The 2023 Chicago Auto Show kicked off over the weekend, and while there are fewer manufacturers present than in years past, several reveals of note took place in the Windy City.
Listed here are notable debuts Wheels
saw during the media preview late last week.
2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 & 4xe 20th Anniversary editions
Jeep is commemorating the 20th
anniversary of the Wrangler Rubicon with the release of two special limited editions – 4xe and 392 – that are set to arrive this spring.
For the Canadian market, these models are being sold as option packages that include a variety of equipment and styling add-ons.
Among these is the Xtreme Recon Package, which comes with the 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 392 20th
Anniversary package ($12,995), and includes 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, 17 x 8-inch beadlock-capable wheels, 4.56 rear axle ratio, hinge-gate reinforcement by Mopar, Jack spacer by Mopar, Tire relocation kit by Mopar, and wheel flare extensions.
The 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th
Anniversary package ($10,995) comes with 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, 17 x 7.5-inch wheels, 83-piece tool kit with canvas bag, integrated front off-road camera, heavy-duty steel rock sliders and more. This equipment, save for the smaller wheels and tires, is also standard with the 392 package.
Both packages also come with a new Jeep seven-slot grille, along with 20th
Anniversary hood decals (electric blue for 4xe, bronze for 392), swing gate plaque, and shifter medallion.
Both Rubicon 20th
Anniversary packages are now available for order.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek
The all-new third-generation Crosstrek
debuted in Chicago with new styling, a 10 percent stiffer chassis, available 11.6-inch multimedia touchscreen display, and available wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As with the outgoing model, the Crosstrek will be sold with two four-cylinder engines, a 2.0-litre Boxer (152 hp / 145 lb-ft.) and a 2.5-litre Boxer (182 hp / 178 lb-ft.). Both are paired with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, which are standard across the model range.
Mechanical changes include a more responsive all-wheel drive system, for improved handling and better control on tarmac and off-road.
Styling updates include a frameless hexagonal grille, new LED headlights, and a more sculpted appearance overall. The ’24 Crosstrek also receives black wheel arch cladding and rocker panels for a sharper contrast with exterior paint finishes.
Canadian model lineup and pricing wasn’t available at time of writing, but the 2024 Crosstrek is slated to go on sale this spring (2.0-litre models) and summer (2.5-litre models). The 2.5-litre models will be built at Subaru’s plant in Lafayette, Indiana. Those equipped with the 2.0-litre engine will continue to be sourced from Japan.
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander
The first-ever Toyota Grand Highlander
is a bigger version of the company’s popular three-row Highlander SUV, only this one, as the name suggests, is bigger. In fact, it’s 254 mm (10 inches) longer than the Highlander.
Given its size, the Grand Highlander’s interior volume is a highlight. Toyota claims it can carry up to seven carry-on suitcases behind the third row. Total cargo capacity (with second and third row seats folded down) is 2,775 litres (98 cu. ft.). Toyota calls Grand Highlander third-row seating “adult-sized” so I climbed back there in a display unit on the show floor to see for myself. While it is more spacious and comfortable than other third rows I’ve sat in, it’s a far cry from the first and second row in terms of leg, shoulder, and head room.
On the powertrain front, the Grand Highlander offers three: 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, 2.5-litre hybrid four-cylinder, and 2.4-litre turbocharged Hybrid MAX, which is also found in the Toyota Crown. For the Grand Highlander it produces 362 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque. XLE and Limited grades are available with gas and hybrid powertrains, while Platinum comes standard with Hybrid MAX. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.
As for amenities, the Grand Highlander comes standard with a long list of kit, including a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring Cloud Navigation, Google-powered POIs and Toyota Connected Services, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and seven USB-C ports throughout the cabin, along with a wireless charge pad located in the centre console. Regarding seating, XLE models are finished in synthetic black Softex trim, Limited grades get black leather, and Platinum models receive Ultrasuede and leather trim in either portobello or black.
Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard on all Grand Highlander models, and includes Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and more.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander goes on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport
The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport
receive a design refresh, more standard and available content, and a new powertrain.
On the powertrain front, the two engines previously offered (3.6-liter V6 and 2.0-litre 4-cylinder) are being replaced with one. The new engine is Volkswagen’s fourth generation EA888 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque.
The 2.0-litre turbo is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive, which is standard on all models for both cars. Towing capacity remains unchanged at 2,268 kg (5,000 pounds).
On the outside, both models receive new front-end styling featuring a wide chrome, four-bar grille with new LED headlights and standard Adaptive Front-lighting System. Additionally, on all grades above base, the daytime running lights connect with a lightbar that runs the length of the grille that sits above an illuminated Volkswagen logo.
At the rear, both models receive larger spoilers, an illuminated lightbar and Volkswagen logo, which is standard on all models above the base trim.
New alloy wheels are offered on both cars, ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches. R-Line trims receive 21-inch aluminum alloys, along with a gloss black grille and badging.
Inside the cabin, both Atlas models receive a host of new materials and finishes, including a leatherette-trimmed dashboard and centre console, and new front door trim décor that flows into the dash.
Other cabin enhancements include available ambient lighting in 30 colours, backlit dash décor trim with model name, and quilted leather seating with diamond stitch pattern on top trims. All models also come standard with a heated steering wheel and paddle shifters, Climatronic automatic climate control, and Voice Control.
As for new tech, both models receive a new 12-inch infotainment display, and a configurable 10.25-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster, which is standard across the range. Wireless charging and six USB-C ports are also standard.
The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport go on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.