Why My $177,000 SUV's Brakes Squeal, and Why It's Not OK

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I just finished a week in a $177,000 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the German sports-car maker's top-of-the-line, super-fast twin-turbo V-8-powered SUV. It's a remarkable machine — sleek, ridiculously quick, crazy expensive and possessed of one quality that drove everybody who rode in the machine absolutely nuts. The brakes squealed like a poorly maintained diesel city bus.

Related: Which Luxury Cars Don't Recommend or Require Premium Gas?

The noise made every stopping event more about figuring out how to modulate the brakes to prevent noise instead of enjoying the amazingly firm and fade-free properties of the huge stoppers. That's not an attribute any car should have let alone a new six-figure one.

By Aaron Bragman | August 26, 2014 | Comments (6)

July's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Want to buy a small luxury SUV? You're not alone. Two of the fastest-selling cars in the country last month were the all-new 2015 Porsche Macan and the pretty-much-unchanged 2015 Audi Q5.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2014

The Macan regains the top spot it held back in May, taking just eight days from the day it arrived at a dealer until the day the keys were handed over to a lucky buyer. Ten of the 22 fastest-selling cars were luxury SUVs, while SUVs overall made up 14 of the 22.

While our top cars sold on average in just 12 days, the overall average for all cars in July was 68 days. That's up from 64 days in June and 62 days in July 2013.

By David Thomas | August 1, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Porsche Cayenne First Look

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Competes with: Land Rover Range Rover, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Looks like: The current Cayenne with slightly different headlights

Drivetrain: 240-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 diesel; 416-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 plug-in hybrid; 420-hp, twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6; 520-hp, twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Nov. 1

Pricing: $62,695-$114,595 including destination

A redesign of Porsche's most popular model has just been unveiled, updating what has been a surprisingly successful experiment for the German sports car company. The new 2015 Cayenne SUV will hit dealerships on Nov. 1 with a new face, new tail, lightly updated interior and two new powertrains that should serve to separate the truck from the new entry-level Macan SUV.

By Aaron Bragman | July 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Porsche, Hyundai Top New J.D. Power Study, Volvo and Mitsubishi Sink

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Porsche and Hyundai topped their respective luxury and nonluxury peers in J.D. Power and Associates' 2014 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study. Volvo and Mitsubishi, respectively, placed last in each group.

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

APEAL tries to assess what people like in their cars. This differs from J.D. Power's other major automotive studies, the 90-day Initial Quality Study and three-year Vehicle Dependability Study, which both rate things that went wrong.

For the APEAL study, new-car owners rate their vehicles across 77 areas, and the results give a composite rating on a 1,000-point scale. Not surprisingly, premium brands beat their mass-market counterparts with an average score of 840 points among the study's 12 premium brands while the 20 nonpremium brands average 785 points.

Overall results slipped one point between the 2014 and 2013 APEAL studies, however; J.D. Power notes that in-car technology left some owners less than thrilled.

By Kelsey Mays | July 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Porsche Macan: First Drive

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I spent a day driving Porsche's all-new 2015 Macan luxury compact SUV throughout Southern California, up and down the mountain roads of the Angeles Crest Highway and at Willow Springs International Raceway in the high Southern California desert. All in all, the variety of terrain offered plenty of opportunity for the Macan to show off, or to fall short.

Related: 2015 Porsche Macan Photo Gallery (25 Photos)

The Macan Turbo I drove on the way out to Willow Springs had pretty much every box checked: Porsche Active Suspension Management with air suspension ($1,385), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490), underbody skid plates ($1,410), adaptive cruise control with Porsche Active Safe ($1,600), Burmester High-End Surround Sound System ($4,290) and the Premium Package Plus with a host of safety and luxury features ($4,660) just to name a few. The Macan Turbo has a starting price of $72,295 (including destination), but with all of these options the price tag inched into "holy cow" territory: $101,325.

On the road the Macan is docile, especially in Normal driving mode. The suspension management system puts the adaptive shock absorbers into a more pliant setting, and the steering was lighter than I would have preferred but was still very accurate and managed to avoid the overboosted, floaty feeling found in less refined electric power steering systems. Moving the Macan into Sport or Sport Plus sharpens the SUV, especially the transmission, which delightfully holds onto lower gears. But it's still a tamer experience than I had envisioned given Porsche's claims.

By Brian Wong | July 14, 2014 | Comments (6)

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

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Porsche, Jaguar and Lexus topped J.D. Power's 2014 Initial Quality Study. Porsche and Lexus were among the top three brands in 2013, while Jaguar jumped seven spots to land at No. 2. And at the other end, Fiat, Jeep and Mitsubishi had the worst results. Two of those three — Mitsubishi and Fiat — were among 2013's bottom-feeders.

2011 Models Less Reliable Than 2010 Vehicles, J.D. Power Study Finds

IQS, one of several influential J.D. Power studies, is now in its 28th year. It expresses quality as problems per 100 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. A lower score is better. Among 32 brands surveyed this year, Porsche led with just 74 problems — and Fiat was last, at 206.

"Porsche has three vehicles that are best-in-segment," Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. auto quality at the company, told us. Those include the 911, Panamera and Boxster. Two others — the Cayenne and Cayman — were top nominated in their segments.

By Kelsey Mays | June 18, 2014 | Comments (8)

2014 Porsche Panamera Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the odd-duck exterior styling of Porsche's four-seat hatchback, the 2014 Panamera, will either have high-dollar car buyers flocking or fleeing. Would you spend $80,000 to $250,000 for this top-shelf luxury-sedan competitor? Watch the video and decide.

By Matt Schmitz | June 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Porsche Cayman Review

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"The redesigned 2014 Porsche Cayman is more luxurious than its predecessor, but performance-car purists will lament its diluted steering feel," said Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley. Check out the review for more.

2014 Porsche Cayman Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | May 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cars.com's Top 10 Most Anticipated Cars

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Now that auto show season is over, the wait is over when it comes to seeing which new cars will hit dealerships soon, but now the real wait begins.

More Top 10s

There's plenty to look forward to, because there are almost too many new vehicles to choose from such as the redesigned, more modern Ford Mustang and the sleek, futuristic electric car from BMW, the i8. They're not all sports cars though; the tiny Jeep Renegade SUV and midsize Hyundai Sonata sedan are also on our list.

Check out the top 10 new vehicles the Cars.com reviewers can't wait to drive:

By Jennifer Geiger | May 7, 2014 | Comments (14)

Recall Alert: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3

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Vehicles Affected: About 209 model-year 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 sports coupes manufactured between Oct. 19, 2013, and Jan. 16, 2014.

The Problem: In the affected vehicles, a piston connecting rod may come loose and damage the engine crankcase, which may allow engine oil to leak onto hot components in the engine bay, possibly causing a fire. In February, Porsche issued a warning to all 785 affected vehicle owners worldwide to immediately stop driving the cars due to the risk of engine fire, in addition to a stop-sale order to dealers, after two engine fires in Europe related to the piston connecting rod problem. The automaker said no related accidents or injuries have been reported.

The Fix: Porsche will notify owners, and dealers will install a new engine with improved piston connecting rod connections for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Porsche at 800-767-7243, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Recalls

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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