Recall Alert: 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid

2008MazdaTributeHybridRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 400 model-year 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid crossovers manufactured between Oct. 10, 2006, and May 23, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating. This could cause the powertrain to shut down, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mazda will begin notifying owners on Nov. 3, and dealers will replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mazda at 248-295-7859, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Lexus NX: Car Seat Check

2015LexusNX200hCSC

The Lexus NX 300h is the gas-electric hybrid version of the all-new compact luxury crossover, which also comes in gas-powered form as the NX 200t. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays tested the NX 300h and counted "more hits than misses," particularly with regard to driving fun and occupant comfort. For families, he also noted "anyone with serious cargo needs should look elsewhere." In our Car Seat Check, the NX 300h had a respectable showing, earning high marks for ease of installation and well-positioned Latch anchors.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review

2014ToyotaAvalonHybrid

"The Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a modern automotive interpretation of the La-Z-Boy: smooth, comfortable and easy to drive or ride in as a passenger, if lacking in quickness or sporty style," says Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela. Check out Varela's review for more.

2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Kristin Varela

By Matt Schmitz | October 15, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is a lot like the C-Max Hybrid — but with a plug-in port. "This hatchback is fun to drive but kind of cramped, and did we mention it's also sort of expensive?" Mays said. "So the real question is, is it all worth it?" Watch the video and decide.

Watch on YouTube

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

2014 Ford C-Max Energi: Car Seat Check

2014FordCMaxEnergi

The Ford C-Max Energi hatchback is a fun-to-drive hybrid that Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said "delivers comfort, style and efficiency," but warned that it "compromises cargo capacity." That's not all that the 2014 C-Max Energi has had to compromise.

Parents who purchased the C-Max Energi hoping for convenient car-seat installation might be disappointed with it. Although the 2014 version earns a couple of A's for the easy install of our booster and infant seats, the rest of its report card looks like the answer sheet of a high school student guessing on every question of a multiple-choice test: C, C, C ... see what we mean below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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

'Price Is Right' Contestants to Bid on 'Dream Cars'

2014PorscheCayenne

OK, playing "The Price is Right" rules, as close as you can without going over: How much would you expect to pay for a Porsche Cayenne? How about a Range Rover Sport SE? A Maserati Quattroporte S Q4, Tesla Model S or Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster? All next week contestants on the iconic game show will be making bids on that half-million-dollar quintet of luxury vehicles in hopes of hearing Bob Barker … er … we mean, Drew Carey, announce that they've won "A NEW CARRR!!!"

What Car Would You Buy if You Won Mega Millions?

"Dream Car Week" runs Oct. 13-17 on the four-decade-old-plus shopping-themed game show that asks contestants to wager on the retail price of merchandise in hopes of winning extravagant prizes presented by comely models. The show was famously hosted by Barker from its inception until 2007, when bespectacled comedian and sitcom star Carey succeeded him. The show runs 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Standard Time weekdays on CBS.

By Matt Schmitz | October 10, 2014 | Comments (5)

Study: Despite Recent Relief, Americans Spend More on Gas Overall

AmericansSpendingMoreOnGas

As we reported earlier, a sustained decline in U.S. gas prices of late has led to this week's seven-month low, 11 cents less than motorists were paying the same day a year ago. While this recent period of plummeting pump prices is certainly a relief, an extended timeline tells a seemingly different story about how much we're spending on fuel.

Related: Gas Prices Are Up, but So Is Average MPG

According to a report released this week by Securing America's Future Energy, an advocacy group for reducing oil dependency, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average U.S. household spent more than $2,600 on gas in 2013 for a third consecutive year — an all-time high and a 111 percent increase compared with the amount spend a decade earlier.

By Matt Schmitz | September 26, 2014 | Comments (3)

Wait a Sec, Porsche Has More Plug-Ins Than Toyota?

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Porsche's new 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid with plug-in electric drive is the third plug-in hybrid offered by the performance-luxury automaker, following the exotic 918 Spyder and Panamera S E-Hybrid. All three can drive using electric-only power and once depleted continue driving using the hybrid gasoline/electric powertrain. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid debuts at the Paris Motor Show on Oct. 2 and shoves the automaker into unexpected territory as the self-proclaimed "only manufacturer worldwide to offer three plug-in hybrids," Porsche said in a statement.

Related: 2015 Porsche Cayenne First Look

OK, so we're not exactly talking about mass-market plug-in hybrids, with a starting price of $847,975, including a destination charge, for a 918 Spyder, $97,095 commanded by the Panamera S E-Hybrid or $77,395 for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. For Porsche, however, the plug-in Panamera has been a hit stateside as 16 percent of Panamera sales are of the EPA-rated 16-mile electric-range hybrid, and Porsche expects the plug-in Cayenne to make up a similar share. The 2015 Cayenne goes on sale starting Nov. 1.

Manufacturer image

By Joe Bruzek | September 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Review

2014VolkswagenTouaregHybrid

"The Touareg has improved drastically over the years, and VW's even jumped onto the 'green' bandwagon by adding a Touareg Hybrid to the mix. Unfortunately, the 2014 VW Touareg Hybrid is an expensive SUV proposition without a major return on your hybrid investment in terms of fuel economy," said Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela. Check out Varela's review for more.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Kristin Varela

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid: First Look (15 Photos)

2015MercedesBenzS550PlugInHybrid

Competes with: Audi A8 TDI, BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid, Lexus LS 600h
Looks like: An S-Class with enough rear signage for Mercedes' lettering supplier to hire an extra shift
Drivetrain: 436-hp (combined), turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and electric motor with seven-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2015, California only

Witness the reprisal of Mercedes-Benz's S-Class hybrid, this time in the form of a plug-in S550. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid teams a turbocharged V-6 with an electric motor that runs off a battery you can plug in to recharge. Whereas its predecessor, the 2010-2013 S400 Hybrid, was a plug-free "mild" hybrid that couldn't actually travel on electric power alone, Mercedes says its successor can do that for up to 20 miles.

Related: More Hybrids/Alternative Fuels News

Typical of Mercedes' flagship sedan, the S550 plug-in electric vehicle boasts a kitchen sink's worth of other features. Among them are haptic gas-pedal feedback and drivetrain logic that purportedly adapts its efficiency strategy to the road and traffic around you.

By Kelsey Mays | September 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

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