Honda Fit Handles Wedding Shower Haul With Aplomb

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My fiance and I have one car between the both of us; really, zero, because mine is more of a toy for the drag strip than anything practical, so we looked to the Cars.com test fleet for a cargo-friendly ride for our wedding shower. Despite having an extended-wheelbase Land Rover Range Rover in Cars.com's test fleet at the right time, I wasn't too worried — or bitter — about having to haul a full load of wedding gifts away from our prenuptial party in the hugely versatile, yet still quite small, 2015 Honda Fit.

Related: 2015 Honda Fit Expert Review

The family, however, was skeptical and still pulled two SUVs behind the subcompact Fit just in case we couldn't secure every last oven mitt and spatula in the 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

It was a delicate game of Tetris with roasters and toasters, but the Fit handled the task like a champ. The low cargo floor, tall cargo height and wide opening were keys to our successful loading. I didn't even have to adjust the front passenger seat to create a few last ounces of space. I don't think Cars.com's long-term Cherokee would have handled the task any better either. It has just 2.2 more cubic feet of cargo space.

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Joe Bruzek | August 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Chevrolet Impala Mileage Update: 5,456 Miles

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Our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala can't seem to return decent fuel economy; it's still averaging a few miles per gallon short of its 22 mpg combined EPA rating. We know the comfy sedan can exceed its 29 mpg highway rating with cruising mileage up around 31 mpg, but it recently logged a new lowest-recorded tank of 17.36 mpg, falling short of its 19 mpg city rating.

More on Our Long-Term Test Cars

The Impala's 20.23 mpg average after 5,456 miles is down slightly (.07 mpg) compared to April's recordings.

By Joe Bruzek | May 23, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Dodge Dart GT Misses the Mark

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Dodge introduced the Dart GT sport trim level to round out the compact car's lineup with a performance suspension, improved steering and a more powerful non-turbocharged 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which pairs with a six-speed manual transmission or conventional six-speed automatic.

The engine and automatic transmission were previously a unique offering when the GT debuted as a 2013, but are now more widely available for 2014. The combination offers a less finicky experience compared to the Dart's laggy 160-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter and clunky dual-clutch automatic transmission.

2014 Dodge Dart Expert Review

So far so good, but it's the GT-specific suspension takes away all the good that the engine and transmission improve upon. I'm not convinced there's an upside to the Dart GT's harsh ride after spending time recently testing one.

By Joe Bruzek | May 7, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Chevrolet Cruze: First Look

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Competes with: Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic

Looks like: The Cruze is chomping on something sour

Drivetrain: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder; six-speed manual and automatic transmissions; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall

Debuting at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze receives minor updates for 2015 including a restyled front end Chevrolet says is inspired by the Impala and Malibu. We see more Malibu than Impala now that the upper and lower grilles' edges are lopped off compared to the 2014, though the Impala influence is apparent with the Cruze LTZ and LT models' LED running lights.

More 2014 New York Auto Show News

Mobile connectivity is hot for the 2015 Cruze, which now includes an actual hotspot with newly released 4G LTE high-speed internet along with a few other mobile updates. The interior is also reworked slightly with relocated buttons and switches for added convenience.

By Joe Bruzek | April 12, 2014 | Comments (10)

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible: First Look

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Competes with: Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, Audi R8 Spyder, BMW M6 convertible

Looks like: A convertible ripe for a superhero movie appearance

Powertrains: 625-hp (est.), supercharged 6.2-liter V-8; seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

Chevrolet's Z06 continues to appeal to a wider range of buyers with the introduction of a 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Recent generations have only had a hardtop with a manual transmission until the 2015 Z06 coupe debuted at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a removable center roof and an automatic transmission.

More 2014 New York Auto Show News

Chevrolet says the 2015 Z06 convertible is its most powerful ever made, producing an estimated 625 horsepower from the Z06's supercharged V-8.

By Joe Bruzek | April 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Honda Boosts 2015 Fit's Gas Mileage

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The redesigned 2015 Honda Fit receives a much-needed fuel economy boost over the outgoing model's wimpy 31 mpg combined rating with automatic transmission. For 2015, Honda bumps the Fit's EPA ratings as high as 36 mpg combined (33/41 mpg city/highway) on LX trim levels with the optional automatic transmission.

2015 Honda Fit Expert Review

New engine and transmission technology unlock the improved mileage now that the engine uses direct injection and a new continuously variable automatic transmission, which replaces a conventional five-speed automatic. Don't do the CVT cringe just yet, however; Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays was impressed by the Fit's drivability with the CVT in his review of the 2015.

By Joe Bruzek | April 10, 2014 | Comments (10)

The 2015 Subaru WRX Looks Better in Black (17 Photos)

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The 2015 Subaru WRX drew mixed opinions from our editors at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show where a WRX clad in a striking red exterior debuted. Naysayers didn't think Subaru went far enough with an aggressive design, while others counted on the STI to be the aggressive and over-the-top model.

2015 Subaru WRX: Up Close

As one of those among the disappointed, the WRX's styling redeemed itself once I began testing a 2015 WRX painted Crystal Black Silica at our home base in Chicago. Cars always look better in black, right? The black exterior seems to mask what I thought were awkward proportions between the rear wheel arch and rear quarter panel; there's a lot of body back there and not a lot of wheel to fill it.

By Joe Bruzek | April 8, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Chevrolet Impala Ownership Costs: First Quarter

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We've spent money on fuel and floormats for our 2014 Chevrolet Impala after three months and 3,000 miles of driving, but little else. The Impala is one of our Cars.com long-term test cars and our Best of 2014 winner.

More on Our Long-Term Fleet

The Impala's OnStar online vehicle diagnostic information tells us to expect an oil change at 5,300 miles, but even then, we don't expect maintenance to be an ownership cost. Our Impala is backed by Chevrolet's two-year/24,000-mile maintenance program that includes oil and filter changes, tire rotations and a 27-point inspection for up to four scheduled services within the program's term.

By Joe Bruzek | April 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

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)

2014 Nissan Versa Note Real-World Cargo Room

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The 2014 Nissan Versa Note offers an unusual amount of interior room compared to its subcompact peers. Rarely does a small hatchback have enough rear-seat legroom and headroom to make a 6-foot-tall adult feel at home in the backseat.

2014 Nissan Versa Note Review

You may expect equally impressive numbers from the cargo area, but think again. The Versa Note's cargo room isn't as noteworthy as its passenger space with a maximum of only 38.3 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded.

By Joe Bruzek | February 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

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