The 2023 Chicago Auto Show: 3 Row SUVs, Future Concepts and Electric Cars Are Heating Up Winter in Chicago

2023 Chicago Auto Show Featured Image

There really is no better way to car shop.

Both halls of the consumer-focused Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place are open this year, full of cars to check out. The show, which runs through February 20th, feature some newsworthy new cars, SUV’s, and concepts, and it’s always fun to walk laps at the show, seeing something new each time we turn the corner. What should you look at? Here are a few of our favorites.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport

The 2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are updated and look sturdy and handsome. I particularly like the illuminated badges on the front and the rear of the SUV’s, with a pretty white LED light bar on the front that blends in with the headlights, and red light bar on the rear that blends in with the taillights. The Atlas will seat 7 and the Atlas Cross Sport seats five. 

Both models have an upscale look and feel. Materials feel luxurious, and the layout is efficient and pretty. In the Atlas, there was a light interior with wood trim that blended nicely with LED’s, quilted seating material, and some shiny black details. VW has struck a nice balance with the interior materials in the Atlas Cross Sport as well, though the dark interior definitely felt more sporty than luxurious.

Beyond the looks, the 2024 Atlas comes with three-zone climate system, ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters are standard! I love that, there is also a standard 12” display, and a 10.25 inch digital instrument cluster.

The Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport will be powered by a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine. Volkswagen has made the most of this redesign and we can’t wait to check it out on the road.

Related: Volkswagen Atlas V6 SEL Premium: A 3 Row Family SUV for the Rockstar Mom

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru has their auto show display dialed it. It’s a gorgeous environment full of trees, rocks, puppies, and snow. Truly, there is a giant projection space with our national parks as the featured display. There is fake snow that falls. Take a walk among their trees, rocks, and covered bridges. Stop by the puppy adoption center there to take a load off and get some snuggles from available puppies.

Oh! And check out the 2024 Crosstrek while you’re there! It’s a little bigger than the outgoing model. It’s got cladding along the bottom and fenders, and there is a metallic yellow trim piece too, that adds a really fun pop to the exterior of the car. It’s still pretty angly and outdoorsy looking. And we are here for it.

Much of the interior feels the same, just updated. The steering wheel retains the same shape, but it’s cleaned up a bit. There is a large touchscreen in the center of the dash, and an efficient control center. Unfortunately, Subaru is eliminating the manual transmission option and that makes us sad. But it keeps the same base price of the outgoing model at $24,995. Nice!

Related: Toyota Grand Highlander Luxury 3 Row SUV: Bigger, More Spacious and More Powerful Hybrid!


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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

The Toyota Grand Highlander is Toyota’s newest SUV. It does not replace the Highlander we know and love. Rather, it’s just a little more of it. 6” longer and 2” taller, the Grand Highlander has more room in the third row, and if you have a second row bench, you can bring 8 people with you. Also, there is more room in the cargo area for their stuff. Not ALL their stuff, but some of it.

Also new with the Grand Highlander is the option of three different powertrains. You can opt for a 4-cylinder turbo, a 4-cylinder hybrid, or a Hybrid Max.

As far as looks go, the Grand Highlander echoes a more rectangular look seen throughout Toyota’s new Sequoia and Tundra. It’s got a large grille and bigger wheels. Inside, the Grand Highlander looks updated but not overly trendy. The driver and front passenger have large cupholders, a wireless charging pad, and a cool shelf in front of the passenger where they can stash their device (or charge it using the USB-C charging port located next to it) or small bag.


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Hyundai Ioniq6 and Evolve+ Subscription Service

This is one we can’t wait to drive: Sleek and sexy with a Porsche-like tail spoiler, yet all electric and lots of room for 5, the Ioniq6 promises to turn heads. And, when Hyundai’s Evolve+ service rolls out, we may just take it for a month. Or two. The service allows you to rent a Hyundai electric car for a month or longer without a contract or commitment. Just download the app, find the car you want, fill out your financials and select the terms you want. Then pick it up or have it delivered. And boom. The hottest new electric car is in your driveway. What a way to test drive an electric car!

See the Nissan Z, One of the Most Heralded Cars of the Year

Designers love it; drivers love it; and it’s at dealerships now: The fully redesigned Nissan Z. You can get a good look at this classic sports car and see why it’s so popular among enthusiasts.



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2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

It’s a stunning sports car and though it’s electric, Corvette lovers are sure to consider this car if they’re considering its gasoline-powered counterpart. The only caveat is the starting price tag of the E-Ray: $102,900. That said, you’d get one of the hottest cars around with the E-Ray, an all-wheel drive that has a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds and 655 combined horsepower will make potential owners pine for it. How does it get all that power and speed? A V8 engine paired with an electric motor.

The other reason people will pine for it? The fact that it looks like the sports car of our dreams. The 2024 E-Ray will be available late 2023.

Take an Electric Car Ride, or Test Drive

The show has multiple electric car test tracks right inside the show and feature the Nissan Ariya, Cadillac Lyriq, VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq5 and more. Or, take a spin in one of a number fo Toyota models, experience the thrills and views from atop the Camp Jeep and Ford Bronco test tracks, or head to outside to get behind the wheel of a number of new cars.

Concept Cars Make a Huge Splash

Ram 1500 REV

RAM made their auto show introduction of the RAM 1500 REV, their electric pickup truck. The RAM 1500 REV actually debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and we can see why. The tech in the 1500 REV is really fun. There are features that shine on a job site, but they also remind me that those features shine for families, too. A collapsible steering wheel and portable table, so the front seat turns into a work-friendly environment, which is great no matter what your work is. There is a Shadow Mode that has the truck follow you around and a very low speed (presumably on a job site, but this sounds great for a huge lacrosse tournament).

If you download the app, you can use your phone to scan items you want to pack into the RAM 1500 REV, and the app will show you the perfect configuration to make everything fit. Sounds like the absolute best way to load the truck for a camping trip! Also, the 1500 REV can take on 18’ long items in it’s cabin and bed…with the tailgate closed. I’ll repeat, that’s 18 feet with the tailgate closed.

Lastly, there is a jump seat that can serve as a third row of seating. This looks like it’d be best in a pinch, but hopefully we will get to test it when it comes out and determine who can fit there and for how long.

Related: How the Most Powerful Pickup Truck on the Road Made Me Squeal with Delight: Meet the Ram 1500 TRX


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Buick Wildcat Concept

THIS is a futuristic car. Sleek and full of style, it’s clear that Buick has design on the brain for the next era of this luxury brand.

Chrysler Airflow EV Concept

It’s a concept car’s job to take your breath away, and the Chrysler Airflow does it’s job exceptionally well. An open interior with floating armrests, light leather-like seating and dash combined with microfiber details dazzle, and make us feel ensconced in luxury. We can only hope this car comes to fruition in as much of its entirety that we saw on the show floor.


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Rebelle Rally News

We would be remiss if we neglected to mention that our friends and colleagues Kristin Shaw and Jill Ciminillo were the subject of Hyundai’s announcement that they will once again sponsor the two, knows as team Brute Force, in the 2023 Rebelle Rally. OH YEAH!

Auto shows are a great way to see shiny, gorgeous new cars. They’re also a great way to check out multiple car options if you’re in the market for a new car. Whether you’re a looker or a buyer, you’ll find a lot of beautiful vehicles to learn about at the Chicago Auto Show!

Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey