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Current Charlotte Auto News
04
Top 5
Snazzy Compact Cars for Driving in Charlotte, NC
Driving around Charlotte can be a fun way to spend the afternoon. From the winding country roads out near Union County to the fast paced I-95 that carries you right to the fun spots of downtown, nothing beats a sunny day cruising around the Queen City! One thing for sure is that Charlotte is a big city with lots of fun things to see and do, so if you’re going to enjoy all it has to offer, you better get yourself a fun and sporty compact car that gets great gas mileage! Here’s the Top 5 compact cars you’ll see around town:

Top 5 Compact Cars:

1. Ford Focus Great fuel economy, a sporty look, and a roomier, upscale interior has folks in the Charlotte area loving the Ford Focus. Offering 26/36 mpg city/highway, the Focus gets you to all your favorite places around The Queen City and leaves you with some money in your wallet for some downtown fun. The Focus ST comes with a powerful turbo-charged engine and superb handling, making it a top performer.

2. Chevrolet Cruze - If you’re looking for a high quality and high performance compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze definitely delivers. The interior is roomy and comfortable and the fuel efficient design will have you cruising all the way from the Charlotte Motor Speedway to Carowinds Amusement Park without even thinking about a gas station stop! Tons of options are available including remote keyless entry, rearview camera, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and more!

3. Honda Civic - The Honda Civic is a popular choice yet again this year. The smooth ride and excellent standard features keeps this fun to drive car at the top of reviewer’s lists. It offers a sound resistant cabin for a quiet ride and even boasts a new feature that reads your incoming text messages out loud for you allowing a safe trip to your favorite concert at the Time Warner Arena without missing important messages!

4. Mazda 3 Sporting a powerful engine with a fun to drive sporty feel, the Mazda 3 offers a lot of upscale options drivers will love. Cruise to the Carolina Panthers game in style and be prepared to enjoy the envious looks you will get when you arrive in this new sleek Mazda design! They’ll be even more jealous when they hear it gets 30/41 mpg city/highway!

5. Kia Soul This spunky little car comes loaded with cool features and offers up plenty of room for everything you want to buy at the Concord Mills Outlet Shops! The Soul provides a smooth ride, even on Charlotte’s country back roads and comfy seats for the long haul. Standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, steering wheel mounted audio/cruise controls and USB and auxiliary inputs for the tech savvy.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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The Smart Car Buyer
What to Bring With You When Car Shopping
If you are getting ready to buy your first car or to replace your current car, you have a lot of things to consider, including the make, model and color, and how much money you are willing to part with. Before you head on over the dealership, there are some items that you should bring with you to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly.

It almost goes without saying, but you need to remember to bring your valid driver’s license. This is something people forget sometimes, especially if they have been relying on other people to take them places. If you don’t have your license, you won’t be able to take any cars for a test drive or drive your new car home. You should also bring proof of insurance.

DO YOUR RESEARCH Unless you are fabulously wealthy and don’t care about losing money, you will need to do some research before going out car shopping. Looking up information online about the types of cars you are interested in will help you narrow your focus when you are out looking at available vehicles.

If you have a particular car in mind, research and print out the dealer’s invoice price and take it with you. This is invaluable information to have when you are negotiating with the salesperson. Put your printouts in a folder, along with the details of any incentives or rebates that you have discovered.

REVIEW THE REVIEWS Another useful thing to bring is a printout of trustworthy reviews of the cars you are most interested in. You can consult these pages while looking at particular cars, to refresh your memory about why you were interested in buying them.

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to properly evaluate a car, you should consider bringing a friend or family member who knows something about cars. If the dealer senses that you have no idea what you are looking at, there is a temptation to take advantage of you.

It’s also a good idea to bring the phone number of a trusted mechanic, in case you want to make an appointment to get a used car checked out. Your mechanic may even be willing to meet you at the location to do an inspection. This is particularly useful when you are considering buying a used car from a dealership you’ve never been to before or when you are evaluating a car being sold by a private party.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
Charlotte
For The Love of Driving: Charlotte
Located in the southwest region of North Carolina, Charlotte is a beautiful city that boasts a busy economy, lots of tourism destinations and miles and miles of incredible roads to explore. Whether you're grabbing the keys and hopping into your Honda Civic for a little solo excursion or piling a few friends into a Infiniti Q60 with the top down, here are a few of Charlotte's hidden gems and local favorites to check out once your motor's humming:

Carowinds

No visit to Charlotte, NC would be complete without a day of play at the state's most famous amusement park. Filled with coasters, thrill rides and a water park that will cool off the hottest summer day, the park is found right off of the aptly-named Carowinds Boulevard in the south part of the city. Get amped up for a coaster-thon by cruising down 77 on your way in - it gives a "road trip" feel to an outing at this thrill center.

Wing Haven Gardens

Often overlooked for larger parks and public spaces, Wing Haven makes an excellent stop on a warm day - especially if you tuck a picnic basket and camera into the back of your Toyota Prius. The carefully cultivated and curated gardens at Wing Haven offer beautiful blooms, sculpted topiaries and lots more greenery to check out. Spend the day taking in the lush botanical gardens and bird sanctuary, finishing off your visit with a leisurely cruise down Ridgewood Avenue to take in the sunset on your way back home.

