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Test driving your vehicle

After researching about your vehicle it is time to make a trip to the car dealership. To make sure that the car you are eyeing is right for you and to acquaint yourself with the car you decided, a test drive is mandatory. So you must make most of your test drive with careful observation by making a checklist of all the features you are looking for. We have prepared a guide about what to keep track of when taking a new car out for the first time.

Getting familiar with your drive

Once you are at the dealership, ask for the vehicle you want to drive.

Certain features and powertrains greatly alter the feel of a vehicle. It is important that the vehicle you drive is the same particular model and trim level that you intend to have. If your dealer has another variant, then look for another dealer.

Interior: Take your time and thoroughly inspect the car. Check its positions of switches and dials and the space offered. Is the interior made of good quality material? Check the wear on the pedals and steering wheel. Check the trunk space, lights, storage compartments, seats, and adjustments. And if you have a child, then see how easy it is to install a child seat.

Exterior: If you are acquiring a used car, ensure that there is no exterior damage. Look at the things including gaps between panels, scratches, dents, and rust. Walk around the vehicle and inspect it thoroughly. Examine the ease of entry and exit for rear-seat occupants. See if the doors are large and easy to open. Take note of the vehicle’s fit, finish, and general build quality

Safety Features: The safety features typically depend on the price and model of the vehicle. But make sure that your vehicle has basic safety features like active-safety electronics, adjustable seatbelts, airbags, ABS, traction control and stability control.

Parking Features: When you drive the car, test its vehicle parking mechanisms. Look for various features like rear-view cameras, rear park assist, sensors which can assist with parking. Cars have varying features.

Actual Driving:

  • On a test drive, your aim should be to drive it for as long as possible. The more you drive it, the more you will learn about the car. The vehicle should drive smoothly and have clear visibility. When you take a car for test drive, try to get the most value out of your time spent test-driving by thoroughly checking out the vehicle.
  • When you take the vehicle out for a drive, check all of the vehicle’s major systems. Is the steering wheel light to turn? Is the clutch pedal heavy? Do the gears slot in neatly? Gauge how the engine behaves in traffic. Check under the hood and see if the motor oil is nearly full or not. It must not be completely black. Transmission fluid should be red to pink. Check for the fluid in brakes, clutch, and coolant. Look under the car and inspect the exhaust system from the muffler to pipe, before it is heated up from the test drive.
  • Ergonomics can make or break a good car as we spend most of our time in our vehicles. A telescopic steering wheel and adjustable pedals are beneficial for the driver. Look for the ease with which the infotainment system can be operated.
  • Always check the climate-control system and how effectively it pumps out hot and cold air. Check its impact on the engine and temperature.
  • Look for the advanced connectivity like Bluetooth wireless, Wi-Fi, and voice activation.
  • Is the navigation system smart enough to operate and accurate in its directions?
  • Take several corners during the test drive to evaluate the vehicle’s torque when abruptly changing direction over rough surfaces. See how smooth the transmission operates when driving at high speed.

Remember, the test drive is just a part of buying a new car but it is as important as any other step. If you skip the test drive, you may have to drive a car that is not suited to you. An actual drive of the car gives a much better idea of what can you expect from the car in the future. So it is always in your interest to conduct a thorough check of the vehicle.

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