You came, you saw, now it's time to compare

This past weekend ended the annual Chicago Auto Show. With so many different cars, models and styles available, the experience may have left you a little overwhelmed. Still the information that you gathered can help you create a car comparison guide.

Every family or buyer has his or her own set of must haves for her new car purchases. Personally, my biggest concern is space and design inside the car. When my family went looking for a new car a few items were high on my list.

First, I wanted space for at least seven passengers. Second, I wanted bucket seats in the second row (I found that bucket seats means fighting, i.e. he's touching me/in my space). Finally, I preferred leather seats. With these priorities in hand, I was able to narrow my choices to a handful of cars in my price range.

From my smaller list, I could compare other factors like price, gas. mileage and safety measures. As various concerns and preferences became apparent my list got smaller.

For me, the color and extra bells and whistles weren't the focus. Granted I didn't want a fushia car, but white versus champagne isn't worth extra money. Knowing this consideration going into my purchase, let me focus on my areas of importance.

Even when you are just browsing cars, you want the process to be easy. For example, Toyota offers a website that allows you to compare all its models and options. Did you know that Toyota ranks has more top safety picks than any other brand. Plus, a Toyota has great resale value according to Kelly Blue Book.

In today's high gas cost environment, vehicles, like Toyotas', stress fuel efficiency. From hybrids to better gas economy, these considerations are important to any current consumer.  No one wants to spending thousands of dollars to fill a tank when they could spend less.

What factors are part of your purchase decision?


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