Last year, Infiniti's sporty two-row crossover dumped its FX prefix for a QX, and thus the FX37 became the QX70. Now, for the 2015 model year, the QX70 has dropped its low-selling 5.0-liter V-8 engine offering, opting instead just to go with the more popular 3.7-liter V-6.
We last tested the QX70 more than a year ago when it went by the different moniker, though some of our complaints about legroom, Latch anchors and tether anchors feel the same. Still, the luxury crossover's letter grades generally went unchanged, and in the case of the rear-facing convertible seat even improved from a C to an A. Find out how well it made the grade below.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
Summer is winding down, but that didn't stop used Fiat 500c prices from heading up in August. Asking prices on Cars.com for the subcompact 500c, which features a power-retractable soft-top, jumped 8.1 percent ($1,324). That increase put it well ahead of the Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV and Nissan Quest minivan, which advanced 1.9 percent ($792) and 1.8 percent ($405), respectively.
Prices for the Chevrolet Express 1500 full-size van decreased the most, down 5.3 percent ($1,153) from a month ago. The Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car and BMW 650i luxury two-door round out the month's top three biggest drops, with prices down 3.8 percent ($897) and 3.6 percent ($2,370), respectively.
Overall used-car prices declined again in August, continuing a trend that began in the spring. Average listing prices were down 1.4 percent ($315) to $22,604. That's the steepest monthly decline we've seen so far this year.
"Even its high-performance RS version can't redeem the 2014 Nissan Juke from being an odd duck, and problems with refinement and crash tests make this mallard sink more than swim," said Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. Check out Mays' review for more.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.
Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars
Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.
Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.
Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.
Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.
Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014
With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.
Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).
In its latest round of tests the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that diminutive cars still have issues with its challenging small overlap front crash test. This time out electric cars like the range-extender 2014 Chevrolet Volt and 2014 Nissan Leaf were tested for the first time with mixed results, while the Mini Countryman was the only small car in the group to earn a top grade in the test.
The Volt popped up on IIHS' scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good with a score of acceptable, good enough for the Volt to be awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ designation, the institute's highest award. The Leaf didn't fare as well in the 40-mph test designed to simulate a collision with another vehicle or a pole and earned a poor rating. IIHS observed intrusion in the lower and upper compartments indicating likely injuries to the left knee and left lower leg, while a left thigh injury would also be possible. Neither electric car had any issue with the batteries or electrical systems post-crash.
Ten other small cars went through this round of IIHS small overlap crash tests along with the Volt and Leaf, including the Mini Cooper Countryman and the Mazda5, which IIHS says is one of the worst-performing models the institute has evaluated in the small overlap test.
Vehicles Affected: More than 226,000 model-year 2002-03 Nissan Maxima sedans and Pathfinder SUVs, and Infiniti I35 sedans and QX4 SUVs, as well as 2002-04 Nissan Sentra sedans and 2003 Infiniti FX crossovers
The Problem: A defect in the passenger-side front airbag could produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment; this could result in metal fragments striking and seriously injuring occupants. This expansion of an earlier action involving a massive recall of vehicles from multiple automakers using airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp. addresses both the passenger-side front airbags that were originally installed in the vehicles, as well as replacement airbags that may have been installed as replacement service parts. For example, a replacement airbag may have been installed if a vehicle had been in a crash necessitating the replacement of the passenger-side front airbag.
The Fix: Nissan will begin notifying owners Aug. 11, and dealers will replace airbags on all vehicles in which defective airbags may have been installed either as original equipment or as a replacement; repairs will be made for free.
What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or 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.
Any car owner will tell you the cost of driving does not begin or end with the sticker price or the monthly payment notice arriving in the mailbox. There's insurance, maintenance and yes, the cost of gasoline.
The competitors in our Cheap Speed Challenge may be relatively affordable considering their performance chops, but six of the eight require premium gasoline. Going into the contest, mileage didn't seem like it would be much of a story.
After a 220-plus-mile route through Wisconsin and Illinois that mixed in winding country roads, city streets and plenty of construction-laden highways, we discovered mileage was indeed worth talking about in this class.
To test our sub-$30,000 speedsters, we put them through an even more rigorous set of tests than we usually use in our Challenges:
Weiss joined our cast of judges (left to right):
We set a maximum price of $30,000, including a destination charge. We had 10 cars on our list when we started, but we ended with eight (more on that in a bit):
Mini said it did not have a Cooper in its press fleets that could meet our price cap; the Civic lost a tire after hitting a Chicago pothole, and repairs could not be made in time for track days. The judges did drive it in our round-robin day, and a report on those tests can be found here.
Here's how the scoring broke down: The experts' scores accounted for 50 percent of the total score; 10 percent came from the shopper's scores; 30 percent was based on track performance; and the remaining 10 percent was based on fuel economy.
Here is what the judges had to say about each car, in order of how the cars finished:
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