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How to properly test drive a new car

How to properly test drive a new car


The test drive is one of the most important aspects of
buying a new car. Much like buying a sofa or a mattress, what looks good might
not feel good. When you're spending a lot of money, it has to tick all the
boxes. As satisfaction is such a subjective emotion, it's something you just
have to do yourself.

To that end, we have put together this quick guide on how to
properly test drive a new car. Here at Car Nation Canada, we want you to be
completely satisfied with your purchase and we want you to get the best out of
your test drive. Here's how.

Before the test drive

  • Before you even get into the car, check the car all round to
    see if you like the shape, the colour and the wheels.
  • Check trunk space and measure if you have specific
    requirements for items such as golf clubs or camping gear
  • Check under the hood to make doubly sure the model you asked
    for is the one you're going to drive. A 2.5-litre will drive very different to
    a 1.6. Drive the exact car you're planning to buy
  • What are the blind spots like? Have a friend stand at
    various points to check
  • Assess how easy the car is to adjust to your liking
  • How easy is it to get in and out

The test drive

  • Take your time, don't rush, be open to everything that's
    going on and observe how the car behaves.
  • Does it start first time from cold?
  • Are the instruments clear and accessible?
  • Drive on all types of road, highway, city roads, country
    road at all speeds
  • Test parking
  • When it's safe to do so, find somewhere quiet to test the
    brakes thoroughly
  • When it's safe to do so, find somewhere quiet to test
    acceleration and steering

After the test drive

Once you're back at the dealership and safely parked, take a
few minutes to assess how it went and discuss it with your partner or whoever
you brought with you. A second opinion is an important part of staying focused.
Then decide whether the car is worth the price to you and go strike a deal!

Test driving a new car is less about the mechanicals and
more about the character. Every car we sell at Car Nation Canada is safety
check and carries a full warranty so there are no issues with quality. All cars
drive slightly differently and all have their own idiosyncrasies. That's the
point of a test drive, to see if both you and your new car are compatible.

Check back tomorrow when we discuss test driving a certified
used car.

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