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    When you buy your next vehicle, whether it is a new or used model and whether it is from a dealer or a private owner, you will be confronted with more shapes, sizes and styles of vehicles than you can probably stand. It is good to know what all of these different types of vehicles have to offer that distinguish them from one another so that you can know which one will be right for you.

    SUV and Bakkie

    Sport utility vehicles are notable for their carrying capacity. This type of vehicle can generally accommodate as many as eight people. In small to midsize SUVs, a convenient third-row seat makes it comfortable for children to find extra seating; however, the third-row seat in large SUVs, which are any SUVs that are more than 5,08 metres long and more than 1,635 metres tall can accommodate adult-size passengers, instead of forcing them into centre rear seats. Examples include the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe. You can also take advantage of the sizable storage space, or cargo area, that these vehicles have. If you fold down the rear seats or take them out altogether, then that will give you the room you need to transport large objects such as camping equipment. Fancier versions of the SUV are also available, for example, Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLK class. They are appropriately known as luxury SUVs because they provide luxury features for their owners. Another type of vehicle that provides a cargo area is the bakkie; for example, the GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford F-150 all have open cargo beds in the rear. Because the cargo area is open, it is good for carrying tall items that might not fit in a conventional size vehicle. SUVs and bakkies have something else in common: Both of their engines use eight cylinders. The V-8 engines provide them the power to haul their loads.

    Hatchback and Coupe

    A hatchback is any four- or five-seat car with a lift gate - the formal name for the rear panel or hatch that swings upward-which opens up to an enclosed storage area. These cars are typically less than 4,52 metres long and less than 1,63 metres in height. Some examples include the Mazda 3 5-door and Volkswagen Golf. A hatchback is good for putting large items in and pulling them out easily. A coupe is any car with only two full-size passenger doors and that does not have an upright lift gate, for example, the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz CL-class. Another version of the coupe called the premium coupe also offers a full slate of luxury features, for example, the BMW M3, Audi R8, Porsche Cayman and Maserati GranTurismo.

    Saloon

    A saloon is a type of automobile that has four doors-but it may also have two doors-and a standard boot, such as the Honda Civic and Hyundai Sonata. There are different types of saloons; for example, there is the family saloon, which is a standard saloon that is about a little longer than 4,7 metres but less than 4,95 metres, such as the Kia Optima and Nissan Altima. The sports saloon category focuses on driving dynamics, and includes such cars as the BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Large saloons are longer than 4,9 metres and this category includes the Pontiac G8 and Ford Taurus.

    Sports Car, Convertible and Supercar

    A sports car is any two-seat or two-plus-two coupe or convertible intended to deliver above average speed, acceleration and handling. Examples include the Chevrolet Corvette, Mazda RX-8 and Porsche Boxster. A convertible, which falls in the sports car category because of its capability to deliver thrilling performance, is any car with a top that can be folded back or removed entirely. Examples of these retractable roof vehicles include the Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 and Mazda MX-5 Miata. A supercar may not be as well-known as a convertible; it is a low-volume exotic automobile that delivers superior performance and comes with a high price tag. Examples include the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.

    Hybrid

    A hybrid vehicle is any vehicle that relies on a dual power source for operation-sometimes simultaneously-for instance, a petrol engine and an electric motor. The Toyota Prius is a common example.

    Whether you need a vehicle to accommodate just a few passengers or you need something that can carry your ski equipment, there is a type for you. The key is to know the differences. Consider getting a bakkie if you routinely carry tall or extra-large objects that would not fit in a typical boot, and you want to carry such items and not worry about getting the interior dirty. If you are environmentally conscious and those issues are most important to you, then get a hybrid vehicle. If you are an automotive enthusiast who cherishes speed, then higher performance cars such as Corvettes may meet your needs.

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