Automobiles are motor vehicles that use an engine to move. They are designed to carry passengers and cargo. Modern automobiles have complex technical systems that are the result of many breakthroughs in technology. Some of these systems include electronic computers, high-strength plastics, and new alloys of steel and nonferrous metals. The automobile is the primary means of personal transportation in most developed countries. It has changed society, creating new jobs and industries. The automobile has also improved the quality of life, making it possible for people to travel great distances in comfort and safety.

The modern automobile is a complex, highly engineered vehicle that has been designed to meet the diverse needs of different motorists. It is powered by an internal combustion engine that uses a volatile fuel, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene, to create mechanical energy that turns the wheels of the car. Some vehicles, such as hybrids, combine an electric motor with a conventional gasoline or diesel engine to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

There are a variety of cars available to meet the needs of different types of drivers, including small sedans, big SUVs, and luxury sportscars. Some are even designed to go off-road. The automobile is a cultural icon that has become a symbol of freedom and personal choice. In the United States, it is estimated that about three trillion miles (five trillion kilometers) are driven on passenger cars each year.

Some of the most popular cars are compact and midsize SUVs. These vehicles are more affordable than larger vehicles, yet they offer plenty of space and features for the family. Several models from major manufacturers are rated highly for reliability, including the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Luxury cars like the Acura RDX and BMW 3 Series also have good reliability ratings.

The best large SUVs seat up to eight passengers and have the versatility to tackle rough roads or carry heavy loads. The top picks in this category are the Chevy Tahoe for its durability and towing capability, the Ford Expedition for a well-rounded package of features, and the Chevy Suburban for its ride comfort and storage options.

The best luxury cars are made with premium materials and designed to be as comfortable and quiet as possible for the driver and passengers. These models often have advanced technology and features, such as automatic climate control and built-in navigation. Some even have heated seats and rear seats. In addition, they are faster than most other automobiles and can help the driver keep up with traffic. Some are even equipped with cameras to monitor road conditions and keep the driver aware of nearby vehicles. This feature is especially helpful when driving on unfamiliar roads or in bad weather. In fact, some of the most reliable luxury vehicles are produced by Lexus, which has a reputation for quality and comfort. Its vehicles have won numerous awards over the years. The company is known for its innovative design and engineering, and it continues to invest in research and development.