An automobile, also known as a motor car, motor vehicle or simply a car, is a wheeled passenger transportation device that is primarily designed to run on roads. It is usually propelled by an internal-combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems, with thousands of individual parts arranged into various subsystems with specific design functions. The body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, and control systems are all important components of the modern automobile. The modern automobile is a product of hundreds of years of technical and scientific research. Its design varies significantly by manufacturer and model, and it often takes advantage of new technologies like electronic computers, high-strength plastics, and advanced alloys of steel and nonferrous metals.

The first automobiles were powered by steam, electric motors, and later gasoline engines. The gasoline internal combustion engine came to dominate automobile production by the 1910s, and since then there have been many other technical developments that improve performance, safety, and convenience. Some examples include the introduction of the electric ignition and the self-starter, independent suspension, four-wheel brakes, and the rotary engine (although Mazda’s Wankel engine has never gained wide acceptance).


The greatest benefit of having a car is that it opens up many more possibilities in life than would otherwise be available. For example, it allows people to work in different locations than where they live, which can open up more options for their career. Additionally, having a car makes it much easier to travel to events in other parts of town or visit friends and family. In addition, if a person’s life becomes very busy, it can save them a lot of time by allowing them to avoid the need to wait for buses and trains.

Owning a car can also help save money on gas and maintenance costs. By choosing a vehicle that is highly fuel efficient, drivers can save money on their gasoline costs, while regular maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations can keep the cost of owning a car low.


Buying an automobile is a big commitment that should be made after thorough research. Consumer Reports has a list of recommended cars that includes models from the most popular brands and manufacturers. The list is based on road-test results, reliability and owner satisfaction survey evaluations, safety ratings, and other factors. The 2022 Consumer Reports Best Buy automobiles were chosen based on road test scores, which incorporate braking, handling, comfort and convenience, fuel economy, and emissions. The top-rated brand in the country was BMW, followed by Subaru and Mercedes.