Car and truck shoppers are on the lookout for top features

May 2, 2013 12:00 AM

Drivers often have a checklist of features they're looking for when shopping for a car. While the must-haves differ from person to person, there are a few areas that are present on most lists. According to a new survey from, factors like fuel economy, ownership costs, brand perception, safety and vehicle design are all considered to be among the most important aspects of an automobile. 

For cars and trucks, fuel efficiency was judged to be the most vital variable. It was followed by vehicle design, which shows many drivers putting a premium on how the vehicle itself looks and using that as a decisive factor when shopping around for a car, with everything else being equal. 

"The fact that car shoppers ranked vehicle design so highly is a reflection of the ongoing parity we've seen in the areas of quality, dependability and efficiency among the brands," said Jonathan Banks, executive auto analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide.

Many drivers also want cars with low-impact vehicle maintenance. Cars that don't require a lot of upkeep and are resistant to auto repair can severely cut down on the cost of ownership, which is another important factor for buyers who want a long-term investment. 

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