San Diego International Auto Show in San Diego, CA

Share |


We showcase over 500 new model vehicles, concept cars, alternative fuel vehicles and interactive exhibits.


Established in 1930.

The Auto Show is owned, produced and presented by the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County.

San Diego International Auto Show

Dealer Info:

Phone(s):(858) 550-0080
Address:111 West Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA, 92101
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Reviews on San Diego International Auto Show

Kyle F. | 2015-01-15

This show this year was average. In the past the auto manufacturers would always bring the most high speed, cutting edge vehicles.

This year I saw 2014 models at the show when I know there are more recent models with significant upgrades currently for sale. That makes no sense.

Also, Mitsubishi had a display the size of a cardboard box with all of 2 or 3 cars there. Lol. I guess they were too busy with televisions and appliances.

Rasien I. | 2015-01-12

- Cars.

- $12 adult entry fee

- Made our way around the entire floor space in about 2 hours checking out all the cars that were appealing.

- Jeep, Ford, Kia were a few of the companies offering test drives.

Chun P. | 2015-01-07


Unfortunately... solo Chun P went on Sunday.  
-Kids screaming
-Kids crying
-Kids whining
-Kids running around
-Kids jumping into the the driver's seat, making me wait to get in...WTF? Why does a 10yo brat need to be in the driver's seat of my 2015 Mustang or RC350? GET OUT YOU LITTLE S$@&HEAD!!!!

Kids Kids Kids Kids Kids EVERYWHERE!
If you have children, this is a great savings for you and your offspring.  
If you don't have children, avoid Sunday if at all possible for next year.

Jocy C. | 2015-01-06

San Diego International Auto Show - 3.5 Rating

- Price is fairly cheap - $12 for adults (there is a $2 off coupon)
- Lots of car dealers showing off their cars
- Classics
- Restored Cars
- Neat demonstration of Jeep going up and down ramps
- Test drives (I'm pretty darn sure the Auto Show in NYC did not have this!)
- Dedicated kids play area

- Not a lot of concept cars (where did they go?)
- Did not see Mitsubishi (what happened?)
- $15 for parking (boo!)

Fairly cheap good fun!  Enjoy!

Scott D. | 2015-01-06

Once again a horrible auto show in San Diego! The last five years has been crap. You can go to the mile of cars and do that anytime of the year. The auto show used to be about concept cars and cool stuff. Now it is crap, we had free tickets so only paid for parking. We talked to other people in the show who were just as disappointed as we were.

Arlene P. | 2015-01-05

This is the only Auto Show that I have ever been to and I love it!

I get to sit in any and all car makes and models without having to talk to a salesperson.  

I can test drive cars here

They have cute experiences for little ones

They have classic cars

Seriously, where else can I jump into a Porsche with my 7 year old nephew and let him pretend he is driving me somewhere?

Every year I go, I get an idea of what my next car will be and this year I'm VERY surprised that I enjoyed the Buicks and the Lincolns.  I NEVER would even bother to try them out if I had to go to a dealership.

So all in all the car show is fun!
I even got to ride in a Jeep through some tough terrain.  I was very impressed.

Oh and this year the price was only $12 but you can get coupons and discounts at various places.

Dominique R. | 2015-01-05

I just went to San Diego International Auto Show this Friday right now i just went look the most cool cars and rod the camp Jeep and Ford performance and it's awesome cool. I love it

Jeff S. | 2015-01-04

I'm going to go with four stars for this thing.  Sure it could be better but it could also be considerably worse. It's a good time for family and/or anybody with mild interest in cars whether it be classic, modern or exotic.

Came here with the pops for the first time in probably a good 20 know, back when they had the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batmobile was the last time I was here.  If they would have had the Batmobile this year, definitely 5 stars.

Anyway, so reasonable pricing $12 for an adult, $9.00 seniors, kids under 6 for free.  They have a $2 discount but it didn't apply to e-tickets so I didn't go for it.  Convention center parking was $15 which is pretty ridiculous but expected, unfortunately. Outside of that everything went smoothly ans was pretty easy.  With the e-tickets we just walked right up to the door and went in.  Entry(with e-Tickets) was instantaneous & totally painless.

