To finish my thought *before* bumping the Enter key:
I'd never buy a used car without a test drive and an inspection,
but buying a new car is a different proposition: to get a deal,
you must usually buy a car from stock, but stock doesn't mean
that dealer's stock; commonly, when you tell a dealer what
specific car+options you want and then make your deal, the
dealer searches his network for some other dealer with what
you want. Buying without a drive of that specific car was
worth at least $3,000 for me last year.
no way -
also I give it a compression test as a condition of buying -
engines with miles get plugged up with gunk - cant cool as well-
get carbon stuck in the heads etc, etc,
Oily spark plugs,,,,,,,,,,
The problem I have with test drives is that they are usually not long enough
to smoke out the things that will eventually make you hate the vehicle. If
you show up in an old car and drive a new one, the new one almost always
seems good, at least for a realtively short test. I can think of a couple of
cases where the test drive actually misled me -
1983 Mazda 626 5 Door. Car drove fine when I test drove it after work on a
Friday. Got in it Monday morning and my head was against the roof. It drove
me crazy. Apparently I lost at least a half inch of height during the day. I
finally had to cut down the seat supports to get back the half inch.
2006 Nissan Frontier. I liked the truck on the test drive. The first time I
drove it 140 miles at a stretch (something I do four times most weeks) I
almost couldn't walk when I got out of it. The seats in a Fiesta are more
supporive than that Frontier.
1983 Toyota Cressida - seemed nice enough on a short drive. A three hour
drive in this thing would render you deaf and dumb. Toyota's "top of the
line" back then. It had all the refinement of a early 60's Chevy II.
I can think of two times I decided against a vehicle based on the test
drive - a 2006 Ford F250 Crew Cab - too damn big, and a 2009 F350 Diesel
SuperCab- still too damn big and way too noisy.
On Nov 21, 1:44=A0pm, Bob Willard
I understand not driving the specific car you end up purchasing. But
certainly the model and trim level -- i.e. test driving a GT coupe
with a stick shift, before buying a GT coupe with a stick.
Then, I have to test drive all the competing models. And before I
plop down my hard-earned cash, one last test drive. And when I say
"test drive" it's a full-on test drive -- 0-60, 0-100, a passing gear
test, hard on the brakes from 60 mph, toss the car into a corner or
two and then an extended highway run. Only then do I know it's the
right car for me.
Yeah, I'm with you. When I bought my last Mustang GT (how sad is
that?), my playoff was Mustang v. Camaro; and, in 1998, the Camaro had
more power (4.6L v. 5.7L). The Mustang won because the Camaro had such
a crummy interior that I knew I'd hate the daily commute.
I bought TFrog on sight, no test drive. First time I drove it was after all
papers had been signed and the salesman tossed me the keys for the drive
You know the story - I was waiting for the new design (1994), took one look,
and went out to buy a '93 leftover. There were two on the lot with stick,
one that awful teal/green color, and one black. No need to even start it up,
just put a bow on the thing and let me out of here.
Ask me if I've ever had buyer's remorse.
Hey, I loved my 62 Chevy II Nova. It was actually quite refined for
it's day in many ways. It came with no sway bars and handled
accordingly. I pulled a bar off a Nova Station wagon and put it on my
Nova coupe and it was like night and day.
I always loved those little Chevy IIs. I recall one that used to
cruise town when I was growing up. It was light blue, white interior,
stick shift and powered by a hopped-up 327. Except for the cam noise,
it was a sweet little sleeper.
I did buy a 93 5.0 at an auction, ex cop cars, could not drive them only
I bought a 87 5.0 that way too
THe state has auctions each year of cop cars, when the get about 100k miles
they sell them
they have the maintance records too.
But they had screw holes for the radios and some ciggerett burns, but both
worked out fine for me.
cop 5.0 suspension is stiff, so wife did not like car
The 87 was speed density, and a lot of accelleration at low speed, scary to
front seat passenger
found a KB supercharger in Autotrader for $1300, sold the 87 and bought a 93
( at the cop auction) and put supercharger on it