The Top 10 Worst Car Redesigns Since 2000

2013ChevyMalibu

Typically when a car gets redesigned, it gets better. An automaker has likely spent years improving its performance, styling and comfort to make car shoppers take note. A redesigned model can spark sales, and the most successful ones can change the course of an entire brand.

Related: More Top 10s

However, not every redesign is a success. The editors at Cars.com have come up with 10 of the worst attempts at overhauling a car since the millennium turned in 2000. And to prove first impressions count we've included some of our thoughts from the cars' original reviews that seem to still resonate today.

By David Thomas | November 11, 2014 | Comments (7)

Scion Amps Things Up at SEMA Show With Slayer tC

SlayerScion

Scion's customized Slayer-inspired 2014 tC could be dangerous. Not because it's a tricked-out tribute to the outlaw elder statesmen of speed metal, but because it's gonna be difficult to steer and work the manual transmission while throwing up your devil horns. The Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC is making its beastly bow this week at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show in Las Vegas, and this car is nothing if not special.

Related: Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

The black-as-night Slayer Scion isn't just another token theme car with a unique paint job and some extra badging. It's retrofitted front to back, inside and out with metal motifs and working musical gear. Sinister visual cues include an expansive Slayer logo on the hood, red headlights that look like bloodshot eyes after a rough night backstage and a misty skull mural spanning the side of the car. In the cockpit, metal heads will geek out on Marshall Amplification-branded seats, a sword-hilt parking-brake lever and a gear-shift handle that Hamlet might use to lament poor Yorick's fate (while laying a little rubber on the asphalt).

Moreover, in addition to rear-hinged doors, the rear hatch opens up to reveal a trunk load of fully operational sound equipment — speakers, amps, visual display and all — enabling aspiring rock gods to throw down an eardrum-splitting live set anywhere they can find a parking space.

Now, about getting the Slayer Scion to Cars.com's Chicago headquarters for testing …

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

Is Driving a Certain Car Your Ticket to Traffic Court?

2015WRX

Look, just because you drive a Subaru WRX doesn't mean you're more likely to be the type of person who exceeds the speed limit or breaks other traffic laws. OK, it actually does mean that, but we're not the ones saying it, Insurance.com is. The auto-insurance rate-comparison website analyzed online quote info from more than half a million drivers and more than 500 car models between January 2013 and July 2014, and identified the cars most likely to be used in the commission of a traffic offense. Coincidentally, a fifth of the list is composed of competitors in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge in which the WRX scored the fastest times.

Related: The $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

According to the study, one in three drivers of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX compact performance sedan has had a traffic violation for an offense such as speeding, failure to yield or drunken driving in the past three years, making it the No. 1 most-ticketed car.

By Matt Schmitz | September 30, 2014 | Comments (5)

Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

SlayerScion

As long as there has been heavy metal, teenagers have sought out bands with which to frighten their parents. Now there's a car to really drive 'em nuts. In November, Toyota-owned Scion will unleash a special-edition car perfectly suited for that purpose, the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC, inspired by the irreverently iconic headbangers, Slayer. On second thought, given the band's influential career spanning more than three decades, the youngsters' enthusiasm may actually take a backseat to that of Mom and Dad for a road trip "South of Heaven" to spend some "Seasons in the Abyss."

Related: Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

You can't make out a whole h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lot from the rudimentary pencil-sketch-style image Toyota released this week of the modified version of Scion's sporty coupe — beyond it being obligatorily black in color with a large, red circle adorning the hood (the band's inverted-pentagram logo, perhaps?). No doubt something very similar has been sketched on more than a couple fifth-period Life Sciences textbooks by daydreaming junior-high misfits (we don't mean us). In any case, the automaker promises an exterior style commensurately aggressive to its subject with band-inspired details. And perhaps of equal importance, that influence carries over into the interior as the "multimedia machine" boasts amps, towers of speakers, a custom mixer and a 32-inch monitor for media playback, Toyota said.

