Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: December 2013

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With the top seven automakers reporting sales, the industry is on track to end December 2013 about flat with December 2012. Don't call it a sputter just yet. Recall that December 2012 was a decent month — and that 2013 still ended well. Toward that end, each automaker charted its own course to the finish line.

The Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2013

Shoppers gave Toyota the indifferent shoulder as the automaker fell 1.7 percent in December. Three of Toyota's four best-sellers — the Camry, Corolla/Matrix, RAV4 and Prius family — saw lower sales versus year-ago figures. Nissan, by contrast, chalked a 10.5 percent rise on strong Sentra and Rogue sales. And Honda gained 1.9 percent in December as dealers began the month with Accords and CR-Vs aplenty, and shoppers lined up for both. Despite a similar inventory situation, however, the Civic fell 12.4 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | January 3, 2014 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 2013 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ram 1500

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Vehicles Affected: Chrysler is voluntarily recalling 4,194 model-year 2013 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger full-size sedans, and Ram 1500 pickup trucks all equipped with all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a V-6 engine.

The Problem: Output shafts installed in some vehicles were shaped using a two-stage forging method employed during early production; the resulting components may be subject to fracture in rare circumstances, according to Chrysler. The automaker said the forging process has been replaced by a single-stage method and that it is unaware of any associated injuries or accidents.

The Fix: Owners will be notified of the recall, and dealers will inspect and test the transmission output shafts and, if necessary, replace the transmission assemblies for free. The notification schedule is not yet specified.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | December 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: November 2013

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With the top seven automakers reporting numbers, November auto sales have gained some 10 percent versus November 2012. Honda was the lone automaker to post a loss, and just -0.1 percent at that. Auto execs can toast with eggnog heading into the holidays, especially if they're at GM or Chrysler.

Buoyed by strong sales from its Jeep and Ram brands, Chrysler posted a 16.1 percent sales gain. Higher purchase incentives fueled the Ram pickup truck's 21.8 percent gain, outpacing increases from its competitors, the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado. Still, Detroit's full-size pickups gained 15.4 percent as the pickup wave keeps rolling. Jeep's increase was all about the Cherokee. November's numbers should assuage any doubts over the SUV's controversial styling. Chrysler moved 10,169 Cherokees last month, the crossover's first full month of sales. It's the fifth best-selling model among the automaker's cadre of brands — Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, SRT and Ram — not too shabby for a model hampered by production delays with a nameplate that's been absent from the U.S. automotive landscape since 2001.

GM sales chief Kurt McNeil said in a statement that the economy "bodes well for future growth" as the General tacked on 13.7 percent last month. Ford added a modest 7.2 percent on the F-Series (up 16.3 percent) and Fusion (up 51 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | December 3, 2013 | Comments (7)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

It's another truck-tastic week on our list of most-watched videos. Last week's No. 4 — in which PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams gets the scoop on the Ford's 2015 Power Stroke engine from technical specialist David Ives at the 2013 State Fair of Texas — motors into first place. Meanwhile, the week's only non-truck offering, our 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited all-wheel-drive exhaust-note video, makes itself heard at No. 5. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2015 Power Stroke Will Make More Power
2. 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
3. First Look: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
4. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
5. 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD Exhaust Note
By Matt Schmitz | October 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

OK, we're going to level with you: If you're not into trucks or don't care to mess with Texas, you can stop reading now. In a rare total turnover of our roster of most-watched videos, all five feature either pickup trucks or full-size SUVs, and four of them were shot at the 2013 State Fair of Texas. Each of the Detroit Three automakers is well-represented as PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams and Cars.com Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen get a look at new truck offerings from Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford — with the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Heavy Duty leading the pack at No. 1. Check out what was popular:

1. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
2. 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

3. First Look: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

4. 2015 Power Stroke Will Make More Power

5. Brad Keselowski — 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

By Matt Schmitz | October 5, 2013 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2013

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In a recurrent chorus, GM said it had its best month since September 2008. Chrysler said it had its best August since 2007 while Honda says it had its best August ever.

