Chicago Auto Show 2023 Coverage

Shirley Beal

The MotorWeek team is back in the Windy City for the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. Join us for our coverage of the show’s most exciting reveals!

 

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

Toyota actually prefaced this year’s show with a reveal of the all-new Grand Highlander, a three-row utility expanded with enough room for adult-sized passengers in any row. We’ve already posted the known details, but here are some of the highlights:

The 2024 Grand Highlander is built on the TNGA-K platform, extending the Highlander SUV to even better accommodate passengers and cargo– up to 98 cubic-feet of space with the rear seats folded down. There will be three powertrains up for grabs: a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, a 2.5-liter hybrid with a Toyota-estimated 34 mpg combined, and a Hybrid MAX setup capable of 362 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque and a tow rating of 5,000 lbs. The Grand Highlander can haul seven passengers with second-row captain’s chairs or up to eight passengers with the configurable bench. Three grades– XLE, Limited and Platinum– are available, though standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 3.0.

This is a “grand” reveal from Toyota that we’ve been looking forward to for some time, and now we’re really eager to take it for a spin!

 

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

The new generation Subaru Crosstrek is making its North American landfall in Chicago, flaunting a new design and improved tech.

The 2024 Subaru marks the third-generation of this compact, adventure seeking utility. It has been “designed around the concept of utility and sportiness that lends itself to an active lifestyle.” The new body features a frameless hexagonal grille, compact headlights, and black cladding around the wheel arches and rocker panels. Aerodynamics are improved by air outlets at the trailing edge of the front wheel openings and at each side of the rear bumper. Not only aesthetic, these outlets help stabilize the vehicle and reduce body sway.

Underneath that body is a 10 percent stiffer chassis for improved performance and ride quality, and all models sit with 8.7-inches of ground clearance. The Base and Premium trims are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine, making 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The Sport and Limited bump displacement up to 2.5-liters; this larger BOXER punches up to 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Gone is the manual six-speed, as a Lineartronic CVT is paired up to either motor as the only transmission, and all-wheel drive is model-standard.

The cabin is said to feature more supportive front seats and improved noise reduction. The new Crosstrek comes standard with SUBARU STARLINK dual 7.0-inch touchscreens. The top controls smartphone integration, music streaming, navigation and more; the bottom screen serves as a climate and vehicle settings hub. The system can be upgraded to the 11.6-inch STARLINK Multimedia Navigation system, a first for the Crosstrek. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek will be the first of its kind to be produced in the United States. The 2.5-liter Sport and Limited will be produced at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc, in Lafayette, Indiana. They are slated to arrive at dealerships this summer. Production of the 2.0-liter Base and Premium, however, will still happen at Subaru’s plant in Gunma, Japan. Expect these models to arrive at dealerships this spring. Starting MSRP is $24,995 before delivery, the same price as a 2023 Crosstrek Base equipped with the CVT.

*Update: Further pricing details have been released:

2024 Crosstrek

Model/Trim

MSRP

MSRP + destination and delivery

($1,295)

Base

$24,995

$26,290

Premium

$26,145

$27,440

Sport

$28,995

$30,290

Limited

$30,895

$32,190

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary Editions

Jeep is celebrating 20 years of Rubicon with two special edition models, available exclusively for the 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 4xe and Wrangler Rubicon 392.

These Rubicon 20th Anniversary editions both come with the expected assortment of bespoke badging and decals, as well as a unique interpretation of the iconic seven-slot grille; but they’re much more than simple appearance grades.

The 4xe variant comes equipped with a half-inch suspension lift capable of 32-inches of water fording and 11.2-inches of ground clearance total. That makes room for the 33-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires, wrapped around 17×7.5-inch beadlock-capable wheels. Heavy-duty steel rock sliders, a Gorilla glass windshield and steel bumpers are also included. A special red and black leather interior adorns the cabin. As do auxiliary switches and all-weather slush mats.

The 392 does receive many of the same upgrades– like the windshield, black and red upholstery, rock sliders, and steel bumpers– but it gets a little more extreme; or rather, “Xtreme” with the standard Xtreme Recon Package. That means 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain rubber on 17×8-inch beadlock-capable wheels, a 4.56 rear axle ratio, wheel flare extensions and more. With a similar half-inch suspension upgrade, the 392 Rubicon 20th Anniversary is capable of 34.5-inches of water fording, with an overall ground clearance of 11.6-inches.

Buyers of the Rubicon 20th Anniversary models can outfit the Level II upfit package by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). Expect 37-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires on AEV 17-inch wheels, suspension upgrades, a Warn winch and a slew of AEV exterior parts. This package adds an additional $21,983 to the 4xe Rubicon 20th Anniversary price tag and $20,135 to the 392 Rubicon 20th Anniversary, also requiring a $995 upfit logistics charge. These are Limited to just 150 units.

Speaking of, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary edition starts at $71,380 after adding the $1,795 destination charge. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 20th Anniversary model starts at $92,690 with delivery. Production will take place at the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, arriving at dealerships in the second quarter of 2023.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport

Volkswagen of America introduced refreshed versions of the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs, debuting for the 2024 model year. Along with the new looks, the seven-seater Atlas and five-seater Atlas Cross Sport serve up some enhanced interior designs and materials, more technology, and a more potent powertrain.

The entire Atlas family will be powered by a single engine, a turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired up to an 8-speed automatic, sending power to the standard front-wheel drive system or the available “4Motion” all-wheel drive system. Towing is still rated at 5,000 lbs.

Some exterior changes help further distinguish themselves from each other, though they still share a fair bit of DNA with each other. Both receive a front end overhaul: A new front fascia spearheaded by a wide chrome four-bar grille and LED headlights– standard equipped with VW’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). All trims above base receive daytime running lights that wrap around the headlights and continue into an illuminated light bar, carried above the illuminated Volkswagen logo. The Cross Sport gets some gloss black details and a matching “X” pattern on the lower fascia. In back, both models gain a larger spoiler; though, once again, all trims but base receive an illuminated rear light bar with a light-up VW logo. The Cross Sport further deviates with a different rear diffuser.

Their cabins have been refreshed with leatherette-trimmed upholstery on the dash and center console, matching new door trim accents. Now standard is a heated steering wheel, as well as ventilated front seats. Leather seating surfaces and heated rear seats can be had one trim lower than before, while top trims are outfitted with quilted leather seats. An available ambient lighting system allows drivers to select from 30 colors. And with regards to tech, a 12-inch infotainment screen serves as the primary hub, with a 10.25-inch instrument panel mounted behind the wheel. Wireless charging and wireless App-Connect is also standard, as is Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE driver assistance suite. Consumers can also option their Atlas with a head-up display and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Pricing is yet to be unveiled, though more details will arise ahead of the launch in the third quarter of this year.

 

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