When you’re looking for your next set of wheels, you may tend to sort your list of preferences into “must-haves” and the “nice-to-haves.”
I purchased a car last month – an adorable used MINI convertible, which I love – and found myself subconsciously doing the same thing during my process of car-shopping.
The must-haves: a convertible. Something compact (the idea of driving a big car in Atlanta traffic terrifies me). Good gas mileage. Something that fit within my budget.
The nice-to-haves: some slick features, like a connected technology package to sync with my phone. Something with more passenger space than a two-seater. And – impractical as it sounds – something that’s fun to drive.
Though every person’s preferences are different, it comes as no surprise that I’m not the only person who ranks their priorities when browsing vehicle options.
So what is most important when buying a car?
Cox Automotive’s Car Buyer Journey Study unveils key trends in automotive shopping by researching the paths that people take to buy cars. The study entailed surveying approximately 900 consumers and asking them to share their preferences and opinions on a variety of topics about buying and owning a car.
The 2019 version of the study revealed that the top five most important factors to vehicle shoppers are:
- Driving comfort.
- Driving performance.
The most important thing to the majority of car-shoppers is that they find a dependable car. Drivers crave the security and peace of mind that comes from driving a vehicle that will stand the test of time and that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Looking for something that’s especially trustworthy? You might be interested in the fully-electric 2019 Honda Clarity. Honda vehicles have a reputation for being very dependable, and this powerful little electric vehicle packs an impressive punch of features, including a great battery range that will lessen your worries about running out of charge. And because EVs typically require less maintenance than traditional gas-powered cars, going electric makes sense for anyone who prioritizes reliability.
See Kelley Blue Book’s list of the longest-range electric cars of 2019 here.
Not surprisingly, safety is one of the most important things to consumers when they are deciding on their next car.
When it comes to electric vehicles, a great pick for safety is the 2019 Chevrolet Volt. This five-passenger plug-in hybrid can include a variety of advanced safety and response technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and rear cross traffic alerts. But, get while you can, 2019 is the final year for Volt production.
See Kelley Blue Book’s full list of the best safety-rated electric cars of 2019 here.
Drivers and shoppers have a renewed focus on affordability. The majority of people place a greater emphasis on the cost of a car than its comfort or performance. This is validated by another fact uncovered in the Car Buyer Journey study: almost half of all consumers believe that owning a vehicle is too expensive…especially Millennials and Gen Z’ers.
If you’re looking for an affordable electric vehicle, the 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is a wonderful choice. With a starting price of $28,500, the Kia Niro is a great green vehicle that’s not only stylish, but a smart choice for your wallet.
See Kelley Blue Book’s full list of the best plug-in hybrid cars under $40,000 here.
Driving comfort ranks #4 on the list of factors that are most important to people when deciding on a car. It’s no wonder, given how much time people spend behind the wheel. From daily commuting to family road trips, comfort is a paramount element of driving.
If being comfortable is really important to you, you’ll love the connected cabin, smooth acceleration, and premium interior of the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.
See Kelley Blue Book’s full list of the 10 most comfortable cars under $30,000 here.
#5 on car-shoppers’ list of must-haves is driving performance, because there’s so much more to a car than its safety features and price tag. A vehicle’s performance – which a driver typically gets to experience for the first time on a test-drive – is what makes us really fall in love with a car.
The award-winning and oh-so-sexy 2019 Jaguar I-PACE is a thrill to drive. The I-PACE has all the performance and acceleration of a sports car – reaching 60 mph in 4.5 seconds – and all the smarts of an electric vehicle. This is a great choice for anyone who values driving performance when looking for a new car.
See Kelley Blue Book’s list of the most fun SUVs here.
- “2019 Car Buyer Journey Study.” Cox Automotive. April 2019.