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Bankrate's 2004 New Car Buying Guide -- Shopping for a new car, to mangle a phrase from Dickens, can be the best of times and the worst of times. We catch "the fever" and want that new car so badly we can taste it. All too often we end up with a bad taste in the mouth. The good news is all the problems can be eliminated with a heavy helping of solid information. That's where we come in. In this special section, we'll help you get the car you want, at a price you can afford -- and we'll point out the pitfalls along the way.

WHAT'S HOT

All-new models for 2004 -- There's new ... and there's brand new. Here are the never-before-seen additions to the automotive scene.

Cars that go zoom -- Forget fuel economy. Forget taking kids to soccer. You want a muscle car, and 2004 is your year as automakers race to fill your need for speed.

More what's hot stories

CAR SELECTION

The best of the 2004 models -- Take a spin through the best of the 2004 lineup. We've organized your choices by vehicle type and price range.

10 flat-out best steals for 2004 -- These deals are so good you'll feel guilty driving off the lot and send a sympathy card to your salesperson.

More car selection stories

HOW TO BUY

Buying a car the smart way -- To avoid the nightmarish task of buying a new car, many people simply surrender, overpaying for cars and options they don't need or want. Here's help -- a step-by-step guide to maintaining control of the car-buying experience.

Surfing the Web to buy a car -- More people than ever use it to shop. But what about to buy?

More how to buy stories

FINANCE AND INSURANCE

Financing an auto purchase online -- Working the Web could get you the best deal on a loan.

New SUV bargain comes courtesy of Uncle Sam -- If your business auto is a sport utility vehicle, you may be able to write off most of its cost.

More finance and insurance stories

AFTER THE DEAL

Warranty wisdom -- You may not need to add the cost of extended service agreements, if you understand the risks.

Solving the 'check engine' mystery -- Advanced auto technology has brought us cleaner cars, computer diagnostics and the bane of all drivers: the check engine light. Depending on your driving temperament, it's something to be ignored or a warning that fills you with fear.

More after the deal stories

FUN STUFF

Plugging in your auto -- We're not talking electric cars, but all the gizmos that have been designed for the electrical outlets that now are ubiquitous in new autos.

Hidden meanings of car ads -- "We'll pay $5,000 for your trade even if you push it in," the ad boasts. But will they really? Here are the hidden truths behind the 7 worst car ad slogans.

More fun stuff stories

-- Posted: Dec. 9, 2003

 

2004 Car Guide
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