Memorial Day Hours: Sales 9AM-7PM. Service & Parts 8AM-4PM (Last Appointment 2pm)

Why Should You Test Drive?

Why Should You Test Drive a New or Used Car in Bethesda, MD?

Open Today! Sales: 9am-8pm
Call us at: 301-747-0465

Believe it or not, there are some dealerships out there that encourage you to purchase your next new or used car, truck, or SUV from home without ever setting foot in a showroom. They’ll deliver the car to you, and pick up your trade, at the press of a button. As convenient as that sounds, there’s one big problem:

You don’t get to drive your car before you buy it!

While these dealerships try to present a large number of vehicle images or videos to make you feel as though you know the car, the truth is you can never truly know your next car until you turn the key and push that gas pedal for yourself.

Still thinking about pushing that button?

Here’s our countdown of the top five details you’ll only spot when you slide behind the wheel:


1. How does the car ride?

It should be no surprise that the biggest detail about your new car is exactly how it feels to drive it. A good test drive over a variety of roads will tell you all you need to know about how the car accelerates, brakes, handles turns and various road conditions, and, most importantly, how comfortable you are behind the wheel. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand pictures just couldn’t hope to replicate the experience of taking a car out on the road.

2. How quiet is the cabin?

Pictures and video mean very little here. Until you’ve take a car out for a ride, you’ll have no idea just how much road noise you’ll be inundated with. Choose the wrong car and you’ll be forced to dial your radio’s volume up to 11 just so you don’t have to hear your tires on the pavement!

3. How well do the headlights illuminate the road?

No matter how many images a site posts, this is something you have to test in person. Besides the type of headlight, be it halogen or LED, both the shape and placement can have a great impact on what you can and can’t see on the road. This is why we recommended test driving your next car twice: once during the day, and once in the evening.

4. How big are the cup holders?

If you thought the last entry was nit-picking, you probably laughed when you saw this one. The truth is, this is just representative of all the small details you don’t think about when you’re excited at the prospect of buying a new car: the trunk opening at an odd angle, storage that’s just a bit smaller than you need, seat heights that cause you to bump your head every other time you get in and out of the car, and, yes, cup holders that won’t hold your morning jumbo coffee.

Annoying inconveniences add up, and failing to notice them when you make your purchase can lead to years of disappointing driving. Like so much of this list, pictures may seem like they have all the answers you need, but you just can’t get an accurate gauge of these things until you sit down and see them for yourself.

5. Is the instrumentation easy to reach and use from the driver’s seat?

It may seem like a small detail, and something you can reasonably guess from images, but the truth is just the opposite. Many drivers spend a fair amount of their time in the car adjusting the climate control, using their navigation system, and changing their music. No matter how cool that fancy touchscreen looks in a picture, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to use when you need it.

Ready to drive?

These five details are the biggest, but they’re by no means the only reasons to visit a dealership before making a purchase. Stop in to see any of the new or used cars, trucks, and SUVs on our Jim Coleman Toyota lot at 10400 Auto Park Ave in Bethesda, Maryland. You can even schedule your test drive in advance here on our website. Have questions before you come by? Give us a call at 301-747-0465 or send an email from our contact page.

Jim Coleman Toyota 39.027416, -77.145801.