May 12

6 Things to Know About Test Driving a Car

Taking the vehicle you are considering buying 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, ultimately, whether or not the vehicle will be a good fit for you and your family. While on your test drive, you should pay close attention to these six things.

Space Is More Than the Final Frontier

As you get into the car, consider how easy it is to get in and out of each door. Look at the overall head and legroom for all seats to ensure ample space. Once you are seated, is the seat height comfortable, or can it be adjusted to meet your needs? Look all around to ensure 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 ensure you can find them easily once you are out on the road. Ensure 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 and 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 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. Ensure the brakes have a solid feel and can stop the car quickly, smoothly, and safely from any speed.


No one ever drives in just straight lines or takes the vehicle through a number of cornering situations. This is an excellent time to discover how well it corners at varying speeds without wallowing or feeling like it will flip over. It’s also a wonderful time to see how well the transmission up and downshifts.


Although you should already have a basic idea about visibility before you leave the sales lot, you should also consider 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, making it much easier 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.


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