Decoding New Car Jargon: Common Motoring Terms and Answers to Your Questions
Published Date: 23rd Feb 2023
Here is a list of the top 20 car-related car jargon terms that UK Car Discount customers discuss with us or search for when buying their new car, along with an explanation of what each term means:
- MPG (Miles Per Gallon) - This is a measurement of a car's fuel efficiency, representing the number of miles a car can travel on a gallon of fuel. A higher MPG means that a car is more fuel efficient, and can save money on fuel costs.
- BHP (Brake Horsepower) - This is a measurement of a car's engine power, representing the maximum amount of power that the engine can produce. A higher BHP means that a car has more power and can accelerate more quickly.
- Torque - This is a measurement of a car's pulling power, representing the force that the engine can generate to move the car. A higher torque means that a car can accelerate more quickly and tow heavier loads.
- CO2 emissions - This is a measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide that a car produces, and is an important factor in determining a car's environmental impact. Lower CO2 emissions mean that a car is more environmentally friendly.
- Hybrid - This is a type of car that uses both a conventional gasoline engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. Hybrids are more fuel efficient than conventional cars, and can also produce lower emissions.
- Electric vehicle - This is a type of car that is powered solely by an electric motor, and uses a battery to store and deliver energy. Electric vehicles produce no emissions and can be more cost-effective to run than conventional cars.
- Turbocharger - This is a device that is used to increase the power output of an engine by compressing the air that is delivered to the engine. Turbochargers can improve performance and fuel efficiency.
- 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive) - This is a type of drivetrain that delivers power to all four wheels of the car, providing better traction and stability on rough terrain or in poor weather conditions.
- ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) - This is a safety feature that prevents the wheels of a car from locking up during braking, improving control and reducing the risk of skidding or accidents.
- DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) - This is a type of automatic transmission that uses two clutches to improve efficiency and provide faster gear changes than a traditional automatic transmission.
- DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) - This is a component that is used to reduce emissions from diesel engines by trapping and removing particulate matter from the exhaust gases.
- CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) - This is a type of automatic transmission that uses a system of belts and pulleys to provide an infinite number of gear ratios, improving efficiency and smoothness.
- Turbo lag - This is a delay in power delivery that occurs when a turbocharged engine takes time to spool up and provide boost pressure.
- Top speed - This is the maximum speed that a car can achieve under optimal conditions, and is an important performance metric for some drivers.
- 0-60 time - This is the amount of time it takes for a car to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour, and is an important performance metric for many drivers.
- Suspension - This refers to the system of springs, shock absorbers, and other components that are used to absorb bumps and provide a smooth ride.
- Wheelbase - This is the distance between the front and rear axles of a car, and can affect stability, handling, and interior space.
- Ground clearance - This is the distance between the ground and the underside of the car, and can affect the car's ability to navigate rough terrain or obstacles.
- Regenerative braking - This is a feature that is used in hybrid and electric cars to convert the energy generated during braking into electricity, which can then be used to recharge the car's battery.
- Torque steer - This is a phenomenon that occurs in some high-performance front-wheel drive cars when the steering wheel jerks to one side during hard acceleration, caused by uneven power distribution to the front wheels.