February 13, 2019

All You Want To See From The 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Chicago often plays a junior role to the other major mid-western auto show in Detroit, but there were plenty of exciting new rides unveiled in The Windy City recently.  From the all-new Indiana-built Subaru Legacy to heavy duty trucks from Chevy and Ford to swift German sedans, off-road Toyotas, and sporty new crossovers, there was plenty to see.  Here are the highlights:

2020 Subaru Legacy

Sedan sales are in freefall, but Subaru launched an all-new Legacy anyway.  Exteriors are more chiseled, but bigger changes occur inside with a new 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen and Touring trim with Nappa leather.  Engines include a 182 horsepower 2.5liter Boxer 4-cylinder and 2.4-liter turbo-four.  Tech includes facial recognition software to keep drivers alert, torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, and addition of lance centering to Subaru’s EyeSight crash avoidance system.  Production commences in Lafayette, Indiana later this year.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

It has a bold grille that only its mother loves and a three-inch longer cab, but truck fans will geek over the standard 401 horsepower 6.6-liter V8 gas engine or 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V8 that delivers 445 horsepower and 910 lb.-ft. of torque through a 10-speed Allison transmission.  Max towing capacity reaches 35,500 lbs.  Additional tools include GM’s “invisible trailering camera” that lets drivers “see” through trailers behind them.  An engine block heater, snow prep package, and trailering mirrors enable real work.  Silverado HD will be built in Flint, Michigan.

2019 VW Jetta GLI

Welcome the sixth generation of VW’s four-door GTI.  Kicked by a 228 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four, the car plants it with the Golf R’s brakes, independent rear suspension, and 18” alloy wheels.  Standard LED exterior lights, aggressive bumpers, black honeycomb grille, and dual chrome exhausts distinguish the exterior.  Drivers will appreciate VW’s Digital Cockpit flatscreen instruments, adaptive suspension damping, and blind spot monitor.  Beats Audio and 10-color ambient lighting create the mood.  Sales begin this spring.

2020 Toyotas Speak TRD

TRD is the Japanese automaker’s in-house off-road performance brand that’s being amped with special editions of the 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra, Sequoia, and RAV4.  The last gets an off-road suspension, 18” matte black wheels, fog lights, and torque-vectoring AWD.  Sequoia gains bypass Fox shocks to smooth off-road roughness.  Tacomas grab LED headlamps, black-insert taillamps, 16” wheels, and LED fog lamps.  Beyond all of that, look for metallic black or white paint and stylized interiors.

2019 Cadillac XT5 Sport

Taking a cue from the smaller XT4 baby Caddy crossover, the mid-size XT5 gets the Sport treatment with a gloss black grille, 20” gray aluminum wheels, LED headlamps, signature accent lighting, and clear taillamp lenses.  Inside, sport pedals and two color choices – Cirrus/Jet Black with Aluminum trim or Jet Black with aluminum trim – distinguish it.  A 310 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 remains to spirit this chariot away.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek

Nissan dresses up the Pathfinder with unique 18” wheels, black mesh grille, black roof rails, black facia accents, and black door handles for a rugged understated appearance.  Inside, passengers find two-tone seats and contrast stitching on the seats, door, console, and steering wheel.  Metallic trim adds glitz.  The model comes standard with a trailer tow hitch and harness, splash guards, and 6,000-pound towing capacity courtesy of a 284 horsepower 3.5-liter V6.  All of this adds $995 to SV and SL grades in front- and all-wheel-drive.

2020 Ford F-250

Thinner bars in grille and revised exterior flourishes are nice, but the real news lies under the hood.  Customers can choose between mega 7.3-liter gasoline V8 or 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 engines connected to a new 10-speed automatic transmission (ratings TBA).  Super Duty also offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance compatible with fifth-wheels.  Production comes from Louisville, KY and Avon Lake, OH.

2019 Ram 1500 Adds Multi-Function Tailgate

You knew there was no way GMC’s fancy tailgate would go unanswered.  Ram debuted a new multifunction 60/40 split/flip tailgate in Chicago.  It can open flat, open the left door only, open the right door only, or open both doors.  A retractable center step is optional.  It makes everything from loading tools to sweeping out mulch easier.  The athletic tailgate adds $995 to the Ram 1500’s sticker.

Storm Forward!

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