2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Mazda CX-5


In our latest head-to-head comparison we pit Cars.com's long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee against a formidable competitor: Mazda's 2015 CX-5. The CX-5 came to us in our regular rotation of press cars and was ripe for a duel with our Cherokee, which was looking for redemption after being defeated by the well-rounded 2014 Nissan Rogue.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet

We've had good experiences with both SUVs. The Cherokee was purchased because it's unique to an extreme and impressed our editors with its refined ride quality and class-leading technology. The CX-5 scored second place in Cars.com's $25,000 compact SUV comparison of 2012-13 models a few years ago thanks to its space-efficient design and stylish exterior.

By Joe Bruzek | July 9, 2014 | Comments (18)

Volt Versus All: How Does Chevy's Plug-in Hold Up Against the Plug-In Competition?


Cars.com owned one of the earliest Chevrolet Volts in the country for more than a year and experienced the highs and lows of ownership. I've had my own Bow-Tie brand plug-in for nearly two years, and I've routinely been one of our editors tapped to test newcomers to the electrified car segment from an electric Fiat to new plug-ins from BMW, Ford and Toyota.

2014 Chevrolet Volt Review

Yet, the Volt remains a lightning rod in many ways ... pun slightly intended. Rumors suggest we're at least six months away from seeing a second-generation Chevrolet Volt and probably at least a year away from driving one. The question then becomes, is the Volt the best plug-in hybrid out there, or is one of the newcomers a better choice?

By Aaron Bragman | July 2, 2014 | Comments (4)

When a Hybrid Doesn't Outperform at the Pump


Luxury and hybrid don't necessarily go together in the car world. Buyers who can afford an expensive luxury car typically can afford an expensive stop at the gas station. Why even consider a hybrid version?

There are entry-level models that return excellent mileage resulting in significant savings at the pump, and savings are savings. Then there is a different breed of hybrid where the electric-assisted powertrain is designed to deliver a better driving experience — or more power — without the drain at the pump more power typically demands.

Lexus was the first luxury car maker to offer a hybrid model in its lineup: the RX 400h back in 2006. Today it makes entry-level hybrids like the ES 300h and CT 200h. Both start at less than $40,000 and return an impressive EPA rating of at least 40 mpg combined.

Then there's the LS 600h L, a full-size luxury flagship that sports a unique hybrid system that teams a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with a 165-kwh electric motor and 288-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery to make a grand 438 combined horsepower. It also starts at $120,805 (including destination of $895).

We decided to see how the mileage of this uber-hybrid really shook out in the real world, driving it and a non-hybrid LS 460 on a nearly 200-mile round-trip commute. We were a bit surprised at the results.

By Robby DeGraff | April 22, 2013 | Comments (5)

$46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge: Photo Gallery


What happens when you get five automotive scribes together with six luxury sedans and let them loose on the track?

Well, you get the results in our latest comparison, the Cars.com/USA Today/ "MotorWeek" $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge.

But these cars are also great to look at whether in motion on the track or just sitting idly by waiting for the next test. Check out our gallery of all the action below, and if you want more behind-the-scenes photos, go to the gallery on the Cars.com's Facebook page. 

By David Thomas | April 9, 2013 | Comments (2)

$46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge: By the Numbers


It wasn't hard for the 2013 BMW 3 Series to win over our critics at our latest Challenge. The sedan was exceptionally well-balanced on the track and around town and was overall a blast to drive. It was when the tests came down to hard numbers, though, that the 3 Series separated itself from the pack.

We put each of the six contenders through an approximately 180-mile mpg route that included surface roads and highway driving across Southern California. We also tested each of the car's zero-to-60 and quarter-mile times as well as braking distance on the drag strip.

The 3 Series kept delivering the best numbers, no matter what the test.

By David Thomas | April 7, 2013 | Comments (0)

Cars.com, USA Today, 'MotorWeek' $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge


Cars.com has teamed up with our partners at USA Today and "MotorWeek" for the past three years to compare the most popular car categories on the market. We've tackled compacts, compact crossovers, midsize sedans and even minivans.

Finally, we found a segment that gave us an excuse to rent a racetrack for a day: the luxury sport sedan.

Cars.com/USA Today/ "MotorWeek" $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge

We first thought up the grouping when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz announced their entry-level versions of the 3 Series and C-Class would switch from six-cylinders to turbocharged four-cylinders like Audi's A4. Then a short while later Cadillac introduced the ATS and its turbocharged model as well.

We rounded out the group with the Acura TL — with a V-6 — and the Volvo S60 with a turbocharged five-cylinder and hit the road to California for a few days of testing on area roads, the track and the drag strip.

Find out which car bested the field — most handedly — and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

By David Thomas | April 7, 2013 | Comments (12)

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