Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

2014Mazda6

Every year hundreds of new-car models are introduced and enter the research process for millions of car shoppers. The dizzying number of choices sometimes shrouds from the masses what are good cars.

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Here are 10 cars that Cars.com's editors agree are overlooked due to no fault of each vehicle's own substantial merits.

 

1. 2015 Mazda6

The Mazda6 is one of the rare family sedans that is both fun to drive and fuel-efficient; it's rated as high as 28/40/32 mpg city/highway/combined with an automatic transmission and the optional GT Technology Package, which includes regenerative braking and active grille shutters. But even the base automatic gets 38 on the highway. Good cabin quality, intuitive controls, comfortable seating and a striking design also fall into the Mazda's favor.

By David Thomas | July 23, 2014 | Comments (9)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 651,000 model-year 2011-14 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and Dec. 11, 2013

The Problem: Wiring for the vanity lamp in the sun visor could short circuit after a service repair is performed, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in August, and dealers will inspect and repair any damaged wiring and install a new sun visor that properly routes the wire for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

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By Matt Schmitz | July 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee

2014DodgeDurango

Vehicles Affected: About 6,120 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 16 and April 8, 2014; Grand Cherokee SRT SUVs manufactured between Feb. 3 and April 8, 2014; and Cherokee crossovers manufactured between March 6 and April 17, 2014

The Problem: When the adaptive cruise control is engaged and the driver presses the accelerator pedal to increase the vehicle's speed more than the cruise control system would on its own, the vehicle may continue to accelerate briefly after the accelerator pedal is released, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will re-flash the Driver Assistance System Module for free.

What Owner Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or visit www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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

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By Matt Schmitz | June 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

SUV Challenge: Family Lauds Hyundai, Scorns Honda

3RowSUVFamily

By Chris Woodyard, USA Today

He focuses on technology, acceleration and steering. She looks for style and practicality.

Together, Ed and LadyAnn Sabalburo, along with daughter LeaRose, 2, covered the bases when it came to evaluating the seven candidates in the Cars.com/USA TODAY/MotorWeek $40,000 Three-row SUV Challenge.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Together, the pair went over every detail of the crossovers SUVs lined up in a hotel parking lot while LeaRose happily scampered through their respective cabins. Then, Ed took each for a test drive.

The Sabalburos, from nearby Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles, are casually looking for new family hauler that might replace LadyAnn's 2008 Acura MDX. They have another baby on the way.

By David Thomas | April 28, 2014 | Comments (7)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Car Seat Challenge: the Highs and Lows

IMG_4729

Large families basically have two choices when it comes to what to drive: a three-row SUV or a minivan. Both have their merits and handle cargo and passenger room differently. During Cars.com's recent $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, I spent a few days getting to know seven of the contenders in the midsize crossover class, driving them, climbing in and out of them, and installing car seats in their second and third rows.

Read the Full $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Although they all have to offer a large amount of room in order to fit that third row, it's obvious that not all SUVs are created equal. When it comes to car seats, there were some very clear winners and losers, with the Honda Pilot and Hyundai Santa Fe leading the pack, and the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bringing up the rear.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: What the Judges Said

Chris Woodyard and Joe Bruzek

Here are our judges for this Challenge:

  • Joe Bruzek, Road Test Editor, Cars.com
  • Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, Cars.com
  • Kelsey Mays, Consumer Affairs Editor, Cars.com
  • Chris Woodyard, L.A. Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, Producer, "MotorWeek"
  • LadyAnn and Ed Sabalburo, a Southern California couple with a young daughter and a second child on the way; they own an Acura MDX currently and are thinking about moving up to a bigger SUV.

We set a maximum price of $40,000, including a destination charge, and a minimum EPA combined city/highway mileage rating of 19 mpg. There were eight SUVs that met our criteria:

By Patrick Olsen | April 6, 2014 | Comments (16)

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Family-friendly SUVs are still a big business: There are plenty of kids to cart around, groceries and sports equipment for kids of all ages to carry.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Drive

We focused this Challenge on three-row SUVs that cost less than $40,000, including a destination charge, and achieved at least 19 mpg in EPA combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings. We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for SUVs that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing by experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life, in-market family, here's how the results broke down:

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (21)

Which 3-Row SUV Gets the Best Mileage?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge Mileage Results

Squeezing fuel economy out of the three-row SUVs tested for Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge is no easy task for automakers. Large people-and-cargo haulers capable of carrying eight and towing up to 5,000 pounds or more aren't really conducive for saving gas.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

Efforts to raise fuel-economy numbers mean there are a variety of fuel-saving technologies in the seven SUVs we tested. Our mileage drive put these features — including efficient transmissions, cylinder deactivation, Eco modes, sleek aerodynamics and weight savings — to the test.

By Joe Bruzek | April 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Dodge Durango Photo Gallery

2014DodgeDurango

The 2014 Dodge Durango finished second in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The Durango combines brash styling with an entertaining ride-handling mix and the best multimedia setup in this group," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Durango's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

Last week's lone newcomer to our list of most-watched videos, the 2014 Dodge Durango, worked its way up to No. 1 this time out. In his critique, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says that, despite only apparent tweaks to the exterior, the SUV has been updated significantly for the new model year, and the result is an effective combo of "drivability and utility." This week's lone debut is from the 2014 Honda Ridgeline, checking in at No. 5 as PickupTrucks.com editor Mark Williams introduces the pickup’s new high-level Special Edition trim. Check out what was popular.

1. 2014 Dodge Durango
2. 2014 Lexus GS 350
3. 2014 Nissan Rogue ("MotorWeek")
4. 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S ("MotorWeek")
5. 2014 Honda Ridgeline

By Matt Schmitz | April 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

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