Sunday, November 30, 2014

Planning your day at the LA Auto Show

After going to the LA Auto Show for a few years, here's some tips I picked up.

1. The best days to go are weekdays. 

These days are the least crowded.  That means there's less waiting for you.  For 2014, the Auto Show ran from November 21-30.  I went on Monday the 24 and waited no more than 10 minutes for anything.

2. Prepare to spend all day there.

To get the most out of the Auto Show, be prepared to spend all day there.  If you scored free tickets, go multiple days.  Bring a backpack for snacks or medication.  Thick socks and gel soles for your feet.

3. Get there early.

The best part of the Auto Show is getting to test drive cars.  I arrived at the Auto Show this year around 2PM and missed a few brands.  In order to test drive at least once from every car manufacturer, you probably need to get there when the show opens at 10am.

Start at the main entrance at Pico and Figueroa and walk south towards Venice.  Find Figueroa Drive and there will be some test drives there.  When you finish, walk back to the entrance and then towards the overpass on Pico, there will be more test drives.  Next walk towards Staples Center.  You will find a lot of cars to test drive here.  For the last test drive, walk between the Convention Center and Staples Center.  Walk down Chick Hearn Court a bit for the last test drive from Ford.

My favorite drives from this year's show were the Fiat 500e electric and the Ford F150.  The F150 has massaging seats that blew my mind.
Test drives end at 5PM.  With a break for lunch, you should be able to finish all the test drives by sundown. Go have dinner and then buy your tickets to go inside.  That's right, you've had a full day and haven't bought tickets yet.  Test drives do not require admission, just your license.  You could go home and come back another day to go check out what's inside.

4.  Enjoy the show.

At this point of the show, I walk around and take pictures of cars.  Depending on the car and if there's a large crowd, I'll hop in a car to try the seats.  I love the interactive exhibits.  My favorite for 2014 were the booths that had an Occulus Rift setup. Don't forget to pick up free bags from Toyota and Hyundai for your groceries.  If you have any time left, go downstairs for the customs and exotics. 

Here are my photos from this year's show.