2013 Chicago Auto Show Favorites: Photo Gallery

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The 2013 Chicago Auto Show closed Monday, and it was a raging success with the public, attracting a huge crowd during its 10-day run, said Mark Bilek, the show's director of communications and technology. Though he couldn't give us a specific attendance number, "We are very confident in saying we are the best-attended auto show in the nation," he told Cars.com.

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Although the show is over, it'll be hard to forget our favorite cars, from the futuristic Kia Cross GT concept to the bug-eyed Nissan Juke NISMO and fan-friendly Chevrolet Camaro Blackhawks edition. Cars.com photographer Evan Sears has collected a few of his favorite shots from this year's Chicago Auto Show for a unique photo gallery. Check it out below; click on each photo to enlarge it.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Video

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The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is not your father's diesel car. Still, while far from the "smoke-spitting clatter boxes" of yore, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays sees several reasons you may not want it to be yours. The Cruze Diesel, now appearing at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, should offer impressive torque and quickness on par with its nearest competitors, along with some nifty trim features.

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However, the diesel boosts fuel efficiency by less than 8% compared to its gasoline-burning counterpart the Chevy Cruze Eco, and the diesel model costs 18% more. Watch the video below and decide if that's going to be good enough.

By Matt Schmitz | February 12, 2013 | Comments (6)

2014 Kia Cadenza Video

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The Cadenza sedan will replace the Amanti in Kia's lineup for 2014. It's a bit smaller than the Amanti but the biggest difference between the two is that the Cadenza is much more upscale, inside and out, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays.

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Kia's largest and newest sedan goes on sale this spring. Watch the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro SS: Photo Gallery

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Joining an array of production and concept cars at this year's 2013 Chicago Auto Show is a custom Chicago Blackhawks-themed Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. You may remember the Blackhawks Camaro that debuted at the 2010 auto show.

Chicago-based RealWheels Corp. is back with a wild, new convertible representing the Blackhawks hockey team.

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The Blackhawks Camaro convertible sports a familiar two-tone paint job. A unique exterior element is the custom metal grille that's lined with mini cutouts of the Blackhawk logo. The team logo also appears on top of the car's hood scoop. More badging appears on both bow-tie emblems, front and back, and large, 22-inch chrome wheels finish off this special Camaro's aggressive stance.

On the inside, you'll notice the Katzkin custom leather trim with the team's famous logo embroidered into both front seatbacks. Even the Camaro SS' gearshift features a light-up hockey puck as the knob.

The only way to own this custom car is to win it in a raffle during this year's auto show public days at Chicago's McCormick Place between Saturday and Feb. 18. Check out the gallery below.

By Robby DeGraff | February 12, 2013 | Comments (5)

Chrysler CEO 'Saw Tears' Over Next-Gen 200

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Chrysler dealers stood and clapped in Las Vegas in September 2012, and it wasn't because the blackjack dealer drew a bust. It was at a closed-door dealer meeting and Chrysler had just unveiled the next-generation 200, a midsize sedan that departs from the current Sebring-derived car.

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Saad Chehab was there. Chehab, CEO of Chrysler's namesake division, said dealers gave the new 200 a standing ovation. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed to reporters in January that the car will have a nine-speed automatic transmission, which could raise highway gas mileage to the high 30s or beyond. That’s competitive with leading family cars like the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord.

Wait a minute. Chrysler dealers were pretty enthusiastic when the automaker showed off the current Sebring-turned-200 refresh at a similar meeting in Orlando, Fla., in 2010. We lauded the effort but said the 200 needed more. Still, it notched 125,476 sales in 2012, which is better than any year in the preceding Sebring's tenure. Chehab called it Chrysler's "little hero, [a] surprise of the brand." Still, 2012’s sales for the 200 fell well short of stalwarts like the Chevrolet Malibu (210,951), Hyundai Sonata (230,605), Ford Fusion (241,263), Altima (302,934), Accord (331,872) and Toyota Camry (404,886).

What makes Chehab think the new 200 will compete?

By Kelsey Mays | February 11, 2013 | Comments (7)

2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Video

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The sport-tuned NISMO trim adds some attitude to the normally awkward-looking Nissan Juke's styling.

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The bug-eyed crossover still looks weird, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays, but the NISMO modifications along with a boost of power make it a cooler vehicle all around. Check out the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Chicago Auto Show Floor Transformation Video

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As the 2013 Chicago Auto Show opens its doors to the public today, join with us as we watch the show floor go from bare concrete to fabulous over an eight-day stretch. Our favorite part? The spinning car about halfway up on the right side of the screen.

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Check out the video below.

By David Thomas | February 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

Kia Cross GT Concept Video

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Using descriptive terms like "really weird" and "kind of cool," Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays took an unusual interest in the Kia Cross GT concept. Apart from oddball features like squinty wraparound headlights, hexagonal roof portals and felt-wool interior trim, the Cross GT demands our attention due to its likelihood of becoming the three-row Kia Sorento's larger, more muscular crossover cousin.

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The all-wheel-drive concept's powertrain uses a plug-in hybrid V-6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, said to have a 20-mile all-electric range. Cross GT's debut sure was flashy, but whether those ambitious mileage claims or any of its fantastic features can translate to production remains to be seen. Check out the video below and see what you think.

By Matt Schmitz | February 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Chicago Auto Show Winners and Losers

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The Chicago Auto Show is traditionally big on floor space and short on new product debuts, and the 2013 edition is no different with just a handful of all-new production and concept cars making their premieres. Editors Mike Hanley, Aaron Bragman, David Thomas and Joe Bruzek crisscrossed the expansive show floor in search of the hits and misses.

2014 Toyota Tundra

Mike Hanley: Winner
It would have been nice to see some frame or powertrain improvements, but the styling changes nicely update the truck. The taller hood makes for a bold front end, and the stamped badge on the tailgate is something you'd typically see on a concept truck. On the show floor, the changes work. Whether it stands a chance in the real world with updated domestic competitors is another thing.

Aaron Bragman: Loser
Lots of us thought that the new 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra updates were tepid, but this makes GM's changes look revolutionary. Two elements one can point to — the new grille and the new interior, and neither one looks good. The new headlights and body-colored grille make the Tundra look like a bigger Honda Ridgeline, which is not a positive change. The interior is practically a direct rip-off of the current Ford F-150, and with no changes to the structure or powertrain (a five-speed automatic transmission? Still?), one wonders why Toyota even bothered to change anything.

David Thomas: Winner
I like the updates to the Tundra because it maintains a modern look versus the traditional styling of the domestic trucks on the market. The Tundra is what you think a truck in 2013 should look like. The different treatments to the grille are interesting, too, and everyone seemed to love the stamped-in name on the tailgate. Inside may be a "ripoff," but it is well-executed.

Joe Bruzek: Loser
Is Toyota giving up on the Tundra? It looks that way with hardly significant styling improvements and rip-off of the F-150's interior styling plus no mechanical changes to the truck's capabilities. The Tundra's old interior at least differentiated itself from other pickups with a unique, clean and swoopy design instead of the blocky industrial look it now uses.

By David Thomas | February 8, 2013 | Comments (8)

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR Video

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If you thought Volkswagen's iconic Bug couldn't get any cuter, just wait. The automaker unveiled the Beetle GSR at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

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Inspired by the Beetle GSR from the 1970s, the limited-edition 2014 version of the coupe wears yellow and black, inside and out. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays gives us a closer look of it and the R-Line version of the Beetle Convertible in the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

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