Go To The Head Of The Class.TRAVELING DOWN THE ROAD OF CAR BUYING IS AN adventure, to say the least. It's not just the challenge of deciding what you want and how many dollars you're going to spend. There's also the matter of deciding which car matches your personality. After all, the car you drive makes a very distinctive statement about which features of a car you find most important.
So, how do you determine which vehicle is right for you? As a start, decide your personal priorities when you begin shopping for a new or used car or, as is increasingly the case, a truck.
There are nearly as many reasons for picking a particular car as there are facets to your personality. Each factor plays a part, some more important than others. Still, the choices can be broken down into four segments: style, function, performance, and value. All come into play in every decision, hut the priorities may vary to the extreme.
Let's examine how each of the four factors comes into play and which vehicles dominate the categories.
For some, it's love at first sight. But anyone would be hard-pressed to consider a vehicle's other virtues if they found it visually unappealing. And beauty is in the eye of the buyer.
Style-conscious buyers make sacrifices in other areas to make a statement and project an image. Think of yourself as rugged? Driving a Jeep Wrangler The Wrangler (also known as the YJ, TJ, and JK, as explained below) is an off-road vehicle produced by American automaker Chrysler under its Jeep marque. or a Hummer on an urban thoroughfare is a style decision because those vehicles weren't designed with the pavement in mind and you could turn to other cars for a smoother ride. On the other hand, owners of the traditional square-edged Volvo are also making a statement. They don't care
"Don't Care" is a 1994 (see 1994 in music) single by American death metal band Obituary. about style. And the owner of a BMW BMW
in full Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
German automaker. Founded as an aircraft engine manufacturer in 1916, the company assumed the name Bayerische Motoren Werke and became known for its high-speed motorcycles in the 1920s. Z3 roadster inching forward in heavy traffic is telling everyone else that she has a more frivolous, even frisky frisk·y
adj. frisk·i·er, frisk·i·est
Energetic, lively, and playful: a frisky kitten.
frisk side. Still, some people buy pickup trucks because they need one, while others just like the muscle.
If you're going for pure automotive art, perhaps the top choice is almost any car from Jaguar. This brand epitomizes style. Each of its car lines is simply down-right sexy--and that notion has been ingrained in the hearts of men and women car buyers.
Although this year's biggest hit, Chrysler's PT Cruiser, may have other virtues, its unique good looks are, more than anything else, responsible for its success. That cheeky shape gets noticed on the road. The only question is whether it will have the same appeal in a few years, when hundreds of thousands of them are around.
But blending in can be a style decision too. There is safety in numbers in numbered parts; as, a book published in numbers.
See also: Number , and millions of popular sedan owners prefer to merge with the crowd.
If your primary concern is how well your next vehicle will function (since beauty is only skin deep), consider how you're going to use the car. Frequently, the small economy car best fits the bill for individuals, and the minivan nails it for families.
If you just need to drive somewhere and occasionally carry more than two people, it's hard to go wrong with one of the several well-built small cars. From the Hyundai Elantra The Hyundai Elantra (sold in South Korea as the Avante) is a compact car from Hyundai of South Korea launched in 1991.
The Elantra was formerly sold as the Lantra and the Avante in some Australian and European markets. to the Toyota Corolla The Toyota Corolla is a compact car produced by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the bestselling car in the world, with over 30 million sold as of 2007. and Nissan Sentra, you get good economy, low cost, and more comfort than the more expensive cars of half a decade ago. You could add a sportier edge by moving over to a Honda Civic The Honda Civic is a compact car manufactured by Honda. It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback version that September. With the transverse engine placement of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive, like the British Mini, the or Mazda Protege or sacrifice slightly in certain areas to save money with a Toyota ECHO The Toyota Echo is a model name previously used by the Toyota Motor Corporation on the export version of two different models.
Of course size can be a big factor if you need your vehicle for transporting people. If that's the case, you can't beat the modern minivan. For the price of many midsize sedans, you can have a larger vehicle that gets nearly equal fuel economy, holds seven people and lots of cargo, and rides comfortably. Minivans are also ranked among the safest vehicles on the road. Just be aware that their big-box style may never be improved upon and that contributes to the "image problem" that minivans have with many buyers.
The best of the minivans is the Honda Odyssey The Honda Odyssey is a minivan / large MPV produced by the Japanese automaker Honda since 1995. Since model year 1999, the name was used on two related but distinct vehicles, with the larger Odyssey sold in North America market, while the smaller Odyssey sold in Japan and other . This is one big vehicle with a versatile flip-and-fold interior, smooth ride, crisp handling, and enough power to take a full load up a hill. If you want more choices than Honda offers, Chrysler's trio of minivans started the idea nearly 20 years ago and they still offer a greater variety of configurations than any other brand.
