10 Reasons to go to the Los Angeles Auto Show

La Auto Show

In Los Angeles, cars matter. A lot.

For most people, our cars get us to and from places easily, comfortably and conveniently. Maybe even efficiently.

Not L.A. Your car is the first outfit people see you in. It is part of what defines your image. It whisks you away from daily stress, enables your weekend adventures and scoots you out of harm’s way when fires or mudslides erupt. It’s your mobile office, your living room on wheels, where you had your first kiss and where you tell your kids about sex (we might do that in the rest of the country, too).

Cars are so important to life in Southern California that staying up on trends, safety innovations and current values is practically a sport. And that is what will draw thousands of people to the L.A. Auto Show this November. Here is our guide to what you should see, what you shouldn’t miss and what others in your crew might like, too.

1. Be the first to see some major new cars

La Auto Show

Some important new models will be revealed at the LA Auto Show, including the Mazda CX-5,  this November. Image: Mazda

There will be new car reveals, which is the first time people get to see a new model. Expect new model debuts from Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Porsche, Volkswagen and Kia, as well as concept cars from Acura, Subaru and Infiniti.

2. Get the real scoop, and no pressure to buy

Probably the thing we love the most about auto shows are the product specialists. Those nice looking ladies and gents at each manufacturers exhibit are not there just to look good, even if their outfits may be coordinated with the brand’s image. They are actually highly trained product specialists who are there to provide information, answer questions and give you a thorough look at each car. Spend time with them and you’re better armed to start your negotiations at the dealership.

3. Check out the best in new SUVs

We love our SUVs, especially those of us who are social, hate to leave our kiddos behind or prefer the (off) road less traveled. The SUVs we are most excited to see are the Mazda CX-5, which takes a nod from the seriously upgraded CX-9 (expect upgrades in luxury, quality and technology); a new SUV from Alfa Romeo, a compact SUV from Jeep, and some models that are just starting to hit dealerships now including nicely revamped Nissan Rogue, the Jaguar F Pace, the Mini Clubman AWD, the Nissan Armada and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

4. Get an early look at Star Wars Rogue One with Nissan

Nissan Rogue One

The limited edition Death Trooper helmet that buyers of the limited edition Nissan Rogue will receive with their new car. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Yes, THAT Star Wars. The movie will make its debut on December 16th, but a full month early you can get a feel for the lights, magic and thrills that Rogue One promises. Also, you can be among the first to see the “Rogue One” limited edition Nissan Rogue that a few lucky buyers will be able to drive home, along with the limited edition Death Trooper helmet that comes with it. If you can’t get the Rogue One, perhaps you can get your photo with a Storm Trooper.

5. See the latest in electric, hybrid and alternative fuel cars

This is a category that is gaining speed fast. From the celebrated Chevy Bolt and the gas/electric hybrid Volt, to one of our favorites, the Toyota Mirai (which combines the DNA of Lexus with hydrogen fuel cell technology), the Honda Clarity and the Chrysler Pacifica eHybrid minivan (30 miles on a charge, 600 miles on a tank of gas!) it’s easy to get the lowdown on all your options before you start touring dealer lots.

6. Did someone say trucks?

Nissan has declared this the year of the truck, and from half ton to two-ton to mid size, off road and more, there are more amazing trucks on the market than ever. Seriously. Be sure to check out our faves: the Honda Ridgeline, the Nissan Titan, Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and of course, the Ford F150.

7. Take a test drive—or 20

The LA Auto Show has ride and drive opportunities all day every day of the show. With more than 100 cars available, all you have to do is show up, bring your license, sign a waiver and pass a breathalyzer. Kids can ride with you as long as they are 8 years old or older.

8. Let the kids drive, too

OK, maybe not the cars, but there will be lots of drive simulators available to give them the idea and a bit of a thrill (and maybe a bit more of a thrill than the 101 Freeway). Some of our favorite simulators are at Toyota, Ford and Subaru.

Auto Show

After taking you through some of its safety technology–showing you how the car stops automatically when a potential crash is detected, for instance, you get to ride through a race course with a professional driver. Photo: Scotty Reiss

9. It’s easy to get there – even in L.A.

The L.A. Auto Show is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown L.A. from November 18-27th, and is even open on Thanksgiving Day. Tickets are $5-$15 and you can also buy early entry, special experience and group tickets (or enter to win tickets—see details below). Discount parking is available a short distance from the L.A. Convention Center and can be reserved with Spot Hero; first time Spot Hero users can get $5 off by using the code AUTOLA. Or, the Metro Expo rail line now connects Santa Monica and downtown; the Pico station is just a block from the L.A. Convention Center.

10. Win tickets (or buy them)

You you can enter to win tickets for the L.A. Auto Show here, or enter our contest: we’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets and one lucky winner will also get dinner for two (well, a $150 gift card you can use for dinner) and a gift bag. You can enter below; winners will be announced during our Twitter Party on November 14th. Enter as many times as you like, share with your friends and good luck!

When: Monday, November 14th, 7PM PT

Who: @AGirlsGuidetoCars, @mrskathyking @stacymolter @jetsetfam @sugarjones, @scottyreiss, @meaganshamy #LAAutoShowSBC #MazdaLAAS #SteelMattersSBC

What: 10 pairs of tickets to the L.A. Auto Show and one grand prize package of two tickets to the LA Auto Show, a $150 gift card and a gift bag (total value $200).

How to enter: Follow @ShebBuysCars, @LAAutoShow, @MazdaUSA, @SMDISteel and for additional entries, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter, below. To be eligible to win you must enter the Rafflecopter below. No purchase necessary to win; prizes will not be mailed; winners must pick up prizes at the Los Angeles Auto Show before November 27, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: AGirlsGuidetoCars has partnered with the Los Angeles Auto Show to  bring you this contest and information about the event. Any opinions are expressed are all our own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss