Do you love the concept of car shopping but hate having to talk to a real, live human in the process? Volkswagen has just made things a little easier for you; if you test drive a new all-electric ID.4 SUV, Amazon Alexa will answer your questions, not a salesperson.
This fall, Volkswagen says you can schedule an in-person, Alexa-guided test drive of the ID.4 in select regions around America. As per the Amazon page, the test drive should take about 30 minutes, but you should pad in about an hour total, since you have to arrive 10 minutes early. After you finish the test drive, you can fill out a survey and receive an Amazon gift card. Easy peasy.
An Echo Auto device is installed in the vehicle as well, so you can ask it questions about the car’s “battery, charging, blind spot monitor, connecting to infotainment, cost, regular maintenance, and much more.” You can also ask Alexa to show you certain features of the car, like the massage seats.
While I’m not a big proponent of the whole “these machines are listening to me” concept, I will never forget my first test drive. The salesperson didn’t acknowledge me a single time and would laugh at the questions I asked during the drive — but if my stepdad asked, we’d get a speedy answer. The experience turned me off from ever wanting to buy from a dealership again, even as someone who works in the automotive industry. Being able to receive basic, factual answers to my questions from an impartial source honestly sounds kind of nice.
If you like the ID.4 after your test drive, though, you’ll still have to head to a local dealership to actually place an order.