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Top 5
Top Pulse-Raising Autos for Cross-Country Road Trips
Cross-country road trips make the best adventures and the right vehicle can take you anywhere you want to go. The number of people going on the trip will determine the size of the vehicle needed. The vehicle needs to be able to seat everyone comfortably and carry all of the luggage and extras many people take on long distance vacations.

Chevy Cruze:

Known as one of the best cars available for quietness and smooth riding, the Cruze is available for around $25,000. It is easy on the gas with average mileage running between 25 city/36 highway.

Honda Odyssey:

The Honda Odyssey is ideal for family travel. It has ample leg room for all of the passengers and extra area in the back to stow almost everything a family on the go would ever need. It rides well producing little road noise. The Odyssey sports several perks that make traveling long distances interesting instead of being a chore.

Toyota Camry:

The Toyota Camry is consistently ranked as one of the top ten for cross-country rides. Not only does it have a spacious interior, it can also make a tank of gas stretch close to 600 miles. The Camry has received numerous awards for its drivability and cost effectiveness.

Jetta Sportwagon

The VW Jetta Sportwagon is an ideal choice for a road trip. Not only is it easy on gas, it also has a spacious interior suitable for hauling everything a family would need for a long distance trip. Volkswagen is known for producing durable vehicles that can hold their own in almost any type of weather and road conditions.

Chevy Silverado Crew Cab:

The Chevy Silverado Crew Cab is one of the best trucks on the market for traveling long distances. It offers a smooth ride, low road noise and, if equipped with a tow package, can haul a trailer, boat or camper with little problem.

If you are looking to take a road trip, check into a variety of vehicles before making your final choice. Finding the right vehicle will not only enhance the trip but can make it more pleasurable as well.

- 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
Richmond
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!

- 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
Tire
Remember to Rotate Your Tires
If all four tires on your car performed the same function and accumulated wear and tear at the same rate, there’d be no need to rotate your tires. However, different tires are affected by different forces every mile you drive. In order to even out the effects on tread wear and overall service life, tires need to switch places on a regular basis.

Front tires bear the brunt of turns. Every time you turn the steering wheel, resistance and friction are generated between your tires and the road. This causes tread wear and generates heat, which shortens the life of the tire. These effects can be mitigated by switching your front tires with your rear tires on a regular schedule.

Rear tires experience different forces and wear rates. However, they are less intense than front tires. In most vehicles, the rear wheels are the drive wheels and receive the most traction demand, especially when driving is aggressive with lots of quick starts and stops.

Most experts recommend rotating tires every 5,000 miles for even tread wear and maximum service life of the tires.

To rotate your tires, you’ll need four jack stands to support all wheels. Engage the parking brake and pre-loosen the lug nuts on each wheel. Jack up the vehicle one wheel at a time and support each with a jack stand. Remove all four tires, keeping track of each tire’s original location by writing it on the inner sidewall with chalk.

Re-install the tires in this configuration: Move the two rear tires directly forward to their corresponding locations on the front: left rear tire to left front and right rear tire to right front. Move the front tires to the opposite rear locations in an X pattern: left front to right rear and right front to left rear.

Give the lug nuts a preliminary tightening and lower the vehicle, removing the jack stands one at a time. Once all four tires are on the ground, tighten all lug nuts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque found in your owner’s manual.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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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.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

02
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.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
01
2013 Jaguar XJ Review
The Jaguar XJ brings a luxurious feel coupled with engine power to those who sit behind the wheel. As rain-sensing windshield wipers automatically activate during storms, the xenon head lamps with LED signature lights illuminate the darkness. Solar-attenuating, hydrophobic laminated glass assists in your drive by reducing UV rays in your eyes.

Leather heated front and rear seats keep you snug while a heated leather steering wheel keeps your hands from going numb from cold winters while driving. A virtual Instrument panel with a 12.3-inch display is easy to read as the phosphor blue halo Illumination provides less strain on the eyes. Set the mood lighting of any situation in the 2013 Jaguar XJ.

The supercharged Jaguar V6 3.0-litre engine provides 340 horsepower for quick maneuverability. JaguarDrive control with dynamic and winter modes makes for an easy drive regardless of weather conditions. The four-channel anti-lock brakes ensure the vehicle stops without skidding across the pavement reducing collisions. Having an average of 18mpg in the city and 28mpg on the high-way, the Jaguar XJ has surprisingly efficiency considering the size of its engine. At an MSRP of just over $73,000, the automobile envelopes you in a blanket of safety and comfort.

Jaguar understands that the need for entertainment is a high selling point and they deliver with a high-definition full-color 8-inch touch-screen control panel ready for your fingers. Operate the hard drive based GPS navigation system with the Traffic Message Channel to plot your routes. A 30GB hard drive is ready to store your MP3 music collection pumped through a Meridian 380-Watt premium audio system with AM/FM stereo, and CD/DVD player. Bluetooth wireless audio streaming, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, interactive voice, and Bluetooth mobile phone connection are just a few of the magnificent features in the Jaguar XJ.

The 2013 Jaguar XJ, while luxurious to drive, is loaded with safety features for nearly any situation. The perimeter-sensing vehicle immobilizer will stop you from running over unseen obstructions while the blind-spot monitor will assist you in collision prevention while driving. Airbags and head restraints with front-seat whiplash protection will help keep you and your passengers safe from harm.

Check out the Jaguar XJs available in some of our top cities!

Los Angeles Jaguar XJs

Memphis Jaguar XJs

Fort Worth Jaguar XJs

Orlando Jaguar XJs

Portland Jaguar XJs

Richmond Car Dealers

Top 5 Tunnel-driving Top Pulse-Raising Autos for Cross-Country Road Trips The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Richmond Driving in Richmond, VA 101! National 03 VWs in the Year 2013 - An Overview Tip Tire Remember to Rotate Your Tires