Taking a Hyundai for a Virtual Spin
Will Hyundai’s Driveway Decision Maker change the way you buy cars? Here’s a closer look.
With hundreds of models available today, it can be difficult for car buyers to choose which vehicle they will commit to next.
Would it be easier if all cars still looked like this?
This is especially true as many drivers are hanging on to their cars for longer. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, research company R.L. Polk found that owners of new cars and trucks now keep them for nearly six years, which is the longest since Polk began doing its survey about eight years ago.
So how to decide which car is right? Test drives are great, but offer little insight. A few circles around the block tells you little about the car.
In what it says is response to stiff competition and to help car buyers make better choices, Hyundai is trying a more innovative approach with the launch of two new versions of the popular Elantra.
Hyundai has created The Driveway Decision Maker, an online tool that presents potential drivers with all three Elantra models (the GT, Coupe and Sedan) for a virtual test drive.
Visitors can select a model, pick a color, enter the address to which they’d like to “drive.” I tried the Elantra GT in the feisty red for a test drive to my parent’s house in the U.S. It took me through the neighborhood and reached the curb right in front, where I could then adjust the car to parallel park.
The website integrates Google Maps to provide a realistic depiction of how the care would look in your driveway. You can then share the results with your friends and family through your social media channels.
While this version of the test drive app is more about aesthetics than about drive quality and getting a sense of how the car handles, it’s likely that some automaker – Hyundai or otherwise – will make a more robust version. Even if you can’t get a sense of ride quality and feel how well the seats support your particular anatomy, there is one more advantage to the app that I didn’t mention – for trying it out you could win a new Elantra.