Lazy 5 Ranch

If you prefer to get a glimpse of more exotic fauna, the Lazy 5 is a classic tourist stop in Charlotte. Bring the kids, enjoy the drive out to nearby Mooresville and temporarily trade your Honda Odyssey for a horse-drawn carriage ride through a scaled-down savannah. Rhinos, giraffes and more cavort mere feet from the cart, offering an incredible experience for animal fans who want to get up close and personal. If you need a great place to cool off once you've completed your safari, be sure to head west and take a dip in Lake Norman before concluding your adventures.

No matter where you decide to take a drive in Charlotte, you'll find the city a welcoming place for vehicles ranging from Mini Coopers to Ford Edges. If you decide to visit any of these interesting places or new destinations within the city, be sure to get an early start - after all, you certainly won't be the first driver intent on investigating how much charm is packed into this sweet southern city.

Auto.com Editorial Staff
01
As Sexy As Can Be: The Evolution of the Porsche
There was one in “Risky Business” starring with Tom Cruise, as well as featured with Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in “Annie Hall”. It starred in the opening scene of “Gone in Sixty Seconds”. Will Smith mentioned it in his early hit "Parents Just Don't Understand” and it debuted in the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. We are talking about the stunning, sexy, to-die-for - Porsche.

COMING TO AMERICA Car enthusiasts everywhere fell passionately in love with the Porsche the minute it purred its way to America in 1950. So much so, that Porsche apportioned over half of its total worldwide production to the U.S. a couple of years after its introduction. Recently Kelly Blue Book dubbed it “The Coolest Brand in America”. The Porsche is the motivation behind the devout zeal of generations of drivers and is an icon in the American culture.

Did you know that the name Porsche is actually pronounced PORSH-uh. Many people say it by dropping the e and just saying Porsh. In 1900, Ferdinand Porsche developed a hybrid gas/electric vehicle – a world first. In 1906, he became Technical Director at Austro-Daimler at ripe old age of 31. Four years later the touring car that Ferdinand Porsche designed wins a triple victory in the Prince Henry trials. Ferdinand Porsche himself was the winning driver.

A SNAPPY ROADSTER There are many firsts with Porsche; first to make passenger air bags available, first car in the world with brakes on all four wheels (The 1898 Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil), the first U.S. Porsches displayed in a New York City showroom by U.S. importer Max Hoffman. The first Porsche to emerge at the New York Auto Show was called "a snappy Porsche roadster” in 1954. In 1956, piloted by Hans Herrmann was the first appearance of a Porsche at the historic 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race.

Even though singer Janis Joplin wailed about her friends driving Porsches’ while she was stuck with a Mercedes- Benz, she actually owned a Cabriolet painted in the psychedelic style of the 60’s. You can still spot the car at many auto museums and art museums as well.

You do not need fame to own a Porsche, just a deep love of driving a well-oiled beast that looks like Cinderella dressed for the ball. New York, NY-based Luxury Institute ranked Porsche the most prestigious brand in its segment, and pulled a nice overall rating of 78. Yes sir-ree my friend beating Mercedes Benz’ overall score of 76.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Electric Car Care Tips
There are many benefits that come along with owning an electric car. Of course, many owners view fuel savings as the biggest advantage. However, because electric car engines are much more simplistic than the traditional internal combustion engine, many people also enjoy the fact that they generally require less maintenance. Still, there are some steps that all electric car owners need to take in order to keep their vehicles in the best shape possible.

Battery Care

Perhaps the most important aspect of maintaining an electrical vehicle is that of maintaining the battery, as the life of an electric car battery can vary greatly. It's best to check with the car manufacturer or dealer prior to purchasing an electric car so as to find out how long the battery is meant to last before it needs to be replaced. To extend the life of the battery, owners are encouraged to be scrupulous about using unneeded electrical components or leaving the car idling for extended periods of time.

Brake Maintenance

Fortunately, electric cars come equipped with regenerative brakes, so they should last significantly longer than the average 30,000 to 50,000 miles that a traditional car's brakes will last. Still, owners should be on the lookout for signs of wear and tear, especially around 75,000 miles. Signs of brake wear include a vibration in the steering wheel upon braking along with squeaking and grinding sounds coming from the car's wheels.

Tire Care

Much like a traditional car, electric car owners are encouraged to replace their tires around every 50,000 miles. The specific amount can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the size of the tires used. However, a good way to tell when it's time to replace a vehicle's tires is to conduct the penny test.

This test is conducted by placing a penny upside down into the tire's tread. If all of Abraham Lincoln's head is able to be seen, this means that the tread is too worn and the tires should be replaced.

Owning an electrical car does mean less maintenance overall, but it doesn't mean abandoning maintenance and care altogether. All current and prospective electric car owners should keep this in mind in order to keep their cars running great for years to come.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Best Car Service Centers in Charlotte, North Carolina
If you live in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and your car needs a tune-up, quick wash or new sound system, these local businesses will get your car into top shape!

