Step 4: Assess your needs.
(Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.)
Start the new-car shopping process in earnest by realistically identifying your vehicular needs and wants, relative to your financial situation. To get the most for your automotive dollars you’ll want to enter this process with an open mind, not an open wallet, and consider all your possible choices. This means looking at competing vehicles within a category, and what’s available in other segments, to determine what will work best for you at the lowest possible cost. For example, a compact hatchback car might meet a requirement for added cargo space and rear passenger room just as well as a costlier crossover SUV
. Once you’ve gotten a general idea of what you like and how much you can afford, identify three or four models for closer examination.