Vehicles recently reviewed in Tribune newspapers and on Cars.com. Read new car reviews here.
July 19, 2011
Hybrid buyers are generally looking for high mileage over all else unless they're shopping in the luxury space. Still, the 2011 Lexus CT 200h is rated at an impressive 42 mpg for combined city/highway driving. Cars.com tested the CT 200h along with the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible and 2011...
February 22, 2013
Cars.com reviews a lot of new cars, mostly with the same volume knobs, hood releases and temperature settings. But sometimes the reviewers get in a car and wonder, "What the heck does this do?" Here we chronicle their ongoing quest to decipher dashboard hieroglyphics. Have you ever found mystery controls on a car? Leave your comments below. Joe Bruzek, Cars.com
June 1, 2011
Cars.com estimated the cost of a dozen new small cars by pricing them with power windows, air conditioning, electronic stability control and other typical extras, then adding the cost of a year's worth of gas: 15,000 miles of city and highway travel at $3.96 per gallon. The average worked out to $18,918 $16,885 for the car and $2,033 for gas. Here are the cars and where they stood on the affordability scale. Get the full story: What's the most affordable small car?
May 20, 2011
Hybrids usually get better gas mileage than conventional cars, but they also cost more usually a lot more. To determine if the added cost is worthwhile, we divide the combined city/highway mpg by the base MSRP, then multiply by 1,000. (This formula can be applied to any vehicle.) A high mpg rating and low price yield a high efficiency-cost rating.
Our results suggest that the soundest reason to buy a hybrid is to burn less fuel, not to save money in the long run, but some hybrids do this better than others. Rather than list the most miserly small hybrids, we present the highest-ranked hybrid models of their size and type. Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com
Worst hybrid cars for the money
Here is a list of SUVs under $21,000. Some, such as the SX4 and Honda Element, are more or less four-door hatchbacks with all-wheel drive (optional on the Element), while crossovers like the Patriot and Mazda Tribute look more like a traditional SUV. For a traditional truck-based SUV, you'll have to...
You know all too well what it's like to shoehorn yourself into a tight parallel-parking spot, squeeze between Dumpsters and delivery trucks, or witness your bumpers accrue a patchwork of dimples. No wonder State Farm Insurance reports that a driver living in central Illinois would pay 30 percent...
Gals like Minis and Kias while guys lean to Porsches and trucks. That's the finding of a TrueCar.com analysis of gender differences in car buying. The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2010 was Mini, 47.9%, followed by Kia, 46.8%, and Honda, 46%.
Here are the...
Few concept cars debuted at the New York auto show, but editors Mike Hanley, David Thomas, Kelsey Mays and Joe Wiesenfelder trekked the show floor to see them up close, and give them a thumbs up or down. More photos: 2011 New York Auto Show winners & losers ... More from the New York Auto Show
The New York International Auto Show was squarely focused on fuel-efficient small cars and rightly so, with gas prices steadily on the rise. Automakers didn't completely forget about horsepower, though, as the show saw a few new high-powered models. Cars.com editors Mike Hanley, Kelsey Mays, David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder pick their favorites from the show, and the flops. More from the New York Auto Show: , 2103 Ford Taurus, 2013 Chevy Malibu, 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK, 2012 VW Beetle.
Car shoppers will have to wait until 2012 before they can buy the 2013 model revealed this week, which features a slate of upgrades. Taurus will continue to be built in Chicago. Cars.com reviewers Mike Hanley and David Thomas get a first look at the New York Auto Show. Related: 2012 VW Beetle up close, 2013 Chevy Malibu first look, 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK up close
The redesigned 2013 Malibu was previewed at the New York Auto Show. It's a bit more daring inside, and it gains a new four-cylinder engine. Look for it to arrive early in 2012. Pricing hasn't been announced. Related: 2012 VW Beetle up close, 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK up closeMike Hanley, Cars.com
8:01 AM PDT, March 21, 2013
LoJack Corp., which manufactures the Lojack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, today released its fourth annual vehicle-theft recovery report based on statistics from 28 states.
Divide the combined EPA mileage estimate by its Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: The best finisher for 2011 is the Honda Insight, according to Cars.com's math. What was at the other end? Mostly luxury cars, and that's what you're really paying for.
All sorts of vehicles were in short supply last month, from hybrid hatchbacks to minivans to large SUVs to a rare convertible. Here is the Cars.com list of popular models that sold in the shortest time, with the average number of days from when they they arrive on the lot until the final paperwork...
USAA, an insurance company that serves active and retired military families, has created a list of Best Values in 16 vehicle segments. Its picks don't take driving into account. Instead, USAA focuses on affordability, lifetime costs, depreciation and safety all characteristics that...
Cars.com editor Joe Wiesenfelder compares the hands-on experience, mileage and cost results of the Nissan Leaf (a simple battery-electric car), Chevrolet Volt (an electric with a gas-powered range extender) and the Prius Plug-In (a regular Prius that can be plugged in and topped off before you drive, thanks to a higher-capacity lithium-ion battery pack). Get the full story: Three Plug-Ins Head To Head
Gas prices have risen faster than any time in history. If you're shopping for a new car and want something that will cut down your trips to the pump, here are Cars.com's favorite cars that achieve 35 mpg or higher on the highway.
Trucks and SUVs were back in the driver's seat for 2010. The Toyota Corolla and Camry were the only two cars on the list to see sales decline in what was an otherwise booming 2010. The Chevy Silverado did well enough to retake its No. 2 spot from the Camry.
