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  • Jack Loftus

Press Play Radio: 2023 Chicago Auto Show

Welcome, everyone, to Press Play Radio’s first-ever blog post!

This past Friday afternoon, February 10th, 2023, we were granted the esteemed honor of having media passes to the 2023 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place to cover the event and go on a day designated explicitly for media personnel. Now, before we get into the primary purpose we walked into this event with, let’s talk about the event as a whole.

Overall, we had a great time there. The layout was clear and well organized, with each brand or company getting ample room to show what they have to offer. There were also some special showcases we got the chance to see as well, including a showcase area for supercars and other very high-end vehicles. In addition, there were many knowledgeable spokespeople at the various sections, who were able to answer any questions we had.

But now, let’s get into that primary reason I mentioned earlier: which car at the show was the best to listen to music in with your friends?

Now, obviously, we couldn’t sit in every car at the event, so we just had to choose our Top 5. Our main criteria for this list were as follows: Interior Looks, Interior Comfortability, User Interface, Quality of Speakers and Number of Cup Holders. A reminder: the ratings below are simply based on the above criteria and nothing else. Also, the song we used for our testing was “Gasoline” by The Weeknd. Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s get into the list.

Coming in at Number 5 on our list is the 2023 Buick Enclave ST AWD.

The interior of the car was very simple, much like the rest of the car overall. Nothing too special about the console or radio, just overall a very basic setup. This statement also follows for comfortability. While it has leather seats, the seats weren’t particularly comfortable or uncomfortable. The speakers were decent; they sounded pretty good, but while the bass was good, it wasn’t as good as it could have been. This car also had the standard 8 cupholders: 1 in each door, 2 upfront in the center, and 2 in the middle area of the rear seating.

Overall, we gave this car a 5 out of 10 in terms of the criteria stated above. We also used this car as the benchmark for all of our subsequent ratings.

Next, at Number 4, the 2023 GMC Acadia AT4.

We felt that this car was very similar to the Buick. Nothing really stood out to us in terms of differentiating itself from its “cousin.” The only real difference we found was that the bass sounded a bit fuller, meaning that this one is just a bit better than the previous entry. It also had the same number of cupholders as the previous car.

Overall, we gave this car a 6 out of 10.

At Number 3, we’ve got the 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe.

This car was much different interior-wise than the others on this list. It looked more rugged and meant to get beaten up on the outside, and the interior reflected that. The seats were just cloth, but they were still comfortable. The interior did feel slightly cramped in terms of both physical space and placement of all the technology, but everything was still easy to find. Despite the slightly militaristic feel of the vehicle as a whole, it wasn’t a bad listening experience. The speakers were about the same as the Acadia, but they were in different spots than the other cars. To be more specific, they were placed just behind the headrests on the support bar that runs under the roof of the car. Unlike the two previous vehicles, this car only had 6 cup holders. This is not optimal cup-holdage.

Overall, we decided to give this car a solid 7 out of 10.

Making its way into the top 2, we’ve got the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross-Sport.

The interior of the car was very spacious, making it very easy to see everything the car had to offer. The subtle underlighting in parts of the car gave it a futuristic look. The seats felt like they could be sat in for a long period of time without discomfort, and the UI was simple, easy to use, and nice to look at. The speakers were great and sounded very clear. The bass was clear, deep, and did not sound muddy at all. Everything sounded great in the car and felt great as well. This car also had 8 cup holders.

Overall, we gave this car a very respectable 8 out of 10.

Finally, we have Press Play’s Number 1 Car for this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

Our Number 1 Car is the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach E.

Despite the fact that this car doesn’t resemble most Mustangs, it is still an amazing piece of machinery. As one of Ford’s first all-electric vehicles, it makes sense that they would want to go all out in terms of technology with this thing. The car has a fantastic center console/radio, with a massive touchscreen that allows you to control most of the car’s functions from it. Despite the slightly awkward positioning of the knob for volume adjustment among other things, it didn’t detract from the experience. The car supports full audio customization in terms of balancing between bass, treble and middle, and also allows you to change where the sound is focused in the car. The interior was very comfortable and had a lot of legroom in both the front and the back. Something else interesting, the roof of the car had dark glass on part of it that allows you to see through the roof. Finally, let’s talk about the speakers, which were made by Bang & Olufsen. The music sounded great in the car. By far the best bass out of the rest of the list, and the best overall quality. There were no complaints from either of us about this car.

Overall, we gave this car a 10 out of 10.

Thank you once again to the Chicago Auto Show for the chance to cover the event. We had an amazing time at the event and are excited to potentially cover it again in the future.


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