You’ve seen one auto show, you’ve seen them all, right? How many times can you go to the auto show and see the same models over and over again and still have an interest? Well, I guess that depends on how much time you have and how many cars you can fit in a a half million square feet.
Although I attended the Washington Auto Show in January, I was there to manage an event. I glimpsed around and hopped in the Corvette and drove the Volt. But I wasn’t paying too much attention to what was out there. Not until I got the itch to buy a new car.
I love cars and I especially love new cars. After test driving the Mazda CX-5 for a week last fall, I fell in love and pretty much knew that’s what I wanted to get next. But my current car is really nice and not even two years old. So I don’t need one.
But with my husband’s gentle encouragement, I started looking anyway. Although I had my eye on the CX-5, he wanted me to consider all brands, even those I might not normally have looked at. And he wanted me to test drive them too.
This process is easier said than done. I went to many dealerships and no one even looked my way. No greeting or “be with you in a few minutes” so I knew that driving from dealership to dealership was probably a waste of my time. And when I set out to attend the DFW Auto Show, I had an agenda in mind: check out every car on my short list and maybe even make a longer list.
As part of the SheBuysCars team, I was busy during the show making sure everyone went where they were supposed to go but I make sure I checked out cars on my list and I walked away with a totally new perspective.
This is the car I currently drive. Or, rather, it’s a rendition of it. This is the 2016 Toyota Avalon. I happen to drive a 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid and I love it. It’s a smooth ride, a gorgeous car, and looks way more expensive than it is.
But I’ve been looking for something a little sportier and SUV-ish. Of course, I checked out the Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid (too small) and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (too expensive). All great cars but not exactly what I’m looking for.
This is the car I’ve had my eye on.. The Mazda CX-5.
It’s got a sportier, more rugged exterior and don’t get me started on the black-accented rims. But the inside still has all the luxury amenities I like: perforated leather seats, in-dash navigation and entertainment, and the little wheel to control it all known as the commander control.
So my mind was made up. Until I saw this.
This is the brand new, redesigned 2016 Mazda CX-9 that’s not even due in the showrooms until late Spring. It’s so new that we were actually looking at a prototype – a one of its kind – so we couldn’t even sit in it. Luckily, they did bend the rules and opened it up so we could take photos.
The exterior looked sleek, modern, and luxurious. Not the sporty SUV I was looking for but it captivated me. So I had to take a peek inside.
The leather interior cradled all of the accents from the three rows of seating to the commander control. But my favorite part is the control screen that actually looks like an iPad mini propped right up on the dashboard.
It was love. I’m ready to buy. Once I actually sit in it and drive it. But I’m sure I’ll love it.
And if I don’t, I have a feeling I still have other options. After pacing back and forth on the show floor, our group had exclusive access to ride and drive experiences with Toyota, Mazda, and Kia. I’d heard so much about the 2017 Kia Sportage from Scotty over at SheBuysCars, I was dying to give it a drive.
And here’s the problem. I was actually really impressed with it. To the point where I’ve put it on my short list. And maybe, I even want to check out the larger Sorento.
If you’re looking or even dreaming about your next new car, spending time at a car show, especially when they have ride and drives, is a great way to figure out exactly what you want without the sales pressure. And it’s also a great way to change your mind.