5 things that make a successful test drive.

When you’re in the market for a new vehicle, no article or review in the world can replace the experience of sitting in the driver’s seat. Of course, we recommend that do your homework beforehand, but one-half hour test drive could influence what you’ll be driving for the next few years. Cars have personalities, and it’s important to find one that matches yours. Here are 5 things you should remember, to ensure a successful test drive.


More than a feeling

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know the main performance features of the vehicle, but the success or failure of a test drive often comes down to the smaller details. How comfortable is the seating? Can you picture it in your driveway? When you buy a new car, you’re building a relationship that should ‘go the distance’ so listen to your instincts and you’re sure to make the right choice.

Play with anything and everything.

If technology and convenience are important to you, put the features to the test. New models can surprise you with the number of added features waiting at your fingertips. Drivers who are always on the go and need to stay connected should sync their phones via Bluetooth and test out the infotainment system.

Before you hit the road, play with the centre console, ask questions and adjust your seat to your ideal position. If there are different drive modes, try them out and ask the salesperson about the benefits of each. Be very particular, as the more you get to know now, the fewer surprises you’ll have down the road.

Time and Place

Schedule your test drive outside of peak traffic hours. At around ten or eleven in the morning, there should be space on the road for you to make a clear decision. It’s also a good idea to try taking the new vehicle on your regular route to work. Most drivers know their morning commute so well it will be easy to compare how your potential new ride makes it better or worse. In general, stick to roads you know but try to add some variety so you can test how the vehicle performs in different scenarios. Don’t forget to take a pit stop in a parking lot and reverse into a spot. That way you can check the vehicle’s blind spots and find out how easy it is to park.

Sample the Space

One of the first things you’ll notice on your test drive is what it’s like to get in or out of the vehicle. Keep in mind, the rear seats are usually less accommodating than the front so if the driver’s side feels small, your passengers might be crowded. If possible, it’s a good idea to make it a family drive. Nothing is stopping you from bringing car seats to the dealership to see how the vehicle fits in with your family!

On your test drive, you are visualizing what it would be like to own this vehicle, not just drive it. Make sure you have measured the dimensions of the space needed for the vehicle, so you don’t find out too late that it doesn’t fit in your garage or parking space.


Enjoy the Ride

Everyone is looking for something different in a test drive so take your time to evaluate it for everyday use. If you’re exclusively a city driver, you’re probably looking for a responsive, easy steering vehicle that can be parked anywhere. Whereas, if you’re a highway driver you might want a more powerful vehicle loaded with driver-assist technologies. Either way, if you want to be confident in your purchase, you need to go with the vehicle you enjoy most that satisfies your needs.

Research can take you far, but it will only ever narrow the field. A test drive is your chance to see how the vehicle performs firsthand. Shopping with the Wyant Group also gives you the benefit of our “Test Drive At Home Program” so your first impression of your vehicle can be on your own terms. Plus, if you’re an out of town customer we will fly you in, so you can drive out.