Volkswagen Prices 2015 Golf R

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Volkswagen today announced pricing for the latest addition to its sporty hatchback lineup, the 2015 Golf R. The Golf R will arrive in dealerships early next year, initially available only as a four-door and with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Prices start at $37,415 for the base Golf R and $39,910 for the technology-loaded DCC and Nav trim; both prices include an $820 destination charge.

Related: Volkswagen Golf R: Up Close

VW says the all-wheel-drive Golf R is the fastest and most powerful Golf ever to hit the U.S. market. The 292 horsepower from the R's 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder represents a 14 percent power boost over the previous version, while torque is up 15 percent from the outgoing car's 243 pounds-feet. But those gains don't come at the expense of fuel economy; VW says the new R gets 30 mpg with the dual-clutch automatic compared with its manual predecessor's 27 mpg. Meanwhile, its zero-to-60 mph sprint improves by nearly 1.7 seconds to 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Best Resale Values

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Today, automotive forecast company ALG released its annual list of the best resale — or residual — values broken down by segment. The list, now in its 15th year, highlights the model-year 2015 vehicles across 26 segments expected to retain the highest percentage of their retail price after three years. 

Related: 2014 Best Resale Values

This year, Land Rover and Toyota topped the list in the Premium Brand and Mainstream Brand, respectively, with Toyota taking home five segment awards. The Mini Hardtop (Premium Compact Car) and Subaru Outback (Midsize Utility Vehicle – 2-row) are back on the list despite full redesigns, and several cars made the list for the first time, including the Dodge Charger (Full-Size Car), Porsche Macan (Premium Compact Utility Vehicle) and Ford Transit Connect (Midsize Commercial Van). Continue below for the full list of winners broken down by segment.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Zero Percent for 84 Months Hits Midwest Chrysler Dealers

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We reported recently on the growing trend of the seven-year car loan, but as we head into the holiday car-shopping season some dealers in the country's heartland are adding a twist to the lengthy term.

Related: Seven-Year Car Loans More Popular, but Beware

Chrysler dealers in certain Midwest states including Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin are offering 84 month financing deals with zero percent interest through Chrysler Capital the company confirmed with Cars.com. The deal is also only good on three models at this time — the 2015 Chrysler 200 (excluding LX trims), 2015 Chrysler Town & Country and 2015 Dodge Grand Caravans — and runs through Dec. 1.

By David Thomas | November 11, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Hyundai Accent: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Bluetooth available at lower cost

Price change: $100 increase on all models

On sale: Early- to mid-November

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

For 2015, the subcompact Hyundai Accent gets a midlife exterior freshening and new option packages for GLS sedans with the optional automatic transmission that make Bluetooth hands-free capability available at lower cost.

Bluetooth is included in the new $600 Popular Equipment Package with cruise control, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with built-in audio controls and a sliding armrest storage box. Previously, those features were lumped in the $1,400 Option Group 2 with 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, projector-style headlights, upgraded interior trim and other items. Those latter features are now available in the new $800 Style Package, and you have to buy the Popular Package to get them.

By Rick Popely | November 11, 2014 | Comments (3)

Mercedes-Benz Renames Much of its Lineup

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It seems to be happening all the time in the auto industry. A manufacturer just isn't happy with its vehicles' names, especially when it wants to add new, additional models to the lineup.

Related: Cadillac Changes All Model Names To Alphanumeric, Starts With CT6, etc.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest to do the ole name switcheroo in advance of this year's auto show season. While the company's sedans will continue as-is, that can't be said of its SUV and sports car lineup.

By David Thomas | November 11, 2014 | Comments (5)

Survey: Recalls Influence Car Shoppers

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If you're weary of the nonstop recall coverage lately, we don't blame you. It's been an unprecedented year for them. Tallying recalls is a dubious task, given the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's counts a vehicle recall as anything from passenger cars to garbage trucks and motorcycles. But the Detroit Free Press counted 56.1 million auto recalls year to date on Oct. 20 — a figure that thumped NHTSA's prior record of 30.8 million vehicle recalls set in 2004, according to annual totals obtained by Cars.com. And that was two days before NHTSA added another 3.1 million cars to a widespread airbag recall.

