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What is A Car? | Kunes Auto Group's Complete Guide to Car Types

Published on Sep 28, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

Ever found yourself puzzled by the many different types of cars available in the market? You're not alone.


Our comprehensive guide is here to shed light on the evolution and distinctive features of various car segments from station wagons to luxury cars.


Discover the timeless elegance of sedans, the practicality of hatchbacks, and the thrilling charm of sports cars. Each car type offers unique benefits tailored to meet diverse needs and lifestyles. Explore with us and equip yourself with the essential knowledge needed to navigate the dynamic world of automobiles confidently. 


Dive deep into the world of cars and make informed decisions with Kunes Auto Group.

line of sedans parked n a row


Origin and Evolution
Tracing its name to a 17th-century Italian "sedia" or portable chair, the sedan has robustly evolved. It initially mirrored enclosed horse-drawn carriages, providing passenger protection, and post-World War II, gained a reputation as the quintessential family car in the United States. Despite shifts towards compact vehicles in the 1970s and the SUV wave in the 2000s, the sedan's appeal, reinforced by electric models like Tesla Model S, persists prominently.


Modern sedans exhibit a range of sizes and prices, with options for gasoline, diesel, or electric power. Their continuous evolution underscores their sustained relevance in varying automotive landscapes.

Featured Models

Economy/Compact Sedans

  • Toyota Corolla: Renowned for reliability and fuel efficiency.
  • Honda Civic: Offers good fuel economy and comfort.
  • Hyundai Elantra: Stylish design with affordability.

Midsize Sedans

  • Toyota Camry: Best-selling with a reputation for durability.
  • Honda Accord: Combines comfort, efficiency, and performance.
  • Mazda 6: Features sporty handling and an upscale interior.

Luxury Sedans

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Advanced technology with a high-end interior.
  • BMW 5 Series: A perfect blend of performance, luxury, and technology.
  • Audi A6: Synonymous with performance, comfort, and cutting-edge technology.

Electric Sedans

  • Tesla Model S: Known for impressive range, performance, and technology.
  • Nissan Leaf: Affordable and ideal for city driving.
  • Porsche Taycan: Exudes luxury with high-performance electric power.
man closing trunk on his gray hatchback vehicle


Hatchbacks, identified by an upward-swinging rear door, originated as a smaller, fuel-efficient adaptation of station wagons, gaining traction in the 1970s. The design, influenced by models like the Aston Martin DB2/4 of the 1950s and the Renault 4 and Simca 1100 of the 1960s, evolved as a practical and affordable vehicle choice, showcased by the iconic Volkswagen Golf and Ford Fiesta.

Advantages and Typical Uses

Their contemporary appeal rests on their compact, efficient design and versatile cargo space. Perfect for diverse driving needs, many modern electric and hybrid vehicles adopt this adaptable style.

Featured Models

Economy/Compact Hatchbacks

  • Volkswagen Golf: Recognized for reliability and build quality.
  • Ford Fiesta: Melds a fun drive with modern tech.
  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Sporty, reliable, and fuel-efficient.

Midsize Hatchbacks

  • Mazda3 Hatchback: Combines style, luxury, and dynamic driving.
  • Hyundai i30: Comfortable with ample cargo space.
  • Kia Ceed: Balances practicality, comfort, and efficiency.

Luxury Hatchbacks

  • Audi A3 Sportback: Premium with a luxury interior.
  • BMW 1 Series: High-end driving with powerful engines.
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback: Unites luxury with modern technology.

Electric and Hybrid Hatchbacks

  • Tesla Model 3: All-electric with impressive range.
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV: Affordable with a spacious interior.
  • Toyota Prius: Known for exceptional fuel efficiency and reliability.
black 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country driving on a road along the shoreline

Station Wagons

From their roots as functional transport vehicles, station wagons symbolized American suburban life in the 1950s. Despite a decline due to the rise of minivans and SUVs, they hold a special niche today.

