2015 Subaru Outback: Car Seat Check

OutbackCSC

In its 2015 redesign, beloved family hauler the Subaru Outback continues to smartly straddle the line between a practical wagon and a rugged SUV, while getting subtle updates to its exterior styling, interior upgrades and improved fuel economy. Families will appreciate the new Outback's roomier cabin, cushier feel and an improved center storage bin that can hold larger items like an iPad. We last car-seat checked the Outback in 2012; that model proved as delightfully utilitarian as the vehicle's reputation. Can the 2015 live up to that easy-to-use, easier-to-love rep?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

2005ToyotaSequoiaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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

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By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

New Honda HR-V, 2016 Acura ILX to Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

2016_ILX_to_Debut_at_LAAS

Honda and its Acura luxury division plan to debut at least two vehicles at next month's 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. One is Honda's latest — and smallest — SUV, the HR-V; the first exterior images of the tiny crossover appeared last April. As we expected, Honda says the Fit-based HR-V will slot below the popular CR-V, which means it should compete against a burgeoning segment of entry-level crossovers like the Nissan Juke and Chevrolet Trax. Honda also confirmed the HR-V would have a lower price than the CR-V, which starts at $24,150 including destination.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News

Acura, meanwhile, announced today it would unveil a "substantially new" 2015 ILX with a "potent new powertrain," updated styling and "substantially upgraded" cabin design. The brand released a teaser image of the compact sedan, above. It makes sense, as Acura moves to expand the ILX's role as the entry-luxury car in its lineup; both the TSX and TL have been succeeded by the TLX. But through September, ILX sales have amounted to just 12,854 cars — a figure beat by the Buick Verano, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3/S3.

Stay tuned for full details and up-close impressions on both cars in our coverage of next month's auto show; press days are Nov. 18-20.

Manufacturer image

By Kelsey Mays | October 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Cadillac Escalade Review

2015CadillacEscalade
"Like a linebacker in an expensive suit, the Escalade has dynamite looks and slick moves, and while its price matches foreign competitors, its sophistication falls just short," Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said. Check out Bragman’s review for more.

2015 Cadillac Escalade Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Lexus NX Starts at $35,405

IMG_0539

Lexus released pricing for the all-new 2015 NX 200t and NX 300h compact SUVs, which go on sale in December. The NX 200t starts at $35,405, including a destination charge, or $6,490 below Lexus' larger RX 350 SUV. The NX 300h hybrid, meanwhile, starts at $40,645; that's $7,900 below the RX 450h. All prices are for models with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive adds a modest $1,400 to the NX 200t and $1,590 to the NX 300h.

Related: 2015 Lexus NX First Drive

That puts the NX atop the starting prices for entry-luxury SUVs like the 2015 Audi Q3 ($33,425), Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class ($32,225) and BMW X1 ($31,850), but Lexus insisted at a press drive in July that the NX competes with their larger siblings — respectively, the Q5 ($39,825), GLK-Class ($38,825) and X3 ($39,450) — a group that's dimensionally closer to the NX; all prices include destination.

By Kelsey Mays | October 16, 2014 | Comments (11)

Recall Alert: 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid

2008MazdaTributeHybridRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 400 model-year 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid crossovers manufactured between Oct. 10, 2006, and May 23, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating. This could cause the powertrain to shut down, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mazda will begin notifying owners on Nov. 3, and dealers will replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mazda at 248-295-7859, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

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

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 GM Sedans, SUVs, Pickup Trucks, Vans

2014CadillacCTSRecall
Vehicles Affected:
Nearly 100,000 model-year 2013-14 GM vehicles, including Cadillac CTS sedans, Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs; Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, Express vans, Impala sedans, Silverado heavy-duty pickup trucks and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, Acadia crossovers, Savana vans and Sierra HD pickups

The Problem: The chassis electronic module may be internally contaminated, resulting in an electrical short, which could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the chassis electronic module for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, GMC at 800-462-8782 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

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

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Jeep Wrangler

2013JeepWranglerRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 313,000 model-year 2011-13 Jeep Wrangler SUVs manufactured between Feb. 16, 2010, and July 19, 2013

The Problem: Corrosion in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector may result in an electrical short, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Dec. 5, and dealers will move the exterior power feed to a separate connector for free.

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.

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

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By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Chrysler Sedans; Dodge Sedans and SUVs, Jeep SUVs

2014Chrysler300Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 435,000 model-year 2011-14 Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Charger and Challenger sedans, and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured between June 17, 2010, and Dec. 23, 2013, and equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and a 160-amp alternator

The Problem: The alternator may suddenly fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Nov. 28, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker said the remedy is still being determined.

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.

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

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

2015 Lexus NX: Car Seat Check

2015LexusNX200hCSC

The Lexus NX 300h is the gas-electric hybrid version of the all-new compact luxury crossover, which also comes in gas-powered form as the NX 200t. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays tested the NX 300h and counted "more hits than misses," particularly with regard to driving fun and occupant comfort. For families, he also noted "anyone with serious cargo needs should look elsewhere." In our Car Seat Check, the NX 300h had a respectable showing, earning high marks for ease of installation and well-positioned Latch anchors.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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

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