A good test drive can provide you with more information about a car than you could ever find online, and it can certainly be risky to invest in a new vehicle without giving it a spin first. The test drive gives you a feeling for how the vehicle runs, maneuvers and how well it suits your needs.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your short test drive.
Once you’ve told your salesperson the model you wish to drive, make sure that the model, engine size and transmission (automatic or manual) match the car that you are considering purchasing. There’s no point in test driving a new vehicle that is even slightly different from the one you’ve chosen.
Your salesperson may have a route picked out for the test drive, but make sure to take your driving needs into account. If you drive for a significant amount of time up and down hills or on the Interstate, make sure to suggest a route that includes those types of roads in order to get a true feel for the vehicle’s performance.
Driving the Car
There are many aspects of the vehicle to inspect once you get out on the road. Here are just a few to consider:
- Acceleration: This is especially important if hills are a regular part of your everyday driving. Make sure the vehicle accelerates smoothly and the engine functions as needed.
- Road Noise: Noise will be a part of the equation regardless, but make sure the noise level is one you are comfortable with.
- Braking: Some brakes are more sensitive than others. Check to make sure that the braking system is smooth and that the car stops easily without incident.
- Handling: Take notice of whether or not the car responds well to steering maneuvers, both quick and tight and slow and wide.
- The Ride: Note if the ride is too bumpy and rough over smaller, poorly maintained roads. Tell your salesperson you’d like to drive the vehicle on such a road.
- Visibility: Make sure that the surrounding road is clearly visible through all windows and mirrors. Some new vehicle designs don’t work for everyone, so it’s important to make sure your visibility is optimum.
Other important factors that you should take into account include cargo space, ample room for passengers (if needed) and desired technology.