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Current Chicago Auto News
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
03
VWs in the Year 2013 - An Overview
Founded in 1937 Germany, the Volkswagen (VW) brand has undergone many exciting changes since its inception. Actually, the model for the "People's Car" began in the 1920s, so the modern incarnations of the VW has been in the works for close to 100 years.

With each new advance in technology, you can count on VW's designers and manufacturers paying attention and trying to incorporate that technology in ways that benefit you as a driver, especially as a loyal driver of VW cars.

As the year 2013 is heading toward its end, it is a good time to take stock of the exciting news on VW cars over the year and to take a look at the year 2014 and all it has to offer Volkswagen drivers.

A Year of Strides in Fuel Efficiency

The Volkswagen XL1, with a combined fuel consumption of 261 miles per gallon, was announced as the most fuel-efficient production car in the world. As the automotive world continually looks for ways to combine fuel efficiency with style and function, the SL1 sets the standard for the industry with this model.

The CC Offers Drivers Sleek and Simple Beauty

The unveiling of Volkswagen's CC this past year offered drivers exquisite design that is easily accessible to a broad range aesthetic tastes in cars. As VW continues trying to making their line more appealing to Western drivers, they rolled out this CC update in 2013. Toning down more overt style and design choices while adding subtle dashes of flair that create attractive accents for a subtly charming effect. For example, the designers removed the double-height grill and replaced it with VW's standard grill. Making this classic beauty less showy gave the car the bump it needed. Besides cosmetic changes, the CC has kept its best attributes in its engine and handling specifications.

And the World Car of the Year Is...

VW's Golf was named the World Car of the year, which makes the fourth time the German car manufacturer has produced a car that has won this prestigious honor.

VW continues to strive to make its mark across the globe. The opening of a new factory in West Java, Indonesia took place in the middle of 2013 with a projected production of transporters and minivans. With a $140 million investment in this plant, it promises to become an important part of VW's production mission for family-focused cars.

With 2014 in Sight, What is on the Horizon for VW?

Car buyers can look forward to an exciting array of releases from VW in the year 2014. With new releases of classics, which include the Passat, the Jetta Sedan, the Golf, the EOS, the Beetle, the Tiguan and many others. Car aficionados will find continuing improvement on each car's specifications with the new year's releases. With new TDI and GPS features, drivers will find more reasons than ever to find out more about Volkswagen's line of classic cars.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Changing Your Windshield Wipers
Having good windshield wipers is essential for safe driving when it rains. Old and worn wipers will not clean your windshield properly during rainy weather, making it difficult for you to see. Old and faulty wiper blades should be replaced immediately so you can be prepared for driving in adverse weather conditions.

NO TOOLS NEEDED Changing windshield wiper blades requires no special tools. Rubber gloves and a screw driver may come in handy, but that may vary from person to person. First, you will need to purchase new blades. If you are not sure what kind to buy, you can always check your vehicle manual. Once you have obtained quality new blades, you can begin the process of removing your old ones to replace them with the new.

ACTIVATE! You will need to turn your vehicle on momentarily to activate the wipers so they can be positioned in the middle of the windshield. This makes them easier to access for changing the blades. Using rubber gloves, lift one wiper arm off the windshield so that it suspends in the air. Taking the blade assembly in your hand, rotate it on its axis until it is almost at a right angle to the windshield wiper arm. You will notice a small clip attaching arm and blade together. Using your screwdriver, press on the clip to release the old windshield wiper blade from the arm and place it aside.

USE CAUTION Carefully put the windshield wiper arm back on the windshield while you prepare to install your new blade. It is always a good idea to check the length and features of your new blade with the old to ensure you have the right size and model before installing. This takes less than a minute and can save you the hassle of redoing the entire procedure in the event you accidentally bought the wrong blade. Once you are sure your blades match, attach your new wiper blade to the windshield wiper arm and clip into place. Now repeat the procedure with the other wiper.

