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Current Austin Auto News
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Top 5
Top 5 Compact Cars for Austin
For a fun town like Austin, TX—populated by vibrant locals and guests ready for music, art and film—you need a car that fits into some tight spaces in The Lone Star State's capital city. The nation's 11th largest city that is also one of the fastest-growing cities, Austin is full of activity and vitality.

As the economic, political and social center of the metropolitan five-county Austin-Rock Round, Austin features a population that hovers around 1,834,303, so compound that with out-of-towners in for their first visit to the state capitol, Austin City Limits or the springtime South By Southwest (SXSW) festival of music, art and film, you need a car that is compact and features good city gas mileage.

Take a look at the top 5 compact cars for driving in Austin, TX to see what works best with your busy lifestyle in the city on Lady Bird Lake.

1. Mazda Mazda3. Whether you are heading out for a hike or bike along Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail or you have some city errands to do, the Mazda3 ranks number one among 41 compact cars in its class. With a hatchback, it is simple to stow your extra running gear, extra water bottles and more into the rear. With excellent gas mileage at 30 miles per gallon and 41 on the highway, you can spend more of your hard-earned cash while out seeing your favorite band.

2. Kia Soul. College students at the University of Texas at Austin, which is the main campus for the University of Texas college school system, can enjoy this fun and practical car that features a style somewhat like a compact SUV. Trips to the library or to the airport to pick up parents for a visit are a breeze with the Soul.

3. Hyundai Elantra. Since most Austinites—73 percent, in fact—drive rather than carpool or take a form of public transportation, wise drivers in Austin look a compact car they can rely on. The Hyundai Elantra fits the bill. With plenty of passenger space, good fuel ratings and a comfortable ride, the Elantra is a solid choice.

4. Toyota Corolla. Drivers who want to keep things simple should explore the Toyota Corolla. Revamped from previous models, this reliable car is short on flash but high on dependability. Whether Austin residents are taking a trip to the Texas Memorial Museum or the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum to see LBJ's recreation of the Oval Office, the Corolla is safe, reliable, even if it isn't the most flashy.

5. Volkswagen Jetta. For Austinites who want a little more flash and are willing to pay more at the pump, the Volkswagen Jetta might prove as a workable option for you. With plenty of cabin and trunk room, the Jetta is perfect for trips to San Antonio to visit the Alamo or to other major Texas cities before returning to your Austin wonderland.

- 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
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Car Clubs, Auto History and More In Austin, TX
A state the size of Texas could never be explored in just a day. To get a taste of what Texas has to offer, you’ll need to divide your car tour into individual cities and look for points of interest within each. Car buffs will find Austin and surrounding areas of great interest when it comes to antique cars and auto history. A driving tour of this region will take you to a number of car “hotspots” you're sure to enjoy.

See the Classics

Dick’s Classic Garage in San Marcos, TX, is just a short 35 minute drive south from the capital city on I-35. You’ll get a view of Texas plain country and pass by the quaint townships of Buda and Kyle along the way. Dick's Classic Garage is well known for preserving and displaying vintage vehicles dating back to the 1930s through the 1950’s – what most car buffs consider the “Golden Years” of American auto history.

The main museum, Central Texas Museum of Automotive History, is located in the community of Rosanky, TX, about an hour drive from Austin taking 71 East. The rural town of Bastrop is along the way and you may want to meander around town, get a bite to eat or stop off at the Bastrop State Park for some fun activities before continuing to your destination. The Central Texas Museum of Automotive History hosts an impressive collection of American and European vehicles, representative of the 20th century. Included in the mix are Duesenbergs, Stanley Steamers and Jaguars.

Round 'em Up

As far as car shows and events go, Austin hosts a number of automobile happenings throughout the year to include the Lonestar Roundup and Texas Heat Wave. The Lonestar Roundup is an annual outdoor auto show and music festival, all wrapped up into one. People come from across the country to display their custom cars and vintage hot rods as well as to enjoy lively music, hearty food, fun games and races and more. Texas Heat Wave is a custom car and truck show where vehicle owners compete for special awards and prizes.

More More More

Both these events take place at the Travis County Expo Center on Decker Lane. As you drive through the city, take time to enjoy some of the local sites on your way. Austin is an extremely interesting and attractive city with much to see and do. Decker Lane itself meanders along Walter E. Long Lake and Municipal Park, putting some pretty scenic views along your path.

