2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepGrandCherokeeSRT

Most significant changes: New appearance packages, noise cancellation for upper-crust trims, slightly more power for SRT
Price change: TBD
On sale: September/October
Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? Vast majority of trims unchanged, so 2014

Jeep's popular Grand Cherokee has sprouted as many special editions as ... uh, most other cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobile. This time, the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit gets a California Edition appearance package, which adds body-colored — rather than chrome — door handles and mirrors, plus body-colored lower body panels instead of darker trim. The grille, fog-light bezels and a few other areas get unique "platinum chrome" accents, too. Inside, tan leather with black stitching joins the color palette.

Related: Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Cosmetic updates aside, all Summit models add active noise cancellation and more noise abatement to the windshield and second-row windows.

There's also a tad bit more power for the Grand Cherokee SRT (above), whose 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 now makes 475 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque — up 5 hp and 5 pounds-feet from the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. The SRT also adds active noise cancellation, and a new Red Vapor edition, which comes in red, white or black. The Red Vapor's other additions (all cosmetic) include unique 20-inch wheels, glossy black exterior trim and red cabin accents with an illuminated SRT steering-wheel logo.

By Kelsey Mays | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Durango: What's Changed

2015DodgeDurango

Most significant changes: New Blacktop and Rallye Appearance packages, Beats by Dre audio

Price change: TBD

On sale: Late 2014

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Dodge's seven-passenger Durango SUV received a pretty major update for the 2014 model year, bringing new powertrains, styling and interior appointments to the big traditional truck, so for 2015 Dodge is limiting changes to making the Durango look and sound even cooler.

Related: 2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

The popular Rallye Appearance Package is extended to the Limited trim level as well as the base SXT, bringing the R/T's monochromatic look, smoked headlights, ground effects package and 20-inch Hyper Black wheels to the lower trim levels. The Rallye Appearance Package SXT still gets black cloth seats, while the Limited will feature leather, and both models get a dual exhaust on the V-6 trucks.

By Aaron Bragman | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Jeep Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepCherokee

Most significant changes: Stop-start now standard on V-6-equipped models

Price change: Prices increase $100 on all models except the Sport trim

On sale: Since late July

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2015

Jeep's all-new Cherokee managed to make a big splash in the crowded compact SUV field with a combination of distinctive styling, commendable on-road performance and off-road capability, a choice of three four-wheel-drive systems and a roomy, well-finished interior. That helped its appeal with Jeep loyalists who value off-road prowess as well as those who drive only on smooth pavement but want the versatility of a small SUV.

Related: Cars.com Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Coverage

Jeep delayed the launch of the 2014 Cherokee for a couple of months while it tried to fix shift quality issues with the also-new nine-speed automatic transmission, and we aren't convinced it is fully sorted out based on our long-term Cherokee test vehicle.

Aside from the transmission, though, there is much to like about the Cherokee, which offers a broad portfolio of safety features, a voice-operated infotainment system, interior furnishings that are a cut above and family-friendly utility. Because it was all-new for 2014, there are few changes to the 2015, which just recently went on sale.

By Rick Popely | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Acura MDX: Car Seat Check

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With a 2014 redesign under its belt, it's no surprise that the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2015. What has changed is the child-safety seats we use for our Car Seat Checks. We were able to fit three car seats across the MDX's second-row bench, but there wasn't enough room between the booster seat and rear-facing infant seat for easy buckling access. Because the second row's middle bottom seat cushion is shorter than the outboard seats, about 30 percent of the infant seat base was hanging off the front of the seat. It's recommended that at least 80 percent of a child-safety seat is touching the car's seat. Parents should keep an eye on proper fit when installing car seats in this middle seating position.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two; three could fit if using narrow car seats

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Nissan Juke Review

2014NissanJukeRS

"Even its high-performance RS version can't redeem the 2014 Nissan Juke from being an odd duck, and problems with refinement and crash tests make this mallard sink more than swim," said Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. Check out Mays' review for more.

2014 Nissan Juke Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | August 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sportage: What's Changed

2015KiaSportage

Most significant changes: Navigation, power folding mirrors and push-button start standard on turbocharged SX models

Price change: Base prices are up $150 on LX and EX models, up $1,200 on SX

On sale: Since mid-August

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

The five-passenger Sportage compact SUV received styling changes and a more powerful base engine for 2014, so the changes for 2015 are minimal. The next round of major changes will probably come for the 2017 model year, when it is due for a redesign.

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

Sportage comes in three models but two basic flavors: The LX and EX use a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while the SX comes with a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. All come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

By Rick Popely | August 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Volvo XC90: First Look

2016VolvoXC90

Competes with: Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60

Looks like: Sleeker elements meet the same upright profile

Drivetrain: 320-hp, supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder or 400-hp (est.), supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder with plug-in electric motor; available all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2015

After a protracted rollout that included a reveal of the interior and details on powertrains, Volvo finally unveiled the next-generation XC90's exterior. It's all here, now, and much of it reads like a concept car. But so did the original XC90, which debuted gyroscopic rollover detection and was among the first SUVs with three-row side curtain airbags.

Related: Porsche, Hyundai Top New J.D. Power Study, Volvo and Mitsubishi Sink

That was more than 12 years ago.

This new XC90 gets some all-new tech in the safety arena like you'd expect from a Volvo but it may be the powertrain and interior opulence that woos luxury shoppers.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2014 | Comments (10)

Recall Alert: 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500, 2015 Chrysler 200

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 16,000 model-year 2014 Jeep Cherokee crossovers and Ram 1500s, and 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans

The Problem: Due to an insufficient weld, the rear shocks may detach from the vehicle at one end and possibly damage other chassis components or the tire, or result in reduced braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will inspect the rear shocks and replace any affected ones 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.

More Recalls

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

'Lincoln Lawyer' Star McConaughey Tabbed for Lincoln Ads

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Don't drive a Lincoln? Matthew McConaughey thinks it'd be a lot cooler if you did.

Earlier this year, the Hollywood A-lister's so-called McConaissance was fully realized when he won the Oscar for his "Dallas Buyers Club" performance. Now, Ford is hoping the born-again serious actor — who'd become a bit of a punchline in recent years, starring in poorly received romantic comedies and, like, "Surfer, Dude" before a string of prestige pieces and box-office hits rescued his rep — can bring some of that same McConaughey mojo to the flagging luxury brand.

Related: Godzilla Bites Off a Mouthful in New Fiat 500L Ad

According to The Detroit News, Lincoln announced today that it is partnering with the star on a two-year deal that will bring McConaughey's famous face and Texas drawl to a series of TV and online ads. The spots are slated to begin next month and focus on the 2015 MKC compact crossover.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Land Rover Range Rover: Car Seat Check

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It doesn't get much more posh than the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover. This ultraluxury SUV wraps its passengers in comfort with its supple leather seats and head restraints that are as soft as pillows. With room for five, our test car had a long wheelbase, which adds 7.9 inches to this already large SUV's length. Some may argue that this isn't a family car, but our policy is to test cars that arrive in our Chicago headquarters that have a workable backseat, and the Range Rover certainly meets that criterion.

The Range Rover nearly fit three child-safety seats across its backseat, but the seats were too close together for a child in a booster seat to reach the seat belt buckle. Using narrow car seats in the backseat might be an option for parents of three kids interested in this SUV.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

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