Low Gas Prices Send Prices for Used Plug-in Car Tumbling

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Despite its recent rise, a gallon of regular gas is still $1.06 cheaper today than it was a year ago, according to AAA. That's led prices for used electric vehicles to plunge, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Related: How Would Chevy's Bolt EV Stack Up Against the Nissan Leaf?

How much? Try more than $2,000. That's the difference in average listing prices between a 3-year-old Nissan Leaf on Cars.com in January 2015 versus a 3-year-old Leaf in January 2014. Last month, the average 2012 Nissan Leaf listed for just $15,575 — a $2,226 drop compared to the average listing price for a 2011 Leaf in January 2014, which was $17,801.

The drop reflects a rough stretch for EV resale value, but it's great news if you're shopping for a used plug-in car.

By Kelsey Mays | February 27, 2015 | Comments (5)

Trucks' Tether Anchors Are Often Tricky to Find, Use

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Tether anchors, a critical part of a car's Latch system, often go unused by parents and caregivers. In sedans, where the tether anchors are easy to find on the rear shelf behind the head restraints, they're used only 52 percent of the time, according to one study. In pickup trucks, where the anchors are difficult to locate, that number drops significantly.

Related: Five Things Families Should Look for in Pickup Trucks

In a 2014 study of tether anchor use and misuse conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it found that parent volunteers with car-seat-installation experience had the most problems correctly using the loop-style tether anchors found in some pickup trucks. These volunteers installed the tether strap correctly only 11 percent of the time in the trucks. In other cars, volunteers used the tether anchor correctly 57 percent of the time.

While many may not consider a pickup truck a family vehicle, the full-size versions make easy work of hauling three kids in car seats. To help truck-owning parents, caregivers and prospective parents, we've combed through owner's manuals and crawled through pickup trucks to show the different styles of tether anchors and how to correctly use them.

By Jennifer Newman | February 23, 2015 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2006-2007 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx, Pontiac G6

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 69,600 model-year 2006-07 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx sedans and hatchbacks vehicles manufactured April 1 to June 30, 2006, and 2006-07 Pontiac G6 vehicles manufactured April 18 to June 30, 2006. This is an expansion of a previous recall.

The Problem: These vehicles could experience a sudden loss of electric power-steering assist while driving. This would require more driver effort to steer the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. According to GM, if the power-steering assist is lost, a message is displayed on the driver information center and a chime sounds to inform the driver.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the torque sensor assembly for free.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors will begin notifying owners on Thursday. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 Pontiac at 800-762-2737 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 16, 2015 | Comments (0)

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Video

Chevrolet's compact crossover is one of its best-selling vehicles, and the Equinox gets an update for 2016. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says it might be tough to spot the changes this year, however.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

The exterior got a minor styling update and a couple things changed inside too, including a new control layout. Check out the video for more.

Watch on YouTube

By Jennifer Geiger | February 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

How Much Has the 2016 Chevy Equinox Really Changed? (28 Photos)

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The Equinox has set sales records each of the past five years, according to Chevrolet, which perhaps explains why the brand didn't feel compelled to fully redesign it for 2016; the Equinox is now in its seventh model year, but it receives just a mild styling update for 2016.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

And those changes are mild, even by refresh standards. They're concentrated in the new front-end design that Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet, says shows where the brand's look is heading. The new face gives the Equinox a greater Chevy family resemblance, and the new taillights are nice, but otherwise this small SUV looks exactly like the current one, which has had handsome proportions since its 2010 redesign.

By Mike Hanley | February 12, 2015 | Comments (2)

2015 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro Photo Gallery (35 Photos)

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The past few years we've been impressed by just how over the top a Blackhawks-themed Chevrolet Camaro has gotten. Customized by local aftermarket supplier Real Wheels, this year's edition is actually a study in restraint versus previous takes.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

There is still a wild overhaul of the front end and grill adorned with tiny versions of the NHL team's logo along with a black version of the Chevy logo. However, inside things are almost subtle. Sure the seats are wrapped in black and red leather that is almost reminiscent in its pattern of sporting equipment, but elements like the shifter are actually standard from the factory.

By David Thomas | February 12, 2015 | Comments (3)

Chevrolet Bolt Electric Car to be Built in Michigan

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When Chevrolet unveiled the Bolt EV concept car at Janaury's 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we figured it was a matter of time until GM's Tesla-buster saw an official production announcement — and we were right. General Motors has announced it will build the Bolt at a factory north of Detroit, pumping $200 million into plant investment to make the company's next-generation electric car.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

GM's Orion Assembly Plant, which is the current home of the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano, has been tapped to build the new electric car. GM North America President Alan Batey said the car would stick to the targets set by the concept vehicle: an all-electric, five-passenger compact car that can go at least 200 miles on a charge and cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 after tax credits.

GM gave no timetable as to when the car would go on sale, but given that the company has made a production location and investment announcement — and sources reported that prototypes are already under development at GM technical centers — it seems safe to say it could appear in showrooms within the next two years.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Aaron Bragman | February 12, 2015 | Comments (1)

2016 Chevrolet Equinox: First Look

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Competes with: Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4

Looks like: Equinox gets bedazzled instead of full redesign

Drivetrain: 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015

The five-seat Chevrolet Equinox small SUV has been on sale in its current form for six model years. At that age, a car is typically due for a full redesign, but that's not what the Equinox gets for the 2016 model year. Instead, Chevrolet said in a statement that it has "contemporized" the Equinox with new styling and more features like a newly standard backup camera. The 2016 Equinox debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

The base L trim level is only available with front-wheel drive, but LS, LT and LTZ trims can have all-wheel drive. Like its predecessor, the 2016 Equinox is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine or an available V-6. It hits dealerships this fall.

By Mike Hanley | February 11, 2015 | Comments (10)

2015 Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax Named IIHS Top Safety Picks

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Improvements to its structure have helped the 2015 Buick Encore, a subcompact crossover, earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Encore's lower-priced twin, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, also received the Top Safety Pick designation.

Related: 2015 Chevrolet Trax Expert Review

The 2015 Encore received the top score of good in small- and moderate-overlap crash tests as well as side-impact, roof-strength and seat tests. The 2013-14 Encore rated good in four crash tests, but earmed the lowest score of poor in the small-overlap front crash test, which simulates the car's front corner colliding with a vehicle or a utility pole. This difficult test has caused many automakers to redesign their vehicles to provide better front crash protection.

To be named a Top Safety Pick, a car must receive a rating of good or acceptable in the small-overlap crash test as well as a good score in the remaining tests.

IIHS' highest award, the Top Safety Pick Plus, takes into account not only the crash-test scores but also if a vehicle has a frontal-crash prevention system. To earn the honor, a car's prevention system must receive a ranking of superior or advanced. The 2015 Encore earned the lowest rating of basic because it has an optional forward collision warning system. The Trax doesn't offer a forward collision warning system.

IIHS photo

By Jennifer Newman | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

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"The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with its optional 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 Corvette engine now has its once-missing link for performance: an eight-speed automatic transmission," says Cars.com reviewer H. Kent Sundling. The winner of the Cars.com/PickupTrucks.com 2015 Light-Duty V-8 Challenge, the 2015 Silverado was not the most luxurious pickup in the contest, he says, but "its performance moved it up some notches … thanks in part to its new eight-speed."

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | February 6, 2015 | Comments (1)

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