I read in Car and Driver about Hyundai’s $50 test drive program and figured “why the hell not”. So you go on the website and tell them what you want to drive and they immediately send about 4 emails saying how excited they are to have you come and do a test drive.

I responded to one of them and said I would be in shortly before lunch, and had a very busy day so likely wouldn’t respond to any further messages.

I got there and wondered around in the showroom for about 5 minutes before someone asked to help me. I said Steve invited me down for a test drive and they had me on a Manual Veloster Turbo N in about 5 minutes. Didn’t ask to see my id or anything.

It was white with charcoal interior, pretty plain. The car was different than I expected. It was fairly tame, I did not drive it hard as I had no intention of buying so I was a good guy and didn’t race it at all.....but....it felt pretty relaxef and slow (and I had just stepped out of a 100 hp Fit). The car has super long throttle travel and after I figured this out it woke up a little, but still not the fire breathing monster I expected.

The ride was super comfy, while it was tight and smooth, it was by no means darty, and both my wife’s Fit Sport and my Lexus IS300 felt like they had sharper turn in to me.

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Shifter is nice, clutch easy but pretty light, brakes felt over boosted almost like a 70s GM pillow barge.

I was expecting tiny on the inside, but it felt very nice in size, and not as submarine like as I expected either. 6'0" 210 pound me even fit in the back seat, head just missing the ceiling, knees just missing the front seatbacks. Loud exhaust note when you get on it, and kind of harsh too, didn’t think it really matched the relatively relaxed nature of the rest of the car.

You might think from all this I didn’t like it, but I did actually. A relaxed, yet capable car, in a nice size with more room on the inside than it looks like from the outside. If I bought one it would definitely not be white, which doesn’t do the car any favors.

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The magazine article said they met the author with the gift card ready to go. I had to ask for mine, wasn’t offered ever after the test drive. Not bad work if you can get it.