2014 Audi R8 Review

2014AudiR8

"The V-10 version of Audi's mid-engine R8 is a user-friendly, daily-drivable supercar that comes alive when called upon with a screaming motor, wild styling and amazing reflexes," Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said of the 2014 version. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2014 Audi R8 Expert Review

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Honda Civic: What's Changed

2015_civic_se

Most significant changes: New SE trim level

Price change: $100 increase for LX, EX, EX-L and HF

On sale: Sept. 17 for LX, EX, EX-L and HF; later in the fall for Si, Hybrid, Natural Gas and new SE

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? The 2015 SE is a compelling value choice

With the exception of a new Special Edition trim level, most of the 2015 Honda Civic coupe and sedan lineup remains unchanged for 2015 except for a $100 price increase across the board for the LX, EX, EX-L and HF trim levels, which go on sale today.

Related: 2014 Honda Civic Expert Review

The all-new SE trim level joins the lineup slotted between the base LX and higher-content EX. It's a Special Edition without pinstripes or gimmicky stickers. It takes a bunch of content previously only available on the more expensive EX and offers it with LX-like pricing. Honda says the new SE includes $1,100 worth of optional equipment for only $700 more than the Civic LX sedan.

By Joe Bruzek | September 17, 2014 | Comments (2)

How Much Can You Stow in the 2014 Chevy Impala's Cubbies?

IMG_4090

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala's 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space is downright massive for a sedan, but it's not the only impressive storage feat inside our long-term test car. The front seats are a compulsive organizer's dream with treasure trove of big and little storage spaces within easy reach. There's a hidden storage compartment behind the retractable touch-screen, dual umbrella holders and numerous other ways to store cellphones, wallets, music players and more.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

There are so many cubbies that we wanted to see just how much stuff can seamlessly fit in the Impala's large collection of storage areas.

By Joe Bruzek | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Diono Car Seats Allow Parents to Fit Three in the Backseat

Diono_1

When baby makes three kids in the backseat, it's often time for parents to start looking for a larger car. However, there are some who instead look for a way to fit three child-safety seats across their current car's bench seat. Car-seat manufacturer Diono offers two lineups of convertible/booster seats that not only fit three across some cars, but these seats also fit kids who weigh as little as 5 pounds to as much as 120 pounds.

Related: Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

The Diono Radian lineup — the R100, R120 and RXT — is the company's flagship car-seat line. The well-known Radians are just 17 inches wide, which makes it easier for parents to fit three car seats across a backseat.

Introduced earlier this summer, the Diono Olympia, Rainier and Pacifica car seats improve on the Radian lineup's design, though at 18 inches, they're slightly wider than their predecessors.

By Jennifer Newman | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Improved 2015 Kia Soul Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick, Forte Fails

2015KiaSoulCrashTest

The 2015 Kia Soul hatchback has rejoined the ranks of vehicles deemed worthy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick. Meanwhile, the 2015 Forte fell short again after losing its status the previous model year, despite improvements.

Related: Not All Small Cars Shine in Latest IIHS Crash Tests

The Soul redeemed itself this time around by earning a good rating in the IIHS' stringent small overlap front crash test, which simulates what happens when a car strikes an object such as a tree or utility pole. IIHS rates cars on a scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good. The Soul scored poorly on the small overlap test for the 2013 model year, and wasn't even tested for 2014 because Kia said things had not improved. The hatchback came back strong for 2015, however, raising its rating on the test from poor to good (acceptable would have earned it Top Safety Pick status). As is necessary for the safety designation, the Soul also earned good scores in the institute's other four crashworthiness evaluations: moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

IIHS said the Soul improved by strengthening the front end and occupant compartment for 2015. "The driver space was maintained reasonably well with a small amount of intrusion," IIHS said in a statement. "The dummy's movement was well controlled, and its head hit the frontal airbag, which stayed in position during the crash."

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

First California Permit to Test Self-Driving Cars Goes to Audi

AudiAutonomousCar

Audi announced today that it had received the first permit issued by California for the testing of self-driving, or autonomous, cars on the Golden State's roadways. The news comes the same day as California's new laws governing the testing of automated vehicles take effect with an eye toward the eventual consumer use of driverless cars.

