What is the best way to test-drive a car to de­ter­mine if it is right for you?

Jamaica Gleaner - - 8-DAY YEAR-END SALE FEATURE -

WHEN SHOP­PING for a new car one of the most im­por­tant steps is the test drive. You should never con­sider buy­ing a car with­out tak­ing it out on the road for a test drive. There are many things about a car that you can only ex­pe­ri­ence by slid­ing be­hind the wheel. If you are like most peo­ple, you will be driv­ing your new car for at least three years so it is im­por­tant that you are com­fort­able with the way it feels and drives. Here are a few things to con­sider when test-driv­ing a car.

RE­SEARCH

Before you ever get in a car, you should re­search ve­hi­cles and get to­gether a short­list of makes and mod­els that you are in­ter­ested in. It helps to put to­gether a list of things that you ab­so­lutely want in a car, things that would be nice to have and items that are not that im­por­tant to you. It helps to re­ally think about how you use a car on a day-to-day ba­sis. Are you us­ing it mainly as a com­muter car or are you haul­ing five kids to soc­cer prac­tice? When you have nar­rowed your list down, it’s time to head to the deal­er­ship for a test drive.

COM­FORT

Before you even start the en­gine, just sit in the car for a few min­utes. Are you com­fort­able, does the seat ad­just to fit your par­tic­u­lar frame? Are the var­i­ous con­trols in a po­si­tion that makes it com­fort­able for you to op­er­ate them with­out tak­ing your eyes off the road? Can you get in and out with­out hit­ting your head? Check the vis­i­bil­ity of the mir­rors. Make sure there is noth­ing that blocks your view or re­quires you to crane your neck. It is a good idea to get in the back seat and make sure you find it com­fort­able. Proper legroom is es­sen­tial for both the front and back seats. You will also want to check the trunk or stor­age area to make sure it is large enough

Suzuki Er­tiga: Three rows of seats with to­tal re­cline for all seven of your friends and fam­ily! What more could you ask for? Thank Suzuki Ja­maica’s Er­tiga. to ac­com­mo­date your needs. When you are sat­is­fied that the in­te­rior meets your re­quire­ments, take it out on the road for a spin.

DRIV­ING

When you get the car out on road, try to drive it in sit­u­a­tions that you drive ev­ery day. If you are mainly com­mut­ing, try driv­ing it dur­ing rush hour; if you spend a lot of time on curvy roads, be sure you drive it on some twisty roads. You want to check the ac­cel­er­a­tion and the cor­ner­ing abil­ity. Lis­ten for any en­gine noise and how loud the cabin of the car is. It is im­por­tant that you re­ally drive the car; this is a big pur­chase, so do not be afraid to give the car a good work­out. It helps to take a note­book with you to record your im­pres­sions as soon as you can af­ter driv­ing the car, this will help later when you are try­ing to choose be­tween the var­i­ous cars you are con­sid­er­ing.

The test drive is an im­por­tant com­po­nent of buy­ing a new car. It’s a good idea to check both the in­te­rior of the car and how it drives. A new car is a big in­vest­ment, so you should make sure the car that you pur­chase is a good fit for you, both in­side and out.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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