I was an SWL (Shortwave Listener)/ BCL (Broadcast Listener) before I got my ham license. So I hope I can give you an idea of what might work in your scenario. Shortwave (SW) is from 3MHz to 30MHz. Most shortwave radios focus on these bands. As with any other radio, you want a selective and sensitive radio, but there will always be tradeoffs specially in mass market SW radios. Also, a good radio can be made better with a good external antenna.
Most ham equipment can be used for SWL/BCL. They all have the pros mentioned by @K7PEH. Except maybe for portability, as most are intended for tabletop (station) use. Portable/mobile units exists. They are capable of transmitting/receiving on the amateur ham bands and receive on other frequencies. Just remove the mic so as not to inadvertantly transmit on the ham bands if you don't have an amateur radio license. All these extra features make them more complex and expensive.
Then there are wideband receivers. Same pros as mentioned by @K7PEH above. They are receive only. The frequency coverage is wider than typical ham radios! IC R-20 (hand held), AOR AR-8200 (hand held), AOR AR-8600 (table top) comes to mind. These are the do-all radios.
Then, there are dedicated SW radios. These focus mostly on the shortwave bands and the lower bands LW, MW (AM broadcast bands), but might cover the air band (to monitor airport controll tower to airplane communications), and maybe WX (weather channels in the US). These will have limited filtering options, FM, AM, SSB. Some have limited frequency step size, but for normal SW listening 5KHz is enough (9KHz/10KHz if you want to listen to AM broadcast). Fixed rod antenna (for local FM, and SW) and probably a small internal ferrite bar antenna (for LW, MW). Some do have 3.5mm jacks where one can plug a longwire antenna. Most run off batteries, and some come with internal chargers too. These are quite portable, but might lack the necessary connections/adapters to run off the car battery. As you can see, they are quite feature packed given the low price (as compared to a dedicated wideband receiver or ham radio).
The dominating SW radios are now China-made, these manufacturers have released new radios almost every year (or 2-3 years), but it doesn't mean these are new design because some design changes are cost cutting changes thus undermining the overall performance of the radio. Even the US branded SW radios are rebranded Chinese radios. On the other hand Sony has not updated it's SW radio lineup for at least a decade. As a point of reference, I still have an analog Sony ICF SW-23 (pocket size), and the newer the Degen DE-1103 (book size) and Tecsun PL-380 (pocket size, larger and wider than the Sony). The Degen and Tecsun are digital SW radios from China.