Car Research at the Chicago Auto Show

Friends, I have never been to the Chicago Auto Show. I’m not really “turned on” by expensive, flashy cars, and I thought that’s what you did there: take pictures of yourself by expensive cars (haha, I totally did that when I went!). But I never thought of the Auto Show as a place to look at all of options of cars you could lease/buy…until now.

Nate and I leased our car right after we got married, and our lease is up in October (can’t believe it’s been almost three years!). We decided to use our day off for President’s Day wisely by going to the Auto Show to see what cars we both like.

There’s no other way to break this down, so I’m just going to say it: I like all of the bells and whistles on a car. It’s kind of like an apartment: when you have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and garage parking, it’s hard to reverse that. For me, I love navigation (I get a bit turned around without it!), heated seats, and I’ve grown dependent on a backup camera (best invention for city dwellers). Nate is taller than six feet, too, so we need a car that has enough leg room and his head isn’t too close to the roof of the car!

There’s a lot to think about financially when you’re looking for cars, but for our research, we wanted to focus on what we were comfortable in. It’s funny, when you crunch the numbers, you may find that once you add some bells and whistles, your Ford is just as much as your Lexus.

So we arrived at McCormick Place right when the show opened, and we walked. A lot. And sat. In a lot of cars. Big and small, sedans and SUVs, Fords and BMWs. And, funny enough, Nate and I were mostly on the same page about the cars we liked.

Some of my favorite cars from the Auto Show were (in no particular order):

1. Volvo S90
2. Volvo XC70
3. Lincoln MKZ
4. Jeep Grand Cherokee
5. Cadillac SRX
6. Ford Escape
7. Subaru Outback

(The last two were a little snug, but I like them!)

There were other cars I liked, but the back seat was so small, it just didn’t make sense for us. And we didn’t sit in cars we are most familiar with (to save time). Nate also loves trucks, but I’m not sure it makes sense to have a truck as our shared car in the city. One day, Nate!

Overall, the Auto Show was a really cool experience. It’s kind of expensive (don’t eat there unless you want a $6 hot dog), but it will save us a lot of time and energy not having to go to every dealership. They also have a lot of activities, like test driving vehicles, photo booths, pinball machines, demonstrations (the Mustang one was cool. And loud!). And there were a lot of people there to enjoy it, so go early.

I’ll keep you posted what we end up with in October. Who knows, maybe we will buy our car if it works out. Only time will tell.

Chicago Auto Show
McCormick Place
2301 South Lake Shore Drive