Important to buy a car that fits you properly

The importance of buying the right car for your budget and needs.

I cannot imagine that too many people receive a new car for Christmas.  If they do, I assume most would be a Lexus.  They do have the best ad … the only ad that is.  Getting a car for Christmas would be like getting a pair of shoes.  Shoes can look good, be the latest in fashion, and be a good brand name but just won’t fit.

The same is true for a car.  We all have that certain car or truck we have our eyes on.  In this day we can do all the research online.

Some of us will go for only one brand of vehicle no matter what.  My last car was a _ _ _ and my next car will be the same.

Other people scour the consumer reports for the vehicle with the best reliability, the best fuel economy, the lowest price.

There are those that want the latest in fashion. Maybe only a convertible will do.

There are the performance statisticians (me before I got my driver’s license).  0 to 100 kmh,  0 to 1320 ft, 100 to 0 kmh, skid pad lateral g’s attained are the most important qualities in a vehicle.

Maybe safety is the only thing on your list.

Many an automotive purchase is made before the person has even sat in the car.  This is especially true when people buy their dream car on the internet.

Some of us buy strictly based on country of origin.  German heritage only, please.

I propose that you should buy a vehicle that fits.  There are a lot more good cars out there now.  Before you do a whole lot of research, go find a vehicle you like. Sit in it and drive it.

Does it fit?  Can you get in and out easily?  The seats have to be comfortable and supportive.  If you have ever driven a vehicle with firm supportive seats you will know what I mean.  When a seat can be positioned to support your thighs and the upper seat wraps around your back it takes the strain off your body and you don’t have to use the steering wheel to hold you in place while you drive.

Extra soft seats might feel good initially but one or two hours into a drive and your body will be protesting.

Do the controls come readily to hand?  Do they adjust to fit all the people that will usually be driving it.  Adjustable pedals and steering wheels are handy.  Can you see the instruments when the steering wheel is where you need it?

Once seated check out the sight lines.  A lot of new vehicle styles are terrible to see out of.  The driver has no idea where the extremities of the car are.  Parking is something you do frequently.

Narrow down your choices after some seat time and a test drive.  Then take to the internet and make your choices.  A good fit can make a great car but zero percent financing cannot.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail:

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