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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
03
Top Green and Economic Autos for Driving in Charlotte, NC
Natives of Charlotte, NC know the activities, events and attractions spotting the city call for frequent travel. If you are looking for a eco-friendly ride that will boost your sightseeing and commuting experience, then check out our favorite economic vehicles for this year:

Family Friendly

You need space, but don’t want to fill up every other mile. The 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid provides just that ratio. With a whopping 28 mpg rating, this hybrid SUV combines quality and size into one family-friendly package. Pack up the family for an afternoon at Freedom Park or exploring the Discovery Place. Plenty of cargo space, plenty of leg room.

Going Places

If you are looking for ultimate fuel-efficiency, technology and comfort, then the Toyota Prius 2014 might just be the ride for you. With a 51/48 mpg rating, work and play won’t be affected by rising gas prices. The 2014 Prius offers three driving modes with EV, ECO and POWER for controlling power and economy. So, whether you are off to work, heading to your local Not Just Coffee or on your way to McMullen Creek Greenway, the Toyota Prius will get you there without wrecking havoc on the environment.

Get Plugged-In

If newfangled electronics get you revved up, then you have to check out the 2014 Nissan Leaf for an electric car with great milage. Rated for 126 mpg (electricity rate), this car doesn’t use gas, but will take you 80-100 miles on a four hour charge. The hatchback design comfortably seats four with room for a fifth. Go take your dogs on that walk in Reedy Creek Park or Mecklenburg County William R Davie Park. They will love the drive and so will the environment.

Riding in Luxury

When commuting and professional business are the focus of your rides, then the 2014 Lexus CT 200h may be the vehicle up your alley. This luxury ride is designed for the professional by day and the city roamer by night. Sleek and stylish, the Lexus CTh is rated for 42 mpg, is sculpted for dynamic handling and packed with available technology.

Rough and Tough

Not everyone can manage to work with a luxury car or family-sized SUV. When large loads and off-road driving describe your average romp through the countryside, then the 2013 Ram 1500 HFE will get you where you need to go with power and fuel efficiency. Rated Best-in-Class for 25 hwy and 18 city mpg, the Ram 1500 HFE includes eight-speed transmission, exclusive Stop/Start Technology and drift compensation features.

No matter where you are going in SC or what your vehicle performance needs are, you can find the perfect fit with economically friendly benefits. Save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint by choosing a green car for your next ride.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
Gps
Advances in Car Apps
As vehicles add new technological and safety features, it is not surprising that the apps available for a vehicle are also improving. The advances in car apps are designed to improve the driving experience, increase safety or provide useful tools to stay connected while away from home.

Collision Intervention

The collision intervention app has improved the safety standards of many vehicles. Although the app requires a back-up camera, it is a useful way to cut back on the number of accidents a vehicle is likely to face. When the app is used, it will automatically use the vehicle’s brakes when a car is getting too close to another vehicle or object. It reduces the number of accidents, particularly when the vehicle is backing out a driveway or parking space.

Navigation Apps

Navigation apps are a great addition to any vehicle. The newer applications for navigation include the latest maps, options for different directions and visuals that make it easier to recognize the upcoming roads.

The navigation apps are included in many new vehicles, but it is necessary to regularly update the app to ensure the maps are still current. Since roads often change or have construction, it is useful to have updated apps to keep up with the changes.

Texting Apps

As the dangers of driving while texting become apparent, it is not surprising that many vehicle owners are finding the new apps for texting a useful addition to the vehicle. Although the exact apps that are best for a vehicle will vary, some cars are including an assistant app to make it easier to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and others through text message without the distractions that are commonly the cause of accidents.

The way the app works is simple. The phone is connected to the vehicle’s system through Blue Tooth technology. When a text message comes in on the phone, the app will read the message. The driver simply speaks the response out loud and the assistant app will send the response. It makes the process of sending a message while driving a possibility without making it dangerous.