Chrysler's gains were thanks to August records for Jeep's Wrangler, Compass and Patriot, plus a 30.9% sales increase for the automaker's popular Ram pickup. (Chrysler's U.S. umbrella includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat.) It marks the automaker's 41st month in a row of year-over-year sales increases.

Honda sold nearly 40,000 Civics in the last full month of summer. Purchase incentives remained steady with year-ago levels — when the maligned 2012 Civic was still in showrooms — but sales were anything but steady. The popular compact surged 58.5% in August, edging out the Accord to become Honda's best-seller. It would have been America's best-selling car in August, but the Toyota Camry piled on 21.8% in sales to keep the spot.

By Kelsey Mays | September 4, 2013 | Comments (18)

Cars.com Names Top 10 Tailgaters

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It's already late summer, and increasingly your day revolves around trolling sports websites for the latest news on training camps, preseason college football power rankings, alma-mater rivalries and so on. Alabama or LSU? Steelers or Ravens?

The season of pigskin bliss is upon us, and the truly serious fans have tickets, and many of those serious ticket holders tailgate. Which brings us to Cars.com's annual Top 10 Tailgaters — our top picks for cars to hit the stadium lots and pregame 'til the brats run out.

As always, please tailgate responsibly, and check out our list below.

By Kelsey Mays | August 28, 2013 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2013

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The auto industry came off a June that saw the best sales rate since 2007, and the momentum appears to have run through July. Toyota had its best July since 2008; GM had its best July since 2007. Chrysler and Ford had their best July since 2006. Honda sales, up 20.9%, represented the best July since 2006. And Nissan and Hyundai-Kia had their best July ever. With the top seven automakers reporting numbers, sales are up 13.6%.

The 10 best-sellers changed little, with one car — the Ford Escape — dropping off the charts. The Toyota Corolla, whose 2014 redesign is waiting in the wings, replaced it.

A gallon of regular unleaded gained 15 cents in July, according to AAA, but small, fuel-efficient cars had a mixed month. The outgoing Corolla stayed flat, but rival Honda Civic gained nearly 30%. The Toyota Prius hybrid — ever the indicator of shoppers’ flight to fuel efficiency — gained a stunning 40% over an already-strong July 2012, mostly on the strength of the original Prius, which had a slight incentives uptick versus a year ago. The Chevrolet Cruze, meanwhile, piled on 70.2% in sales versus a slow July 2012 (sales were down 39.3% that month) thanks to higher year-over-year incentives on the compact sedan — and despite much lower dealer supply. The Ford Focus, meanwhile, stayed flat despite bigger incentives this year.

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2013 | Comments (12)

Recall Alert: 51,477 Ram Pickup Trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs

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Chrysler is recalling 51,477 Ram pickup trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs in three separate actions for varied problems with the vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The largest of the recalls covers 45,961 model-year 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks equipped with four-wheel drive; a software issue with the electronic stability system could cause the feature to be disabled when the truck is started. Affected trucks were manufactured between June 26, 2012, and Feb. 5, 2013. Disabling the system may result in loss of directional control, increasing the risk of a crash.

In addition, Chrysler is recalling 4,458 model-year 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs due to a problem with the exterior lighting system that could cause the parking lights to malfunction. Affected vehicles were manufactured between Jan. 14 and March 20, and are equipped with premium headlamps; the recall does not affect the SRT trim. When switching between daytime-running lights and parking lights, electrical spikes may cause the parking lights to turn off; without properly functioning parking lights, the SUV may not be as visible to other drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.

By Matt Schmitz | July 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 712,000 Chrysler Vehicles

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Chrysler is voluntarily recalling an estimated 712,084 vehicles in four separate actions due to problems with various safety features, the automaker announced this week. It's more bad news for the automaker after its decision last month — following a recall request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — to inspect and repair 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to a fuel-system problem that could lead to fires.

The largest of the new recalls affects 442,000 model-year 2011-13 Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sedans, as well as 2011-13 Jeep Liberty SUVs and 2011-12 Dodge Nitro SUVs. The active head restraint function, designed to mitigate neck injuries by automatically moving forward during rear-impact collisions, may contain faulty microcontrollers that could prevent the system from functioning properly. Chrysler said it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.

By Matt Schmitz | July 5, 2013 | Comments (3)

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