new-car smell

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new car smell (uncountable)

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  1. (informal) A characteristic odor caused by the combination of chemicals and materials in a new automobile.
    • 1996, Jack R Nerad, The complete idiot's guide to buying or leasing a car
      Does that mean you shouldn't buy a new car? Not at all — although if you're not hung up on new car smell and the virginal feel of a pristine motor car, you might find a used car is a better bargain.
    • 2004, Lindsay Price, Competition Monologues
      Did you know new car smell can kill you? New cars are filled with new car toxic fumes.
    • 2008, Charles Martin, Down Where My Love Lives
      Who would want new car smell when you can have Maggie's gardenias?
  2. (figuratively) A perception of freshness or novelty.
    • 2014 November 23, Brad Knickerbocker, “Obama says he'd be a dinged-up used car in the 2016 presidential race”, Christian Science Monitor:
      "I think the American people, you know, they're going to want – you know, that new car smell. You know, their own – they want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me," he said.