Prediction: 10 Cars We Think Won't See 2016

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Like your favorite new network TV show, some cars just won't be around anymore. This year yielded a bumper crop of exciting new cars, trucks and SUVs, but what about those that have been, let's say, taken out to the farm? Which cars won't make it another model year?

Related: Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

We asked our fellow editors to gaze into their automotive crystal balls and predict 10 cars that we think could meet their end after the 2015 model year. Some may surprise you; some have been rumored to get the ax for a while, and thus grace our endangered species list again this year. This list is ordered from most likely to vanish to least likely, in our opinion.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 15, 2014 | Comments (9)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback
2. 2014 Nissan Rogue
3. 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe
4. 2014 Honda CR-V
5. 2015 Honda Fit
6. 2014 Hyundai Elantra
7. 2014 Mazda3
8. 2014 Toyota Highlander
9. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
10. 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

By Matt Schmitz | September 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Honda Supercharges Hybrid CR-Z With...a Supercharger

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Honda's sporty hybrid CR-Z is one of the only hybrids ever to give drivers a choice of rowing their own gears with a manual transmission. The manual transmission plays to the CR-Z's goal of hybrid fuel economy that doesn't sacrifice driving entertainment, an objective the CR-Z never quite nailed. Now, the performance aspect of the CR-Z is prevailing with a newly optional dealership-installed supercharger boosting power from 130 horsepower to 197 hp.

Related: 2013 Honda CR-Z: More Power, Increased Efficiency

The Honda Performance Development supercharger — available only on manual transmission cars — bumps power very close to the naturally aspirated 205-hp under the hood of the sporty 2014 Honda Civic Si. The CR-Z weighs about 400 pounds less than the Civic Si, tipping the scales around 2,600 pounds before the supercharger installation. That's enough of a weight savings over the similarly powered Civic Si to make us very interested in driving a supercharged CR-Z.

By Joe Bruzek | August 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2013 Honda CR-Z: More Power, Increased Efficiency

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The CR-Z is Honda's attempt at blending sportiness and efficiency, but it does neither very well and sales of the hybrid are tanking. A 2013 update, however, adds more power, increased fuel efficiency and additional features; is it enough to hook buyers? 

The CR-Z's 1.5-liter four-cylinder returns for 2013 with assist from a new higher-voltage lithium-ion battery pack. Horsepower jumps to 130. Fuel economy is up, too. The 2013 CR-Z is EPA rated at 36/39/37 mpg (CVT) and 31/38/34 (six-speed manual); an increase of 1 mpg over last year's figures.

Base and EX trim levels return for 2013, and both get additional features. Newly standard across the lineup are a backup camera, Bluetooth hands-free audio and a Plus Sport system; the latter gives drivers an on-demand electric power boost via a steering-wheel-mounted "S+" button. Optional on uplevel EX versions is a Honda's satellite-linked navigation system, which includes real-time traffic, voice recognition, Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text messaging functionality.  

By Jennifer Geiger | November 19, 2012 | Comments (3)

Honda Makes Backup Cameras Standard on Most Models

Honda CR-V camera

Starting with the 2013 model year, a backup camera will be standard on the redesigned Honda Accord along with the Crosstour, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline and CR-Z. That means Honda's 12-model lineup goes from having just two models with a standard backup camera — the FCX Clarity hydrogen vehicle and the CR-V crossover — to nine models. A backup camera was already standard on the 2012 Honda CR-V and remains that way for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Honda Fit EV also has a standard backup camera.

That's a drastic change for Honda; previously, backup cameras were an option that had to be coupled with an expensive navigation system. In fact, the update means Honda offers a backup camera on more of its lineup than any other mainstream automaker – other strong contenders include Kia and Hyundai.

By Colin Bird | July 17, 2012 | Comments (9)

Niche Cars a Success Despite Lower Volumes

NissanJuke
When developing cars that are never intended to appeal to a mass audience, automakers must be careful not to introduce a car so eccentric that it has no audience whatsoever. Even when deemed successful, these niche automobiles remain low-volume, bit players. They form the supporting cast of an automaker's lineup. Think of them as Wallace Shawns (read to the end) of the automotive world and not the Tom Cruises.

