TORONTO, Ont. — For 10 days in mid-February, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is transformed into a car hunter’s paradise, sporting the biggest single showroom in the country.
Every major auto manufacturer will have almost every vehicle in their lineup on display at the show from Feb. 17th to 26th, including the very latest models for sale this year and concept cars that give a look ahead into what might be on the road in the future.
So with more than 1,000 vehicles on the floor, how can prospective shoppers make the most of their time at the AutoShow?
“I like to think of a trip to the AutoShow as a research field trip for visitors who are in the market for a new vehicle,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “There’s really no better place to speak to experts and learn about the cars you’re already interested in, as well as ones you are seeing for the first time. The information you pick up here can put you in the driver’s seat when it’s time to go to a dealership and make a purchase.”
With that in mind, organizers offer these Top Five tips for car shopping at the AutoShow:
Buy Your Tickets Online
You can save yourself time and money for car shopping by purchasing tickets to the AutoShow online. Tickets purchased online at autoshow.ca/tickets/ save you 10% for adults, youths and children, and they also help you avoid line-ups at ticket booths on site at MTCC.
Know Where You Want to Go
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with just wandering through the exhibits and displays located throughout the MTCC to see what surprises are around the next corner. But if you have a handful of favourite manufacturers in mind, it’s helpful to pre-plan your route. You can find detailed maps at autoshow.ca/exhibitor/ which show floor plans of where manufacturers are located in the North and South buildings of the MTCC. You can also follow links to a full exhibitor list, which help guide your plan of attack.
The beauty of the AutoShow is that it gives you an opportunity to see dozens of makes and models all under one roof in a few hours, saving you time from travelling to numerous dealerships. Take advantage of having so many vehicles together in the same place to compare their features and educate yourself about what they share in common and what makes them different. You can even take some of the cars out for test drives at the Show. Audi is offering tests of its new Q5 from their display in the South building, and Plug’n Drive gives Show goers a chance to sign up to test one of seven different electric cars from the lobby of the North Building. Most manufacturers will let you book a test drive at your local dealership, but most visitors just want to get behind the wheel so you can get a sense of how the car feels and whether you like the fit. Make sure to take lots of photos while you’re at it so it’s not just a blur when you get home.
Don’t Worry About Sales Pressure
You can’t actually buy cars directly from product specialists at manufacturer booths at the AutoShow. That helps get rid of the pressure some buyers feel when they’re considering an investment in a new vehicle. The product specialists at manufacturer booths are experts on the vehicles they represent — so ask away! If you’re interested in actually buying one of the cars you see, personnel at the booth can help direct you to your local dealerships who can help.
Leave Some Time for Exploring
Plan ahead and visit all of the manufacturers on your list, but build in some extra time for spur-of-the-moment exploring to check out cars that grab your attention, as well as some of the many feature exhibits at the show. There will be many models on display that are being seen in Canada for the first time, so check them out and see how they compare to other cars on your list.
The Canadian International AutoShow will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between February 17th and 26th. Please visit autoshow.ca for more information. Follow us on Instagram @cdnintlautoshow, Like us on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @autoshowcanada with the hashtags #AutoShowOhCanada and #CIAS2017.