Modern-Day Appeal
Witnessing a revival with models like the Subaru Outback and Volvo V90 Cross Country, station wagons are reclaiming attention. Merging practicality with luxury, they offer ample space, off-road capability, and cutting-edge technology.



Design and Functionality
Transitioning from the early "woodies" to contemporary designs, modern station wagons balance style and practicality. Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, an electric wagon, epitomizes this, offering high performance and eco-friendliness.

Featured Models

  • Volvo V90 Cross Country: Luxury and off-road capabilities.
  • Audi A4 Allroad: Premium luxury with advanced technology.
  • Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo: Electric, high-performance, and eco-friendly.

Station wagons seamlessly blend traditional functionality with modern innovation, showcasing adaptability and enduring appeal in the automotive world.

red 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe

Coupes: A Blend of Style and Performance

The coupe, emanating from horse-drawn carriages, has evolved from a two-door, fixed-roof car to embody style, luxury, and power. Its transformation is marked by the muscle car era with icons like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro and further growth with sports models like the Toyota Supra, highlighting performance and sleek design.



Distinctive Features
Prioritizing aesthetics and performance, modern coupes merge traditional allure with contemporary eco-friendly technology, continuing to appeal to enthusiasts despite a growing SUV and crossover market.

Today’s Market Models

  • Economy/Compact Coupes: Honda Civic Coupe (reliable and sporty) and Hyundai Veloster (unique three-door design).
  • Sports Coupes: Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, American classics renowned for potent performance.
  • Luxury Coupes: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and BMW 4 Series, epitomizing luxury and sporty handling.
  • High-Performance Coupes: Porsche 911 and Nissan GT-R, highlighting exceptional handling and acceleration.
  • Electric and Hybrid Coupes: Tesla Model S Plaid and BMW i8, leading in eco-friendly performance and efficiency.



In this evolution, coupes remain a symbol of style, performance, and innovation, continuously adapting to the automotive landscape’s shifts.

red Dodge Challenger, white wih black hood Chevrolet Camaro, yellow Ford Mustang; parked on a dirt race track with mountains in the background

Muscle Cars: Powering Through History

Born in the 1960s American streets, muscle cars became the symbol of power, performance, and rebellion. Defined by their V8 engines, affordable price, and raw power, models like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro carved their indelible marks, capturing the spirit of freedom and speed.



Notable Features and Models

  • V8 Engines: The heartbeat of muscle cars, delivering unmatched power and thunderous sound.
  • Iconic Models: Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, synonymous with speed and style.

Current Market Scenario

Amidst the electric vehicle surge, muscle cars adapt, blending traditional power with modern eco-friendly innovations. The Dodge Challenger now boasts a hybrid model, combining classic robust performance with contemporary efficiency.


Muscle cars, with their rich legacy, continue to roar in the modern era, marrying historical allure with current technology, ensuring their place in automotive evolution, balancing power with sustainability.

metallic-lime green 2023 McLaren Arturua

Sports Cars: Thrills to Sustainability

From their inception, sports cars have showcased continuous advancements in technology, aerodynamics, and materials, making them a persistent symbol of luxury and innovation. Contemporary models now highlight a move towards electrification and enhanced efficiency, harmoniously coupled with traditional performance attributes.




Distinctive Features
Despite challenges, sports cars today represent not just performance and luxury, but also innovation and efficiency. They blend traditional attributes with advancements like electrification, showcasing the automotive world's continual evolution.

Featured Models

  • Affordable Sports Cars: Mazda MX-5 Miata (lightweight and balanced) and Ford Mustang (iconic American power).
  • European Sports Cars: Porsche 911 and Audi TT, symbols of style, performance, and technology.
  • High-End Sports Cars: McLaren 720S and Aston Martin Vantage, epitomizing luxury and extreme performance.
  • Electric and Hybrid Sports Cars: Porsche Taycan and Acura NSX, highlighting environmental consciousness alongside exceptional performance.


