Which New SUV Is Comparable to the Saturn Vue?

"Which new SUV is comparable to the Saturn Vue? I am driving my fourth Saturn Vue and have been really frustrated at the thought of replacing it. I already looked at the Equinox but passed because it is not comparable — it's bigger and pricier. Then I saw the Chevrolet Captiva! Problem solved — or so I thought (fleet only). If I can't buy a Captiva, I will go to another brand. I buy new, so a used Captiva is not an option in my mind."

Sue

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (1)

GM Offers Siri Eyes Free Integration on Six More Vehicles

SparkStereo

Look for Siri Eyes Free Integration on a host of 2014 GM vehicles. Previously offered on the Chevrolet Sonic and Spark, Apple's voice-activated "intelligent assistant" — requiring neither the driver's hands nor eyes for use — will now be available on the Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze, Equinox, Malibu, SS and Volt, the automaker announced Monday.

Through the vehicles' available Chevrolet MyLink multimedia system, users with a compatible iPhone running the iOS 6 or iOS 7 operating systems can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. To use the feature, motorists connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system and use the steering-wheel voice-activation button to begin and end sessions. In addition to the feature's no-look use, it prevents the iPhone's screen from lighting up, further mitigating distraction.

By Matt Schmitz | October 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

Which Cars Have Heated Seats with Separate Back and Bottom Heaters?

In the new Chevrolet Impala, I noticed the heated seats are two-stages like GM vehicles used to have. But many GMs I've been in recently have just the one setting for bottom and back combined. Is this GM-wide? Which vehicles have the two-setting heaters?

Anonymous

By Rick Popely | September 29, 2013 | Comments (1)

Which Midsize SUV Is Safe, Reliable and Fuel-Efficient?

"Which midsize SUV is safe, reliable and fuel-efficient?"

Anonymous

2013ChevroletEquinox

Several SUVs may fit that description, depending on what you consider fuel-efficient and what qualifies as midsize. Here are five suggestions: Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Crosstour and CR-V, and Toyota Highlander and RAV4.

All have been rated Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and at least some versions of those models have EPA highway mileage ratings of 25 mpg or more.

In addition, all have performed well in recent reliability measurements by J.D. Power and Associates. For example, the Equinox had the fewest problems among compact SUVs in the 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study and the RAV4 was second highest among all SUVs in the 2013 study.

Although you asked about midsize SUVs, we're including smaller models because of their higher fuel-economy ratings. Versions of the Equinox, CR-V and RAV4 top 30 mpg in EPA highway estimates. Among midsize SUVs, ratings of 30 mpg or more are rare, and the list shrinks with all-wheel drive.

Several other SUVs may meet all or most of your criteria, depending on how flexible you are about size. We suggest you check crash-test ratings on the Cars.com Research page, which is found at the Safety & Recalls tab, and tap the resources of the Cars.com Vehicle Recommender to find models that offer the fuel efficiency you desire, other features you may want and fit within your budget.

Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at tips@cars.com.

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Vehicle Recommender
By Rick Popely | August 11, 2013 | Comments (4)

Do All- and Four-Wheel-Drive SUVs Require More Maintenance Than Two-Wheel-Drive Ones?

2013LandRoverLR2
Some do, some don't, and it often depends on whether the vehicle is used in what manufacturers describe as "severe" driving conditions, such as towing, driving through water or hardcore off-road use.

Most SUVs available today are car-based crossover models, so they aren't intended for off-road driving, but they can be used for towing, in dusty or muddy conditions, heavy stop-and-go driving and other such conditions that qualify as severe. In those cases, you might need to change the transfer case and differential oil periodically instead of just having it inspected. If you drive any vehicle for extended periods under severe conditions, you should perform other routine maintenance items more often, such as oil and transmission-fluid changes, so that isn't unique to all-wheel- and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

By Rick Popely | July 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Subaru Forester Rises Seven Spots in Small-SUV Affordability

2014_Subaru_Forester

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

2013ToyotaRAV4
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

    2013ChevroletEquinox

    "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 (3)

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

    Camry

    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

    2007-chevrolet-cobalt
    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)

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