Spokesperson: Yaser Shabsogh
Unless you’re a real car enthusiast or work in the automotive industry, chances are you’re not thinking or talking about cars often.
To help you judge the quality and ownership experience of any car you’ve got your eye on, here are three key factors to explore before booking a test drive.
Customer care capacity
Beyond researching and trying to find the perfect car, the journey doesn’t end once you drive away with a smile on your face. It’s worth understanding whether a brand provides an accessible and strong network of retailers and hubs that can adequately take care of your needs and demands. This is especially important among in Middle Eastern countries where distances between neighborhoods and cities can be far, relative to other nations.
In our testing climate, easy access to aftersales support can make a huge difference to the ownership experience, giving you peace of mind when it comes to maintenance or sudden repairs. It’s why we at KIA continuously expands its service network across the region to provide a convenient and quality service experience to our customers.
Technology and features
Looking more specifically at the car’s features, one strong clue that you’re about to buy a quality vehicle is the degree of new-age technology and solutions found within it. This tells you the manufacturer has made a strong commitment to research and development, which also means a commitment to creating better experiences for its customers.
Look for tech like advanced driving assistant programs mid-specification models such as blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane change assistance. They not only add an extra layer of safety but also reflect the high quality of the features provided.
Awards and achievements
Lastly, the automotive industry is well known for its eagerness to award quality and help customers understand the leading cars in each vehicle segment. Before purchasing a vehicle, it’s worthwhile to explore the award winners during the time of the model’s release to understand the vehicle’s weaknesses and strengths. Two popular companies that provide this type of information through their genuine tests and surveys are J.D. Power — a global leader in consumer insights, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The J.D. Power Study assigns awards based on the personal experience of buyers drawn through online surveys, discussion forums, and chat rooms. I’m proud to say that as part of the J.D. Power US study, KIA has been named the number one mass-market brand for initial quality for six consecutive years.
Meanwhile, IIHS rates various cars based on their performance during tests to gage their safety levels. These type of crash tests are independent and an additional measure alongside the existing controls car manufacturers create for their prototypes.
Purchasing a car is a significant investment to make and doing your due diligence can be daunting when you consider the volume of information at your disposal. By being sure to include the three areas above in your research, you’re on the right road to selecting a vehicle you can trust and enjoy.