What to See at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show

It's that time of year: Indoor auto shopping at its best. The Chicago Auto Show lets you test out new tech, take a spin, even find a thrill and pick out your new ride for this spring.

The 2024 Chicago Auto Show
The 2024 Chicago Auto Show

Time To Go Shopping!

It’s that time of year: The days are long, dark, and cold; indoor activities are the perfect way to bide our time until Spring. It’s also the perfect time to head to the auto show and shop for a new car.

The Chicago Auto Show, which runs from February 10-19, or one of more than 40 shows around the country, provide the ideal place to shop, compare and learn.

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The Multimedia System Includes A 12.4-Inch Touch Screen With Apple Carplay And Android Auto Connectivity. Photo Allison BellWhat Can You Learn at an Auto Show?

Technology in new cars is increasingly important and does a lot more. At any exhibit, you’ll be able to ask the product specialists to demonstrate how something works, from connecting your Apple iPhone to CarPlay to using voice assistance to turning off the screen beeps in a car.

You can also get a look at the head-up display, rear seat entertainment, and vehicle settings.

I particularly like being able to try putting the second and third-row seats up and down, climbing into the 3rd row and trying it out for size, and seeing how comfortable a car is for my passengers. I can see if I like the position of the air vents, USB ports, and cup holders — which are not all created equal.

And I can see paint colors in person — which is so helpful when it comes to deciding what I really want.

Here is a rundown of what you should see at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show— or an auto show in your town this year.

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Nissan Ariya “Pole to Pole”

Nissan and brave souls Julie and Chris Ramsey just put more than 18,000 miles on the electric Ariya on a “Pole to Pole” trek in which the Ramseys drove from the North Pole to the South Pole. In an all-electric car.

I know you have questions — I did. How did they get through it, especially in places with no civilization, not to mention, electrical outlets? They brought their own coffee maker that they plugged into the Ariya, which gave me confidence in their sanity. Then, they brought diesel and solar generators to power their systems and the car when electricity wasn’t available. They worked with people along the way, and they carefully monitored the health and capability of the Ariya. It was a champ, they said, and honestly, it looked amazing for having just survived such a trip. I’m not sure I would look as good.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally and Bronze Edition

Just when you thought the Ford Mustang Mach-E couldn’t get any cooler, Ford introduced an off-road edition and a Bronze package. The Rally edition was inspired by Ford’s stellar performance in the Rebelle Rally, the 1,500-mile off-road rally that takes place each fall in California. It’s modified for off-roading with a beefier rear spoiler, all-terrain tires and wheels, and more power — 480 HP and AWD from a dual motor power setup. The Bronze package showcased a new color palette with an iridescent bronze-hued green paint and bronze details. Shown with the extended range battery and all-wheel drive, it’s the prettiest Mustang Mach-E on the road.

Kia Carnival

Visitors to the Chicago Auto Show will be the first to see the new Kia Carnival, which is now a hybrid! We love this large, luxe, comfortable minivan— they call it a multipurpose vehicle — with reclining seats, rear seat entertainment, and more. And we really like the look and feel of this van; it’s long, tall, and square with a more elegant rear end than we’re used to with minivans. Just across the space from the Carnival is the Kia EV9, the brand’s all-electric 3-row SUV. Climb in and try it on for size.

Honda Prologue

One of my must-sees at the show was the Honda Prologue. This new electric car from Honda is a collab with General Motors, which provides the battery and power train. Inside, it’s all Honda: the new Honda multimedia system, vegan leather upholstery, and, thanks to the battery pack under the car’s floor, a nice wide rear seat with tons of legroom. It’s said to get about 300 miles to a charge and have about 340 HP, so it should be fun and go far.

If you’re looking for a dream-worthy, drool-worthy SUV, head to Lexus to see the GX. We just took a test drive and are so impressed; it’s like having a 5-star sherpa to get you up the mountain, with all the comforts and capability.


We’re thrilled to see BMW at the Chicago Auto Show this year. Several of their top models are on display, including the re-designed X5 and 5 Series sedan. And, you can get a glimpse of the X2, the fully redesigned compact sport-back SUV. We haven’t seen much on this one yet as it’s still in the prototype stage, but it’s on our top list of cars we are really excited to drive this year.

Mazda CX-90

Mazda crushed the competition this year with the brand new CX-90 3-row SUV that, with 6, 7, or 8-passenger options and several power train options, lets buyers pick the amount of luxury or capability they want. It’s a fun and easy-to-drive SUV with an elevated sense of modern elegance, so it’s no surprise it’s so popular.

There Are Puppies at Subaru

And, of course, Subaru is turning the show over to the dogs again this year. You can leave your information and head into the paddock to pet the puppies and, if you’d like to, adopt one. They are simply adorable, so you may want to double-check your willpower before heading over.

Also Worth A Look

Outside the convention center, there are actual test drives, so you can get behind the wheel of your dream car and take it for a spin. And when you get tired and hungry, around the corner is Pizanos, Woven & Bound in the Marriott Marquis, or the Arc Bar at the Hyatt, which is attached to the convention center. I can recommend all 3— I tried them all.

And then, start your actual shopping for a new car this spring. Think about taking the plunge on an electric car, or go for a gas-powered car that’ll create the ideal environment for you to stay warm and cozy the rest of the winter; then let the sunshine in and the fresh air rustle through your hair in the Spring. It’ll be here before you know it.

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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