The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ain’t ’til March — but there’s a Mustang a’ridin’ into town this week at the 2020 Houston Auto Show … well, sorta. The all-new-for-2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV stopping through the Bayou City isn’t exactly a true Mustang, but it’s definitely worth a trip to this automotive pony show to check out. Elsewhere in the Houston car corral will be the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020 Porsche Taycan, while the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Trailblazer also will make their official Texas debuts — plus hundreds of other cars, trucks and SUVs from more than three dozen domestic and international automakers.
Related: How to Car Shop at an Auto Show
Billed as the largest auto show in the South, the Houston show will host new models, concept vehicles, classic cars and everything in between. It all gets rolling on Wednesday and will run through Jan. 26 at the NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. Hours are noon to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 26.
Tickets are $14 for guests age 13 or older, $5 for children age 6-12, and free for children age 5 and younger. Visit the show’s website for more info and to purchase tickets. NRG Center parking is $15.
Ready for a glimpse at what cars will be like in the new decade? Here are the top five things you don’t want to miss at the 2020 Houston Auto Show:
1. 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Hot off its November debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E doesn’t seem like much of a Mustang at all. The all-electric SUV is brimming with brand new tech and design features that seem to take a note from the upcoming Tesla Model Y. The optional extended-range battery is expected to enable an estimated 300 miles of driving on a single charge. On the dash is a 15.5-inch vertically oriented touchscreen powered by Ford’s next-gen Sync 4 multimedia system. The Mach-E even comes with built-in capability for hands-free highway driving — though Ford hasn’t said yet when that feature will be activated. So what makes this SUV still a Mustang? In addition to the fastback roofline and familiar sequential turn signals, Ford claims the GT Performance Edition will do 0-60 mph in the mid-3-second range.
A preordered First Edition Mach-E starts at an estimated $61,000 (including a $1,100 destination charge) and will ship in late 2020 — but they’re already sold out. The entry-level Select trim starts at $44,995 and will hit dealerships early 2021. Bonus: All trims will be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
2. 2021 Kia Seltos
Kia’s all-new subcompact SUV, the 2021 Seltos, will also show its face at the Houston show. Slotting between the Soul and the Sportage in Kia’s lineup, the Seltos brings a lot of interior space to the subcompact category. It comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 146 horsepower and is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. Available is a 175-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The small Seltos is big on safety (on higher trims, at least), with available automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, among other features. A 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen and eight-speaker Bose premium sound system are also available.
Kia has said the 2021 Seltos will start at less than $22,000, but it was still unknown whether that price includes destination. It reaches dealerships this winter.
3. 2020 Porsche Taycan
Porsche poured more than $1 billion into developing its first all-electric sports car, the 2020 Taycan. The Turbo trim, which will be on display in Houston, has a 93-kilowatt-hour battery pack that powers dual motors putting out a whopping 616 hp, and the EPA estimates a 201-mile range on a full charge. One of the striking details about the Taycan is that it’s chock full of displays: A curved screen makes up the instrument panel, a touchscreen houses multimedia functionality on the dash, and another available screen lets occupants control navigation and media functions.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo hit dealerships in late 2019, starting at more than $150,000. The base 4S trim starts at nearly a third less than that and will go on sale in the spring. As an additional incentive, Porsche is offering buyers three years of prepaid fast charging included in the purchase price.
4. Test Drives
The Houston Auto Show has plenty of vehicles on display for a salesperson-free car-shopping experience, but the best way to make comparisons across automakers is to get behind the wheel. This year, more than 50 of the latest models of cars, trucks and SUVs from more than a dozen automakers will be available for the Rides and Drives event, including:
- BMW: X3, X5, X7, M340i, 750i
- Chrysler: Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid
- Dodge: Durango
- Fiat: 124 Spider, 500X
- Ford: Escape, Explorer, F-150, Mustang, Ranger
- Honda: Accord, Civic sedan, CR-V, HR-V, Odyssey, Passport, Pilot, Ridgeline
- Jeep: Cherokee, Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler
- Mini: Countryman S, Hardtop two-door
- Nissan: Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Rogue, Titan
- Ram: 1500 Rebel, 1500 Limited, 1500 Laramie, 2500 Power Wagon, 2500 Limited, 3500 Limited
- Subaru: Ascent, BRZ, Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, WRX
- Toyota: Camry, Highlander, RAV4, Tacoma, Tundra
- Volkswagen: Atlas, Golf GTI, Passat, Tiguan
In addition to these test drives, Camp Jeep will offer attendees an experience you can’t often get at a dealership: the chance to take a Jeep out on an indoor, trail-rated test track. Showgoers (alongside a professional driver) can test out the off-road-ready versions of Jeep’s 2020 lineup: the Gladiator Rubicon, Wrangler Rubicon, Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, Cherokee Trailhawk and Compass Trailhawk.
Rides and Drives times vary by brand, so be sure to check the respective schedules of the ones you’re interested in driving.
5. Aftermarket Expo
While most of what you see at an auto show concerns car shopping, the Aftermarket Expo is 100,000 square feet of the NRG Center dedicated exclusively to what you can do with a vehicle after you buy it. Attractions include live car wraps and other demonstrations, interactive exhibits, and off-road accessories and innovative tech for sale.
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