2014 Chevrolet Impala: Road Trip Report

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Long-haul road trips have helped Cars.com's long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala register nearly 14,000 miles in just nine months of ownership. The Impala is a staff favorite when it's time to hit the road and log miles because its seriously comfortable ride and cavernous interior are perfect for the needs of a traveling small family, carload of adults or a nice solo trip across the state.

Related: More on Cars.com's Long-Term Fleet

Comfort and cargo room aren't all the factors that make a good road-trip ride. Fuel economy and keeping passengers occupied contribute to an enjoyable road trip; for some, a bangin' stereo also should be added to the list. The Impala is no doubt a comfy car, but does it have everything it needs to be a successful road-tripper?

By Joe Bruzek | September 24, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Honda Civic: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New SE trim level

Price change: $100 increase for LX, EX, EX-L and HF

On sale: Sept. 17 for LX, EX, EX-L and HF; later in the fall for Si, Hybrid, Natural Gas and new SE

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? The 2015 SE is a compelling value choice

With the exception of a new Special Edition trim level, most of the 2015 Honda Civic coupe and sedan lineup remains unchanged for 2015 except for a $100 price increase across the board for the LX, EX, EX-L and HF trim levels, which go on sale today.

Related: 2014 Honda Civic Expert Review

The all-new SE trim level joins the lineup slotted between the base LX and higher-content EX. It's a Special Edition without pinstripes or gimmicky stickers. It takes a bunch of content previously only available on the more expensive EX and offers it with LX-like pricing. Honda says the new SE includes $1,100 worth of optional equipment for only $700 more than the Civic LX sedan.

By Joe Bruzek | September 17, 2014 | Comments (6)

How Much Can You Stow in the 2014 Chevy Impala's Cubbies?

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The 2014 Chevrolet Impala's 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space is downright massive for a sedan, but it's not the only impressive storage feat inside our long-term test car. The front seats are a compulsive organizer's dream with treasure trove of big and little storage spaces within easy reach. There's a hidden storage compartment behind the retractable touch-screen, dual umbrella holders and numerous other ways to store cellphones, wallets, music players and more.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

There are so many cubbies that we wanted to see just how much stuff can seamlessly fit in the Impala's large collection of storage areas.

By Joe Bruzek | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Honda Fit: Real-World Cargo Space

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The subcompact Honda Fit is a marvel of space efficiency considering its small exterior dimensions hide an interior that rivals the cargo capacity of larger SUVs. All 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the backseat folded and 16.6 cubic feet with the backseat upright are easy to use with a low cargo load floor and the large dimensions of the cargo opening.

Related: 2015 Honda Fit Expert Review

Redesigned for 2015, the Fit's cargo area is 3.1 inches longer than before, though maximum space is down slightly compared to the previous Fit. A trick up the Fit's sleeve is the front seat's ability to recline all the way and fit cargo up to 7 feet 9 inches long. See how well the 2015 Fit handles common cargo below.

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

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)

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