It's a huge event space with vehicles from just about every manufacturer.  Sure there weren't a lot of concept cars.  I know I'm dreaming but I really wanted to see cars like the Jaguar CX-75 but alas, there just weren't many there.  They did have a fair share of exotics, classics and everything in between.  I saw a Bugatti Veyron, several cars from Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche etc.  So that kind of made up for it a bit.  Not to mention there were plenty of restored classics like GTOs, a bunch of mustangs, Corvette Stingrays, Thunderbirds, etc., etc.  Basically, all the cool classics... and I know I'm forgetting a bunch.

You are able to sit in most of the standard models from most manufacturers.  Obviously they don't allow you to do so in the restored classics and exotics but if you're in the market for a standard model car, this show is great for being able to compare models, sit inside and get the feel for some of the vehicles without the pressure of a salesperson.  Additionally, this show makes it easier to compare features and "look & feel" of different makes & models in person and all in one place.  A lot of the manufacturers also give presentations of their lineups as well.

They have several little merchants and representatives for everything from cars, to bikes to insurance.  A couple activities with moderately long lines such as the Jeep Adventure obstacle course (where you sit and a rock climbing activity station (for kids), a little toy car racecourse for kids, then some other little simulators and/or games.  So there's plenty to do here for everybody. I spent considerably more time here than I anticipated.

The short version:  Pretty good but not perfect. Not many concept cars but still enough exotics and classics to keep you drooling. It's fun for the individual or family. Reasonable pricing for admission if you negate/don't use event parking.  

My father and I enjoyed the show.

John P. | 2015-01-04

So people said that this car show was going to be better than the LA car show. I I think not this car show was mediocre at best and didn't have prototypes or concept cars. The women there at the car show were older thinner and slightly less attractive than those that would normally be in LA or New York auto shows. There were not many booths for prizes not a lot of merchandise was on display for sale and Honda dared to bring a base model LX that had cloth seats I mean are you serious if you're going to go to an auto show you better show up with your number one top of the line models.

John F. | 2015-01-04

I have enjoyed going to the car show, in the past with my father and more recently with my kids, especially in a car buying year. 2015 is that year so I went with my wife on the final day, Sunday, 1/4. Compared to prior years, this one was organizationally subpar. Parking, after waiting in mind numbing lines, was "full" with no one there to tell you until you get to the entrance, then no direction after that. You could go on to the parking structure south of the Convention Center, but we waited for 15 minutes in stopped traffic to get there before bailing and parking behind the ballpark.  Once there, the first ticket booth was closed. The second was open with a two block line.  There were plenty OD support workers just "hanging around."  An inauspicious start, indeed.

Once in, the show was good, but more compact than prior years with less interactive things.  Several manufacturers weren't there - Porsche and Alfa to name a couple.  Very few concept cars other than the Toyota.  While I enjoyed seeing what was there and trying a few out for size ( check out the Mercedes C400 4Matic), my overall reaction was "meh" and I probably won't go again until it's car buying time again!

S.d. P. | 2015-01-03

Great venue, reasonably priced and excellent displays from tons of manufacturers. They layout lent itself to feeling uncrowded this year so that was a major plus!

Ash S. | 2015-01-02

Always a great time! I've been going here every year for the past 5 years or so.  I love seeing all the new cars and talking to the car makers about the new features :)

There's lots of activity for kids.

Must sees:
- mobility vehicles... it's neat to see how technology has developed
- Think Blue San Diego... always great to learn how we can keep San Diego clean
- Scripps health mobile
- classic cars

You'll need several hours to see everything :)

Kelly G. | 2015-01-01

Here we are.  It's January 1st again and time for the annual San Diego Auto Show.  As a creature of habit, I have to go.  In LA, the fervor surrounding the car show drove one of my colleagues to compete with the guys in transportation to be the first to buy and drive the most coveted car from the show onto the studio lot.  

The San Diego show has more of a regional, relaxed feel.  I buy my tickets on line.  I start a little too late this year to get underground parking.  I should take the trolley but there's that ever so slight chance that I will fall in love again (I'm so sorry Chunky Butt, I know it has only been two years, but I looked up your Kelly Blue Book trade-in value).  I end up in front of Petco Park in the Lexus Premiere Parking Lot off Imperial.  We can park there!  It's $5 instead of $15.  The walk across the scenic bridge is refreshing.

The San Diego International Auto Show is an entertaining couple of hours.  It's fun - kind of social.  It's a great place to bring kids.  Jeep has an off-road experience inside that looked exciting.  I took video.  Ford has a racetrack simulator two stories tall.  I notice that a certain group of us are thinking about one thing, in a round about way, as we contemplate each make and model.  The Porsche 918 Spyder draws the biggest crowd today.

