Aside from a plethora of food trucks, a better-than-decent climate and an ultra-cool college campus made even cooler by Sixth Street and the buzzy bars that dot the popular entertainment district, Austin is an exciting, yet laid-back, Texan town with plenty to do. This weekend packs in multiple art and music events, the Austin Food and Wine Festival and, of course, the 2019 Austin Auto Show.
Related: Video: How to Shop at an Auto Show
Just what Austin needs, right? More cars coming into the increasingly congested city filled with people shopping for more cars. Well, sorry, native Austinites: If you didn’t want all these people in your city, you shouldn’t have been so awesome.
The auto show runs April 26-28 at the Austin Convention Center, 500 East Cesar Chavez St., in downtown Austin. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets purchased online are $6 for adults, and $3.75 for seniors and military veterans; tickets purchased at the door are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and military veterans; children age 12 or younger get in free. For more info, visit the show’s website.
Here are five things you can’t miss at the 2019 Austin Auto Show:
1. Test Drives
“It’s one thing to see some great cars … It’s another to drive them!” Austin Auto Show organizers stated. “This is your chance to test drive some of the latest models in a no-pressure, no-hassle environment at no additional charge.”
Brands offering test drives at the show, as well as individual models’ availability and drive times, are as follows:
- Ford: Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-Series Super Duty, Mustang, Ranger; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Jeep: Cherokee Trailhawk, Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, Wrangler Rubicon; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Mazda: CX-3, CX-5, CX-9, Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5 Miata RF; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday
- Ram: 1500 Limited, 2500 Laramie; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Toyota: Camry, Highlander, RAV4, Tacoma; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
2. 2020 Lincoln Aviator
Lincoln revealed its all-new 2020 Aviator at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and the luxurious three-row SUV will make its way down to the Lone Star State. The Aviator, which offers a plug-in hybrid version boating 450 horsepower and 600 pounds-feet of torque combined with its V-6 gas engine, competes with luxury SUVs like the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Volvo XC90. The Aviator starts around $52,000 and is on sale as of “early summer,” according to Lincoln’s website, where you can build and price one for yourself after you’ve seen it up close at the Austin show.
3. Exotics, Classics and Muscle Cars
In addition to the hundreds of new-model cars and SUVs to check out at the expo, Austin auto enthusiasts can feast their eyes on a curated collection of cool classic, exotic and muscle cars from yesterday and today.
Some super-high-end models to check out include the 2019 Ford GT supercar and exotic sports cars like the 2018 McLaren 720S, 2015 Lamborghini Huracan and 2005 Ferrari F430. Also in the “well there’s somethin’ ya don’t see every day” category, Sweet Rides of Central Texas is bringing along vintage vehicles, including a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible and the 1934 Ford three-window coupe.
4. Racecars and Celebrities
AAA will present the Ford Mustang Monster Energy NASCAR Cup car driven by Joey Logano, as well as the NHRA Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car driven by Robert Hight. Plenty of entertainment will complement the automotive offerings, including celebrity appearances by Clint Harp from HGTV’s show “Fixer Upper” and “Wood Work,” and Sean “Sticks” Larkin, from A&E’s show “Live PD.” In addition, the Craft Beer Lounge will serve brews from some of Austin’s favorite local brewers.
5. Kids Zone
Young auto show guests who don’t yet have a driver’s license can still enjoy lots of stuff just for them at the Kids Zone, like face painting, a bounce house and a balloon artist. Marvel’s Black Panther will also make appearances from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Kids and their families can also hop into the Photo Bus, a makeshift mobile photo booth housed inside a reconditioned 1970 Volkswagen bus, and preserve some memories of that one time they all went to the Austin Auto Show together.
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.