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The Forum: What to expect at the 2017 Greater Milwaukee Auto Show

Just a few of the sleek speedsters that will be on display at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show.
Just a few of the sleek speedsters that will be on display at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show. (Photo: Greater Milwaukee Auto Show Facebook)

The 2017 Greater Milwaukee Auto Show will be held at the Wisconsin Center from Feb. 25 through March 5. In addition to showing off 400 of the newest cars, trucks and SUVs, this year’s Auto Show offers a bevy of exciting attractions.

If you have an affinity for the exotics, then The duPont Registry Live! is a can’t miss exhibit. This rare showcase of the world’s most awe-inspiring supercars will be on full display right on the showroom floor.

If it’s adventure you seek, then this year’s Auto Show has you covered as well. FCA is offering attendees an opportunity to defy the speed limit via a zip line which will run high above the event. There will also be an 18-hole Tricky Trails mini-golf course, a kids test track featuring mini electric runabouts and classic cars restored by the renowned Bennett Coachworks.

No display of foreign and domestic automotive enterprise is complete without paying homage to the timeless, iconic cars of yesteryear, so muscle cars, antiques and hot rods will also be showcased at this year’s Greater Milwaukee Auto Show. A free one-year subscription to Motor Trend Magazine is included with every online or box office ticket purchase.

Whether you’re attending the Auto Show for the family friendly activities or if you’re looking to upgrade your current ride, make sure you check out a few of these all-new for 2017 offerings from American, European and Japanese automakers.

Cadillac XT5

(PHOTO: Cadillac Facebook)

America’s premier luxury automaker’s new crossover replaces the old SRX. The XT5 is handsome, roomier, quieter, more fuel-efficient and more powerful. Its unique, angular exterior design sets it apart in the crowded crossover segment. The XT5 starts just under $39,000.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

(PHOTO: Alfa Romeo USA Facebook)

I’ve always found Italian cars romantic, and I’m glad Alfa is finally bringing several offerings to our deserving shores. For 2017, Alfa Romeo introduces three new models with six powertrain options: the Giulia, Giulia Super and Giulia Quadrifoglio. The final one will feature a 510-horsepower 2.9-liter twin turbo V-6 with six-speed manual transmission. The Giulia has an MSRP of $37,995. Expect to pay more after dealer markup.

Fiat 124 Spider

(PHOTO: Fiat USA Facebook)

As an enthusiast, I’m partial to roadsters. Get one in any color you’d like as long as it’s red. The Italian automaker introduces a two-seater that carries the namesake of a car that sold from 1967 to 1985. The 2017 version has a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder, 160-horsepower engine. This little Italian coquette starts at $24,995.

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Lincoln Continental

(PHOTO: The Lincoln Motor Company Facebook)

Lincoln has been teasing us for a long time with the idea of reinvigorating its flagship model. The Continental first went into production in 1939 and was discontinued in 2002 – but this oversized road king is back for 2017.

Wearing sleek, slippery sheet metal and an over-the-top list of standard features, the Continental is also available in all wheel drive. It’s not particularly fuel efficient at 18/27 city/highway, but it has a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 400 horsepower. I will see this car at this year’s Greater Milwaukee Auto Show, and if I’m caught in a moment of lust-inspired weakness, I will buy one.

Acura NSX

(PHOTO: Acura Facebook)

After a four-year test period, Acura is bringing the NSX back to life. Originally produced from 1990 to 2005, the NSX was long considered a supercar that could double as a daily driver. Unfortunately, only 800 will be produced for model year 2017. Starting price is $157,800, but serious buyers will pay well north of $200,000.

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With gas prices remaining relatively low, Americans are rekindling their love affair with sport utility vehicles. A new segment in the '90s, the SUV enjoyed explosive popularity with families seeking a sportier alternative to the minivan. Nothing says comfort and convenience like three rows of seats, smartphone connectivity and in-car entertainment options.

The following are my recommendations for best midsized sport utility vehicle.

2017 GMC Acadia

(PHOTO: GMC Facebook)

The Acadia is fully redesigned for 2017. It makes a great impression with its styling and comfort. It also has a competitive price at $29,070. A practical, roomy, SUV that won’t break the bank the GMC Acadia is worth a look. However, the Acadia is not as fun to drive as some other choices in this segment.

2017 Dodge Durango

(PHOTO: Dodge Facebook)

The Durango won’t be confused with any other SUV on the road. Cabin space that comfortably seats seven adults and sporty handling characteristics, makes the Durango an excellent, albeit pricey choice. It also offers one of the most powerful V8 engines in its class. A new, six-cylinder Dodge Durango starts at $30,000.

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Thanks to auto makers responding to consumer demand for electric cars, 2017 offers the largest selection yet. With tax incentives, environmental friendliness and batteries that allow for real commutes, all electric cars are finally a practical reality.

Here are my top 2017 all electric cars selections.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

(PHOTO: Chevrolet Facebook)

Its size may be compact, but its range is not. Expect an average of 238 miles between charges. With a cargo volume of 17 cu ft and a top speed of 90 mph, the Bolt is sensible transportation that frees you from the dependency on foreign oil. A four-door configuration and decent styling add to the appeal of Chevy’s all electric car. Expect to pay $36,620 for a well equipped Bolt (before federal/state tax incentives).

2017 BMW i3

(PHOTO: BMW Facebook)

The Germans have come up with another masterpiece. With its carbon-fiber and aluminum structure and all electric powertrain, the i3 catapults BMW’s legendary driving dynamics well into the future. It handles well and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The EPA estimates a battery-only range of 81 miles, and it charges in only three hours on a 220-volt outlet. MSRP of the 2017 BMW i3 is $43,395.

2017 Tesla Model S

(PHOTO: Tesla Facebook)

If money is no object and you seek cutting edge technology, then the Tesla Model S stands alone. This luxurious, lightning fast, five-door liftback sedan also features an autopilot feature. That's right: While a bit crude and limited in functionality, the Model S will drive itself under certain conditions. And just like a smartphone, the Model S can connect to the internet and grab software updates when needed. In production since 2012, the Tesla has an all-electric range of up to 315 miles and will travel from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds. The starting price of a new Tesla Model S is $68,000, but expect to pay over $100,000.