The importance of a test drive

The importance of a test drive

Posted by Megan MacDonald on 26 Jun 2017

Suzuki Ignis parkedYou’ve got your heart set on the new Suzuki Ignis, but have you taken it for a spin? Here’s why you should always test drive a car before signing the paperwork.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 20 seconds.


Buying a car is a huge decision and goes much deeper than simply wanting something that “looks so sexy”.

Cars are a both a big expense and something that impacts quality of life. We spend so much time behind the wheel that it’s important our car fits in with both our driving style and our lifestyle. You can’t accurately make a judgement call by simply checking a car out on the showroom floor - you need to experience the car in action, out on the open road. This applies to both new and used cars.

The following tips will help you ensure that when you do put pen to paper, and officially take ownership of your new baby, she’s definitely going to be the perfect car for you.

How to get the most out of your test drive:

Test drive all the cars on your wishlist back to back.

This will give you the best chance to make a direct comparison as the experience of each car will still be fresh in your memory.

Take charge of the test drive.

This is your potential new car, not your salesperson’s potential new car - don’t feel pressured into rushing your decision. You need to be 100% sure that you’ve fully acquainted yourself with the vehicle and are in a better position to make an informed choice. This being said, if you’re not a serious buyer don’t waste the salesperson’s time.

Drive the car the way you would normally drive.

If you normally have the radio on, test the radio, if you have your morning coffee on the road, look for conveniently placed cup holders. Make sure you’ve adjusted the seat and mirrors the way you would normally set them - don’t be afraid to make yourself comfortable. Remember, once you’ve signed the paperwork the car is yours and if (on a Monday morning) you suddenly realise the cup holder is in a really awkward spot, it’s too late.

This is by far the most important part of a test drive. It gives you a chance to spot anything that could potentially irritate you in the future. If you’re struggling to get comfortable now, you can guarantee that it will only become more of a pain point when you’re stuck in 5 o’clock traffic. Don’t tell yourself “it’s fine, I can live with it” before you’ve test driven all the options available to you, make sure you’re making the right choice - your car is a long term investment.

Try to test drive the car in different environments.

Take the car for a good, long drive (15 to 20 kilometers should be fine). Test the car on uphills, in traffic, on a stretch of freeway (if possible) and in the parking lot. You want to gauge how comfortable the car will be to drive on a daily basis, so ideally you want to test it in as many different situations as possible.

Clear your mind of distractions.

While you’re driving, focus on how the car feels and try to clear your mind of that email you need to send, the bread that you forgot to buy and what time you need to fetch the kids from school. Your car is going to be your trusty steed for the next three to five years or more, so you need to make sure that you’re buying it for the right reasons.

Now that you know what to look out for on your test drive, why not book a test drive and take your favourite Suzuki models for a spin? Whether you’re looking for a sleek city car like the Swift or a fun, outdoor companion like the Jimny, Suzuki has a car to suit every personality.

Book a test drive!

Buying a new car is a huge step. Get tips and guidance from our guide to buying a new car to ensure you get all the answers you need.

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Topics: Buying a car

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