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7 cars to test ride at Chicago Auto Show

Must-drive cars at the Chicago Auto Show
Must-drive cars at the Chicago Auto Show

Why settle for just gazing at cars at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show (Feb. 8-17) when you can actually experience a few of them? Go ahead and kick the tires, but what's really fun is taking a 2014 car for a spin. Several manufacturers have cars and trucks available for test rides inside the show or drives outside, now a nine-year auto-show tradition. More than 75,000 visitors to last year's Chicago Auto Show hopped behind the wheel.

Toyota, Chrysler and Jeep have ride-along opportunities on closed courses set up inside McCormick Place, where the show sprawls over 1 million square feet of space. Several more carmakers are staging driving experiences outside the exhibition hall.

These short courses aren't meant to replace those 30- to 45-minute test drives that a shopper should take before buying a car, but they do provide a snapshot of a car's comfort, space and drivability. It's also an opportunity to drive different cars, making back-to-back comparisons.

Bankrate picked seven of the cars and trucks that manufacturers have available for rides or drives that it believes should be at the top of your test-drive list. Because models may vary as the show progresses, Bankrate included a price range and miles per gallon for each vehicle.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

For the best auto loans, go to Bankrate.com.

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