The environments the game presents, from the cities of San Francisco, Tokyo, London, and Monte Carlo, have many destructible objects including light poles, mailboxes and other items. When cars careen into one another, they fly into the air, and it is quite amazing to see the collisions.
Lampposts light nighttime races, and if a car knocks one down, the light appropriately dims. Day time races are complete with sun glare effects, and as cars race over debris on the streets, it realistically flies into the air. Unfortunately, environmental effects aren't complete. Car wrecks have no real bearing on game play, except that they look cool, but if you crash into a building, glass doesn't fly and buildings don't destruct. Crashing into other cars, or into light poles and other destructible objects does slow you down, and all other objects stop your car. Being stopped by a police officer also slows you down, but there doesn't seem to be any other consequence, as you can still continue a race after being 'busted'.
Sound effects are pretty good, but not stellar. Outside of the sounds of the cars or the police sirens, there are some ambient effects, such as pedestrians yelling at you as you race past them, or horns blowing. Also, your competition will taunt you, but these quickly become tedious.
Several musical groups are presented, including Saliva, Junkie XL and JA Rule. Test Drive supports Xbox soundtracks so you can use your own music, or just turn the music volume all the way down and go without tunes.