2015 Toyota Camry: Up Close

CamryUC1

Just three years after Toyota redesigned the Camry, the family sedan has gone under the knife again for 2015. The result is a car with all-new styling that actually looks all new, and it seems to be in direct response to the increasing prevalence of bold-looking competitors like the Ford Fusion and Mazda6.

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The new front end is the most daring element of the 2015 Camry, which debuted at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

By Mike Hanley | April 16, 2014 | Comments (13)

Limited Edition Scion FR-S Debuts in Yuzu Yellow

ScionFRS500

At this week's 2014 New York International Auto Show, Scion unveiled the latest special edition of the rear-drive FR-S coupe. Dubbed the now-familiar Release Series, in this case the inaugural Release Series 1.0, the special edition will have a production run of just 1,500 cars when it hits Scion showrooms in August.

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All of them will have Yuzu paint — to wit, bright yellow. (Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit; it's also the name for an untold number of Japanese restaurants.) Changes to the FR-S' taut lines include a custom rear spoiler, front and rear ground effects, and side fender garish — er, garnish.

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

2015 Hyundai Sonata: Up Close

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When the prior-generation Sonata debuted as a 2011 model it made waves with a daring design that challenged conservatively styled competitors. Fast-forward a few years and Hyundai has a new Sonata and the 2015 Sonata is unlikely to create the kind of stir its predecessor did. The new sedan is handsome, but there's enough of the old version that casual observers could easily confuse them.

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The 2015 Sonata retains its distinctive coupe-like profile, and it seems even more pronounced now as the rear roof pillars extend nearly to the tail. This makes for a very short trunklid, and also makes the rear-quarter angle one of the car's best.

By Mike Hanley | April 16, 2014 | Comments (4)

2015 Chevrolet Trax: Up Close and Driven

2015 Chevy Trax

Chevrolet expects the small SUV segment to blossom in the next few years, with a growth of 80 percent by 2016. Chevrolet's new entry for the U.S. in this segment is the Trax, a five-passenger compact SUV that slots below Chevrolet's popular Equinox; the Trax is already on sale in Canada and other global markets. I briefly drove a Canadian-spec Trax at a Chevrolet preview drive at Monticello Motor Club in New York.

New York Auto Show News

The Trax shares many of its driving qualities with the Chevrolet Sonic on which the SUV's platform is derived from. The sole turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine is potent enough to make the small SUV feel spritely and pairs with a well-sorted chassis to live up to its sporty claim.

By Joe Bruzek | April 16, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Hyundai Sonata: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry

Looks like: Hyundai is taking an evolutionary styling approach with the updated Sonata

Drivetrain: 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 245-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

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Family sedan shoppers already have a number of relatively new cars to consider like the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, and later this year there'll be a new version of Hyundai's Sonata. It's offered with a choice of two four-cylinder engines, including a performance-oriented turbocharged unit, and is available with a host of convenience features from an automatically opening trunk lid to Apple's CarPlay entertainment interface. It's available in SE, Limited, Sport and Sport 2.0T trim levels and will be built in Alabama.

By Mike Hanley | April 16, 2014 | Comments (7)

Nissan's Smart Rearview Mirror Improves Rear Visibility

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Come 2016 or 2017, Nissan could have a better rearview mirror in some of its cars. After an initial rollout to its racecars and Japan-market vehicles, the automaker plans to introduce its new Smart Rearview Mirror to global markets over the next few years. The SRM uses a high-res rearview camera to overlay what's behind you — in real time — in the conventional rearview mirror. Drivers can alternate between the mirror and the monitor with a switch on the bottom of the mirror frame.

Which Small SUV Has the Best Rear Visibility?

If it works, the technology could free drivers from the compromised sightlines that short rear windows, large rear head restraints or bulky C- and D-pillars create. It also means big Uncle Eddy could sit in back without blocking three interstate lanes.

But execution matters in a huge way.

By Kelsey Mays | April 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen Jetta: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla

Looks like: We'll need stronger glasses to notice the changes

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder/electric hybrid, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel

Hits dealerships: Fall 2014

There may not be much new to see when evaluating the updated 2015 Volkswagen Jetta, but there has been a lot of work under the hood and on the option list. VW will showcase the upgraded sedan this week during the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

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The Jetta trim lineup also remains the same with the base car, a GLI high-performance model, hybrid and TDI diesel.

By David Thomas | April 14, 2014 | Comments (5)

Kia Eight-Passenger Mystery Machine: It's a Minivan!

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A week after releasing a teaser image and cryptic description of an "all-new midsize multi-purpose vehicle" with seating for eight, Kia today came clean about the mystery vehicle. It's the 2015 Kia Sedona, and it's set to make its public debut next week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The announcement confirmed widespread suspicion that it was a minivan, though some of us at Cars.com admittedly saw an aggressive-looking crossover when we first laid eyes on the shadow-obscured image. But of course there's no mistaking it now from the image above.

Kia to Debut New Eight-Passenger Vehicle at 2014 New York Auto Show

According to Kia, the minivan will be powered by a 3.3-liter direct-injected V-6, and offer a host of tech and safety features, including the next-gen UVO Infotaintment & Telematics system. "With several new eServices features, the 2015 Sedona is designed to be the perfect companion for any lifestyle and accommodate any adventure on the road," the Korean automaker said in a statement.

Check back with Kicking Tires as we cover the 2015 Sedona's unveiling at the New York Auto Show. Our on-site coverage begins Wednesday.

Manufacturer image

By Matt Schmitz | April 10, 2014 | Comments (2)

What to Expect at the 2014 New York Auto Show

2015FordFocus

For nearly as long as there have been automobiles, there have been auto shows. One of the oldest and most important is the New York International Auto Show. The Big Apple's exhibition started 114 years ago and bills itself as the longest-running auto show on the continent.

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The show returns for 2014 from April 18-27, with press- and dealer-only previews April 16-17, at New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets. Based on the debuts and notable appearances we already know about, it's shaping up to be quite a year of face-offs.

By Matt Schmitz | April 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

New 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger to Debut in New York

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There was little doubt Dodge would have to update its Challenger muscle car to compete in a world with an all-new Ford Mustang. But even we were a bit surprised to hear a new version of the four-door Charger would debut alongside the updated Challenger at next week's New York International Auto Show.

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Chrysler released the images above (Charger) and below (Challenger) to announce the debuts. What they show is what looks to be a completely reworked front end for the Charger and an all-new gauge cluster for the Challenger along the lines of the digitally augmented gauges in other Dodge vehicles.

By David Thomas | April 8, 2014 | Comments (4)

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