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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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How To Jump Your Car With A Dead Battery
Most people experience a dead battery at one time or another. You should know how to remedy the problem. You will need another car with a working battery and a set of jumper cables to accomplish this task.

Take A Look

Look at the battery. If there is a lot of white, cruddy corrosion, remove as much as possible. Old school theories recommended cleaning the terminals with cola. It can work, but also leaves a sticky mess behind. A combination of baking soda and water is a better option.

There is a positive terminal, marked with a red plus sign, and a negative terminal, with a black minus sign, on the battery. Knowing which is side is positive is critical. Begin by starting the motor of the working car. Attach the red handled, positive cable to the running car first. Then attach it to the positive side of the dead battery.

Colors Matter

Attach the black cable to the negative side of the battery on the car that is running. You do not have to attach the black cable to the dead battery. Instead, clip it to any bare metal part of the engine where it can be attached securely. It is safer this way because leaking hydrogen gas can catch on fire when attaching the negative cable directly to the battery.

Give It Time

Wait a few minutes and allow the battery to charge. Attempt to start the car with the dead battery. It may struggle a bit and then come to life. The best way to remove the cables is to start with the last one you attached and work your way backward. Be careful not to allow the red cables to touch the engine. They can cause a short and damage the vehicle.

- 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

04
2014 Buick Encore Review
Offering the standard reliability and luxury for which Buick is known, the 2014 Encore adds an extra level of oomph that will appeal to a demographic younger than the usual Buick owner stereotype. That being said, this model appeals to drivers of all ages, as it has plenty to offer in terms of comfort, style and even tech options. The following are a few of the most notable features for the 2014 Buick Encore:

SUVs are not typically thought of as particularly safe vehicles, but the Buick Encore goes a long way in refuting that perception. Equipped with ten standard airbags, the Encore also offers drivers security in the form of Forward Collision Alert, OnStar communication and even Lane Departure Warning. These features keep drivers in the know, whether a collision is imminent or another vehicle is in the SUV's blind spot.

Inside and out, the 2014 Buick Encore is a snazzy looking vehicle. Touches such as waterfall grilles, chrome accents, hood portholes and even a stainless steel tip on the exhaust pipe distinguish the Encore from competing luxury SUVs. The interior is just as attractive, with a chrome and wood trim in the cargo and backseat area, as well as ambient lighting and a leatherette seat trim. Those who prefer leather seats always have the option to upgrade, although many prefer the comfort and convenience of the standard cloth and leatherette trim. As if all this isn't enough, the interior comes with such technological conveniences as satellite radio and an easy-to-use GPS navigation system for the geographically challenged.

Nobody ever expects an SUV to feature decent gas mileage, but the Buick Encore proves that drivers can enjoy the power and enhanced cargo space of such a vehicle without harming the environment or their personal gas budget. With a highway fuel efficiency of 33 miles per gallon, the 2014 Buick Encore beats many standard sized sedans in terms of gas mileage -- a particularly impressive accomplishment given recent efficiency improvements in smaller vehicles. There is no longer any need to scrimp on size and power when a vehicle such as the Encore makes great gas mileage so easy to obtain.

Between an amazing amount of cargo space, unique styling and impressive fuel efficiency, the 2014 Buick Encore makes a great option for anyone hoping to combine all the best in luxury and practicality. What more can a driver ask for in an SUV?

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
02
2014 GMC Acadia Review
The 2014 GMC Acadia is available in ten different trim options. It can be purchased for anywhere from $34,335 – $48,675 and gets 16 – 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 - 24 miles per gallon on the highway. The vehicle seats seven to eight people and has some new features and amenities not found in previous models.

The 2014 Acadia has a 288 horsepower, 3.6 liter V6 engine and six speed automatic and manual transmission. It is meant to be a crossover utility vehicle that can be driven not just in town but also on unpaved country roads. It can be purchased as a front wheel drive or all wheel drive, depending on your needs and preferences.

The 2014 GMC Acadia comes in various color options and is practical yet stylish in design. The interior is spacious and has tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, leather upholstery, heated and cooled seats, a universal home remote and a sunroof. There is also over 24 cubic feet of luggage storage space.

The Acadia also has numerous helpful safety features such as a rear vision camera with rear park assist, anti-lock brakes, seven airbags and a stability control system with traction control and rollover mitigation capabilities. These features make this vehicle a particularly safe option for families with young children.

Those who are looking for an all terrain vehicle that can take on not only unpaved roads but also sand, mud, mountains and the like will find that the Acadia is not particularly suitable for this purpose. The fact that it can only pull 2,500 pounds in weight is yet another strike against it, especially for those who need a vehicle that can pull a boat or RV.

The 2014 GMC Acadia is not perfect but it does have a lot going for it. It is safe, very comfortable, comes with numerous modern features and amenities and provides a smooth ride. The vehicle is very easy to drive over various types of terrain and is strong enough to pull a great deal of weight. Given all that it has to offer, the average person who is looking for a good crossover utility vehicle may very well find that this is one of the best options on the market.

- 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 File0002061346882 How To Jump Your Car With A Dead Battery