Current Richmond Auto News
Top 5
5 Surprisingly Economical Trucks
Trucks are great to drive and useful, but they can also be very expensive. Here are some affordable options that give you the look of a pickup without the hefty price tag. Some of them may surprise you!

1. 2013 Double Cab Long Bed Toyota Tacoma: The size of this truck's double cab and the length of its bed would suggest a very expensive price tag. Shockingly, it's only about $25,500 for the base model of this big hauler. The only downside is that it's a two wheel drive – and since most people don't actually take their trucks over severe terrain, that probably won't be a problem.

2. 2013 Nissan Frontier: This model only costs $22,000 at base, but its extended cab has room to take plenty of people to your destination. The downside is its comically short bed, which puts it out of the running for big projects like construction. Instead, it's a good option if you want to bring everyone along to a football game and use the bed as a base for barbecuing.

3. 2013 RAM 1500: Noted as a great work truck, this model costs only about $26,000 at its base level. The cab is only a two-seater, but it has plenty of bed space. Overall, the look of this truck is what would be considered standard for a pickup.

4. 2013 Silverado 1500: By the ads, you'd expect a Silverado to cost an arm and a leg. After all, they're always shown doing things that require tons of towing power or the ability to haul things that would break lesser models. Surprise – the base model only costs $23,500! If you've been itching to have one of these hyper-macho bad boys, wait no longer.

5. 2013 Ford F-150: While this model is well-known, what may surprise you is the huge range of trim levels it has. You can take the wheel for about $24,000, but prices go all the way up to $53,000. This is the truck to get if you want an almost infinite array of customization options. The chances are good that you can get exactly what you need without going all the way to the max.

These are just some of the surprisingly cheap pickup truck options out there. Of course, pickups aren't the only types of trucks around, but they're definitely the most popular. Their separate cabs keep passengers comfortable, and a variety of covering options can protect bed cargo from rain, snow or theft. There's really no need to suffer with a van that will become a blast furnace in the summer and a deep freezer in the winter when you can have an affordable pickup instead!

- 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
Driving in Richmond, VA 101!
Richmond is one of America's historic cities, nestled along the James River in Virginia and easy to drive to. It is very car friendly to navigate with a number of major roadways and plentiful roadside parking places (but watch for signs). The many diverse neighborhoods are fascinating to drive through and the grid street system is easy to figure out. The older parts of Richmond do have the narrow streets and one-way restrictions common in towns of this age.

Interstate 95 goes north-south right through it, and Interstate 64 runs east-west through the city. When you look at a map, you see that there are several highways and parkways looping around the area and it really makes driving easy. That's good, because there are a lot of places you'll want to drive!

Outside the city, the suburbs are rural and rolling. There's a lot of green space and many campgrounds even though it isn't a wilderness area. It's pretty, with the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean to the east: easy day trips and lots to explore.

There's a lot to explore within Richmond, too. The James River Park System is a string of parks along the river (check their website about parking spaces) and you can see whitewater rafters quite often. The city was the capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War and suffered a lot of damage but came back from the ashes with vigor. Drive through the Richmond National Battlefield Park and visit the Museum of the Confederacy. Visit Maymont, a 100-acre Victorian estate that is still the way it was planned to be.

Every neighborhood in Richmond has a distinct identity and you might feel like they are separate towns. Driving through the streets, you will see a lot of forged ironwork and unique homes. Be sure to visit Hollywood Cemetery, where over 18,000 Confederate soldiers are buried. There's a Civil War prison site on Belle Isle, the original Confederate White House, and St. John's Church, built in 1739 and the site of the Second Constitutional Convention in 1775. If it is summer, you can hear a re-enactment of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech.

The variety of offerings in Richmond mean you can find what you are looking for, and the logical road system means it is going to be a good experience driving there. This is a good destination for a road trip!

- Editorial Staff
Car Shopping Tips for Professional Wrestlers
Whether your ring moniker leans towards the obvious (“The Red Devil”), the mysterious (‘Pandora the Box’) or the just plain intimidating (er…’The Intimidator’), one thing is for certain – shopping for the perfect automobile to reflect your unique personality is no small feat for a professional wrestler. So what’s an auto-deprived hero or villain of the ring to do?

