2015 Chrysler Town and Country: Explaining the Trim Levels

2015ChryslerTownandCountry

Busy families know there's no more functional family hauler than the iconic minivan. The Chrysler Town & Country has been a heavyweight in the segment since I used to rollerblade home after school to catch the latest "Full House" episode.

Related: More Minivan News

For today's discerning consumer, the Town & Country adds two new trim levels (the LX and the Limited Platinum), bringing the total lineup for the 2015 model year to six trims. That should assure there's a Town & Country to fit every family and every family's budget, but it also adds some confusion to the shopping process.

The 2014s are still currently on sale alongside 2015s. There are nearly 9,000 new 2014s in Cars.com's national inventory and approximately 5,700 2015 models.

By Kristin Varela | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Video: Five Things Families Should Look for in SUVs

Need a vehicle that can accommodate your growing family, but recoil at the very notion of a minivan or station wagon? OK, by default you've selected an SUV, so Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says there are some factors you must now consider, including seats, step-in height, third-row access, cargo space and child-safety provisions. Watch the video for tips on making the best buy for your brood.

By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

Dodge Knocks $15,000 Off 2015 SRT Viper

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Here's some math we can get behind. Want to get your hands on Dodge's V-10 stick-shift SRT Viper? The price of entry just fell by a cool 15 large. Dodge slashed its SRT Viper by $15,000 for 2015, dropping the starting price to $86,990, including destination. Any existing 2014 Vipers in inventory will be discounted $15,000, too. Get shopping; there are 501 examples currently in Cars.com's new car inventory.

Related: Stryker Green 2014 SRT Viper Is the Least Stealth Car Ever

Dodge points out that the Viper's new starting price reflects pricing of the original 1992 Viper, which had a starting MSRP of $50,700 back then. That's about $86,100 in 2014 dollars. Recall, too, that the '92 Viper was Spartan even for its day. It lacked air conditioning, antilock brakes and glass windows.

The 2015 Viper has all of those features and comes in four trims: the SRT ($87,990, all prices include destination), a new GT ($96,990), the TA ($102,990) and GTS ($109,990). Sales begin in early 2015. SRT models get new accent stitching and Alcantara accents on the doors and instrument panel; the GT adds Nappa leather seats, a two-mode suspension, five stability-control modes and upgraded brakes. Dodge will also offer special editions of the TA and GTS.

By Kelsey Mays | September 8, 2014 | Comments (4)

Seven-Year Car Loans More Popular, but Beware

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Those loans, they're getting awfully long. Experian Automotive says that in the first quarter of 2014, 24.9 percent of all new-car loans were 73 to 84 months long. Four years ago, less than 10 percent of loans were that long. In fact, such lengthy terms have pulled the average new-car loan to 66 months. That's an all-time record.

Related: Deferred Car Payments: Read the Fine Print

As credit continues to open up — and, some argue, automakers try to maintain the past year's sales growth — car loans continue to lengthen. But make sure you consider the terms carefully, because even if you can get a longer loan it doesn't mean you should.

By Kelsey Mays | September 5, 2014 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2014

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The Honda Accord topped the Toyota Camry to become the nation's best-selling car in August. The Accord's sales surged 32.5 percent and signaled a return by shoppers to the tried-and-true family schleppers — midsize sedans — as kids headed back to school. Shoppers flocked toward popular models like the Accord, Ford Fusion (up 19.5 percent) and Hyundai Sonata (up 24.7 percent) as family-sedan nameplates gained 9.5 percent in overall sales. The Accord, in particular, had a few more incentives than a year ago, which is rare for Honda, and shoppers responded. It put the Accord above the Camry in monthly sales for the first time since December 2013.

Related: August's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

With sales from the largest seven automakers up 5.1 percent, industry projections suggest a sales pace not seen since mid-2006. Shoppers chose Chrysler (up 19.8 percent) and Nissan (up 11.5 percent) more than other automakers. GM, whose sales fell 1.2 percent on slow Buick and Cadillac sales, was the only automaker to see a drop. Whether this can be blamed on the automaker's recall crisis is hard to say, given GM has seen a sales uptick through much of the year.

