2015 Fiat 500, 500C and Abarth Get Welcome Upgrades

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If you ask me, the Fiat 500 was already out of date when it made its U.S. debut in 2012. Its main liabilities were its interior quality and lack of Bluetooth streaming audio.

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After checking out the new lineup at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, I think Fiat has improved matters for 2015 with a couple of well-chosen upgrades.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 24, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Infiniti Q70: Up Close

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Infiniti is making a play to take its products a bit further upmarket, making them nicer and more luxurious than outgoing models by focusing more attention on the interior appointments. The latest model to get that attention is the new 2015 Q70 sedan, unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

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The brand's big sedan has languished a bit when compared to its competition, but this new redesign should finally turn some heads at valet stands everywhere.

By Aaron Bragman | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C: Up Close

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From the moment mere cooperation between Fiat and Chrysler was hinted at (long before partnership, much less ownership), auto enthusiasts have predicted and pined for the return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market. It's finally happening with the 2015 Alfa 4C.

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Alfa Romeo is known for fabulous Italian styling, but I admit I've occasionally had doubts. Maybe it's just because I thought my 1970s Fiat Spider was better looking than the Alfa Romeo Spider, which nonetheless got more attention ... and a higher resale value. 

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sedona: Up Close

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With its upright grille and angular headlights, the redesigned Sedona looks tougher than the average minivan. The crossover-like styling is on purpose, and it's immediately apparent in that front end and also the hood lines. Overall, the execution is more successful than when GM tried the same thing with its Chevrolet Uplander van.

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The avoidance of traditional minivan cues continues in the cabin as the Sedona gets a large center console between the front seats that houses the gear selector — just like any number of crossovers. This may seem like a small thing, but it significantly changes your perception of the interior; it doesn't feel like you're sitting in the driver's seat of a minivan.

By Mike Hanley | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW X4: Up Close

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I've never really understood the thinking behind a massive SUV trying to pass itself off as a sporty hatchback. That's what BMW's X6 tried to do, with limited success. BMW is making another go at the concept with the new 2015 X4.

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After seeing the X4 in person, I'm still unconvinced this vision has legs.

By Mike Hanley | April 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Subaru Outback More Cargo Friendly

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The Subaru Outback has been a popular alternative to traditional crossovers for years. The redesigned 2015 model looks to further that appeal with a number of convenience features centered on the cargo area.

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The new Outback's cargo area is only slightly larger than before. Thanks to a little extra width and reshaped interior pieces it now measures 35.5 cubic feet with the backseat up and 73.3 cubic feet with the split-folding backseat down. That's more than the Honda Crosstour's 25.7 cubic feet with the backseat up and 51.3 with it down, and it's similar to the Toyota Venza's measurements of 36.2 and 70.2 cubic feet. But there are more upgrades than just the extra room.

By Mike Hanley | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chevrolet Cruze: Up Close

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The 2015 Cruze's mild restyle features updates up front that shares elements with other Chevrolet products to create a more cohesive brand image among Chevrolet sedans.

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On the 2015 Cruze this includes a grille similar to the Chevrolet Malibu and new lower front styling with available LED running lights like the Chevrolet Impala.

By Joe Bruzek | April 19, 2014 | Comments (5)

2014 New York Auto Show Winners and Losers

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This year's New York auto show is packed with redesigns and updates to some of the best-selling cars on the market. However, it was hard not to notice the lack of flash that normally accompanies an auto show. Despite a slew of introductions, there was just one new concept car on display and only a handful of sports cars.

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Editors Aaron Bragman, Joe Bruzek, Mike Hanley and Joe Wiesenfelder covered the show and took-in every introduction. They weigh in on the 15 most significant ones here.

By David Thomas | April 18, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: Up Close

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe is emblematic of BMW's expanding product line. Even though the automaker sells the 3 Series sedan, wagon and GT, and now the 4 Series coupe, the luxury brand thinks there's room for something more. Enter the 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door car with sleeker, coupelike lines.

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There's some tradeoff in interior roominess in the name of style, but more cargo versatility than you might expect.

By Mike Hanley | April 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Dodge Charger: Up Close

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Dodge is a little surprised by who's buying the current Charger: The brand says more than half of Charger buyers are the coveted millennial generation, and a third don't even cross-shop any competitors before they buy one. For Charger buyers, the car isn't a family sedan. It's a style statement, with its aggressive lines, big engines and in-your-face attitude.

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When it came time to update the Charger and Challenger, Dodge decided to take a new route with the Charger. The Challenger is retro, and the 2015 model plays up that aspect; the new 2015 Charger is now more modern than the outgoing one, giving Dodge buyers a choice in how they want their performance — old school or latest thing.

By Aaron Bragman | April 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

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