Weekly auto rail, with tips on taking a test drive, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
When shopping for a new or used car, the test drive is an essential part of the process. While the test drive may be exciting, experts advise car shoppers keep emotions in check and evaluate the car in its entirety to make a good purchase decision.
"A test drive shouldn't be just a joyride," says Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor at Cars.com, who test drives more than 150 cars each year. "This is your chance to size up the car when it's stationary, and to drive it like you plan to every day and make sure it's the right car for you."
When test driving a used car:
- Check for any unusual or bad smells, sounds and sights.
- Write down anything that seems damaged or suspicious; refer to this before you make that big purchase.
- Bring a second person along to act as a second set of eyes and ears.
- Bring the car to a trained mechanic to inspect the vehicle, detect overlooked faults and predict future maintenance costs. If the seller doesn't allow you to take it to a mechanic, walk away.
For both new and used vehicle test drives:
- Explore the car fully before you drive; you can't concentrate on everything at once.
- Make sure you are comfortable in the car.
- Check the visibility in all directions.
- Figure out whether this car fits your lifestyle. For example, can you install that child seat without trouble? Will your bike fit in the trunk? Is there enough room in the cargo area for a dog kennel?
- Judge if the car you're testing has the right options; dealers may have more of the same model with different options, or you may consider ordering a car to suit your preferences.
- Come prepared ahead of time. Do some research on the automaker's website if you know what kind of car you want, as well as on unbiased third party sites like Cars.com.
- If you are not allowed to test drive the vehicle, walk away and consider a different seller.
According to The Street, here are the five most beautiful cars of all time:
- 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV
- 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
- 1931 Duesenberg Model J Long Wheelbase Coupe
- 1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400
Did You Know
Chrysler recently recalled about 68,000 2010 Jeep Wranglers because of a possible problem that could lead to a fire.
Junior’s review of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 sport coupe:
This is four-cylinder 1.8 liter turbo-charged four-cylinder rear-dive car. Priced at $37,220 with good options total $44,1150. I like the feel and touch of the car. What I don’t like is the feeling of the four-cylinder. I do like the six-cylinder. Other drivers may like the four-cylinder turbo. The rest of the car was great. MB paid close attention to fit, finish and interior seating, especially the white stitching on the black seats; a real nice touch. The electronic controls are also less confusing than older models.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service