Related: Survey: Motorists Apprehensive About Driverless Cars

"California roads are especially crucial to Audi Piloted driving testing because the state is home to the brand's Electronics Research Lab," the automaker stated in a news release. "ERL engineers are working on a wide range of automated driving issues, including human-machine interface prompts that indicate when the human or the vehicle are handling driving functions."

By Matt Schmitz | September 16, 2014 | Comments (6)

Too Many Parents Skimp on Booster Seat Use

Boosterseat

After years of wrangling with heavy child-safety seats, Latch systems and five-point harnesses, booster seats seem so "easy." At their most basic, these car seats raise up a child so a seat belt is positioned correctly to protect them in a crash. However, even this easy car seat is being used incorrectly — or not used at all — by parents.

Related: 19 New Booster Seats Earn IIHS Best Bet Title

A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that 9 out of 10 parents move their child out of the booster seat too soon. Based on a national online survey of 1,000 parents of kids between ages 4 and 10, the study also found that 70 percent of parents didn't know when a child should be moved out of a booster seat.

The study, which was partially funded by a General Motors Foundation grant and released during Child Passenger Safety Week, also found that 1 in 5 parents with children in carpools "bend the rules" when they're the driver, allowing kids to ride in the car without their seat belts or without their car seats. One in 4 parent respondents said they don't make their child buckle up on every ride.

By Jennifer Newman | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

New House Report Blasts NHTSA

GMHQ

On the heels of yesterday's New York Times investigation, a report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee blasted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an alleged series of critical mistakes leading up to GM's recall of some 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. over faulty ignitions.

Related: GM Ignition-Switch Recall: What Owners Need To Know

The 44-page report claims NHTSA had information to identify the defects, which have been linked to more than a dozen deaths, as early as 2007. The report also concludes that the agency failed to link three investigations on crashes involving airbags that didn't deploy in the Chevrolet Cobalt and didn't understand "vehicle systems and functions implemented in response to the agency's own standards," including the link between airbags and vehicle power.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman defended the agency to The Detroit News on Monday, saying he'd met with a dozen automakers to facilitate further discussions on how vehicle systems interact. NHTSA's actions have also prompted some 1,300 recalls over the past decade.

Click here to read more on the report from The Detroit News.

duha127/iStock/Thinkstock

By Kelsey Mays | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid: First Look (15 Photos)

2015MercedesBenzS550PlugInHybrid

Competes with: Audi A8 TDI, BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid, Lexus LS 600h
Looks like: An S-Class with enough rear signage for Mercedes' lettering supplier to hire an extra shift
Drivetrain: 436-hp (combined), turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and electric motor with seven-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2015, California only

Witness the reprisal of Mercedes-Benz's S-Class hybrid, this time in the form of a plug-in S550. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid teams a turbocharged V-6 with an electric motor that runs off a battery you can plug in to recharge. Whereas its predecessor, the 2010-2013 S400 Hybrid, was a plug-free "mild" hybrid that couldn't actually travel on electric power alone, Mercedes says its successor can do that for up to 20 miles.

Related: More Hybrids/Alternative Fuels News

Typical of Mercedes' flagship sedan, the S550 plug-in electric vehicle boasts a kitchen sink's worth of other features. Among them are haptic gas-pedal feedback and drivetrain logic that purportedly adapts its efficiency strategy to the road and traffic around you.

By Kelsey Mays | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

How Rude! Discourteous Drivers Ranked by State

RudeDrivers

While it's unlikely that any one state has the market cornered on inconsiderate drivers, a recent study concludes that some places are more obnoxious than others. Insure.com in July surveyed 2,000 licensed drivers from across the U.S., half women and half men, and ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to their relative rudeness. And among them all, the Gem State shone brightest.

Related: Poll: What's the Worst Driving Behavior

Idaho ranked as the No. 1 rudest state in the study. Survey respondents' attitude toward this potato-producing state is rooted in its alleged bumper crump of both speedy spuds and slow-rolling couch potatoes. "The roadways of Idaho present a dichotomy of drivers: Those who are moving so slowly that they're judged to be rude, and the aggressive drivers who speed around them and flip them off," Insure.com said in a statement.

The five driving behaviors that bothered survey participants the most, followed by the percentage reporting so, were:

By Matt Schmitz | September 16, 2014 | Comments (7)

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com