Reliability and safety very important
Well, I'm not buying a car as yet. I still drive a (are you ready for this?) .... 1974 Plymouth Duster. I have had a lot of cars from VWs, Ghias, Thunderbird all brand new too, but when I bought this mid-size slant six on the recommendation of my father (he was one of the finest mechanics around) I struck pay dirt. I've kept it on top mechanically. I can't keep the exterior tip top due to cost, but for about 20 years of that time this car looked great. It still has a great paint job (original), and when clean and waxed it's a cutey. White top getting old. Could replace if I had help. Needs interior things. But this little "Lizzy" runs like a top. I make maybe one car payment every year or two which is great right now.
If I were to look for another car I'd really do my research into mechanical features (must last a LONG time), safety features, comfortable seating, great mileage (actually I prefer we get away from gas/oil personally). I love a good looking car and they can be had with all the features I need.
My dad used to say that a car was "to get you from point A to point B." I loved it. We always had nice cars, and he kept them in tip-top shape often restoring a "wreck" into original beauty. He really taught me the value of a dollar. I was nuts for cars as a kid. I still have that desire. If I could afford a Jaguar I might get one for the heck of it, but if it's not really safe and dependable, forget it. I've seen cars from the 1930s through now, and there have been some GREAT cars, but mainly cars stink in more ways than one. We should all vote with our "feet" and get the manufacturers to make electric cars now. Oil IS running out believe it or not. It is NOT eternal, and it's not going to "create itself" as we are using more than we should. We don't have dinosaurs (fossil fuel) dying and making oil anymore.
Probably my granddaughter who is seven will see great things happen in the auto industry. I hope so, and I know it will NOT be a gas guzzler as it will be rationed or too costly. I cannot afford today's gas prices, and I KNOW cars can be made to do a LOT of mpg and also be a hybrid so that they run on gas and/or electricity/battery power.
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