It’s Time to Take a “Tech Drive” With Today’s High-Tech Vehicles!

Car-buying today isn’t what it used to be… in the past a customer would take a “test drive” to get a feel for the vehicle’s power and performance. However, today’s shopper may want to take a “tech-drive” to get a feel for the vehicle’s technology.

It’s no secret that smart phone technology has caused sweeping improvements to today’s dashboards. Almost all vehicle manufacturers offer at least hands-free phone connectivity and many brands offer way more technology.

With voice commands and touch screens, some drivers can control their entertainment options, obtain navigation assistance, adjust cabin climate and more. Some vehicle technology provides stability control coupled with the anti-lock braking systems, reverse back-up cameras, blind spot indicators, lane assistance monitors, adaptive cruise control, and other safety and efficiency controls.

Most vehicles are being purchased today not because of mechanical capabilities, but instead the buying decision is based on technological gadgetry.

If technology is going to be a huge part of the driver’s experience today, then drivers need to begin their research online. Visit the manufacturer’s site to determine which model can provide the technology you wish. A potential buyer should cross-check on the internet to see what customers and owners are saying about their experience with the technology at online forums. Then a car shopper should do Google search to find what the experts are saying about the technology.

Once you’ve done your initial on-line search, now it’s time to e-mail or contact the Internet Department of a nearby dealer. Let the salesperson know that your objective is to do a “tech drive.” Let the salesperson know you want to conduct your test in a specific model that’s equipped the way you want it. Make a list of the things you want to “experience” in the vehicle. Let the salesperson know that your objective is to put the vehicle through a real-world test to see how the technology will work for you.

You may want to ask the salesperson for something out of the ordinary… let the salesperson know that you want to “spend some time alone” with the vehicle. As a serious buyer, let them know that you want to be able to “get a feel” for driving and operating the vehicle without the salesperson there. As we know, many salespeople will tell a customer that the vehicle’s technology is better than the competitors, that it can work well with a specific phone, that the technology is easy to learn and easy to use. Of course, a salesperson will want to do a complete vehicle demonstration and they will want to show the customer all of the vehicle features. The customer will want to borrow the vehicle for a few hours or even overnight to really get the “feel” of the technology.

What would help on the “tech drive” would be to have a copy of the owner’s manuals and other literature so you have a reference if there are any questions. If the dealership has a “tech specialist,” then maybe you should spend a little time with the specialist in order to feel a little more comfortable with the technology.

Clearly, thesalesperson will want to feel assured that you will work with them on final vehicle selection, price negotiation and, eventually, delivery of the new vehicle. As you can see, as a consumer, you’re in the driver’s seat for procuring the necessary information needed to make a final buying decision. And, as they say, knowledge is power. So gathering and researching information is one thing, but to really know that the technology and the vehicle will work for you is the real objective to making a good buying decision. So next time… ask for a “tech drive.”

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