CARS.COM — Seattle, that outpost of caffeinated civilization in our nation’s 42nd state, has earned a reputation for grunge music, internet phenoms and guys slinging the morning catch — not to mention an unrelenting drizzle from November to May. What better way to kick off that season than the 2017 Seattle International Auto Show, an event sure to draw bumper-stickered Subarus from Bellingham to Chehalis when it rolls into town Nov. 9-12.
This year’s show, run by statewide auto dealers, takes place at CenturyLink Field’s 200,000-square-foot event center just south of downtown Seattle; it will have more than 500 cars on display from 33 brands. That includes exotics like Ferrari and Maserati but excludes Mitsubishi and pricey brands like Aston Martin, Lamborghini and McLaren.
Tickets at the gate run $16 for adults ($15 if you buy them early online) and $14 for seniors and military members with identification; kids age 12 or younger are free. SIAS’ website has full details, including exact hours and parking information.
Live in the Pacific Northwest? Here are five reasons you should consider heading to the show.
1. Test Drives for Adults
For those who want to grab the keys to the ride, attendees can test-drive 75 different cars from 14 brands at the show. Testing locations include a route on local streets that’s roughly a mile, plus a 180-foot off-road course that consumers can add for certain vehicles. Organizers say the latter section simulates obstacles like potholes, curbs, speed bumps and parking blocks. It’s intended for SUVs, but other cars planned for the test drives range from the Ford Mustang to the Chevrolet Camaro.
2. Test Drives for Kids
Short of a Blitz and Boom sighting, kids will probably get bored at some point. But parents can bring them to a tot-friendly indoor test track at the event center’s East Hall, where children ages 3-9 can drive battery-powered ride-on cars. Lisa Samuelson, a spokeswoman for the auto show, promised plenty of other activities over the weekend for kids — among them a caricature artist, selfie photo booth, face painting and wooden cars to paint.
3. Automotive Artwork
The show will have nine pieces of automotive artwork in an exhibition dubbed “Art in Motion.” Local artists created the pieces with tires or wheels, among them a hubcap that turns into a blossoming flower and a Ford Model T wheel detailed with copper paint. Want one? You can bid on it: Organizers say the pieces will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to charity.
4. Veteran’s Day Military Vehicles
On Saturday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day — two Stryker interim armored vehicles will be on display from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Samuelson said the IAVs are active vehicles, not decommissioned units, and they’ll be on Occidental Avenue just west of the event center. The IAV is a 19-ton, armored eight-wheeler that comes in 10 variants, per Military.com; it’s been around since the early 2000s.
5. Tesla Display
Tesla’s presence at auto shows isn’t always a given, as the California automaker eschews independent dealerships for its own factory stores and often picks nontraditional venues to show its cars. But SIAS’ floorplan includes a Tesla display — the first since 2015, Samuelson said — which means potential shoppers can likely poke around a Model S, Model X or Model 3.