Schedule a test drive where you want with Hyundai and Amazon

Hyundai's new on-demand pilot program places the power of test driving in the buyers' hands.

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2017 Hyundai Elantra

"Bring it to the mountains, please. I have some, uh, steering tests I'd like to perform."

Josh Miller/Roadshow

Test-driving a new car usually involves wading into the lion's den of a dealership and trying to make it out without purchasing three new cars and 35 optional mud flaps. Hyundai thinks it can make the process better for buyers, and it's teaming up with Amazon to create a test-drive service that decentralizes the whole affair.

Called "Prime Now. Drive Now," the process uses Amazon's site to set up a test-drive appointment. Hyundai will bring a 2017 Elantra and a "trained expert" to the location of your choice for a 45-60-minute test-drive. After the drive, if you want to purchase the car, the expert will point you to the closest Hyundai dealership. Easy peasy, right?

While it is pretty straightforward, there are some hitches. First, it's a pilot program, so it's only operating in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas for now. Second, it's a limited-time affair, with the program running twice -- August 20-21 (so, last weekend) and August 27-28. Third, it's only available with the 2017 Elantra. As with other test drives, you'll need a driver's license, but you won't have to pay for the convenience.

It's a breath of fresh air, as far as this part of the purchasing process is concerned. Dealerships often aren't in your particular neck of the woods, so it can be difficult to figure out how a vehicle would fit in with your normal daily duties. This gives you the power to bring the test drive to wherever you see fit, which is a nice change of pace from having to head to the dealership, which can turn into a daylong affair.