The test drive is the most important part of the new vehicle buying process. It is when test driving a vehicle that you know if it is right for you and your needs. It is therefore important that you take the time and plan ahead in order to get the most out of your road test.
Here are some tips for a successful and useful road test.
Concentrate on driving
The road test allows you to evaluate the comfort, handling, visibility, performance and quietness of a vehicle. In other words, it allows you to discover how you feel behind the wheel of a given vehicle.
This information cannot be found by searching online. So, the test drive is not the time to be talking about pricing or the different technologies or versions offered with the model you are driving. The sales representative sitting at your side should only explain to you the functions related directly to driving and especially, let you focus on the how the vehicle behaves on the road.
The test drive should represent your daily commute
Some consumers like to evaluate emergency braking during their test drive, or they like to shift the vehicle from left to right on the highway in order to evaluate how a given model handles. The reality is that this does not really give you any relevant information. Instead, try to drive the vehicle as much as possible in situations that you will face during your daily commute, and again pay close attention to how it performs in these situations.
Drive on the highway and see how it accelerates when passing another vehicle along with the comfort of the suspension and the quietness of the cabin. In the city, check if you have good visibility and if the vehicle is agile and performs well in an urban environment. If you are looking to buy a performance car and its handling is a determining factor for you, go on a winding road and evaluate how the vehicle responds.
Get ready before hitting the road
Before leaving the dealership, be sure to adjust the rear view mirrors, driver’s seat and air conditioning so that you are not distracted on the road. These adjustments will allow you to be comfortable while you are driving, but also it will allow you to properly assess the visibility offered by the vehicle.
The objective with any test drive is to determine how you feel driving a given vehicle. Everything you do during the test drive should center on the question: do I want to drive this car every day for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to Alkier Motorsport for their help with this article!