Rod Shelffo
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Rank These Features Before Shopping for Your New Car

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Photo: Max Pixel

When you decide you’re ready for a new car, sometimes it can be difficult to decide what part of the vehicle is most important to you. Do you want it to go really fast? Do you take a lot of road trips and want to be comfortable?

If you look at any of the model overviews here on The News Wheel, you’ll see they are divided into several categories. I’ve put together a list for you of those categories, what they mean, and some of the things included within them.

Before you dive into the world of car shopping (which can be fun, but also overwhelming if you’re unprepared), make sure to rank these five categories based on what’s most important to you.

Exterior

The exterior of a vehicle is exactly what it sounds like: it’s what the vehicle looks like. If you’re someone that takes a lot of pride in the style and debonair suave that comes with your vehicle, this may rank high on the list for you. But for many people, the details of the vehicle’s grille and wheels don’t mean a whole lot. The exterior includes features like the size of your wheels, the grille, the sculpting and shape of the vehicle, and the vehicle’s body color.


Model Showroom: New Buick Vehicles


Performance

This is what’s underneath the hood. If you want a car that can compete on the racetrack or haul heavy cargo, this is a priority to push. There are two main things that factor into your vehicle’s performance: the engine and the transmission. You can also evaluate a vehicle’s performance levels by its horsepower and torque. If you’d like some more information on what all of those terms mean, you can visit our basic terms glossary.

Efficiency

Efficiency is related directly to performance, but you can value one without the other. Generally speaking, the lower the performance rate, the higher your efficiency. Efficiency simply means how many miles you can go on a single tank of gas. If you’re looking to save money on gas or help protect the environment, efficiency is a priority to have when buying your new ride.

Interior

The vehicle’s interior includes all of its bells and whistles. From the type of seating material to whether or not it can read your text messages for you, the interior includes both the vehicle’s appearance and its radio and technology features. If you’re a high-tech person that loves the latest and greatest technology, checking out the list of interior features on a vehicle may be a good place to start.

Safety

Just like it sounds, safety refers to all of the standard and available safety features on the  vehicle. These can be passive safety features built into the vehicle to protect you in the event of an accident, such as the frame or air bags, or active features that help prevent an accident while you’re driving. Active safety features include things like stability control assistance, rear view cameras, and lane keeping assistance.


Tips and Tricks: Carpooling


Ranking these categories will help you narrow down your search. If you’re interested in a vehicle with top-of-the-line performance, you’ll want something with a little more than 100 horsepower. If you need space for a family of five, focus more on the interior and less on what’s under the hood. Whatever you decide is important to you, make sure you keep those priorities in mind when you step onto the dealership lot.

  • Rod ShelffoContributor

    After four years in The Marine Corp, Rod formed a career at Hatfield Buick GMC that has spanned more than 25 years. He is married to Lori, has one daughter, Staci, and two grandkids, Kimberlyn and Kaden. He's an avid golfer and past president and active member of the Redlands Optimist Club.