5 questions to help you choose the right vehicle

You’ve done the test drive, read what the experts have to say and narrowed your preferences down to four or five models. Now you’re at a crucial moment: which vehicle do you choose? Here are five questions to help you decide.

It’s important to note that even if you’ve selected a specific vehicle category, the differences between the various models are significant.

1- Economy or power?

Within the same category of vehicle, and sometimes the same model, you’ll be faced with deciding between a larger engine and better fuel economy. Increasingly, models are available with either economical 4-cylinder or thirsty 6-cylinder engines. It’s a tough choice because only usage will determine whether you’ve made the right decision. Just because you use the vehicle for towing once or twice a year doesn’t mean you have to choose the most powerful engine. On the other hand, if your car is always full of children with all their play equipment, you may need a more powerful engine to support the extra weight, and it will be more economical in the end. Also, check the type of fuel required. Some vehicles need premium gasoline, which is more expensive, while others use more affordable fuel.

2- Large or small?

This is not as much of a dilemma as you might think. Naturally, most of the larger vehicles offer more cargo and passenger space. This improves overall comfort, at least in principle. But even though they’re a few centimetres smaller, compact cars also have seats and accessories that provide as much comfort as the large ones. It all depends on how the vehicle will be used, the size of the occupants and the goods being transported.

3-Safety or gadgets?

The advice is simple: Anything that can make your family trip safer and fits your budget should be added to the list of options in your new vehicle. In other words, choose the vehicle with the most airbags, the most effective electronic driver aids and the most sensitive sensors. Automatic emergency breaking and a blind-spot warning or lane-support system will keep you and your family safer in all conditions. Electronic gadgets and even navigation systems are excellent additions, but they should come second.

4- Resale value or purchase discount?

Depending on the dealer or manufacturer, you may be offered attractive discounts on the purchase price. In some cases, however, those discounts are on vehicles that have a lower resale value due to their abundance on the market, making them less attractive. So take the time to determine resale value before making a choice between your monthly payment and what your car will be worth when you want to change vehicles.

5- Automatic or manual?

This question is asked less frequently nowadays, but it’s still valid. Frankly, automatic transmissions have evolved so much they’re now as effective, though less sporty, as their manual counterparts. The choice therefore depends on your driving habits, your commute (being stuck in rush-hour traffic with manual transmission can be challenging) and your preference.

Once you’ve given some thought to these five questions, you’ll find yourself a lot closer to driving off the lot in your perfect new ride.

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