6 Things To Look Out For When You Test Drive A New Car


So you’re out to buy a new car before the tax holiday ends. You head on down to a showroom and the salesperson gives you the usual sales talk. Now you’re ready for a test drive. A test drive is your biggest chance for you to see how the car performs, and is the perfect time to test the steering, suspension, brakes and other systems (like the sound system if you’re looking to blast music).

But do you know what you should be looking out for when you’re test driving the new car? That’s what we’re here for today. Here are some of the things you can look out for when you’re test driving a new car.

Image from:  Youtube

Image from: Youtube

#1 Don’t compare it to your current car

Let’s be honest. The reason you’re changing your car is because your old one is either no longer suited for your needs, or it’s time for a change. A new car is very likely to overly impress you, because it’s new and we all love new things. Therefore, it’s more important for you to compare cars with other new cars you have test driven beforehand. In fact, the more test-drive cars you have taken out for a spin, the better the perspective you get.


#2 Look for things you like and dislike

Image from:  DirectAsia

Image from: DirectAsia

There are so many car brands and car types out there, and not every car is suitable for you. It’s important to listen and look at the things you may like or dislike about a car. For example, maybe this car isn’t exactly right for a family of 4? Perhaps the sound system or the inbuilt navigation system is terrible. It’s the little things that will make you really regret any purchase later on in your journey.


#3 Is your ride comfortable?

Image from:  CarPal

Image from: CarPal

Another thing about a new car is how comfortable you want it to be. Is your test drive comfortable? The best way to test it out is to go through the numerous potholes, cracks and bumps on Malaysian roads. Does going through a single pothole make your whole body shudder, or is the suspension so good that you didn’t even realize it? Here’s a hint: the best cars are often tight and controlled over the bumps, and helps your car recover almost immediately, rather than bouncing around. Great cars with good suspension systems can make you feel like you’re driving on clouds.


#4 How are the technical aspects?

Image from:  AutoExpress

Image from: AutoExpress

There are a few technical aspects to look out for when you test drive a car. Don’t worry if you aren’t a car person, these are based on how you feel the car handles.


a. Acceleration

Acceleration is important, and it’s also important to note that a dependable acceleration is one part engine power, one part effective transmission. Even a powerful engine can feel weak if it comes with a mediocre transmission, and vice versa. Make sure the car is able to accelerate without having to expend too much power to do so. You can do this test by speeding up on the highway and listening out for the engine sounds. If it sounds like a bus, it’s probably not the car for you.

b. Braking
When driving, remember to pay attention to how the brakes feel. Make sure that your brakes are responsive, but not to the extent of a simple touch sending you flying forward. Try to get a sense of how the vehicle responds to soft and more forceful braking. It should be fluid and responsive.

c. Steering and Handling
Good steering should feel easy and controllable when you make a turn. A weak steering system will feel heavier and not appropriate for the situation, like when you’re parking or cruising on the highway. Consider how the car responds to quick turns. You can also check if the steering is straight ahead, or requires you to continuously make adjustments.


#5 How quiet is your car

While you may want your car to be boomboxing when you’re on the highway, remember that the car engine is also what you need to be hearing. Try to push your car to the extreme to hear how the engine reacts, especially at highway speeds. It’s good to remember that your car engines don’t get quieter with age. In fact, if you can’t stand the engine now, you probably won’t be able to stand it 5 years down the road. Wind noise is a small part of the experience, and most car owners don’t even notice it. But if you demand absolute silence in your car for whatever reason, perhaps you can also take this into account.


#6 Keep your emotions in check

Image from:  AutoInsurance

Image from: AutoInsurance

So you’re done with your test drive. Here comes the part where the sales person will do his thing and sell you the car. But remember to keep your emotions in check and make you think it through first before throwing in a downpayment. Recheck your list above and see if the car you have just test driven is suited for you. Take a day or two to think it over. Don’t worry, the car will always still be available.


So there you have it. If you look out for these few things while test driving your next car, you’d probably be really better off. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Fun with CarsJoel Wongacs