It seems like everyone needs a car these days. Whether it’s to get to work or to shuttle the kids around, the need for a vehicle is there. With this in mind there are a few different types of car buyers. The “keep it till it dies” buyer, the “keep it till it’s paid off” buyer, and the “need a new one every few years” buyer. I have, for many years preferred to have a new vehicle every few years. This allows me to not only have a new vehicle but to never be out of warranty for a vehicle. However, I am slowly converting to the “keep it till it dies” mindset. When considering a vehicle that I plan on keeping for up to ten years, it is crucial to make the right decision. One of the best ways to begin shopping is by visiting AutoTrader.com.
The next best thing to do when contemplating a new purchase is to test drive the vehicles that you are considering. One of the newest and most relevant reports that I have recently read is the 2016 Must Test Drive Awards. Here the professionals at AutoTrader, log numerous hours test driving vehicles from each category.
According to an AutoTrader press release “The annual Autotrader Must Test Drive awards program is a uniquely consumer-focused accolade designed to showcase vehicles that shoppers definitely need to take for a ride before deciding what to buy. Selected vehicles are ones that can change the way a consumer perceives the model—or even the entire brand”
This list provides buyers with insight into vehicles or manufacturers that they may not have considered before. Once you have researched the list and have decided to head to the dealership for a test drive AutoTrader has provided some tips to help you make the most of your test drive, check them out below.
Here is the AutoTrader Must Test Drive Tips:
- Come prepared with people and stuff.
Your test drive should mimic closely the way you use your car in day-to-day driving, so you need to bring the people and items that typically ride with you. If you have a family, take them along. Try a child safety seat to see how it fits. Throw your golf bag in the trunk. See if your lanky teenager can sit comfortably in the backseat. If you’re single and typically drive alone, bring a friend. You’ll benefit from the help of a sidekick anyway.
- Don’t follow the usual route
When you take a test drive with a dealership salesperson, it’s likely that the route won’t be very long. Nearly any salesperson will allow a longer test drive, if a shopper requests it, especially if they’re serious about making a sale. Make sure you test the road in your typical driving conditions—through neighborhoods, on the highway, and in rush hour traffic if your daily commute has you in tenuous stop-and-go traffic. And don’t forget to try driving it home, if possible, and parking it in your garage to see if it fits.
- Drive on rough roads
One of the most important places to go on a test drive is on rough roads to find out how a car drives on harsh surfaces. It would be no fun to drive home in a new car and discover later that the ride is too jarring for you to handle.
- Drive on curvy roads
After you’ve driven on a rough road and on the highway, your next stop should be a road with some curves. You’ll want to do this in order to feel the physics of the car. Is it too top-heavy? Do its motions make you carsick? And, of course, do you feel like the steering and handling is adequate for your needs? A curvy road is the best place to answer each of those questions.
- Try parking the car in various scenarios.
Many shoppers on a test drive forget a crucial aspect of driving that can be very stressful: parking. That’s why we strongly suggest that you take any vehicle and try to park it in different parking places like a crowded parking lot and even a parallel parking space. If you do, you might discover potential flaws with the car, such as a large turning radius or poor visibility. Of course, you also might find out that the car is easy to park, which can only be a good thing.
- Test the infotainment system and connect your phone.
The interface for making phone calls, answering texts and accessing the maps on your phone is probably the portion of the car you’ll interact with many times per day – second only to the steering wheel and seats. Make sure the pairing is easy, that the graphics are large enough to read at a glance. If at all possible, look for a system that is very easy to use like Chrysler’s Uconnect or either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
After reading all of the test drive tips and researching the vehicles I am officially prepared to take the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 for a spin at my local dealership!
Leave a comment and tell me which of the AutoTrader must test drive vehicles you would like to take for a spin?
*This review was made possible by iConnect and Autotrader. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.