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

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Porsche and Hyundai topped their respective luxury and nonluxury peers in J.D. Power and Associates' 2014 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study. Volvo and Mitsubishi, respectively, placed last in each group.

Related: Porsche Flies, Fiat Flails in 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

APEAL tries to assess what people like in their cars. This differs from J.D. Power's other major automotive studies, the 90-day Initial Quality Study and three-year Vehicle Dependability Study, which both rate things that went wrong.

For the APEAL study, new-car owners rate their vehicles across 77 areas, and the results give a composite rating on a 1,000-point scale. Not surprisingly, premium brands beat their mass-market counterparts with an average score of 840 points among the study's 12 premium brands while the 20 nonpremium brands average 785 points.

Overall results slipped one point between the 2014 and 2013 APEAL studies, however; J.D. Power notes that in-car technology left some owners less than thrilled.

By Kelsey Mays | July 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

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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 (6)

2015 Hyundai Sonata Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

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Hyundai's midsize sedan is back for 2015, redesigned and safer than ever. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today announced that the new Sonata earned its most prestigious safety award, Top Safety Pick Plus. The Sonata earned the honor by overcoming the previous version's lackluster rating in the stringent small overlap frontal crash test, which replicates what happens when a vehicle's front quarter strikes a tree or utility pole.The 2015 Sonata — Hyundai's second model to earn the institute's top honor this year — earned an acceptable rating in the small overlap test, improving on its previous rating of marginal.

2015 Hyundai Genesis Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

The Sonata's optional forward collision warning system also qualified it for the Safety Pick Plus rating; the Sonata's system earned a basic score. To qualify for Top Safety Pick Plus, a vehicle must earn good or acceptable in the small overlap test; basic, advanced or superior for front crash prevention; and the top score of good in four other crash tests assessing performance in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Hyundai Tucson Review

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"The 2014 Hyundai Tucson is a stylish, comfortable, surprisingly agile little SUV, but its size deficiency, mediocre gas mileage and worrisome crash-test ratings keep it from being a top choice," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2014 Hyundai Tucson Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

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

Recall Alert: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 2,100 model-year 2015 Sonata sedans manufactured from May 2 through May 23, 2014

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that a wiring harness problem could interfere with the power-steering system, increasing effort needed to steer the car and the risk of a crash. Drivers may also have trouble moving the shifter from the Park position. Hyundai said there have been no crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: In June, Hyundai notified dealers to suspend sales of affected Sonata vehicles and began contacting owners. Owners may call Hyundai customer service at 800-633-5151 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2010-2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 35,000 model-year 2010-12 Hyundai Elantra Touring wagons manufactured between Dec. 15, 2009, and May 7, 2012.

The Problem: In the affected vehicles, a support bracket attached to the headliner could become displaced during side curtain airbag deployment, possibly injuring the vehicle's occupants. Hyundai is not aware of any injuries related to this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will apply adhesive strips to the headliner for free.

What Owners Should Do: Hyundai will notify owners starting in mid-August. Owners can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

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

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Hyundai Sonata: First Drive

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I recently drove the all-new seventh-generation 2015 Hyundai Sonata in Montgomery, Ala., departing from the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant. I quite liked the sloping lines both inside and out of the last-generation Sonata, so this new Sonata's appearance takes a moment to get used to. It has evolved drastically into what Hyundai calls its fluidic design 2.0, which is really no longer fluidic but much more linear, tailored and buttoned up (think back to the move from the iPhone 3G's curved corners and rocker plate back to iPhone 4's crisp, clean corners).

2015 Hyundai Sonata Video

Hyundai's focus with the new Sonata is less on distinguishing itself from the pack with bold design statements and more on a sophisticated design, detailed engineering and thoughtful features.

The base engine is a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, and it gets an EPA-estimated 25/37/29 mpg city/highway/combined. I drove the Sport trim for the first half of the day. With the standard selectable drive modes, I was able to toggle between Sport, Normal and Eco, making minor modifications to the transmission, steering and engine performance. I felt quite comfortable in the 2.4, taking it easy as if I were out for a Sunday drive. It felt smooth when accelerating, cornering and braking, but it certainly wasn't mind-blowing in any one area, and maybe could even be described as slightly sleepy. This would be a good fit for the consumer just looking to get from point A to B. I was a little baffled as to why a couple of other Sonatas on the drive route were tailing me and using any opportunity to blow past me. In hindsight, I now know they were driving the zippy Sport 2.0T with a turbo four-cylinder.

By Kristin Varela | June 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

Google Unveils Android Auto

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Last week, we told you of Google's plans for a vehicle operating system to rival Apple's CarPlay; at today's Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, the tech giant unveiled the details of its new Android Auto system.

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The operating system runs on a smartphone, and after connecting the phone to the car, it projects its interface to a vehicle's touch-screen, allowing the user to interact with the system's functions via vehicle screen or voice command. Users can access and control Google maps and Google Play Music, as well as their phone's contacts and messages; third-party apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio will also be compatible.

Android Auto is the first system to come from the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition of tech and auto companies working toward bringing the Android platform to cars. The group consists of more than 40 members, including Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia, a tech company. Honda, Hyundai and Audi have announced that Android Auto will be available in select model-year 2015 vehicles, but specific models and trims will be announced at a later date.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Hyundai Genesis: Car Seat Check

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Hyundai's luxury sedan, the Genesis, has been redesigned for the 2015 model year. While its wheelbase grew by nearly 3 inches, rear legroom has decreased from 38.6 inches in the previous generation to 35 inches in the 2015 Genesis. Both of our rear-facing child-safety seats had plenty of room in the Genesis' smaller backseat, however.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | June 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Hyundai Adds Eco Model to 2015 Sonata Lineup

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Hyundai redesigned its midsize sedan for 2015 and just announced a third powertrain for a new Eco model. The automaker says the Sonata Eco provides 10 percent better fuel economy than the base Sonata. 

2015 Hyundai Sonata: First Look

The new Eco trim uses a 177-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission — a first for Hyundai. The 1.6-liter joins the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder and Sport 2.0T models' 245-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Hyundai estimates that the Sonata Eco should deliver 28/38/32 mpg city/highway/combined, up from the 2.4-liter's 25/37/29 rating. It shares the base SE's equipment but adds extras like a chrome grille, side-mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, automatic headlights, a 10-way power driver seat, a 5-inch audio touch-screen and a backup camera.

The Sonata Eco will go on sale later this summer starting at $24,085, including destination. Base Sonatas start at $21,960, including destination, and are on sale now.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

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