I Wish I Had This When I Shopped For My Car: Exclusive New York Auto Show Tours

Go behind the scenes and get up close, personal insights on new cars, technology and more with group tours, Girls Night Out and more at the 2024 New York Auto Show

A Girls Guide To Cars At The New York Auto Show
Try on a brand new Mazda for your Spring Car shopping! Hop into your dream car and see what it feels like to take the wheel. Photo: @thecancan

Never Shop Alone.

It’s the reason we put up with cars we don’t love, maintenance headaches. boring colors and old technology: We hate car shopping.

But you don’t have to. I’m here for you. I’ll be leading several tours at the New York Auto Show in March and I’d love you to join me.

A Girls Guide To Cars New York Auto Show Tour

Me with a group of ladies touring the Dallas Fort Worth Auto Show. They learned a lot and had a great time, too! Photo: Eddie Fortuna

Auto Show Learning Leads to Confidence

I love leading these tours. Not just because it’s fun to see every car on display, to talk about the big picture stories (are electric cars really the future?) and to share insider stories that shape the styles (there’s a reason Hyundai and Kia models look so good), technologies (everyone should have an assistant in their car) and trends (big, boxy SUVs are back) on display.

It’s that moment when I see the veil lift; when a person on my tour finally gets it. When she understands that she can live life differently; when she sees herself in her dream car and knows it can be a reality. When she understands what she’s really shopping for. The moment of clarity that becomes confidence; she knows what she wants and needs and can resist the pressure to buy the wrong thing.

Related: 9 Best 3 Row SUVs – From Luxury to Affordable

A Girls Guide To Cars At The New York Auto Show

Try on a brand new Mazda for your Spring Car shopping! Hop into your dream car and see what it feels like to take the wheel. Photo: @thecancan

The Joy of the Aha Moment

There was a moment just like this last spring. After taking a group through the show that morning, we ended at the Lexus exhibit. The RX had just been re-introduced and a top of the line 550h F Sport model was on display, its doors open and luckily for us, the power was on. I hopped into the driver’s seat and sure enough, my favorite technology was working.

I asked the group, “who has used head up display?” A few hands went up. “Who knows what it is?” A few more hands went up. Most had never heard of it.

So, I had every person in my group sit in the driver’s seat and try out the most novel head up display ever. Each was able to see something only the driver can see, an image projected on the windshield that displays speed, navigation and more. The Lexus system is operated by touch-sensitive pads that, when you swipe your finger around the pad, illuminate different functions. Use it to change the radio station or set adaptive cruise control. It’s brilliant and fun, and something you’d never see at an auto show, or perhaps even a test drive, unless you know to ask and are lucky enough to have access to it.

And yet, it’s moments like this that you see the transition on the face of people trying it out. The slowly spreading smile. The light in the eyes. The giggle once they get out of the car. The heightened chatter with others who’ve tried it out. Even those who had seen or used head up display were amazed. They’d never seen anything like this before.

Views, literally, were changed.

Related: 10 Technologies You Need in Your Next New Car

2023 Lexus Rx Head Up Display. May The 4Th Be With You On Star Wars Day. Photo: Scotty Reiss

May the 4th be with you on Star Wars Day: Lexus head up display is helpful, futuristic tech. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Tour of the New York Auto Show Made All The Difference

I’ve been leading tours of the New York Auto Show for more than a few years (8, I think?). And each year there are guests who leave with a clear path to their new car. The mom who needed to figure out with her teen daughter what they needed in a car for her. The two women who were leaning on each other while muddling through car purchases; both were terrified to go it alone. The mom of two energetic young boys who knew a lot more about cars than she did and she wanted to keep up with them. In the group it was easy to ask questions, to be able to digest the information and ask a follow up, even to figure out what questions to ask – not always the easiest task!

Related: Going to the Car Show? What You Need to Know – And What to Wear

2019 New York Auto Show

See the latest concept cars–the auto show’s version of haute couture and a view of what is on the horizon for the future. Photo: @Glamnellie

An Exclusive, Behind the Scenes Look at Cars

Part of the fun of these tours is the early and exclusive access to the show; my first tour this year takes place before the show opens to the public on Thursday, March 28th. Guests will get a quiet tour of a relatively calm exhibit floor as executives and product specialists finish up the second day of industry previews and prepare for the next day’s public opening.

My second tour is on Friday afternoon, March 29th; guests can come early or stay at the show all evening to see more, climb into cars to try them on for size, and to enjoy the ride and drives — there are many.

And on Saturday it’s “Girls Night Out” at the New York Auto Show. Just women. No questions are silly, no opinions are dismissed, no considerations are small. And the attention is on what guests want and need to know. I’m really looking forward to this one.


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Learn. Try. Ride. Shop

The great thing about the auto show is the opportunity to shop across all brands, have your questions honestly and knowledgeably answered, to sit in, touch, feel and experience different cars. And, then take a ride to experience how they feel in motion.

There are many ride-alongs; while the schedule hasn’t been announced yet, past rides included:

  • Ford F-150 Lightning “Launch,” a pedal-to-the-metal high speed experience with a professional driver at the wheel (SO. FUN.)
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E autocross course
  • Ford Bronco off-road course
  • Camp Jeep off-road course
  • Ram truck off-road course
  • Toyota Test Track
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 electric car course
  • EV Test Track featuring Nissan Ariya, Vinfast VF8, Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Niro and BMW IX

I hope you’ll join us. Bring your questions, concerns and comments, and bring a friend who needs to build confidence about cars, or who just loves cars and wants an exclusive tour of the New York Auto Show. It’s a very special experience. And a great day out!

2024 New York Auto Show

Where: Jacob Javits Convention Center, 11th Ave. Between 34th and 40th Streets, NYC

When: March 29-April 7th, 2024

Tours: March 28, 29 and 30

General admission tickets: $22/adults; $8 children

Tour tickets: $55-$60; $30 children (not available on March 28)

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