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How to Give Furniture a Vintage or Rustic Effect

Many homeowners use procedures to distress their furniture. When a furniture piece has a vintage look, it has more character. Although there are stores that sell vintage furniture...

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Our Buying a New Car Experts

Jean Jennings

Jean Jennings

President, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Automobile magazine...

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Mike Quincy

Mike Quincy

Auto-content specialist for Consumer Reports

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Philip Reed

Philip Reed

Senior consumer-advice editor for Edmunds.com

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What are the must-haves when shopping for a new car? We all know to look for a good deal, but it pays to think about what’s considered “standard” these days, as most new vehicles are rolling off the line full with more amenities than car buyers could have dreamed of even ten years ago.

We’ve become accustomed to accoutrement. In 1985, only 16.8% of drivers thought power windows were essential—today, 94.2% of us wouldn’t drive a car without them! Back then, people saved money on a new car purchase and bought “stripped” autos, cars that had been rid of any amenities so they’d be cheaper. Today, cars come at the base price with air conditioning, power windows and doors, CD players and airbags as standard components. This gives them a better resale value and lets drivers keep their cars longer.

Of course, there are still some extras that are above and beyond, but could be seen as standard in just a few years. Most have to do with technology—think entertainment centers, navigation systems and voice control for stereo and cell phones. At this rate, cars will probably be doing the driving and navigating for us pretty soon! [USA Today]

Posted: 4/18/08