Current Chicago Auto News
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.

- Editorial Staff
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.

- Editorial Staff
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.


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!

- Editorial Staff
Advances in GPS Technology
GPS is best known for its ability to help a driver find his or her way around town. This system can automatically locate any given address and then tell you how to reach your desired destination.

However, advances in the industry have made it possible for GPS to do more than simply give you directions. Advanced GPS units can track vehicle mileage, speed and distance traveled. They can keep a record of which places you have visited, how long you have stayed in any given location and even permit car owners to monitor a friend or relative who may be borrowing the car.

BEYOND JUST DIRECTIONS Some GPS systems will warn you if you drive over the speed limit, help you recover your vehicle if it is stolen and even unlock the vehicle and start the engine if you forget your keys in the car. GPS can also be used to make sure the car is in good working order at all times, as the system automatically issues a warning when the battery is low or the oil needs to be changed.

WHAT'S NEXT These advances help the average driver by making driving a safer, more relaxed experience. At the same time, the auto industry has continued to tweak vehicular GPS systems to make them even better than they are today. Ford, for instance, is developing a new GPS that will automatically call emergency services if an airbag is deployed for any reason. This system has already been installed in the Ford Focus and chances are it will be installed in other new Ford models as well.

A VARIETY OF OPTIONS GPS manufacturing companies have also created new features and amenities that make vehicular GPS units easier and more convenient to use. The Magellan SmartGPS, for instance, can not only connect to the internet but also has a smartphone app and dedicated cloud service. This unit allows a driver to download Yelp and Foursquare destinations and provides up to date traffic and fuel price information. The Parrot Asteroid Smart Navigation System provides top notch navigation, mobile apps, music and video playback, hand free calling and an easy to use touch screen interface.

GPS technology has benefited the auto industry a great deal. It enables you to find your way easily, makes it possible to recover a stolen car in short order, monitors that state of the car and traffic conditions and much more. Furthermore, as the GPS industry continues to advance, we can expect more helpful features that will make GPS units even more efficient and convenient than they presently are.

- Editorial Staff
Advances in Car Engine Technology
Advances in technology are allowing for car engines to become more sophisticated than ever before. For example, to have a car engine that saves fuel, car companies are manufacturing engines with start-stop technology.

LOOKING AHEAD Start-stop technology started out in hybrid cars so that when the car was stopped at a red light the engine would not be using any gas. Then auto companies decided to start using this technology in their non hybrid cars. Ford's 2013 Fusion now offers start-stop as an optional feature. The car comes equipped with an EcoBoost engine with a capacity of 1.6 liters. As of now, it is the only mid sized car that includes the automatic start-stop feature but is not actually a hybrid car. Even with Ford's version, the engine automatically shuts off when the driver applies the breaks, cutting down on emissions. As soon as the driver takes their foot off the brake the engine prepares to start in time for the driver to apply the gas.

THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN Experts in the auto industry predict that anyone who drives a 2013 Ford Fusion with the start-stop feature can expect to save roughly $1,100 over a period of five years. Those who live in urban areas where they must contend with city traffic, will save as much as 10% on consumption of fuel for their car. Someone who drives an average number of miles can experience better fuel efficiency of as much as 3.5%. The 2013 Ford Fusion comes with one of two different types of the EcoBoost engine. In addition, it can be purchased as a four cylinder or a plug-in hybrid car.

INCREASED QUALITY According to the U.S. Government, some of the new energy efficient technologies found in car engines include direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and lift, turbochargers and superchargers and cylinder deactivation. Direct fuel injection raises the quality of a car's engine by 11 to 13%. Variable valve timing & lift improves the flow of both air and fuel to a car's engine. This increases the engine's efficiency by 5%. Turbochargers & superchargers give the engine more power, which means engines can be made smaller than they were in the past without compromising the car's performance. This makes the engine 7.5% more efficient than before. Cylinder deactivation makes sure cylinders are not used uneccessarily, making the engine 7.5% more efficient also. These advances in technology have led to the production of more environmentally friendly car engines.

- Editorial Staff
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

- Editorial Staff


2014 Toyota Yaris Review
The 2014 Toyota Yaris has a lot going for it. It can be purchased for anywhere from $14,430–$16,540, gets up to 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway and is both reliable and compact. The 2014 Yaris can seat up to five people and is comfortable, safe and easy to drive. There are three trim options to pick from; two trims are made with only two doors while one comes with four doors. All models come with a tilted steering wheel and front and rear beverage holders while two out of three models also provide power front windows, remote keyless entry and speed control.

The 2014 Yaris offers two transmission options: five speed automatic or four speed manual. The vehicle has front wheel independent suspension, front wheel drive and a powerful, well made engine. There are also plenty of helpful driving features such as low tire pressure warning, a rear window defroster and wiper and outside temperature display.

If you are looking for a safe car, then you may find that this particular vehicle is right up your alley. All trim options come with electronic stability, traction control, occupant sensing airbags and brake assist. Optional features include an immobilizer, panic alarm and ABS brakes.

One of the few things that can be said against the 2014 Toyota Yaris is that its small size makes it unsuitable for anyone who enjoy driving around with a group of friends and/or is in the market for a family car. The vehicle is not sporty in style and does not offer as smooth a ride as some other, similar models. However, these flaws are small in comparison to all that the 2014 Yaris does provide.

If you want to purchase a reliable small car that does not use up a lot of gas, then the 2014 Toyota Yaris is likely one of the best options on the market. It is made using high quality materials and its workmanship is unmatched. It has plenty of great features and amenities, is extremely safe and can be driven in all types of weather. It is also good looking, albeit not as sleek and stylish as some may like.

- Editorial Staff
2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Review
Climb inside the spacious cabin of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, an SUV that is a showstopper on the roadways. With an MSRP that starts at $22,695, see how the Outlander compares in value and capabilities to other compact crossover models. The standard issue Outlander strikes a good chord at the pumps with a fuel economy of 23/28 city/highway. Note that the V6 upgrade gives you 19/26, while the all wheel drive model features 22/27.

Choose between three trim levels with the Outlander – ES, GT and SE. The standard style ES comes with a four cylinder motor, as well as air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, LED tail lamps, heated side mirrors, and cruise control. If you want more performance then opt for the GT model, offering you a substantial V6 engine, along with xenon headlights that are automatic, chrome accents, and automatic wipers. Upgrade to the all wheel drive GT model for the addition of the front differential hill start assist.

The premium SE trim package features 18 inch alloys, paddle shifters on the steering column, and upgraded upholstery and gauges. Discover the usability of a hands free system in the SE model that is called Fuse that controls iPod and Bluetooth units using voice control. Other upgrades in the Premium package include a sunroof, leather upholstery, rearview camera and a Rockford Fosgate sound system.

Stay safe in your new Outlander with standard anti lock brakes, airbags and stability controls. You'll also find front heat restraints that are whiplash reducing, for even greater safety value. As for space, you have third row seating to give you enough space for a sports team. Fold up the second and third rows of seating for a prime amount of real estate – 73 cubic feet of space to store luggage, groceries and sports equipment.

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander provides you with a stylish yet rugged crossover SUV. Performance combined with comfort keeps you going on the highways in this fabulous vehicle.

Check out the Mitsubishi Outlanders available in some of our top cities!

Los Angeles Mitsubishi Outlanders

Houston Mitsubishi Outlanders

Fort Worth Mitsubishi Outlanders

New York Mitsubishi Outlanders

Portland Mitsubishi Outlanders

Chicago Car Dealers

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