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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
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Pros and Cons of Airbags
No one can dispute the fact that airbags have been instrumental in saving thousands of lives over the last few decades. Yet airbag deployment continues to cause some controversy even to this day. Despite the many advantages that airbags have to offer, these safety devices also present some very real dangers that drivers and passengers should be aware of so they can avoid the possibility of future harm.

SAFETY FIRST The main purpose of airbags is to protect drivers and passengers from violently crashing into the dashboard or windshield of the vehicle during an accident. Airbags were designed to inflate immediately upon a collision, blocking the body from propelling forward and getting harmed. The positive results of airbag protection have been tremendous over the years. When combined with the increased use of seat belts and safety harnesses, airbags have helped to prevent thousands of fatalities all over the country.

CONTROVERSY At the same time, airbags have been known to actually cause serious injuries due to the rapid inflation rate of the devices during accidents. It has been estimated that airbags inflate at over 150 mph when deployed, hitting drivers and passengers at full force during a front end collision. Passengers who are too close to the dash or who are not wearing seat belts can easily sustain injuries from this sudden impact. In the event passengers are small adults or children, airbag impact can pose even greater physical risks due to the passengers' petite sizes.

BEST PRACTICES In order to avoid potential dangers of airbag injuries, vehicle manufacturers suggest that small adults and children avoid travelling in the front seat of vehicles that contain front seat airbags. Children under the age of 12, in particular, should always sit in rear seats with their seat belts securely fastened during their travels. Smaller adults who do travel up front should sit as far back from the dashboard as possible and wear safety belts at all times.

In an attempt to reduce airbag injuries, some car manufacturers are equipping newer vehicles with what they call a "depowered" airbag, which deploys at a less forceful rate than conventional designs. Airbags of this nature could greatly improve passenger safety as they continue to be a force for good in saving lives.

Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself in this debate, it’s always a good idea to consult your auto care professional for an insider’s viewpoint on the topic.
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 Toyota Yaris Review
The 2013 Toyota Yaris is known for its small size, as a subcompact sedan that is targeting the market looking for small and efficient hybrid cars. This sedan has a MSRP of between $14,370–$16,480 and plenty of options to make this car a solid selection for a daily driver.

The gas mileage sits at 30 MPG for in city driving and up to 38 MPG for the highway. It's not hitting the highest levels of efficiency with the 1.5 liter I-4 engine with 106 horsepower, but it's certainly no slouch in that department either. You can pick either an automatic or manual transmission, along with two different styles. The manual transmission is a 5 speed, while the automatic gives you a 4 speed. Pick between the two or four door version. Both body styles are hatchback, regardless of the amount of doors that it comes with.

The 2013 Toyota Yaris look is well received overall. It's similar to the 2012 model which had been lengthened compared to earlier options. The hatchback model also makes it very useful in day to day driving situations, such as hauling home the groceries. The only real difference between the 2012 and the 2013 models, however, is the new stereo model available. Otherwise, you're looking at a functionally identical car.

If you're looking for the trim options, you have three to pick between, each adjusting the MSRP. The base L model, the LE, and the SE, which is a sporty style version of the Yaris, are available. The base model of the Yaris has 15 inch wheels, but you can upgrade to 16 inch wheels if you prefer. Other optional features are rear spoilers, power side mirrors, and the SE trim can get smoked head lamps. You get plenty of safety features on the Yaris as well, with nine airbags total, anti lock breaks, and traction control.
Check out the Toyota Yaris available in some of our top cities!

Rochester Toyota Yaris

Chicago Toyota Yaris

Kansas City Toyota Yaris

Louisville Toyota Yaris

Orlando Toyota Yaris

08
2014 Audi S6 Review
The first generation of the Audi S6 officially was born (and ended) back in 1995, although the same essential vehicle had been sold in years previous under the model name the S4. The original Audi S6 was available as a sedan or a wagon and offered an over the top, turbo charged five-cylinder 227-hp engine. It worked via a manual transmission to sync and power all four of its wheels. While this flagship Audi S6 had good performance for its day, the older versions of the S6 don't really stand out in the grand scheme of things. However, the S6 has come a long way since then.

The Audi S6 has evolved quite a bit over the years, and the latest iteration is a super-fast four-door that offers an enticing mixture of speed, plenty of interior space, all-weather traction and, of course, the trusted Audi name. The S6 aspires to be an even more elite vehicle than its counterpart, the similar A6. Added power, performance wheels and brakes and a sportier suspension help the S6 to achieve this. The S6 is abundant with luxury and its mid-sized dimensions allow for multiple passengers to enjoy the ride comfortably. However, since the S6 focuses more on performance, expect its ride quality to be a bit more angular than other Audi vehicles.

Following the redesigned Audi A6, the S6 is more performance-focused and offers the driver a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine that is rated at 420 horsepower plus 406 pound/feet of torque. A seven-speed automated manual transmission evenly and effortlessly distributes the power to all four of its wheels, and improved fuel efficiency is an added benefit.

The S6 interior offers the rich but understated luxury that Audi is known for. Standard and optional features include adaptive cruise control, adaptive sport-tuned air suspension with variable damping, a variety of safety and driver assists, carbon-ceramic brakes, night vision, mobile WiFi, adaptive LED headlights, a navigation system with touchpad plus handwriting recognition, and massaging seats.

Available package options include: the Black Optic Package, a Cold Weather Package, Innovation Package, a Driver Assistance Package, Media Package, a Cargo Net and Comfort Seating. Exterior options available include LED Headlights, 20" 5-Parallel Spoke Star design wheels, Audi Guard Wheel lock kit, space base barrier bars and a front grille filler panel. Interior options include the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, black Alcantara or black cloth headliner, Audi Guard protection kit, power rear window sun shade, manual rear side sun shades, Audi Guard cargo mat, Audi cargo box and Audi Guard All-Weather floor mats.

- 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 File000980994442 Pros and Cons of Airbags Tip Air_filter Changing Your Air Filter