Tips for Car Shopping at an Auto Show

while test drives are an important way
to narrow down that list of potential new cars they aren’t necessarily the
most efficient way because all those competing cars are seldom at the same
dealership that’s where auto shows come in as an
invaluable resource for shoppers because they really allow you to compare an
entire class of cars under one roof without any pressure of having to sign
papers let’s check it out now a couple tips before you go first of all be
prepared Auto shows can be a little overwhelming so make a list so you know
which cars are in the same price range that way you won’t be comparing apples
to wealth candy apples second go early or go late smaller crowds make for
easier access and easier access makes for better comparisons Headroom and legroom measurements don’t
necessarily reflect how space works in real life and the only way to do that is
to actually sit in the chairs now most cars at auto shows will have just enough
battery power to maybe operate the seats and some basic controls so get in get
comfortable and adjust those seats and steering column like you were about to
drive away check the tilt and telescoping range of
the steering column to make sure you can find a safe and comfortable distance
from that airbag make sure the controls for the stereo heating and air
conditioning systems can be easily reached finally what if you’re tall but
your significant other is short make sure everybody in the family is going to
drive the car can fit comfortably look for memory seating positions those can
save a relationship now after you’ve adjusted the front seat
to your liking jump into the back seat fast before someone else jumps up front
and fusses with those settings because the amount of legroom your rear
passengers get depends on where you’re gonna sit now when you’re doing this
judge how easy it is to get in and out of the car and if there’s a third row
how easy it is to get back there see how wide the rear doors open for you to load
cargo or put kids into child seats in SUVs or minivans see if the back seat
slides or reclines for additional legroom and comfort in any car with the
third row a sliding second row is an important feature because it helps
second and third row occupants forge a compromise where both sides have enough
room and make sure to look for that intrusive floor humping back cars
without a hump give passengers more legroom and easier access a cargo area that starts too high off
the ground can make it really difficult to load heavy objects or even dogs in
any car truck or SUV so open up the hatchback see how high this is
is it knee high is it thigh high is it even all the way up to hip height some
cars have a nice low load floor but have a big lip that you have to lift things
over that can also be a pain for an SUV or minivan make sure the tailgate is low
enough that you can reach it but not so low that you’re gonna clock your head on
it many of them are now powered as well on
a sedan checkout the opening width of the trunk big volume numbers are useless
if the trunk is too small or narrow to really lift something substantial and
put it inside look at the hinges here see if they’re actually going to intrude
on cargo space when you shut the trunk and finally check out if the back seats
fold and how easy they are to do that and bring back up chances are if you have kids they’re
coming with you to the Auto Show kids you don’t need child safety seats can
see how easily they can jump into the back seats and buckle themselves up and
how comfortably those seat belts fit across their bodies if your kids do need
car seats assuming you didn’t lug them all the way with you to the Auto Show
look for latch anchors which are easiest to use if they’re clearly visible if you
brought a big bulky stroller fold it up and throw it in the trunk or cargo area
to see how easy it is to get in there and how well it fits once it’s in third
row access can be difficult for some kids because automakers have various
ways of doing stuff from tumbling seats to sliding walk-in access make sure your
kids check that out on the flip side if you have teenagers who are already old
enough to drive make sure they go through all the steps of evaluation the
same way you do so now you’ve seen enough at the Auto
Show to really identify your top three to five cars you’re considering what’s
next well you can still network while you’re at the show and before you test
drive any of your finalists first have a list of details and questions that you
still need answering that way when you go to the dealer you’ll know exactly
what you need to find out when you find a car you like see if there’s a
reasonable representative from the brand with whom you can make initial contact
that’ll smooth the way later on and make you a known entity to your local dealer
finally make sure you don’t make any actual deals at the Auto Show itself you
always want to test drive a car see how it accelerates brakes rides and handles
before you make any decision Auto shows can be a hugely helpful part of the
process though so make sure you take advantage of them you you