One of the most underrated parts of getting a new vehicle is the test drive. While it seems easy enough, this part of the car-buying process helps you determine if the car is right for you. It's also important to not just someone else's word for it and feel out the car for yourself. At Harley Swain Subaru, we've put together a few tips to help you make the most of your next test drive.

What You Should Do Before The Test Drive Starts

Our friendly sales team will always take a few minutes to explain the car's features to you before departing. We encourage our customers to ask any questions along the way.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start driving. 

  • How does the vehicle feel when you enter?  Remember, this car is one you'll potentially have for years to come. The cabin should be roomy enough to accommodate you and other family members. Adjust the seat to ensure you have a visible view of the road ahead. Get a feel for the comfort level, especially on your lower back, because there will be times when you'll sit in the car for hours at a time.
  • Where are the controls located, and how do they work? You'll need to know how to turn the windshield wipers on/off, how to turn on headlights, adjust temperature settings, along with using the information touchscreen that's found on almost any new vehicle. There will also be safety features such as blind-spot warnings and so forth that you'll need to know about.

 What You Should Do When Test Driving

Don't forget to be mindful of a few things when you're driving the car. If you have a family member or friend, don't hesitate to bring them along as well. Another person can help give their input if you plan on test driving a few vehicles on the same day. The following list contains questions you should consider.

  • How does the car feel driving down the road? Take note of different aspects of the vehicle that allow you to control the vehicle. The steering wheel should feel smooth, especially if you're a heavy city driver. Consider what the car would feel like going over small bumps or railroad tracks.
  • How do the braking and transmission feel? First, get an idea of how it feels to brake as you come to a stop. You'll also want to get used to the transmission, whether it's manual or automatic. 
  • Do I have clear visibility? You should be able to see clearly at every angle, including straight ahead, behind you, and the sides of the vehicle. Modern vehicles are equipped with rear vision cameras and blind-spot monitoring to help keep you safe. 
  • Can I maneuver the ear easily? You should have comfort executing the vehicle in different driving situations, whether it's merging onto a busy highway, ascending or descending hills, and parking into tight spaces.
  • What is the overall impression inside the cabin? The interior should be easy to adjust temperature settings, along with providing a quiet ride for all your passengers.

It's okay to try out more than one vehicle when you're test driving. You may be surprised to discover that another vehicle sparks your interest that you may not have considered beforehand.

Have An Idea Of What Vehicle Matches Your Lifestyle

You don't need to be 100 percent committed to the vehicle you're test driving, but it's good to know your daily driving habits. For instance, if you're a daily commuter, you might consider a fuel-efficient sedan. On the other hand, you might want an SUV if you're looking for more space to accommodate your family. View your test drive as one of the hundreds of trips you'll take, and think about it carefully. Besides your home, a vehicle is one of your most significant investments, and it's okay to take your time about your decision. 

Ready To Test Drive A Subaru? Visit Harley Swain Subaru in Hermiston, OR

Our team is excited to help you explore a new or used Subaru with a test drive. We help customers from all walks of life, whether it's your first vehicle or you want to trade-in for a newer model. You're always welcome to browse our new and pre-owned inventory at your convenience or give us a call to schedule a test drive. 


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Harley Swain Subaru

1915 N 1st Street
Directions Hermiston, OR 97838

  • Sales: 541-567-9696
  • Service: 541-567-9696
  • Parts: 541-567-9696