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From Simple to Space-Age: Determining What You Need Versus What You Want in a Vehicle

When cars first were available, they were a far cry from what we have today. Back then, steam and hand-cranked mechanisms ruled the automotive industry. Once Karl Benz introduced his single-cylinder four-stroke to the world, people’s expectations started to change. Power and speed raised the bar and set into motion a domino effect that’s still going.

In comparison, many of today’s automobiles are essentially spaceships on wheels. Modern models have the capacity to tell you where to go and how to get there. Some can even drive on their own with a little operator input. If someone from Benz’s time, or even a few decades later, happened to time warp into our era, they might even consider witchcraft to be afoot.

With so many options now available, the line between which ones you need to have and which ones would just be neat to have may be a bit blurred. Starting with the standard baseline and working your way outward might be the best approach to finding the best vehicle to suit you. In light of soaring fuel prices, efficiency may be the first consideration if you have a long commute or serve as the family chauffeur, which leads to the next consideration.

Everyone does his or her fair share of hauling though the type and extent vary. If your hauling needs amount to a couple of children or coworkers, plenty of micro, small, mid-size and large cars could accommodate nicely. Should the local youth soccer team or dance troupe come into play, stepping up into vans, SUV’s and other models with third-row seating and ample cargo space would be a good idea.

As opposed to years past, you no longer have to sacrifice fuel economy when you choose larger vehicles and more powerful engines. This is a definite plus for those with heavier hauling and towing needs. In truth, any number of trucks and SUV’s even include extra passenger and interior cargo space for people whose needs cross the category boundaries.

When it comes to the extra space-age add-ons, some could be considered must-haves. Few could go wrong with built-in GPS, and having a vehicle capable of intuitively adapting to road conditions is a definite plus. Since vehicles are out there literally driving under their own artificial intelligence, lane assist and automatic braking might not be a bad idea either.