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Top 5
Top 5 Kid Friendly Sedans from 2012
Most people are concerned with rising gas prices and may opt for a smaller vehicle that is more fuel efficient. Although this makes good sense having a large family rarely offers you this choice. You would really like to save money by having a vehicle that got better gas mileage, but you are going to need plenty of space too.

When going out with the family - whether it be to the local mall or traveling somewhere on vacation, you need to fit your whole family in the car. What about your children’s sporting events when its your turn to take other people children with you. It would not be safe to cram too many kids in your car, would it? The answer is definitely not.

The perfect size family car has been deemed the Sedan by most consumers. It offers plenty of room and its not too shabby on the comfort features either. Comfort is important when you are traveling two states away to see the family at the holidays with three kids and your spouse in tow. You want to keep everyone happy because this will help your own peace of mind. It makes perfect sense.

Here are the top five kid friendly Sedans for 2012:

• 2012 Volkswagen Passat:
The Passat is very affordable. It has lots of upholders, lighting, and storage inside too. This one is easy on the budget.

• 2012 Hyundai Azera:
The Azera has a quite unique panoramic sunroof, lots of space, and a great entertainment system. The rear back up camera is a great safety feature too.

• 2012 Lexus ES 350:
The Lexus ES 350 has received great ratings by consumers. There is plenty of space and storage and it boasts an excellent entertainment system.

• 2012 Chrysler 300C:
The Chrysler 300C has many comfort features and space. The safety ratings on this vehicle are excellent. It is a little costly, but well worth the price.

• 2012 Buick Verano:
The Buick Verano is selling at a great price. It is not bad on gas either. It has many pockets and storage for all those kid things that you need to travel with.

- 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
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Car Stereo Options
When you buy a new car, how much of your decision do you base on the brand of stereo that comes with it? Chances are it is important, but not as important as how many mpg it gets or the number of horses under the hood. Now you own it and the stereo needs some life injected into it.

Back In The Day

Back in the day, you would just buy a new stereo, a little woofer, a new amp, and life would be awesome. You wish it were still that easy, what with the new dash patterns and "top-of-the-line" systems including bizarre ball and chain ratings and trademarked connections; you lose the ability to upgrade with your sound system choice. Many manufactures include all-encompassing systems that hold GPS, warning systems, OnStar, and other other gadgets. To change the stereo system means you will lose many of these upgrades.

Adapt!

You are not out of options in this case; there are some resolutions that will enable you to add a subwoofer to installing or adding an upgraded sound processor. There are even adapters that allow you to connect your iPod. There are kits available that let you mount your new stereo system and still keep the upgrades that came with your car.

Any amp worth merit will have "high-level” inputs, allowing a connection to the factory system by mining into the speaker wires. Powered subwoofers vary in size from small additions made to fit beneath the seat, to larger styles that mount in your trunk or cargo space. For numerous vehicles, a molded plastic enclosure complete with speaker or "custom-fit" sub, mounts in the side panel in the rear or beneath a seat. Many versions contain an amplifier for a stunning bass package that takes up very little space.

So Many Options

There are many options when looking for a car stereo. You can choose Pioneer AVIC Z130BT and spend $1400, or the Eclipse AVN726E DVD/GPS receiver, which is a good starter kit. Music has been a part of our history for eons and settling has never been an option for you. Crank up the Beach Boys’ "GTO", or Princes’ "Little Red Corvette", and ease on down the road.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Vehicle
Owning a car is a big responsibility, not to mention a huge investment. It is a costly item that makes our life more convenient. Without a car you would have to find other means of transportation for getting around, which is a big hassle. A car signifies independence. We do not have to rely on others to go somewhere, as we can just get in the car and drive there ourselves. Owning a car can be a very pleasurable experience. The pleasurable experience can turn sour though when things break on your car, as it represents time and money taken from your life and your wallet.

The key to avoiding car repairs is to keep up with the maintenance that a car requires. Doing this will prolong the life of your vehicle. It will avoid car repairs and ensure that you have many more driving miles on your car.

Here are some great ways that you can prolong the life of your vehicle:

When you get a new car drive the speed according to the manufacturers recommendation for the first 1,000 miles. This is generally under 55 mph. You can accomplish this by not driving on the highway until it reaches the 1,000 mile mark. Take back roads instead to your destination.