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

August's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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Summer came to a close, and car shoppers continued to snap up utility vehicles of every stripe in August. Fifteen of the top 19 fastest-selling cars last month were SUVs, wagons or minivans compared to 15 out of 22 in July.

Related Deferred Payments: Read the Fine Print

The 2015 BMW X5 (which is virtually unchanged from the revamped 2014 pictured above) unseated the smaller 2015 Porsche Macan from the top perch — tied with the 2015 Toyota Tacoma — but shoppers still covet the Macan; it made our list taking just nine days to sell from the time it arrives on a Porsche lot to the time it goes home with its new owner.

Overall the average time it took to sell any new 2014 or 2015 car was 69 days, up barely from 68 days in July but still a week longer than August 2013's average of 62 days.

By David Thomas | September 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Durango: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New Blacktop and Rallye Appearance packages, Beats by Dre audio

Price change: TBD

On sale: Late 2014

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Dodge's seven-passenger Durango SUV received a pretty major update for the 2014 model year, bringing new powertrains, styling and interior appointments to the big traditional truck, so for 2015 Dodge is limiting changes to making the Durango look and sound even cooler.

Related: 2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

The popular Rallye Appearance Package is extended to the Limited trim level as well as the base SXT, bringing the R/T's monochromatic look, smoked headlights, ground effects package and 20-inch Hyper Black wheels to the lower trim levels. The Rallye Appearance Package SXT still gets black cloth seats, while the Limited will feature leather, and both models get a dual exhaust on the V-6 trucks.

By Aaron Bragman | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Jeep Cherokee: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Stop-start now standard on V-6-equipped models

Price change: Prices increase $100 on all models except the Sport trim

On sale: Since late July

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2015

Jeep's all-new Cherokee managed to make a big splash in the crowded compact SUV field with a combination of distinctive styling, commendable on-road performance and off-road capability, a choice of three four-wheel-drive systems and a roomy, well-finished interior. That helped its appeal with Jeep loyalists who value off-road prowess as well as those who drive only on smooth pavement but want the versatility of a small SUV.

Related: Cars.com Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Coverage

Jeep delayed the launch of the 2014 Cherokee for a couple of months while it tried to fix shift quality issues with the also-new nine-speed automatic transmission, and we aren't convinced it is fully sorted out based on our long-term Cherokee test vehicle.

Aside from the transmission, though, there is much to like about the Cherokee, which offers a broad portfolio of safety features, a voice-operated infotainment system, interior furnishings that are a cut above and family-friendly utility. Because it was all-new for 2014, there are few changes to the 2015, which just recently went on sale.

By Rick Popely | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Used Fiat 500c Convertible Prices Spike in August

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Summer is winding down, but that didn't stop used Fiat 500c prices from heading up in August. Asking prices on Cars.com for the subcompact 500c, which features a power-retractable soft-top, jumped 8.1 percent ($1,324). That increase put it well ahead of the Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV and Nissan Quest minivan, which advanced 1.9 percent ($792) and 1.8 percent ($405), respectively.

Related Deferred Payments: Read the Fine Print

Prices for the Chevrolet Express 1500 full-size van decreased the most, down 5.3 percent ($1,153) from a month ago. The Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car and BMW 650i luxury two-door round out the month's top three biggest drops, with prices down 3.8 percent ($897) and 3.6 percent ($2,370), respectively.

Overall used-car prices declined again in August, continuing a trend that began in the spring. Average listing prices were down 1.4 percent ($315) to $22,604. That's the steepest monthly decline we've seen so far this year.

By Mike Hanley | August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sportage: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Navigation, power folding mirrors and push-button start standard on turbocharged SX models

Price change: Base prices are up $150 on LX and EX models, up $1,200 on SX

On sale: Since mid-August

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

The five-passenger Sportage compact SUV received styling changes and a more powerful base engine for 2014, so the changes for 2015 are minimal. The next round of major changes will probably come for the 2017 model year, when it is due for a redesign.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

Sportage comes in three models but two basic flavors: The LX and EX use a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while the SX comes with a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. All come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

By Rick Popely | August 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

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