Illustration for article titled Which Once-Optional Features Do You Really emNeed?/em

My beater '92 Civic gets 40 MPG yet still goes pretty well, and I can thank the crank windows, manual steering, and lack of sound insulation for its frugality. Still, it does have air conditioning, which I've come to appreciate.


I bought the car from a guy whose wife had great difficulty in parallel-parking a manual-steering car in San Francisco. It's true, my Civic's steering effort is quite high; why should the driver use his or her muscles to do something that a bit of machinery can do? Likewise, why should I have to stick a key in the door when I want to unlock the car, and what's up with having to lean over to roll down the passenger-side window? Pretty soon, "compact" cars weigh 3,500 pounds when you start thinking that way, so the question for today is: where do you draw the line? Which features are so important to you that their lack constitutes a dealbreaker when car shopping? This poll lets you choose multiple items, so get to it!

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