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01
Top 5
Stylish Compact Cars for Driving in Chicago, IL
Nestled on the bank of Lake Michigan, Chicago is both the third largest city by population and the third most-visited city in the U.S. While the city has earned its place as a world-class city in which to live and visit with its exquisite lake views, impressive architecture, and interesting, sometimes brutal history, its popularity also makes it a busy city in which to drive. Going compact in Chicago makes merging in the heavy traffic easier, those high city gas prices less painful, and parking far easier to find.

Honda Fit

Sporty, sleek and coming in at a respectable 33 highway/27 city mpg, the Honda Fit offers multiple seating and cargo configurations ideal for going crazy on Chicago’s famous shopping street, The Magnificent Mile. Paddle shifters put control of the transmission back in your hands and make the Fit fun to drive, and some bright color options help you find your small ride in a sea of parked cars.

Scion tC

Though it doesn’t offer the sweetest gas mileage for a compact, if you want to make a splash on the Chicago club scene, the Scion tC will help you do it. One of the best cars for resale value in 2013, according to Kelley Blue Book, the tC comes standard with some very high-end features, including sport front bucket seats, leather trim and a moon roof.

Kia Soul

Billed as an urban hatchback, the Kia Soul has a boxy presence like no other. A bigger grill on the 2014 model with slightly more cargo space makes this car even more pleasing to look at and provides more room for hauling luggage. If you’re driving in for Lollapalooza, the Soul’s quieter ride will let your music be heard over the street noise.

Volkswagen Golf

Not the most sporting compact, the Volkswagen Golf has a lot to offer by way of space. When you haul the kids in to see the Cubs play at Wrigley Field, the Golf provides more legroom than its counterparts, and split seat configurations give you additional space if you need to add cargo to the mix. Coming in at only 23 city/30 highway mpg with the base engine, the Golf is not the best compact option when it comes to fuel efficiency. An upgrade to the TDI clean diesel engine makes a major difference, bringing the Golf’s fuel consumption in at a much better 30 city/42 highway mpg.

Mini Cooper

Though Chicago lacks some of the pretension of cities like New York, Los Angeles and Miami, a little eye candy won’t hurt when choosing your ride. Despite its more prominent presence on the American car scene, the Mini Cooper is still a bit of a novelty that will get you the right kind of attention when pulling up at the Chicago International Film Festival or one of the city’s trendiest eateries, like Restaurant Beatrix or the CH Distillery.

- 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
Chicago
For the Love of Driving: Chicago
Chicago, also commonly known as "The Windy City," is the third most populous city in the country, with a current estimated population of around 2.7 million residents in the city alone and an additional 9.5 in the surrounding "Chicagoland" suburbs. Because of its large size, huge skyscrapers, and robust shopping district, Chicago is a very popular stop among tourists. Whether you're planning a short visit in the near future or are even a nearby resident, there's plenty for you to see and do in this busy city without necessarily even having to leave your car.

Landmarks

Michigan Avenue is a must-see stretch of shops and restaurants if you plan on visiting The Windy City. Famous for its "Magnificent Mile," here you can peruse a wide range of shops, boutiques, department stores, restaurants, and more. This is a great place if you love to shop, as there's truly something for everybody here. Enjoy an afternoon of window shopping with your family from the comfort of your Dodge Caravan as you cruise down Michigan Avenue. Stop at any of the city's ample public parking spots to explore some select shops on foot.

If you cruise down to the area of Grant Park, you'll find another attraction that you can enjoy from the comfort of your car: the Buckingham Fountain. The Beaux-Arts style design of this fountain is an eye-catching centerpiece and a great place to take photos with family and friends as well. On some nights, there are even special water and light shows for passersby to enjoy.

Natural Attractions

Since Chicago is located right off the shores of Lake Michigan, this is a great place to visit and just a short drive from downtown in your Jeep Patriot. Cruise down to Lake Michigan for a great view of the water. On nicer days, you can get out and enjoy beaches such as Oak Street Beach and Montrose Beach. Pack up your Patriot with plenty of beach towels, sunscreen, buckets and shovels for a fun day with family and friends by the water.

More To See

Another must-see attraction located in downtown Chicago is that of famous Navy Pier. Just a short ride in your Hyundai Accent down East Grand Avenue, this beautiful pier is a great place for shopping, dining, and all-around fun. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can even enjoy a scenic ride on the pier's famous Ferris wheel. During the summer, you can catch a fireworks show off the pier at the end of the night. On rainy days, you can find a full IMAX movie theater and plenty of shops inside the adjacent mall. Navy Pier is an absolute must-see for both tourists and full-time residents alike.

As you can see, there's plenty to do and see in the large city of Chicago. Explore the city and check out the attractions listed above for yourself; you'll be glad you did!

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Great Antique Car Shows of the U.S.
In every town in America, there are car shows found. There are shows for muscle cars, Low-riders, classic cars, and every make and model of cars you can imagine. The people who go to car shows run the gamut from “window shoppers” to enthusiasts looking for their next “adoption”. Some people are so enthusiastic for the cars they love they follow shows across the country, making new friends and finding cars they may not have seen otherwise.

