2019 Chicago Auto Show: Test drives

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ByRoz Varon via WLS logo
Monday, February 11, 2019
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Roz checks out the test driving options at this year's Chicago Auto Show.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Auto Show experts say that 70 percent of show-goers come with the intention to buy a car within a year.

This year's Auto Show offers actual test drives from more than six manufacturers, featuring roughly 40 vehicles to choose from.

"The advantage to that as a consumer you can test drive direct competitors against each other, even though it's a small closed in area, you still get back to back driving experiences," said Kelsey Mays, senior consumer affairs editor at Cars.com. "That's really important."

It's easy to do. After you sign up, it's just a short walk from the showroom floor to the test drive locations outside McCormick Place. Roz tried as many vehicles as she could within her deadline, starting with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Plug-in.

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The Pacifica gets 520-mile total range and has all kinds of safety features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go and automatic emergency braking, both front and rear.

Next up, the all new Nissan Leaf. This electric car is also loaded with safety features including pro-pilot assist, intelligent cruise control and an e-pedal.

On to the Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium, which comes with a 6-year, 72,000 mile bumbler-to-bumper transferable warranty. The digital cockpit has all views of the safety features, including lane assist, cruise control, a 360-degree camera with accuracy within one inch.

Roz finished with the Subaru Ascent, their three row SUV, safety features include dual eyesight forward facing cameras, which are standard, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane keep assist and an entertainment system for Apple Car Play or Android Auto, using a touch screen, or old school manual know controls.

Another nice thing about the test drives: you can get a feel for the car without any high-pressure sales people in the car with you. The specialists just explain what's going on in the car

Monday is Sports Team Pride Day at the Chicago Auto Show. In addition to all the latest models and other displays some of Chicago's sports teams will be well represented.

The White Sox mascot "Southpaw" will be there as will former Chicago Blackhawk Brian Campbell. The Chicago Fire and the Chicago Wolves are also at the show.

Attendees who wear an Illinois team/jersey/shirt/sweatshirt/jacket can receive a discounted admission ticket for $6 off admission. Attendees are asked to visit the Miller's Ale House tables in the North Hall Ticket lobby to get a discount coupon before going to the ticket booth.

Meanwhile, the annual "First Look for Charity" at the auto show raised more than $2.8 million for 18 local non-profit organizations.

"First Look for Charity is a great instrument for the area's new-car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community," said Ray Scarpelli Jr., chairman of the Chicago Auto Show. "All the benefiting charities are involved locally, so the money that's raised in Chicago stays in Chicago."

The Chicago Auto Show runs through next Monday at McCormick Place.

The Chicago Auto Show runs from Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place. For more information, check out the ABC7 Chicago Auto Show Guide.