Finally, turn on the engine and test both wipers to make sure they are working properly. The installation of new wiper blades will enable you to face any kind of weather with adequate safety measures and proper protection.

- 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
2014 Subaru Tribeca Review
The 2014 Subaru Tribeca gets high marks for its great looks, numerous safety features, stylish and comfortable interior, smooth ride and superb power and torque. This model can currently be purchased for anywhere from $32,595 - $35,895, depending on which of the three available trim models you opt for. The 2014 Tribeca is a family vehicle with three rows of seats and ample storage space.

The 2014 Tribeca has plenty of useful features and amenities. All trim models come with leather upholstery, power adjustable front seats, a ten speaker radio stereo system, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth and more. The Tribeca's numerous safety features include airbags, traction and stability control systems, ABS brakes, side impact beams, low tire pressure warning system, airbag occupancy sensor and rear child safety locks.

The vehicle comes with all wheel drive and, as a small sports utility vehicle, is capable of driving on not only paved roads but also various types of terrain. The 2014 Tribeca is particularly ideal for those who live in a geographical area that gets a lot of snow in the wintertime, as the vehicle's high ground clearance makes it possible for you to drive safely at all times of the year. What is more, the Tribeca handles much better than other vehicles of the same size and weight. Its gets around corners with ease and has a great, easy to use steering system.

Naturally, the 2014 Tribeca also has its flaws, the main one being the fact that it can only get about 16 miles per gallon in town and 21 miles per gallon on the highway. The fact that the third row of seats would only be comfortable for small children is yet another point against it. Additionally, various reviewers note that this model does not offer multimedia support.

The 2014 Subaru Tribeca gets mixed review ratings but it does have many points in its favor. It is safe, easy to drive, can accommodate up to seven passengers and is comfortable, sturdy and reliable. If you do not mind the poor gas mileage ratings and other small problems, you may find that this model is just right for you and your family.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
02
2014 Infiniti QX50 Review
The 2014 Infiniti QX50 is a stylish SUV with enough room for larger families and those who have to carry equipment for camping or other hobbies. The base unit is priced at approximately $35,395 and comes with a 3.7L V6 engine. The SUV is a 7-speed automatic, making it the perfect vehicle for anyone who loves to drive without dealing with manual shifting.

The 2014 Infiniti QX50 has rear wheel drive that helps power you up hills, and the 325 hp @ 7000 rpm is enough horse power to power through the roughest terrain. If you're looking for an SUV with a good fuel economy, the 2014 Infiniti QX50 has the specs you're in search of. It has an estimated 17 mpg in the city and averages 25 mpg on the highway, making it a great SUV for longer drives or shorter commutes.

Standard safety features of this model include four-wheel antilock brakes that include brake assist, so you can stop quickly when you need to, friction control, LED tail lights, six complete airbags and a monitoring system for your tire pressure. An all-around view monitor is an add-on part you can choose, as well as a lane departure warning, intelligent brake assist, and a blind spot monitor.

The base 2014 Infiniti QX50 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, satellite radio, a USB port, and dual-zone climate control to keep you and your passengers comfortable.

For people who love driving in manual modes, the 7-speed automatic comes with a manual shift mode that you control. This is particularly useful for off-roading adventures and rough terrain, since you control how your SUV responds.

The 2014 Infiniti QX50 has 47.4 cubic feet of cargo space and seats up to five passengers, so it's suitable for a family of five who still wants to have room to stretch out. The powerful 2014 Infiniti QX50 goes from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds, and has a warranty with new models that lasts for 60,000 miles or 48 months, whichever comes first.

So, if you're looking for an SUV that can handle everything you need, this 2014 Infiniti QX50 may be it. It has a powerful drive, two driving modes, and comfort settings that make it feel like a luxury truck without the expensive price tag.

- 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 03 VWs in the Year 2013 - An Overview Tip File0001468132436 Changing Your Windshield Wipers