Where to buy a car in the Chicago area?
March 25, 2013 9:46 PM   Subscribe

We're interested in areas with lots of dealerships in close proximity, so we can see the models we're curious about without having to head all over town.

Ms. B.F.G. and I are trying to buy a late-model used car sometime in the next week or so. In most of the places we've lived, car dealerships seem to cluster together, so that you can visit lots of them quickly. What are the analogous areas in Chicago or the suburbs? Are there any areas in particular we should be looking?

Some details:
- We live in Hyde Park, but will have a car for this. We're willing to travel to the suburbs if that's a better option.
- We've narrowed things down to 3-6 models mostly Hondas and Toyotas, but also a Nissan and a Mazda. We're looking to take a few test drives to narrow it down, not necessarily buy.
- We looked around online, but we're having trouble telling if the dealerships are just in sort of semi-industrial, non-residential neighborhoods or in actual sketchy neighborhoods that we should avoid.
posted by The Notorious B.F.G. to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (7 answers total)
 
If you're looking for a lot of dealerships, Countryside where Rt 45 meets Joliet Rd has Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru all within a half mile. I can't think of a place closer to you that has this dense a dealership cluster. It's right off 55, so not too far from you.
posted by readery at 10:35 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since you are already on the south side, there are a lot of dealerships along US 30 in Merrillville, IN. It's where I bought my car years ago. 159th in Orland Park has a large cluster as well.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 11:11 PM on March 25, 2013


It's totally the wrong direction, but there are dealerships clustered along the Edens and Rt 41, mostly in Highland Park. (I'm not sure there's a Nissan or Mazda dealer, though.)

I'm having a hard time finding a good cluster on Google Maps, but there are some dealerships on Golf Rd and Dempster in Skokie and Morton Grove. That makes more sense than going all the way to Highland Park. But only if you want to go on an expedition touring car dealerships of the North Side, strike out and then need to expand your search radius.
posted by hoyland at 6:24 AM on March 26, 2013


159th Street from about 80th Avenue or so west to Wolf Road, in Tinley Park/Orland Park. Just go south on 57, take 80 west, exit Harlem north, then west on 159th.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:29 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't normally recommend you hike all the way to Naperville (in the western suburbs), but the city built their own test track to keep dealership test drivers from barreling through residential neighborhoods. It looks like it could be a fun time.

Naperville isn't in Cook County so your dealer would need to take care of the Cook tax forms but they're used to working with that stuff.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:30 AM on March 26, 2013


The test track is kind of neat, I bought a car in Naperville. It had recently snowed and taking the steep hill on the test track with four wheel drive was fun. But I was there on a Saturday afternoon and there were cars lined up to use it, which made test driving multiple cars time consuming. I bet it's better on a week day.
posted by readery at 8:00 AM on March 26, 2013


Seconding SuperSquirrel. 159th Street is where it's at. Every single car dealership exists in Orland Park and Tinley Park. It's not far from Hyde Park either. Good luck!
posted by Hop123 at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2013


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