2013 Honda Accord Sedan Joins NHTSA's Five-Star Club


The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord sedan is the latest vehicle to be awarded the top rating of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The ninth generation of the popular family sedan earned top scores in three of four NHTSA crash tests, for an overall five-star rating. The Accord coupe has not yet been tested.

Test categories include: overall vehicle safety, frontal crashes, side crashes and rollover tests. The Accord earned a four in frontal-crash testing.

Three new or redesigned-for-2013 vehicles that didn’t make the cut include the Infiniti JX SUV, Nissan Pathfinder SUV, and the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 sport sedans. They earned an overall rating of four stars.

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Honda Accord
2013 Honda Accord sedan: Car Seat Check
More Safety News on Cars.com
By Matt Schmitz | December 21, 2012 | Comments (3)

Car Backseats to Avoid


Car shoppers without families often overlook the backseat. It can go empty weeks at a time, until friends jump in for that trip across town and find out Johnny's shiny new ride has a backseat best suited for groceries, overcoats and Hobbits. No one expects a two-door hatchback or sports car to offer much room in back, so we've picked cars that look like they should have decent room … but don't. If Johnny pulls up in one of these, call dibs for the front seat right away. You'll thank us later.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2012 | Comments (13)

Mercedes, Lexus and Audi Fail Latest IIHS Crash Tests


The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and two Lexus sedans — the IS 250/350 and the outgoing ES 350 — failed the latest round of IIHS frontal tests.

As we reported Monday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new offset frontal-barrier test simulates a 40-mph collision with a rigid barrier that overlaps just 25% of the car. The test simulates a front-corner collision with a tree, a pole or another vehicle, a scenario that is responsible for almost 25% of front crashes that seriously injure or kill someone in front, IIHS says. The new test will augment the agency's existing frontal test, which crashes a car at 40 mph against a deformable barrier that overlaps 40% of the front.

"Outside of some automakers’ proving grounds, such a test isn’t currently conducted anywhere else in the United States or Europe," IIHS said in a statement, noting that despite an increasing number of cars that score well in frontal crash tests, some 10,000 highway deaths still come from frontal collisions each year.

By Kelsey Mays | August 14, 2012 | Comments (30)

Lexus' 'December to Remember' Sale Already Started

Lexus' iconic red-bow sales program, December to Remember, begins earlier this year, with financing and lease specials available now on various 2011 and 2012 models.

Everyone is used to seeing winter holiday decorations hit department stores earlier each year, but the fact that the sale is named after the month of December and will run through all of November is a bit humorous to us, but likely not to the company.

Inventory recoveries after Japan's earthquake disruptions have prompted the brand to move the program ahead of its usual Thanksgiving kickoff, Lexus chief Mark Templin told reporters yesterday. This year's December to Remember began Tuesday and ends Jan. 3.
Specials vary by region. We contacted Lexus dealers in greater New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. Here's what we learned:

By Kelsey Mays | November 3, 2011 | Comments (1)

2012 Lexus Lineup Gets Minor Price Changes

2012 Lexus ESWhen Lexus’ 2012 lineup hits dealerships later this summer through the fall, nearly half will have the same price as the outgoing 2011 versions. Price increases for other model and trims are minimal, ranging from $200 to $700.

Most of the 2012 lineup remains pretty much unchanged compared with 2011, too. There’s no GS sedan for 2012, but an all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350 was just unveiled and will go on sale in early 2012; pricing hasn’t been announced.

The 2012 Lexus CT 200h gets a standard virtual engine sound — similar systems are found on the Infiniti M35h and Nissan Leaf. A new F Sport Package is available on the CT 200h as a factory option on Premium trims only. Pricing isn’t known.

The 2012 Lexus HS 250h makes use of more eco-friendly bioplastic materials upholstery and carpeting in the cabin. The 2012 GX 460 now has bodyside moldings and high-gloss-finished 18-inch wheels standard.

The 2012 Lexus IS F gets new 19-inch wheel designs, wider rear tires and new shock absorbers, all of which will improve handling, Lexus says. The IS F comes with red leather upholstery for 2012, replacing the two-toned orange/black setup.