Related: What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

Meanwhile, new-car sales at GM are up 3.9 percent through October. That falls short of the industry's 5.5 percent gain, according to Automotive News, but it's better than you'd expect for an automaker whose 25.6 million recalls top other automakers by a mile. Other recall-heavy automakers have had mixed years: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is up 15.8 percent and Toyota is up 5.8 percent, but Ford and Honda are roughly flat.

Still, a new survey suggests that car shoppers do, in fact, care about recalls — and most of them know about this year's largest ones. How that influences shoppers' decisions, on the other hand, is up for debate.

By Kelsey Mays | November 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Available hands-free, automatically opening power lift gate

Price change: Zero to $600 higher depending on model

On sale: Since late October

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

One reason to buy a new 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe or Santa Fe Sport is to get a new hands-free power liftgate. Unlike Ford's, which requires a kicking motion under the rear bumper, Hyundai's opens automatically when someone with a proximity smart key comes within a few feet of the rear bumper. Sounds good, but it comes at a hefty price.

By Rick Popely | November 5, 2014 | Comments (2)

October's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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An all-new Ford Mustang is a rare thing indeed and that's why it's no surprise the redesigned pony car was the fastest-selling car in the country last month. New looks and a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine have made it a much-talked about commodity to be sure. But hold the phone.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2014

The 2015 Mustang shares the fastest-selling title with something a bit more sedate with a much more subtle redesign, the 2015 Honda CR-V. It took just seven days to sell both the sports coupe and the sports ute. Other popular small SUVs also sold quickly with the 2015 Nissan Rogue taking 15 days to sell and the 2015 Toyota RAV4 taking 16. But those two still weren't fast enough to make the top list.

By David Thomas | November 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study: Just One-Third of Hybrids Save Money Versus Non-Hybrid Counterparts

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Onetime tax incentives for hybrid-electric vehicles expired nearly four years ago, leaving consumers to wonder which hybrids actually save money versus their non-hybrid counterparts. Vincentric, a Michigan-based data provider, ran its latest cost-of-ownership model on dozens of hybrids. The result? A third of them save you money over five years' ownership, but most end up costing more.

Related: Study: Despite Recent Relief, Americans Spend More on Gas Overall

Vincentric analyzed cost-of-ownership data on 30 hybrids for the 2014 model year. The company found the average price premium for a hybrid versus its non-hybrid counterpart is $4,325, but five years' ownership and 75,000 total miles trim the hybrid premium to just $1,339. Over that same timespan, 10 of the 30 hybrids studied save money versus their non-hybrid counterparts. The thriftiest car, the 2014 Lexus CT 200h, saves $7,632 over five years. Still, Lexus also makes the worst value in the group — the 2014 GS 450h, which Vincentric says costs $8,155 more than its GS 350 counterpart.

Which hybrids come out on top? And which will cost you more? Read on to find out.

By Kelsey Mays | November 3, 2014 | Comments (5)

Tesla Launches Model S Lease Program

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Luxury electric-car manufacturer Tesla this past weekend announced the launch of its new U.S. Bank-backed lease program that practically dons a polyester suit and says, "What's it gonna take for me to put you in a new Model S, today." Not only does the lease price work out to a more than $150-a-month net savings compared with purchasing a Model S outright, but it allows lessees to return the car without penalty if they're not satisfied.

Related: Tesla Unveils All-Wheel-Drive Model S, New Driverless Tech

"Leasing now comes with the Tesla happiness guarantee," Elon Musk said in a Tesla Motors blog post on Saturday. "If you don't like our car for any reason in the first three months, you can just return it and your remaining lease obligation is waived." But there's a catch.

By Matt Schmitz | October 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

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