Should You Wait for the 2016 Acura RDX or Buy the 2015?


The Acura RDX, the Japanese luxury brand's entry-level SUV, has just come off of its best sales year ever. But Acura isn't content with coasting on that recent success, introducing a mildly refreshed version of the RDX at the recent Chicago Auto Show to keep that sales momentum going.

Related: 2016 Acura RDX First Look 

We've had an up-close look at the new '16 RDX and wondered if the changes that Acura has made to the new luxury SUV go far enough. If you're in the market for a new RDX, or will be soon, the question then becomes: Should you wait for the new 2016 to arrive in showrooms this spring, or should you go out and buy one of the slightly more than 10,000 that are sitting on dealer lots right now?

Normally we ask this question before we've actually seen the new model, so we have an advantage here in that we can compare what we know about the 2016 model with the vehicle currently for sale. Sadly we have to wait a bit before driving it, but based on what we do know, here's what we can recommend.

By Aaron Bragman | February 26, 2015 | Comments (0)

Toyota, GM Top J.D. Power Dependability Study; Fiat Chrysler Rounds Out Bottom


If you're shopping a late-model used car, a new study might nudge you toward Toyota or GM. Both automakers dominated J.D. Power and Associates' influential 2015 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, released today. Toyota's Lexus luxury division topped the VDS' 31-brand dependability rankings, while the Toyota brand itself ranked third. GM was close behind, with its Buick and Cadillac divisions ranking second and fourth, respectively. The automakers' remaining brands — Scion, GMC and Chevrolet — were well above average.

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

Shoppers should pay attention to the VDS, which this year surveyed more than 34,000 owners of 2012 model-year cars in late 2014 to gauge how many problems they experienced in the first three years of ownership. Don't confuse it with the firm's Initial Quality Study, which measures problems in the first 90 days.

Jeep and Fiat were recent losers in both studies, but most Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands fared poorly in the VDS. Fiat, Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler accounted for four of the bottom nine brands; FCA's Ram truck division was the sole bright spot, landing above average.

Lexus remains the highest-ranked VDS brand for its fourth consecutive year. The brand's 89 problems per 100 cars were the lowest of all brands by a significant margin. By contrast, Land Rover and Fiat both had more than 250 problems per 100 cars — the industry average was 147 problems per 100 cars.

The 2015 VDS analyzed 177 specific problems across eight categories. Here are the full rankings:

By Kelsey Mays | February 25, 2015 | Comments (3)

2015 Dodge Charger Review


"The redesigned 2015 Dodge Charger is a capable family sedan that looks better than previous Chargers and, with the addition of a 707-horsepower, supercharged V-8, it's a blast to drive on a racetrack," says reviewer Bill Jackson.

2015 Dodge Charger Expert Review photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | February 25, 2015 | Comments (0)

GMC Adds Parent's Secret Weapon to 2015 Yukon


Most of us grew up with parents joking about having eyes in the back of their heads, and many of us in turn have used this "threat" on our own kids. Several car manufacturers help make this superhero power real with conversation mirrors — a separate flip-down mirror specifically designed for a quick sneak peek on backseat shenanigans. The GMC Yukon is the latest vehicle to add one to its standard features list, thanks to the brand's heavily mom-centric design team.

Related: Mom Must-Have: Conversation Mirror

On this superpowered GMC mom team is Kay Jarboe, product manager for the 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL. "As a mom, when it came time to design the next-generation Yukon and Yukon XL, I wanted to give our customers a better way of keeping tabs on their kids without forcing them to turn around and take their eyes off the road," she said in a statement.

By Kristin Varela | February 25, 2015 | Comments (13)

2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Video reviewer Kelsey Mays says the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 is the most extreme entry-level car on the market. Lamborghini's new supercar gets its name from a famous Spanish bull. Mays sampled the Huracán at Roebling Road Raceway outside Savannah, Ga. Check out the video for more.

Watch on YouTube

By Jennifer Geiger | February 25, 2015 | Comments (3)

First Time Buyers: Why Millennials Will Need a Car


How badly do you need that car? It's a question some millennials are asking, and reports in recent years of waning interest from young people — and city dwellers in general — propel that narrative even as other studies attempt to debunk it. Do millennials even want cars?

Related: More #FirstTimeBuyers Stories

The short answer is yes. Estimates on the population of millennials vary, but U.S. Census figures peg the group at as much as a third of the country's population. A few major trends thin such a large herd as they head to the dealer, however. Here's why.

By Kelsey Mays | February 25, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 300S: Car Seat Check


Chrysler's stylish flagship got an update for 2015 that makes it stand out even more; according to the automaker, the 300's grille has been pumped up by 33 percent this year. Inside, the sedan will stand out for families because it's again one of a handful of sedans that can comfortably accommodate three child-safety seats.

More Car Seat Checks

The backseat may be roomy, but parents will find it tough to install car seats in the sporty 300S model; its stiff leather seats made connecting to the Latch anchors difficult, and the model's heavily bolstered seat cushions impacted car-seat fit.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

EPA Announces New Fuel-Economy Test Guidelines


Automakers will have a new set of EPA guidelines for conducting fuel-economy tests, the agency announced Monday. The move is in response to some automakers — Ford and Hyundai/Kia — that have had to lower fuel-economy ratings on their cars during the past several years because of testing errors.

Related: Loopholes and Fuzzy Math: The Tangled Science of MPG Ratings

These guidelines cover vehicle preparation for the fuel-economy testing such as tire wear levels and breaking in a new car beforehand. They also cover the impact of aerodynamic drag and tire rolling resistance on a car’s fuel economy.

"Without question, [the] industry is paying more attention — and that's a good thing," Chris Grundler, EPA's director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told the Detroit News.

Read the Detroit News' full story here. photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Newman | February 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: First Look


Competes with: BMW X3, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Looks like: The Evoque gets a revised front bumper design and more LEDs

Drivetrain: 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with nine-speed automatic transmission; four-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015

The smallest of Land Rover's Range Rover derivatives, the Range Rover Evoque gets a few updates for 2016. It will make its global debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in March and will hit Land Rover dealerships this fall.

Related: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: Family Checklist

The five-seat Evoque still comes in two- or four-door SUV body styles, though both cars are roughly the same size. Revised trim levels are now the SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic and Autobiography.

By Kelsey Mays | February 24, 2015 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2013-2015 Cadillac ATS


Vehicles Affected: Approximately 58,700 model-year 2013-15 Cadillac ATS sedans

The Problem: The ATS' power roof panel system will automatically close when the nonrecessed portion of the "slide" or "tilt" switch is pressed and the roof panel is open; because these switches are not fully recessed they can be activated with less force than required by federal rules. GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the roof console accessory switch trim plate free of charge.

What Owners Should Do: GM has not released an owner notification schedule. Consumers can call 800-458-8006 for more information.

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

More Recalls

By Jen Burklow | February 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

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