Giddy-up! Join A Girls Guide to Cars at the Houston Auto Show and Test Drive Some of Your Favorite Cars

Houston Auto Show

And for 10 lucky ducks (and their guests), the show’s on us! 

Picture yourself amid the splendor of 800,000 square feet of Houston’s NRG Center surrounded by the latest vehicles from the world’s top automakers: welcome to the 35th year of the Houston Auto Show, which brings the automotive world to Texas. This year is especially meaningful, as more than 300,000 vehicles were lost during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey; consumers in the area are eager to see what is new on the market and compare makes and models to replace their cars.

Join us January 24-28th as we partner with the Houston Auto Show and Toyota to highlight the best the show has to offer as well as activities, attractions and more.

Houston Auto Show

The Houston Auto Show’s Ride and Drive event gives guests an opportunity to hop behind the wheel of dozens of cars from 19 brands and pick just the right one. Photo: @KLCMaher via Instagram

Did Someone Say Test Drives?

One of the highlights of the 2018 show is the test drive opportunity. You can test drive a number of cars and trucks, from Toyota’s top sellers to popular models from Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Nissan and more; in all there are 19 car brands to test drive. And don’t miss Camp Jeep’s simulated off road experience; a short track gives you the experience of driving over rough roads, steep hills and sharp turns. Guests at the show will also get to see the all-new Jeep Wrangler, the Texas debut of the Nissan Leaf and more. Nissan will also display their Star Wars: The Last Jedi-inspired concept vehicles, the Titan AT-M6 and the Captain Phasma Maxima.

Read our 10 great reasons to attend an auto show.

Houston Auto Show

Toyota will feature an impressive line up of cars, trucks and SUVs at the Houston Auto Show. Photo @amomblog via Instagram

Meet the Toyota Family, a new Texas Heritage brand

Toyota, which made Plano, Texas the home of its North American HQ in 2017, will feature a full lineup of cars, trucks and SUVs. In the lineup are super-gas-sippers like the Prius, Prius Prime plug-in, newly redesigned Camry Hybrid and RAV-4 Hybrid; SUVs including two 4 Runner editions– the Trail and TRD Pro; the super roomy Sequoia and Sequoia TRD Sport; 4 versions of the top-selling Highlander; and tons of trucks, including 5 Tundra models–don’t miss the Texas-themed 1794 edition!– and 5 Tacoma models.

You may have also seen the exciting news that Toyota announced that Huntsville, Alabama will be the site of their new joint-venture manufacturing plant, a $1.6 billion investment Mazda and Toyota are funding equally. We’re talking about a capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually at the new plant to produce the Toyota Corolla and Mazda’s brand-new soon-to-be-revealed crossover model. AND Toyota will soon introduce Amazon Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent cloud based voice service, within select Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Be sure to dress for the auto show like you mean business.

Houston Auto Show

Checking out the Mazda Miata at the 2018 Houston Auto Show. Photo: @LauraGomezNews via Instagram

A Special Day Honoring First Responders

The gratitude we have for emergency workers, police, fire and rescue professionals and volunteers grew ten fold during Hurricane Harvey when so many first responders came to the aid of storm ravaged Texans. So the Houston Auto Show and Houston Automobile Dealers Association will host a First Responders Day on Thursday, January 25, 2018. First Responders with a valid I.D. will have the opportunity to enter the Houston Auto Show for just $1, and will be honored with a special ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the lobby before doors open to the public.

Houston Auto Show

@GoRiceGirl captured the whole Houston Auto Show. Photo: Joanne Pham

Why Go to an Auto Show?

For some, buying a new car strikes fear and dread into their hearts. Auto shows minimize that stress, as there are no salesmen on the show floor to put pressure on you as you browse. You can enjoy the experience of looking at several cars and sitting inside to get a feel for them. Then, you’ll be more prepared to know which car meets your needs and you’ll head to the dealership with more confidence. On the show floor of the Houston Auto Show, experts are available to answer all of your questions in a relaxing and fun environment.

If you’re in the market for a new car, this is why going to an auto show is so important.

Houston Auto Show

The perfect place to car shop: the 2018 Houston Auto Show. Photo: @thevalaroundtown via Instagram

What You Need to Know to Ride and Drive

Wear good shoes! Good shoes for driving, that is (no flip flops!). The Houston Auto Show is the only Auto Show providing the opportunity to test drive more than 70 vehicles in one place. You may be able to test drive the car you have been dreaming of in a no-pressure environment!

Manufacturers participating in the Ride and Drive:

BMW, MINI,  Chevrolet,  Chrysler,  Dodge,  Fiat,  Ford,  Honda,  Jaguar,  Jeep,  Camp Jeep,  Kia, Land Rover,  Mazda,  Nissan,  Ram,  Subaru, and Toyota.

Ride and Drive Requirements:

  • Drivers must produce a valid driver’s license and age requirements vary by manufacturers
  • Child passenger restrictions vary, inquire at each Ride & Drive registration booth
  • All adults must provide follow-up information about themselves
  • All drivers and passengers must complete a Waiver of Liability
  • Drivers must pass a Breathalyzer Test

For more information, visit

Houston Auto Show

Map of the 2018 Houston Auto Show

Critical Details

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12 when accompanied by an adult; kids under 6 are free. The show is at the NRG Center from Wednesday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 28. From Wednesday to Friday, coupons for $2 off are available online and at participating Houston area new car dealerships and on the Houston Auto Show site.

Show hours are:

Wed. – Fri.       Noon – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday          10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Sunday             10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Want Free Tickets? We Have ’em!

Just enter here and you might be one of the lucky 10 people –plus a guest– to attend the show compliments of Toyota and the Houston Auto Show. Plus, one lucky winner will win a $100 gift card; dinner is on us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight January 24, 2018. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents and subject to the laws of Texas. Winners will be notified by email by January 25, 2018. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the Houston Auto Show, NRG Center, One NRG Park, Houston Texas 77054, between January 25, 2018 and January 28, 2018. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $24 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items. Grand prize value is $124. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded.

Disclosure: This post is part of a program sponsored by the Houston Auto Show and Toyota. 

Writer. Car fanatic. Mom. Kristin is the co-owner of auto review site Drive Mode Show and a nationally-published writer... More about Kristin Shaw