2015 Dodge Durango: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New Blacktop and Rallye Appearance packages, Beats by Dre audio

Price change: TBD

On sale: Late 2014

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Dodge's seven-passenger Durango SUV received a pretty major update for the 2014 model year, bringing new powertrains, styling and interior appointments to the big traditional truck, so for 2015 Dodge is limiting changes to making the Durango look and sound even cooler.

Related: 2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

The popular Rallye Appearance Package is extended to the Limited trim level as well as the base SXT, bringing the R/T's monochromatic look, smoked headlights, ground effects package and 20-inch Hyper Black wheels to the lower trim levels. The Rallye Appearance Package SXT still gets black cloth seats, while the Limited will feature leather, and both models get a dual exhaust on the V-6 trucks.

By Aaron Bragman | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Acura MDX: Car Seat Check

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With a 2014 redesign under its belt, it's no surprise that the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2015. What has changed is the child-safety seats we use for our Car Seat Checks. We were able to fit three car seats across the MDX's second-row bench, but there wasn't enough room between the booster seat and rear-facing infant seat for easy buckling access. Because the second row's middle bottom seat cushion is shorter than the outboard seats, about 30 percent of the infant seat base was hanging off the front of the seat. It's recommended that at least 80 percent of a child-safety seat is touching the car's seat. Parents should keep an eye on proper fit when installing car seats in this middle seating position.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two; three could fit if using narrow car seats

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Five Things Families Should Look for in SUVs

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The family-hauler has shifted forms over the years, from old station wagons to today's apparent favorite, the SUV. And what's not to like? Today's SUVs can handle everything from child-safety seats to long-legged teens, not to mention family road trips and carpool duty.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

Whether families opt for a two- or three-row SUV, there are a few must-have features that make life easier for both parents and kids. Here are five things you should look for in an SUV:

By Jennifer Newman | August 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90: First Look

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Competes with: Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60

Looks like: Sleeker elements meet the same upright profile

Drivetrain: 320-hp, supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder or 400-hp (est.), supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder with plug-in electric motor; available all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

After a protracted rollout that included a reveal of the interior and details on powertrains, Volvo finally unveiled the next-generation XC90's exterior. It's all here, now, and much of it reads like a concept car. But so did the original XC90, which debuted gyroscopic rollover detection and was among the first SUVs with three-row side curtain airbags.

Related: Porsche, Hyundai Top New J.D. Power Study, Volvo and Mitsubishi Sink

That was more than 12 years ago.

This new XC90 gets some all-new tech in the safety arena like you'd expect from a Volvo but it may be the powertrain and interior opulence that woos luxury shoppers.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2014 | Comments (10)

2015 Honda Accord: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: A few small conveniences are now available on lower trims

Price change: $150 across the board

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

For 2015, the ninth-generation Honda Accord enters its third model year with a handful of minor changes and a $150 price hike across all trims. All the updates involve equipment: A HomeLink universal remote is now standard on four-cylinder EX-L trims, while the four-cylinder EX coupe gets the automaker's LaneWatch camera system, which was previously restricted to higher trims. Finally, an auto-dimming rearview mirror comes on the EX-L coupe.

Related: Honda Accord Continues To Be a Real Steal fo Thieves

Those are minimal changes for a car that won Cars.com's six-car family sedan comparison in late 2012. Honda continues to offer the Accord as a coupe or sedan, with more than a dozen trim levels between the two, including a hybrid sedan. All of them are on sale now for the 2015 model year. In California and New York, Honda also markets an Accord Plug-in Hybrid, which stays in the 2014 model year for the time being. Details on the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid are still forthcoming, spokesman Chris Naughton told us.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Aug. 20 to reflect more details on the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 20, 2014 | Comments (7)

How to Keep Your Family Safe When Car Trouble Strikes

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Plenty of us have been there, whether as an adult or a child: You're halfway through your family road trip when the car breaks down. I vividly remember several occasions as a child when our family car died, leaving us stranded for what felt like an eternity waiting for a tow-truck driver. When one finally arrived, my family had to cram into its cab, shoulder to shoulder with the driver (a stranger, no less), without enough seat belts for everyone and me perched precariously on my mom's lap.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

So what should you do when your car breaks down and your kids are in the backseat? Erin Stepp, AAA spokeswoman, has tips to keep you and your family safe and sane when the inevitable happens.

By Kristin Varela | August 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

Subaru Three-Row SUV Still in the Works

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Remember the Subaru B9 Tribeca? Subaru introduced the warthog-nosed, three-row SUV at the Detroit auto show in early 2005 to widespread criticism of its ... well ... schnoz. Car shoppers agreed: In its first full calendar year of sales (2006), they bought just 18,614 B9 Tribecas, or about one-seventh of Toyota Highlander sales. Even emergency rhinoplasty and a name change to simply Tribeca in early 2007 couldn't right the ship. Sales plunged below 6,000 units by 2009 and never recovered from there.

Related: Subaru Cancels Tribeca SUV

A three-row Subaru should have been a hit but shoppers had spoken; the Tribeca was toast. Subaru announced in October 2013 that it would finally pull the plug on the ill-fated SUV, which was entering its ninth model year for 2014. But spokeswoman Jessica Tullman told us that the automaker hasn't put a fork in the segment just yet.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Honda Fit: Car Seat Check

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Families will find a lot to like in the five-seat subcompact hatchback's 2015 Honda Fit, as it improves on its predecessor's already-roomy cabin and boasts a generous 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear fold-flat seats down. However, the new Fit still isn't a great fit when it comes to installing car seats; in fact, it's gotten even more unfit in some categories. The last time we performed a Car Seat Check on the Fit was the 2013 version (there was no new 2014 model), with which we had some trouble — particularly with the seat belts' floppy bases, front passenger legroom and driver visibility due to the middle-seat tether anchor's position.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | August 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

Five Cars for Urban Families

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Urban families know a thing or two about squeezing the most out of small spaces — and those who own cars usually have the dings and dents to prove it. Being an urban mom, I'm intimately acquainted with three-quarter-car garages, compact parking spaces, skinny alleys and narrow side streets. Heck, even our grocery store parking lots are spatially challenged, making what you drive in the city a crucial decision. For city-dwellers who aren’t concerned about backseat space for child-safety seats, check out our Top 10 Urban Cars.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

Families in cities want something that's both compact and maneuverable, so that navigating city streets and parking lots isn't a chore, but also a vehicle large enough to comfortably accommodate family members and all their stuff. Sounds like a tall order, right? It is, but not an impossible one. Despite what you might think, small cars can work for a family, especially if you do your research.

Here are five good vehicles for urban families:

By Jennifer Geiger | August 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Teen's Invention Aims to Prevent Kids Dying in Hot Cars

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If it were up to teenager Alissa Chavez there'd be no more children unintentionally left in hot cars. As of Aug. 4, 20 children have died this year after being left behind in a hot car, and just last week organizations turned to social media to raise awareness of the dangers of children being left behind in cars. Chavez hopes to end these tragedies with The Hot Seat, an alert system she created as an eighth-grader for her Albuquerque school's science fair in 2010.

Related: Never Leave Kids in Cars Unattended

Chavez is raising funds through Aug. 15 on crowd-funding website Indiegogo.com to make a prototype of The Hot Seat. She's already surpassed her initial goal of $5,000. "That will let me get a prototype, and once I have a prototype manufacturers will look at it and they'll be able to build it and after that I can get it on the market," the high school senior said on Canada's CBC Radio program "As It Happens."

By Sara Lacey | August 7, 2014 | Comments (2)

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