The Perfect Test Drive…

Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Before the test drive

Strangely enough, the driving part of the test drive is only a small part of the experience. So as tempting as it might be to jump right into the driver’s seat and get out on the road take your time and do these things first.

Spend time checking the trunk and backseat

It really help to familiarize yourself with as much about the car as possible. After all, you’re planning to spend the next few years driving it every day.

Open the trunk and check how easy it is to get at the spare tire.
Open all the doors and climb into the back.
Fold down the rear seats (if possible.)
Check all storage compartments (make sure there’s enough.)
Try out the infotainment system.
While you’re doing all of this, you’ll notice how well each part functions. It will help you find any of those little things that you will love about the car once the car is yours.

Get comfortable and familiar

Its time to feel some of that excitement even though you’re not driving yet. You’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable in the car and the best way to do this is to just sit there without the distraction of driving. Make sure the seat adjusts to fit your height and that you have pretty good visibility. Adjust the mirrors and the steering column

Talk to the dealer about the route before you leave, specially if you are unfamiliar with the area.

You simply can’t get a good feel for a car in a quick two-minute spin so taking it for a longer drive is absolutely essential.

Do you have a garage? Then ask the dealer if you can drop by your house to make sure the car fits.

Going for the test drive

Simulate a real day. Simulate a real day of driving.

If you are a commuter, make sure that you drive your car on the highway, and on busy streets, to see how the car feels, brakes, and handles. If you live in a mountainous or hilly area, make it a point to test the vehicle on winding hills and steeper slopes.

It’s important to try out the little things that you do on a day-to-day basis. For instance, try parking in a crowded parking lot so you see what the vehicle will be like while running errands. If you often have to park on the street, find somewhere where you can parallel park.

Then while on the drive keep in mind the following:

  • The controls – Are they easy to find and use? Check the infotainment and phone controls on the steering wheel in particular.
  • The dials – Are they clear and easy to understand? Is all the information you need right there?
  • Visibility – Are there any areas where your visibility isn’t quite as good as it could be? Are there large blind spots? Are the mirrors easy to adjust?
  • Road noise – City driving should be quiet enough, but the real test is out on the open road. You want as quiet a drive as possible.
  • Corners – How does the car feel going around corners? Does it feel comfortable and easy to handle?
  • Acceleration – Another reason to take it on the open road is to feel how the car accelerates. No need for burnouts but accelerating to join highway traffic will give you a good idea of the power under the hood.
  • Your comfort – Everything from the climate control right down to the angle of the headrest. Is this a car you feel comfortable in while driving?
  • Parking – Is it easy to park? Have a go at reversing it into a space in the dealership or try some parallel parking.

Play with the features and technology

How the car looks and feels is important but what most of us love is the available features. Play with the features to see if they meet your expectations. Crank up the radio, set the climate control, open and close the sunroof, it is essential that you test as many of the features as possible especially the ones that are most important to you.

Vehicle History Report

It is important to examine the vehicle history report. A vehicle history report can give you an inside look at the vehicle’s past and can confirm a clear title, the odometer reading and any accidents the vehicle was in.