There are so many different types of cars available on the marketplace that it can be difficult if you’re not a car fanatic to get to grips with what will be the best choice for your needs. From the difference between a city car and a supermini, to coupes and hot hatches – the following guide explains the different terms in simple language so that you can choose the type of car that will give you the best value for your money.
Before we get to the term descriptions of cars, their main body style differences need to be outlined.
A cabriolet is another name for a convertible and is also known as a drop-top.
The term coupe covers a large range of cars depending on the manufacturer, but generally it means a two-door hard top car. A 2+2 coupe describes the seating pattern in the car i.e. two seats in the front and two in the back.
An estate car has a full-size compartment at the back and a bigger boot. Some manufacturers also refer to it as a station wagon (SW) or a sports tourer (ST).
Hatchback’s feature a shared passenger and cargo area, with a third door at the back. A three-door hatchback for example would be a vehicle with a door on each side and a rear door opening into the boot.
These are the high-performance version of a hatchback, often having a more powerful engine and extra features such as spoilers and sports seats.
These types of cars are distinguished in most cases by being two-seaters. Sometimes they are also used to describe a convertible but can also refer to cars with a roof. Certain manufacturers have referred to them as a Spider.
Saloons have a separate boot from the main body of the car which is accessible using a ‘lid’.
City car’s, while self explanatory, cover the range of small and very compact cars that are popular and useful in congested urban areas. They are usually highly economical to run and their small engines result in lower insurance premiums. Cit cars will generally only have three doors because of their deliberately small size and their low top speeds mean they’re not ideal for long distance travel (although there are some exceptions).
Some people have the misconception from the name that superminis are smaller or the same size as the traditional mini. In fact these cars are actually larger than city cars and fall just below the size of a family hatchback. Superminis are some of the most popular cars on UK roads today. They are also economical to run and come in three- or five-door versions.
This term covers a huge range of cars, but is generally used to describe what you would call a ‘normal’ size car. It is larger than a supermini, but could be a hatchback, saloon, estate, or even a small MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle, otherwise known as a people carrier). There are no set criteria distinguishing a small from a large family car, but generally the smaller versions are hatchbacks or estates, while large family cars cover saloons, estates and MPVs.
Executive or Luxury car
Executive cars generally refer to saloons and estates, whereas luxury vehicles apply to any type of car which boasts top brand names with high levels of equipment and quality. The Early Lotus Elan Sports Car A review of The Lotus Elan Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this the tenth model in the Lotus range. In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Lotus Elan, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1962 to 1973. It was two feet longer, ten inches wider, and weighed 340 pounds more than the standard Elan, but with the performance of the fixed head coupe. Fitted with the 118 bhp Twin Cam engine as used in the Elan SE, it included such luxuries as wind-up windows, carpets, a heater, and a wooden facia. Most models were fitted with twin Webber carburettors, although some Sprints and later Series 4’s used Dell’Ortos, while Strombergs were fitted to early Series 4’s. Unlike its predecessor, the Lotus Elite which was, in essence, a financial disaster, the Elan was designed and built with close attention to controlling costs throughout the manufacturing process. In fact, in the end, the Elan was Lotus’ first financial success, and helped fund the companies’ drive into motor racing.
The Lotus M100 Elan Sports Car A review of The Lotus M100 Elan Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this the twenty eighth model in the Lotus range. In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Lotus M100 Elan, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1989 to 1992. The M100 Elan Series 1 The original Lotus Elan sports car, designated the Type 26, was launched in October 1962 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London, and was given the name Lotus Elan 1500. The M100 was the first, and indeed the last, car with front wheel drive to be built by Lotus. Following its launch, press reaction was somewhat mixed, but it quickly gained the accolade of being “the finest front wheel car”. A limited edition version, for the US market, featured a redesigned body with an alternative spoiler at the rear, a nose that was extended to comply with US regulations, and larger 16 inch wheels. This model was fitted with a new dashboard, the power steering was uprated, and the suspension was stiffened.
Mazda CX-9 Up Close
At a glance, this seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle (CUV) mazda cx-7 car covers looks very durable, quiet and really amazing. Lighter crossover vehicles, however, are shining little by little due to the continuously increasing cost of gasoline. The unnecessary weight of truck-based SUVs is also a factor. CUVs share common traits that are patterned on car platforms. They are more efficient and controllable as compared to big SUVs. The CX-9, Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and other larger CUVs are not much smaller than minivans. However, they come with striking aggressive styles, and these give them identity in their sporty appearance that hides on their sizes. The chassis of the CX-9 is derived from that of the Mazda 6, while the basic design and many parts are the same as those with the Edge and MKX. As compared to the Ford Edge, the wheelbase of the CX-9 is 2 inches longer. The CX-9 really resembles like the smaller CX-7. As a matter of fact, one might get confused which is which when these two vehicles are parked together. The only physical difference of the two is the sides of the exterior. The striking looks of the CX-9 includes sharp nose, angled windshield and tapered roofline. To cover the fat tires, the powerful looking bulging rear fenders do their task. Standard are 18 inches wheels and optional are 20-inchers. An example of the 20-inchers is the Grand Touring model.
