Autotrader Encourages Consumers To Test Drive

A long, thorough test drive can be the difference between car ownership bliss or constant headaches, according to recent research from Autotrader. 

While most buyers agree that the test drive is one of the most important aspects of the shopping process, recent research from Autotrader shows that consumers may not be putting as much time into it as they should. A survey of 400 recent purchasers showed most people spend less than 30 minutes on a test drive, and they only take one test drive in the vehicle they are planning to purchase.

Short test drives barely give shoppers the opportunity to get a good feel for a car, much less determine whether it will truly meet their needs, says Brian Moody, Autotrader executive editor.

“Most people haven't bought a new car in many years, and in that time many things have changed,” Moody tells Marketing Daily. "New brands are now worth considering and some of the older ones are just the same. The key for consumers is to test drive everything without regard to how they used to think they performed.”



The company also is announcing its list of “Must Test Drive” 2016 vehicles, which are: Chevrolet Malibu, Fiat 500X, Honda Civic, Kia Sedona, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes Benz GLC300, Nissan Titan XD, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Prius and Volvo XC90.

The list was determined by a committee of five people who test drove as many cars as they could get their hands on, Moody says.

“We only selected vehicles we could unanimously agree were ‘unexpectedly good’ and felt confident that consumers should test drive the vehicles that made it on the list,” he says. “Helping car shoppers find their perfect match, this year’s list of must test drive vehicles features a mix of cars, trucks, vans and SUVs to fit a variety of lifestyles.”

Moody says the committee was surprised by “how many domestic cars we tested that were really very good, even if they didn't make our final list, including the Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu and Chrysler 200. We’ve also compiled a list of test drive tips to help car shoppers on their next test drive, available at”

The company also has created a video, featuring race car driver Brad Keselowski explaining why his car belongs on Autotrader's “Must Test Drive” list. 

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