2015 Chrysler 200 Real-World Fuel Economy

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Chrysler's new 200 sedan is a dramatic improvement over the outgoing model, but it would almost have to be — the old Chrysler 200 (neé Sebring) was one of the most awful new cars on the market. But the new one is quite good, with its top-notch interior appointments, attractive styling, unique powertrains and class-leading multimedia systems.

Related: 2015 Chrysler 200 Expert Review

Comparisons of expected fuel economy with the previous-generation 200 are difficult, as the new 2015 200 is a completely new vehicle, riding on a different chassis with a much talked about nine-speed transmission. When an example of the latest 200 landed in our Detroit office's test garage, we figured it would be a good opportunity to see what kind of mileage we could get on real-world roads.

By Aaron Bragman | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Should My Kid Get the Hand-Me-Down Car?

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My son turned 12 this summer — right around the time my husband's car turned 14, which means the end is nigh (for my husband's car, of course, not my husband). It raised an interesting question: Will whatever we buy as a replacement — our next "second car" — go to my son once he's old enough to drive? If so, my son would push for a Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang as the replacement for my husband's older car, but what should parents be thinking about when considering whether their next vehicle will become a kid's car somewhere down the line?

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

It's National Teen Driver Safety Week, so we're on the case.

Related: Top 10 Used Cars for $10K

Parents first need to decide whether they will pass their current, aging car down to their teen driver or buy a new (or new to them) car for the teen.

Whatever you choose, there are good reasons to buy a brand-new car:

  • You get the newest safety features
  • There are no questions about the car's history
  • You get a full warranty
  • You can choose which features are important (to you, the parent) and which features you should skip for a teen driver (premium stereo, sport-tuned engine — I'm looking at you)

If you're getting a new car you will drive for a few years before it goes to your kid, it's easier to justify the cost. Likewise, if you're going to be driving the car first, insurance will likely be a bit lower by the time the kid gets it, after miles and years have been piled on.

By Sara Lacey | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Why Do Many Teens Refuse to Buckle Up?

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One of my earliest childhood memories is loading up as a family into my dad's wood-paneled Jeep, and hearing, "The car won't start until everyone has a seat belt on." That, and if we wanted to turn the light on in the back, we had to blow on it really hard to wake up the little light-keeper woman that lived inside (thanks for that one, Dad). Because seat belt usage was so ingrained growing up, I've never gotten into a car without buckling up, which makes it that much more shocking that so many teens drive and ride seat belt-less today.

Related: Parents as Driving Instructors: What Works?

Statistics show that in half of all teen fatalities on the road, the teens were not wearing seat belts. What's scarier is that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a new report funded by the General Motors Foundation, Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,000 teens and asked the question all parents want to know: What the @#$% were you thinking? Although, I assume they phrased it more politely.

The top reasons teens admitted to not buckling up on every ride?

By Kristin Varela | October 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Scion Teases Los Angeles Auto Show Concept

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It's a Scion. It's sporty. And it's coming to the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

At the moment that's all we can tell you for sure about the latest concept car from Toyota's youth-market division. Scion this morning released two remarkably unrevealing teaser photos of the iM concept's front end, opening the floor for conjecture, speculation and presumption in the weeks leading to its Nov. 19 unveiling during the auto show’s press-only days.

Related: More Concept Cars

The L.A. Auto Show is open to the public Nov. 21-30, preceded by media and industry events Nov. 18-20. Cars.com will provide full coverage leading up to the show and from the floor. Click here for more 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage.

By Matt Schmitz | October 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ford Drops Focus Electric Pricing Another $6,000

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Ford dropped the starting price for the slow-selling Focus Electric by another $6,000 for 2014 and 2015. Effective for all remaining 2014 Focus Electric hatchbacks, the starting price is now $29,995 including destination. The same sub-$30,000 price also applies to the incoming 2015 Focus Electric, which received some of the interior changes but not the visual updates or new steering wheel of its gasoline-powered sibling.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Those prices come before a maximum $7,500 federal tax credit, which means a Focus Electric could start as low as $22,495 if you have sufficient tax liabilities. That’s right in line with the Nissan Leaf, whose price dropped $6,400 in 2013. After applying the maximum tax credit, a 2015 Leaf starts at $22,360.