What I'm looking for is a feeling, the same feeling I had one summer day when I was twelve, and Blake's second cousin pulled up in a red convertible and parked right in front of his mimosa tree.  She had driven all the way to the deep south from California.  She was blonde.  We were transfixed.  

I'm looking for the same feeling I had when she and Blake needed to run to Big Brothers and she asked, "wanna come along?"

"But there's only two seats..."

"There's room.  Just sit on his lap."

And we were off, and the top was down, and she drove 60 in a 35 mph zone and accelerated out of every turn, and Blake was silent the whole ride, and I was breathless.  And later, after Blake's cousin left to go back to California, I knew I would buy an MGB when I was old enough to drive.

Here we are.  It's January 1st again.  Maybe I'll fall in love.

Arrangements can be made to test drive many of the cars at the show.

(Dear Reader, my apologies - I posted many, many pictures under the San Diego Convention Center instead of San Diego International Auto Show.)

David J. | 2014-05-12

They charge money to see cars and that is about it.  No real expertise, no exciting show.  Really boring.

Char P. | 2014-01-07

I enjoy this car show so I can see the new models of cars.  Its a nice little adventure to take the family. Its better than going to the car dealership and getting haggled by salesmen.  If you're really interested about buying a car come check out this car show to see them all.

Linda D. | 2014-01-06

I love Auto Shows. This one grabbed my attention for several reasons. They opened the show in 2014 on New Years Day!  I was a little surprised by this, but in reality it was fair of them to open. Great day to take the kiddos to the Auto Show and make it a family event.

I was impressed with all of the shiny new cars. A little disappointed that there were not more muscle cars and concept cars.

Pricing to get in is decent. You can save money by buying your tickets online. If you stand in line, note that the CASH ONLY line moves quickly!! I stood in line with about 50 other people until security asked who was paying in cash. I was the only one and was moved to the front of the line. (I felt like a Diva! LOL)

The JEEP area was awesome with their indoor driving demo's. It made me want to go and buy a rugged JEEP to baja around in. JEEP also offered a kids area, where the kids could climb rock walls and drive mini jeeps around.

I was extremely fascinated with the modified cars for people who are handicapped. They had some cool cars on display in this area.

Many of the auto makers had the new models out for you to view and sit in. Some vendors had digital simulators that you could do a virtual reality ride in.

Overall it can be summed up as a few good hours of entertainment.

Dave B. | 2014-01-06

I like to go to the show every few years to get a sense of what is available.  I got discount coupons from 7-11 which got us $2 off.  We parked in the convention center parking garage for $15.  Felt a little steeper than I remember, but it so convenient I had to go for it.

I like the layout of the show.  The way the auto companies are laid out, you can make a circle and see everything.

A few things I was disappointed by:

1. Porsche doesn't unlock their doors to let you sit inside.
2. Nissan didn't bring their 370Z.
3. Where were the concept cars?  Did I miss them in another room?

Things I liked:

1. Fair price to get in.
2. Got to sit in a few cars to determine what I didn't like.
3. All of the workers were very knowledgeable about the cars they were displaying.  I guess you should expect that, but based on my previous experiences at car dealerships, this was nice.
4. That you could test drive a lot of cars (I didn't)
5. They showcased handicap options for your vehicle.  How cool!
6. The spotlight on the Mustang.

It was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon and my wife and I enjoyed ourselves.

John V. | 2014-01-04

Went to the Auto Show on opening day.  This was my first auto show in a few years and I'm in the market for a new ride.  They offer $2 off admission if you join their list making the admission price $10 for adults.  Convention centre parking is $15 so I would suggest going in the eventing and finding some street parking if you have flexibility.

The auto show has a large number of makes showing their wares in addition to some car related areas such as mobility solutions which personally I was glad to see.  There are some snack options which will be overpriced as you would expect.

Be aware that this show is definitely a small market show.  Although the commonly known makes are represented.  There is a great lack of representation of many luxury makes.  Also, there is no concept vehicle staging as you would find in auto shows in other major cities.  

Overall it is good if you are in the market for a car, but there's not that much wow factor to be had for car lover's in general.

Stay sexy fellow Yelpers!

