Tiny Chevy Spark Gets Mom, Teen Approval

2013 Chevrolet Spark
I learned long ago not to assume I know what teenagers think is cool. That's why I asked my 17-year-old niece if she would be caught driving the candy-colored subcompact 2013 Chevrolet Spark. Not only would she, but her social network gave it the thumbs-up as well. By using "thumbs-up" I've proven that I have officially moved into the mom category and should always check with teenagers about what is "cool" or "hip to the now."

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But as a mom of younger kids, could I contemplate them as teenage drivers in something that's categorized as a mini car? After checking out the Spark at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show, my answer is a definite yes.  

By BreAnn Ahara | November 29, 2011 | Comments (14)

Did the New Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT Change Enough?

Flex1
The Ford Flex has one of those love-it-or-hate-it vehicle designs. It's boxy, it's square, it's retro and apparently it's also totally L.A. (It turns out Los Angeles is one of the Flex's hottest markets). Case in point, when we hosted actor Joey Lawrence and his family at one of our recent Cars.com Shootouts, he kept comparing the cars we were testing to his own Flex.

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The Flex isn't as popular in other markets, and neither is the Lincoln MKT. Both sell in meager amounts next to mainstream crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and even Ford's own Explorer. Can some refreshes to these two vehicles skyrocket them onto families' radars?

By Kristin Varela | November 25, 2011 | Comments (13)

2013 Mazda CX-5 Video

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be a critical player for Mazda’s global sales, says the automaker. That’s a tall order for the compact crossover, which is replacing the poor-selling Tribute, but overall, the CUV shows a lot of promise, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays. There’s good interior space and ride quality, and Mazda’s smiley front end is thankfully absent from the model. Will it be enough to finally give Mazda a second breakout seller to accompany the Mazda3?

By Colin Bird | November 23, 2011 | Comments (5)

The Great CUV Face-off

EscapeCX5CRV
The allure of a crossover can't be denied when it comes to families, and there are three all-new major players that are sure to pique their interest: the redesigned Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. They all may be in the same class, but they each deliver varying degrees of appeal and function for families.

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Dubbed the "Super" CR-V, Honda says the new generation has the functionality of a minivan, the efficiency of a car and the confidence of an SUV. It sounds like a lot of talk, but they delivered on it.

By Carrie Kim | November 23, 2011 | Comments (8)

Is The Infiniti JX What Families Need It To Be?

2013 Infiniti JX
Infiniti says it had families in mind when designing its brand-new seven-seat crossover, the 2013 JX. Boasting "innovation that makes life more efficient" seems like a surefire way to grab a parent's attention. With a third row, low step-in height and a new safety feature, the Backup Collision Intervention system (yep, just like it sounds: The car will actually put on the brakes to prevent a collision if you don't notice a car or object crossing behind you), the JX seemed to be off to a good start.

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However, after getting up close and personal with the JX, I'm not convinced that it's as perfect a fit for families as Infiniti promises it to be. It's true that there is access to the third row even when a child-safety seat is installed in the second row, which isn't a given in this class. But the actual operation of this feature was a little unclear.

By Carrie Kim | November 22, 2011 | Comments (6)

2012 Porsche 911 Video

It may not look like it, but the Porsche 911 is all-new for the 2012 model year. While the car maintains its timeless look for the most part, what’s changed is the 911’s interior, which really “raises the bar,” according to Cars.com editor Mike Hanley.
By Colin Bird | November 22, 2011 | Comments (0)

2013 Lincoln MKS Video

For the 2013 model year, the Lincoln MKS gets a mild refresh that includes a more robust powertrain, styling updates and new interior controls. MyLincoln Touch is new to the MKS, and the multimedia system is supposed to be more responsive, Ford says. In our testing on the show floor, the performance still didn't seem as responsive as we'd hoped, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays.

By Colin Bird | November 21, 2011 | Comments (7)

2013 Chevrolet Spark Video

At first glance, the Chevrolet Spark might seem like an odd move for GM after recently releasing its entry-level Chevy Sonic, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays. After a closer look, the differences are stark. The Spark is much smaller compared with the Sonic, and its interior isn’t as nicely appointed. The small footprint doesn’t leave much room for cargo, which means you’ll have to fold down the rear seats to move anything, and folding the seats is a surprisingly difficult thing to do.

By Colin Bird | November 21, 2011 | Comments (26)

2013 Audi S6: Photo Gallery

2013 Audi S6

Audi has gone with a smaller displacement engine on the 2013 Audi S6, meaning there’s no more V-10 option. Even so, the twin-turbocharged V-8 is more efficient than the old engine and still nets a big boost in horsepower over the standard V-6 powertrain.  

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Like other “S” branded Audis, exterior and interior changes are subtle.

By Colin Bird | November 21, 2011 | Comments (7)

Jaguar C-X16 Concept: Photo Gallery

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The Jaguar C-X16 Concept is a study of design and efficiency, combining a hybrid powertrain with a stunning exterior.

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Jaguar had performance on the mind with this concept so there's a supercharged V-6 and 50/50 weight distribution, plus an extra boost of power can be had from the electric motor at the push of a button.

By Joe Bruzek | November 21, 2011 | Comments (3)

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