New Car Test Drive ? What to Know Before You Go!
A new car test drive can be exciting and scary all at the same time. However, a new car test drive is also a critical component to finding and buying the right car for what you need. You have a big decision to make so let's do it right. After all, this vehicle will be your companion for a long time.
After searching online, reading new car reviews, and finding what you like the looks of, you still have many factors to consider. Remember, you can't judge a book by its cover. Here are 7 tips that will help you get the most value out of your new car test drive so you can make an informed buying decision.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #1: Test the Fit!Your new car test drive should begin by getting into the car and buckling the seat belt to ensure the belt is snug -- but comfortable. And check to see if there is anything obstructing your view. Are the vehicle's mirrors showing you the proper view? If not, adjust your seat accordingly and you're on your way.
Comfort is a big factor to consider if you do a lot of driving. During your new car test drive, consider driving a route where you know there will be bumps in the road. A combination of the vehicle's tires, suspension, and seats will determine the comfort of your ride.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #2: Test Braking AbilityPay attention to the brakes during your test drive. You want a smooth stop -- not jerky. Try to brake softly during your first attempt. Then try to brake with more force to see how the vehicle responds during your test drive. Is the car stopping too fast or not fast enough? This is a critical safety factor to consider.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #3: Check Engine NoiseListen for noises during your test drive. Turn down the radio, roll up the windows, and listen for rattles and squeaks. These are things you may not notice while concentrating on everything else but can be very irritating down the road. Noises can come from engines, mirrors whistling in the wind, tires, or even roof racks. If the engine is noisy, is it while cruising down the highway, or from heavy acceleration? The quality of the engine as well as engine size are important factors to noise levels. Lower-priced entry-level cars are normally equipped with four-cylinder engines and the trade-off is that they sometimes be noiser than a larger V6 engine. If the noise is "tolerable" during your new car test drive, keep in mind that vehicles get louder with age.
Different qualities of side-view mirrors are available as well. Some mirrors can rattle and whistle in the wind, (especially on the highway), which is why it's a good idea to test drive on a highway. If the vehicle has a roof rack, you may experience the same whistling problem during your test drive.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #4: Evaluate Road NoiseDepending on the vehicle(s) you test drive, the tires can possibly be the noisiest. For example, SUVs, sport cars, and pickup trucks will be equipped with high-performance tires, which tend to be the noisiest on the road. Use your new car test drive as an opportunity to determine how much noise you can comfortably tolerate.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #5: Test ManeuverabilityDuring your new car test drive, pay close attention to how the vehicle reacts to your steering or perhaps even rapid shifts in direction. And does the vehicle stay straight on the highway or are you constantly correcting it? This kind of evaluation during your test drive will give you valuable insight into the vehicle's maneuverability. If your test drive isn't easy and comfortable, then possibly this isn't the right car for you.
New Car Test Drive - Tip #6: The Evening TestAnd lastly, we highly recommend that you conduct a new car test drive at night as part of your complete evaluation. This way you can check the performance of the headlights and watch the windshield for any distracting reflections. Another important factor to consider during your test drive is to back-up and verify your visibility.
Ultimately, be sure to select a dealership that has excellent car dealer ratings. Then test drive several vehicles of interest, read ample new car reviews, and make the right decision ? you'll be glad you did!