, like crane vehicles at construction sites or forklifts in warehouses.

The automobile radically changed our world, opening up new opportunities and services, including leisure activities and fast food chains. However, it also contributed to problems such as pollution and the destruction of natural habitats. Today, it would be hard to imagine a life without a car.

Various definitions exist, but most agree that an automobile is a four-wheeled passenger vehicle powered by its own internal combustion engine and equipped with seating for one to six people. Some definitions also include wagons, which are similar to sedans but have a raised roofline and a hatchback instead of a trunk. The branch of engineering that deals with automobiles is called automotive engineering.

The best midsize sedans offer ample cargo space and legroom for both the driver and passengers. They are not too big to be difficult to maneuver and have great tech features. The top picks are the Honda Accord, which received high marks in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, and the Kia K5. The latter is a sleeker option with attractive styling. Safety features are important, too. Some, like blind-spot monitoring systems and automatic emergency braking, are available as options, while others have been made mandatory in order to comply with government safety standards.

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