It’s the day before V-Day, and your social-media feed is probably inundated with love articles, date-place suggestions, and classic advice stories on "finding the one." Readings about the latter inevitably end by saying that you just know when you’ve found the right person, that you should trust your gut feel--as if something as important as selecting a life partner can be trusted to the state of your stomach acids.
It’s a good thing that choosing the right car for you is much easier. We happen to have some expertise in this matter. Having driven hundreds of cars through the years, we’ve gotten adept at knowing if we really like a certain automobile.
Here are seven ways to find out if the car that’s on your mind is the one for you.
1. It’s literally the right size. We all have different body sizes, and our forms conform to car seats differently. There are cars that just fit perfectly: the way your knee rests against the center tunnel, the grip of the steering wheel, how you reach for the controls, the view from the windshield. Like a basketball shoe, you have to see how a cabin wraps around you.
2. You keep looking at it in parking lots and in traffic. Have you ever seen a car in a parking lot that you can’t take your eyes off? As with women, attraction plays a big role in choosing the right car. Beauty is subjective, but your ideal ride should be something you’ve been eyeing for months but never get tired of.
3. You've already memorized the specs. You’ve done some research, read the reviews, browsed the automotive forums--and you already know the kind of oil that should go into your dream car. This is the female equivalent of knowing your favorite makeup brand and bag design.
4. You like how it feels on the road. We have varying driving styles. Some of us like to drive quickly, others prefer to cruise along, and some like a bit of both. What’s important is that the car responds to your foot and arms the way you want it to. That doesn’t necessarily refer to a sports car. There are pickups that are a joy to drive in and out of the city. Go to a dealer, or find a friend who owns the car you’re interested in. Then find out how it feels.
5. It has a color that’s perfect for you. A car has a certain way of wearing a particular hue. Red might be great for a Toyota 86, but is an awkward color for a van. If you see your dream car sporting a paint job that covers it exactly the way you want, that’s a big check mark already.
6. You've thought of a name for it. It’s already halfway yours.
7. It just feels right, period. If all else fails, listen to your gut. Hey, they say it works with women, but that's another story.
Photo by Vernon B. Sarne