Top 5 Debuts From the 2017 Chicago Auto Show

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

The Chicago Auto Show is normally a pretty quiet event and this year’s installment was no exception.

Catering to everyday consumers instead of high-end connoisseurs, the event is generally known for mass-market sedan reveals instead of flash-in-the-pan sports cars. Trucks are also frequent stars in the Windy City, which is something that was proven true this year.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Sifting wheat from the chaff, we’ve separated the best from the rest to bring you the most significant reveals from Chicago. Without belaboring this point, here are our five favorite unveilings.

5. 2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport

First up is Toyota’s full-size pickup truck. At this point their Tundra has more than a few gray hairs on its head, aging gracefully in a fiercely competitive segment.

MORE INFO: 2017 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Debuts in Chicago

For 2018, the new TRD Sport model gains numerous appearance upgrades over regular models including 20-inch wheels and smoked-chrome exterior accents. Moreover, it also features rough-and-tumble Bilstein shock absorbers and specially tuned sway bars.

4. 2017 Nissan Titan King Cab

The Nissan Titan is an evolving story. The Japanese automaker has been slowly releasing information about this truck for at least two years. First they launched the severe-duty XD model, which is available with a Cummins diesel V8. Then came the XD gas model followed by the half-ton variant and yadda, yadda, yadda.

MORE INFO: 2017 Nissan Titan King Cab Models Complete the Lineup

In Chicago, they unveiled the King Cab body style, which features a smaller back seat and doors. It’s available in either XD or half-ton configurations, which means it can be had with either a 5.6-liter gasoline V8 that’s rated at 390 horses or with that 5.0-liter diesel that puts out 555 lb-ft of torque.

3. 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

The Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is probably the most significant small-car reveal from this year’s Chicago shindig. Based on the European i30 model, it’s offered as both a standard model and a sport version. The regular car will feature a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with around 162 horsepower.

MORE INFO: New 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Gains European Flair and Sport Model

Sport variants are motivated by a 1.6-liter turbo with an estimated 201-pony stable. Perhaps the biggest feature of this vehicle is its roomy cabin, which offers around 97 cubic feet of passenger volume and a maximum of 55 cubes for cargo.

2. 2018 Ford Expedition

The all-new Ford Expedition took a bow in Chicago. This people-hauler has been totally overhauled for 2018. Riding on a high-strength steel frame and featuring an aluminum skin, engineering enhancements that helped it shed around 300 pounds. Beyond this, the third-row seat has been enlarged for greater comfort and the engine improved.

MORE INFO: New 2018 Ford Expedition Revealed Weighing 300 lbs Less

The only powerplant offered is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that’s matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combo should deliver around 375 horses and 470 lb-ft of torque. The new Expedition is set to go on sale this fall.

1. 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

Finally, the most exciting vehicle revealed in the Windy City this year was the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT. This full-size SUV features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of toque.

MORE INFO: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT Ready for Ruckus and Racetracks

An eight-speed automatic transmission makes the most of that oomph and gets the vehicle to 60 miles an hour in just 4.4 seconds, polishing off the quarter mile in less than 13. Functional scoops help keep this beast cool, allowing it to tow up to 8,600 pounds. Look for the high-performance utility vehicle at dealerships late in the year.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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