2015 Infiniti QX80, QX80 Limited: First Look

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Competes with: Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX 570 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Looks like: A 2014 QX80 wearing the same dress with new jewelry
Drivetrain: The same 400-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 as last year
Hits dealerships: Fall 2014 for the regular QX80; late-2014 for the Limited

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For the 2015 model year, the Infiniti QX80 changes a little on the outside, quite a bit on the inside and not at all under the hood. The luxury SUV also adds the new Limited trim, which offers further subtle exterior flourishes along with interior upgrades that the automaker boasts "wouldn't be out of place in an ultra-executive boardroom or private jet."

By Matt Schmitz | April 15, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback: First Look

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Competes with: Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Buick Verano, Acura ILX Hybrid

Looks like: Every other Audi, only smaller

Powertrains: 150-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel; six-speed S tronic automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2015

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Audi's expansion of its entry-level A3 lineup continues with the announcement at the 2014 New York International Auto Show that the company will be bringing the A3 Sportback TDI diesel to the U.S. next summer. It will join the A3 sedan currently on sale, the A3 Cabriolet, TDI diesel sedan, Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid and S3 high-performance sedan, all arriving between now and summer 2015.

By Aaron Bragman | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Infiniti Q70: First Look

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Competes with: Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS

Looks like: Infiniti gave the Q70 the Q50 treatment with more flowing lines and a pumped-up grille for a look that's both more graceful and athletic

Drivetrain: 330-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 engine; 420-hp, 5.6-liter V-8; or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a 50-kilowatt electric motor (hybrid); seven-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall

Infiniti's midsize sedan gets a makeover and welcomes a long-wheelbase version for 2015. The 2015 Q70 (previously called the M) will be unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show alongside a revised version of the Infiniti QX80 full-size SUV.

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The Q70 follows in the smaller Q50 sedan's footsteps with more fluidic styling outside, an emphasis on luxury inside and a host of additional convenience features and safety systems for the 2015 model year.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mercedes-Benz Teases 2015 AMG GT

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Mercedes-Benz is planning a new AMG GT for 2015, but it's only offering us a glimpse of the supercar's interior — for now. The automaker released pictures at a New York International Auto Show preview event and promises more details will follow.

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The 2015 AMG GT follows the SLS AMG as the second sports car to be developed independently by Mercedes' AMG performance arm. The automaker confirmed V-8 power and supplied two interior images depicting a cabin lined with red leather and what looks like carbon fiber, along with an emphasis on design that favors both sport and luxury.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chevrolet Trax: First Look

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Competes with: Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Looks like: A cartoonish miniature Chevrolet Equinox

Drivetrain: 138-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

Chevrolet has a new small car in its stable for 2015 with the Trax SUV, revealed at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The bite-sized five-passenger SUV goes on sale in the U.S. early next year; it's been on sale in Canada, Mexico and other global markets since 2012. The Trax slots below the considerably larger Equinox and is closer in size to the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze small cars.

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Small doesn't mean basic, though, as Chevrolet will pump the Trax full of available connectivity and convenience features such as its 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free system, BringGo navigation app as well as optional all-wheel drive, leather trim and more. The Trax will be available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, and we'll know pricing closer to its on-sale date next year.

By Joe Bruzek | April 15, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Mini Countryman: First Look

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Competes with: Fiat 500L, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Looks like: The 2014 Countryman ... and all other Minis with four doors

Powertrains: 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121, 181 or 208 hp; six-speed manual or automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

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The 2015 Countryman, the largest of Minis, will appear this week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show sporting the slightest of updates, outside and inside.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 16,655 Baby Trend Car Seats

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Car Seats Affected: Approximately 16,655 Baby Trend Trendz Fastback 3-in-1 child-safety seats, models FB60070 (Granite) and FB60408 (Jellybean), which were manufactured between October 2011 and July 2013

The Problem: When this combination car seat is used with its five-point harness, it can become difficult to unlatch the harness buckle. The buckle can become stuck, so it cannot be opened by depressing its release button. If this occurs, it could be difficult to remove the child from the car seat, increasing the risk of injury in an emergency.

The Fix: Baby Trend will provide registered owners with replacement buckles once they’re available.

What Owners Should Do: The car-seat manufacturer will contact registered car-seat owners, but it hasn't provided the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with notification or buckle availability schedules. For more info, owners may call NHTSA's safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

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By Jennifer Newman | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW M4 Convertible: More Photos

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The convertible counterpart to the BMW M3 sedan — the M4 — is back for 2015 and hitting showrooms this summer just in time for droptop weather. We'll be warming up to the M4 later this week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, but what we already know is that the luxury two-door is substantially lighter thanks to extensive use of aluminum and carbon-fiber materials, and more powerful thanks to horsepower and torque increases for its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, despite shedding a couple of cylinders from the previous model.

2015 M4 Convertible Joins BMW Lineup

BMW says the power hardtop retracts in just 20 seconds, and with the automatic transmission the M4 gets to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, so buyers won’t have to wait long to feel some wind in their hair come summer. Until then, check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept: First Look and Gallery

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Looks like: George Jetson's Land Rover with plenty of wraparound glass, rear-hinged doors, a sleek profile and laser headlights

Defining characteristics: Ultra-configurable seating for four to seven passengers as well as a host of from-the-future gadgets

Ridiculous features: It's the ultimate luxury toy with a remote control system that allows you to control the SUV from your smartphone

Chance of being mass-produced: Land Rover confirmed that a new family of vehicles under the Defender umbrella will be produced — we're betting not one of them will be remote-controlled

One thing we've noticed ahead of the 2014 New York International Auto Show is that concept cars are few and far between. In fact, Land Rover may have one of the only concept reveals — but what a concept it is. The Discovery Vision Concept gives us a hint at the automaker's plans for a family of new SUVs along with a glimpse into some pretty out-there technology.

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Land Rover says the design embodies the "ultimate leisure SUV," and nowhere is that more apparent than inside. The cabin is finished in two types of washable and water- and oil-repellent leather along with wood veneer on the floors and instrument panel and Harris tweed accents — how very British.

The SUV concept's highly configurable cabin makes room for anywhere from four to seven passengers with seats that fold, slide and even convert into a tablelike surface. But don't start looking for the buttons and levers yet — all of this is done via a touch-screen menu.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 15, 2014 | Comments (3)

Truly Remote Start Impresses in 2014 Chevrolet Impala

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Regular readers are probably just as tired of us talking about Chicago's polar vortex winter as we are tired of persistent cold temperatures. If there's one car feature we can point to that made one of the area's coldest and snowiest winters on record more bearable, it's the remote engine starting system on our 2014 Chevrolet Impala long-term tester.

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The Impala's remote start is a factory-installed feature included in the $1,095 navigation and stereo package or $940 Convenience Package. Time and time again, the Impala's remote start would fire up the engine at surprisingly long distances or from well inside a house, which beat having to crack the front door and hold the key fob outside like other systems we've tested.

By Joe Bruzek | April 15, 2014 | Comments (2)

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