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What are you looking for from your next vehicle? Hopefully more than just a box and four wheels. Because in today’s day and age, there’s a lot more to evaluate during the purchase process than that. From engine reliability to safety and performance, you’re going to want to make sure you cover every base before going all-in on an investment as important as this. The experts at Marshall CDJR are here to help you make an informed decision with a comprehensive rundown of what to know and prioritize when shopping.


2023 Models

The New 2023 Dodge Challenger

Meet the new 2023 Challenger. Review specs, interior, exterior and last call edition on this American icon. Don’t forget to book your test drive before this Last Edition is gone!

Decide Between New vs. Used

This is the first – and arguably one of the most important – decisions you’ll need to make when buying a vehicle of any kind. The new vs. used debate is a long-standing one, with both sides having fair arguments.

Buying New

From a guarantee of performance to that amazing fresh-out-of-the-factory smell, buying a car new has several advantages. For many buyers, it’s the preferred choice for their next set of wheels. Despite being a bit higher in cost, the long-term value and peace of mind that come with a new car are worth it.

One major benefit of buying a new car is that you know what you’re getting. Since it’s just rolled off the assembly line, there’s no question about whether it has been properly maintained or how the previous owner treated it. It essentially comes with a clean slate, so you know what to expect for at least the first few years of ownership.

Most manufacturers offer bumper-to-bumper warranties that cover defects and major repairs for up to five years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). This can provide some peace of mind, as you won’t have to worry about a costly repair derailing your budget.

New vehicles also come equipped with the cream of the crop of features and safety systems – from hands-free Bluetooth capabilities to the latest in driver assistance technology like adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking. You often have the option to customize your vehicle as well, whether it’s adding a sunroof or upgrading the infotainment system. What a great way to ensure your next vehicle purchase meets your every need.

Buying Used

While used vehicles are sometimes sneezed at as an inferior option to new ones, reputable dealerships like ours know that they can go just as far for buyers value-wise. The key to making a good purchase is being careful about who you purchase from and what exactly it is that they offer. Certified preowned cars vs. regular used cars are not the same thing. It’s important to use due diligence and ask the right questions, whether that’s regarding mileage, accident history, previous ownership, or maintenance needs.

The great part about opting to buy used is the savings you stand to make on your purchase. You can often find a vehicle with similar features and capabilities as that of its newer counterpart, for a price far lower than what it would have cost brand new.

Know Your Fuel Efficiency

The words ‘fuel efficiency’ are probably said about a million times throughout the car buying journey, yet a surprisingly large number of buyers fail to realize just how critical it is. A standard metric in the auto world, fuel efficiency measures the amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle in relation to the distance traveled.

Looking at an online sale listing or reading a dealer tag in person, this typically looks like ‘Miles per Gallon’ (MPG). The higher the MPG, the less fuel you’ll need to travel a given distance.

That’s obviously desirable from a financial perspective – fewer gallons of gas equate to more saved dollars. It might not have a massive impact on your day-to-day expenses, but for long road trips and regular commutes, there’s a big difference to be noted.

Beyond economics, buyers should also consider fuel efficiency for environmental reasons. Science shows that the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, which can have a detrimental effect on the planet. More fuel-efficient cars have smaller carbon footprints, while the hybrid and electric options offered by Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram are even better.

Keep Cost and Budget in Mind

Like it or not, cost is a determining factor when buying a car. The fancy bells and whistles touted by new models like the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack might seem tantalizing, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what you can afford. To that end, brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram offer a broad spectrum of models at various price points.

Going with a cost-effective option from them doesn’t have to mean settling, either. Experts will be quick to point out that many of these makers’ most basic trims come with standard features that you’d typically have to pay more for elsewhere.

Of course, beyond the cost of purchase itself, you’ll need to consider maintenance fees and fuel economy. Many modern models come with tech that can help in this area — like automatic brake assist — which can ultimately save on costs down the line. Additionally, don’t forget to factor in any potential government or state incentives that might be available for purchasing an environmentally friendly car.

Prioritize Safety

Sure, that SUV looks good, but is it something you can trust with your most precious assets? Not all vehicles are made equal in this respect. Some may have had no accidents or service problems, while others will come with a storied history of repair and maintenance needs.

Any model you look at, new or used, should set a high standard through the following measures of safety.

NHTSA Crash Test Ratings

The NHTSA Crash Test is a government program administered by the National Highways and Traffic Safety Association. It puts new car models through a series of controlled crash tests to evaluate their performance and safety features. The results are then assigned a star rating, on a scale of one to five stars.

The NHTSA Crash Test is often referred to as the “Gold Standard” for vehicle safety because it tests a wide range of scenarios and evaluates the performance of multiple safety systems, including airbags, seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes.

Special Safety Features

Some vehicles come with additional safety features that can help protect passengers in the event of an accident.

These features may include…

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): AEBs are designed to detect an impending collision and automatically apply the brakes in order to reduce the impact.

Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM): BSM is a system that uses sensors to detect objects around your vehicle and alert you when it’s unsafe to change lanes.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW): LDW detects when your vehicle is drifting out of its lane and notifies you with an audible or visual warning.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): ACC is an advanced cruise control system that automatically maintains a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

Child Safety Features

No matter how great a car may look and feel, you should always make sure it has the latest child safety features. These include things like adjustable headrests, anti-pinch windows, and LATCH connectors for securing seats.

It’s also important to consider the size and weight of the car and whether it has enough airbags for all occupants (including children).

Reliability and Maintenance Records

When buying a used vehicle, you want to make sure it has a good maintenance record and is reliable. Check to see if the car has been regularly serviced and ask for service records from previous owners.

You should also get a pre-purchase inspection from an independent mechanic so that you can know the exact condition of the car.

Remember Family Needs

Fancy a big, road-dominating truck? Your partner may have something to say about it first. After all, not every family haul horses on a regular basis. Many have set schedules with regular commutes, city streets to navigate, and little ones to accommodate. You’ll want to keep these things top of mind when shopping around. Think: Is this the kind of vehicle I could easily bring the kids to practice in?

Space and Seating

If you’re traveling with pets, make sure the vehicle has space and airflow for them. Some trucks offer pet jumps that let your furry friends look out the window or a storage bin that can double as a bed.

If you’re a carpooling family, consider the number of seats available. Will you have to leave people behind on the regular? How much space do you need for car seats and luggage? Some larger vehicles offer third-row seating that provides extra room when needed.

Maybe storage is key for your family – those hockey bags and camping packs add up. Be sure to account for the cubic feet of the trunk as well as any fold-down storage or roof rack options.

The craziest thing about all of these needs is that while they seem extensive, they’re actually quite easy to satisfy with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. In fact, Marshall CDJR has several trucks that may tick off all the boxes for your family. Compromise is key.

Marshall CDJR Can Help You Hit the Road with Confidence

While we can’t make the decision of what car to buy for you, the specialists at Marshall CDJR can certainly make it a lot easier. Our local dealership is revered for its flexible financing solutions and unbeatable industry knowledge. We’re here for you throughout every step of the journey, from an initial brochure to signing the dotted line to well after. Our in-house service team can even help keep you up to date on regular maintenance and long-term repairs, so you’ll have your car running like new for years to come. Contact us today or visit in person and experience difference for yourself!