Why Test Driving a New Car Is Important

March 18, 2013

When shopping for a new car one of the most important steps is the test drive. You should never consider buying a car without taking it out on the road for a test drive. There are many things about a car that you can only experience by sliding behind the wheel. If you are like most people, you will be driving your new car for at least 3 years so it is important that you are comfortable with the way it feels and drives. Here are a few things to consider when test driving a car.

Research

Before you ever get in a car you should research vehicles and get together a short list of makes and models that you are interested in. It helps to put together a list of things that you absolutely want in a car, things that would be nice to have and items that are not that important to you. It helps to really think about how you use a car on a day to day basis. Are you using it mainly as a commuter car or are you hauling 5 kids to soccer practice? When you have narrowed your list down its time to head to the dealership for a test drive.

Comfort

Before you even start the engine, just sit in the car for a few minutes. Are you comfortable, does the seat adjust to fit your particular frame? Are the various controls in a position that makes it comfortable for you to operate them without taking your eyes off the road? Can you get in and out without hitting your head? Check the visibility of the mirrors. Make sure there is nothing that blocks your view or requires you to crane your neck. It is a good idea to get in the backseat and make sure you find it comfortable. Proper leg room is essential for both the front and backseats. You will also want to check the trunk or storage area to make sure it is large enough to accommodate your needs. When you are satisfied that the interior meets your requirements, take it out on the road for a spin.

Driving

When you get the car out on road, try to drive it in situations that you drive everyday. If you are mainly commuting, try driving it during rush hour, if you spend a lot of time on curvy roads, be sure you drive it on some twisty roads. You want check the acceleration and the cornering ability. Listen for any engine noise, and how loud the cabin of the car is. It is important that you really drive the car, this is a big purchase so do not be afraid to give the car a good workout. It helps to take a notebook with you to record your impressions as soon as you can after driving the car, this will help later when you are trying to choose between the various cars you are considering.

The test drive is an important component of buying a new car. It's a good idea to check both the interior of the car and how it drives. A new car is a big investment so you should make sure the car that you purchase is a good fit for you, both inside and out.