A Bygone Era

Antique cars are one of the most loved cars of all, bringing back the era of peace and a time when life was simpler. Antique car shows exemplify the hard work and attention to detail that have been afforded these vehicles, bringing back the show room radiance from days gone by. There is something about the feel, sight and yes, even the smell of an antique car. This is something car enthusiasts love to gab about when at a car show.

Shows Abound

One of the great antique car shows is The Goodguys 14th Lone Star Nationals in Fort Worth Texas. They not only have a large car show, but also will have manufacturer’s displays, a used auto part swap meet, used cars for sale area, and a track cruise for event participants.

The Pomona Swap Meet in CA. is the west coast’s largest antique and classic car show, exhibiting seven times a year. This event is planned exclusively for the classic car aficionados. Not only will visitors enjoy the vast spread of antique cars, they will also be able to look for those rare car parts and accessories at low prices for almost any make or model of car.

A Long History

The Antique Automobile Club of America is one of, if not the oldest automobile club in the U.S. officially beginning on September 20, 1935. Located in Hershey PA., it is the largest and greatest antique car show held annually during the first week in October.

Held on the grounds of Hershey Park and The Giant Center the show boasts hundreds of car bays, and over one thousand show cars. Visitors come from around the world to see the antique cars that have been painstakingly restored.

Bennington Vermont hosts the Annual Bennington Car Show and displays Antique cars, Classic cars, Woodies, and muscle cars. There is a display of antique motorcycles and tractor and farm machinery as well. It is estimated that over 10,000 people visit this antique car show every year.

Great antique car shows are everywhere you look, proving that the cars of yesteryear will always be a part of our American heritage.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Advances in Car Backup Cameras
While the car accidents that cause the most damage and thus receive the most attention generally involve t-bones or head-on collisions, smaller accidents can also prove quite costly over the course of time. Such is the case with collisions that occur while a car is backing up. Drivers may misjudge the amount of room they have while attempting to parallel park, and thus, wind up scratching, denting or even smashing their vehicle and possibly a car belonging to someone else as well.

IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY Fortunately, improvements in technology have greatly decreased the likelihood of drivers winding up in such scrapes. Particularly useful is the backup camera, with which a driver can get a more accurate idea of the amount of room available for backing up. Rear view cameras greatly enhance the safety factor on a car. After all, one of the greatest blind spot areas for a driver consists of the area behind the vehicle.

STATISTICS The child advocacy group Kids and Cars reports that over fifty kids die every year in accidents related to cars backing up. Rear view cameras provide the opportunity to prevent such tragedies. Many of today's newer cars come with these cameras already built in, but for drivers with older vehicles, it is still possible to buy a separate rear view camera and have it installed.

EVOLVING IMPROVEMENTS The first car backup cameras were already quite impressive, but they have only gotten better since their emergence on the market. Initial models were somewhat compromised by the angle of the lens, for at the time, it was impossible to provide a clear close-up image without greatly decreasing the image quality for far-away objects. Recent improvements have extended the range in which such clarity is available. Many cameras have also added the option of night vision, which is especially useful for anyone trying to back up a vehicle after the sun has set. While a vehicle's lights can provide assistance in the dark, sometimes the positioning is such that night vision is required.

MORE ACCURACY While not necessarily a complete replacement for the rear view mirror, the backup camera does improve the accuracy with which a driver is able to reverse his or her vehicle. A number of improvements have already been made on early models, and as the technology continues to develop, we can expect even better features in the future. For now, the backup camera is definitely able to meet its intended function -- making roads and parking lots safer.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Tip Top Car Service Options in Chicago
Chicago, AKA The Windy City, is a Midwest mecca and one of the most populous and famous cities in the U.S. Learn when the locals go when their cars need some love in this roundup of top Chicago car service centers.

Albany Auto Inc., located at 4030 N. Rockwell Street in Chicago's North Center neighborhood, has been a family-owned and operated business for more than 30 years. This shop offers auto repair, body work, and maintenance. Customers are fans of Albany Auto's quality work at fair prices, and praise the shop's honesty and great customer service.

Down the road, at 3044 W. Montrose Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago, is ABM Auto Repair. This shop prides itself on being reputable, honest, and professional, and customers agree. Customers cite Adeel's friendly manner and knowledge of cars, and mention how reasonable this shop's prices are. The technicians at ABM are all ASE certified.

Another option for auto repair is Joe's Expert Auto Service, located at 2740 N. Elston. Avenue in Bucktown. Joe's specializes in imports but will also happily service all domestic cars. Services offered include preventative maintenance, oil changes, differential repair, factory-recommended inspections, and parts and repair. This shop is noted for its honesty, professionalism, fair prices, and excellent work.

Norm's Automotive Clinic is another well-known Chicago gem, located at 5943 N. Lincoln Avenue near West Rogers Park. This auto repair shop is hailed for its fairness, honesty, and quality.

