Know the reliability of what you are buying because they will try to sell you an extended warranty. If you are buying a Honda or Toyota don't get it. We have a 2003 pilot and it has been maintenance free with 55K miles on it. If you are looking for a Volvo and can wait a day or two my neighbor is a Volvo mechanic. I can ask him what he thinks of the model you are looking at.
My other suggestion is never buy the 1st year of a new model car. Everything that is wrong with the design the first model year owners will experience. Buy a model that has been out for 3 years and any major bugs/recall items will most likely have been worked out. We also saved money buying a car through the internet purchase program offered by the dealer.