Today’s post is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book. All opinions, as always, are my own.
When I bought my SUV 4 years ago this month, I kind of knew what I wanted for a car. There was still a LOT I needed to figure out. Like, for starters, how many dogs can I fit in the back?
(JK, but kind of not.) ^ 2 doodles (my nephews!) fit comfortably in the back of this mid-size SUV!
My beloved Jetta had been totaled by someone rear-ending me on my way to work (another story for another time), and so I had just a few weeks to figure out what I wanted for a new car. …And to buy said new car. I hadn’t planned on buying a new car then, so there was a lot of research to dig into. And I get buyer’s remorse over something as small as a nail polish, so there’s that.
I had driven a Jetta since I got my license, so I had pretty much always had a small sedan. (The only exceptions were the summer I drove the family minivan and the few times my parents let me borrow their cars.) My parents both had SUVs, and I loved how sturdy they felt in the winter months: It’s like you could drive in any condition, which is important if you live in New England. It could be snowy from November to April!
T and I started by making a list of every SUV in the Compact SUV category, and then I went and test drove each one during the coldest weekend that year. (I hadn’t planned on it being the coldest weekend – that just happened by chance. But it made things interesting, seeing how quickly a car warmed up and how it drove over ice!)
I had my favorite, picked out the color I wanted, and then it came down to price for where I would actually purchase the vehicle. I negotiated one hell of a deal based on what I found on Kelley Blue Book for what that car should cost (something I’m still proud of 4 years later) and made T take a picture of me when I went in to sign the documents for my brand new car. That was a proud moment!
I didn’t know about the Kelley Blue Book Awards back then, and I really wish I had. Rather than looking up hours of YouTube videos of car reviews for each SUV, I could have just read the awards list. That would have saved me so many hours! I have to be honest here, too, and tell you all that I’m kind of thrilled that one of the two vehicles we own is listed as one of the “best of 2019” on the KBB Awards list!
You’ve probably heard of Kelley Blue Book in regards to the resale value of a vehicle. But Kelley Blue Book puts out an annual awards list that is highly anticipated by car manufacturers and consumers. It includes a ton of information that would be extremely helpful to a car buyer like me. I don’t much care about certain specifications (like navigation – I always use my cell phone for that) but definitely care about practical details. Here’s an example of the detail they included in the 2014 report (my car’s year!) for a Honda CR-V:
You May Not Like This Car If… If you need tow heavy loads or haul more than five passengers, the CR-V isn’t for you. Also, while you can get features like navigation and upgraded audio on other competitor’s mid-line trims, the CR-V only offers these features on its most expensive model, the EX-L.
We don’t plan to buy another vehicle soon, but every time we have a rental car, we make a note of the things we like and don’t like. That way when we go to make our next purchase, we’ll have a few cars in mind to start.
We’ve found some must-haves for our next car (which, for me, will probably be another SUV):
- Safe for family travel (a must-have!)
- Backseat temperature control
- Lots of trunk space
Photos from our trip to San Francisco, Monterey, and Carmel
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on future Kelley Blue Book Awards. It’s a great resource to bookmark for your future car research!
How do you start researching a new vehicle purchase? Or do you already use the list of Kelley Blue Book Awards?
Thank you to Kelley Blue Book for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions, as always, are my own.