The big “little things” that make a difference between buying a good car and purchasing a great car.

Sometimes my best postings on this “peaceful Revolution” blog comes from my real life experiences as a psychologist. My employee  drove my Avalon into the gate of my home property. The body-shop gave me a free car for 2 weeks. Here are some of the small differences that I noticed between good transportation and my high-end Toyota:

The model name: Model names such as Rabbit or Focus, as compared to Avalon or Lexus have a dampening psychological effect on buying a VW or Ford, as compared to a Toyota – subconsciously – driving a Jaguar gets more “looks” than chasing a rabbit, ha, ha.  New Yorkers don’t like to Focus on a Ford Pinto, ha, ha. What car company CEO’s don’t understand is that Model names affect sales. Model names of great cars are more psychologically appealing than model names of just good cars.

The windshield wiper: Of the many cars that I drove over 50 years, only my Avalon’s wind shield wiper didn’t need to be replaced and never squeaked – rain or shine. Check the wind shield wipers of old cars before you buy the brand – new.

Electric windows: A great car would have a button you “pull” to raise the window and the same button you “push” to lower the window. You don’t have to hold the button down or up to complete the job. A quick touch will move the window an inch down for air circulation on a hot day. A normal touch will start a complete cycle.

Turn-on or push button radio: I find the push button radio safer, faster and more convenient to use than the knob turn radio. When buying a new car, look for features that show the CEO leadership in selecting a designer with psychological understanding of driving behavior. There are very few in the business.

Garage door programming: Bad idea all together, good for the thief who steals your car but not for your home. Attach a standard GDO that comes with your garage door behind the sun visor.

The trunk: Great cars have more secure padding in the trunk, under the dash and over the battery, as if the manufacturer said to himself, “Quality is important whether the customer sees the part or it’s invisible.” The cost difference is minimal. Check the trunk, hood and below the dashboard of old cars. See if the padding is holding.

First air kit: Check the trunk, the bag should be secured in an open compartment. The bag should have at least 20 items you would need in case of an accident, flood, delay on the freeway, darkness, hunger, thirst, or getting lost in the country.

And finally, a ridiculous difference that tells it all: The size, place and number of the coffee cup holders. Most cars have 2 small identical size cup holders placed awkwardly next to the gear shift. Takes an effort to put a hot coffee cup in place in the morning before you drive to work or play. My Avalon has an easy accessible holder for a regular cup and a place for a large size cup, as if the manufacturer was saying to himself, “Sometimes this driver will get into his car with a cup of hot coffee, or with a bottle of cold coke but sometimes with even a deep bowl of hot cereal.”

These “little things” are inexpensive to add to any new car, but they loom big when you think of the very few car designers who understand driver’s psychology or a consumer’s motivation to not-buy-just-a-good-car.

Yes, I know, it’s a great posting. Thank you!


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One Response to “The big “little things” that make a difference between buying a good car and purchasing a great car.”

  1. blinkx submitter Says:

    Some of the links are broken 😦

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