Video: Inside Cars.com's Best of 2015 Awards

Cars.com's editors spend hundreds of hours each year driving new and redesigned cars; which are the best? Reviewer Kelsey Mays highlights the winners of Cars.com's Best of 2015 and Lifestyle awards. Check out the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 27, 2015 | Comments (0)

We Bought a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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Cars.com just named the redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class our Best of 2015 car. As we've done in recent years, we purchased one to put our money where our mouth is. Naturally, the process kicked off with a familiar question: Which C-Class would we get? Among the new 2015 C-Class sedans on Cars.com, we found more than 150 examples within 50 miles of our Chicago offices. We've already driven both the C300 and C400, and we deemed the C400's extra power unnecessary versus the already-punchy C300, particularly since it starts some $10,000 higher.

Related: Cars.com Names 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Best of 2015

We settled on the C300. Given the nature of Chicago weather, we opted for all-wheel drive, and so set our sights on a 2015 C300 4Matic sedan; that combination accounted for more than 80 percent of the 2015 C-Class sedans in dealer inventory near our offices at the time we were shopping. Including destination, the C300 4Matic starts at $41,325 but can spiral past $60,000 if you load up the options. Still, most examples on Cars.com near us were listed between $45,000 and $55,000.

We settled on a plan. We'd visit a Mercedes dealership near downtown Chicago to see what option groups were popular; then we'd email that dealership along with a few others when we had an idea of the equipment that we wanted. As always, we told salespeople we were looking to buy a company car, providing only our personal email addresses and mobile phone numbers. We revealed only after the price had been agreed to that we worked for Cars.com.

By Kelsey Mays | January 14, 2015 | Comments (9)

Cars.com Names Mercedes-Benz C-Class Best of 2015

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The last time we tested the C-Class in a Cars.com Challenge, the C250 fared very poorly. The judges didn’t care for the brakes, found the engine wanting and disliked the handling.

Now, with the advent of the new C-Class, our editors are impressed: "The luxury automaker has stunned the public and pundits by producing a stylish new compact luxury sedan that plays second fiddle to no one."

The C-Class edged out five worthy competitors:

  • 2015 BMW M4
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger
  • 2015 Honda Fit
  • 2015 Subaru Outback
  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf

Check out our awards coverage for all the details.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Patrick Olsen | January 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

We Bought a 2014 Chevrolet Impala

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In late 2012, we purchased our Best of 2013 award winner to see if all the things that made it our favorite car of the year would hold up for an entire year of ownership. The 2013 Subaru BR-Z certainly did that for most of our editors. This year, the redesigned Chevrolet Impala won over our hearts and that meant it was time to hit the lots and buy one.

Cars.com Names Chevrolet Impala Best of 2014

Most of our long-term fleet purchases have been of "in-demand" or very new vehicles with only our current 2013 Honda Civic really allowing us to chase deals, haggle and commence with all the other tactics that can go into buying a new car. Buying an Impala was similar to the Civic in some regards, but we ended up with only one major hassle.

By David Thomas | January 20, 2014 | Comments (25)

Cars.com Names Chevrolet Impala Best of 2014

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For years, the Chevrolet Impala languished as a fleet special, a favorite of rental car companies that would buy them by the gross and foist them on hapless, disappointed travelers. Not anymore; 2014 brings an all-new Impala, and by any measure it is extremely impressive. It starts with styling that not only brings the Impala in line with the rest of the Chevrolet showroom, but it also acts to define it.

The Impala won in a heated, contentious vote over five other worthy competitors:

  • Acura MDX
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Forte sedan
  • Mazda3
  • Mazda6

Check out our award coverage for complete details.

By Patrick Olsen | January 14, 2014 | Comments (7)

Cars.com Names Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Best Pickup Truck of 2014

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In one way, this was an easy choice: Chevrolet engineers basically had the opportunity to go over every inch of the next-generation Silverado 1500 to improve every aspect of its capability and prowess. However, when you consider how hugely competitive this market has become, we know there were many points along this process where costs could have been cut, shortcuts taken or aggressive strategies pulled back. But Chevy engineers and management didn’t do that with this truck.

This is the first time in Cars.com's history that we are presenting a dedicated award for pickup trucks alone, and that makes sense. Three of the top five best-selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2013 were pickup trucks, and if there's a segment more important to most automakers' bottom line, we can't think of one.

See all the details here.

By Patrick Olsen | January 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cars.com Names Family, Play, Luxury and Eco-Friendly Cars of the Year

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As we've done for several years now, our editors have put their heads together to pick the best cars for a variety of lifestyles, and here are the winners for 2014:

Family Car of the Year: 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

With loads of high-tech and luxurious-feeling features packed in at a competitive price, it would be hard for financially savvy and tech-appreciative families to pass over the Santa Fe Sport. Our team of editors took note and voted this midsize crossover right to the top.

Play Car of the Year: 2014 Porsche Boxster

Luxury roadsters pack handsome interiors and punchy engines, but few can connect the car and its driver like the Boxster. Thanks to its sublime balance, Porsche's mid-engine icon is still a performance car through and through.

Luxury Car of the Year: 2014 BMW 328i

The 328i is the perfect blend of luxury, sport and prestige. We tested it against the industry's best luxury sport sedans in 2013 and it came out on top, beating competitors from Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. It does everything well.

Eco-Friendly Car of the Year: 2014 Nissan Leaf

Less expensive and faster-charging than when it last won this award, the excellent Leaf is accessible to more buyers than ever, and the battery can be fully charged at home in about four hours rather than eight. It also adds range more quickly when grabbing juice at a public charging point.

See our complete coverage here.

By Patrick Olsen | January 14, 2014 | Comments (2)

Cars.com Announces Its Best of 2014 Nominees

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Whenever we give out our Best of Award, we focus on quality, innovation and value, and all six of these nominees performed well in all three of those arenas. It's never easy to pick this award; the voting this year was particularly contentious. I can personally vouch for that. Here are this year's nominees:

The nominees for the Best of 2014 are (in alphabetical order):

  • Acura MDX
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Forte
  • Mazda3
  • Mazda6

We will reveal the winner at our annual awards event on Jan. 14 in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show, and of course, here on Cars.com.

By Patrick Olsen | December 9, 2013 | Comments (4)

Ford Mustang Wins Cars.com's Shoppers' Choice Award

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The Ford Mustang has been chosen by Cars.com's users as the Shoppers' Choice Award winner for 2014.

The Mustang was one of 10 finalists that were selected based on car-shopper activity on our site, including searching car listings, filling out consumer reviews and contacting dealers. The ultimate winner was determined through fan voting on our Facebook page.

Clearly, the Mustang remains a favorite among shoppers. As it gets ready to turn 50, it continues to be a sports-car icon, and it is perhaps Ford’s most recognizable car ever. The 10 finalists were (in alphabetical order):

  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Ford F-150
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • Ram 1500
By Patrick Olsen | December 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

We Bought a 2013 Subaru BRZ

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Each year Cars.com names a "Best Of" winner that our editors pick as the ultimate car we've driven over the past 12 months. This year, the award went to two cars, the nearly identical Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sports coupes. Before we determined the winners, we had already decided that whichever car won our Best Of award would get a spot in our long-term test fleet.

Our winner was decided late on a Friday, and we put a deposit down by the following Thursday.

I was tasked with buying one of the two cars, and it turned out to be one of the simplest car purchases I've ever made. Here's why.

By David Thomas | January 16, 2013 | Comments (19)

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