There is one other vehicle that means absolute function: the pickup truck. Pickups may be popular with a new set of style-and performance-oriented buyers, but for most buyers, trucks are something they need. Whether it's to haul your motorcycle out to play or bags of cement out to the work site, if you need a pickup, nothing else will do. Whether it's the biggest full-size GMC GMC
See: Guaranteed Mortgage Certificate Sierra or the smallest Toyota Tacoma The Toyota Tacoma is a compact pickup truck manufactured by the Toyota Motor Company since 1995. It is essentially the Toyota Hilux modified and rebadged for North America. The second-generation Tacoma was Motor Trend Magazine's Truck of the Year for 2005. , none are as comfortable as a car.
There is more than one type of performance. For all-out acceleration, the power under the hood under the hood - [hot-rodder talk] 1. The underlying implementation of a product (hardware, software, or idea). Implies that the implementation is not intuitively obvious from the appearance, but the speaker is about to enable the listener to grok it. is all that counts. For the first 50 feet across the intersection, bigger is always better. The Dodge Viper The Dodge Viper is a V10-powered sportscar manufactured by the Dodge division of Chrysler Corporation. Production of the two seat supercar began at New Mack Assembly in 1992 and moved to its current home at Conner Avenue Assembly in October 1995. reigns as king here, but the biggest powerplant you can get in a pickup won't be far behind at the starting line starting line
The point or line at which a race begins.
Noun 1. starting line - a line indicating the location of the start of a race or a game
scratch line, scratch, start . Go further down the block, though, and other factors enter in, from vehicle weight to turbocharging. At speed, aerodynamics aerodynamics, study of gases in motion. As the principal application of aerodynamics is the design of aircraft, air is the gas with which the science is most concerned. play an important part. And if you want to accelerate in any weather, think of all-wheel drive. The cheapest Subaru will zip past that Viper in the snow.
For most people, performance means a more well-rounded set of attributes. Handling is a more complex subject than most people realize. There is low-speed nimbleness, high-speed road grip, steering feedback and accuracy, and the ability to maintain stability over bumps and dips.
Larger, faster cars like the Chevrolet Corvette corvette, small warship, classed between a frigate and a sloop-of-war. Corvettes usually were flush-decked and carried fewer than 28 guns. They were widely employed in escorting convoys and attacking merchant ships during the great naval wars of the late 18th and and Porsche 911 have more weight and put it at the ends, creating a pendulum effect. They are stable at speed, but if you get past their cornering limit, it can be difficult or impossible to recover control. Using all the performance available in such a machine could get you in trouble.
All-weather performance is the key at Audi and Subaru. Audi's S4 may be the fastest car you can drive in the rain while Subaru's new WRX--based upon the company's World Rally Car--provides extreme thrills under varied conditions while still being quite affordable.
If you desire ample interior room and a reasonable ride, BMW is the brand most noted for providing thrills in a sedan that used to be available only from a high-strung sports car. That the company insists on offering a manual transmission in most of its cars indicates it intends to give the driver the most possible control.
Comfort is another type of performance that's important to people. If you want a quiet ride that will let your passengers speak quietly or snooze serenely, think of a Lexus LS The Lexus LS is a full-size luxury sedan that serves as the flagship of Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. Since Lexus' 1989 debut, four generations of the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive Lexus LS have been produced. 430 or a Cadillac DeVille
Except for the most extravagantly wealthy among us, value comes into play in every purchase decision. We can't have it all so we must choose what we value most.
When we think of which cars offer the best value, usually the most popular ones come to mind. Last year, the Toyota Camry The Toyota Camry is a mid-size sedan assembled by Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky; Altona, Victoria, Guangzhou, China and the original factory in Toyota City, Japan. In some markets, the top range Camry models are seen as executive cars. and Honda Accord The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. ranked as the first and second best-selling automobiles (behind trucks) in America, respectively, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Automotive News. They aren't the cheapest, but they're close enough, and are well known for being solid, reliable, and trustworthy. Competition also plays a huge part in this arena. Nearly every brand name is fighting in this marketplace, and high manufacturing volumes mean an abundance of vehicles. If sales start to slow, you'll see lots of discounting. A lower price for the same product just increases the value.
For pure comfort, Buick comes to mind. Without spending much, you get a lot of features and a plush ride in a Century midsize sedan or a full-size LeSabre.
Cars aren't the only area where you find value. It stands out as a significant reason for the popularity of the sport utility vehicles This page lists sports utility vehicles currently in production (as of April 2007), as well as past models. The list includes crossover SUVs, Mini SUVs, Compact SUVs and other similar vehicles. . That's hard to imagine at first when you realize prices are high and profit margins among the biggest in the industry. Still, for a reasonable amount of money, an SUV offers a set of features you can't find without spending even more: a large and roomy interior, powerful engine, and comfortable seating. For foul weather performance and safety, nearly all SUVs are available with some sort of four-wheel drive.
