What Are Automobiles?


An automobile is a motor vehicle, generally four-wheeled, designed primarily for transportation. Most cars use a gasoline-fuelled internal combustion engine for propulsion, although they may also be powered by electricity or other fuels, such as diesel or natural gas. The modern automobile consists of several interrelated systems that work together to control and drive the car. These include the chassis, body, powertrain, electrical system and service devices. The automobile can be driven on any road or track suitable for a motorcar, although most are built for use on paved roads.

The modern car was perfected in Germany and France toward the end of the nineteenth century by individuals such as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz and Emile Levassor. However, it was Henry Ford who innovated mass production techniques and made the automobile affordable to the middle class by the 1920s. This was followed by the establishment of General Motors and Chrysler as the “Big Three” auto companies by World War II, after which automobile production became a shared global enterprise.

Automobiles are faster than walking or riding a bicycle over long distances, and can carry more people and luggage. They can also go places that are inaccessible to other wheeled transport, such as rural areas and snowy or rocky terrain. Cars can be used for both leisure and business travel, although they are most often operated for transportation to work and home.

Cars have become an essential part of American culture. They are a symbol of the nation’s industrial and cultural rise in the first half of the twentieth century, when it was possible to live in suburban America and commute into a major city for a job. Those who do not have access to an automobile can still get around with the help of public transport, taxis and ride-sharing services.

While a car can be a very useful tool, it can be expensive to own and operate. It is important to make sure that you have the money to cover the initial investment and ongoing expenses of your automobile, including maintenance, insurance and fuel. Whether you are looking to purchase or lease an automobile, it is best to shop around to find the best deal.

The best automotive brands have vehicles that consistently score well in consumer and professional reviews, and are known for their high quality and reliable performance. Brands that perform poorly in these tests, or which have a history of poor reliability, should be avoided. These results are based on data from more than 150,499 new-vehicle owners who responded to our survey between March and April 2016. The ranking includes manufacturers that sell at least 100,000 cars per year. This year, Genesis made the biggest jump in our rankings, rising 12 spots to a spot just behind Lincoln. This is the result of improved dependability ratings, along with a strong mix of models that appeal to consumers. Chrysler dropped a dozen spots, pulled down by below-average reliability ratings for its Pacifica Hybrid minivan.