"Observe how certain features might become irritating in day-to-day use, such as inadequate storage cubbies and cup holders, as well as a trunk that is difficult to operate or has an opening that is too small or too high, Mike Sutton wrote in Car and Driver. "The driver's and front passenger's doors may be large and easy to open and close, but also examine the ease of entry and exit for rear-seat occupants, including ingress and egress to the third row of seats, if applicable, and how difficult it is to install a child seat."
James Bragg at Fighting Chance says one way to not get bogged down is to tell the salesperson you do not want to go over any numbers until you test drive more cars. He also says to project emotional detachment. "In the showroom, on the lot, during the drive your behavior should say, 'A car is an appliance that gets me from Point A to Point B. Lots of cars will do that, including many I haven't tested yet.' It's OK to fall in love with a car. Just don't show it."
Phillip Reed at edmunds.com recommends adjusting the seats properly and to take a test drive that simulates the type of driving you will be doing. While driving, he says to pay attention how the car accelerates. Turn off the radio and listen to the engine and tire noise. How do the brakes feel? How does it steer? How is the suspension?
"Remember that little things you spot now could be major annoyances later," Reed wrote, "so don't discount any of your reactions."
As George says, "You can read reviews until your eyeballs bleed, but nothing ever compares to actually driving the car for yourself and learning how it feels and how it will suit your needs."
Or, in other words, test-driving a car isn't available as an app.
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