The CX-9 does not lack carefully executed styling details. Some of the evidences are the taillights which are trimmed with chrome and convex rear hatch. Appropriately combined wood-grain trim, satin-finished accents and piano black panels make the interior of the Touring model test car really a great deal. Mazda’s distinguished door panels have curved ribs that echo those of the center stack. The power window switches are placed on the top of the ribs. At night, the instrument panel is cool. Highlighted by a blue light in a circle, the red number are in the main gauges. To light the door handles and make a soft glow on the center console, the blue LEDs do their task. The CX-9 is durable and quiet, and that is because it is using Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6, which is rated at 263 horsepower. Crowded highway acceleration is accessible while the engine does its task with just a very minimal noise. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. Optional is the all-wheel-drive system that provides traction to all four wheels. A large and wide cabin is also impressive in the CX-9. For the passengers to further feel comfort, a power outlet and a jack for an MP3 player is present on the center console. When the rear seat is folded down, the rear cargo area becomes available with an ample space. However, the top-hinged rear tailgate was quite heavy to close. But that does not lessen the power, efficiency and comfort that the CX-9 gives.
About Mazda Motor Corporation
A Japanese automotive manufacturer that is based in Hiroshima, Japan, Mazda Motor Corporation is the maker of quality and top of the line auto parts such as Mazda muffler. In addition to that, Mazda is also a well known producer of different types of vehicles and their parts. The company is expected to produce 1.25 million vehicles annually as of 2006. This should lean the fuel-air mixture out as well and may improve the rotaries nasty habit of flooding every time you move her down the street a block.
Great Cars Under 1000 Dollars – All-Star Profiles – Mazda RX-7
For some people a great car under $1000 dollars is a vehicle that can be fun to drive and serve an economical purpose. Being a great daily commuter or a winter beater is typically a task that is sought after in a cheap used car. However for some its all about the drive and the fun factor thats why I’ll go ahead and say that the vehicle featured in this profile is for those who are looking for a pure sports car.
Profile: (79-85) Mazda RX-7
In 1979 few people in America had ever driven Mazdas or even knew what the heck a “Rotary” engine was, but that all changed with the debut of the RX-7. Mazda set out to build a flagship sports car to compete against the Datsun Z series, and the RX-7 is the product of that effort. What instantly sets the RX-7 apart is the fact that it uses a very unconventional engine known as a “rotary engine”. I won’t go into great detail about these engines as that is an article in itself, but to give those not in the know an idea; the rotary is basically an engine that does not use pistons like a conventional engine. It uses rotors that “rotate” in a housing in a clock like motion.( remember that spirograph when you were a kid? Now you get the idea). What this allows is a very small and compact design that can provide smooth and high revving power. The first generation of RX-7 is composed of the parts one would expect in a sports car. A small light weight chassis, high revving engine, rear-wheel drive, and in this case a “front-mid engine” placement. Stock power levels were at about 100hp which provided very respectable speed compared to competition of the time. There were also 3 models the GS, GSL, and GSL-SE each having better features than the next. The GSL-SE models can be highly sought after for their fuel injection and 5 lug hubs making aftermarket wheel choices much better than the other models.
Now on to what makes this car an All-Star. This car was a smash hit for Mazda in the early 80’s and although we are only covering the first generation in this profile Mazda produced more advanced and more powerful models all the way up to 1995 in the US. So these cars can be had all day for less than $1000 dollars and most parts are still easy to find and cheap. What makes these cars so much fun is that although the early models didn’t have a very technologically advanced design (no rack and pinion steering and a live axle rear end), but they provide everything that a sports car should have. When you sit in one the controls fall to your hands perfectly and even for a 6 + footer like myself the car fits like a glove. Staring at you is a big center mounted tach that the rotary engines just love to push to the limit. For those that are looking for the pure sports car experience that is offered by makes like MG, Triumph, Alfa Romeo, and Porsche this is a car that can fit the bill. The cars balance is perfect, but it is prone to a little snap over steer and the 5.5 inch stock wheels don’t provide insane amounts of grip, but none of the other great sports cars of the past really did either. Even the manual steering is a pleasure in these cars as you can really feel the road and the available power is just enough to get you in trouble.
The rotary gets a real bad wrap from a lot of people, but there is a reason it has such a dedicated and enthusiastic following. The 12A engine that came in the early models is a very under stressed engine that in my opinion can hold up to the abuse just as good as anything else. ( if you want some serious horsepower there are several V-8 swap kits available that this chassis can handle with ease) Now after driving and owning a few of these vehicles I can go ahead and say that if you decide to venture out in the snow in an RX-7 do so at your own risk, and as far as fuel mileage goes the rotary is a little thirsty (expect 20 mpg avg. even from this small engine) However gas mileage and winter drive-ability is NOT what this car is all about. These cars are what gave Mazda the right to preach “zoom-zoom” as they provide a true experience for the driver not just another drive. Thats why to this day this author still owns one.