2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Car Seat Check

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Kids bring so much joy into their parents' lives. They also bring a lot of mess. Whether its mud-caked shoes or the constant debris of cracker crumbs and sticky fingerprints they leave in their wake, kids and messes go together like peanut butter and jelly. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a luxurious sedan, may be too nice to put kids in, especially considering its $93,825 price tag (including destination); our test car cost $122,895. If that price didn't make you blink, keep reading. The good news is the five-passenger S550 earned top marks across the board in our Car Seat Check.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | December 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Acura TLX Video

It has a different name, but Acura's new TLX looks to resurrect the company's misfire with the last TL sedan. In this video, Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek says it mostly does the job with a variety of engines and powertrains.

Watch on YouTube

By David Thomas | December 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Volkswagen Passat Review

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"Three model years after winning Cars.com's Best of 2012 Award, the 2015 Volkswagen Passat remains a compelling family sedan, offering above-average space, mileage, drivability and quality," says reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder. Check out his review for more, and click here to see how the sedan fared in Cars.com's $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge.

2015 Volkswagen Passat Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By William Jackson | December 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

How a Lexus ES 350 Saved Christmas

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You probably saw a Christmas tree strapped to the roof of every other car the day after Thanksgiving. Discounted trees fly out the doors of hardware and department stores quicker than pants unbuckle after an excessive turkey dinner. I planned to snag one of those door-buster trees on Black Friday but didn't have the most cargo-friendly tree hauler: a 2015 Lexus ES 350.

Related: How to Transport Your Christmas Tree Safely

In my deal-hunting crosshairs was a 7.5-foot-tall, LED-lit artificial tree with 1,433 branch tips on sale for $79 from $199. Even boxed, I wasn't too hopeful the tree would fit in the sedan's trunk because the ES 350 lacks a folding backseat. Knowing it had no chance in the trunk, the plan was to fit the box in the cabin straddled across the backseat and over the reclined front passenger seat.

Then the inevitable happened: the store sold the last tree minutes before I walked in. The last tree standing was a scraggly, hastily assembled floor model on which I made an offer to store management. Deal accepted, but the store simply took the tree off the display rack and stuck it in a shopping cart. Now I have a shopping cart stuffed with two parts of a partially assembled tree, no box and no folding backseat. Ah, yes, the holidays.

By Joe Bruzek | December 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 BMW 6 Series: First Look

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Competes with: The coupe and convertible compete with Porsche 911 and Jaguar XK; the Gran Coupe competes with Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi A7/S7

Looks like: The 6 Series adopts the 4 Series' flared bumper openings

Drivetrain: 315-hp, turbocharged six-cylinder (640i) or 445-hp, turbocharged V-8 (650i) with eight-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive; 560-hp, turbocharged V-8 (M6) with seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

Subtle updates grace the 2016 BMW 6 Series, which, typical of BMW, still comes in all manner of styles. You can get a 6 Series coupe, convertible or four-door Gran Coupe. Three engines pair with rear- or all-wheel drive and two automatic transmissions. Top among them is the high- performance M6 model, which can still come with a manual transmission to please the sports-car traditionalists.

Related: BMW to Build Plug-in Versions of Several Vehicles

Come January, we’ll see the 2016 6 Series at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. BMW says the car hits dealerships in the first quarter of 2015.

By Kelsey Mays | December 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat EPA Rated at 22 MPG Highway

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It's fast, it's powerful and it's actually more fuel efficient than you'd expect. Chrysler announced today that the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is EPA rated at 13/22/16 mpg city/highway/combined.

Related: 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat: First Look 

The 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 is paired with an eight-speed automatic and makes 707 horsepower and 650 pounds-feet of torque. Dodge calls it "the quickest, fastest, most-powerful sedan ever" and claims it has a top speed of 204 mph and is good for a zero-100-zero mph time of less than 13 seconds.

The 2015 Charger Hellcat is slated to go on sale early next year and start at $64,990, including destination and a $1,700 gas-guzzler tax.

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

By Jennifer Geiger | December 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

Acura Issues Stop-Sale on Certain TLX Sedans

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Bloomberg News reported Dec. 9 that Acura told dealers to suspend sales of certain V-6 versions of the redesigned 2015 TLX because the parking brake may fail, and the car could roll away if parked. Parent company Honda said it would notify TLX owners beginning Jan. 6, Bloomberg said. A Honda spokesman told the news agency the company is still investigating whether the condition has led to any accidents.

Related: 2015 Acura TLX Review

Honda told Cars.com that it notified dealers to stop sales on Dec. 4, but the order only applies to certain cars. "Acura notified its U.S. dealers to stop the sale of certain TLX V6 [sic] vehicles until they receive specific inspection and repair instructions from Acura," the automaker said in a statement. "Only certain vehicles are included in this action, and nearly all new TLX V6 [sic] vehicles being delivered to dealers currently are unaffected by this stop sale order."

That suggests the automaker has already come up with a fix, and virtually all cars leaving the assembly line right now have been remedied. Honda did not elaborate on the cause or solution. It also didn't say how long sales would be stopped or whether current V-6 TLX owners should bring their cars in. The automaker only said Acura will provide more information when it's available and encourages drivers to use the parking brake whenever they park.

By Kelsey Mays | December 10, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Nissan Altima Review

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"In one of the most competitive classes in the car market, the generally capable 2015 Nissan Altima is hamstrung by subpar drivability — an unrefined transmission and associated engine noise," says Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder. Check out his review for more, and click here to see how the sedan fared in Cars.com's $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge.

2015 Nissan Altima Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | December 10, 2014 | Comments (14)

Recall Alert: 2009-11 Hyundai Genesis, 2011 Equus

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 43,000 model-year 2009-11 Hyundai Genesis vehicles manufactured between April 30, 2008, and Nov. 21, 2010, as well as model-year 2011 Equus sedans manufactured July 31 to Nov. 21, 2010

The Problem: A circuit failure could cause the brake lights to not illuminate, increasing the risk of a rear-end accident. There are no reports of accidents related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and repair affected stop lamp switch circuits for free.

What Owners Should Do: Hyundai has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker at 800-633-5151 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | December 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Ford Fusion Review

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"The Ford Fusion is an undeniably stylish, athletic, fun-to-drive midsize sedan, but its interior appointments won't match its exterior panache unless you're ready to open your wallet," says Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more and click here to see how it fared in Cars.com's $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge.

2015 Ford Fusion Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | December 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

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