Women Drivers Blog

The Test Drive

March 25, 2010 / 

Now that you have conducted some research and narrowed your selection, it’s time to get in the driver’s seat and test drive that car. It is best to schedule a time to come in and test drive the car you are interested in– that way you are sure the make and model are here and ready for you.

When test driving a car, we recommend:

Did You Know?

During the test drive, it is in your best interest to drive the vehicle in real road driving conditions you are already used to.

Drive the car just as you would drive it after you buy it. In other words, if you will be driving in city conditions, take it out in traffic so you get a feel for how it responds. If you will be driving your own vehicle frequently on the highway, you need to first test-drive it on a nearby highway, freeway or interstate. Let your salesperson know you want to mimic real road conditions and he or she will direct you to the nearest appropriate location.

  • Be sure to get a ‘feel’ for how the car handles and its overall comfort, responsiveness to twist and turns on the road, as well as how it accelerates and brakes. If test driving a hybrid or EV, notice that the acceleration can be different than a traditional gas engine car – this is normal.
  • Check the feel of the seat – make sure the seat position is adjusted and comfortable. Also test out the lumbar and heated seats, if needed.
  • Spend time adjusting the control panels and ask your salesperson any questions to insure you are comfortable with the car’s operations.
  • If you will have passengers in this car, bring them along for the test drive. Your children will want to try out the back seats.
  • Inspect the exterior and interior of the car – including the trunk and cargo area.
  • Check the vehicle for organization and storage, including where to put your MP3 and cell phone; and other electronic gadgets.
  • Ensure there are enough cup holders and places for children’s ‘necessities.’