October 31, 2020

Car specs explained: Common automotive terms and what they mean

Some car specifications just make sense: “Eight airbags” means a car has eight airbags. But specs like torque, wheelbase and even more familiar ones like horsepower and weight, are often misunderstood in terms of their relevance to the process of selecting a car to buy. Too many car specs are means rather than results.

In this video I define the specs most commonly used in the marketing of cars, explain what each one means, and tell you which ones you can largely ignore. Spoiler alert: That’s a lot of them.   

Honda HR-V specs

A dizzying array of specification numbers arise when you research a car. Not all of them need to be understood as much as experienced.


Honda

I also tackle the lesser-known problem with MPG ratings, explain the increasing relevance of MPGe as electric cars

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