A test drive is necessary if you want an accurate idea of how your potential new car is going to handle. Knowing the limits of your vehicle can keep you safe in dangerous situations when maneuverability counts most. Beyond that, a test drive can help you determine whether a car you are considering is suitable for your purposes and driving style, all you need to do is to keep your wits about you, note important features, and ask the right questions.
Consider your normal driving conditions. If your normal daily transit mostly entails being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, it’s important that you test your new car under these conditions. Think about your daily driving habits. What kind of driving do you normally do, and how can you simulate that in a test drive?
Take into account supplemental activities. For example, if you are a horseback riding enthusiast, you might want to pay special attention to the mirror placement, horsepower, and turning capabilities of your prospective car during your test drive.
Take into account if the car meets your recreational needs. You may want to take a test drive in areas with steep grade if you plan on taking your car into nature for camping, hiking, or similar activities. Oftentimes road conditions outside of commonly traveled routes is less maintained, and you’ll want to know if your car is up to the challenge.
Remember your passengers. Frequent passengers in and out of your vehicle might mean that an interior with low seats and a well positioned rear-view mirror is ideal for your situation. Also ask yourself, “Is this car easy to enter and exit?”
Know your top picks. The best way for you to most clearly discern the differences between the different models in which you are interested is by driving these cars back to back.This will highlight the finer features between your favorite models that you might have otherwise missed.