What Car is Right for Me?

What car is right for me? According to Consumer Reports, you’ll have to make trade-offs between features like a car’s good ride or sporty handling, or fuel economy in exchange for engine power or cargo space. Here are some of the key questions you’ll want to ask when trying to find the car that’s right for you.

How many people will you carry?

You may think a car can carry three people in the backseat because there are three seatbelts back there, right? When you’re done with your test drive, make sure you sit back there and see how comfortable it is. If you feel awkward in the middle spot of the backseat, take a look at a minivan or three-row SUV. And when you do get a car with more room for passengers, remember that you could be giving up cargo space in the process.

How much cargo do you carry?

A four-door crew cab pickup may be on top of your wish list, but that may not be right for you if you’re wanting to stick to a budget. These models are the best-selling in this vehicle class, so you can expect sticker shock. Still, you have options. If you’re not looking for a heavy-duty vehicle for hauling large items, but you’re still looking for passenger space, consider a short-bed truck.

Automatic or manual shift?

A larger car can become more budget friendly when you find the six-speed, or better, automatic transmission. You may not feel the savings initially, but the fuel economy can add up over the long term if you plan to keep the vehicle past a couple of years. Do you have children to worry about in the backseat? If not, and you’re looking for a fun drive, manual-shift transmission cars can make for a sporty driving experience.

What’s your driving style?

You may think that a zippy, quick car with handling prowess can only be found in a tight little sports car. But lots of newer-model cars and sedans have an improved turning radius and still offer plenty of comfort, leg room and cargo space.

Power or fuel economy, or both?

Larger cars are coming with smaller engines, so you can get good acceleration and not spend so much at the gas pump. Many people are finding four-cylinders provide the best mix of fuel economy and performance. This is particularly becoming the case as turbocharged four-cylinders are becoming prevalent compared to a V6 engine. More hybrid engines are becoming available, and these work well for anyone driving in the city with lots of stop-and-go traffic.

Whether you think you’ve answered the question “What car is right for me?” by finding a new or used car, you don’t always have to let the question of how to finance it to dictate or influence your final decision. Some credit unions like RBFCU offer the same rates whether you are buying a new or used car, or refinancing your existing vehicle. Check them out!

Information in this article is general in nature and for your consideration, not as financial advice. Please contact your own financial professionals regarding your specific needs before taking any action based upon this information.

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