Buying a car and making sure it’s the right car can feel like a daunting task. When you buy a Kia from our lot, you’re guaranteed to get a great vehicle, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always get the right car for you every time. Here is a checklist to help you ensure you’re picking the perfect Kia for your needs:
1. Make a list of your car needs and wants. Needs are things that the vehicle absolutely must have. If you have four kids, you’ll need seating for four kids. Wants are the things that it would be nice for the vehicle to have, like a DVD player or advanced infotainment system. The wants can be further split into deal-breakers and non-deal-breakers.
2. Bring your license and insurance information. We won’t be able to let you test drive any of our vehicles if we can’t see your driver’s license or insurance info. If you’re driving here in the car you already own, you’ll probably have both of these things already. If not, make sure to just slip them into your pocket before leaving.
3. Look at the brand models online. This is by no means necessary, but it can be a great way to narrow down your choices before you even come to our lot. If you look at the models online, you’ll be able to eliminate vehicles that don’t meet your needs and you’ll be left just with finding one that fits your wants. If you don’t have a good idea of what you want or need, coming to the lot and looking at every model is a good way to find out.
4. Ask to see the car’s features. You don’t have to be car-savvy to understand most of what makes a car good. Any of our salespeople will be able to tell you which mechanical features are important. Inside the car, even before you set out on a test drive, have the salesperson show you the radio, the infotainment system, and any other features that the car has. Some of our higher trim models will have unique features like lane alerts and automatic braking. Hearing about these features and any others the car has before you get out on the road enables you to give them more attention.
5. Only drive models you are actually interested in buying. Some buyers come to our lot and want to test drive every single model. That’s great! We’re happy to oblige. However, we don’t want buyer to get frustrated because they’ve given themselves too many choices or overwhelmed because they’ve looked at too many vehicles. If you know that you want an SUV, there’s no point in test driving every single sedan on the lot, unless you realize that what you actually really need is a sedan, not an SUV.
6. Inspect the trunk. Looking at cargo space is vitally important, even if you don’t think you’re going to end up need to pack your car full very often. At some point you might want to move or help someone else move, and having the trunk space to do this can be great. If you regularly have to tote around large items, it is best to look for a Kia that has seats that fold down to give yourself more room or for one of our vehicles that is specifically designed to allow you to haul all your gear.
7. Sit in every seat. While you’ll probably do most of the driving, you’ll probably also have people sitting in the passenger and back seats. The comfort in those seats might not be nearly as important to you as the comfort of the driver’s seat, but it will be important to the people who have to regularly sit there. Is there enough leg room? Are the seats themselves comfortable? Are you able to move the seats? Are there enough seats for your family?
8. Get in and out of the car a few times. You want to make sure that you have enough clearance to get in and out of the car without banging your head and enough room to get your knees in without banging them on the steering wheel or on the dashboard. While you might fit in the car perfectly fine once you’re in, is getting in and out easy enough?
9. Check to see if the steering wheel and driver’s seat positions work for you. Most Kia vehicles come with plenty of adjustments, so it’s not difficult to find a position for the seat and steering wheel that works for you. You will want to make sure, before buying a car, that it is easy to get the seat into a position that allows you to see, reach the pedals, and reach the steering wheel, while sitting in the position that is most comfortable for you. Some people like to be closer to the wheel, while others like to have legs and arms fully extended.
10. Ask to try all different types of roads. You’ll want to see how the car handles on surface streets and on the highway. Every driver is different—some like more get-up-and-go, while others prefer a vehicle that eases to a stop and into motion again. Driving around just surface streets is usually not enough to really feel how a car drives.
Using this checklist as you drive is a great way to make sure that you find a vehicle that meets your needs. Don’t feel rushed or that you have to hurry through the process. You can always come back more than once if you need more time to decide or want to test drive more Kia vehicles!