Last, but not least, don't leave the city without checking out the Circuit of Americas car racing facility, located in the southeast part of the city. Home of the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix, Circuit of Americas is an amazing world class facility hosting stimulating car racing events your whole family can enjoy.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
03
Buggin' Out! The History of the VW Bug
Produced from 1938 to 2003 the original rear engine Beetle is the most manufactured car in history. Mass production started in 1946, and execution was not of primary concern. The 34-horsepower engine needed 27.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, with a peak speed of 71 mph.

HISTORY When exported to the U.S. in 1949, sales were slow, peaking at 390 by 1952. Then came the culture revolution in the United States and the Bug was the car to have. To this day, the vision of the sixties is of a flower power Bug that comes to the minds of many. In 1965, the craze made a wait for a Bug as long as five months. As the changes in design grew, the cabin got breezier and they restructured the shape of the car and made trunk entry easier.

THE LOVE BUG Americans loved the Beetle so much they bought more than 500,000 in 1970, and when the Smithsonian Institute took possession of the fifteen millionth Bug, it became an American icon. Disney made this one of the most popular little cars ever by immortalizing this iconic star in movies like The Love Bug.

THE RETURN Then in 1994 the “people” clamored for the return of the iconic Bug, and VW responded by presenting the New Beetle modeled on the nostalgic themed car shown in 1994 at the Detroit Auto Show. Resemblances were more retro than authentic because the New Beetle was modeled after the contemporary Gulf, and had an engine in front, unlike the rear engine of the earlier models.

To the chagrin of many, the majority of buyers were women giving rise to the term “chick car”. No matter, it became more popular than ever with 600,000 cars sold in the United States, and a whopping 1.2 million sold globally during the last thirteen years, proving that the lovable Volkswagen Bug is here to stay.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
Tire
Checking Your Tire Pressure
While general auto maintenance is probably far from everyone’s favorite activity, all in all it probably isn't a bad idea for you to get down by the tires and check things out every once in a while. Checking your tire pressure is a simple and practical opportunity to learn a few things about your car. You're going to need to stretch out your eyeballs so be sure to be wearing your glasses or contacts.

First Things First

You need to have and know a couple things first. Here, in the U.S. we measure tire pressure using pounds per square inch or PSI. To find out what your tire's current PSI you will need a tire pressure gauge. These are easy to acquire, in many cases you can find them at the gas station and definitely at the closest auto parts store. Now that you are informed and prepared let's get to the BIG SHOW!

It's In The Details

Take a look at your cars manual for the details regarding your car's particular recommended PSI rating for its tires. Once you know what the number is, you are ready to begin checking the pressure on your tires. Squat down on your haunches next to the tire and look for the valve stem, it’s a small rubber piece that juts out from the wheel and has a cap at the end that can be removed with your finger tips.

Pressure Drop

Place the tire pressure gauge on to the valve stem to get a read out of the tire's pressure. Repeat the process two more times to make sure that you have done the process correctly. It only takes a moment to reset the gauge and find out whether your tires are properly inflated. If everything is good to go, place the cap back on to the valve stem and you are all done. While you are down there take a look at your tires and make sure there is no major damage or extreme wear.

Bam, there it is. Now you can check the PSI level on your own tires anytime you think it may be needed. There are a number of benefits that go along with maintaining the proper inflation level in your car's tires as well. It can keep your gas mileage efficient, under filled tires can lead to un even wear and a short tire life. On the other hand, over inflating can ultimately lead to blowouts, which can be horribly dangerous at high speeds. This can also lead to uneven tire wear.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Austin's Hidden Gem Car Service Superstars
Whether looking to get a new paint job, interior detailing or a new sound system installed, Austin has got you covered with a myriad of locally owned car service options. Our editorial team has taken a dive into the Austin area to bring you a few of the hidden gems that stand out for getting your maintenance needs met.

Car Repair Capital City Automotive is the top choice for car repairs in Austin. Not only are the owners and employees knowledgeable, they also offer fair prices for repairs. Mechanics are trustworthy and explain issues in easy to understand terms. Capital City Automotive, located on Congress Avenue is a great choice for any repair.

Another great choice for repair service is Sam's Auto Care in South Austin. This locally owned shop not only repairs cars but also details and restores car to prepare to sell. They offer full body paint, tune ups and tire service and you can even book an appointment online. While you're there you can also check out their inventory of fairly priced used cars. This is a one-stop-shop for all of your auto needs.

