Rides From Top to Bottom: A Man’s Guide to Buying a Car

Riding in your style of choice is important. When you’re cruising down the street, your car should say something about who you are. It should tell people what kind of guy you are and they should not be surprised when they see you pop up out of the door. Whether you’re looking for a car now or just want some tips for the future, I’ve got some suggestions. Whether you’re into labels, looks, or… your budget, there’s options out there for your next car.

If you’re in the market to buy a car it can be an exciting process and a stressful one as well but it all depends on your preferences and your budget. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a car. First thing is budget. Knowing what you can afford in terms of car payments, auto insurance, gas expenses, maintenance and repairs all fall into play with budget.

The second thing to keep in mind is knowing the kind of car you want. A car that stylish, economical, fast, reliable, good looking, impressive, safe and spacious are just a few things to consider when in the market for a new ride. Remember this car will be taking you places whether it’s to work or something a little more adventurous.

The third thing is the difference between buying a brand new car (showroom), a certified pre-owned car (used from a dealer’s lot) and or a third party used car (a used lot or privately sold vehicle). In a perfect world, a brand new car sounds like heaven. But, look at it like this, when you’re trying to deal with a car salesman, the luxury taxes add-ons will raise the cost upfront not to mention the sales representative wanting to get a cut off the commission. It’s all part of the whole game which can be draining but they do have to get there share. Next being the first to own the car is a cool idea until you figure out that you have to get all the kinks and glitches out of a car especially if it’s a completely new design/platform so just keep that in mind. Later on I will get into the factors of used cars from dealer vs. third party lot and privately sold cars.

Now let’s get into the meat or potatoes of things, guys.

Professional Jock: Sporty-Stylish-Luxurious

performance, spacious, reliable, premium feel
pricey, will get you in trouble with the law if you have a heavy foot, some or most features can be also found in the Humble Jock category

When looking for a sedan in the range of $17k-35k there is so much to get for the money in that range along new or used. I will use myself as an example as I made a purchase on a 2014 Infiniti Q50 Premium package. The car came in at $25k in the end with playing the finance game came to $27k mind you this is a $45k-$50k car brand new. On top of that its certified pre-owned from the dealer and I have full coverage for the life of the loan. So this goes to show you that you can get a well kept pre-owned vehicle and still have great coverage. The car had 39k miles which is a good average to buy on a car that was previously owned. Not to mention the luxuries. Leather seats, Rear camera, around view camera, heated steering wheel, blind spot monitor, forward collision, lane assist the list goes on. But Other vehicles that fall into the category of Premium brand luxury without breaking your bank would be the BMW 3 series,jaguar XE, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C- class, Volvo s60, Cadillac Ats, Acura TL/TLX Lexus IS and Lincoln MKZ. Those models have such a wide range of choices in between and you can find them in the range of $17k and $35k. This group would be considered the Sport sedan luxury segment. You get a fast (depending on the engine you get) sports car with 4 doors. Once upon a time this segment was heading the market in sales but now crossovers are taking that position. But if you want something sporty but still spacious and decent on gas with a little get up go for that segment. If money is not an issue and you want something brand new this all still applies to you as well. If you looking used be very careful on where and who you buy your car from. Not all brands are created as reliable. A few models/brands or most that you might be better purchasing from the actual dealer lot would be Jaguar, BMW, Audi, Mercedes benz, Volvo, Caddilac and Infiniti. When it comes to those high premium brands, ask questions when you’re at the dealer like, “what kind of warranty can I get” because that’s the one thing you want to have is a real good warranty and your going to pay for a car that was once $45-$65k. So, the parts are going to be expensive to replace if something goes wrong.

When owning these cars they are all a good in their own right. You will know what suits your fancy, but they all share the common size to performance aspect. These kind of cars you can easily whip you into the city with your crew and you’ll look good while you’re cruising by. Not to mention the fun you’ll have driving them. If you’re the kinda guy that likes the “muscle car” feel, in-your-face styling and good fuel economy go for BMW 3 series, Infiniti Q50, Caddilac ATS, Lexus IS or Jaguar XE. Something more Elegant would be the Mercedes-Benz C- class and Lincoln Mkz. And for a look that’s very low key but still has the bells and whistles and get up like the others would be Audi A4, Volvo s60 and Acura TL/TLX.


