The 108th Philadelphia International Auto Show will be smaller this year. Maybe not in floor space at the Convention Center or in numbers of models, but clearly in the size of those vehicles.
The annual show, which opens Saturday and continues through Feb. 7, displays more than 700 cars and is not only going eco-friendly green, but is also for saving the green - as in money from customer's wallets.
The manufacturers this year are featuring cars with smaller bodies, "eco" add-ons, and far greater miles per gallon than last decade's gas guzzlers.
The 2011 GMC Terrain is a good example. It's a crossover SUV with six speeds to enhance fuel efficiency. It boasts 32 m.p.g., and a console-mounted button puts it in "eco" mode to maximize that mileage. It's listed for $24,995.
While there are high-concept, fancier cars on display, there are also a slew of under-$20,000 models such as the 20th anniversary model of the Subaru Legacy ($19,995) and the new Hyundai Tucson, a crossover with new stuff like Downhill Brake Control and Hillstart Assist Control, with a sticker price of less than $19,000.
The car makers, save for those displaying exotic models, welcome visitors who want to sit in and handle the vehicles. The Auto Show, which started in Philadelphia in 1902, is a non-sales show and, in fact, many of the models will not be in showrooms until later in the year.
In addition to the regular manufacturers, DUB Magazine, the auto-fanciers' lifestyle magazine, will take up 35,000 square feet at the Auto Show to display everything from low-riding concept cars to a custom wheels showcase to all sorts of new automotive accessories.
The last day of the show, Feb. 7, will be Kids Day. Children ages 12 and younger will get in free with an adult. There will be face-painting, art projects and a car-seat safety demonstration.