Are you looking to find a new car? There can be so much involved with looking for a new vehicle. People can spend months searching at every brand, every bodystyle, and every trim. It can be overwhelming. Once you think you have found the vehicle you want, you still have one task to do. You need to take the vehicle for a test drive. While test driving can certainly sound like a lot of fun, it be a big undertaking as you must assess everything about the vehicle in one short car ride. How do know if it truly is a good car? What do you even look for as you test drive the vehicle. Edmunds provides some key advice on what to do to have a successful test drive.
Do Research & Have A List
Before you ever step foot onto the car lot, you will want to make sure you have done research on the vehicles you are wanting to test. More than likely, you will have two or three vehicles in mind. This is actually good. You want a list of contenders. Know the vehicles’ ratings and reviews before arriving at the car dealership. Make sure that you can test drive each of the models you want to test back-to-back, so that you can compare them easier than if you tested them apart.
Make An Appointment Quickly
When you find the vehicle(s) you want to test drive, go ahead and book a time with the dealership to test drive the model. Models come and go quickly at a car lot, and there is no guarantee that the vehicle you spot online will be there if you delay in visiting the dealership.
Things to Assess Before the Test Drive
While you want to get a feel for the car on the road, there are still a few things you should thoroughly assess before putting the car in drive. Look at the color of the vehicle. Do you like the way the vehicle looks in person? Check cargo room as well as space in the backseat. Is there plenty of room for passengers to stretch their legs or for a car seat to be installed? Also checkout the measurements of the car. Check the measurements of your current vehicle and compare it with the potential new vehicle to see if the new model will fit in your garage.
There is also plenty to evaluate once you are in the driver seat. Was it easy to get in the car? Do you have enough leg or head room? Assess the lumbar support of the driver seat as well. Is it comfortable? Could you stay in that position on a road trip? Check the gauges and controls. Are they easy to read or reach? Do you have a clear vision of your surroundings? Is it easy to see out the windshield or see in the side mirrors?
The Actual Drive
Now, you are buckled, the car is cranked, and you are driving down the road. Pay attention to how the vehicle feels as you drive. Were you able to accelerate quickly on the highway? How does the engine sound? Do you have a quiet ride or can you hear every sound of the road?
Be sure to assess the brakes. As you are coming to a stop, do the brakes ‘grab’ or feel sluggish. How is the handling of the steering wheel? Is it easy to make turns? Be sure to also notice how the suspension feels. Is it soft or stiff? Overall, does the vehicle ride smoothly?
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Enjoy The Ride
Test driving, while a serious endeavor, should really be fun. Be sure to take into consideration all the tips above as you test drive your potential new car. After all, you want to drive off the lot with the peace of mind that you found a reliable vehicle.
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