Dayton Auto Show offers one-stop window shopping

While the Dayton Auto Show, which runs Feb. 23-26 at the Dayton Convention Center, doesn’t have the pomp and glamour of NAIAS, it is still a great place to see new cars, under one roof.

The Dayton Auto Show, presented by the Dayton Area Automobile Dealers Association (DAAA), will feature vehicles ranging from affordable to luxury, and every price point in between. Twenty-four manufacturers and 35 automobile dealerships will be participating in this year’s event.

That means the auto show is a great chance for anyone in the market for a new vehicle to compare and contrast vehicles in an up-close, climate-controlled, no-pressure manner. And, even if you’re not “in the market” for a new vehicle, it’s still a great way to spend a cold February weekend, in a family-friendly and affordable way.

For those who might be looking, use the auto show to see how a vehicle looks and feels. Sit behind the wheel. Feel the touchpoints. Pop the hood. See how big the trunk is. Compare one similar vehicle to another, even if it’s a brand you’re unfamiliar with. The auto industry has changed a lot over the last several years, and has become very competitive, so ignoring one brand over another, when they’re all under one roof, is a mistake.

Bring your kids and let them sit in the back seat and get their impression. It presents a unique opportunity to do some casual shopping, without hovering salespeople.

However, should you have any questions, there will be representatives from local auto dealerships who can answer questions. Don’t be afraid to talk with them.

Here’s my suggestions of items to bring to the auto show, if you’re “in the market”:

• Camera (or phone with a camera) to take photos of things you liked about a vehicle.

• Pad & pen to take notes.

• Tape measure, for measuring trunk and cargo space.

A number of local charities will benefit from the Dayton Auto Show. In addition to a Make-A-Wish Car Raffle, the DAAA will make a $20,000 donation to the the Children’s Medical Center of Dayton.

To entertain children, Bugs Bunny will make a special appearance on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tickets for the auto show are $7 per person, and children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available online at

Auto show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.

See you there!

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