2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Up Close

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The Mercedes-Benz B-Class may look familiar to world travelers, but the all-electric B-Class Electric Drive version is new. The four-door hatchback is not a particularly large car, with overall exterior and interior dimensions similar to Ford's C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. The B-Class is sold internationally with gasoline and diesel engines but not in the U.S. That's about to change when an all-electric B-Class — the only variant — goes on sale here in early 2014 with an estimated range of approximately 115 miles.

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Mercedes' electric B-Class is a full-blown luxury car with a classy, light-colored interior and classic Mercedes appointments; its dashboard layout is similar to the recently introduced entry-level CLA-Class sedan. The B-Class' interior is a step up compared to electric hatchbacks like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. An electric gauge showing charge, power and boost readouts replaces a traditional tachometer. Interior roominess mirrors the C-max's cabin, where at 6 feet tall, I fit snuggly with enough head- and legroom to be comfortable, though there's not much room to spare.

By Joe Bruzek | March 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Highlander at the 2013 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer
  • Looks like: A sleeker Highlander with bolder proportions
  • Drivetrain: 2.7-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission; 3.5-liter V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive; 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid with continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2014

The 2014 Toyota Highlander is thoroughly overhauled with an all-new interior featuring room for eight occupants — one more than 2013 — and an all-new sleeker exterior. Toyota says it's taking an upscale approach with the new Highlander's interior as well as adding more cargo room and standard features.  

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The old interior's styling hasn't been updated since 2008, so the revamp is a much-needed one. Toyota's midsize Highlander SUV last received an overhaul for the 2011 model year with mostly cosmetic changes.

Because the outside was recently updated, it needed less attention than the interior but that didn't hold Toyota back from going all out with the new look. The roofline is lower for improved aerodynamics while the overall length has grown 3 inches and the width by a half an inch. Toyota says rearward visibility is improved from larger rear quarter windows. The automaker also claims forward visibility is improved with repositioned front A-pillars.

By Joe Bruzek | March 27, 2013 | Comments (11)

2013 Chicago Auto Show Favorites: Photo Gallery

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The 2013 Chicago Auto Show closed Monday, and it was a raging success with the public, attracting a huge crowd during its 10-day run, said Mark Bilek, the show's director of communications and technology. Though he couldn't give us a specific attendance number, "We are very confident in saying we are the best-attended auto show in the nation," he told Cars.com.

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Although the show is over, it'll be hard to forget our favorite cars, from the futuristic Kia Cross GT concept to the bug-eyed Nissan Juke NISMO and fan-friendly Chevrolet Camaro Blackhawks edition. Cars.com photographer Evan Sears has collected a few of his favorite shots from this year's Chicago Auto Show for a unique photo gallery. Check it out below; click on each photo to enlarge it.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Kia Cadenza Video

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The Cadenza sedan will replace the Amanti in Kia's lineup for 2014. It's a bit smaller than the Amanti but the biggest difference between the two is that the Cadenza is much more upscale, inside and out, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays.

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Kia's largest and newest sedan goes on sale this spring. Watch the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Video

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The sport-tuned NISMO trim adds some attitude to the normally awkward-looking Nissan Juke's styling.

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The bug-eyed crossover still looks weird, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays, but the NISMO modifications along with a boost of power make it a cooler vehicle all around. Check out the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Chicago Auto Show Floor Transformation Video

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As the 2013 Chicago Auto Show opens its doors to the public today, join with us as we watch the show floor go from bare concrete to fabulous over an eight-day stretch. Our favorite part? The spinning car about halfway up on the right side of the screen.

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Check out the video below.

By David Thomas | February 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR Video

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If you thought Volkswagen's iconic Bug couldn't get any cuter, just wait. The automaker unveiled the Beetle GSR at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

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Inspired by the Beetle GSR from the 1970s, the limited-edition 2014 version of the coupe wears yellow and black, inside and out. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays gives us a closer look of it and the R-Line version of the Beetle Convertible in the video below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core: Photo Gallery

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SRT versions of the Dodge Challenger just got a little more accessible. Chrysler's high-performance brand unveiled the 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core model at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show; it's a lower-priced version of the traditional Challenger SRT8.

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Power is unchanged: The new Core version uses the same 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8. Exterior features include a black grille rear spoiler, unique decals, 20-inch aluminum wheels with black pockets and black Brembo brake calipers. The biggest story is price: The Core version starts at $39,990, including the $995 destination fee. The regular Challenger SRT8 starts at $44,770, including destination. 

Check out the photo gallery of the Challenger SRT8 in Plum Crazy Pearl Coat below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 8, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Kia Cadenza: Photo Gallery

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Although Kia's new sedan bowed at the 2013 Detroit auto show in January, we were able to get a closer look at the Cadenza this week at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. 

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The automaker hasn't had a full-size sedan in the U.S. since the Amanti's departure a couple years ago, but this is no Amanti. The Cadenza may be around the same size, but it's more luxurious, with elegant exterior styling and premium interior materials. The front-wheel-drive sedan comes standard with a 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 and should be at dealerships this spring. Check out the gallery below.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 8, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Kia Cadenza: Up Close

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The 2014 Kia Cadenza's premium aspirations are clearly evident from its design. Indeed, it draws heavily from the BMW 5 Series despite being dimensionally closer to the larger 7 Series.

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The similarities start up front. The triangular headlight surrounds are topped with white-ish eyebrows, just like the 5 Series, and the hood has the same kind of flowing creases as the BMW. The Cadenza's grille also looks like BMW's familiar twin-kidney design — if the two ports had merged together.

By Mike Hanley | February 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

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