Destination fees for all models are set at $875, the same as last year. Continue reading below for more pricing details.

By Colin Bird | August 29, 2011 | Comments (2)

Cars.com Reviews the 2011 Lexus IS

2011 Lexus ISWhile Lexus is best known for its more sedate offerings like the ES and popular RX crossover, the company does have a few sportier options, including the IS compact sedan and convertible. Some comfort is sacrificed for that sportier ride, says Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays, who recently test-drove the IS 250C convertible and the all-wheel-drive IS 350 sedan.

2011 Lexus IS Review

By Colin Bird | July 6, 2011 | Comments (1)

2011 Lexus IS 350 AWD Video

Lexus isn’t known for having many vehicles that pique the interests of driver-oriented car shoppers. The Lexus IS is one of those offerings and, for the first time, the more powerful 2011 IS 350 is available with all-wheel drive. That’s enough of a reason for Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays to test it out. Check out the video to see if the IS hold its own against the competition.

2011|Lexus|IS 350

By Colin Bird | February 22, 2011 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 728,544 Toyota and Lexus Vehicles

Toyota is recalling 728,544 vehicles, including the 2005-06 Avalon, 2004-06 Highlander, 2004-06 Lexus RX 330 and 2006 Lexus GS 300, IS 250 and IS 350 to replace a brake master cylinder seal. A small amount of brake fluid could leak from the master cylinder, leading the brake warning lamp to illuminate. Drivers could experience weaker brake response as a result.

Toyota has recalled over 7 million vehicles in the U.S. over the past two years for problems with floormats, brakes, gas pedals and most recently steering. Using incentives to drive sales, the automaker had been trying to come back from the image hit it took because of the numerous recalls.  

In this most recent recall, if the warning lamp is illuminated and the vehicle is driven without refilling the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir, the driver will notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel. Braking performance could gradually decline.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified of the recall by mail in early November. Toyota and Lexus dealerships will replace the brake master cylinder cup with a newly designed one for free.

For more information, owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or Lexus at 800-255-3987.

By Jennifer Newman | October 21, 2010 | Comments (4)

Ch-Ch-Changes: 2011 Lexus IS 250, IS 250, IS-F

Lexus has made minor modifications to its IS lineup of sport sedans for 2011. The IS 250, IS 350 and IS-F all retain the same engines, transmissions and overall look, but they get one big change: LED daytime running lights.

OK, so they’re not the biggest changes in the world, but since Audi started putting LEDs on all its cars, they seem to be a prerequisite now for every luxury automaker as well as that annoying teenager down the street and his ’96 Civic. The sedans also get new front and rear bumper treatments and new headlights and taillights.
The LEDs are optional on the IS 250 and standard on the IS 350 and IS-F. They’re also optional on the convertibles, but the retractable hardtop models do not get any other exterior modifications like the sedans.

The sedans also get new 17-inch wheels standard and new optional 18s. The interior trim has been changed to black metallic. The IS 350 also adds an all-wheel-drive model, while the high-performance IS-F gets a tweaked suspension for a less-harsh ride. The IS-F also gets minor changes to its fabric colors and new gauges.

The 2011s go on sale later this summer. More photos are below.
By David Thomas | July 16, 2010 | Comments (11)

Recall Alert: 138,874 Lexus Cars

Lexus has formally submitted its recall for an engine issue we reported last week. The recall involves a number of different models, including:
  • 2007-2008 Lexus GS 350 and GS 350h
  • 2008 Lexus GS 460
  • 2006-2008 Lexus IS 350
  • 2007-2008 Lexus LS 460, LS 460 L
  • 2008 Lexus LS 600h L
The problem stems from a valve spring that could degrade and break, leading to the engine stalling while in motion. Lexus says the likelihood of this happening is 0.2%; however, the recall still compounds Toyota’s continuing quality issues.
The company will begin notifying owners via mail this month and will replace all valve springs for free. Owners can contact Lexus at 800-255-3987 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236.
By David Thomas | July 6, 2010 | Comments (1)

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