Car Washes

If you live in South End or Dilworth, then your car needs to make a pit stop at Autobell Car Wash on South Boulevard. They offer excellent car washes for quality prices and even have manager's specials that include extras like rain repellent. They usually get you in and out in less than fifteen minutes and offer honest recommendations for upgrades based on your car's needs. Additionally, their customer service goes above and beyond what is expected and required. Autobell Car Wash is the perfect choice for any automobile needing a little tender, love and care.

If you live closer to Starmount and you car needs more attention than just the standard wash, Exclusive Detail and Tint on Chastain will surely please. Brian is friendly, efficient and talented. He comes highly recommended and will always ask for permission before fixing or working on anything extra. Exclusive Detail and Tint also does scratch removal and repair, window tinting and clay bar and custom cleaning. You can also book your appointment online.

Car Repair

Located on Iverson Way in Dilworth, Neighborhood Garage is a family owned business that always leaves customers feeling satisfied. They have fair prices, quality customer service and honest mechanical assessments. The staff here will not up-sell on unnecessary parts or services. The staff will even give you a ride to pick up or drop off your car if you need. Neighborhood Garage definitely goes above and beyond!

Eurowise in Starmount is another high rated car repair shops in Charlotte. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and they have a great deal of experience in foreign cars. They are a trustworthy source for information, quotes and honest opinions. They are also close to the light rail, which makes it convenient for transportation to and from the shop.

Whether you live in Dilworth or Starmount or anywhere in the Charlotte area, these local car washes and car repair shops will leave your car feeling and looking great. Family owned and customer service driven, all of these service centers are a step above the rest.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

03
2010 Volkswagen Eos Review
The 2010 Volkswagen Eos is a sporty little convertible with a retractable hard top that comes with a sunroof as well. You should take a look at this premium vehicle made by Volkswagen. This car is reasonably priced for a 4-seater convertible.

The 2010 Volkswagen Eos is a one of a kind convertible, it is designed with a hard top with power retractable roof and a special glass sunroof along with it. You won't see this on any other convertible. You will have a choice of free flowing sun and air as you drive or a toned down breeze when you put the top up and enjoy the specialized sunroof.

The Eos comes standard with a 2.0L turbo charged V4 200 horsepower engine that has plenty of pep. The fuel economy is superb with 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway miles, you will love the freedom of your economic driving experience. It comes standard with a 6 speed automatic transmission that gives you a smooth and economic ride.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced and stylish car, this should be you only choice. It easily beats the other cars in it's class for room and comfort hands down. This is a true 4 seater car that you can take around town or take some friends down the coast for a beautiful and comfortable ride.

You will get standard 16 inch alloy wheels, multi-function steering wheel for driver convenience, climate control, heated seats, a high quality entertainment system that is Bluetooth capable, and among many other features that are to numerous to list here. You need to see this car first hand to appreciate all of the standard features. You won't find this many features in another car in it's class.

You can see at first glance the excellent features and design that the 2010 Volkswagen Eos has. If you are looking for a reasonably priced convertible the Eos is your car. Take one on a test drive to day and enjoy the ride.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
04
2011 Dodge Ram 2500 Review
Rated at the top in the heavy duty truck category, the 2011 Dodge 2500 is more commonly referred to as the Ram 2500. A solid workhorse, this truck can tow more than 15,000 pounds when properly equipped and can haul a payload of 3,000 pounds. Acknowledged as the clear winner in looks and stylish appearance, this very popular vehicle is also one of the best selling heavy duty pickup trucks in America.

Buyers can choose from the regular cab, crew cab or mega crew cab. The regular cab comes with a long bed while the crew cab is available with either a short or long bed. The mega crew cab has more cabin space, but only comes with a short bed. Each cab category also comes with several different trim levels and prices go up as more options are added to the base model.

Owners love their Dodge Ram 2500 trucks because they are versatile performers. They offer a smooth ride on the highway and have extremely plush and comfortable seats that make long trips easy to endure. The interior is one of the best and most luxurious of any truck on the market. Attention to details such as superior stitching and tasteful trim, along with an ice-cold climate control system and a powerful stereo, makes you feel like you are riding in a luxury vehicle.

The Ram gets plenty of looks on the road with its curved front profile and sleek lines. While it is a large truck, it handles nimbly and can maneuver its way around quite nicely, even in crowded city driving.

The one thing you will not get with this vehicle is good gas mileage. Like all heavy trucks, this 2011 edition from Dodge requires plenty of gas to power its standard V8, 383 hp gasoline engine with 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Equally gas-thirsty is the 6.7 Liter turbodiesel inline-6 diesel engine that produces 650 lb.-ft. of torque.. Expect to average between 12-16 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Charlotte Car Dealers

Top 5 04 Snazzy Compact Cars for Driving in Charlotte, NC The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Charlotte For The Love of Driving: Charlotte National 01 As Sexy As Can Be: The Evolution of the Porsche Tip File0001229755576 Electric Car Care Tips