There comes a time in people’s lives when they thank God for their financial capability to purchase a new car. Sounds emotive!!! But that’s just a background setting. Genuine task begins in employing that hard earned money to buy a car that rewards us with ease and aesthetics immersed in technological solution.
With the market hovering with segments of cars, there could be selection dilemma within each segment. Online research and comparisons does provide a helping hand. But they are akin to college studies. The real knowledge is tasted in practical professional life. Stretching the analogy, only a TEST DRIVE of coveted car can discover practical conclusions. Online research is simply behind the stage preparation.
What is reviewed and revealed on papers may not please you deeply. Test driving a car, therefore, becomes imperative for the smart purchase. Here, we bring you the tips for a more investigative and fruitful test drive.
Essential Initial Steps
When planning a test drive, apprise the dealer of the specific version of the car you wish to drive. On confirmation, visit the place. Be sure you have ample time to assess the car. Hurry will invite panic and imperfect testing.
On reaching, let the salesperson describe the car’s features and strengths. Make maximum queries for yourself.If permitted, you can go for a solo test drive too. However, the favored choice would be to take along family/ friends for co-passenger’s feedback and note making. This concludes the basic homework before the test drive.
Take a Convincing Walk
It wouldn’t be a smart move to straightaway rush to the driver’s seat. Patiently, walk around and observe the style and much discussed exterior of the car. This includes minute things- paint, panel gaps, door handles, over all finish etc… Verify the boot space- width, height and depth. Visualize the accommodating capacity of the boot space. Open the door to full extension. Confirm the comfort with which elders, children and others can move in and out of the car.
Enter the Car as a Shrewd Detective
Don’t underestimate yourself in missing any technical know-how of the car. Just feel and notice it minutely as any person would do prior to such hefty investment.
- How easily the car lets you in? Is head collision going to be everyday ritual while entering? How much body twisting is necessary for entering? Observe the comfort provided by foot board, if any.
- Find an ideal seat position(both horizontal and vertical)for yourself, until the visibility and comfort areat acceptable level. . Look for lower back and lumbar support. Is the driving position comfortable for spending prolonged time in car, not cause of unplanned weekend trip but snailing traffic? Adjust the steering to your seating comfort. Make sure post all the adjustments; your contact with the gear box and the foot pedals (clutch, brake and accelerator) isn’t frustrating. Is the headroom sufficient?
- Do you easily tune the side mirrors? What about the blind spots? Is the blind spot detection system integrated in the car and how does it operate?
- Explore the dashboard layout. It varies for every car. How cool or out- fashioned the layout seems? Locate major controls- headlights, wipers and turn signals before running the car. Connect to the Bluetooth/USB and test the sound system.
- Spend sometime in the car to feel the interiors. Moreover, look for the leg room and headroom.
- Start the car and let the engine run for a few minutes. Listen to any additional noises from the engine. Is the engine noise too heavy to bother the driving person?
- Now with the familiarity cultivated between you and the car, it would be inappropriate to delay the test drive.
The Decision Making Test Drive
In case you plan to test drive another lot of shortlisted cars later, get yourself a company of family/friends for the test drive. They can easily document your real time commentary on the test drive. This will ease the comparisons between various test drives for final assessment.
Bear in mind the listed points:
- Talk to the salesperson and go ahead with the sort of route or distance you wish to test drive the car.
- Feel the overall ride. Check if the steering feels heavy for urban travel or too light to gain control of. Steer to smooth and bumpy roads to see how manageable the car is.
- Next are the brakes. Does the car stop instantaneously or are the brakes slightly weak? Are you comfortable with their competence?
- With automatic transmission mode in vogue look for its smooth shifting, especially on hills and loaded traffic. In manual transmission check out for clutch softness. How easy is it to determine between first and third gear while changing gears. Is shifting gears easy?
- Be sure that you have refined visibility from every side, particularly the rear window. There shouldn’t be anything in car design that obstructs a clear view of outside movement.
- Drive like a lunatic. Not really!! Just go along tight curves and full turns. Accelerate on highways. Experience the engine and acceleration. Pull the car to about 4000rpm to get a clue of its swiftness; if it’s noisy or peaceful.
- How nicely the car justifies a parking space? What about parallel parking? Is a three-point turn feasible in areas of space constraint?
- How efficiently the cabin noise has been managed? Pull the car at varying speeds in different gears. Note the cabin NVH (Noise, Vibrations and Harshness) owing to traffic, wind and tyre noise etc...Are you able to carry out a conversation at a usual pitch?
- Try a rough road and notice the ride quality, suspension execution and any rattling sound etc.
- Lower on priority list can be the climate control system. Check out the fan and the AC Look where the vents have been positioned. Do they efficiently cool the back passenger seats? Check out for their noise levels too.
- Use the AC at higher driving speed and observe the correspondence between the AC and the speed. Note, how hard the engine is revved before the AC detaches itself. Does the car take too long to cool the interior?
- Make yourself comfortable with technological interventions- navigation system or rear view camera. Are they handy in usage or likely to eat up time in critical situations?
- Observe as deeply and as widely as you can. It’s going to be rewarding later.
Let Go the Detective Spirit
The practical assessment is over now. Test cars are not always as intact as the original cars. There may be issues arising due to it or otherwise. Apprise the salesperson of your experience and concerns. The problem could persist in the car after purchase. So field as many questions to your satisfaction. Ask for a brochure and price quotation. Fill in the feedback form, if given. If you have really admired the car but looking for one more test drive for complete satisfaction, then definitely ask for another test drive. Else, move to other brand/model and repeat the above mentioned steps. Some car will surely fit in your criterion.
Once you tie the knot with a car of your choice, stand tall to your responsibilities as an owner. The fresh piece ought to be attired in complementing interiors. So, don’t swim aimlessly in the ocean of internet. Boat on to Elegant Auto Accessories for the depth and range of car accessories available at our place.