Going to the L.A. Auto Show isn't just about looking at the cars. You also get to drive some.
Rows of the automobile industry’s latest models are outside the Los Angeles Convention Center ready to be test-driven by the show’s attendees.
Automakers figure the best way to sell cars is to get people to try them out.
They are looking to eventually make a sale to shoppers such as Andrew Garcia, who came down from San Jose to attend the show. He tested a 2014 Dodge Challenger last week.
He said he’s usually a Chevrolet driver, but saw the Challenger first and had to take it for a spin.
“It rides really good and has nice power on it,” Garcia said. The 25 highway mpg also impressed him.
Sebastian Kressner, who is visiting the show from Germany, leapt at the opportunity to drive the Camaro, “a typical American muscle car,” which he said is not very common in Germany.
A car aficionado, Kressner has test-driven cars at shows in the past, but said he really liked that manufacturers let the cars be driven on the roads at the L.A. Auto Show. In previous test-drives, he’s only been allowed to drive on blocked-off courses.
Michael Santos said he likes to test-drive several cars without the pressure to buy them.
“If you go to the dealership, you feel intimidated because they want the keys to your car and expect you to buy something,” said Joe Atkinson, who is looking for a car and test-drove some models on Friday. “Here, you don’t feel the same pressure.”
Jeff Whitcomb, a former BMW car salesman, said his test-drive probably convinced him to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe, a car he'd been considering for about a year.
“The Santa Fe has a lot of bang for its buck. It’s got everything I need,” Whitcomb said.