Tag Team It!

For starters, determine what type of vehicle you are in the market for. If you are a tag-team duo known as ‘The Clown Brothers’, odds are good a Kia Sorento LX or a Chevy Traverse will provide plenty of ‘clown car’ leg room. On the other hand, ‘The Caped Enigma’ may want to let her freak flag fly in a convertible Chrysler 200 S while cruising down the highway to the next match.

After you have found a ride that matches your distinctive attitude (or lack thereof), you’ll want to research added features. While ‘The French Mime’ may have little use for a bumping stereo system, ‘Dan the Animal’ may want those drums to reach near heavenly volume. Will ‘The Headlock Dwarf’ have enough leg room in his shiny Ram 1500? Will ‘Sumo Steve’ enjoy the full range of airbag safety in his new Chevy Spark? A little advance knowledge will go a long way, so check out for some available perks before you head to the dealership.

Strap In!

Once you are ready to buy, it’s time to strap on your tights and hit the car lots. Remember, it’s usually not a good idea to clothesline the sales associate upon first meeting. Smashing a chair over the person ahead of you eyeing your potential new ride is also a no-no, despite which way the ref might be looking.

A test drive is a sure-fire way to help determine if a car is a good fit, so wrap your 28-inch pythons behind the steering wheel and hit the highway. Your title belt is no substitute for a safety belt, so be sure and buckle up. While test driving, be sure to check features in action such as turning radius, braking capabilities and post-match celebratory back seat space.

Down To Business

If you are still interested in the auto post-test drive, it’s likely time to talk business. Some dealers are ‘haggle-free’, meaning the sticker price is usually unlikely to lower. Others allow for some ‘wiggle room’ on the asking price and added features. Either way, it’s usually a bad idea to rip up their initial offer while shouting “NOOOOOOOO WAAAAAAY, BROTHERRRRR!” in the middle of the showroom. Resist the urge to do this by any means necessary, whether it’s crushing the bottle of water they offer in your clenched fist or by slapping both shoulders repeatedly.

Financing is usually an option at most car dealers, but be aware of how much you want to spend prior to talking numbers. Stay within your budget, since there are few things sadder than the champ pawning his gold belt. Just remember that this new ride is meant to be enjoyed and not a burden, and you will undoubtedly be well on your way to yet another smashing victory in no time. There’s the bell, it’s go time.

- 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
Solid Car Service Center Options in Richmond, VA
Richmond, Virginia is a large metropolitan complex of cities and towns surrounding the city of Richmond itself. Like everywhere else, residents of the Richmond area want to keep their cars running a little longer, but they don't want to break the bank doing so. If you live in or near Richmond, you can take your car to a dealership and will normally have excellent repair work done, but you'll pay a premium for that "factory service" you'll receive. You can also obtain the same level of excellent auto care by taking your car to an independent neighborhood auto car center.

Axselle Auto Service is one of those independent shops that will give you fair prices and couple it with helpful and friendly service. They are a full-service auto repair facility that services most makes and models. They provide most auto repair and maintenance services such as brakes, suspension repairs and alignments, and tire sales, service, and repair, including tire inflation using nitrogen where called for by the manufacturer. Axselle Auto service has been in business since 1951, so you know they treat their customers well and give great prices.

Halls Tire & Auto Service is another local independent auto repair shop that has generated a great deal of customer loyalty over the years. Located at 2111 Dickens Road, they're pretty easy to find and you'll be glad you took the time. Customer reviews found on the Internet range from the simple "These guys are great!" to "These guys treated me like mine was the only car there."

Looking to upgrade the quality of the beats in your ride but not looking to spend an arm and a leg? Take your car to Car Toys, at 11525 Midlothian Trunpike and you'll get the best stereo system your budget can buy, without paying for extra bells and whistles you really don't need. Car Toys also does window tinting at great prices, great service and quality and a turnaround that will amaze you.

It's a traumatic and trying experience for many when they need to have body repair or paint work done to their car. There is no need to add to that trauma by having insensitive and uncaring people work on your car. This isn't going to happen when you take your car to family-owned Connor Brothers Collision Centers, located at 1008 North Sheppard Street. You'll get fast friendly service from very knowledgeable and skilled technicians. Many customers also get a nice little thank you note in the mail a couple weeks after picking their car up.