Humble Jock: Sporty-Stylish-Spacious Minus the Badge

reasonably priced, fun to drive, common luxuries
not as fast, limited options , not as exclusive feeling

If a badge is the least impressive thing on your mind and you want a sedan that could give you those bells and whistles, you can cross shop a few brands that can offer all of those nowadays. Brands like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia and Hyundai are strong contenders to cross shop if you just want a car that has those common luxuries without having the big premium badge. Cars like The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, Chevy Malibu, Chevy Impala, Kia Optima, Kia Cadenza, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata and not mention Volkswagen and Subaru. There are so many alternatives to choose from and you can find a good pick for the money with this less expensive segment especially in the pre-owned/used car department. Oddly enough you can skate by a 3rd party dealer to pick up a one of these cars even though purchasing pre-owned directly from the home dealer is ideal. You’re going to want that 5 star service because you know the dealer is going to take care of the car for you.


Jock on a Budget: Sporty-Fun-Economical

common luxuries, easy on the pockets and at the pump
limited drive train and engine choices

Let’s say you live in the city or want really don’t want a car that guzzles gas but is still fun to drive and you really don’t care to have a lot of people in your car. Your looking for a car that is still fun but easy on the pocket at point of sale, monthly payments, and at the pump. There are a ton of fun and economical cars in this segment but I’m going to narrow it down to the most popular choices. Again this is coming both the New and Used (pre-owned) segment and Used (third party seller). Manufactures Like Fiat, Mazda, Ford, Toyota, Chevy, Volkswagen, Nissan, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai and Kia offer something in that range. The price range you’re looking at brand new is $17k- $29k and used $12k- $24k as some of these brands and models hold their value pretty well. You can get a great deal on this category. The same aspect of research applies from the other segments its just a matter of what fits you and your fancy.


Size Queen: Crossover

security and safety, space, versatile (for tops and bottoms), fun to drive and reasonably priced (or can be)
not the best at the pump or on gas mileage

This segment is pretty broad for many reasons. One being that crossovers are the popular choices and they are taking up much of the sales in the auto market as the consumers want more space and safety with some rugged appeal . If you’re the kinda guy that likes to have that crossover with luxury, you want to look in brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Acura , Lincoln, Infiniti, Land Rover and Cadillac. These brands offer that as well as the lesser expensive brands like Jeep, Ford, Chevy, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai. You can find something on the larger scale from these brands as well just keep in mind that you will spend more money at the pump but if that’s not an issue go for it!


Lean, Green & Mean

great at the gas pump, on mileage and you’ll feel like a tree hugger
options are limited, can be slow (depending on the hybrid you buy), expensive to buy, and you’ll feel like a tree hugger 😉

This segment is for hybrid vehicle buyers or anyone who is considering making a purchase on a hybrid vehicles. These vehicles tend to be a little more pricey due to the fact that they save you money at the pump, at least that’s just my thought. When hybrids first came out it was sort of a novelty element in the auto world. A big question for potential buyers lies between the functionality and reliability of these sort of vehicles. Since the debut of the first hybrid car in the U.S., being the Honda Insight, these cars became an instant hint as their fuel consumption and low emissions was praised. This forced the shift in the auto market to down size engines and build cleaner motors that would improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, BMW, Infiniti etc followed as they built hybrid versions of their cars that used gas engines. A smart move by these manufactures, being that everyone doesn’t want to be cramped in a Honda Insight or Toyota Prius. Don’t get me wrong I have mad respect for these trail blazers but something with a little more sex appeal and space would be appreciated by the general public. There are tons of options out there for hybrids, due to the fact that in the near future there will be more hybrids produced. Like other segments mentioned, these cars can be purchased a a good price preowned and used as well.


So there you have it, a brief guide on what to look for in some wheels. Note that cars are a reflection of yourself and they set an impression. If you want something sporty and sexy, by all means go sporty and sexy or something cute and practical, go cute and practical. There is no wrong choice unless you’re not happy with your final choice and the car is already purchased.







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