Automobiles are vehicles for personal transportation that use an internal combustion engine fueled by a volatile fuel such as gasoline. They are the dominant mode of passenger transport and have become one of the most important industries in the world. The automobile has changed societies in many ways, giving people freedom of movement to work and leisure activities and changing businesses by allowing the flexible distribution of goods. However, the automobile has also caused environmental problems, such as air pollution and congestion on highways that impede the movement of goods and services.

Modern automobiles are complex technical systems, with thousands of parts and subsystems. Each part has a specific function. These systems include the body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, and control systems. Some systems are essential to the operation of the vehicle, such as the electrical system to start and run the engine, and the hydraulic systems to steer and stop the vehicle. Other systems are optional, such as independent suspension for the front wheels, which improves the handling and safety of the vehicle. New technologies are being developed to help reduce the amount of fuel used and to make automobiles more environmentally friendly.

The earliest automobiles were essentially horse-drawn carriages with engines added. In the early twentieth century, automobiles became a ubiquitous mode of transport, revolutionizing urban planning, public and private services such as police, fire, and utility services, and business and consumer activities such as travel, shopping, dining, and leisure activities. Automobiles are now an integral part of modern life, with more than 1.4 billion in use worldwide.

Although there is disagreement about exactly who invented the automobile, the car as we know it today has a long history dating back to Leonardo da Vinci’s designs and models of early steam, electric, and gas powered cars. The automobile’s development is closely linked to economic, technological, and political developments in the industrialized world, such as urbanization, rising standards of living, and expanding transportation infrastructure.

As a result of the automobile’s growth, governments have enacted laws to regulate driving and traffic conditions. They have set safety and emission control requirements. They have restructured cities and rural areas around the automobile, creating suburbs and sprawl (i.e., straggling, low-density, unplanned urban development).

A wide variety of sedans are available for sale in the United States. Some are high-performance, such as the Mercedes AMG E 63 S wagon with 591 horsepower and an impressive all-wheel drive system that can rocket you from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds when you need to beat rush hour traffic. Other options include the Kia Soul, which boasts a funky design and several four-cylinder engine choices, and the Toyota Camry, which is known for its reliability and roominess. The Honda Accord is another popular choice that offers multiple powertrain and interior choices, including all-wheel drive. It’s a good choice for those looking for an inexpensive but stylish and versatile family car.