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When you take a new car for a test drive, take your time. Don't let the salesperson rush you. A thorough test drive should take at least 20 minutes. During the test drive, make note of some important things, such as:
• How does the car fit you?
• Can you adjust it comfortably?
• Can you reach and adjust all controls easily?
• Is there enough legroom for passengers?
• Does the car accelerate fast enough for you?
• Is the level of interior noise acceptable?
• How does the car handle when you round tight corners quickly or shift lanes abruptly on the highway?
• How does the car responding to hard braking?
• How is the ride quality?
• Are you being jolted when you pass over the slightest bump?
You should test drive several cars in the same class to give yourself something to compare each car's performance to. Chances are, any new car you test drive will be an improvement over your old car, but that's not a fair or rational benchmark.