This year marks the 109th year of The Chicago Auto Show. It first took the stage in 1901 and continues to be the largest auto show in North America. The exhibit takes place at the McCormick Place complex and includes domestic and imported cars and trucks, sport utility vehicles, and many concept cars. Nearly 1,000 vehicles will be on display for your viewing pleasure. You won’t just be seeing cars and trucks, there will be some guest appearances. For all the Chicago Blackhawks fans, this year’s celebrity roster will include Tony Esposito, Jeremy Roenick, Eddie Olczyk, Adam Burish, Denis Savard, and Daniel Carcillo.
Recently the five best cars of the year were announced by Chicago News. The categories include best sports car, best performance car, best sedan, best crossover, and best family vehicle.
Best sports car – 2016 Dodge Viper
This comes as no surprise since it is in the last year of production. The Viper first came out in 1991 and there has not been much change to it going into 2016. The 2016 Viper has a 645 HP 8.4L engine with “TREMEC” six-speed manual transmission. The interior seats two and has an 8.4- inch touchscreen. If you go for the GTS you get the sweet 18-speaker Audio system. You can’t drive fast without some sweet tunes blaring through the car. The base model Viper SRT starts at $87,895 MSRP climbing to $107,885 for the Viper GTS.
Best performance car – 2017 Cadillac CTS-V
Cadillac does a beautiful job combining speed, handling, and luxury to create one of the best performance cars in the world. This is the third generation V-series for Cadillac. It has a supercharged 6.2L 8-speed automatic engine with 640 HP setting a top speed of 200 mph. MSRP starts at $89,995.
Best Sedan – 2017 Volvo S90
Chicago News says that it is so good “it’s going to change the industry.” The S90 is both technologically advanced but also very user-friendly. There’s a single 9” touchscreen display that makes it both functional and easy to use than most car displays. Just about every major function can be controlled through it without having to go through 20 menu options. Drivers can finally keep their eyes on the road and not fuss around with navigation or text messaging.
Best Crossover – 2017 Mazda CX-3
It is much like the Mazda CX-5 but more compact. It doesn’t have all of the crazy technology that most other cars have, but it is the best bang for your buck. MSRP starting at $19,960 for the base (Sport) model and MSRP $24,990 for the Grand Touring model.
Last, but certainly not least, is:
Best Family Vehicle – 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.
I know the minivan is just what you all have been waiting to hear about. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to have a brand new Viper sitting in our driveway, nor can we fit all the kids inside. Don’t hate on it just yet, though! It averages about 22 MPG and what’s even cooler is that you can travel up to 30 miles on electric alone with the Hybrid model. Taking a look at the interior of the van, it’s actually pretty cool. There are two displays in the back that allow for multiple activities. The kids don’t have to fight over what to watch anymore. They can watch two different movies at the same time. The front of the car has an 8.4-inch touchscreen with available Uconnect Navigation and Uconnect Access connected services. This means you can get WiFi to keep your office mobile. The Touring model MSRP starts at $30,485. If you want all the bells and whistles the Limited model will run you about $42,495 MSRP.
The show starts February 11th at 10 am and runs through February 20th until 8 pm. Tickets are available online at ChicagoAutoShow.com and Drivechicago.com, or at the show. Pricing is $13 for adults, $7 for children ages 7-12 and seniors aged 62 and older. Admission is free for children under age 6 when accompanied by a paying adult. From Friday, Feb. 15-17 you can bring in three cans of food for the food drive and receive a coupon for $7 adult admission. All food is going to be donated to A Safe Haven Foundation. All military members who currently serve in the active duty, National Guard or Reserves and hold a valid military ID are free to attend the show. All non-active personnel and family must purchase a ticket.