Top 10 Most Polarizing Cars

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Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, but almost certainly you're talking about it. Polarizing cars have that effect on people — but sometimes you just love what you love, even if seems like everyone thinks you're nuts for loving it. Sometimes that public pressure makes you love it more. There have been cars like this since the beginning of the auto industry, with the first automobiles themselves being polarizing machines. Some people thought the horseless carriage was amazing, and some thought it was blasphemy, but it certainly got attention.

We polled the editors of Cars.com to decide the most polarizing cars of recent memory and tabulated the results. What's the most polarizing car?

By Aaron Bragman | September 17, 2013 | Comments (23)

Cars.com Names Top 10 Tailgaters

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It's already late summer, and increasingly your day revolves around trolling sports websites for the latest news on training camps, preseason college football power rankings, alma-mater rivalries and so on. Alabama or LSU? Steelers or Ravens?

The season of pigskin bliss is upon us, and the truly serious fans have tickets, and many of those serious ticket holders tailgate. Which brings us to Cars.com's annual Top 10 Tailgaters — our top picks for cars to hit the stadium lots and pregame 'til the brats run out.

As always, please tailgate responsibly, and check out our list below.

By Kelsey Mays | August 28, 2013 | Comments (4)

Which Seven-Passenger SUV Has the Most Cargo Room?

"I want to carry a motorized scooter and don't want a minivan."
Maureen R., Troy

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You can configure some of the largest SUVs to seat seven, such as the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition, so those would be the ones that offer the most cargo space. The Suburban has a maximum 137.4 cubic feet of cargo room; the Expedition has 108.3 cubic feet, and the more carlike-riding Chevrolet Traverse has 116.3 cubic feet. Most minivans offer 140 to 150 cubic feet of total cargo space with the seats folded or removed.

If that's more SUV than you want, here are seven-seat models with more than 80 cubic feet of cargo room: Dodge Durango, 84.5; Ford Flex, 83.2; Honda Pilot, 87.0; Land Rover LR4, 87.4; and Toyota 4Runner, 89.7. There are others, and you might want to investigate the height of the cargo area and how high you would have to lift your scooter to load it into an SUV.

The Cars.com Vehicle Recommender could help you with your search. It does not list cargo volume, but it will help you find SUVs that have other features that you want and fit your budget.

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

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By Rick Popely | July 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

Cars.com's Issues With MyFord Touch

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The news today that Ford is rethinking its capacitive touch-heavy MyFord Touch multimedia system isn't a shock to our team of editors. Since we first tested it in a 2011 Ford Edge there has been a nearly unanimous cascade of criticism from our team.

Ford to Add More Physical Buttons to MyFord Touch

"While there's plenty to like about the 2011 Ford Edge, its electronics remind me of my not-so-smart phone: bedazzling in theory, befuddling in practice," editor Kelsey Mays said in that first review. "A number of editors got behind the wheel, and the verdict among them was unanimous: MyFord Touch needs a lot of work, and it's worth sticking to an SE or lightly equipped SEL trim to avoid it."

That was in January 2011, a year after Ford introduced MyFord Touch to raves prior to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Our disdain has carried on to the most recently upgraded system found in the redesigned Ford Fusion. "The Sony system is busier with many more capacitive buttons — none of which feature an audible click or send a pulse of feedback through the panel to confirm you've actually achieved the desired result of your finger pressing," said Managing Editor David Thomas in his review.

By David Thomas | June 17, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 420,000 Ford Sedans, SUVs

FordRecall

Ford is recalling more than 420,000 model-year 2013 sedans and SUVs to check for fuel-tank leaks that could result in a fire; affected models include the 2013 Ford Fusion, Flex, Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans and SUVs, as well as the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, MKS and MKT. In addition, Ford also announced two more separate recalls to address problems with engine-block heater cords in 500 model-year 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedans and steering gears in a small number of 2013 Ford Fusion sedans.

In the largest of the recalls, as of March 31, Ford had received 600 consumer complaints pertaining to potential leaks in the vehicles' fuel-delivery module, which could result in a fire. Ford said there had been no reports of fires or injuries as a result of the leaks.

