What to Look For When Taking a Subaru Test Drive

It’s finally time. You’ve decided to get a new car. But you might not have taken a test drive since you got your last car, so what should you be looking for? 

Before heading to your local Oregon Subaru dealer to take a test drive, here are some things to consider.
Before Going to the Dealership

An important first step is to do thorough research so you know which cars you want to test drive before you show up at a dealership. Many people only test drive one car, the one they end up buying. But ideally, you should have a list of a few cars you’re interested in test driving. Even if you have a good idea of what you want, it’s still beneficial to test out more than one car. This will be a significant investment, and you should put the time and energy into making sure you’re choosing the best option for you.
Set up an appointment with the dealership. This is especially useful if you have a specific model or feature that you’re searching for. Your local dealership might not have a car with your specifications on the lot, but if you give them some notice, they may be able to one at a nearby store and bring it to your closest Oregon Subaru dealer so you can try it out.
Being able to drive a model with the specific features you want is important because you want to be able to get the feel of the exact car you’ll be buying. Some options, such as a leather interior, can change the comfort level of the seats. Other options, such as an upgraded engine, can alter how the vehicle drives. These differences could affect how much you like the car, and it’s important to get a full picture of what you like before making investing in your new vehicle.
At the Dealership

You’ve likely looked at a lot of pictures of potential options online, but being able to inspect a car at the dealership may alter or solidify your initial considerations.
Take a minute to examine the outside of the car. Do you like how it looks? Is it a good size?
Do you have specific items you frequently carry in your car? Does the trunk have enough room to hold your camping equipment? Are there enough cup holders for everyone in the family? Make sure the car can accommodate your needs as you don’t want to find yourself wishing it has certain features after just a few months.  
Inside the Car

Notice how it feels to get in and out of the car. If you’re particularly tall or short, do you find it easy to maneuver and get comfortable?
Do you feel cramped in any way? This includes ceiling height as well: if you or your passengers are tall, are you at risk of your head touching the ceiling? Also, consider your impressions on how you sit. Some cars sit higher or lower than others. 

Perhaps, most importantly, is the seat itself comfortable? If you initially have doubts about how the driver’s seat feels, it’s not going to get better after sitting for an hour on the road.
Even if you’re primarily going to be in the driver’s seat, consider the needs of your passengers. If you have young children, is it easy to get your child’s car seat into the back? You can even bring along the child seat and test out how it fits. If you have older kids or adults riding in the back, you might think instead about how much legroom they’ll have. You can get in the backseat and see for yourself.

Spend more time considering your opinions on the interior rather than how the car looks on the outside. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there so how you feel sitting in and driving the vehicle should be your first priority.
While you’re at the dealership, also test out features like temperature control, sound systems, and navigation. These are features that you’ll want to make sure you like, but you should give them your undivided attention in order to form an opinion.
Some people enjoy having the latest technology in their cars and don’t mind a lot of extra buttons. Other people prefer to keep it simple and get overwhelmed if there are too many buttons on their dashboard. Spend a few minutes playing around with the car’s technology in order to figure out if it’s easy and intuitive for you.
After testing out these features, you should then switch them off to give that same focus to your actual driving experience. This will give you a clear picture of what you like and dislike about the car.
Test Driving

Even on a short test drive, you can get a decent overall sense of how a vehicle runs. There are many things you should pay attention to.
  • Acceleration - How does it feel when you get the car going? Does the car accelerate smoothly?
  • Braking - Does the car have touchy brakes or ones that require a lot of pressure? Can you easily bring the car to a smooth stop?
  • Handling - Is steering smooth? Is turning easy? How does it feel to switch lanes?
  • Suspension - How does it feel to drive over bumps and uneven surfaces? This may be especially important if you frequently drive on rough roads.
  • Blind spots - Some cars have large blind spots, especially along the side of the front windshield and through the rear window. Rear view cameras and blind spot detection systems can help alleviate this issue, so if the car you’re test driving has this feature, try it out.
  • Parking - When you’re pulling back into the dealership, test out how easy it is to park. If you frequently parallel park, test how the car performs.
After the Test Drive

It is helpful to drive each vehicle you’re considering within a short period of time. This way, you can get a better feel for which one you like the most without having to rely on week-old memories. Don’t feel pressured into buying the first car you drive. In fact, you should test drive all the cars on your list, giving the same scrutiny and attention to each. You never know which one you might like the most.
Driving and comparing multiple options is a great way to get perspective on what you really want out of your car. If you currently have a car that’s more than a few years old, the first new car you drive might impress you and seem great. After all, performance and technology get better every year. But that first car you test might not ultimately be the right one for you.
Also, consider what other benefits the dealership can offer. Do they provide services or lifetime warranties that other dealerships might not? 
A vehicle is a major purchase, and it is worth your while to put in the effort to find the one that suits you the best. If some of the cars on your shortlist are Subarus, contact your local Oregon Subaru dealers today to set up an appointment and test drive your potential new car.
Categories: New Inventory


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