Cleveland Auto Show lets you behind the wheel

7:12 PM, Feb 24, 2012   |    comments
  • Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV.
  • Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV.
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One of the highlights of the Cleveland Auto Show 2012 is always the Ride-N-Drive events -- and this year there are more opportunities than ever before.

The 2012 Cleveland Auto Show will host more than seven Ride-N-Drive events with access to more than 11 major brands at this year's show. Among the brands offering Ride-N-Drive events are Buick, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, GMC, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru and Toyota.

In addition, one of the show's most popular indoor ride attractions, Camp Jeep, will be back this year. This indoor event, hosted by skilled Jeep drivers, allows show attendees to experience the trail-rated capabilities of Jeep vehicles.

Click here for expanded coverage of the 2012 Cleveland Auto Show

The course traverses a number of obstacles, showing capabilities such as vehicle articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability and traction. While on the course, riders will learn how to negotiate off-road challenges such as steep grades, rocky trails and log crossings.

"Interactive Ride-N-Drives offer show attendees the opportunity to actually get behind the wheel and experience the vehicle on the road," said Brian O'Donnell, president of the Valley Automotive Group and chairman of the 2012 Cleveland Auto Show. "There is simply no better way to see if a car suits your needs than actually taking it out on the road."

Click here to see pictures from inside the 2012 Cleveland Auto Show

The large size of the I-X Center, home of the Cleveland Auto Show, makes it possible to easily host multiple outdoor Ride-N-Drives. Other cities simply don't have a facility that can accommodate as many events.

Many of the brands offering Ride-N-Drives are bringing multiple vehicles to the events. Chevrolet Buick and GMC have combined to offer a Ride-N-Drive called "Experience the Drive." The event runs from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26. While closed during weekdays, the "Experience the Drive" reopens on Friday, March 2 and runs through Sunday, March 4, with hours once again from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. The entrance is located on the North wall of the I-X Center.

Chevy will offer the chance to drive the Camaro, Cruze, Malbu, Equinox, Traverse, Silverado, Volt and Sonic. Buick will have its Regal, LaCrosse, Enclave and new Verano on hand, while GMC is bringing the Terrain Acadia and Sierra.

Click here to see pictures of classic cars at the 2012 Cleveland Auto Show

Chrysler's Ride-N-Drive event is also open on the weekends, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26, and re-opening on Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4. Hours are from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. Head to the entrance on the I-X Center's North wall.

Here you will be able to drive the Chrysler 200, 300, Town & Country. Dodge will have its Challenger, Charger, Durango, Journey and Ram 1500. If you're a Jeep fan, you can test drive the Compass, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. Fiat will have its 500 for those looking for something small and sporty.

Kia's Ride-N-Drive event is open all show days. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26; and Monday through Thursday from noon through 6:30 p.m. Next Friday, March 2 and through the end of the show, the Kia Ride-N-Drive opens at 11 a.m. and runs through 6:30 p.m. This Ride -N-Drive is located on the I-X Center's East Wall. Among the cars offered are the new Kia Optima SX, the Optima Hybrid, the Kia Soul and the new Kia Rio.

Hyundai's Ride-N-Drive event runs every day of the Show from noon to 6 p.m. It's located on the East wall of the I-X Center. Vehicles on hand include the Sonata, Elantra, Tucson, Veloster and Genesis.

Subaru's event takes place every day of the show from 11 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. Subaru will have its Outback, Forester, Impreza four-door and Impreza five-door available for Ride-N-Drive on the I-X Center's East wall.

Toyota's Ride-N-Drive is also open all week, starting at 11 a.m. and running through 7 p.m. Located on the I-X Center North wall, it will be open those identical hours every day of the show, offering test drives of the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, Prius v, RAV4 and Tundra.

Vehicles are subject to change, and may not be available at your time of visit. Check with for the latest updates.

The Cleveland Auto Show runs from Saturday, Feb. 25 through Sunday March 4 at the I-X Center in Cleveland. Tickets are $12.50 for adults (13 and older) and $10.50 for seniors (62+) and preteens. Children 6 and under get in free. Parking is free for the duration of the show.

The Cleveland Auto Show is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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