Alan D. | 2014-01-04

First, I will start off with a tip. If you go to the website for this auto show, you can print out a $2 off admission coupon. Thus, I paid $10 which is about the price of a movie around here and that is what I compare the auto show. It is like going to a good movie.

I had a good time but of course this was the greatest experience in my life. This auto show has cars from all of the major car makers. Also a nice set of exotic cars are on display. They let you sit inside most of these card. Great photo app opportunities.

I tried on the Jeep driving test. Well you actually don't drive but sit as a passenger. Then a professional driver takes you on an obstacle course which simulated off road driving (mountains, logs, uneven road, etc). Pretty cool even though it only last two minutes.

This show has a very business like vibes. They have representatives who give short shows touting the benefits and features of these cars. There also are racing simulators and Amazon has a small indoor theater showing the kindle
Fire hDx.

I was a little disappointing in the souvenirs/trinkets that they gave out this year. I was only able to get tote bags. In the past I would receive caps, visors, lip balm,
candy, keychains, lanyards, frisbees, CDs. Have no idea why they skimped out this year.

Overall this is a good experience. They have a large spacious convention center for the show. There are plenty of cars to look at. This show might bore the kids and might not be enough attention grabbing for adults. However I still found this a worthwhile experience for a couple hours. just like a movie.

Freddy F. | 2014-01-03

Went to the SD Auto Show with my spouse to look at Hybrids. Not enough
help on the floor to support what many San Diegans are obviously buying.
The BMW electric people outside of the Convention Center were sullen
and not all the helpful. Really turned me off.,..plates from the demos were
from New Jersey. Maybe those folks wished they were back east in the snow
instead of beautiful sunny San Diego. What a bunch of snobs...
Also, no shuttle service as in past years to parking lot behind the center.

Carmen V. | 2014-01-01

My experience in this auto show: great to do a test drive of Kia Soul, it was very cool and after filling the review of that drive, you get a cool power bank to charge your mobile device. With that you already cover the cost of the ticket ($10 if you have a coupon, $12 if not. That is the price for an adult). Then it was nice to play with Jeep (even if you were not allowed to drive, just be co-pilot. Pity that i missed the coolest freebie, their bag was very cute, khaki green). I also liked the customized cars with funky colors and accessories and Amazon was showing new Thor adventures previews and demos of their kindles.

Another thing that caught my attention was the attention given to people with disabilities, showing useful cars for their needs, even a very interesting motorcycle where a wheelchair can be inserted. I found the job done in that area is very useful and this can of shows is worth not only for the wants who want flashy cars, but for the ones that need a vehicle and have some sort of disability.

I had a great time and one day was not enough.
Still, this auto show is not to the same international level as the ones in Barcelona, Paris and Frankfurt (have been in those 3 and our out of this world) but I guess the intention is not to compete with those macro-cities and their ultimate shows. Also the ticket price is much more affordable plus is not so crowded as I would have expected. Besides, with the ticket you get a $2 discount for another day, as you have to pay per each day separately.

Paul B. | 2014-01-01

The show here is about the same yr to yr. I hear they raised price of parking from $8 to $10 bucks. I guess that means the recession is officially over. Try to find alternative free parking or trolley in. If you are old or just look over the hill, ask for a Senior entrance ticket for $9 bucks.

Vanessa M. | 2013-12-28

It is one of the funny place to me and when I went this place they made fun with my son that is not expected me and it is the brand new cars you can see the same showroom and at the time the place seems to you as the crowd one too.
I spent a worse time in this place.

Kevin L. | 2013-02-25

Always fun with my son, would not go otherwise.  Few of the cars are brand new, you see the same in the showrooms.  The GOOD shows are 2-3 weeks later.  It's as if San Diego picks the worst time for a car show.  Too bad but still great times with my 5 year old.

Jessica T. | 2013-01-05

It was small for an auto show but it encompasses all of the main competitors for economic cars and a small portion had a display of the exotic cars. Its a good place to surprise your special man with tickets to and for a cheap price too. It only took 2-3 hours to look at everything, and that's if you're in the market for cars, less if you're not.

I'd recommend going just to see the new year's models but if you're looking for something more extravagant and looking for more cars out of the average joe's reach then I would suggest going to the LA auto show in Nov/Dec where you will be bombarded with room after room of exotic, high-end cars.

