Five-Star Safety, Automatic Transmission and More: Exactly What to Look for in the Next Car You Purchase

Updated September 29, 2015

Whether you decide to buy a new car or join the growing number of consumers who purchase a used vehicle, buying a car is a big decision. Not only do you have to take the financial aspect of this purchase into consideration, but you also want to select a vehicle that’s the right fit for what your family needs. While making this purchase is quite exciting, all of the factors that go into this decision can cause you to start feeling overwhelmed. If you want to ensure that you’re able to choose the right vehicle without bringing a bunch of additional stress into your life, the best approach is to focus your attention on the features that matter most. To help you separate what actually matters from features that are really nothing more than fluff, I’ve compiled a list of the # essentials that should be at the core of your evaluation process:Five-Star Safety Rating

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It’s scary to realize that in the US alone, 25,580 people were killed in car crashes during 2012. That means over 70 people died on US roads every single day in 2012. Because car wrecks are a serious issue that can have fatal consequences, it’s crucial to protect your family with as many proven safety features as possible. The challenging thing about cars is just because they have features like air bags doesn’t mean they’re safe. Because a vehicle needs to work as a cohesive unit in order to provide top-notch safety, the best metric to look at is its safety ratings.

Why are safety ratings a reliable metric to use? Not only are these ratings determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but since 2011, the NHTSA has used even stricter guidelines for its testing process. With over three decades of experience, this is the organization to trust when it comes to assessing exactly how much crash protection and rollover safety a vehicle provides.

Automatic Transmission

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If you’re thinking about purchasing a sports car, it may make sense to go with a manual transmission. However, for anyone whose primary focus is anything other than how quickly they can go from 0 to 60, an automatic transmission is the more convenient and practical option. Not constantly needing to shift gears will make your drive much more pleasant when you’re sitting in traffic on your way home from work. And if you ever have any issues with your transmission, a repair service like Automatic Transmission T Us will be able to fix it in a timely manner for you.

Touchscreen Navigation

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It wasn’t that long ago when this feature was only reserved for luxury vehicles. But thanks to the always dropping cost of technology items and the practicality of this feature, it now comes in a wide range of cars, trucks and SUVs. If you’ve never had this feature in your vehicle, you may not think it’s a necessity. However, there are two main reasons it is definitely worth having. First, you’ll never have to worry about being lost or unable to find anything you need even when you’re in a different city. Second, although your phone may already have a GPS on it, being able to use one that’s built directly into the dash is a much safer option.

Power Locks and Windows

At first, this may seem like a feature that’s so common that it’s not even worth addressing. But the reason it is worth bringing up is because a common tactic with new cars is for dealers to price them lower as a result of these vehicles not having power features. So while the price may initially sound appealing, it’s simply not going to be worth the hassle of always dealing with manual locks and windows.

The Right Amount of Space and Storage

When it comes to this feature, there isn’t an answer that’s universally correct. Instead, what’s important is you choose the right arrangement for you and your family. While some families will need more seating space and less cargo space, others will do best by maximizing the amount of cargo space. Keep in mind that if you think your needs may change, there are plenty of vehicles that have folding seats which can adjust the amount of cargo space on the fly.

Now that you know which features of a new or used vehicle are most important, you can start the process of looking for the right one. Since this process should be fun and enjoyable, if you ever start to feel overly stressed, just take a step back and remind yourself that it isn’t a decision you need to rush.

Sabrina Jackson is a full-time blogger. As a mother of two young children, she knows just how important it is to have a vehicle that’s safe, practical and provides enough space.


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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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