2014 Subaru Forester Rises Seven Spots in Small-SUV Affordability

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A few weeks ago we threw the redesigned Toyota RAV4 into our compact crossover affordability index, and the popular Toyota ranked right around the group's average. Subaru fans may notice the outgoing 2013 Forester sat near the bottom, largely because the small SUV got mediocre gas mileage and required stepping up a trim level to get a telescoping steering wheel — one of seven features we included in our pricing scheme.

Our affordability index compared 13 models — each was the least expensive trim level that included common equipment like an automatic transmission, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a USB/audio jack port and tilt/telescoping steering. We also factored in the destination charge and four years of gas.

With its 2014 redesign, the Forester moved up seven spots, thanks to more standard features and better gas mileage. In fact, the new Forester is the third most affordable compact crossover on the market, behind the Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport — and it has standard all-wheel drive.

By Kelsey Mays | January 25, 2013 | Comments (8)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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There wasn't a lot of movement among our most-read reviews this week, with six of the top 10 spots going unchanged and the 2013 Toyota RAV4 holding onto first place. The Toyota Avalon jumped two spots to No. 5, bumping the Acura RDX and Nissan Altima down to sixth and seventh place, respectively. The Chevrolet Equinox entered the list in eighth place, knocking the Audi A4 off completely as the Honda Accord and Mazda CX-5 held their places at ninth and 10th.

Check out what else was popular this week:

  • 1. 2013 Toyota RAV4
  • 2. 2013 Ford Explorer
  • 3. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
  • 4. 2013 Ford Escape
  • 5. 2013 Toyota Avalon
  • 6. 2013 Acura RDX
  • 7. 2013 Nissan Altima
  • 8. 2013 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 9. 2013 Honda Accord
  • 10. 2013 Mazda CX-5
  • By Matt Schmitz | January 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

    Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox

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    "Androgynous" isn't an adjective typically intended or taken as a compliment — except maybe when Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela uses it to describe a family crossover's appeal for moms and dads alike. The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox is neither too sporty for women nor too curvaceous for guys. The Equinox's creators, she says, understand family needs, as the crossover offers easy access for children while its 60/40-split sliding backseat provides flexibility as they go from child-safety seats to growth spurts. She grades the strong-seller's cargo room, interior and engine noise to determine if the Equinox is still a formidable family option.

    2013 Chevrolet Equinox Review
    By Matt Schmitz | January 7, 2013 | Comments (2)

    One-Stop Shopping: Car Seat Checks for 2012's Best-Selling Family Cars

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    If you're shopping for a family car, chances are high that at least one of the vehicles on our list below is on yours, too. These are the best-selling family cars for January-November 2012, and we've installed child-safety seats in all of them.

    Will one of these cars work for your family? Our Car Seat Checks are designed to tell shoppers how easy or difficult it is to install safety seats into a car and what works well and what frustrates us about each car's Latch system.

    By Jennifer Newman | December 19, 2012 | Comments (0)

    Recall Alert: Certain 2007-2009 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn Vehicles

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    GM is recalling 40,859 model-year 2007-09 versions of several Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles due to problems with the fuel pump, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    The affected vehicles were originally sold or are currently registered in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma or Texas and include the following: 2007-09 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Chevrolet Equinox, 2007-09 Pontiac G5, 2007 Pontiac Torrent and 2007 Saturn Ion.

    In these vehicles, a plastic part in the fuel pump could crack, causing a leak. This could lead to an increased risk of a crash.

    GM has not yet provided an owner notification schedule, but dealers will replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call GM at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

    Related
    More General Motors News on Cars.com
    More Safety News on Cars.com
    Check out Other Recalls

    By Jennifer Geiger | October 1, 2012 | Comments (3)

    Car Backseats You Want to Sit In

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    We’ve told you which cars to call front-seat dibs to avoid being stuck in the backseat with leg cramps and neck spasms. It only seems appropriate to fill you in on which cars allow you to relax comfortably in the backseat and let the friend who called shotgun play road-trip navigator while you chill out and enjoy the scenery. 
     
    It’s a safe bet that anything with L or XL after the model name will be an obvious candidate for calling rear-seat dibs; you’ll likely be lounging in extended-wheelbase luxury. But luxury cars aren’t the only class with big backseats. Some gems within their own classes have enough backseat room and surprise features to feel like the car was designed just to provide maximum comfort for rear passengers.

    By Joe Bruzek | August 16, 2012 | Comments (17)

    Cars.com's $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout

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    One of the most popular segments in the auto industry is the compact SUV. Why? It's the mix of practicality, utility, price and now fuel economy. There are three all-new or redesigned compact utes on the market since the Chevy Equinox won our last match-up just 18 months ago.

    This time out we set some new rules. The contenders had to get 30 mpg on the highway and have an as-tested price under $25,000, not including the destination charge. Battling it out were:

    • 2012 Chevy Equinox
    • 2013 Ford Escape
    • 2012 Honda CR-V
    • 2012 Hyundai Tucson
    • 2012 Kia Sportage
    • 2013 Mazda CX-5

    Let us know which car you think won the day in the comments before you go check out the full story.

    Cars.com $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout
    Cars.com $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout: Cargo Results
    Most-Efficient Mazda CX-5 Has Least-Accurate Trip Computer

    By David Thomas | July 23, 2012 | Comments (15)

    Cars.com $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout: Cargo Results

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    We may have been surprised at how well all six of our contenders measured up in our latest Shootout in terms of standard equipment, mileage and performance, but there’s one area where you can actually see how the spec sheet impacts real-world use.

    The smallest cargo area of any of the six SUVS we tested was in the Hyundai Tucson, at 25.7 cubic feet. The largest cargo area was in the Honda CR-V, at 37.2 cubic feet. The 11.5 cubic feet of difference is about the same as the cargo area in two Mini Cooper hatchbacks.

    Here's how the field of SUVs held up in our real-world test listed in order of their cargo volume with the rear seats in place. We also list their maximum cargo room with the rear seats down.

    By David Thomas | July 23, 2012 | Comments (1)

    Most-Efficient Mazda CX-5 Has Least-Accurate Trip Computer

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    As part of our just-released $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout, we took the six contenders on an extended drive route of roughly 200 miles to test how efficient they truly were.

    In the end, it wasn't a surprise that the highest EPA-rated vehicle won. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is rated 26/32 mpg city/highway and 29 mpg combined. In our testing of mixed city and interstate roads that slightly favored highway speeds, the CX-5 returned 32.8 mpg. The next closest as well as only other compact SUV to best 30 mpg was the Honda CR-V at 30.3 mpg.

    In the past we've often used the mileage computers as the basis of our scoring with the pump calculations as backup. We've written that today's modern trip computers can be more accurate than trying to do the math on a fill-up at the pump.

    This time around we were glad we had the pump calculations to fall back on because while most trip computers were off by less than 1 mpg, the Mazda CX-5 was off by 2.7 mpg. That's nearly twice the number of the next worst offender, the Hyundai Tucson, which was off by 1.4 mpg.

    By David Thomas | July 23, 2012 | Comments (13)

    2012 Chevrolet Equinox: Car Seat Check

    2012 chevrolet equinox
    The Equinox may be Chevy's smallest crossover, but there's nothing compact about its backseat. The second row offers plenty of head- and legroom, and it slides forward and back to offer even more space. Those family-friendly features coupled with visible Latch anchors and wide, flat seats made installing child-safety seats a breeze.

    For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

    By Jennifer Geiger | June 28, 2012 | Comments (10)

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