Cars.com’s editorial team took three of its best selling midsize sedans to the Naperville Auto Test Track on Jefferson Street.
While the test track is normally used for dealership test drives, Cars.com thought it was the perfect place to push the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima to their limits.
“We could have taken these to a much bigger, racing track obviously but the thing about this track is it really suits cars like these. These are Accords, Camrys, and Altimas. These are the three most popular nameplates among family sedans you see in everybody’s driveways out there,” said Kelsey Mays, senior consumer affairs editor for Cars.com.
And pushing a car hard is an important part of evaluating how it drives. Cars that behave similarly in everyday driving may behave very differently at their limit – whether that’s on a track or in an emergency braking or swerving situation.
“The one-third mile handling loop plus a 12,000-square-foot skid pad to evaluate ride, handling, acceleration, and braking,” said Mays. “A lot of stuff we can do very safely here versus on public roads.”
Since driving dynamics aren’t the only concern for family sedan buyers, Cars.com is evaluating other aspects of the cars for its challenge.
“We take them through analysis of interior quality, seating space, measure cargo room, look at safety features and look at how well car seats fit in the backseats,” said Mays.
But for testing these everyday consumer cars on their drivability – Cars.com may be coming back to Naperville to test more cars like local buyers do.
“It’s a good environment to analyze more about how it turns, how it corners, what kind of dynamics it has, how it brakes and accelerates in a closed-course safe environment,” said Mays. “Safety is a really important reason you’d come and experience cars here.”
Cars.com is going to take their results from tests here and put them on their website for consumers to compare.
Cars.com has other Naperville connections too – in February this year it acquired local startups Launch Digital Marketing and Dealer Inspire.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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