One such vehicle that dangerously toed the line when introduced was the Nissan Juke. Thought by many to be too crazy looking on the outside and too cramped inside, Nissan cast the Juke as an alternative crossover that it hoped would pull in buyers bored with the traditional Rogue crossover and Sentra compact sedan.

In 2011, 35,886 Jukes were sold. That's a miserable-sounding total when you consider Nissan sold 124,543 Rogues last year, but it was an unexpectedly fine performance from a car that is so peculiar. The Juke outsold the Mini Countryman and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport combined in 2011.

By Timothy Cain | February 15, 2012 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2006 Honda CR-V, 2011 Honda CR-Z

2006 Honda CR-VHonda is voluntarily recalling two models. The automaker is recalling 80,111 2006 CR-Vs to replace the driver’s side power window-control switch. The switch’s design allows car-cleaner residue to accumulate, causing the electrical contacts to degrade. This could lead to a fire.

The other recall involves 5,626 2011 CR-Zs equipped with a manual transmission. On some models the electric motor will rotate in the opposite direction of what’s been selected with the shifter (if you are in Drive, the car may roll backward instead). This may increase the possibility of a car crash. Honda dealers will install a software update to fix the problem, according to Honda.

Recall notifications will be issues in late September. For more information, call Honda at 800-999-1009 or go to Honda’s recall website: www.recalls.honda.com.

By Colin Bird | September 6, 2011 | Comments (0)

Happy Honda Days Actually Good For Lease Deals

2010 Accord CrosstourHonda has the second-highest residual values in the industry (after Subaru) because the company doesn’t offer big discounts on its vehicles. In fact, Honda is currently offering no customer cash-back incentives during its holiday sales event. So how do they call it a sale?

There are dealer incentive programs, which we highlight below. It’s important to note that dealer incentives are for the dealers only, but often you can squeeze the manufacture subsidy out of your retailer. For more info, check out our advice page on the incentives.

By Colin Bird | December 17, 2010 | Comments (1)

NHTSA Tests First Pickups Under New Rating System

Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday released its first set of crash-test results for pickup trucks under the agency’s revised five-star New Car Assessment Program, which we detailed last month.

The four trucks tested were the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500, 2011 Ram 1500 and 2011 Toyota Tacoma.

Of that group, the Silverado and Sierra scored the best, receiving four stars for the regular cab, extended cab and crew-cab configurations. The results also include a tested Silverado Hybrid model. The Silverado and Sierra received five stars in the new “pole test,” which simulates a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.

By Colin Bird | November 24, 2010 | Comments (5)

EPA's Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars

2011 Honda CR-ZEvery year, the Environmental Protection Agency complies a list of the top 10 overall most fuel-efficient cars in the country. For 2011, the Toyota Prius remains on top, but the new 2011 Honda CR-Z enters the fray, displacing the popular 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The CR-Z comes in at No. 4 with the automatic transmission, No. 10 with the manual. The 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight are now tied for third place because the Civic Hybrid lost 2 mpg in highway mileage in this year’s EPA rating (40/43 mpg city/highway). The Nissan Altima Hybrid fell from sixth to eighth place as it also lost 2 mpg, on its city mileage rating (33/33 mpg).

The CR-Z booted the Camry Hybrid off the list. The 2011 Camry Hybrid gets 31/35 mpg, compared with 33/34 mpg in the 2010 model.

While the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are 2011 model year vehicles, the EPA is still working on testing criteria for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Once it figures that out, expect the Leaf — and possibly the Volt, depending on methodology — to skyrocket to the top.

The deviations in the ratings year-over-year come from how the EPA collects its fuel economy results. Typically, the agency allows each automaker to conduct its own fuel economy testing and then sometimes verifies the results. The EPA still conducts its own testing on about 10% to 15% of the vehicle fleet each year, and the models with different ratings were probably just evaluated by the agency.

The 2000 Honda Insight, at 53 mpg on the combined cycle, remains the most fuel-efficient vehicle ever rated by the EPA. Continue reading below for the detailed top 10 list.

By Colin Bird | November 9, 2010 | Comments (9)

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