Tips, Tricks & Trends

What You Should Look for in a Test Drive?

Even with the countless online car-buying services out there, you may find yourself in the camp of always test-driving before you finalize your vehicle purchase. And, it makes sense, right? You may like what you see online. But, nothing compares to that new car smell and settling in behind the wheel to make sure it’s a perfect fit.

Aside from ‘trying on’ your car before you buy it, there are a few other things you should review during your test drive, to make sure you’re making the best decision.

Connectivity compatibility

Before you decide on your new car, SUV, or pickup, you’ll want to make sure you’re compatible with each other. No, we’re not talking about astrology signs, but instead, connectivity and hands-free options. Most new vehicles are equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity platforms.

But before you buy, make sure the model and trim level has a compatible system for your devices. Have your sales associate walk you through a demo of pairing and sampling the hands-free tech during your test-drive. Don’t forget to delete your info when you leave, though.

Safety beyond the airbags

You did your homework regarding safety ratings and crash tests. Aside from the family of airbags, your new dream car might have, you’ll want to know what driver assistance tech is also included.

And, you may ask for a demo to sample how to use and disengage the various aids. Consumer Reports suggests you should always look for auto emergency braking, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring as a standard.

Positioning beyond comfortable seating

You obviously will want to be comfortable behind the wheel. You may even climb into the various passenger seating options to gauge the comfort levels there as well. But more importantly, during your test-drive, sample the different positioning options available to find your best seat for visibility. Check your mirrors and engage the rearview cameras. Take notice of the headroom for accommodating any taller secondary drivers too.

Make sure you, your stuff, and your life fits

There’s a sense of perspective that you gain when you evaluate a potential new vehicle in person, that you just can’t get from online shopping. You will want to make sure your new sweet ride will fit all your people.

Fold the seats down to visualize how much cargo room you have for your favorite things. Pickups will need to be able to haul and tow based on your needs too. Laying eyes on and sampling your space and capabilities in person, can help ensure the vehicle is a perfect match.

Why test drives are still a must

Shopping and buying online is far more convenient for some consumers. The good news is even with those car-buying platforms, you should have an opportunity to ‘sample’ the car or truck before you sign the dotted line.

It’s imperative no matter how you choose to engage the dealer, test driving is an absolute must in your quest to find the perfect vehicle for you. Buying the wrong car can result in buyer’s remorse, and more hassle than those digital shopping options were intended to avoid.

The car buying process can be long and tedious. Be patient and give yourself permission to change your mind. Vehicles today aren’t cheap and may represent the second most expensive investments consumers make. Don’t cut corners, and don’t rush to buy something shiny and pretty.

Instead, be deliberate about what you need from your new ride. And before you make your final choice, take it for a test drive. Push all the buttons, turn up the tunes, and crawl around the back seats. You’ll find that once you settle on the car you love, you’ll be more than satisfied with your purchase.