- Editorial Staff


2014 Ford Super Duty F-250 SRW Review
The 2014 Ford Super Duty F-250 SRW is another in the line of Ford Super Duty trucks intended for hard work. While it hasn't changed significantly from the 2013 model, there are a few distinct differences. The 2014 has a sleeker design without compromising on power, boasting a 18,500 lbs tow rating and 7,260 payload.

The diesel truck has a turbo V8 engine with 400 horsepower, while the gas truck has a 6.7L turbo V8 engine with 385 horsepower and 405 lb to ft of torque. The Super Duty model is intended for fleets that demand high performance in their vehicles, but there's also an appearance package available for those that are interested in private ownership and a fancier vehicle.

The 2014 Ford Super Duty F-250 SRW comes in XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and finally Platinum. The Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum will only offer a crew cab, whereas the XL and XLT can have a super cab or regular cab as well. Lariat and King Ranch have features such as automatic temperature control, door trim upgrades, premium seat materials, two-tone paint jobs and an electronic shift-on-the-fly 4 wheel-drive system. The Platinum model has a full set of premium features.

This model of the Ford Super Duty begins at an MSRP of $29,875. The XLT trim package comes at an MSRP of $33,905. The Lariat and the King Ranch have MSRP pricing of $41,570 and $50,255 respectively. The Platinum model of the 2014 Ford Super Duty F-250 SRW weighs in at an MSRP of $53,240.

The Ford Super Duty line is a durable and reliable line of vehicles intended for duty as fleet vehicles as well as for those that need an extremely powerful truck. The newest installment of the Ford Super Duty line offers many levels of trim package and customization to serve virtually any fleet and need. While the 2014 F-250 doesn't offer a lot of differences from the prior model, it still offers the same dependability and affordability that the line has been known for.

- Editorial Staff
2014 Chevrolet Impala Review
The 2014 Impala leaves behind it's boring rental car exterior and trades it in for a design that's more worthy of its legendary name. No more smooth box on wheels; instead, Chevrolet has overhauled the body and created a vehicle that turns heads as it glides by. This four-door sedan offers comfort combined with an athletic grace that makes driving fun.

The exterior of the Impala gives a nod to its fastback ancestor with a roof line that swoops down in one seamless line from the windshield back to the edge of the trunk. The wheel wells are bumped out slightly to give the impression that this car really grabs the road. A rounded, sporty front end with LED running lights says it's ready to take on anything that gets thrown at it. Vintage design touches show up in the chrome rear-view mirrors on stalks and the model name spelled out in big, block letters on the doors.

Underpinning the Impala is a redesigned suspension that provides a quality ride without adding a coordinating price tag. The suspension combines standard components that are customized to enhance the car's ride. All of the details found in the suspension turns into a car that rides like a sedan but corners like a sports car. It's possible to put the car through its paces without feeling like it is going to slide out from underneath during a tight maneuver. The driver experiences the sensation of absolute control with the electric rack-and-pinion steering system that provides a light but responsive feel.

Two available engines offer the option of fast and faster. The Ecotec 16 valve 2.4 liter inline-4 cylinder produces 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. It's an engine that gets the job done while offering excellent fuel economy. More power is available in the form of the DOHC 3.6 liter V-6 that puts out 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes equipped with a six-speed automatic that has paddle shifters on the steering wheel for semi-manual operation.

A total of five trim levels are on offer, giving buyers plenty of options that suit their needs. The most basic version, the LS, offers some extras such as 18-inch aluminum wheels, projector-beam headlights and the four-cylinder Ecotec engine. The buyer that must have everything can find it in the 2LTZ trim package that includes ice-blue ambient interior lighting, heated leather seats, chrome accents, LED daytime running lamps and a stereo/electronics system with an 8-inch in-dash navigation system.

- Editorial Staff

Richmond Car Dealers

Top 5 01 5 Surprisingly Economical Trucks The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Richmond Driving in Richmond, VA 101! National File0001530402211 Car Shopping Tips for Professional Wrestlers Tip Engine_new Advances in Car Engine Technology