What's the Most Affordable Midsize Sedan?

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The midsize sedan is one of the most popular segments in the U.S. It serves as a family car, commuter, road tripper and more.

Because of this popularity, automakers offer a dizzying amount of styles and options for their midsizers. This differing content makes it hard for car shoppers to compare apples to apples from one automaker to the next.

We analyzed the segment for the features most drivers would want in a car of this class and uncovered some surprising results.

By David Thomas | July 30, 2013 | Comments (12)

The Top 10 Smallest Recalls of 2013

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We recently counted down the top 10 biggest recalls reported by KickingTires in the first half of 2013. This week, we're out to show it's not always size that counts.

As we demonstrated last time out, among the many millions of vehicles for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls each year, individual actions themselves can number in the millions — as was the case when Chrysler agreed to inspect and repair 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to a potential fuel-system problem that could cause fires in rear-end collisions.

At the other end of the spectrum are recalls so small — single-digits-small — that in some cases it might be quicker for us just to shoot an email to the individual vehicle owners than it is to report it. Don't get us wrong; safety recalls are serious business and have the potential to save many lives each year. That said, some households have as many cars parked in their driveway right now as are affected by some recalls.

Without further ado, the smallest recalls reported by Cars.com so far in 2013 are:

By Matt Schmitz | July 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

The Top 10 Biggest Recalls of 2013

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Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls on millions of vehicles. In 2012, NHTSA recalled just shy of 18 million, and 15.5 million in 2011. While some recalls affect just a handful of vehicles, others impact millions.

So far this year, the biggest recall is technically not a recall at all. In June, we reported that NHTSA had requested Chrysler fix 2.7 million Jeep SUVs — 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty models — due to a potential fuel-system problem that could cause fires in a rear-end crash. Jeep initially refused, insisting the vehicles "met and exceeded all applicable requirements" of federal standards pertaining to fuel-system integrity. NHTSA then gave Chrysler a June 18 deadline to either issue a recall themselves, or be ordered to do so.

On the day of its deadline, Chrysler announced it would launch a campaign to inspect and, if necessary, fix the 2.7 million Jeeps — never officially referring to the action as a "recall." Still, that's what it was, and therefore it earns the distinction of being the biggest one this year.

According to research, the biggest recalls affecting the U.S. market in 2013 are:

By Matt Schmitz | July 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Subaru Outback and Legacy

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Subaru is recalling 5,379 model-year 2013 versions of the Outback and Legacy due to a problem with the steering column, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Feb. 15 through June 15, 2012; check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb. In these cars, the inner and outer shafts of the steering column assembly could become disengaged, leading to a possible loss of vehicle control. Subaru received customer complaints about a loss of steering ability, which led to the recall investigation, the automaker said in a statement.

Subaru will start notifying affected owners today, and dealers will replace the affected parts for free. Owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 15, 2013 | Comments (3)

Subaru Adds Jobs, Cars to Indiana Factory

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In three years, the Subaru Impreza will hail from Indiana.

Subaru imports today's Impreza, which competes with the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and other compact cars, from Japan. Its sole U.S. plant in Lafayette, Ind., builds the larger Legacy sedan, the Outback wagon and a few Tribeca SUVs. It also builds the Camry sedan in a partnership with Toyota, which owns 16.5% of Subaru.

Lafayette has two assembly lines. In 2012, Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries announced a production increase along one line by 2014 to 200,000 cars a year from the current 170,000. The other line, which assembles the Camry, has an annual capacity of 100,000 units. The Associated Press reports Fuji Heavy wants to double that capacity and add the Impreza, investing $400 million and bringing employment to 4,500 from the current 3,600.

By Kelsey Mays | May 8, 2013 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Family Reviews the 2013 Subaru Legacy

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Though it's been restyled for 2013, the Subaru Legacy won't knock anyone's socks off, says Cars.com Family reviewer Sara Lacey. If you can get past the bland exterior, Subaru did get some things right like the Legacy's optional 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, comfortable interior and low starting price.

2013 Subaru Legacy Family Review

By Jennifer Newman | April 22, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2005-09 Subaru Outback, Legacy

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Subaru is recalling certain model-year 2005-09 Outback wagons and Legacy sedans due to a problem with the brake lines that could cause corrosion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In its April 1 recall report, NHTSA stated that the exact number of vehicles affected was still undetermined; a Reuters story puts the number around 200,000.

Affected vehicles were manufactured between December 2003 and April 2009 and registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. According to NHTSA, salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector and result in excessive corrosion of the brake lines. This could cause brake fluid leakage, which could necessitate longer stopping distances and increase the risk of a crash.

By Matt Schmitz | April 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2012 Subaru Outback and Legacy

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Subaru is recalling just 14 model-year 2012 Outback wagons and Legacy sedans due to a problem with the moonroof glass that could cause it to detach, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicles were manufactured between April 6 and May 12, 2011. An inadequate amount and position of adhesive between the glass and retainer of the moonroof could cause the glass to loosen and detach while driving, creating a potential road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash, according to NHTSA.

Subaru has already notified affected owners, and dealers will inspect the condition of the glass adhesion and either apply additional adhesive or replace the moonroof glass for free, according to NHTSA. For more info, owners can call NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

Earlier this month, NHTSA announced that Subaru was recalling just 16 model-year 2012 Outback and Legacy vehicles also manufactured from April 6 to May 12, 2011. That recall stemmed from a problem with the windshield wiper motor and was an expansion of a previous recall from 2011.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 18, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2012 Subaru Outback and Legacy

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Subaru is recalling just 16 model-year 2012 versions of the Outback and Legacy due to a problem with the windshield wiper motor, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's an expansion of an earlier recall that affected model-year 2010-11 versions of the cars.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from April 6 through May 12, 2011 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb), and use a wiper motor cover that may overheat. This could lead to a fire.

Subaru has already notified all affected owners, and dealers will replace the wiper motor cover for free. Owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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Research the Subaru Outback
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By Jennifer Geiger | March 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: Subaru Legacy, Outback, Impreza and XV Crosstrek

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Subaru is recalling 47,419 model-year 2010-13 vehicles due to a problem with the remote start system, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles use an Audiovox remote engine starter accessory and either a continuously variable automatic transmission or an automatic transmission. They include model-year 2010-13 Outbacks and Legacys, 2012-13 Imprezas and 2013 XV Crosstreks.

If the key fob is dropped, it could malfunction and randomly start the engine and continue to start and stop it until the battery in the fob is depleted or the car runs out of gas. According to Subaru, original equipment keyless entry fobs integrated on the vehicle key are not affected.

Subaru will notify owners starting in April, and dealers will replace the affected key fobs for free. Owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 7, 2013 | Comments (0)

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