A: Both cars are very good cars indeed. I have always told people you need to try a car on, just like you would a new suit or a new dress. A 20-minute road test just doesn’t cut it for me. I need to drive a vehicle for at least 100 miles to be sure this is the car I want to drive for the next seven years. Sometimes the dealers have loaner cars, and if you put a down payment in place dependent on your road test, most dealers will accommodate you for the extended road test. You want to look at things like your comfort in the driver’s seat after 45 minutes. You want to look at your access to the radio controls, as well as how well you can see the dashboard instruments. Are the various switches easily accessible while you drive? Does the air conditioner overpower you, or is the HVAC system one with fine controls? How are your feet on the gas pedal and brake? Lastly, check for a vehicle that has adjustable lumbar support. If you plan to drive for any distance, the lumbar support is very important for a comfortable drive.
Car Care Tip:
Winter preparations should include a coolant flush, examination of belts and hoses, and a thermostat replacement.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to email@example.com.