Prediction: 10 Cars We Think Won't See 2016

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Like your favorite new network TV show, some cars just won't be around anymore. This year yielded a bumper crop of exciting new cars, trucks and SUVs, but what about those that have been, let's say, taken out to the farm? Which cars won't make it another model year?

Related: Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

We asked our fellow editors to gaze into their automotive crystal balls and predict 10 cars that we think could meet their end after the 2015 model year. Some may surprise you; some have been rumored to get the ax for a while, and thus grace our endangered species list again this year. This list is ordered from most likely to vanish to least likely, in our opinion.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 15, 2014 | Comments (9)

Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

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Shoppers may face legitimate sticker shock when they're shopping for a new car. TV and radio advertisements may lead them to believe that new cars all get at least 35 mpg for less than $15,000, but the price of entry for even a modestly equipped new car is well above that.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

That's why we've taken the cars with the lowest sticker prices and added a dose of reality. A vast majority of buyers never consider buying a car with a manual transmission (often the standard equipment on inexpensive new cars), so right out of the gate the car they're shopping for costs significantly more than they thought it would. Opting for an automatic transmission can cost $1,000 or more.

By David Thomas | July 21, 2014 | Comments (8)

Winter Weather Impacts Auto Production Worldwide

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The severe weather that has made drivers' commutes miserable for much of this winter across much of the U.S. is also affecting global and domestic auto production. Production was expected to resume Tuesday at most Toyota and Honda factories shut down after a major snowstorm in Japan disrupted shipments from parts suppliers.

How to Safely Remove Snow and Ice From Your Car

According to the Detroit News, Toyota stopped production Monday at its Takaoka plant, which builds cars including the Corolla and iQ (sold in the U.S. under the Scion brand); the Tsutsumi factory that makes the Prius and Camry; and plants in Motomachi and Tahara. All facilities but Tsutsumi were expected to resume production Tuesday. Honda, meanwhile, suspended work at its Yorii factory near Tokyo after snow affected output Feb. 14 and 15, the Detroit News reported.

By Matt Schmitz | February 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Toyota Lets Dealers Drop Scion Without Penalties

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With Scion sales down 1.8% through July — in a market up 8.4% — Toyota told its dealers they could drop the flagging youth brand without any penalty. So reports Automotive News (subscription required), citing dealers who attended the automaker's national dealer meeting this month in Atlanta.

For those who keep the brand, the newspaper reports that Toyota previewed two possible new products: an FR-S convertible and a pint-sized crossover SUV that could compete with Honda's upcoming Fit-based crossover.

Toyota hatched Scion in 2003 with the boxy xB and tiny xA subcompacts. The brand peaked in 2006, when sales reached 173,034 from three cars. The tC coupe led the surge, accounting for nearly half the brand's sales that year. At the tC's debut, in early 2004, Toyota said it targeted 60% of Toyota dealerships to have Scion facilities.

By Kelsey Mays | August 23, 2013 | Comments (4)

Scion Makes Touch-Screen Standard

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Scion announced this week that its 2014 lineup would get a touch-screen audio system. All models will come with the Scion Display Audio System featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touch-screen, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio, hands-free phone and music streaming via Bluetooth and an AUX/USB port with iPod connectivity.

"Scion is the first non-luxury car brand to feature a touch-screen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup," the automaker said in a statement.

In addition to the base audio system, all new models will offer the Scion BeSpoke premium audio system, featuring Aha internet radio as an option. The $1,198 system features navigation, social-media integration and smartphone access to 30,000 free audio stations.

