The UX of a New Car

I am not a “car person”.  I see people all the time comparing this horsepower and that alloy rims and the other sunroof.  I wish I could converse with them, but I just don’t care enough about cars to get into it.  I appreciate a nice car as much as the next guy, but there are just too many factors to deal with.  Katie and I are considering a second car and the choices are overwhelming.

Buy vs. Lease. I’ve looked at buying guides online and feel more confused than before.  Which is better?  Which choice will I regret?  I don’t know!

Brand. Generally speaking, every brand has almost the exact same car as the competition.  I understand the difference in quality between a Honda Accord and a BMW, but seriously, 4 doors, 4 wheels, seats 5.  Does the fact that it looks “slightly” different, or feels “slightly” different make a real difference?  I just don’t care.

MPG.  Hybrid cars are quiet and get great gas mileage.  However a VW TDI Diesel gets almost as good mileage as the Toyota Prius. The Nissan Cube gets 30 mpg.  Does it matter between 30 and 40?  Not really.  I want to vote with my pocketbook, but really, I want a plugin.  I think I could use so little fuel that I would never ever have to fill it.  (I live 2 miles from work, but it’s a treacherous bike ride. Someone just got killed the other day.)

Form Factor.  SUV, Cross-over, Sedan, Compact, Sportscar…the list goes on and on.  How am I supposed to decide this?  They all look fine!  I would get used to anything.

New vs. Certified Pre-Owned (A.K.A. Used).  The have warranties now for used cars.  A used car is alot less money than a new car.  Is it worth it?  I have no idea.  It’s just one more choice on top of a million choices.

Cost. $15,000?  $25,000?  $50,000?  More?  Seriously, there are cars for every single price range.  How do you decide what budget to limit yourself?

And the rest. You want the extra cup holder package?  iPod integration, Bluetooth? Sun roof? Power nose cleaner? Stick shift? Automatic? Automatic stick shift?  Arrrghhhhh!

It’s a miracle anyone can decide anything at all.

My solution: I am going to lease something cheap.  A new car, around $15,000 that seats 5 with automatic transmission.  I am hoping it has a radio built in.  So that narrows it down to about a billion choices.  Ugh.

2 replies on “The UX of a New Car”

My wife and I just bought a new car.

We sorted the massive list of options by “Reliability” in descending order as we wanted a car that would just keep going and going.

We researched the top 5 that were under $20,000

We narrowed it down to two, The Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris.

In the end after test driving, we decided that the Honda Fit was the car for us.

I drive a Ford Fusion myself — gets about the same gas mileage of the Honda Fit or the Toyota Yaris, but is quite a bit roomier, great for sitting three across in the back seat!

But really, any of those cars is great. I bought my Fusion because of the looks — the fact that it got nearly as good a gas mileage rating as a Honda Civic was just the icing on the cake.

Aye, but you might want to set your limit at $20k — $15k makes it bit difficult.

Whatya think?