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Useful tips about test driving
Boot space considerations
It is important you remember to check the luggage space. It may sound unbelievable, but people do buy cars and completely forget to check that their babyís pram fits. In some cases, they have to sell the car just for that reason!
Is safety important?
Safety has become increasingly important to car buyers over the last 10 to 15 years. Airbags are important in the event of a crash, but make sure you consider preventive safety features as well. FCAI lists all cars sold with ESC available. ESC is possibly the most important advance in safety since the introduction of seatbelts.
See how the car handles when you push it a little around corners. Oversteer or understeer is usually the result (unless it comes with Electronic Stability Control). Itís better to know how it handles before you buy Ė especially if you are used to a car that reacts in a certain way and you feel comfortable handling it. Does the front end dip excessively under a hard stop? Try a couple of times. If the vehicle has ABS you will feel some pulsing. Brake hard while turning, and the system will kick in. If the pulsing is pronounced the ABS system may not be quite as good as it should be.
Road noise can be annoying - especially if you do a lot of driving. Pay attention and turn the radio off. Around suburban streets, most vehicles will sound quiet but what is the engine and wind noise like on the highway or freeway? The best way for most people to check this aspect is by way of comparing. Have a conversation at freeway speed and compare to your existing car, or a competitor to the car you are testing.
Remember to switch the radio on at some point to check the quality of the sound. Many people like to bring their favourite CD and compare how it sounds in different cars.