With so much eye candy at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, we couldn’t help but take a peek at all the cool stuff on display from some of the other brands we don’t currently sell at Morrie’s. There’s such a wide range of cars, trucks, SUVs, and just about every other vehicle segment you can imagine on display in the massive McCormick Place convention center that it’s an all-day adventure to see it all. But we did just that, and after a couple of days at the show, we picked up on a few interesting trends:
Offroading/Overlanding is so hot right now
It seemed like every manufacturer that makes a truck or SUV or promotes an adventurous lifestyle had some sort of off-road, adventure-focused vehicle. Not only did Toyota roll out TRD Offroad trim levels for the Sequoia and Tacoma, but they had one of the Expedition Overland 4Runners on display, all loaded up with overlanding and recovery gear. Ford had a mean-looking Avalanche Grey Raptor prominently on display just across from Toyota’s new off-road offerings. Dodge had two tricked out RAM pickups, both lifted with big knobbly tires and recovery gear, one of which was even packing a supercharged 6.2L V8 from a Hellcat, as well as custom-fabricated side pipes. Meanwhile, Nissan had an accessorized Titan as well as a custom NV Cargo X built by Xtreme Offroad that not only looked awesome, but had some trail rash from actually being used and abused on the trail! GMC rolled out two trail-ready trucks with the Sierra and Canyon, which both looked pedestrian compared to Chevy’s new Colorado ZR2 truck. Heck, even Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Kia had overlanding or offroad-themed vehicles, including a new Atlas with a small roof-top tent and LED light bar, a jacked up Santa Fe with mud tires and Rockstar Energy Drink stickers, and a Sedona minivan with multiple light bars and wheels and tires replaced by a tracks system, respectively.
Black Wheels on EVERYTHING
Seriously. Everywhere you looked, there was at least one car with black wheels. Nissan’s entire “Midnight Edition” line was sporting black wheels. Ford had an Escape on black wheels, not to mention the Shelby GT350, Focus RS, and Raptor that were all sporting the dark wheels. Alfa Romeo slapped some huge black wheels on the Stelvio (which looked incredible, by the way). Mazda tucked some lightweight-looking wheels on an MX-5 concept car at their booth. Even Honda had a blacked out Pilot and CR-V. It was no surprise, however, that Chevrolet had some big, meaty black wheels on a bright green Camaro 1LE they had on display, as well as on the gorgeous Corvette Grand Sport next to it. Fiat’s plucky little 124 Spider Abarth was on display in three different colors, but apparently only comes with black wheels to match the blacked out hood and trunk. And that was far from everything we spotted with black wheels. It’s an epidemic, I tell you! But hey, at least it’s better than big, heavy 20″+ wheels on everything, right?
It’s a GOOD time to be an automotive enthusiast
Despite all the talk of autonomous cars and in-car apps, I’d argue there’s no better time to be a car enthusiast. We’re honestly spoiled for choice with tons of fun, capable, and affordable sports cars. Sure, you’d expect a great drive from Porsche or Ferrari or any of the other vaunted builders of automotive passion, but it’s simply amazing how many great cars there are for around $35k or less, right now. We’re talking about the BRZ and GT86, the the MX-5 and 124 Spider, the Focus and Fiesta ST’s, and the Golf GTI. Of course, there are also pony cars which have really come into their own and fast, capable sports cars like the Mustang and Camaro, both available with multiple engine options (including 400+ hp V8s) for under $35k. But there are some great, sporty sedans coming too, like the Kia Stinger GT. Even a basic Cadillac ATS can prove to be a thrilling drive on the right road. Of course, even if you’re not trying to stick to a budget, there are plenty of drool-worthy drivers out there too like the new Lexus LC500, Jaguar F-Type SVR, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and especially the new Ford GT. Not to mention any of the wild concept cars designed to keep the spirit of driving alive.
Thanks for looking! Let us know in the comments which cars were your favorites of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show!