What's One Thing You Won't Compromise On In A Car?

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Everyone has different priorities when buying—or even considering—a car, but I want to know the one thing you’re never going to compromise on. That one thing you just have to have, no matter what.


For me, it’s size, which needs to be small but yet optimized. I am a lazy person, which means I have very little patience for things like parking a large car. It takes 200 years to find a large enough space in a city, and I don’t particularly enjoy straightening myself out in a space even when there’s room around me. In a small car, those problems are solved, and I can proceed to carry on with life giving the minimal amount of fucks possible.

But I do travel by car quite a bit. When I drove from Texas to Canada in 2020, I did so with, like, five suitcases—the two largest of which were filled with books that I knew I’d need for the research thesis I would soon be embarking on. My Mazda 2 is small, but it’s a hatchback, which meant I could just kind of throw everything in there and not have to worry about my vision being obscured. And if it’s not suitcases full of books, it’s my collection of plants or a few boxes since I perpetually seem to be moving.

That said, I am a simple person without any kids, so it’s not like I really need to worry about comfort for anyone else. My husband, who values comfortable seats over pretty much everything else, absolutely despises my Mazda and refuses to travel long distances in it. Which is fine, because it is my baby.

But I know you fine readers of Jalopnik will have far different ideas about what you truly need in a car. So, lay it on me. Tell me all about it.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


Legless Legolas' LEGO Lass

I need to be able to fit in it. I’m 6'5" and it’s a huge pain in the ass finding a car I can comfortably sit in. If I need to fold up like a pocket knife, or my head is up against the ceiling, it’s not happening.