Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Test Drive

Monday, May 2, 2016

This review was made possible by iConnect and Autotrader.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Deciding to purchase a car is a big deal but test driving any vehicle before you buy it is vital to any decision.  Of course the next question is, how do you know which vehicles to test drive?  Well, Autotrader has announced the 2016 Must Test Drive Awards to help you with your choices.  They already get the chance to drive lots of cars so they decided to choose 10 vehicles to recommend to consumers for test driving. 

So how did they come up with their list? Well, they look for 3 major things during the test drives which are performance, comfort, and handling.   The vehicles selected are ones that can change the way the consumer perceives the model or even the entire brand. 

So the list of Must Test Drive Vehicles for 2016 is:
2016 Chevrolet Malibu
2016 FIAT 500X
2016 Honda Civic
2016 Kia Sedona
2016 Lincoln MKC
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300
2016 Nissan Titan XD
2016 Subaru Legacy
2016 Toyota Prius
2016 Volvo XC90

Soooo can you guess which winner I would most want to test drive? Well, of course the 2016 Honda Civic!  It has a fabulous interior with a very impressive list of available equipment options.  Of course Honda keeps with their best traits of having reasonable pricing, different engine and body style choices, and durability. 

Even if that's not your top pick, you can certainly still find another car from the list that's going to make you happy.  The best way to find out is to test drive it yourself.

With that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind during your test drive. 

Come prepared: Just like how you normally drive a car on a daily basis, you should bring along the people and items you travel with.  So if you have a kid and a car seat, bring them along so you can see how well the seat fits.  If you have kids that play sports make sure they bring all of their gear along so you can really see if the car you're test driving has enough room for you and your family's needs.

Find a new route: Test drives aren't long lasting so you want to make sure you come up with your own route rather than the usual one the salesperson goes on.  Go through neighborhoods, on highways, and feel free to join in on rush hour traffic.  This way you can see if the car does well with stop-and-go traffic or busy highway traffic. 

Embrace rough roads: You always want to make sure a new vehicle is good with tough surfaces so look for the bumpiest route you can.  This is an excellent way to determine if a car has a comfortable or way-too-bumpy ride.

Embrace curves: No, seriously - find the nearest backroad with plenty of curves and pay attention to how the car does on each curve.  Some cars are too top heavy and others make you sick to your stomach.  Make sure you ask your passengers how they feel as well.

Try parking the car: Of course you want to make sure you can fit your car into tight spaces so try parallel parking or backing into a parking spot. 

Technology: If the infotainment system is an option make sure you test the maps and connect your phone to see if it's really easy or not to answer texts, make calls, and interact with your phone. 

So which of these vehicles do YOU want to test drive?

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