Automobiles are the most common mode of transport in the world today. They are self-propelled passenger vehicles that rely on an internal combustion engine fueled by liquid petroleum fuel, usually gasoline. The branches of engineering which deal with automobiles are called automotive engineering.
The automobile reshaped the United States in the 1920s, becoming the backbone of a new consumer goods-oriented society. The industry ranked first in value of production and provided one out of six jobs in the country. It was the main source of energy for the oil and steel industries and a major customer of many other industrial products. It accelerated the development of the American city and, by the end of the twentieth century, had become a global industry.
Karl Benz, a German engineer, invented the automobile in 1885. It took another 10 years before Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry by developing an assembly line. This allowed middle class families to afford cars. It also led to new industries and services like gas stations and convenience stores. The automobile gave people freedom to travel long distances and created many opportunities for leisure activities and businesses.
In the United States, the automobile grew from a luxury to a necessity for middle-class families. The nation’s vast land area and scattered and isolated settlements required transportation on a scale unprecedented in the rest of the world. The demand for automobiles stimulated a great deal of industrial growth in the manufacturing of parts, components and fuels as well as in road construction and maintenance. It also caused new laws and government requirements for safety features and driving standards.
Automakers have responded to rising demand with an annual flurry of new models, each designed to be the next big thing in automotive styling and technology. Nevertheless, the era of the “road cruiser” is ending as engineers refocus their efforts on improving fuel efficiency and vehicle stability.
The best car for you depends on your specific needs and driving style. Some consumers prefer the versatility of a small SUV, while others appreciate the towing capacity and cargo room offered by large trucks. Regardless of your preference, our top picks include the Chevy Tahoe, which has high marks from J.D. Power and a user-friendly infotainment system, as well as the Honda Accord, which offers comfortable seating and excellent reliability ratings. You can also consider a midsize SUV, such as the Ford Expedition, which boasts of impressive cargo space and a powerful engine. The Chevy Suburban, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Mazda CX-9 round out our other top-rated picks. All of these vehicles offer good fuel economy and are available at a reasonable price. They’re perfect for a family outing, a weekend getaway or a business trip. They’re easy to maneuver and provide a smooth ride. However, make sure you choose the right model for your specific needs. Doing so will ensure that you get the most out of your new car.