After seeing that Dodge commercial on television numerous times — you know the one that refers to other car companies allowing potential buyers to test drive their cars online — I wondered, can you really test drive a car online?
Apparently you can, or at least attempt to. An online search using the term “test driving a car online” produced a plethora of results. According to my search, at one time, you could take your potential new car out for a test drive from the comfort of your own home, that is, if you were looking into buying a Mitsubishi Outlander.
Last November, Mitsubishi introduced an Internet test drive in an attempt to increase interest in its 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The manufacturer rigged one of its Outlanders to allow people at home — or at least in front of a computer somewhere — to maneuver the vehicle around a specially-designed course. Participants were able to steer the Outlander in forward and reverse and switch gears from their computers.
Can a person really get a feel for a vehicle online? I wouldn’t think so. After all, how could a person really know what a ride in a specific feels like without actually riding in the car. Also, how can a mouse and keyboard really give a potential buyer an idea of a vehicles responsiveness and comfort?
Maybe that’s not really what Mitsubishi was going for, anyway. Surely, the manufacture didn’t expect hoards of people to show up at their dealerships ready to buy and Outlander because they liked the way it drove from their couches.
While the idea of test driving a vehicle online sounds absurd on the surface, Mitsubishi probably accomplished what it was hoping to accomplish with the marketing scheme. The move to offer online test drives did garner a lot of media attention, judging from my online search for articles on the matter.
The move even seems to have lingering effects, long after the test drive. Dodge continues to air a commercial referring to online test drives. Even though the mention was meant to be a slam by Dodge and doesn‘t specifically mention a particular auto manufacturer, it peaks attention. After all, after the reference in the Dodge commercial, I got curious enough to search online to see just what was being referred to. It was then that I was led to all kinds of information on the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander.
It looks like Mitsubishi’s stunt of online test driving has resulted in the competition inadvertently providing continued advertising, and on that competitor’s dime.
It may sound crazy, but the move seems to have CREDIT: Mitsubishi
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