"The condition could result in customers detecting an odor of fuel, or in some cases, observe evidence of a fuel leak on the ground," said Kelli Felker, Ford safety communications manager, in a statement. "While a fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire, there have been no reports of fires. We are not aware of any accidents or injuries attributed to this condition."

By Matt Schmitz | June 3, 2013 | Comments (0)

What Does This Outlet Do?

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House-style AC outlets are one of those handy "little things that count" new-car convenience features that literally have hundreds of uses. The outlet goes by different names and voltage ratings like 110-,115- and 120-volt AC outlets, though they all serve the same purpose and offer an alternative multi-use outlet compared to the common probe-style DC outlets that accept phone and portable GPS chargers.

The feature is still far from standard equipment on family cars (where it often appears), and is usually paired with expensive rear-seat multimedia systems in large SUVs and minivans or available only on more expensive trim levels. When equipped, the outlets are typically found in the second row or cargo area appearing just like they do on the wall at home.

As cool as it would be to plug an electric snow blower or refrigerator into your car, not everything with a plug will work. The plug has its limitations, and there are guidelines to follow in order to use electronic devices safely.

By Joe Bruzek | March 20, 2013 | Comments (4)

Two Big Family Haulers, Lots of Incentives

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A good deal can make an ugly car more palatable or a mediocre car more desirable when the end result means a ton of money off the asking price. Maybe the Ford Flex's hearse-like styling becomes acceptable or the Chrysler Town & Country's minivan stigma less traumatic when there are serious incentives on the table, which happens to be the case with the 2013 Ford Flex Limited with the Titanium Package and 2013 Chrysler Town & Country Limited we recently tested.
 
As configured, the Flex and Town & Country offer similar gas mileage ratings, seating for seven, comparable horsepower and equal safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Plus, nearly identical retail prices are separated by a mere $170: $42,570 for the Flex and $42,440 for the Town & Country as-tested, not including destination charges. The amount of money taken off the top is impressive with enough discounts to take the whole family on a summer vacation in either family hauler. 

By Joe Bruzek | March 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Ford Flex: Car Seat Check

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The 2013 Ford Flex is a three-row crossover with a look all its own. The box on wheels can carry six or seven passengers. Our test car had a three-seat bench in the second row and a two-seat third row. While we weren't able to fit our three child-safety seats across the second row, it almost worked.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Newman | February 21, 2013 | Comments (3)

Third-Row Access: Captain's Chairs Save the Day

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I recently test-drove a luxurious, comfortable car that got decent gas mileage and came standard with a roomy third row. However, there was a problem: My son had to vault over the second row to get to his car seat in the third row. Because I had my girls' child-safety seats installed in the second-row outboard positions, this car's slick one-touch flip-and-fold feature was rendered useless.

For better or worse, my son's vault training didn't start with this car. Many cars on the market require athletic skills to access the third row once you have car seats installed in the second row. This is definitely something to consider if you — like me — have more than a couple of children in car seats and need a three-row vehicle.

A minivan is an obvious solution, but there are other options. One of the best ways to avoid this third-row-access debacle is to opt for captain's chairs in the second row, creating a little pathway to the third row. Several savvy automakers offer this option. While this may knock your second-row seating capacity down a notch, it also increases your possibility of getting children and even adults into the third row without resorting to vaulting.

Consider the Dodge Durango (photo above): It's long been popular for families, but it lacked practicality for those of us with three or more children because of the crossover's bench-only second row. For the 2013 model year, the Durango will offer second-row captain's chairs for the first time.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | November 19, 2012 | Comments (6)

Cars.com Family Reviews the 2013 Ford Flex

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The 2013 Ford Flex has family duty down pat: This three-row SUV has a low step-in height that makes it easy for kids to climb into its spacious interior, and it can haul six or seven passengers. Rear cargo space is about half the size of the average minivan’s cargo area, but it’s better than many three-row crossovers. One downside to the Flex is its boxy exterior doesn’t make for the most agile handling.

2013 Ford Flex Review

By Jennifer Newman | October 17, 2012 | Comments (3)

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