Now that the 2019 Dayton Auto Show is open, the enthusiasts and shoppers who fill the Dayton Convention Center will have one thing in mind: finding their next ride as they slip behind the wheel of some of the hottest metal on four tires.
Trucks, utility vehicles, crossovers, hybrids, high-tech models and Harley-Davidson motorcycles – the latter for two-wheel enthusiasts – are on display at the annual auto show through Sunday.
People will see new vehicles and can win something worth upward of $9,000, plus possibly T-shirts, trinkets, gift cards and a 55-inch TV.
The Miami Valley Chevy Dealers are offering a two-year lease, valued at more than $9,000, on a 2019 Chevy Equinox SUV to some lucky attendee. Six finalists will be drawn from the total entries at the dealerships. One finalist will be drawn each day of the auto show, for a total of four additional finalists. All 10 finalists must attend the auto show Feb. 24 for the final drawing which will take place in the Chevrolet display at 3 p.m.
Other show highlights will be:
• Military Appreciation Days, Feb. 21-22, all with military ID will gain free entry, sponsored by the Dayton Area Toyota Dealers
• Back for a repeat, the Toyota Drive Center featuring different models for test-driving around downtown Dayton. Located at the main entrance on Fifth Street, the following vehicles may be available to drive, subject to change: the all-new RAV4, Highlander, 4-Runner and Tacoma.
• Another repeat: Fiat-Chrysler Ride & Drive Experience, featuring vehicles from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat
• Special entertainment attractions for kids, including animals from Wild Hearts African Farm Mobile Teaching Zoo and balloon and face-painting artists, plus appearances by all four of the Cincinnati Reds mascots. For a schedule, go online to DaytonAutoShow.com.
• Scavenger hunt: Correctly identifying makes and models of vehicles featured in various photos during a photo scavenger hunt will give attendees the chance to win a 55-inch flat-screen TV.
• Two sweepstakes, one of which is by Hyundai, with an opportunity to win a $500 Amazon gift card.
• ’19 model year vehicles confirmed for a show appearance are the redesigned Toyota RAV4; Lincoln Navigator, new Nautilus and redesigned Continental; Alfa Romeo Stelvio; Chevy Blazer, and the winner of the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award last month in Detroit – the Hyundai Kona.
A 2020 vehicle sure to draw attention is the Jeep Gladiator, said Dayton Auto Show Manager Kelly Danison.
“The Jeep Wrangler has always been popular and carries a high resale value. … People have an affinity for them. The Gladiator looks like a Wrangler from the front, and you wouldn’t know it has a 5-foot bed until you look at it from the side,” she said. “I think people are going to love it.”
Danison said a feature that truck enthusiasts will want to check out at the show are tailgates.
“Last year Honda’s Ridgeline came out with a tailgate that could open down or to the side. GMC is now debuting a tailgate that you hit two buttons and it basically becomes steps; it’s not heavy and you don’t have to lift it,” she said. “Ford has a nifty tailgate on its new F-150.”
Another draw to the vehicles is their technology, she pointed to.
“I’ve sat in the Ram 1500 and its screen in its dashboard system is giant. You could watch movies on it.”
Costs of vehicles at the show will range from $17,000 to almost $100k, Danison said, with plenty of vehicles starting in the lower part of that range.
“There will be plenty of smaller, more affordable cars and SUVs for people who want them,” she said, “plus midsize and then the large SUVs that seem like they can carry the entire team.”
Show sponsors are the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Miami Valley Chevrolet Dealers and Dayton Area Toyota Dealers.