Scion's 2014 lineup includes the xD ($16,675), xB ($17,725), tC ($19,965) and FR-S ($25,455). New for the iQ lineup is the limited-production Monogram Series, starting at $17,275; all prices include a $755 destination charge. All 2013 xB models that begin production this month or after will also come standard with the new touch-screen audio system.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Scion tC Starts at $19,965

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Scion's tC coupe debuted at the 2013 New York Auto Show with mildly freshened exterior styling as well as upgraded materials and features inside; it'll debut at dealerships next month with a slightly higher price. The 2014 Scion tC starts at $19,965 for models with the six-speed manual and $20,965 for automatic-equipped versions (all prices include a $755 destination fee). That’s an increase of $485 over 2013 base models.

Outside, the front-wheel-drive coupe wears new grille and headlight designs as well as LED taillights. Inside, there's a new 6.1-inch touch-screen audio system. Newly optional is an upgraded Scion BeSpoke audio system with navigation and smartphone app compatibility for $1,198. Under the hood, the previous version's 180-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder returns; Scion says it's mated to a faster-shifting six-speed automatic transmission for 2014.

The automaker announced pricing for its tiny iQ hatchback, too. The 2014 version also gets the new 6.1-inch touch-screen audio system and is otherwise unchanged. It starts at $16,420, including destination; model-year 2013 versions started at $16,250. The minicar also goes on sale in June.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 8, 2013 | Comments (4)

NHTSA: 2013 Cadillac SRX, 2014 Scion tC Earn Five-Star Rating

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the results of a new crop of tests, including some updated-for-2014 vehicles.

All-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive versions of the 2013 Cadillac SRX earned the agency's highest rating, an overall five stars. Its composite score is made up of four stars in front and rollover tests and a five in side crash testing. The model-year 2012 version also scored five stars, although it earned a five in front crash tests. For 2013, the compact crossover got some light exterior styling and interior updates and Cadillac communications spokeswoman Jordana Strosberg told Cars.com that "the SRX interior was modified for 2013 and our score was fractionally different."

Scion's updated-for-2014 tC coupe also earned an overall score of five stars, a repeat of last year's safety rating. Model-year 2014 versions of the tiny Scion iQ and subcompact Ford Fiesta were also tested; both received four stars overall. Sedan and hatchback versions of the Fiesta were lightly updated for 2014. Model-year 2013 versions of the Fiesta were also rated at four stars; the 2013 iQ hadn’t yet been tested.

Editor's note: This post was updated on April 23 with comments from a Cadillac representative.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

Scion Series 10 Limited Editions Celebrate Brand's 10th Birthday

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Coming to dealers in June will be special editions of Scion's entire lineup, including the just-announced 2014 Scion tC. Marking the brand's 10th anniversary, the Scion 10 Series editions of the xB, xD, iQ, FR-S and tC will all be painted one color — Silver Ignition — and feature the Scion name illuminated on the dashboard when drivers enter the vehicle before it fades to reveal the number 10.

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Each will be sequentially numbered, with a total run of 10,000 units to be produced. All will feature silver seat belts, LED Scion badges on the hood and rear that light up when the car is unlocked, and a solar-powered illuminated shift knob. The xB, iQ and xD models will come with unique alloy wheels, while the FR-S 10 Series will have standard high-intensity-discharge headlamps, dual climate control and smart key with push-button start ignition.

By Aaron Bragman | March 28, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2012-2013 Scion iQ

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Toyota is recalling 11,200 of its small Scion iQ cars from the 2012 and 2013 model years because of a potential problem with the weight sensor cables, which are part of the safety system that deploys airbags and seat belt pretensioners, according to the automaker.

The sensors are located in the seat assembly, and the cables for these sensors can come into contact with foreign objects like loose coins or trash and become damaged. If damaged, the safety system may not operate properly or at all when needed in a crash.

The company says there have been no crashes or injuries related to the defect.

Toyota will inspect the front seats and the weight cable sensors and install new protective covers over the sensors to fix the problem.

Owners will be contacted by Toyota starting in early December with instructions on having the recall remedied. The repair should take approximately an hour, according to Toyota.

Concerned owners can call Scion at 866-707-2466 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By David Thomas | November 7, 2012 | Comments (1)

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