Apart from brand and price, people in the market for a car need to look into other practical matters before signing on the dotted line.
It is normal for car buyers to look to specific brands and price brackets when deciding on a car. As important as they are, there are also other considerations that a potential buyer should look into.
Most of the time, the right car depends on very practical issues. After the initial euphoria and excitement of getting a car, it ultimately has to be functional and sympathetic towards your everyday needs. Here are just some of the practical considerations for you to think about. Part with your money only when these boxes are checked.
SPACE AND CONFIGURATION
The size of a car may not necessarily reflect the space inside. Some cars, such as a SUV, may appear big on the outside but, once seated inside, the lack of space may surprise some. Check the car’s specification sheet to determine the actual legroom and boot space. Most drivers only consider the front row space and neglect the comfort of their passengers in the rear. Look into not just the legroom but also the headroom, especially if you have tall family members. Also, check whether the rear has a low transmission tunnel, as this will provide better feet relief for your passengers.
The trend of fitting in a third row of seats is continuing. This may be ideal for families that need to ferry more than five members; but because that third row is pretty tight, only small children will be comfortable there. Furthermore, having these seats means you’re sacrificing boot space. If you make regular trips to get groceries, or need space for your sports equipment or work-related cargo, then you need to determine what you really need more of — perhaps a bigger car, such as an eight-seater MPV, may be a better bet.
CONVENIENCE AND ACCESSIBILITY
Consider cars with large or wide door openings. Having a door that swings at a bigger angle will make it easier for elderly or disabled passengers to embark or disembark, and give you better manoeuvrability when installing child seats or load big items in the back seat. Seat height considerations can go some way towardsproviding easier access. Having a low-profile car is fine if you are still young and single, but most drivers in the long run will eventually appreciate the ability to get in and out of their cars without the extra strain on their backs and knees!
Having to negotiate a high lip in the boot opening can inconvenience loading items, especially heavy and awkward-shaped ones. A flat ingress makes it easier to just slide in the items. Look for cars with a hands-free boot release feature, which makes life so much easier when your hands are full and you don’t need to fumble for the keys to open the boot.
COMFORT AND UPKEEP
Supportive seats are essential if you spend long hours in your car. Look for seats that have lumbar support, provide adequate bolstering for the sides, and give good thigh support as well. You can also look for aftermarket options, but make sure they fit your car make or else you may experience further discomfort. While the car’s interior finish need not be luxurious, it should at least be of good quality. Leather may be the top choice for drivers here, but there are cars with pretty good and durable substitutes in fabric and vinyl that are also animal-friendly.
Shiny black interior surfaces may look sleek and fashionable, but it’s a magnet for dust, every speck of which appears clearly and large because of the colour contrast between it and the surface! A shiny surface is also prone to scratches. Maintaining the shiny look takes extra effort, so it’s fine for those who religiously clean their car every weekend. In the long run, a matte surface is more forgiving and easier to maintain.