By Kelsey Mays | October 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

Defensive Driving Courses Teach Teens Needed Skills

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The basics taught in driver's education just scratch the surface of the driving know-how needed by teens, yet, shockingly, not every state requires teens to go through even basic driver's education before getting their driver's license. A Michelin Tire study of 1,000 teens across the country found that half didn't feel prepared when they got their driver's license.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

How do teens learn what to do if their car starts to spin, how to check their car's tire pressure and how big a difference a slight distraction can make while driving? These are the types of lessons that can be taught within the safety of a supplemental driving program.

Luckily for those of us with teens approaching driving age, or for those who already have their licenses, there are several teen driving programs around the country, ranging from free to low-cost. Here's a roundup of a few of the larger programs:

By Kristin Varela | October 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Cars and Leaves: A Fall Foliage Photo Gallery

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It's fall, and that means in some parts of this great country the leaves are changing colors, creating a picturesque backdrop for one of life's great pastimes ... driving through scenic backdrops of multicolored trees.

Related: Fall Colors and Cars Photo Gallery (2013)

Our editors have been doing their routine of testing cars in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado as well as a few other interesting locales this year as the fall colors started to turn. Check out the gallery below, and tell us your favorite places to drive in the fall.

By David Thomas | October 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Nissan Bumps Pathfinder Prices for 2015

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Nissan's popular seven-passenger crossover got a host of additional standard and optional features for 2015, and all trims levels get a modest price increase. Base two-wheel-drive models of the 2015 Pathfinder start at $30,395, including destination — $300 more than the 2014 version.

Related: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder: What's Changed

The 3.5-liter V-6 and an updated version of the continuously variable automatic transmission continue to 2015; no word yet if the new-for-2014 Pathfinder Hybrid model will return for 2015.

New features this year include blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert on SL and Platinum models; hill descent control for all-wheel-drive Pathfinders; a 120-volt outlet on SLs; a dual panoramic moonroof on Platinum trims and the SV model gets fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and heated side mirrors for 2015. Also new in the SL Tech Package is the Around View Monitor camera system as well as a tow hitch and harness. The SL Premium Package also gets an upgrade with navigation and the Around View Monitor system. Nissan also added a Family Entertainment Package for 2015 with a DVD entertainment system and dual 7-inch screens in the front row's head restraints.

Pathfinder S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels in front- or all-wheel drive return for 2015; full pricing is below:

By Jennifer Geiger | October 21, 2014 | Comments (2)

DeLorean Motor Co. Takes Film Fans 'Back to the Future'

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Crazy to think for those of us who are old enough to have seen "Back to the Future" in its original run, but we've nearly reached that famed "future" date when Doc Brown flew Marty McFly 30 years into the future in a DeLorean time machine. Yes, one year from today will be Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, the date to which Doc and Marty jumped ahead on the space-time continuum, yet we're still waiting on those flying cars, hoverboards and power-lacing sneakers. One company, however, is making DeLorean time machines.

Related: Top 10 Movie Cars

Yes, you can travel back in time on a nostalgia trip in an honest-to-goodness DeLorean car courtesy of the DeLorean Motor Co., which continues to keep the short-lived, long-defunct brand running all these years later. It not only restores and sells traditional DeLoreans, the company outfits some to be replicas of the famed movie car ... at a price.

By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Subaru Outback: Car Seat Check

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In its 2015 redesign, beloved family hauler the Subaru Outback continues to smartly straddle the line between a practical wagon and a rugged SUV, while getting subtle updates to its exterior styling, interior upgrades and improved fuel economy. Families will appreciate the new Outback's roomier cabin, cushier feel and an improved center storage bin that can hold larger items like an iPad. We last car-seat checked the Outback in 2012; that model proved as delightfully utilitarian as the vehicle's reputation. Can the 2015 live up to that easy-to-use, easier-to-love rep?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

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