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Precious Car-Go: Choosing The Right Car For You And Your Family:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Who doesn’t love that new car smell and knowing and investing in a vehicle that says that you are driven to succeed?

Still, experts suggest that before you invest, or binge on buying a car, you need to proceed with caution and make sure you choose on that meets all your needs.

· Adjustable Seats: Look for seats that easily fold up or can be laid flat into the floor panel for extra travel and storage space

· Smart Space Strategies: Make sure your vehicle has extra pockets, cubbies, and compartments for storage and make sure they are easily available and accessible to passengers/kids sitting in the back.

· Family functionality: Experts suggest really doing a thorough check of the interior, letting kids sit in and access the back seat. Check for ability to transport all your equipment such as sports paraphernalia, toys and other things you typically keep in the rear. Also take note of how the added “baggage” affects driving and speed. Do a “safety check” including taking not of how well you can potion a child’s safety or booster seat, making sure the vehicle allows for a good fit and that installation is simple.

· Conduct safety and security checks: Take the vehicle out for a drive and make sure the mirrors and steering wheel can be positioned properly and that you can switch lanes or pass others with ease and confidence. Check to make sure the wheel responds the way it should and that it can handle “complex” maneuvers, such as a u-turn. Last but not least, experts suggest test-driving a few cars of interest back to back, it’s the best way to do a comparison test.

· Size up your selection: Remember that while most modern vehicles are generally safe, some offer more protection than others, with larger, heavier vehicles generally being “safer”….though that may not be the case with some SUVs. Experts suggest getting looking at crash-test ratings before making your final decision.

· Ask about electronic stability control: This feature helps keep vehicles under control when conducting “tricky” and “challenging” maneuvers. Most 2008 models offer this feature as either standard or optional but it will be a requirement by 2012 and most test drive pros say they wouldn’t hit the open road without it.

· Seating charts: Check out vehicle specs and make sure it not only offers front and side airbags but also protection for the rear rows as well. Take note and realize that curtain-style airbags have limitations and may not be amble protection for youngsters who are short. Experts suggest checking the specs and comparing the airbags and their deployed position, to the height of your child when seated. Plus, they recommend looking for chest-protecting airbags for the safety of very small children.

· A “nice” rear view: Actually the experts are talking about a backup camera, a device mounted to the rear bumper that projects a live picture onto a screen inside the vehicle to alert you to kids, pets, etc. that may be invisible to you as you try to back out. In fact, this “life-saving” device is standard in 15 percent of new cars.

· Finding your type: With more and more options, here’s what you should know for picking a vehicle that’s best of you.

· Sedan: These spacious vehicles offer plenty of room, a smooth ride and ease of handling as well as a lower price-tag. In addition they provide easy reach of the back seat and good mileage, but often have limited seating and limited storage space.

· Minivan: These often practical, downsized SUVs are usually more economy-efficient and feature a standard third row seat that offers enough room for up to eight passengers and plenty of storage space. However, they tend to have a small cargo area when all seats are in us and are not necessarily seen as “trendy” or “chic”.

· Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs): A cross between a van and an SUV theyj offer third row seats in some models and room for up to eight people. In addition, they are more economical than some SUVs and handle more like a car because they are build on a sedan platform. On the other hand they are not as good on gas as lots of today’s economy card and offer less towing power than standard SUVs.

· Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV): These often larger “road monsters” typically offer third row seating in many models allowing for up to eight passengers. They also offer ample towing capacity and storage space, and have enough room for tall objects. However, they are NOT generally good on gas and can be a challenge to get in and out of, especially if you are short. Parking may also present a challenge.

· Hybrid: These are the most environmentally friendly vehicles powered by electric and gas and thereby emitting lower emissions. In addition the gas motor starts automatically when the battery is low, recharging it (the battery) and offering high fuel efficiency. Still, they can be “pricey” and may have additional registration fees in some states.

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