May 12

6 Things to Know About Test Driving a Car

Someone handing over a set of car keys.Taking the vehicle you are considering buying out for a test drive is your opportunity to see how it “feels” out on the road. This includes performance, accessibility of features and controls, overall comfort, and in the end, whether or not the vehicle will be a good fit for you and your family. While on your test drive, you should be paying close attention to these six things.

Space Is More Than the Final Frontier

As you are getting into the car, consider how easy it is to get in and out of each door. Look at overall head and legroom for all seats to be sure there is ample space. Once you are seated, is the height of the seat comfortable or can it be adjusted to meet your needs? Look all around to make sure you have adequate visibility and that you can see all of the gauges and controls. You should do all of this before you even leave the parking lot.

Get to Know the Vehicle

Before putting the vehicle in gear, take the time to get to know it. Locate all of the controls and features to be sure you are able to find them easily once you are out on the road. Make sure the vehicle has all of the features you are looking for in your next vehicle. Consider things like climate control, the audio system, storage space, and little things like cupholders, as well as window tint for those sunny summer days.

Power and Performance

Once you get out on the open road, try a few different types of driving, if possible. Stop and start a few times to see how well the vehicle accelerates from a dead stop. Go out on the highway and see if the car has enough power to merge into the passing lane.


Now that you know the vehicle has plenty of power, it’s time to see how well it stops. Make sure the brakes have a good solid feel to them and that they are capable of stopping the vehicle quickly, smoothly, and safely from any speed.


No one ever drives in just straight lines, take the vehicle through a number of cornering situations. This is a good time to find out how well it corners at varying speeds without wallowing or feeling like it is going to flip over. It’s also a good time to see how well the transmission up and downshifts.


Although you should already have a basic idea about visibility before you left the sales lot, you should also be looking at overall visibility out on the open road. If there are any blind spots, you need to be sure you can deal with them or that the vehicle has a blind spot monitoring system for added safety.
If you are looking at more than one vehicle, you should try to test drive all of them on the same day, as this makes it much easier for you to compare your results. Following these tips can help ensure the vehicle you buy is best suited to your needs and will serve you well for many years.
Image” via Pixabay by StockSnap. Used with permission via Creative Commons CC0 | cropped from original


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