Some new cars come with costly surprises

Consumer Reports: new car may not come with spare tire

Buying a new car is a big investment. Consumer Reports found a number of new car offerings are disappointing once people get the vehicle home.

Increasingly, new cars do not come with a spare tire. Eliminating the jack and the spare saves the carmaker money, but could leave you stranded.

"What you may find in your car is a sealant kit and a small air compressor," said Rik Paul with Consumer Reports. "But neither is going to be any help if your tire's sidewall is damaged. You'll have to be towed."

Another surprise: economical cars like the Subaru Impreza come with expensive performance tires designed for better handling and braking. However, replacing a set of those tires can cost as much as $1,000.

Consumer Reports says watch out for three-person rear seats. The center spot can be pretty tight.

"Another heads-up is salespeople may push for an extended warranty, but we say skip it because what you pay in premiums will likely be more than you'll save in repair costs," Paul said.

And, don't think you need to buy all-wheel or four-wheel drive to get more grip on slippery roads in all kinds of driving situations.

"That just gives you more grip for going forward and backward, but doesn't help when cornering or braking," Paul said.

But all new cars can help you in those situations because electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard equipment.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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