For most of us, our first cars were something of a “hand-me-down.” We didn’t really get to choose what we wanted.
With today’s prices, it can still feel like we don’t have many choices when it comes to buying cars; they are incredibly expensive on their own, plus you have to factor in insurance, gas, repairs, and so on.
Despite this, it is still possible to buckle down and do some research.
It can be a tedious process shifting through articles about fuel efficiency, safety, reliability, comfort, and durability.
However, finding a vehicle that you love and will last you years is worth the time it takes to do the research.
When it comes to cars, there is often a debate about the quality between American models or foreign models.
I once thought I would never say this, but many foreign vehicles are far superior to their American counterparts.
In high school, driving to Midland from Bridgeport daily for a week for a summer camp was my first experience spending a significant amount of time in a foreign brand vehicle. My friend drove us in his Honda Civic.
I was incredibly impressed with the Civic’s fuel efficiency.
The entire week, we only filled the car up with gas once. Our drive was 80 miles round trip each day for 7 days.
This experience would inform my thinking when, five years later, I was preparing to purchase my own car for the first time.
Prior to picking out a new car, I had been driving a 2004 Chrysler 300.
Being old, I expected some issues and necessary repairs.
However, the overall quality of the car was problematic.
While the vehicle looked nice on the outside, the interior was cheap plastic. Not to mention countless problems with the steering and a broken tie rod,and a fuel efficiency of around 19 miles per gallon (mpg).
I had other experiences with American-made vehicles as well that made me leery of purchasing one.
After sitting down and doing the research, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a foreign brand, like Honda or Toyota. Foreign brands have a lot of great qualities going for them.
When it comes to safety, Honda, Toyota, and Mazda rank among some of the highest safety ratings. For obvious reasons, safety is important when making the decision to purchase a car.
Honda, Toyota, and Mazda again come on top when it comes to vehicle reliability. This means these cars are holding up and mechanical problems are less likely to arise.
Considering how expensive it is to purchase a car, this is a clear reason as to why foreign cars are so desirable: they last longer, meaning you won’t have to go car shopping again as quickly.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to foreign car brands is higher fuel efficiency.
With the cost of gas, fuel efficiency is a significant factor to consider about cars. In general, foreign brands have a higher mpg than American brands.
Even when considering SUVs, which are generally the same size and style, brands like Honda, Subaru, and Toyota frequently outperform their American counterparts.
Furthermore, foreign car brands have made faster and more reliable advancements in hybrid technology.
Hybrid vehicles use both gasoline and electricity. However, this electric portion doesn’t have to be plugged in to be charged. Rather, simply driving the vehicle will charge the battery.
Such hybrid technology also allows for better fuel efficiency as the life of each drive is extended.
This means filling up on gas less often, which in turn saves a dollar.
Additionally, hybrid vehicles are a more eco-friendly option as less gasoline is being used and burned.
After recognizing the superiority of foreign car brands, two years ago when I bought my first car, I went with a 2011 Honda CR-V.
I’ve had no regrets with the purchase; I occasionally have challenges with oil burning off quickly, but considering its age and possible negligence by a previous owner on oil change maintenance, but this isn’t a huge issue.
It’s worth it to have a reliable car that should last me for more years to come.
Perhaps one of my favorite things is when I am cruising down the highway and I can watch in real time as I get over 40 mpg.
Now, I am no car fanatic, that is for certain. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of car brands and their qualities so when it comes time to purchase your sole method of transportation (assuming that you need a car), you can find something reliable and efficient.
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