By Matt Schmitz | September 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Scion Updates FR-S, tC for 2015

2015_Scion_FRS_002

Just in time for the summer cruising season, Scion is updating its coupes with additional equipment and more exterior color choices. Both the 2015 Scion tC and FR-S go on sale this June; the tC's prices carry over, the FR-S sees only a small price increase for 2015. 

More Scion News 

The FR-S coupe was new for 2013 and received a standard touch- screen audio system for 2014. For 2015, Scion gave the coupe a more rigid front suspension and retuned the rear shock absorbers for “a more communicative driving experience,” the automaker said in a statement.

By Jennifer Geiger | May 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014NissanRogue

OK, let's dispatch this quickly and move on, shall we? 2014 Nissan Rogue. Top spot. Yes, again. That said, our list of most-read reviews is not without its newcomers. This week, we welcome a pair of model-year 2014 Lexus luxury SUVs in the LX 570 and GX 460, checking in at Nos. 3 and 9, respectively, while the 2014 Scion tC sport coupe parks itself at No. 5. Check out what else was popular:

2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
2014 Lexus LX 570
2014 Subaru Forester
2014 Scion tC
2014 Infiniti Q50
2014 Honda CR-V
2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Lexus GX 460
2015 Volvo V60

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

2014 Scion tC Review

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While the original Scion tC delivered in the excitement department, subsequent versions have disappointed. Can the revised-for-2014 sport coupe bring back that lovin' feeling? Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says not quite. Mays says changes to the 2014 model are largely cosmetic and you'll get more for your money elsewhere. Check out the full review below.

2014 Scion tC Review

By Jennifer Geiger | March 3, 2014 | Comments (2)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

Fare from our coverage of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show in February continued to be popular on our list of most-watched videos. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays' auto-show intro to the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype sedan moved up one spot this week to No. 1. That relegated to No. 2 last week's champ, the video of the 2015 Toyota Tundra and Tacoma TRD Pro Package tackling the Japanese automaker's expansive indoor off-roading track at the auto show. This week's lone newcomer to the list was the 2014 Scion tC at No. 5. Check out what else was popular.

1. 2015 Acura TLX Prototype — 2014 Chicago Auto Show
2. 2015 Toyota Tundra and Tacoma TRD Pro Package — 2014 Chicago Auto Show
3. 2015 Toyota 4Runner — 2014 Chicago Auto Show
4. 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL550 MW
5. 2014 Scion tC

By Matt Schmitz | March 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Scion tC Video

Despite the 2014 Scion tC's diminutive size, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the front-wheel-drive hatchback is a lot of car for the money. For around $20,000 with destination, the redesigned Toyota-made tC gets Avalon-like exterior styling cues, impressive power and drivability, surprisingly good backseat room and new tech features. Cabin quality, however, is another issue entirely, which Mays likens to a Hollywood disaster at sea. Watch the video above.

2014 Scion tC Starts at $19,965

By Matt Schmitz | February 19, 2014 | Comments (2)

Dodge, Scion Bring Limited Editions to Detroit

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Detroit's debuts won't just be all-new concepts and productions; several automakers are announcing special-edition versions of existing models.

With its new Monogram Series, Scion hopes to embroider its name onto car shoppers' minds in association with premium features. The Toyota-owned brand announced today that the limited-edition versions of the 2014 FR-S and tC — debuting at the 2014 North American International Auto Show next week in Detroit — outfit the coupes with a host of premium features. The Monogram Series' first run will include only 2,000 of the FR-S rear-wheel-drive sports car and 2,500 of the tC front-wheel-drive coupe, both are set to hit dealerships in February.

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

In the FR-S, standard Monogram features include leather seats with Alcantara simulated suede inserts; a BeSpoke Premium Audio system with navigation and connected services; high-intensity-discharge headlamps with LED running lights; dual-zone automatic climate control; heated front seats and side mirrors; a color-keyed rear spoiler; and a rear-seat center armrest. The Monogram FR-S starts at $28,155 with a six-speed manual transmission and $29,255 with a six-speed automatic, plus an additional $395 for the exterior Whiteout color. Base 2014 FR-S models start at $25,455; all prices include a $755 destination charge.

By Matt Schmitz | January 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

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