CHICAGO AUTO SHOW GUIDE: DIRECTIONS & PARKING | FAQ | MULTIMEDIA
The gender gap continues to close at the Chicago Auto Show, where 45 percent of visitors are women. Automakers continue to respond to the expanding role of women in the automotive space.
"Women shop for cars differently than men and a day like this really allows to feel comfortable to come out here and shop for cars in a way that works well for them," said Cars.com Editor-In-Chief Jennifer Newman. "They are looking for subcompact they are looking for something smaller, they are looking for value. A lot of women are looking for cars that are a little more affordable and have exactly the features they are looking for, they are not always interested in the bells and whistles."
But they still attract - as well as the elaborate displays at this shopping experience. Around 60 percent of attendees are looking for new wheels in the next year - thoughtful wheels.
"I think they should put a purse holder in the car for women so their purses do not fall over in case you forget to zip," said Marissa Lotz of Hanover Park.
That was just one topic at a series of talks on women and cars throughout the day - including the She ROCKS panel female empowerment, inspiration and networking.
"Women just have more of an input over what they want in their car now and there are just certain things that I look for," said Marla Matthews, of Park Forest. "Like ambiance, lighting, and how you can change the inside colors of your car. Just a little things like that matters to a woman."
On Tuesday night, Toyota will give over its stage for a meet and greet with 160 women put on by "A Girl's Guide to Cars."
"It really is an invitation into a show that a lot of women have always thought of as a bastion of mail enthusiasts and gearheads," said Scotty Reis, of "A Girl's Guide to Cars." "If you present cars on women's terms - which many of the manufacturers do - women then begin to feel confident and they feel more engaged and they want want to be a part of this."
You can easily take a break from the comparison shopping at one of the many interactive displays and test tracks at the show. One of the new test tracks at the Chicago Auto Show is from Volkswagen, which features the Atlas Cross Sport.
"We're going back to Baja and we took this opportunity to set up this Baja Track for our new cross sport," said Jeff White, Volkswagen performance driver.
Back on the showroom floor, Cars.com Car of the Year is the all new Hyundai Palisade, a three-row SUV with plenty of room and a lot of family-friendly features.
"This is all about value and luxury," Newman said. "Hyundai is a brand that is for the masses and yet, they have put together this amazing SUV that has luxurious touches and its got a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty that is Hyundai standard. It's really appealing to families of all sizes."
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is also great for families. The refreshed mini-van has all-wheel-drive, a new multi-media system that's five times faster and new cameras and safety features and pillows! Just one more things to help out with the kids!
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