Tom Jones famously crooned, “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone” — but it may be just a little unusual for an auto show audience to show so much love to any one model in particular. An elite clique of cars typically will emerge as the Heathers (or the Plastics if you’re more comfortable with that reference) of a given automotive exhibition, collectively dominating reader interest in Cars.com’s comprehensive show coverage. But among our most popular news articles from the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, which ended its 10-day run on Presidents Day, the 2021 Genesis GV80 was decidedly the Heather Chandler … or Regina George of the lot.
The GV80 — the entirely new, and first, SUV from Hyundai’s 4-year-old luxury brand — managed to make fetch happen, being the subject of or featuring heavily in six of our top 10 news stories out of the Windy City car convention. Cars.com reviewer Brian Normile’s straight-from-the-show-floor report on his first impressions of the drop-dead gorgeous three-row SUV was far and away the article that drew the most curiosity. The GV80 also was among our team of reviewers’ slate of winners and losers from the show (spoiler: It was a unanimous winner), taking the No. 3 position on our list; our full primer story on the Genesis SUV figured in at No. 5; our at-the-show comparison piece pitting the GV80 against its Lincoln Aviator rival landed at No. 6; our overall Chicago show preview story, led off by the GV80, came in at No. 7; and Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays’ video critique of the SUV brings up the rear at No. 10.
Despite its ostensible popularity, the GV80 couldn’t quite score our expert reviewers’ ultimate endorsement for Cars.com’s Best in Show prize. That honor instead went to another glitzy Chicago debut, the 2021 GMC Yukon — and not just when you factor in the Denali trim’s successful delivery on the sub-brand’s once-languishing luxury #LifeGoals.
“I was also impressed by the level of luxury in the Yukon Denali, but even if you choose one of the more mainstream trim levels, there are some significant improvements,” Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley noted. “For one, the second-row captain’s chairs now slide forward and backward, letting rear passengers divvy legroom in the second and third rows as needed. And where the third row in the prior generation was cramped and uncomfortable, the one in the 2021 Yukon is comfortable for adults with a much better seating position.”
The Yukon was also another across-the-board “winner” among the show’s winners and losers, while reviewer Aaron Bragman’s first impressions of the full-size SUV cousin to both the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade made enough of an impression to take fourth place among competing auto-show articles.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE trim and our picks for the coolest concept cars await further along in the list, so make like M.J. in “The Wiz” and ease on down. Here are the top 10 news stories out of the 2020 Chicago Auto Show that Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of:
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