Guide To Buying A Small Car

The automotive industry is full of options from Crossover/SUV’s, minivans, passenger cars and sports cars to heavy trucks – as such, the market for small, compact cars has been very promising in 2019. 

Small cars include both compacts and subcompacts, and cover quite a lot of features worth considering such as fuel efficiency, a sizable cargo, maneuverability and most importantly, affordability. 

Many people love the convenience and utility that small cars come with; not to mention how sporty they look. 

Here’s your guide to buying a small car:

Things To Consider When Buying A Small Car

Typically, small cars are characterized by higher roofs and spacious back seats that have an overall roomy effect. 

As per the Automotive Science Group, a compact car is only different from a mid-size sedan in terms of interior space.

Cargo Space and Cabin Comfort

Checking for cabin comfort is a good way to ensure whether the specific model will suit your family, personal or work needs. The usual capacity of compact cars is around four to five passengers; however, backseat passengers may have a problem with leg room.

A quick way to check this is to try sitting on every seat of the car that you are considering. A decent purchase should have wide doors and easy accessibility with enough head space. Remember that the rear sear should be equally comfortable for taller people.  

A quick glance to the cargo space will reveal if the trunk has enough capacity to hold your monthly groceries or suitcases – especially if you take a lot of road trips. In such a case, it’s usually recommended that you look for a hatchback with a split-fold rear seat. 

Fuel Efficiency 

Do your research and carry out a comparative analysis of the mileage. Although marketing gimmicks boast of small cars as being very fuel efficient, it is always best to consider different models and makes before making your decision. 

Did you know that even tires can lend to your fuel efficiency? Hence, you should also consider the brand and type of tires that the car comes.

Energy efficient, green cars are also available in the hybrid or electric category. Even though it might ask for a slightly higher initial investment, you can determine whether the high price will actually help you save in fuel costs in the long run or not. 

The transmission on each car is also a major factor in fuel efficiency; most modern cars are usually fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission that causes the engine to run at lower revolutions in higher gears. 

CVTS – continuously variable transmissions – are central to small cars nowadays, as opposed to the gearboxes that were once used in the designing of compact cars. An automatic transmission uses two pulleys joined by a steel belt mounted on a cone-shaped pulley. 

Safety Before Anything

Safety is an important concern for buyers who have kids travelling with them. It’s a good idea to make a checklist of minimum safety standards and requirements that your new purchase needs to have. 

Compact cars are generally known to be much safer because of salient features like electronic stability and airbags. Crash-test ratings and the level of a vehicle’s safety can easily be determined through data from government agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

As such, you need to check if the car has advanced features such as backup cameras, automatic emergency braking, blind spot and cross traffic alerts, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings, etc.

Remember, tires play an important role in ensuring superior road grip, which is why we recommend durable performance tires that will never fail you. 

Standard Features Like Connectivity And Navigation Systems

Getting top-notch connectivity without an exorbitant price tag is definitely a good deal. Before technology transformed the automotive industry, it was almost next to impossible to get a small vehicle equipped with a modern infotainment system. These include:

  • Better-quality speakers
  • USB port for connecting your iPod or smartphone
  • HD Radio
  • In-car navigation systems

Navigation and smartphone apps suites were a far-fetched idea until recently. A few years before, customers would settle for a basic Bluetooth integration and a radio even.

Now, the situation is quite different with many small, compact cars available with contemporary infotainment systems. You don’t need to break the bank to get a small car with a full-proof connectivity and navigation system.

Pricing Definitely Matters

It is a common misconception that compact cars will be lower on the price range as well, but that is not necessarily the case. In short, an affordable compact can cost you around $13,000 with basic features.  

You need to define a budget beforehand to be able to get the best value for your money. If you have a higher budget of around $35,000, you can also go for a higher performing compact car with even more features.

Buying a small car can be a tough decision – this is why you need to consider everything, from safety features to how much it will cost you in long run. 

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