Web-Based Connections

The apps in vehicles are no longer limited to the simple radio applications and useful navigational tools. Newer vehicles are able to connect to the Internet and provide apps that make web-browsing, online media and other options a possibility during travel. Staying connected through the vehicle provides the opportunity to keep up with social media or emails while on the road.

Advances in vehicle applications are constantly changing as new technology becomes available. Although the advances are continually changing, it is not surprising that it provides the opportunity to stay connected while also focusing on driving safety.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips
Kids, pets and your morning commute to work can wreak havoc on your car's upholstery. Keep it looking show room shiny with these 10 easy-to-follow tips.

1. Glass cleaner works wonders on a vehicle's carpet and upholstery. It won't leave a soapy residue and works on virtually any type of stain. Just spray the soiled area liberally, let it sit for five minutes, then blot with a clean towel.

2. Use Borax to remove smells from your vehicle's carpet. Sprinkle some of the powder onto the carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, then vacuum. Borax is cheap, easy to find in the laundry aisle and is also effective at kills fleas and flea eggs.

3. Use liquid shoe polish to keep car mats looking brand new. It also makes them easier to rinse off.

4. Clean vinyl seats with baking soda sprinkled on a damp rag. Rinse with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water warm. Baking soda won't cause the vinyl to harden as some oil-based cleaners will. 5. Salt or hairspray will effectively remove ink stains from vehicle carpet. Sprinkle with salt, let sit until the stain is absorbed, then vacuum.

6. To clean a large area, mix a gallon of hot water, a squirt or two of dish detergent and a cup of white vinegar. Use a hard bristle brush to work the mixture into the carpet. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then blot dry with towels.

7. Periodically clean leather seats with a leather cleaner. Keep turning the towel so you don't rub dirt back into the seat. Follow with a leather conditioner to keep seats looking their best.

8. Clean up spills as soon as you can so they don't set. Use cool - never hot - water to dilute the spilled coffee, juice or soda. Then blot the area with a clean towel.

9. Dry ice can help remove chewing gum or other waxy materials. The ice will freeze the substance so you can scrape it away with a putty knife or similar instrument.

10. Use only a diluted, mild laundry soap to clean seat belt fabric. Harsh cleaners might damage the fabric and cause it to malfunction.

Use these tips to keep your car's interior upholstery looking great. And look to www.autos.com the next time you're in the market for vehicle.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
Charlotte2
Car Clubs, Auto History and More in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC, best known to drivers as the Home of NASCAR, is located along the southern edge of North Carolina and the border of South Carolina. As a result this is a popular city for drivers cruising along the mountain roads of the southeast. As the largest city in North Carolina, and one of the least walkable metropolitan cities in the U.S., expect to find an elaborate maze of roads, bypasses and highways with plenty of pit stops along the way.

A visit to Charlotte for a driver should begin with the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This museum gives honor to the best NASCAR drivers with an induction into the Hall of Fame. Just a few of the drivers to achieve this status include Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Junior Johnson, Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett. Drivers in Charlotte are most likely to see NASCAR officials and hosts eating lunch on a weekday or cruising home from work as offices of more than 75 percent of NASCAR employees are located here.

If you prefer to experience drag racing, either as an amateur performer or a bystander, take note of the NHRA dragstrip and zMAX Dragway in and around Charlotte. Enjoy a restful night sleep at an upscale hotel located in the Metrolina Speedway and Sports Center. In addition to accommodations, this speedway rebuild includes an outdoor racing track, roof top state park and shopping opportunities. You'll be surrounded by all things speed with a stay at this Sports Center.

Consider taking a drive over to the Universal Technical Institute branch of the NASCAR Technical Institute. Located in the bordering town of Mooresville, which is best known as Race City USA, this educational institution regularly hosts campus events. Check out their calendar on your ride into Charlotte to see if you can catch programs, such as the Monster Jam Open House featuring the Grave Digger monster truck or the Top Tech Challenge in which high school students compete in automotive tests to win scholarships to the school. With some luck, some of the institute's supporters, such as NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace, may be at a NTI event.

