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How to Know What Vehicle Is Best for You

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There are several factors to consider when deciding what kind of car is going to be best for you.

By Chelsea Bancroft, Sponsored content by Roger Beasley Mazda, Photo of Chelsea Bancroft by Matthew Littlefield, Car picture by Raphael Rychetsky 

Primary Use

Depending on what you’re primarily going to be using your vehicle for, your priorities and needs will vary vastly. If you’ve got kids, chances are you’re go- ing to want a bigger vehicle that can accommodate more people. You might also want to consider how hard kids can be on a vehicle before deciding on a higher-end, more pricey model.

Are you a commuter? If you’re like the average American, you spend 45 minutes (if not more) in your car each day. That adds up to almost 200 hours a year. You’ll want to pick something that is comfortable to sit in, nice to drive and gets good gas mileage.

Are you just looking for a weekend joyride? Then girl, you get whatever you want! However, I’d suggest something sporty and fun, like a convertible. Something to consider: If it’s mainly for weekend fun, it might be worth spending more on your everyday car than something you drive less than half the time.

Size Matters

If you’re taller than 6 feet 3 inches, there is a good chance you’re just not going to fit comfortably in a tiny two-seater Miata. The opposite is a problem too: My aunt is barely 5 feet tall and she almost has to sit on a phone book to drive her big Suburban.

Another thing to consider on the topic of size is where you live or do most of your driving. If you live farther out in the suburbs, having a big truck or SUV isn’t much of an issue. But if you’re in downtown Austin and want to find a place to squeeze in and park that thing (especially in a parking garage), good luck!

Going Green

Buying an electric car is great for the environment and your gas bill, but does it fit your lifestyle? Do you have a charging station at your house or are there stations readily available near where you live and work? If not, the limited mileage range on electric vehicles might prove difficult, especially if you have to drive a lot for work. A better option might be a hybrid vehicle, one that uses electricity and gas. That way, you have electric when you want it and gas when you need it.

The Cost

As much as we all want the top-of-the-line vehicles, not all of us can afford it. You have to be reasonable for your budget. Do you want all the bells and whistles but aren’t sure you can afford them in a luxury vehicle? Consider getting the top-of-the-line model in a more affordable brand. It may surprise you. Just ask Austin WomanFounder Melinda Garvey how she feels about the Mazda CX-9.

I wrote an entire article in the April issue of Austin Woman about figuring out how much you can actually afford to spend on a car. It’s definitely worth reading before deciding on a budget.

What’s Most Important

In the end, you need to decide what’s most important for you when picking out your next vehicle. The best advice I can give is to do your research and test-drive a couple different models from a couple different brands to really get a feel.

I hope you found this information helpful. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions for topics at cbancroft@rogerbeasley.com.

Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.
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