Auto Detail Chicago, located at 1628 S. Prairie Avenue near Southside, was voted Best of Chicago in 2012 by the Chicago Award Program. Owners Jay Phillips and Jesse Arellano have been in business since 2010 and offer both interior and exterior detailing, washing, and waxing. Customers are pleased with the professional detailing results Auto Detail Chicago offers.

Another option for auto detailing, just to the north, is West Loop Auto Spa, located at 850 W. Washington Boulevard, near the West Side and the West Loop. This detailer offers hand washing, interior detailing, buff and wax, and window tinting and dent removal. West Loop is known for excellent-quality service at a great price, along with friendly, quick, and professional service.

Nearby, you'll find Euro Collision, located at 2232 S. Wabash Avenue near Southside. This shop offers auto body work, auto repair, and detailing. Many customers note that Euro Collision called them daily while their cars were in the shop for progress updates. This shop also is known to clean and detail your car, even if it's in for body work

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

01
2013 Lincoln MKX Review
The 2013 Lincoln MKX is a luxury equipped crossover SUV, loaded with power and designed with class. Lincoln went all out when they design this cross over. It is designed with tons of driver and passenger comforts and conveniences. You will enjoy all of the amenities this vehicle, you can ride comfortable around town or take a long trip with the family.

The 2013 MKX comes standard with a powerful 3.7L with twin independent variable cam timing and a V6. It's fuel efficiency is excellent too, it gets 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway mileage. It comes with a standard 6 speed transmission and powerful front wheel drive with an optional all wheel drive. You have an optional tow package that tows up to 3500 pounds of cargo with the Class ii tow package.

This superior luxury cross over seats 5 comfortable and has plenty of leg and head room. You will find high quality materials throughout the vehicle. The sleek interior is crafted with soft touch materials including, genuine wood trim through out and comes with easy to use dash components and a easy to use navigation system with 8 inch 3-D mapping LCD touch screens.

The high quality leather interior provides you with extra comfort features such as power adjustable front and rear seats. heated and cooled front seats, a Panoramic Vista roof, power windows and a tilt wheel steering wheel, climate control, voice command SYNC technologies, ambient lighting, There are many luxury features the bypass many other vehicles in it's class, to experience all that this vehicle has to offer you need to see it in person.

The 2013 Lincoln MKX is full of safety features such as anti lock brakes, stability control, traction control, adaptive cruise control and collision warning systems. The MKX is equipped with all of the state of the art safety features you want in a cross over. The MSRP starts at $39,995
03
2014 Audi S4 Review
The Audi line of S models have a reputation for understated luxury plus a generous dose of performance. The Audi S4 is no exception; it is an even sportier version of the A4 basic luxury sedan. New in 2014 are standard selectable driving settings on all models as well as a Black Optic package, sleek high-gloss black trim on the exterior and eye-catching 19 inch smoke-colored wheels.

A stylish, neatly laid-out interior makes the 2014 Audi S4 a competent compact luxury sedan. It also includes a 333-horsepower supercharged V-6 engine that's even faster than the Audi sedan upon which it is based. Standard all-wheel drive helps it handle like a pro in wet or icy climates.

The 2014 Audi S4 is offered in a single Premium Plus trim level with an available Prestige option package. Standard features of Premium Plus include summer performance tires, 18-inch wheels, Audi drive select, sunroof, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, LED daytime running lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, automatic wipers, heated 8-way power front sport seats that have a 4-way lumbar adjustment, leather and simulated suede upholstery, driver memory settings, aluminum interior accents, auto-dimming mirrors, 60/40-split-folding rear seat, dash-mounted MMI (Multi Media Interface) electronics controller with 10-speaker sound system and CD player, Bluetooth phone connectivity, an iPod interface and satellite radio.

Adding the Prestige package will give you adaptive xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, rearview camera, voice controls, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a center console-mounted MMI controller, a navigation system, Bluetooth audio connectivity, HD radio and Audi Connect smartphone integration. The navigation system and Bang & Olufsen sound system can also be purchased separately if the entire Prestige package is not needed; however, a Driver Assist package with adaptive cruise control and enhanced steering as well as a power rear sunshade and manual side shade requires Prestige package purchase.

The 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 333 hp with 325 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive are standard, and a seven-speed automated manual S tronic transmission is available. Sport rear differential is available and offers limited-slip differential to regulate torque between back wheels so that the car corners even better.

The car comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, hill launch assist as well as front side airbags plus side curtain airbags. Back seat side airbags are an option that can be added, and the Prestige package add-on includes car rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and blind-spot warning system. Adding adaptive cruise control to the Prestige package includes collision warning and mitigation, which will prime the brakes if a possible frontal crash is detected.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Chicago Car Dealers

Top 5 01 Stylish Compact Cars for Driving in Chicago, IL The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Chicago For the Love of Driving: Chicago National File000599523509 Great Antique Car Shows of the U.S. Tip File0001645256700 Advances in Car Backup Cameras