After a long day of driving through the racing city of the southeast, if you want to fill your stomach check out the local food trucks. Ideal for eating on the run, simply park your car and walk up to these gut busting and tasty restaurants on wheels. If you are in town for the weekend, take note of Food Truck Friday and Sizzlin' Saturday that are regularly held throughout the year. On these evenings, you can experience the heart of Charlotte culture while rubbing shoulders with the locals. In addition to a wide range of food options from spicy barbeque to fried foods worthy of fairs, you'll enjoy live entertainment that will keep you going long after you are weary from a day of driving.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

01
2013 Hyundai Genesis Review
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis is available in many exterior colors, making it a current favorite on the market for design. the car has a V6 engine that generates 348 horse power, keeping it speeding down the roads as fast as you can take it. It has a 30-percent increase over the previous engine, making it faster, stronger, and more versatile than the previous Genesis. Rear-wheel drive is part of the package, so the car can be driven with superb maneuverability.

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis has an eight-inch display for the navigation controls, so you can see it more easily. The center joystick of navigation has been redesigned for easier use during drives, as well. If you choose to get the R-Spec trim, you may be able to receive the V8 engine, and the new interface that links it up has a 64GB solid-state drive to keep you moving. You can transport up to five passengers with ease in this layout, and the car gets up to 29 highway miles per gallon or 19 city miles per gallon, making it useful for families.

It has 15.9 feet of cargo space, so you can bring along things like backpacks, toys, and groceries without a struggle. The luxury car has 17-inch wheels that have been redesigned from the previous model, and new tail lamps and exhaust outlets give the similar design of the previous Genesis a new style. The R-Spec design has 19-inch wheels, darker trimmed headlights and a special badge to separate it from the others.

Interior colors and trims vary significantly, so buyers have a lot of options. Rear passengers now have heated seats, and the driver has a Lane Departure Warning System that will help keep the vehicle on the road. The navigation monitor also has a glare-resistant screen.

Check out the Hyundai Genesis available in some of our top cities!

Los Angeles Hyundai Genesis

Houston Hyundai Genesis

Fort Worth Hyundai Genesis

New York Hyundai Genesis

Portland Hyundai Genesis

02
2014 Chrysler 200 Review
The 2014 Chrysler 200 was an interesting model that was cut short. The 2014 Chrysler 200 had a fairly limited production run, as the company decided to produce the 2015 model early and pull the 2014 model from its lineup.

The Chrysler 200 is an extremely popular model, and there was no word released on whether there was something specific to the vehicle that encouraged the company to do this. Rather, the company decided to pull multiple vehicles from its 2014 line and move directly into the production for the 2015 line instead.

2014 Chrysler 200 was a worthy addition to the Chrysler line as far as style was concerned, but as a vehicle it couldn't differentiate itself from the pack. It was smaller than other mid-sized sedans, provided less room and consumed slightly more gas than its peers. Despite these issues, the vehicle had a strong, sound engine and was available in a sporty convertible model.

Like its predecessors, there were quite a few options for the 2014 Chrysler 200. The vehicle came in both a 2-door convertible and a 4-door sedan. The convertible came with the Limited, S and Touring packages, and the sedan came with the Limited, LX and Touring packages.

Gas mileage was not the shining point of the 2014 Chrysler 200​. The vehicle gets 21 miles per gallon in the city, 29 miles per gallon on the highway and a combined 24 miles per gallon between the two. These ratings are high for an affordable, mid-sized sedan.

The 2014 Chrysler 200 had a limited run, which means it wasn't given time to appropriately find its place in the market. The vehicle did consume more gas than other mid-sized sedans, but it was also much sportier with a more powerful engine and a convertible model. Those looking for an inexpensive vehicle that had the assets of a practical car with the fun and entertainment value of a sports car may have found the 2014 Chrysler 200 an excellent blend. The 2015 model, which was pushed into production early, is also likely to have these same characteristics.

- 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 03 Top Green and Economic Autos for Driving in Charlotte, NC National Gps Advances in Car Apps Tip 1383851570k99wa Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips