Before last year, I never would have entertained the idea of visiting an automotive show. After all, my idea of a fun afternoon includes pajamas and a cozy blanket. After having attended the 2014 International Auto Show in San Francisco (thanks to Mazda and Drive STI), though, I have to say that it’s not such a bad idea even if you’re not “into” cars.
5 Reasons a Non-Motorhead Might Visit a Local Auto Show
- Cars from various manufacturers all in one place.
When looking to buy a car, most have a short list of vehicles they’re interested in. This is the perfect chance to compare those (kind of) side-by-side and maybe find a few new contenders.
- Freedom to sit in and personally check out hundreds of models.
You’ll notice that most of the cars on display are unlocked and open for viewing. Sit inside, feel the interior, play with the buttons, stuff your family inside, climb in the trunk, whatever you need to do to see which car is right for your needs.
- Ability to ask questions without the pressure of buying.
This is not a sales lot and you won’t have salesmen flocking around you. If you want more information, visit the desk or an available representative for some items to take home and review at your leisure.
- Possible ride and drive opportunities.
Some manufacturers have a select number of cars out for a brief test drive. I drove the Mazda6 around a few blocks and was pretty impressed with how smooth and roomy it was.
- No embarrassment of posing with cars that cost more than the value of your life insurance.
Where else can you take selfies with Bentleys, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and more without being judged? These high-end vehicles are generally locked and behind velvet ropes but you’re more than welcome to drool at them and imagine yourself in one. That’s what everyone else around you will be doing anyway.
Are Auto Shows Family-Friendly?
Now, if you have car fans in the family, then going to an auto show is a perfect day out. I saw several families with littles along with them. There was a whole section dedicated to custom cars and another to race cars if either of those catch your fancy. There were even a few RV trailers open to tour.
Larger international shows (in Detroit, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Geneva) will also include major announcements and unveiling of new models. Tickets are usually very reasonable (less than $15). So why not check your local events and see if you can attend an auto show one of these days!
Admission to the show was covered by Mazda and Drive STI. All opinions are my own.