Welcome to Super Bowl weekend. Also, welcome to the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. Both events are featured in this week's Rambling About Cars podcast, which you can watch every Friday on our YouTube channel (or right here). You can also listen on major audio streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, Deezer, and more. Like, comment, and subscribe, and you can always email us your thoughts: podcast@motor1.com.

SUVs are hot sellers in the modern world, but even Bruce and Smith were caught off guard by all the new/updated people movers that debuted for the Chicago Auto Show. In fact, it's hard to remember a Chicago show with so many prominent debuts.


We start the show with the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas. Dubbed a "major update" by VeeDub as opposed to a new generation, mild exterior changes hide a snazzy new interior and a single engine option under the hood. Meanwhile, Subaru does say the 2024 Crosstrek is a new-gen model, despite having the same engine options, same stats, same general styling, and nearly the same price as the 2023 version. BMW also took the opportunity to debut its own midsize SUV refresh with the 2024 X5 and X6 models. Among the additions is a new PHEV model that combines stout straight-line performance with an impressive 40-mile electric-only range.

Not to be outdone, Chevrolet surprised the automotive scene with its refreshed 2024 Trailblazer, offering sharper styling outside with a properly large infotainment screen for such a small vehicle. And oh yeah, Toyota launched its all-new Grand Highlander, but alas the information came too late to share it on the podcast. Fortunately, we have a killer debut article that tells you all about it, and we'll give it a rundown on next week's show.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas
2024 Subaru Crosstrek
2024 BMW X5
2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

Eventually, Bruce and Smith leave the SUV world behind to catch up on listener comments and emails, but not before talking about the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Specifically, new interior shots were released by Ford, showing the range-topping pony looking sharp with carbon fiber trim, titanium bits, and more. Ironically, Motor1.com received a set of Mustang spy photos around the same time showing a lower-spec trim level without its driver and center displays integrated behind a single screen. The difference between the two interiors is ... eye-opening.

And yes, of course we're talking about Super Bowl commercials. At least in the automotive world, things are a bit slow this year with only three companies advertising for the big game. Stellantis promises ads for Ram and Jeep, but we've yet to see what they might be about. Kia offers a silly find-the-binky adventure featuring the Telluride, and Will Ferrell returns with General Motors to help give electric vehicles the spotlight they deserve. Netflix is helping on that front, and being Will Ferrell, hilarity ensues. Also, we hear Super Bowl spots are going for $7 million these days. No wonder GM and Netflix teamed up. 

The discussion leads Bruce and Smith to wax poetic about some of their favorite car-themed Super Bowl commercials of all time, and that closes this content-packed episode. What are your favorite Super Bowl commercials? Comment here, comment on our YouTube video, or email us: podcast@motor1.com.

Rambling About Cars Preview:

Big changes are coming, and it's good! Get ready for the first LIVE Rambling About Cars podcast, where you, dear Ramblers, can interact directly with us. Details are being finalized so we don't have a specific date just yet, but it will fall on a Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm EST. Expect that to happen in the next few weeks, but next week we'll have some follow-up from the Chicago Auto Show, more debuts to discuss, and possibly a special guest to join in the chat. You don't want to miss it.

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