Why test drive your next car?
Would you marry someone after just a single date?
Probably not. You’d want to get to know them before starting a relationship that formal. Rushing could lead to, shall we say… A poor decision.
It’s no different with buying a car. You might love how it looks on TV, but can you really live with it for years to come? Will you enjoy driving it in bad weather as well as good? Or will those irritations that at first seem so minor grow to become major over time?
The only way to answer these questions is with a test drive.
But if you can believe it, studies have shown that some car buyers skip this step completely. Others pay it little more than lip service with just a quick spin around the block.
The fact is, the test drive is an important step in the car-buying process. It’s where you decide if you’re willing to enter into a long-term relationship with a particular make, model, and level of trim. Here’s why we at Budds’ think you should go on that test drive, and some tips for getting the most from it.
Interior comfort—does the car feel good?
Chev, Buick, GMC and Cadillac design as much adjustability as they can into their cars, but there’s no denying that people come in all shapes and sizes.
It’s one thing to realize you can’t get comfortable the moment you slip behind the wheel, but often it takes a while for problems to show.
It could be that the armrest is too high or too low for you. Perhaps your knee rubs against the center console. You probably won’t notice things like these until you’ve driven a few miles.
They might not seem that serious either, but you’ll want to think whether you could really live with them for years to come.
Visibility—can you see?
This is something else that’s hard to gauge in the showroom. Only when you’re out on the road can you take note of blind spots that might make driving difficult for you.
And don’t forget to check the view over your shoulder and out the back. (Yes, new vehicles such as the Silverado often come equipped with a backup camera, but you don’t want to rely on a camera alone.)
Performance—how does it handle?
By the time you get to the dealership you’ve probably read some reviews of the vehicle you’re considering. You may know the Camaro’s top speed and 0—60 time, but no amount of reading can tell you how it feels.
Only a test drive lets you decide if you like how it picks up when merging onto the highway or if the steering feels good and the brakes are reassuring.
Ride—is it “driveable?”
Some cars feel soft and cushioned when out on the road, while others have a firmer feel. Many car buyers associate a firmer ride with more sporty performance, but there’s no denying that firmness can make a car hard to live with. If it’s not exactly what you want, thumping over potholed roads can become tiresome after a while!
Practicality—is it for you?
This where you decide if the car really fits your lifestyle. Can you reach in easily to fit child seats? (And can you lift a child in and out?) If it’s an SUV, how high is the sill at the back? Will your dog be able to jump in easily?
If your spouse has come along with you, swap places so you find out what it’s like in the passenger seat and even the back seat. (Don’t forget to check the number of cup holders, either!)
You might think you can figure these things out in the showroom, but it’s not that easy—and it can take a lot of time.
Your money is at stake… Always make time for a test drive
Buying a car is a big decision and there’s a lot of money involved. You don’t want to be miserable every day you drive to work for the last two of those years!
When you think about it, there’s no downside to taking a test drive. You’re investing an hour or so of your time, but it could save you from a costly error. Like the old saying says: “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.”
Ready to “test it out?”
If you’ve fallen in love with a car and it’s time to take the next step—taking it for a test drive—we’d love to see you at Budds’. Our friendly staff would be more than happy to get you behind the wheel.
And most importantly—they’ll give you all the time you need.