A Good Test-Drive Starts Before the Car Even Shifts into Gear, Says Edmunds.com


SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 23, 2013 — A car shopper can learn just as much on a test-drive when the car is parked as when it's zooming down the road, advises Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information. In fact, says Edmunds.com Sr. Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed in his new piece "How to Test-Drive a Car," a quick orientation in the vehicle before you hit the road can answer a lot of your questions.

"It's a little like trying on clothes," says Edmunds.com Sr. Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. "People come in different sizes and shapes, and they have different tastes in what they want. The little things that you spot now could be major annoyances later, so don't discount any of your reactions."

At the start of any test drive Edmunds.com advises car shoppers to take note of some of the car's physical accommodations:

  • Is it easy to get in and out of the car without stooping or banging your head?
  • Does your body type match the pedal positions? If not, are the pedals adjustable?
  • Is the seat comfortable? Is it easily adjustable? Is there a lumbar support adjustment?
  • Is there enough head-, hip- and leg-room? Remember to sit in the backseat too.
  • Are the gauges and controls easy to read and use?
  • How is the visibility? Check the rearview mirror and the side mirrors and look for potential blind spots.
  • Check the trunk space and cargo area. Is the vehicle easy to load? Is there a pass-through in the trunk opening for long items?

Of course, the "drive" part of the test-drive is equally important. Edmunds.com offers these recommendations to make sure car shoppers get an accurate driving impression of what just may be their next new or used car:

  • Turn off the radio so you can hear the engine and concentrate on the driving experience.
  • Make sure the test-drive route incorporates your specific driving requirements. If you regularly drive into the mountains, find a hill and see how the car climbs. If you have a highway commute, get on a freeway and see how the car accelerates into traffic and performs at higher speeds.
  • Be sure to evaluate these other specific points: braking, steering and handling, suspension and in-cabin ergonomics.

More details on how to get the most out of your test-drive can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how-to-test-drive-a-car.html.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.

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