Who doesn’t want to drive or own a car? Almost all of us! This is the reason why automobiles have always remained the most dominant form of transportation in the world. It’s simply a four-wheeler, pushed by an engine that carries passengers from one place to another, and has various types and categories.
It is a thing to wonder how such an elementary work of craft can give wings to human creativity. Now they are more than just a vehicle but a symbol of status and utility for many. How the imaginations of fervent engineers can grip people’s attention with their beautiful creations.
Yet, with every different set of eyes, some automobiles remain more desirable than others. The choices are many in this market, the cars have evolved in different shapes and sizes since their inception in the late 19th century.
This has happened due to the ever-growing demand based on the experiences of the owners and improved technology with changing times and tides. Choosing what suits our needs and desires from the plethora of available designs and brands needs thorough knowledge and understanding about the types of cars. Then only, one can make an informed decision and invest in the vehicle of their choice.
HATCHBACK: A perfect small city car! The term “hatchback” means compact or subcompact cars, which usually seat 4-5 people, built with a one or two-box configuration.
It’s a perfect car to roam around in busy and bustling cities as they take up the least space on the roads. The most noticeable feature of this segment is its rear door that swings upward to provide access to a cargo area- space behind the rear seats that exists inside the car itself. They usually have a squared-off roof.
Nowadays, we have an option of an AMT gearbox with powerful engines in hatchbacks too. The first production of the hatchback was marketed by Citroën in 1938- the Citroën 11CV. The car was built to target and market to the tradesmen who were required to carry heavy objects. Renault also marketed the R4 and named it a small station wagon. Hatchbacks are the highest-selling car body style in India. Remember the Maruti 800? Maruti has sold over 2.5 million units since its launch in 1983.
SEDAN / SALOON: According to the Oxford Dictionary, Saloon is “A car having a closed body and a closed boot separated from the part in which the drivers and passengers sit.”
These cars are specially designed to cater to utmost comfort and convenience to the driver and the passenger, with ample features, and no compromise on safety, both at the front as well as the rear. All sedans are built with a three-box configuration.
The cargo of this car is separate from the rest of the body, opening a cargo doesn’t open the whole car, unlike a hatchback, while the shape of the boot is shallower and not so practical.
There are further various types of sedans available in the market that include: club sedan, fastback sedan, close-coupled sedan, convertible sedan, hardtop sedan, sedanet/sedanette, and notchback sedan. The first recorded use of sedans came in 1912 when the Stude baker Four and Studebaker Six models were marketed as sedans.
The Maruti 1000 was India’s first contemporary sedan that showed up in 1989. An important fact about this car is that 65% of the components of the car were indigenized by the year 1991.
SUV (SPORTS UTILITY VEHICLE): An SUV is an automobile that can seat passengers, scale different terrains, and can go off-road! SUVs come with bigger wheels, with a four-wheel drive and rugged styling, and include higher ground clearance than any other car segment.
Most SUVs have box-like bodies and more boots and passenger space than a hatchback or saloon. Many people like SUVs just for the view they get off of the road when they sit higher up, whereas some of the SUVs owners admire the vehicle’s tough look as it appears to be safe, bigger, and bulkier than sedans or hatchbacks.
This four-wheel-drive chassis, rugged with off-road capable bodies, appeared just before World War II. The first models that appeared in the mid 19th century are the 1938 GAZ-61 from Russia, 1936 Kurogane Type 95 from Japan, 1936 Opel Geländesportwagen from Germany, as well as the 1941 Volkswagen Kommandeurswagen.
In 1984, the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was introduced. This is regarded as the first true SUV in the world. India’s first SUV designed and manufactured was Tata Sierra, produced by the Indian carmaker Tata Motors in 1988.
CONVERTIBLE: Everyone loves convertible! It makes everyone happy. Fixed roof cars could feel claustrophobic to some and open cars are often windy, leaky, noisy, and sometimes unsafe. The only solution to this problem is a Convertible.
They appear in the movies and in one of everyone’s favourite songs. They symbolize youth and freedom as they are open and provide an airy drive with the option to use the roof whenever required. All convertibles are passenger cars that can be driven with or without a roof in place, loved for their aesthetic and beautiful designs.
They come in four-seater as well as two-seater; though their cargo space is very small. Plymouth introduced the first mechanically operated convertible roof car in 1939. In India, the first convertible was manufactured by Standard in 1965.
PICKUP TRUCK/UTILITY VEHICLES: A light-duty truck with a small cabin for passengers and a large cargo area for the supply of any kind of solid materials! These automobiles are usually bought for the purpose of work that includes carrying goods from one place to the other.
It comes in the shape of a hatchback car only. But half of its roof is open. People all over the world are often seen loving this vehicle, however, in India, people prefer SUVs over them. The first pickup truck was introduced in 1925 by Henry Ford.