Test driving a car is the opportunity to engage with your potential new vehicle first test-drivehand. We’ve all heard that first impressions are the most important, so a test drive should be considered just that. But when you get to the dealership, what should you be looking for in your test drive? Are there specific things that indicate a bad buy? We’ve compiled a list of top things to look for and consider when you step into that new ride for the first time.

Interior Considerations

  • Are the seats comfortable and supportive? Are they adjustable if not?
  • Can you see out of all windows from the driver’s seat vantage point?
  • Do the climate controls work appropriately?
  • Are the controls and navigation (if available) confusing or just right?
  • Is the car easy to enter and exit?

While Driving

  • Is there much road noise?
  • How’s the acceleration? Does the car shift smoothly?
  • Are the brakes in good shape?
  • Does the car handle well on different surfaces?
  • Does it handle well on turns?
  • How is the reverse and parking ability of the car?

Safety Features

While you may not be able to fully test the safety features (at least, we hope they don’t prove necessary on the test drive), but you can check to see what comes available and what to expect from them. Blind Zone Alerts, airbag placements, proximity alerts and other features are worth asking about and researching prior to purchase.

Before you hit the lot, be sure to compile a list of things you would like from your future vehicle. If a sunroof is a must, then make sure you can get one. If leather seats are non-negotiable, then don’t drive that base level model with the cloth. Some features are easier to get than others, just put them together and make sure the car you test drive checks off your needs and wants.

A test drive is an essential step in the car buying process. We encourage EVERYONE to take their car for a spin before they purchase it or sign any contracts. Take the time to get acquainted with the car before making the final decision. Making sure the vehicle is up to your standards is crucial to finding the right one for you.

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