Today, sports cars stand as a testament to automotive evolution, performance, and technological advancement, seamlessly integrating modern trends while preserving their iconic characteristics.

black 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle

Minivans: Merging Practicality and Innovation

Emerging in the 1980s, minivans revolutionized family transport by offering superior interior space, practicality, and car-like handling. Despite the surge of SUVs and crossovers, minivans like the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey hold a dedicated market niche today, focusing on advanced technology, interior comfort, and eco-friendly hybrid options.



Functionality and Uses

  • Space: Ample interior room for passengers and cargo.
  • Safety: Equipped with advanced safety features for family security.
  • Convenience: Sliding doors and configurable seating for hassle-free use.

Featured Models

  • Chrysler Pacifica: Stylish, spacious, and available as a plug-in hybrid.
  • Honda Odyssey: Combines comfort with advanced safety features.
  • Toyota Sienna: Exclusively hybrid, ensuring fuel efficiency.
  • Kia Carnival: Melds SUV styling with minivan practicality.
  • Mercedes-Benz Metris: Offers premium features and advanced technology.


In a world prioritizing innovation and sustainability, minivans stand out, offering tailored solutions for family transportation needs, ensuring comfort, safety, and eco-conscious choices.

black 2023 Audi A8

Luxury Cars: Embodying Elegance and Advancement

Luxury cars have been the epitome of comfort, technology, and high performance since the early 1900s, with iconic brands like Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz leading the way. Despite global shifts towards sustainability and electric vehicles, modern luxury cars such as the Tesla Model S and BMW 7 Series continue to captivate, offering advanced technology and opulence.





  • Advanced Technology: Pioneering advancements ensure an unparalleled driving experience.
  • High Performance: Exceptional engine power and refined driving dynamics.
  • Ultimate Comfort: Premium interiors and superior design elements promise lavish comfort.

Latest Luxury Car Models

  • Rolls-Royce Phantom: Bespoke options and a lavish interior epitomize opulence.
  • Bentley Continental GT: Meticulous craftsmanship paired with robust performance.
  • Tesla Model S: All-electric luxury offering impressive range and technology.
  • Audi A8: Combines high-quality interiors with smooth ride dynamics.


In an era championing innovation and sustainable choices, luxury cars persist as a symbol of elegance, comfort, and cutting-edge technology, offering discerning customers a harmonious blend of the traditional and the modern.

red 2023 Ford Mustang convertible driving on a shoreline road

Convertibles: Embracing Freedom and Evolution

From their origins mirroring horse-drawn carriages, convertibles have symbolized freedom and style since the early 1900s. Despite facing challenges in the 1970s due to safety and emissions concerns, they have persevered, embodying innovation and allure.




Features and Advantages

  • Open-Top Driving: Enjoy the unique pleasure and freedom of open-air driving.
  • Diverse Range: From compact roadsters to luxury models, find a convertible to suit any preference.
  • Innovative Design: Modern convertibles blend stylish design with advanced safety and comfort features.

Modern-Day Convertibles

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata: Affordable, with fun driving dynamics and lightweight design.
  • Ford Mustang Convertible: Combines robust performance with classic American styling.
  • BMW 4 Series Convertible: Offers luxury, German engineering, and strong performance.
  • Porsche 911 Cabriolet: High-performance, retractable roof for an exhilarating experience.


In the evolving automotive landscape, convertibles continue to offer a distinct, enjoyable driving experience, merging historical allure with modern technology and design, and hinting at an expanding future in electric and hybrid models.

As we conclude our enlightening journey through the diverse world of car types, remember that understanding the features and evolution of different vehicles empowers you to make knowledgeable and tailored automotive choices. Whether it’s the sleek allure of convertibles or the robust versatility of SUVs, each vehicle type holds unique advantages for varied lifestyles and preferences. Ready to make an informed decision on your next car purchase? Let Kunes Auto Group guide you every step of the way. Explore our extensive inventory and let us help you find the perfect car that suits your needs and style. At Kunes Auto Group, we're not just selling cars; we're connecting individuals with the ideal vehicles to complement their lives.


Embark on your automotive adventure with confidence and support from Kunes Auto Group today!

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