Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tips to Test Driving Your Next Car

***Disclosure-I drove the Toyota Rav4 for a week to review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

In 1995, I was a Junior in high school.  It was exactly when the Toyota Rav4 was on the market in the US.  My friend, a senior, had one and I wanted one really bad.  It was so cool.  They were cute like toy cars.  I did not know about safety features, buttons, etc, all I cared about was it was the latest cool car out on the market.  I wanted one.

Now as an adult, I don't care about the coolest car or the latest and greatest, I care about the car facts.  When I purchased my first car, after high school, I did not make the best decision.  I got a car to take me back and forth.  I thought that was ok.  But a car is an investment.  My investment ended up being a lemon.

I wish I knew what I know now.  I am not an expert but these are the things i would have paid more attention to, then and now.  

Tips to test driving your next car-

1)  Research.  Go to the website.  Go straight to the source.  Don't let the salesperson tell you what car, truck, SUV, or van, you want.

Once you find the vehicle you want, see if it is a good fit for you.
2)  Room/Space.  Decide on what this vehicle is going to be used for.  How much room/seats do you need?  Do the seats adjust?  Does the truck have enough space for your lifestyle?  Need leg room?
My family and I are always on the go.  We love traveling and going on road trips.  We are a family of four but I have a toddler that needs car seat room.

3)  Driver's Preferences.  Will you be the only one driving this vehicle?  Check to see if the vehicle has dual controls for preference buttons like:
seat adjustments-I normally drive my vehicle Monday-Friday but when we are traveling or on the weekends, my husband does the driving.  I hate having to adjust my seat every time it is my turn to drive.  He hates having to move it to his setting.
seat warmers or dual zone automatic controls-I am always cold and my husband is always hot.

4)  Safety Features.  Every vehicle has been tested.  But there are features you must have or want.  
Have you ever had a close call on your blind side?  Imagine if your vehicle alerted you.  There is so much new technology coming out.  I want it all in my next vehicle.  Lane departure alert, bling spot monitor, etc..

5)  Eco?  How much do you care about fuel efficiency?  How great would it be if you could just hit the Eco button?
     Sport?  Does your vehicle need to take you places? 
Well how about having an option that can help keep up with where you are going.  Even if it is just changing lanes in traffic and not driving the Hill Country to a fun place.

Remember, you are the future owner.  Know what you want.  Find the features that suit you and your lifestyle.  Make the choice for your family.  

Thanks to Toyota for letting our family put the 2015 Rav4 Limited AWD SUV to test this past week.  Everywhere we went, we stood out with the beautiful HOT LAVA color.  Our family enjoyed our travels from Hockley to Galveston.  We had plenty of room.  We enjoyed watching the stars when we opened the Moonroof.    My husband's favorite feature was the USB port and aux audio jack.
It even had a space for your cell phone to sit while it charged.  

There are so many great features, like rear view camera, power lift gate, fold-flat second row, cargo area Tonneau cover,and all of the about features..  But I am just a girl, my favorite part of the Rav4 was this empty space on the passenger side for a make up bag, sun glasses, etc...
Do you have any tips?  What is one thing you do at a test drive?  What are must have features for your next vehicle?

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