The Chicago Auto Show has always made an argument for being the best major car convention for shoppers and auto enthusiasts to see the greatest number of models from the most manufacturers. But the Windy City show has struggled to be seen as a destination for debuts of all-new models and big redesigns. We speculated that the move of Detroit’s prestigious North American International Auto Show from January to June this year — leaving a gaping hole in the major auto show circuit between Los Angeles in the fall and New York in the spring — would benefit Chicago by attracting more automakers hoping to display their new product earlier in the new model year.
Related: More 2020 Chicago Auto Show Coverage
A subjective opinion as to whether that happened or not will depend on who you talk to, but the raw numbers speak for themselves. With nine debuts of either brand-spankin’ new models, redesigns or refreshes, it’s a far cry from, say, last year, when a barely perceptible 2020 refresh of the Toyota Tacoma was the big news, competing with a mild update to the Subaru Legacy, or that time the lone legitimate “new model” was the Volkswagen Arteon sedan.
Nossir, this year, Chicago hosted, if not the actual debut of the all-new 2021 Genesis GV80 (that occurred at the tail-end of January at an exclusive press event in Miami), the first major auto-show appearance where you’ll be able to see it to starting Saturday. And, folks, it is a sight to behold. The first SUV from Hyundai’s still-young luxury spinoff brand is a triumph by nearly every measure — and it was only narrowly edged out for our Best in Show honor due to not yet having had a chance to convince us its show-floor promise would hold up when the rubber literally meets the road.
Speaking of Best in Show, another Chicago debut — the redesign for 2021 of the GMC Yukon, the upmarket cousin of the also-overhauled Chevrolet Tahoe — wooed our expert reviewers away from the GV80’s formidable wiles. They lauded the Yukon for finally delivering on the promise of GMC’s wannabe-luxury Denali sub-brand, so successful, in fact, it got ’em all like, “Escalade, who?”
Yet another redesign unveiled in Cars.com’s hometown was the 2020 Kia Cadenza. It’s a tough time for sedans, especially for big, non-luxury ones, with everyone nowadays loving SUVs like the Mandalorian loves Baby Yoda. And although this nice, classy, quasi-luxurious four-door car is unlikely to sell even close to as many units as there are people reading this story right now, we salute the South Korean brand for taking a stand for the sedan.
Other new stuff at the Chicago show includes the meaningfully refreshed-for-2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the 2021 refresh of Jaguar’s sexy F-Type coupe and convertible sports car, the hybrid version of the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, the highly anticipated Type R high-performance variant of the redesigned 2020 Honda Civic, the lightly refreshed 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, the Cadillac CT4 luxury-sports-sedan replacement for the defunct ATS and, hell, even the freshened 2021 Chevrolet Equinox that just kind of showed up on the Chicago show floor with neither pomp nor circumstance.
And all that’s really just the beginning. There are brand-new trim levels of existing favorite models, special editions, aspirational supercars, aftermarket-accessorized off-roaders, concept cars — and even a model-year 2020 vehicle with the model-year-2021 redesign’s engine. In other words, you’re gonna wanna peruse the entirety of our news haul below, because there’s, like, no way you’re caught up on it all.
Here’s everything you might’ve missed of our comprehensive coverage, from both Cars.com and sister site PickupTrucks.com, of the 2020 Chicago Auto Show:
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