You have been now sitting in there with the dealer taking in a lot of technical (as well as sales) hype about the vehicle you have shortlisted to buy. While everything seems to make sense to you, including the financials, you are now keen to see the actual performance of your dream vehicle by taking it for a test drive.
This is the time when the rubber hits the road and is the opportunity for you to conclude whether you and the vehicle are indeed made for each other. So how should you take this test drive and what are the points you need to keep in mind for making that decision. Read on to find out.
First of all, get rid of any distractions. You need to be focused on your driving experience and can do without the salesman hopping in with you to share his gems of wisdom regarding the performance of the car. If you must, you can take along somebody known to you, who understands cars and can give you unbiased feedback about the vehicle performance.
Now when you test drive a new car, it is very easy to get overwhelmed with its performance. Psychologically, the fact that it is new and its smooth handling in comparison to your current car would be enough to impress you. If it is your first car test drive, then you would be over the moon handling a vehicle for the first time and may miss out on key performance indicators essential to judging the car.
It is therefore recommended that you test drive a number of vehicles and have a checklist with you of things you need to be comfortable about. For example, if you are trying out the navigation system in a particular vehicle, have the same tested in the other vehicles you test drive as well. It is always better to check for specific parameters or features of a vehicle across different types to be able to come to a conclusion.
However, there are some basic aspects you can never overlook. Ride comfort, road handling, visibility, smoothness of the gearbox, brake responsiveness, cabin sound are all attributes that you need to be monitoring very closely.
The route that you choose to test drive the car is also vital for you to judge the handling of the vehicle. Choose a route that is a combination of city driving as well as highway driving to enable you to really test out the car in contrasting traffic conditions.
Finally, do not miss a test drive at night. This is when you can really check out your comfort level with the car with regard to visibility and the functioning of the lights settings in the car.