Up until recently, to get those things, you also had to settle for the harsh ride and sluggish handling of a truck, like a Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a mid-size sport utility vehicle sold in North America and built by the Ford Motor Company since 1990. or Chevy Blazer. But the industry is wising up and starting to create SUVs built from cars that have all the size, room, and other attributes of a truck. They also have improved fuel efficiency, far better ride comfort, and substantially more refined handling. Toyota was the first to offer this in a small package with the RAV4, then was the first to add a luxury version with its Lexus division's RX300. Now the RAV4 is in its second, much improved generation and the Toyota Highlander The Toyota Highlander (Toyota Kluger in Japan and Australia) is a crossover SUV assembled by the Toyota Motor Corporation under the Toyota brand name in its Kyūshū, Japan assembly plant and its Ikeda, Osaka, Japan assembly plant during 2008 and present. brings more room and value. Acura's MDX (MultiDimensional EXpressions) A multidimensional query language. MDX uses syntax similar to SQL, but whereas SQL is used to query relational tables, MDX is used to query multidimensional cubes (OLAP databases). See SQL and OLAP. is the first full-size SUV built by Honda, and it leapfrogs the competition in comfort and luxury.
There are many choices, and the competition doesn't always make it easy. Every vehicle offers a combination of style, function, performance, and value. The tough job is finding the right combination.
BEST IN CLASS
Price range: $55,000-$70,000 Body type: 4-door sedan Overall length: 196.7" Overall width: 72.0" Overall height: 58.7"; 57.9" w/ air susp. Engine type: V-8 32-valve Displacement: 4.3 liters Horsepower: 290 at 5,600 rpm Torque: 320 ft lb at 3,400 rpm Transmission: 5 spd. auto Drive: Rear Mileage (mpg): 18 city/25 hwy.
Price range: $23,000-$28,000 Body type: 4-door sedan Overall length: 200.0" Overall width: 73.5" Overall height: 57.0" Engine type: V-6 Displacement: 3.8 liters Horsepower: 205 at 5,200 rpm Torque: 230 fl lb at 4,000 rpm Transmission: 4 spd. auto Drive: Front Mileage (mpg): 19 city/30 hwy
Price: $33,000 Body type: 2-door roadster Overall length: 162.2" Overall width: 68.9" Overall height: 50.6" Engine type: 1-4 16-valve VTEC Displacement: 2.0 liters Horsepower: 240 at 8,300 rpm Torque: 153 ft lb at 7,500 rpm Transmission: 6-spd. manual Drive: Rear Mileage (mpg): 20 city/26 hwy.
BMW 3 Series The BMW 3 Series is an entry-level luxury / compact executive car manufactured by the German automaker BMW since May 1975. It was the successor to the 2002 coupe. The 3 Series was for some time the smallest car line manufactured by BMW (exempting the BMW-owned MINI), although that
Chrysler PT Cruiser The Chrysler PT Cruiser is a typically American "retro"-styled station wagon or hatchback built by Chrysler, launched in 2000 as the entry-level Chrysler.
The PT Cruiser was on Car and Driver's
Price range: $17,000-$22,000 Body type: 4-door tall wagon Overall length: 168.8" Overall width: 67.1" Overall height 63.0" Engine type: 1-4 16-valve Displacement: 2.4 liters Horsepower: 150 at 5,500 rpm Torque: 162 ft lb at 4,000 rpm Transmission: 4-spd. auto; 5-spd. manual Drive: Front Mileage (mpg): 20 city/25 hwy. auto; 20 city/26 hwy. manual
Price range: $35,000-$40,000 Body type: 4-door sport utility wagon Overall length: 188.5" Overall width: 76.3" Overall height: 68.7" Engine type: V-6 24-valve VTEC Displacement: 3.5 liters Horsepower: 240 at 5,300 rpm Torque: 245 ft lb at 3,000- 5,000 rpm Transmission: 5-spd. auto Drive: Full-time 4WD Mileage (mpg): 17 city/23 hwy.
Land Rover Range Rover
Toyota Land Cruiser The perspective and/or examples in this article do not represent a world-wide view. Please [ edit] this page to improve its geographical balance.
Price range: $24,000-$32,000 Body type: 4 door sport-utility wagon Overall length: 184.4" Overall width: 71.9" Overall height: 66.1" (4x2)-66.5" (4x4) Engine type: I-4 16-valve; V-6 24-valve Displacement: 2.4 liters: 3.0 liters Horsepower: 155 at 5,600 rpm; 220 at 5,800 rpm Torque: 163 ft lb at 4,000 rpm: 222 ft lb at 4,400 rpm Transmission: 4 spd. auto Drive: Front; full-time 4WD Mileage (mpg): 18 city/22 hwy.; 22 city/27 hwy.