How often do you test drive?

I am curious how many of you typically test drive cars? I don’t beleive I have test driven a car in at least the last 8 or so cars we leased, but my wife got a on me today for getting her a car she hasn’t test drove, even though I have done that many times before.

Just wondering if test driving is really important for others.

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I would never consider leasing a vehicle I hadn’t tested drove. I have very broad shoulders and end up running into the b pillar uncomfortably on some cars.

I also test drive every specific vehicle before signing to check for any issues.


I did not test drive the past two vehicles I leased since I knew I wanted them before I even looked at numbers.

So if you lease from out of town/state do you drive/fly over there to check out the car?

My last vehicle I got from 200 miles away. I rented a car to drive down, test drove the vehicle when I was there, and if there was an issue with the vehicle, I would have turned around and drove home. That certainly wasn’t the first time I had test driven that model vehicle before (I did that locally and gave the dealer I test drove with first an opportunity to earn my business).


We are pretty much complete opposites when it comes to this. I wish I was a little more like you, I tend to not worry enough. That being said I have been lucky so far with all our leases, no complaints.

I haven’t yet ran into a vehicle that I was intending to purchasing that I had to walk away from on that final test drive. I did have a loaner xc60 that I was seriously considering that I walked from because of the condition it was in, but that was a test drive 45 minutes away.

I have had a ton of vehicles that I really wanted to like but had to mark off as not an option due to the initial test drive and it not “fitting” right though.

I always test drive the specific model with specific features that I want. I don’t test drive specific car as that rarely winds up from the same dealership. The only times I don’t test drive if it’s the same model and nothing or barely anything changed from the car being returned.

I haven’t test driven almost any of the cars I’ve leased.

It’s possible I’ve sat in one beforehand, but almost never test drive.

If I was shopping for something non-specific, such as finding a car within a certain budget or class, then I might, but generally I know what I want.

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I shortlist vehicles to usually 2-3 based on online reviews and Youtube videos. I check here, Edmunds and usually the model specific online forum for discounts/deals. Then I go test drive those. I settle on the best one of them that also has good deals.

That’s when I am done with the dealership until I’m ready to sign paperwork. Everything post test-drive is done over email.


I have a similar issue - broad shoulders, but rarely test drive. Instead (well pre-pandemic), I’d go to Carmax and sit in dozens of vehicles on the same day to analyze how well they fit me. Id use the results from that to make a short list of vehicles to try to hack.

I test drive almost every competitor to the car I’m interested in and get rough lease numbers on everything. I also try to get rough numbers on how much better off (or not) I would be if I did a low APR finance and held onto the car.

It’s how I intended to get an Acura MDX for my last lease in 2018 but ended up with a QX60 as it was over $150/month cheaper.

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I think a test drive is pretty important, at the very least I need to sit in the car.

Going to an auto show is a great way to get familiar with a lot of different models to see what you like


I support the test drive before starting the final drive.

I could care less about test driving a car, however I know of some people who have to test drive cars like they are trying new clothes and test drive 17 cars before they find the one.

Is your question about driving the specific vehicle (VIN) that’s on the lease contract, or driving an example of the same make/model?

Side note (and I’m not joking here), but I don’t try on shoes. 99.99% of men’s 12s fit me just fine.

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For me, I like to at least test drive a similar model before finalizing anything. There is ONE previous instance that I did not test drive until I was taking the car home. The GM of the dealership even pushed to drive it and I refused. I’ll never forget him saying (as he laughed), “very smart, leave emotion out of the equation”.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more jealous of anything in my life. Last time I was buying shoes I shipped everything that Zappos had in the style that I wanted, and was able to find one that fits. But at least now I have that shoe in every color and multiple pairs to last me a long time to not repeat the experiment :slight_smile:

That’s an interesting thought process if you are either not picky in general or you are familiar with the model through and through.

I used to, but I don’t bother anymore. Test drives aren’t long enough to determine how you’ll feel x days/weeks/months from now anyways. I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car that I completely hated upon first test drive, but did regret my decision sometimes weeks later after the newness wore off. By then, it’s too late anyways. That said, it’s only a lease, and I can suck it up for 2-3 years if I completely hate it. Luckily that hasn’t happened too often. I’m not stuck with it forever if it does though.

If I like the look, and there is enough HP/TQ under the hood, that’s all I care about anymore, outside of the bill.