Friendly Tip: If you have a military ID, you can get a discount on your tickets! $9 instead of $12. :]

Bleeks W. | 2013-01-01

Car show is gone but definitely look forward to seeing it next year. I personally think its great. I mean, you go see cars at a car show. There was a a large variety from new models to exotics, and modified cars.
I think that for 12 bucks you cant go wrong. You could do test drives, check out most all cars inside, and there some interactive things with jeep, rock climbing wall, small jeeps for the kids and drive in regular jeeps for the adults. All free. Yes food is expensive and no variety, but i didnt go there to eat so i didnt really care. Yes this is no LA auto show, but still great.

Andrew P. | 2013-01-01

The SD car show is a great low-stress place environment to check out several different makes and models of cars.  The price of admittance is a bit higher than it should be, but if you look hard enough, it's usually not hard to get free or discounted tickets (I don't think I've ever paid full price to go).  The price of the food they have here is ridiculous, and the food isn't great.  Overall, it's not a bad place if you are car hunting, or just a car nut like me, but the LA auto show is much much bigger and better.

Austin D. | 2012-12-30

Weak sauce. It's basically a showroom for all brands combined into one BIIIIGG room (i.e. the convention center), with plush carpets. I counted a total of 2 concept cars. And no sign of hovercars anywhere. I would think with only 2 years left to invent them, there would be some sign of progress.

And they did not honor their OWN $2 off coupon because it was not printed out on dead tree (I showed it to them on my mobile device). Meanwhile, my (much prettier, blond female) friend got the $2 off deal from the dood in the next booth. DODGY.

BOTTOM LINE: If you're actually in the market for a new car, it might be a time-saver. Otherwise, save your $22 ($12 + $10 parking) and go to Mile of Cars or Carlsbad Car Country.

Ernesto M. | 2012-01-13

The 2011 version of  the SD International Auto Show was alright. It wasn't the shows of yesteryear, but thankfully it wasn't the show from last year the 2010 was horrible.

This year there was more dealers, thankfully Benz was back. The price is alright especially if you had a coupon, but just don't get hungry or thirsty inside, that will set you back at least $10.

Hopefully they can make it like the good old days when it was both floors, and there was tons of freebies, this time it was just alright.

Jen S. | 2011-12-29

Well, hell's bells, I was expecting more.

So let's do this with straight forward structure: first the good, then the bad.

GOOD: If you want to see new models of popular cars (i.e. Honda, Cadillac, Buik, Jeep, Chevrolet, Audi, VW, Kia, BMW, Mercedes, etc etc etc), BUT ALSO see the Porches, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Ferraris, and other high-end luxury cars, then this show has them!

The Cadillac CTS is my favorite. High performance and luxury! mmmmmmm

They also have a collection of classic cars from years gone by. I was happy to see the 1986 Porsche Turbo.

Jeep had an obstacle course where they would take you for a ride up and down steep hills, drive along a 30 degree angle, over logs, and a rocky terrain. It was fun, actually.

There was a DJ, sexy ladies showing off cars, robots, a climbing wall, and a jerky hut.

They had cars from movies like the Delorian from Back to the Future, the cop cars from Thor, the Yellow car from Transformers (with a guy in a Transformer suit), the Trans Am from Night Rider, the VW from Herbie, a few BMWs from the Bond films, and many others.

Sexy models walking around and using some T&A to help sell the cars.

THE BAD: You aren't allowed to get inside the luxury high performance cars like the Porsches and Lamborghinis. Boo!

Snacks and drinks are RIDICULOUSLY priced. $8 for a chicken sandwich, and $3 for a

You can't get inside the movie cars.

They had fire trucks, but no police cars!!! I mean, what about the E7 Interceptor? That is a bad-ass car that comes out in 2012. LAME!!!

No "free crap" like pens, magnets, stickers, posters, etc.

So, all in all, this show would have been much better if they lowered their damn prices, let people interact with ALL the cars, and give out promotional crap.

Tamara L. | 2011-01-12

I admit, I was spoiled in some ways by growing up in a major metropolitan city. We have one of the largest Auto Shows. So I was a tad bit disappointed attending my very first SDAS. They had a decent turnout of auto vendors with a little bit of nostalgia and concept car thrown in. I'm really glad they had the Jeep course. That was fun! It was a little strange having it indoors, however after we finished we went outside and it was of course raining, so yeah, I can see the logic. As mentioned by Chun, you can download a $2 off coupon from their site (hey every little bit helps) and we too parked a little way off on the street and hoofed it.