• May 30, 2010
So, you've found a car that catches your eye. It's attractive, has the features you want and is priced within your budget. Slam dunk, right? Perhaps, but a recent telephone survey administered by Consumer Reports proves that a number of additional factors can affect the decision to purchase a new car... and we don't mean cup holders.

Among the factors tilting the scales in any particular automaker's favor is brand loyalty, though CR recently found that the desire to purchase another vehicle from the same brand varies widely between men and women as well as by age group. That aside, the most likely attributes to get a buyer to switch brands are higher quality and better fuel economy.

Also important are a lower price, a better safety record and more standard equipment. Of course, we'd like to think comprehensive automotive reviews can sway buyer preference too...

[Source: Consumer Reports | Image: Getty]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a father of six all around driving age, I have been purchasing economy cars every 2 years so it becomes their first car after I have taken good care of it and paid it off. I have a good amount of experience in choosing different brands. The first thing I do is look at the price range, if a BMW is not in my price range I will not even bother looking it up. Then reliability ratings is the next criteria, the top 3 cars of chosen. I then work on the best deal out the door.

      Now I am starting to shop for my permanent car. A litttle more emotion and aesthetics will play into my decision. I've bought Hyundais, Fords, Toyotas, Nissans, GMs and am pleased with all but the Nissans and GMs. Nissan comes down to service after the sale and GMs are the quality issues. I am looking at the new Sonota as the style just excites me. I am looking at other mid-size sedans and am looking at the new Regal, but it starts around $29K ?!? I hope GM can turn around but at that price? They need to do what Hyundai did, sell them cheaper so people buy and if the vehicle turns out to be reliable, people will be willing to pay a little more next time. People are afraid of the unknown and will stay with the same brand if they feel the price was right and the product lasted well. In order to drag people away from their brands you must give them a deal they cannot ignore. GM if you are listening, you cannot price your cars at the same level of the established premium brands and expect people to buy them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again, that is the most slovenly looking sales guy. I would not touch his body/hand if they paid me to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "slovenly looking" ??? where in the world did you dig up that word, Fhorn? The early 1900's??? I had to look up what the heck that means.... to me it just sounds like guy from slovakia....
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol come on, it's possible that the girl is the sales person in the photo. She is closer to the car. lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      the chick looks cute
        • 4 Years Ago
        "What motivates the buying power these days? Being a beautiful woman."


        ...I think that's how its always been...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly my thoughts.

        What motivates the buying power these days? Being a beautiful woman.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dude needs to learn how to tuck in a shirt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, he got in a wrestling match with one of his male customers that at last minute backed out from buying that damn 6.2L Sierra. Don't mind it too much.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dude needs to learn how to wash his hair.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Consumers can say what they want, but buying a car for many people is much more than an empirical study of the features/benefits comparison between models. People buy based on what others say about the brand (whether or not the buyer has any personal experience with the brand), what they THINK their friends/family will say about their new car or the deal they got, their comfort with the salesperson they are dealing with, THEN worry about the car itself - style, features, price etc..
        • 4 Years Ago
        nardvark sounds like he's from southern California. I would have to agree with that part of it. There is definitely a social part of owning a vehicle. I'd like to think of myself as being one of the people that doesn't worry about what others think but if i really didn't care i probably would have bought some used beat to crap car that got me from point A to point B and occasionally to the snow and back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, people buy non-color cars like beige and silver so they don't have to make a real choice. It's safe, no-one will criticize my choice etc.. People that live in hot climates buy silver and beige because these colors don't fade in the hot sun, so for some people it is practical. Also, lazy people buy these colors so they don't have to wash their car. Then again, some people are just beige people in their everyday life, so a beige car fits right in.

        This is how I buy a car: What cars are within my budget? Which one do I WANT? Which trim level do I want? What colors come with a black interior. Where can I get the best price?

        I work with a lot of people who put price first. I try to ask them: don't you want to LIKE the car you drive? You can't drive the payment book.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's true for a large number of buyers, but it doesn't include people who buy cars like the Aveo...or people who buy well-worn used vehicles...based on need. They couldn't care less what others think (or say) about the vehicle. They just need transportation.

        (To be clear - I'm not bashing the Aveo. I listed it as an example of an affordable new car.)
        • 4 Years Ago
        nardvark - you reminded me of my best friend who just had to have a BMW. Couldn't afford dental or medical care, couldn't afford a half way decent place to live, couldn't pay his credit card bills and couldn't put a dime into any retirement plan but by God he drove a BMW. And he refused to wear anything but Diesel jeans too!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nardvark's comment about non-emotional car buying decisions resulting in all cars being black made me think.
        What kind of emotion causes someone to buy a beige car? What does it say about the buyer?
        "I hate cars", "I hate buying cars", "I hate life and I want everyone to suffer when they see my beige car".
        Maybe there is a really good reason for beige cars, because there sure are a lot of them. Hopefully, some people have some good theories about this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jim: LOL. It is so true. It's always the people with bad credit making $10 an hour that seem to think they DESERVE a luxury car. You show them the car they can afford and they turn their noses up in disgust, insulted by reality.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, we have a 5 year old Focus and a 9 year old Impreza, so I don't know what image I'm projecting other than "relatively cheap." No BMW's in my garage...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stating the obvious?
      • 4 Years Ago
      pay it in cash :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh. People care about fuel economy now? sweet/
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's the verdict on the study about what causes people to buy an Aztek? Besides the fact that it's efficient for delivering large quantities of blue meth. . .
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's because all buyers bought them just to kill it with fire!

        In all seriousness though, people who bought them were most likely to be those generous people who can look past its aesthetics (and its high price, allegedly); they had the ability to look past the car's sheer ugliness thanks to its decent powertrain. I haven't driven it, but believe it or not reviewers like the car's performance. The reviewers and the buyers didn't judge a book by its cover, and I think that's a great quality to have.

        Plus, let's not forget that Aztec and Rendezvous are one of the earlier crossovers that debuted before consumers and manufacturers realized that crossovers are profitable. Cars that combined the versatility of an SUV and car-like handling weren't as ubiquitous back in 2001, so that would've been a strong selling point too.

        Although, I'm still aware that the Aztek STILL is a flop. I've seen its sales figures, and I guess not a lot of people are generous enough to accept the Aztek for its ugliness. I'm just saying that I'm not surprised that people bought them, because there ARE generous people out there, even if the number is small.

        So shame on GM for driving buyers away, and God bless those who were open-minded enough to accept the Aztek for what it is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree with some previous posts that it has a lot to do with a dealer - because most people have experienced BAD dealer service, it is a breath of fresh air to be treated with transparency (relative, of course), honesty and efficient service. We just bought our first new car, a Hyundai, and the dealer has been exceedingly helpful. The salesman was very causal and low-pressure but professional, we had a call directly after our purchase making sure we had chosen the right vehicle (they have a 7-day no penalty trade-back policy), and have had a few calls since making sure we were completely satisfied. First service is free with pickup-dropoff at work, and everything is taken care of. Wow! If the car turns out to be as good as the dealer, we'll be back for future purchases.
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