Whether you are a student, a bachelor, starting a family or living on a budget, deciding on what car best suits your lifestyle can be quite tricky. Especially if you don’t know what your options are. What is a hatchback? What is the difference between an SUV and a sedan? What class delivers the best fuel efficiency?
These are all really important factors to consider when you need to make a decision and this blog is created with that in mind. Better understanding the basics of car classifications could save you a lot of future hassles.
1. The luxurious and multifunctional SUVs
Considered to be a car for people who work out of their vehicles, or alternative transportation for larger families, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become the most popular vehicle for many manufacturers and drivers alike as they are built strong to handle most types of terrain and to withstand the elements. They are the perfect combination of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles.
SUVs generally have higher ground clearance with the option to switch to 4x4 but don’t be deceived as they can range from powerful off-road vehicles to classy city and family vehicles. If you plan on sticking to one vehicle for a few years, an SUV is a great investment as you can generally count on these vehicles to last. Newer models come standard with a state-of-the-art navigation dashboard with multiple functions, reverse sensors and cameras, high-end safety features and much more.
These are the perfect family cars as their spacious interior will ensure comfort and safety for all of the family.
2. Hatchbacks, the affordable and fuel-efficient city car
What they lack in boot capacity they make up for in performance and cost-effectiveness. Rising in popularity between the mid-1960s to the 1970s, these vehicles are ever so popular in today’s fast-paced city life. They range from cost-effective models with entry-level luxury features (like built-in navigation dashboard, premium yet affordable and comfortable interior, etc) to slick and classy cars that are easy to manoeuvre through traffic and to get into that tight parking space with ease.
The term "hatchback" refers to the rear door, or more commonly known as the “boot”, of a vehicle. They are also usually shorter in length and have shared volume for the passenger and cargo areas. The size of these cars makes them quite light in mass and in return, results in them being very fuel-efficient making them the perfect city cars for those long commutes to work and home.
Hatchbacks are a popular option for first-time car owners and students not only because they tend to be less expensive but also because they are easy to drive. First-time drivers tend to be less anxious behind the steering wheel of a hatchback car and can therefore pay more attention to what is happening on the road. Their increase in popularity also means that you now have a wide variety to choose from and newer models have better attention to detail when it comes to design, shape and form.
3. For the utility and light-duty worker - bakkies
The term “bakkie” was derived from the Afrikaans word “bak” - meaning container and was popularised in South Africa to refer to a light-duty truck with an enclosed cab and spacious cargo area. Simply put, bakkies are made to work and carry cargo. They are built to withstand mildly-heavy cargo with a raised axle for proper ground clearance. Most bakkies also have an option to add a canopy over the back cargo area or even a railing to transport anything from livestock to building equipment.
Bakkies come in 3 main varieties being single cab, extended cab and double cab. This refers to the seating and storage space in the front enclosed cab. Single cab bakkies offer 2 front seats with limited storage space behind the passenger and driver seat. Extended cab bakkies have extended cargo space behind the passenger and driver seats whereas the double cab bakkie offers 4 seats in the enclosed cab. Keep in mind that the extended seating and inner storage space results in a smaller back cargo area.
Most bakkies are usually diesel-driven vehicles with strong engines starting at around 2.0-litre to around 4.0-litre. The bigger the engine the more power it can produce and the heavier the load it can transport.
4. The spacious and comfortable Sedan
This three-compartment passenger car first saw its design manufactured in 1912. The sedan is usually a full-body design with 5 doors (2 on each side and 1 at the back for the cargo space) and an extended cargo or “boot” space (usually around 0.93 m3 capacity). Sedans are generally a larger car with plentiful storage space as well as proper head and leg space for both the front and the rear passengers.
The newer sedan models are usually quite luxurious with top of the range features including, but not limited to, a multifunctional navigation system, power steering, electronic windows, cruise control and reverse park sensors to name but a few. The shape of the body and its size is designed for elegance, comfort making it perfect for passenger transport.
The three-compartment design ensures that the engine, passenger and cargo space are completely separate meaning that you cannot access one compartment from another creating a particularly relaxed noise atmosphere for a comfortable journey. The three-compartment design also allows for a more spacious compartment design making the sedan perfect long-distance travel.
5. High-performance muscle cars
Although the first proper muscle cars were manufactured and hit the road in the year 1949, the term only became popular between the 1960s and early 1970s and was originally designed for drag racing. These high-performance supercars usually come with a massive V8 engine to deliver high quantities of horsepower that can take them from 1 to 100 kmph in mere seconds. Simply put, they are made for speed. The relatively lightweight, usually 2 doors, body car with rear compartment usually come standard with rear-wheel drive and are very popular among Americans, but South Africans have also started showing a liking in these cars.
The inspiration for muscle cars came from the early 1950s and 1960s when hotrods were all the rage. Drag racers would install powerful engines in seemingly normal and lightweight car bodies. Manufacturers caught on to what was going on and decided to try their hand at designing a light-weight car with immense power and thus the muscle car was born rising in popularity in the 1960s when motor companies like Ford battled for supremacy in the drag racing community.
Traditionally, muscle cars were not fuel-efficient. However, newer muscle cars, like the Ford Mustang, use the latest technology to change this. Now, certain muscle cars can offer all the fun, while boasting better fuel consumption!
Making your final decision
When it comes to deciding on what car to buy it can be quite stressful as it is a big commitment. Reading up on your options on the different classifications of cars could make the decision less anxiety-inducing but it is always best to seek the help of professionals to assess which car best compliments your lifestyle.
At Fury Ford Midrand you can count on us to help pick the best ride for you and your lifestyle. Our friendly and professional staff are all ready to make that decision easier with their professional and experienced opinions. We have a variety of new and used cars to choose from and our customer satisfaction is our guarantee.
Come and visit us on the corner of New and 16th Road in Randjespark, Midrand and we promise that you “U WILL B SATISFIED” with our top-notch service!
To contact us, click here.