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)

What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

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Shoppers may face legitimate sticker shock when they're shopping for a new car. TV and radio advertisements may lead them to believe that new cars all get at least 35 mpg for less than $15,000, but the price of entry for even a modestly equipped new car is well above that.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

That's why we've taken the cars with the lowest sticker prices and added a dose of reality. A vast majority of buyers never consider buying a car with a manual transmission (often the standard equipment on inexpensive new cars), so right out of the gate the car they're shopping for costs significantly more than they thought it would. Opting for an automatic transmission can cost $1,000 or more.

By David Thomas | July 21, 2014 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Lancer Ralliart

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 150 model-year 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sports sedans manufactured between Jan. 31, 2014, and Feb. 21, 2014, and 2014 Lancer Ralliart sports sedans manufactured between Feb. 3, 2014, and Feb. 14, 2014

The Problem: The cars may have insufficient clearance between the power steering pressure tube and the crossmember brace. Due to abrasion and rust, a hole may develop in the power steering tube, allowing fluid to leak out, resulting in the need for greater steering effort and increasing the risk of a crash. The leaking fluid also increases the risk of a fire in the presence of an ignition source such as a hot engine or exhaust component.

The Fix: Mitsubishi is notifying owners this month, and dealers will inspect the power steering tube for sufficient clearance; if necessary, they will replace the power steering tube assembly for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mitsubishi at 888-648-7820 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | July 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New transmission, improved fuel economy ratings, more sound insulation

Price change: To be announced in mid-July

On sale: Late July

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2015

Despite its attractive base prices among compact crossover SUVs, the 2014 Outlander Sport proved to be sluggish, noisy and unrefined in Cars.com's evaluation. Mitsubishi says the 2015s will be better, thanks to a new continuously variable transmission and better sound insulation. That remains to be seen, so for now we suggest a wait-and-see approach until we (and you) have the opportunity to drive a 2015 model.

What's the Most-Affordable Compact SUV for 2014

Mitsubishi says the new CVT will deliver better off-the-line response and let the driver shift manually if desired. And it says thicker front door glass and more rear body insulation will reduce interior noise. Both would be welcome improvements.

By Rick Popely | June 19, 2014 | Comments (5)

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Real-World Cargo Space

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Not to be confused with the seven-passenger 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, the Outlander Sport is a considerably smaller SUV with room for five occupants. Those five people in the Outlander Sport will have to pack light; it offers much less cargo room compared to similarly priced compact SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5 or Hyundai Tucson.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Expert Review

The Outlander Sport's 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row is tiny compared to the CX-5's 34.1 cubic feet and the Tucson's 25.7 cubic feet. Those who need maximum cargo room may want to consider skipping the Outlander Sport's optional Rockford Fosgate sound system. The stereo's subwoofer takes up 1.6 cubic feet of cargo space, shrinking volume to 20.1 cubic feet.

By Joe Bruzek | May 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

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Before Ben Affleck directed Best Picture-winner "Argo" and Jennifer Lopez was a judge on "American Idol," the onetime couple starred together in "Gigli." And that's what Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger compares the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport to. If that doesn't say it all, Geiger's complaints about the crossover include "slow," "noisy" and "bland" — just like "Gigli." Unlike the rather expensive film flop, however, the Outlander Sport is thriftily priced — enough to ignore its faults? Read the review and decide.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | April 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Car Seat Check

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Mitsubishi's smallest crossover is also the runt of the compact crossover class. The 2014 Outlander Sport is several inches shorter than competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, so it offers much less legroom. This was a big issue when installing child-safety seats, but it wasn't the only problem. Awkward top tether anchor placement also made installing the forward-facing convertible difficult.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Geiger | April 24, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Real-World Cargo Space

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Mitsubishi has an answer for those asking where all the no-frills, super-lightweight subcompact cars with big gas mileage and a low MSRP have gone. The 2014 Mirage is of that ilk, with up to 40 mpg combined EPA fuel-economy ratings and a starting price of $13,790 with destination and a manual transmission; add $1,000 for the automatic transmission and its 40 mpg combined rating.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

The four-door hatchback's micro size doesn't leave much room for rear passengers or cargo. Frugal commuters may not put too much importance on how many golf bags fit in the hatch without folding the seats — zero, actually — but the Mirage's small size results in a fuel-friendly 2,000 pounds.

By Joe Bruzek | March 13, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 733 model-year 2013 versions of the Outlander Sport crossover manufactured between July 20, 2012, and May 29, 2013; only vehicles equipped with leather seats are affected.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that the driver-side seat-mounted air bag wiring may have been improperly routed during the leather seat cover installation process. If the seat height is adjusted, the wiring could get damaged, resulting in the illumination of the air bag warning light. If a crash occurs, the airbag may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury.

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

What Owners Should Do: Mitsubishi has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Mitsubishi at 800-222-0037 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | February 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Cars.com Review

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Our mothers told us that if we don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But if Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger had listened to her mother, her critique of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage would be shorter than the inexpensive microcar is small. So let's just say that the Mirage has surprisingly decent cargo space and superior fuel economy compared to its competitors, and leave it at that. But for all the stuff Geiger's mom told her not to say — about the Mirage's ride, handling, cabin quality, passenger comfort — read her review below.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

By Matt Schmitz | January 27, 2014 | Comments (18)

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