On our first most-watched videos list since before the Thanksgiving holiday, the debuting 2014 Nissan Rogue enjoyed a plentiful bounty of viewers. Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman feasted his eyes on the compact SUV last month at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, taking note of its more masculine looks, improved ride and interior, and newly optional third row that's nice to have, if limited in usefulness. The top five this week is entirely composed of newcomers to the list, so be sure to check out what else was popular.
When Ford took the wraps off the all-new Mustang yesterday we thought the droptop version of the iconic car was sorely underrepresented in the coverage. This wasn't a fault of the media. Ford released no official images during the reveal itself. A strange omission when you realize that the Mustang is one of the best-selling convertibles in the country. This past year only a few have outpaced it like the Volkswagen Beetle, rental-car champ Chrysler 200 and its arch rival the Chevrolet Camaro.
Below we've gathered photos of the 2015 Mustang convertible shot by Ford at various events around the globe yesterday and the one static shot seen above in larger detail. There's also a shot of the car with the soft-top in place from Ford's consumer site.
Click on any image for a larger version.
In all aspects of my daily driving needs, the 2014 Audi Q5 TDI worked for me and my family of four. The compact crossover indulged the race-car driver in me, as well as my practical kid-chauffeur. While it's more sporty than posh, I felt spoiled during my weeklong test drive.
But wait, doesn't TDI mean it's some sort of diesel contraption? Yes, it's a diesel, and it packs a punch in the get-up-and-go department. The 240-horsepower, turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 makes 428 pounds-feet of torque. It's a beast and I couldn't help but lead foot it everywhere I went. Despite my spirited driving, I managed to average 27.4 mpg during my weeklong test drive; that's right on track with the EPA's 24/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined.
The clean-diesel engine wasn't loud, but I still turned it off in the drive-through; I didn't find the engine noisy from inside the Q5, either. The Q5 handles like a dream. There was hardly any body roll; the braking was spot on, and steering was solid.
Vehicles Affected: Some 374 model-year 2013 Dodge Dart sedans manufactured between May 10 and Aug. 24, 2013, and equipped with the Mopar 13 trim package.
The Problem: The front-seat-mounted side airbags may not have been properly installed into the seat. The airbags could fail to deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group's numbers of injuries and deaths. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers.
Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20 percent and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21 percent to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured in car crashes, a 3 percent spike in fatalities and a 16 percent spike in injuries compared with 2011. That's in addition to an increased risk of death or serious injury in even low-severity crashes, NHTSA stated.
If the mark of a good hybrid is how unlike a hybrid it drives, the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid isn't working hard to differentiate itself. Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder says a mushy brake pedal, lagging acceleration from its continuously variable automatic transmission and sometimes droning engine noise are constant reminders of the performance-for-efficiency compromise. Still, the hybrid's relative novelty in the compact-luxury class could bring niche success. Read Wiesenfelder's review below.
Gas prices did a U-turn just before Thanksgiving and started heading downward again, ending a two-week streak of rising pump prices.
The national average price for regular unleaded gas Thursday was $3.25 per gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, down 3 cents from a week earlier and 13 cents from a year ago. That is still a penny per gallon more than Americans paid on average a month ago, but AAA predicts prices will keep falling.
Infiniti will debut a performance concept called the Q50 Eau Rouge at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It takes its name from the famous early corner at Spa-Francorchamps, the circuit that hosts Belgium's Formula One Grand Prix. Infiniti has close ties to F1 racing, having sponsored its own Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
The Q50 Eau Rouge is based on the production Q50 sedan, which succeeds the G25/G37 and went on sale in August. A teaser photo shows clear ties to the Q50, but Infiniti says the concept will have aerodynamic styling changes and other F1-inspired elements.
Among midsize and large cars, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Impala proved most popular among thieves, according to a new report from the crime-stats crunchers at the National Insurance Crime Bureau in Des Plaines, Ill. The report is based on National Crime Information Center vehicle-theft records for a period spanning Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2012, and limited to the 2010, 2011 and 2012 model years. Researchers culled the top 10 list from the 16 makes and 20 models of the midsize class, and the nine makes and 10 models of the large-vehicle class.
During the counting period, a total of 31,586 vehicles were stolen from both car classes combined, with the midsize group comprising the vast majority, with 22,090 thefts, or 70 percent.
The top 10 large/midsize vehicle thefts by make and model are:
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