A new car has a break in period. Keep the rpms below 3,000 for the first few hours of driving your new car. Accelerate with a light foot. Don’t push it as if you were in a high speed chase.

Get oil changes on a regular basis. While you are there get the whole car checked out to avoid any upcoming maintenance. Most car dealers or car repair service centers offer a so many point checkup where they will check out the belts, tires, fluids, and more.

Park in the shade when possible. Your car can take a beating both on the exterior and the interior when the sun’s rays are beating down on it.

Keep your car clean, inside and outside. Wash your car regularly and avoid eating in the car. If you must eat and drink, put down a towel and have plenty of napkins on hand.

- 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
2013 Volkswagen GTI Review
The 2013 Volkswagen GTI comes in several different trims and models, you have a choice of 2 door and 4 door, hatchback and Autobahn models, trim options include optional sun roof, and navigation systems.

The standard engine is a 2.0L 200 horsepower with turbo and a 6 speed manual transmission. It gets excellent fuel mileage, a whole 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway mileage. This vehicle is easy at the gas pump, you can spend more time enjoying your work commute and family trips and less time worrying about the price of fuel. The 18 inch classic alloy wheels add to the great design and sporty look of the GTI.

You get standard safety features such as 6 airbags set through out the vehicle, stability control, traction control, and among many others. You will enjoy top notch safety when you travel in the city or a long trip by yourself or with your family. There is plenty of leg and head room in the front and adequate leg and head room in the back. You will ride in comfort in the 2013 Volkswagen GTI.

The sporty interior includes a leather wrapped steering wheel, a high quality sound system with an in dash CD player and able to play with your MP3 player, WMA adaptable, and an AM/FM radio. All models come with a SIRIUS XM Satellite radio and a 3 month trial subscription for you to try out. It comes with standard Bluetooth capabilities, and Ipod cable and audio streaming. You will love this standard entertainment system as you cruise in your new GTI.

When you buy a new GTI you get a standard 3 year or 36,000 mile, which ever comes first, no charge scheduled carefree maintenance package. The suggested MSRP is $23,995 on the standard base model. You have to see this vehicle face to face to appreciate all the extra standard features.


Check out the Volkswagen GTIs available in some of our top cities!

Austin Volkswagen GTIs

Miami Volkswagen GTIs

Charlotte Volkswagen GTIs

Seattle Volkswagen GTIs

Memphis Volkswagen GTIs

02
2013 Scion iQ Review
The 2013 Scion iQ joins the supermini class for another year, offering buyers a compact car that is loaded with all of the goodies that makes driving small cars fun. Its size falls between the MINI Cooper and the Smart ForTwo, which makes it a small car indeed. Those who live in urban environments with tight parking are sure to appreciate the diminutive iQ's ability to fit in almost impossible spots.

From tippy end to end, the iQ measures a whopping 120.1 inches, just 14" longer than the ForTwo. Its a grand total of 66.1 inches wide, about the same as a Cooper. These dimensions are adequate for two people, even though the iQ has a total of four seats. The manufacturer does issue a suggestion that the rear seats be used for infants/small children, pets or cargo only, as larger people are going to have a difficult time getting comfortable.

The exterior is visually interesting as there appears to be no separation between the door and the sides, giving the impression that the whole side opens up. It's an interesting piece of visual trickery on the designer's part. The 2013 Scion iQ comes with 16-inch wheels, side mirrors that fold and have turn signal indicators, an optional rear spoiler, optional fog lights and keyless entry.

The diminutive size of the iQ doesn't mean that quality has been skimped on; it's anything but. Materials used throughout the interior appointments are of the best quality, something that would seemingly be overlooked in a smaller car. Buyers get an excellent assortment of goodies to choose from, including leather-wrapped steering wheel, Pioneer stereo with USB port and MP3 jack, Bluetooth for cell phone and streaming audio, power windows, side mirrors and locks, and more. It's also possible to select one of seven colors for the interior lighting.

All of this is amply powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 94 horsepower, and only comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission for the gearing.


Check out the Scion iQs available in some of our top cities!

Atlanta Scion iQs

Denver Scion iQs

Los Angeles Scion iQs

Louisville Scion iQs

Portland Scion iQs

Richmond Car Dealers

Top 5 File0001969012862 Top 5 Kid Friendly Sedans from 2012 The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Richmond Driving in Richmond, VA 101! National File0001278242130 Car Stereo Options Tip File0001427178431 Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Vehicle