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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
Car_clubs_new_2
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
Gps
Advances in Car Apps
As vehicles add new technological and safety features, it is not surprising that the apps available for a vehicle are also improving. The advances in car apps are designed to improve the driving experience, increase safety or provide useful tools to stay connected while away from home.

Collision Intervention

The collision intervention app has improved the safety standards of many vehicles. Although the app requires a back-up camera, it is a useful way to cut back on the number of accidents a vehicle is likely to face. When the app is used, it will automatically use the vehicle’s brakes when a car is getting too close to another vehicle or object. It reduces the number of accidents, particularly when the vehicle is backing out a driveway or parking space.

Navigation Apps

Navigation apps are a great addition to any vehicle. The newer applications for navigation include the latest maps, options for different directions and visuals that make it easier to recognize the upcoming roads.

The navigation apps are included in many new vehicles, but it is necessary to regularly update the app to ensure the maps are still current. Since roads often change or have construction, it is useful to have updated apps to keep up with the changes.

Texting Apps

As the dangers of driving while texting become apparent, it is not surprising that many vehicle owners are finding the new apps for texting a useful addition to the vehicle. Although the exact apps that are best for a vehicle will vary, some cars are including an assistant app to make it easier to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and others through text message without the distractions that are commonly the cause of accidents.

The way the app works is simple. The phone is connected to the vehicle’s system through Blue Tooth technology. When a text message comes in on the phone, the app will read the message. The driver simply speaks the response out loud and the assistant app will send the response. It makes the process of sending a message while driving a possibility without making it dangerous.

Web-Based Connections

The apps in vehicles are no longer limited to the simple radio applications and useful navigational tools. Newer vehicles are able to connect to the Internet and provide apps that make web-browsing, online media and other options a possibility during travel. Staying connected through the vehicle provides the opportunity to keep up with social media or emails while on the road.

Advances in vehicle applications are constantly changing as new technology becomes available. Although the advances are continually changing, it is not surprising that it provides the opportunity to stay connected while also focusing on driving safety.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Truck Wheel Cleaning Tips
Cleaning the wheels of your truck can help put the finishing touches on it. Not only do the rims of your truck collect the same dirt and grime that the rest of the vehicle is subjected to, they are also exposed to brake dust. The combination of carbon fibers, adhesive and filings from the rotors that forms brake dust can be difficult to clean. The following tips can help, whether you have aftermarket or factory standard rims on your vehicle.

Washing Tips

Though it might sound counterproductive and take a few extra minutes, begin washing your truck by washing the rims and tires thoroughly. By not doing so, you take the chance of having grease, dirt and grit from the wheels and tires splash up on your truck's paint.

Use a soap bucket and a rinse bucket with a guard for keeping grit inside. First, liberally rinse the tires and rims with fresh water for a few minutes before soaping them up with your choice of car wash product.

Tools of the Trade

After allowing the soap to penetrate the dirt and grime for a few minutes, it is time to put the specialized tools to work. Choose a tool that has a great deal of pores or surfaces to help remove the metal shavings from the wheels without allowing them to scratch your rims.

There are a number of different types of tools available, including brushes, mitts, sponges and rags. Though there may a personal preference when it comes to the tool you use, it is likely that the more complexly your rims are designed, the more tools you will need to effectively clean them.

Once you clean your wheels as well as the rest of your truck, finish up the job by polishing and protecting your wheels with a product that is specially designed to do so.

- 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

02
2013 Kia Sorento Review
The 2013 Kia Sorento fits the bill for the consumer looking for a small to mid-sized crossover SUV. Standard equipment has increased for 2013. Leather upholstery is standard now on the EX, and the Uvo, or voice-activated electronics interface is an option on the base LX. The LX has the option of a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power driver’s seat.

Since Kia’s introduction in the United States, its sales have steadily increased to the point of being a real contender. This is due in part to its recognition for dependability and ability to take abuse and survive longer than most. Yearly maintenance costs are some of the lowest on the market.

Kia’s most recent offering have been attracting plenty of attention with their creative free flowing aesthetics. Of all the models in the Kia lineup, the Sorento crossover is the best selling model.

The 2013 Kia Sorento doesn’t need any hype or tricks to get noticed. The size is perfect for many in that it compares so well with the deceptively large Honda CR-V and the Toyota Highlander. Here is where the difference becomes noticeable, the Sorento has a third seat that can actually fit adults, and still maintains ample passenger and cargo space.

Despite this, the Sorento feels quite impressive with its agility. Another plus is the fuel economy. In basic trim there are quite a few features including a satellite radio. Upper trim levels can be loaded with options like a cooled driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and sunroof. Quite frankly, the 2013 Sorento offers the size and equipment of a much more expensive crossover at a price that is far lower.

The 2013 Kia Sorento is a crossover SUV that makes its place in between the compact and midsize SUV market. Three trim levels , LX, EX and SX are available. It has seating for five except in the LX with the V6 and the SX. These have a third row seat and provides seating for seven.

The LX comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, full power accessories, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, key-less entry, air conditioning, split-folding second-row seat, CD player and satellite radio.

The LX Convenience package includes heated front seats, auto-dimming mirror, voice-activated electronics, rear parking sensors and fog lamps. On the four-cylinder models, this package includes an engine upgrade with more power. Roof rails and a third-row seat is also included.

Check out the Kia Sorentos available in some of our top cities!

Los Angeles Kia Sorentos

Houston Kia Sorentos

Fort Worth Kia Sorentos

Denver Kia Sorentos

Portland Kia Sorentos

01
2013 Nissan Altima Review
For its class, the 2013 Nissan Altima is among the very best. It performs as good, if not better, than most others and looks stylish while doing it. The 2.5-liter version is a solid car producing around 182 horsepower at 6,000 rpms and with its torque at about 180. Additionally, the 2013 Nissan Altima has a 3.5-liter, V6 version that boasts 270 horses at 6,000 rpms.

While the 2013 Nissan Altima certainly doesn't disappoint in comparison to the other cars in its class, the real draw for car buyers is its stellar fuel economy. The car's gas mileage is so stellar in fact, its four-cylinder model gets around 38 mpg on the highway. Just to illustrate how impressive the Altima’s fuel economy can be; for its 18-gallon tank, the sedan can travel over 675 miles, which is pretty outstanding for a car of its kind. For the more performance focused V6 version, the Altima gets around 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. All and all, the 2013 Nissan Altima gets good gas millage regardless of the version you purchase.

On the interior side of things, the Nissan Altima comes with a special seat cooling system, as well as, rear seat heaters, a panoramic moon roof, and OnStar service. On the exterior, coming standard are projector headlights and LED taillights. And for the V6 version, the 2013 Nissan Altima comes with Xenon headlights, which add a bit of flair to the already impressive and sleek look of the car.

As a front-wheel drive sedan, the 2013 Nissan Altima definitely does not disappoint in terms of traction, handling and stability. In many dimensions, the car can handle in all weather conditions with mechanical and rubber traction. And if performance is still a concern for you, the four-cylinder model of the 2013 Nissan Altima is reported to test 0 to 60 in just over seven seconds — not bad for a sedan.

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

Cincinnati Nissan Altimas

Indianapolis Nissan Altimas

Fort Worth Nissan Altimas

Austin Nissan Altimas

Orlando Nissan Altimas

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 Gps Advances in Car Apps Tip File5621254779561 Truck Wheel Cleaning Tips