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 (17)

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)

Cars.com Names Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ Best of 2013

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As we have for the past several years, our editors have spent countless hours behind the wheel of every brand-new or redesigned mainstream car sold in the U.S., and from that group we've chosen our Best Of Award winner. This year is no different, but at the same time, it's a little different.

This year, we've picked twins, the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ, as our Best of 2013 Award winners. These two models, co-developed by the two companies, are nearly identical, from chassis to sheet metal, and these sports cars provide a driving experience that's tragically rare nowadays.

Congratulations to both Scion and Subaru on the win.

By Patrick Olsen | January 15, 2013 | Comments (2)

Cars.com's Best of 2013 Nominees Announced

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Each year, automakers introduce or redesign roughly 70 cars, and our experts spend hours upon hours driving them, putting them through their paces. We're looking above all else for quality, innovation and value for the consumer. From those cars, we pick our nominees for Cars.com's top honor, our Best of 2013 award. Check out our nominees, along with why we chose them, and see why this year's picks are already unique.

The Cars.com Best of 2013 Nominees

By Patrick Olsen | December 17, 2012 | Comments (1)

2011 Kia Optima Wins Cars.com's 'Best of 2011' Award

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The past year has seen the automotive industry rebound from bankruptcies and an economic crisis with an outpouring of new and redesigned models, with electric cars stealing most of the headlines.

Out of the dozens of newly introduced or redesigned cars, our experts have chosen the Kia Optima as the “Cars.com Best of 2011.” Here’s a peek at what our experts had to say about the Optima:

“The Optima delivers outstanding fuel efficiency and a good driving experience – better on both fronts than the [Hyundai] Sonata. The smaller Chevrolet Cruze was the strongest runner-up in our voting on this award, but the Cruze’s impressive gas mileage comes with only one of its five trim levels. The fact is, the Optima’s mass-market drivetrain — a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic — renders 27 mpg in combined EPA city/highway ratings, and you can get that in the mainline LX and EX trims. That matches the most efficient four-cylinder competitors; you’d have to get a hybrid family sedan to beat it.”

The Optima edged out these five other outstanding nominees:

  • BMW 5 Series
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Nissan Leaf

Get all of the details here.

By Patrick Olsen | January 11, 2011 | Comments (9)

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