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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
Air_filter
Changing Your Air Filter
Something as simple as changing your car’s air filter can make a big difference in the performance of your vehicle. As your car’s filter takes in air from the environment it can be become dirty and clogged. This can cause your car to have a less than desirable performance. It can also shorten the length of your vehicle’s life and give you decreased gas mileage, which costs you more money.

Most car manufacturers recommend an air filter change every year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Check with your car manufacturer for your specific vehicles recommendations.

Change your air filter by following these simple steps: • Go to an auto parts store and purchase the correct air filter. If you are unsure of what to get, ask for help. Park your car in the garage or in the shade before working on it. The car must be cool when changing the air filter. If you have been driving it, you will need to let it cool down.

• Gather the tools that you will need to do the job. This will include a standard screw driver, and a Phillips screwdriver.

• Most air filters are located in the middle of the car’s engine, but may also be off to the side of the engine. You won’t be able to miss it, as it is in a black compartment that is relatively large. When you have located it you can open it up.

• There are clips that hold the air filter together that will need to be removed. This can by accomplished by sliding the regular end of the screwdriver between the clip and the casing of the air filter. Do this with each clip and then remove it to gain access to the old air filter.

• Once it is open, remove the old air filter. It is made out of paper with rubber around the edges. It can come in a few different colors, such as white, yellow, orange, or red. Once it is out you will see how much dirt has collected.

• Throw the old air filter away and insert the new one. Replace the clips around the air filter and you’re done. Your car will run more smoothly and save you money.

- 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

01
2013 Scion xD Review
Toyota has aimed its Scion line at young and first-time car buyers, but the cars have become popular with older drivers as well. The 2013 Scion xD is one of these models that are both practical and fun. As a hatchback, it has more cargo space than a sedan of equal size. It also offers many features that make driving it something to look forward to.

The xD has a surprisingly large variety of trims for such an affordable car. Six trims, three with manual transmissions and three with automatics, await those who take a look at this model. MSRPs range from $15,745 to $16,545. Fuel economy is good, with all trims getting about 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The engines have four cylinders.

Inside, you'll have access to features that used to be unavailable in compact economy cars. Air conditioning, a CD player, MP3 player, intermittent wipers, satellite radio and a premium sound system are all there. A security system and cruise control are other options you may be pleased to discover.

Eight paint colors are available for the 2013 Scion xD. Along with black, gray, silver and white, you can choose red or two different shades of blue. One of the blues is a two-tone, with black being the other color. The interior, on the other hand, isn't nearly as varied. You get dark charcoal.

The car's safety package is fairly standard. Driver and passenger air bags protect the front row from the front and sides, while the back row has head air bags. Stability and traction control help prevent skidding on the road. Brake assist is also present. Child-safe locks keep everyone in the car until it's time to get out.

All in all, the Scion xD is a good car for anyone who wants to save on gas. Its features and colors make it surprisingly fun and comfortable for such a small car. Drivers of all ages should enjoy zipping around the city in this wagon.
02
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review
Subaru offers a fuel-efficient crossover with the new 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. Two models are available, the 2.0i Premium and the 2.0i Limited. Crosstrek combines solid off-road ability with a vehicle that is fun to drive on regular roadways.

Engine and power train: The Crosstrek use the Subaru 2.0-liter DOHC BOXER® engine. The engine and drive train are mounted in-line with each other. The pistons move in a horizontal direction and Subaru’s technology creates a smooth running engine with maximum efficiency. The 4-cylinder engine produces 148 horsepower.

Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) senses the input from the brake and steering systems for stability control. An Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) system distributes the force when braking depending on how the vehicle is loaded.

A Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is designed to maximize fuel efficiency. The transmission uses a stepless gear ratio that adjusts immediately to the vehicle’s acceleration.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive provides balance and maximum traction. The system eliminates the temporary slip before the wheels grab. Drivers will find faster response and more stability in wet road conditions.

Standard features: The Premium edition comes with a five-speed manual transmission. The CVT is optional but comes standard on the Limited version. A windshield wiper de-icer and heated mirrors offer additional safety and convenience. The Limited model adds automatic climate control, automatic headlights and leather trim to the standard features. A sunroof is also available.

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a roomy vehicle. With the rear seats in passenger position, the Crosstrek provides 22.3 cubic feet of storage. When the seats are lowered, owners can make use of 51.9 cubic feet of storage area. The flat load floor allows owners to maximize the available cargo space. MSRP for the 2.0i Premium model is $21,995. The Limited starts at $24,495. Both 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek models get 25 mpg city and 33 mpg on the highway.

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 Air_filter Changing Your Air Filter