Researching your new vehicle is a daunting task in today's world. Once you have narrowed your next vehicle down to 2 or 3 choices it is time to research. Take out a sheet of paper for each vehicle and write down pros and cons for each one. Also on each sheet of paper list the attributes which are most important to you. This list might include:
MPG - if you put a lot of miles on your car this factor could make a big dent in your wallet if you pick the wrong car.
Engine power - HP is a big factor for many people out there.
Price - nothing needs to be said about this one.
Repair costs - consider the average costs to repair a fender-bender.
Insurance costs - this is often overlooked by buyers and can catch you by surprise.
Anything else, which is a factor to you. The idea is to custom tailor your list to meet your needs. If you don't care about engine power then leave it off your list.
Now how do you get the information which is on your list? Here is a list of excellent resources to use in your search.
Consumer Reports Magazine
Auto Week magazine
Your local newspaper's auto section
Consumer Reports - requires a subscription just like the magazine.
Kelly Blue Book
NADA guide book
After your research is done you should have a clear picture of which car is right for you. What do you say? Clear as mud? Well take a step back and if you have 2 vehicles which are comparable you will then have to resort to one of the following.
Go with your gut feeling. You know the one which says get the Porsche not the Yugo. Ask your wife, husband or SO. (you might want to let them in on the decision a little earlier than this if they will be driving the car too.) Flip a coin. Ask your god for some divine intervention?
Kevin Schappell maintains http://www.carbuyersclub.com where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.