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A test drive gives a potential car buyer a short window to make some key discoveries. The goal from the moment the driver sits down should be to learn about this potential investment. The way to accomplish this task is to know what to look for before even considering which Honda dealers to visit.

Assessing the Interior

Assessing the interior is a critical step when testing a car. This analysis should begin before the key turns in the ignition and after an external examine of the vehicle. The driver needs to feel comfortable in the seats. The pressure of seams and gaps may affect posture over long drives. There should be ample headroom and leg space.

Consider safety aspects of the interior such as distance between the driver’s body and the steering wheel. It should be at least 10 inches. The seat must adjust to allow for that space. All controls should be functional and be within easy reach.

On the Road

Once the car leaves the lot, the potential buyer must focus on ride quality. This is why it is critical to get the internal and external checks out-of-the-way. Listening to how the car handles on the pavement will offer clues about the design quality. There should be no strange noises coming from the suspension system or under the hood.

Power is a strategic element to test during the drive, how well the car accelerates, for example. The driver should check the accessories while traveling at a normal speed. For instances, does the power remain static when the air conditioner is running or the lights are on? The transmission should shift smoothly with no power surges.

Tips for the Test Drive

The driver should select the route. This allows for an accurate assessment of the car’s capabilities as it relates to his needs. The route should cover terrain similar to what the driver encounters daily.

Consumers should test-drive the exact model and trim they are considering. A salesperson at one of the Honda dealers may try to save time by offering the test drive in a similar car. The driver should request the exact motor, transmission, suspension and features they are purchasing.

Both the driver and salesperson should remain quiet during the drive. Being caught up in a conversation may mask vital clues.

The test drive is a reenactment of real-life circumstances. A buyer cannot get an idea of how the car handles on a highway or going up a hill simply by driving around the block. The goal is to learn as much as possible prior to purchase. Knowing what to look for is the first step.

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Eric Regan is a member of a writing team who have written for many different news sites and blogs all over the internet. Follow him @Eric_Regan.