On the international circuit, the Chicago Auto Show often gets slighted for being a rather dull show in terms of actual news and major vehicle debuts. But the Chicago expo is still hugely important. Not only is it the largest show in terms of overall square footage, it serves as the largest consumer showcase, with the highest amount of foot traffic from consumers. Sure, a lot of what's new here pales in comparison to all of the shiny sheetmetal we saw in Detroit last month, but it's all still very important.

As is our tradition, we've picked our favorite cars of the show (personal opinions, mind you – no fancy official-type or "most important" stuff here) and have compiled them in our usual Editors' Choice format for your perusal. Have a look below to see what caught our eyes.

#5: 2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition



The Volkswagen GTI may have been dethroned as the king of the hot hatches in our minds, but that doesn't mean we've lost our affection for the little scamp. It's due to be overhauled next year, but for 2013, this new Driver's Edition adds unique wheels, a retro-minded golf ball shift knob, partial leather seats, and red accent stitching on the floor mats (yep). It might just be a special edition package (limited to 3,000 examples, by the way), but it's enough to hold our interest as one of our favorite Chicago debuts.


#4: 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo



Despite the fact that Autoblog managing editor Jeremy Korzeniewski hates the way the Juke Nismo looks, there are a good number several a minority of us who find it, well... awesome. And why wouldn't we? Most of us really like the funky, what-the-hell-did-I-just-look-at appearance of the Juke, and these Nismo aero extras (and red mirrors!) really emphasize the car's freaky appeal. Beyond that, the bulbous Nissan gets a power bump up to 197 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, and we fully expect it to be a total hoot to drive. Sorry, Jeremy. This post has my name on it, and you've been outvoted.


#3: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door



We just had our first stint behind the wheel of the new-for-2014 Kia Forte and walked away generally pleased with the Korean automaker's latest attempt at building a cool, competent C-segment sedan. This new five-door model adds a bit of functionality to the svelte package, and the fact that the car can be had with a punchy little turbo-four makes us eager to get behind the wheel. Nothing terribly exciting here, but the five-door Forte certainly piqued our interest enough to make this list.


#2: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze TD



Hey there, diesel Cruze. No, there aren't any big updates to the pleasant Chevrolet compact outside of its oil-burning engine, but that's fine. We like the Cruze as-is, and having a 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four under the hood should only make things better. That mill offers 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and will return 42 miles per gallon on the highway, according to estimates. Unfortunately, that isn't anything better than what you get in the gas-powered Cruze Eco (with a manual transmission, too), but we're all in favor of boosting the availability of diesel cars here in the US.


#1: 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core Edition



Only at the Chicago Auto Show can a special edition of an already old car come away with the most votes in our poll of what's hot. But just because something isn't flashy and new doesn't mean it isn't really special. We really, really like the whole idea behind this Core model of the Chrysler 300 SRT8 – everything you need, nothing you don't, with a full $5,000 removed from the car's bottom line. It's a totally baller machine, its 6.4-liter Hemi V8 still producing 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and despite being decontented with things like cloth seats, the Core model utilizes unique 20-inch alloy wheels with black-painted Brembo brake calipers underneath. We'll take ours in Phantom Black.


So... how'd we arrive at this list? Each Autoblog editor in attendance ranked their personal show favorites from one to five, and points were awarded to each – five points for the first place spot, one point for the fifth place spot, and appropriate numbers in between. Votes were tallied and cars were ranked, but if you're curious, here's how the actual voting breakdown looked:
  • 300 SRT8 Core Edition – 13 points
  • Cruze Diesel – 12 points
  • Forte 5-Door – 11 points
  • Juke Nismo – 9 points
  • GTI – 8 points


Honorable Mentions

Part of the fun of doing this list is seeing what each individual staff member votes for. And since this is a point-based list, there are always a good number of cars that don't quite make the Top Five cut. So in addition to listing them all below, we'll even point out who raised their hands for each car. You know, so you can make fun of us in the Comments if you see fit.


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  • 30 Comments
      Brian Rautio
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't really disagree with the list, but I do think it demonstrates that this was a relatively poor autoshow, at least in terms of introductions. Too bad.
      Ertogrul Kolac
      • 1 Year Ago
      Volkswagen GTI!!!!!!!!! another technical NIGHTMARE......
      • 1 Year Ago
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        Smilez1105
        • 1 Year Ago
        And BTW, please let me know how much money you want to lay on that bet. I will Paypal the bet and collect the winnings through the same account. You are beyond dilusional DB.
        Smilez1105
        • 1 Year Ago
        Oh...my...lord you are a tool. What did they do to put them at the top of the list? NOTHING. Shill...
        Lifes a Beach
        • 1 Year Ago
        This is sweet/long time coming. Cashing in on goodwill only helps the income stmt in the short run, the big3 learned it 1st, Japan's turn now. It's a great time to be a GM fan, long live #2!
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        When DB wants tundra to win, out right, when ever he wants tundra to win, all he have to do, is dreammm, dream dream dream, dreammm
      Luke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Must've been a boring show....
        Craig Daitch
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        Ken Block was not impressed with your comment. http://instagram.com/p/Vc2pxEJCRz/
      WINNER
      • 1 Year Ago
      WOW this is the top five from the Chicago auto show? Thankfully I didnt go there. The ONLY car on that horrible list worth mentioning is the Cruze Diesel. I think its LONG overdue for GM to bring Diesels to the US. GM makes diesel engines that rival the best of what Germany has to offer (Small Diesel engines). The Chrysler 300 looks better than its prev. model but even that doesnt say much. The SRT8 edition dodges are fast but thats about it.. Even the new Viper is a MESS. Over done.. ugly, over weight and dodge is starting to have the same issues as Ford. Dont make all of your cars look alike. Its okay to have small similarities but no way the Dodge Dart should have the same tail lights as a dodge charger and challenger.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @WINNER
        [blocked]
      leo
      • 1 Year Ago
      300 Core, about the only car at the show worth mentioning... i'd love to have that thing
      Moosetang
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey, those are really cool and I lo--ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
      Xiavior_Jaggers
      • 1 Year Ago
      I found Ram Promaster (aka Fiat Ducato and that rebaged PSA van) more attractive than Toyota Tundra.
      efrost96
      • 1 Year Ago
      Was there more then 5 debuts at the show?
      michael.griggs
      • 1 Year Ago
      well steve, i gotta tell ya. based on your evaluation of these cars, i won't be buying any of them. and that juke, i won't be seen driving that to a slaughter house.
      muspod
      • 1 Year Ago
      A bunch of "special" editions and one diesel. We'll see if GM can build a TDI that's efficient and cost effective.
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