Car Wash One of the best car washes in Austin is Wash & Run Auto Detail in Tarryton. They are only open Monday through Friday, but it worth the trip midweek for their excellent service and spotless washes. The two twin brothers that run this shop are dedicated to quality service and promptly clan any spots that may have been missed. They meticulously clean and detail your car Another great aspect of Wash & Run Auto Detail is that you can make an appointment ahead of time, an excellent option for a busy professional or on-the-go mom.

Above and Beyond Mobile Detailing Service is truly a unique car washing experience. Donavin prides himself in a thorough detailing and car washing along with quality customer service. His customers are loyal and boast about Donavin's honesty and hard work ethic. He will work until the job is done, ensuring that you are satisfied with the wash and detail.

Audio and Alarm Installation Pro Car Audio is a fantastic choice for car stereo installation. The staff here are experts at speaker and amp installation. They are friendly, fast and focused on pleasing their customers. Prices are reasonable and the staff is knowledgeable to guide you to make excellent decisions on upgrading or repairing your current audio system. You won't be disappointed by the quality at Pro Car Audio.

Regardless of what car service you are looking for, Austin has a variety of locally owned businesses with excellent reviews that provide quality and professional services for a fraction of dealer costs.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

01
2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Review
The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is yet another instant classic vehicle from Bentley. This luxury sedan has all the hallmarks of a Bentley: elegant, polished and unobtainable. The vehicle is a high-performance, high-speed machine that still oozes class and sophistication. The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur can go from 0-60 MPH in 4.3 seconds, which far outpaces many other vehicles in its class. And yet, it isn't just a mere performance car. This Bentley is a luxury experience that is practically unmatched.

The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur comes in a single model that includes everything that anyone could desire. However, those that desire even more than one what could reasonably desire can also have even more luxury options added to the machine.

The gas mileage of this vehicle admittedly leaves a little to be desired, with estimates of about 12 MPH in the city. However, this gas mileage isn't far off from other luxury vehicles of the same class, and is largely the result of the same high performance engine that many purchasers will be seeking. The vehicle will get 20 MPH on the highway, which is actually better than some similar vehicles.

The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur will begin its pricing at $189,925, which is including the fees that it needs to pay for having such a high gas mileage.

The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur was noted by critics to be very similar to the Continental, but sleeker, better designed and including much more room. The vehicle's power and luxury has been praised by critics and consumers alike. In addition to this, critics have noted the car's impressive safety additions, including reinforcements throughout the body of the vehicle.

Despite all of the additions, this model of vehicle is actually several hundred pounds lighter than its predecessors, which improves its overall maneuverability, gas mileage and speed. Critics were wowed by all the wonderful features, including a drink chiller and power-operated sunshades for back windows.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
03
2013 Nissan Versa Review
The 2013 Nissan Versa is a high-value sedan with fantastic gas mileage and some new options. With three different trims, this car offers benefits for many different drivers.The new continuously variable transmission is one of most exciting benefits. The SV and SL trims come with the CVT standard.

The S trim comes with the option for the CVT, a five speed manual or a four speed automatic transmission. This makes the S trim a highly customizable option.

On average, this car gets 31 miles per gallon city and 40 miles per gallon highway. This is an improvement over the 2012 line. The four speed transmission option on the base trim gets the worst mileage at 26 miles per gallon city and 35 miles per gallon highway.

A four speaker stereo system comes with all of the CVT trims, as does a cruise control system. Silver accents give this highly economical car a sleek and sporty look. This sedan has a 107 horsepower 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine.

The 2013 Nissan Versa has a number of other intriguing benefits. These include an optional backup camera, a keyless entry system, and an armrest on the driver side. This car earned a Top Safety selection given by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. This is due to a number of safety features like front and side airbags, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

This sedan has a sleek appearance. Between chrome interior handles on the doors to a tastefully painted shifter to silver trim accents, this car has the class of top notch car with great value. All of the additions made between 2012 and 2013 make the new Nissan Versa tough to pass up. It sacrifices nothing in class while offering top safety ratings, great fuel economy and a number of remarkable benefits.

Check out the Chevrolet Nissan Versas available in some of our top cities!

Cincinnati Nissan Versas

Indianapolis Nissan Versas

Fort Worth Nissan Versas

Louisville Nissan Versas

Orlando Nissan Versas

Austin Car Dealers

Top 5 02 Top 5 Compact Cars for Austin The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Car_clubs_new_2 Car Clubs, Auto History and More In Austin, TX National 03 Buggin' Out! The History of the VW Bug Tip Tire Checking Your Tire Pressure