A new level of comfort and fuel efficiency broadens the appeal of the redesigned BMW 5 Series sports sedan, which competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Infiniti M. Starting from $44,550, the 528 has a rated mileage of 22 mpg city and 32 highway. The turbocharged 535i is $58,275 as tested. Get the full story in Joe Wiesenfelder's Cars.com review. More photos: First look at BMW 5 Series
Automakers quickly turned to small cars when gas hit $4 a gallon. Beefier compact cars have proved more popular, but fuel-sipping subcompacts remain the value leaders for 2011. Top-selling subcompacts may not be in the 40-mpg elite, but the sticker prices are persuasive. Here are the most popular in...
Mercedes re-enters the supercar market with the SLS AMG. The $183,000 starting price includes gull-wing doors and a 563-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8 engine. Competitors include the Bentley Continental GT and Lamborghini Gallardo. Read a review and watch video., or view a comparison with the classic 1955 Mercedes 300 SL.
- Competes with: Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon.
- Looks like: Dodge isn't done with retro..
- Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8, rear or all-wheel drive.
- Hits dealerships: End of 2010.
Outback boasts competitive mileage and a lower starting price than much of the front-drive competition, starting at $23,195 to $31,495. from Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays.
In its first full redesign since the crossover model's 2003 debut, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is quicker, larger, roomier, more efficient and richer than the previous version. Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder says it's still very much a Porsche. Full review | Caynene S Hybrid review | Prices & specs at Cars.com
Cars.com editor Mike Hanley sees a lot to like in this modern reincarnation of the classic American car: It's big and comfortable, effortless to drive and luxurious. Has Toyota figured out how to prevent the floaty feeling of a big touring vehicle? Read the complete review.
The convertible is the newest member of the redesigned E-Class family, joining the sedan and coupe that debuted last year. Cars.com editor Mike Hanley calls the droptop the Swiss bank account of convertibles: discreet but highly appealing. Read the complete review.
The upgraded 2011 Nissan Murano goes on sale in mid-October. It doesn't get the 3.7-liter V-6 upgrade to put it on par with the 370Z or the Infiniti G series. But its 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 horsepower still makes it one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs Cars.com has tested. Find more photos on the Cars.com blog. David Thomas, Cars.com
The updated Kia Sorento takes on both compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V and larger crossovers like the Ford Edge. Cars.com senior editor David Thomas.says shoppers who need severe-weather capability will like its affordability (starting from $19,995), standard features and nice interior. Read the complete review.
The Chevy Cruze is is a more-than-worthy competitor to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, according to Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. The compact car has a base sticker price of $16,275, but Wiesenfelder says it feels more expensive. Read his complete review.
8:56 AM PDT, October 15, 2012
For 2011, Ford overhauled its popular Mustang with new engines, quieter interiors and better gas mileage. Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays reviews the top-of-the-line Shelby GT500 supercharged V-8. Read the complete review or Joe Wiesenfelder's road test of the 2011 Ford Mustang V-6.
The 2011 Honda CR-Z, set to hit dealerships Aug. 24, has been priced at $19,200, making it the cheapest hybrid available. The sporty hybrid coupe will get a price bump to $20,760 for the EX trim and top out at $23,210 with navigation and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Cars.com editor Joe Wiesenfelder has given the all-new model a thorough going-over. Read his complete review.
The 2011 BMW 5 Series sedan goes on sale this June as the rear-wheel-drive 535i and 550i . Excluding destination charges, prices start at $49,600 for the 535i and $59,700 for the 550i. A 240-hp 528i and xDrive all-wheel-drive versions are due later this year. Kelsey Mays got a first look at the 2011 BMW 550i at the New York Auto Show. (April 7, 2010)
The 2011 Ford Mustang has a 305-horsepower V-6 engine to rival the 2010 Mustang GT's 315-hp V-8. (The 2011 GT moves into an entirely different class with a 412-hp V-8.) Cars.com editor Joe Wiesenfelder notes that gas mileage is also up across the board, including an amazing EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway for the V-6 automatic. Read his complete review.
April 19, 2010
Few car brands that can turnover their lineup with new models at just one auto show. But Joe Wiesenfelder of cars.com reports that Scion did just that did at the New York International Auto Show this month.
April 19, 2010
Though probably not at the forefront of a car buyer's mind, it's important to consider what a vehicle's future resale (or residual) value might be. These 2010 model year vehicles are expected to hold the most of their original value within their vehicle class after three years. The list is provided...
June 14, 2010
Off-road enthusiasts love their Wranglers. Cars.com reviewer Kyle Mays tests the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with both on- and off-roaders in mind.
For 2010, one of the first-ever luxury crossovers gets better interior features and a whole lot better technology,. David Thomas of cars.com says the Acura MDX's driver comfort, fun-to-drive nature and surprising value keep it competitive in a growing segment .
May 19, 2010
The Accord continues to be a top-selling midsize car in four-cylinder or V-6 engines, automatic or manual transmissions and sedan or coupe styling. Kelsey Mays of cars.com has road-tested most of them, most recently a 4-cylinder EX sedan with automatic transmission. Read his complete review. See photos of the top 10 best-selling new cars of 2010.
Not every car shopper is looking for a built-in dog kennel and other canine-friendly accoutrements in their next compact SUV. But for that small niche of dog owners who are, there's only one real option: Honda's Element with its new Dog Friendly Package. David Thomas of Cars.com and his boxer Roxy...