If you are, here’s what to check and watch out for on your test-drive.
- Visibility – Ensure that you can adjust the driver’s sideview mirror to see clearly in the lane next to you and behind you (with just a bit of your car in the corner of the glass). Can you see out the windshield over the hood, and in the center rearview mirror, over the trunk?
- Handling – Do the brakes perform well on heavy traffic and at different highway speeds? Is the power sufficient when you’re passing on the highway? Does the vehicle maneuver well during tight turns?
- Practicality – Can you take out the backseats without help? Can you reach the trunk door when it’s open? Is the distance between the ground and the trunk opening too high, making it difficult to load groceries.
The above should be checked before the big purchase to avoid problems later on. This is specially so, for people that are not on the tall side, say 5 feet tall only. Dealers offer a brief test-drive, but should you need more time insist on having as much as you need.