There are a number of simple checks that can be quite helpful when the time comes to test drive a new car. Most are very simple, and should be available along any good dealership driving routes.
Use every feature. Any knowledgeable salesperson should be able to give a simple walk through of the most important included gadgets.
Get comfortable before you leave the lot. Make any needed adjustments, and be sure to check for potential blind spots from the driver’s seat.
There is no need to scare the salesperson, but an acceleration test is necessary. You don’t have to plant the gas pedal to the floor or achieve top speed, but some idea of highway merging ability is important.
If possible, get up to speed on a highway. This will help give some idea of what to expect from long road trips. Be sure to pay attention to the amount of tire and wind noise present at a steady cruise.
Spend some time with the windows up and down (even if it is raining).
Try to drive next to a highway barrier. The sound echoing from such a close object this will help expose any unusual noises.
Make an effort to seek out uneven pavement. While doing this, try to focus on any unusual suspension noises. A trip to a parking lot with speed bumps is the ideal location for this test.
Use your parking lot trip to inspect the vehicle’s turning radius. Making a few tight turns will quickly show how nimble your prospective purchase will be at negotiating both turns and heavy traffic.
If you find yourself very interested in a car don’t hesitate to take another drive along a different route. This can give you more time to think, as well as more opportunity to experience different operating conditions.