Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2014

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Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.

Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 American-Made Index: Fewest Cars Ever

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A steady decline in cars with high domestic-parts content had us wondering when the American-Made Index would have fewer than 10 cars. This year, that nearly happened. For the 2014 model year, there are no "honorable mentions"; all 10 that were eligible made the list. In fact, just 13 models built in the U.S. reported domestic-parts content of 75 percent or higher, but three of those are going to be discontinued, meaning they're disqualified from our list. Three model years ago, 30 cars met the 75 percent threshold.

Cars.com Releases the 2014 American-Made Index

It's a clear trend, and it comes despite increased domestic car production. In 2013, automakers built 11.14 million vehicles in the U.S., including passenger cars and medium/heavy-duty trucks, according to Automotive News. That's up 7 percent over 2012, and it came as production stayed roughly flat in Mexico and fell 3.7 percent in Canada. Through the first five months of 2014, production increased 4.4 percent in the U.S.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (4)

Cars.com Releases the 2014 American-Made Index

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Cars.com released its 2014 American-Made Index, which rates cars built and bought in the U.S. This year's group includes models from five automakers. They're built in seven states, from Texas to Ohio.

Cars.com 2014 American-Made Index

The AMI uses two data points that consumers can find on all new cars: final assembly point and the vehicle's domestic-parts content; these can be found either together on one label, or on separate labels, on all new light-duty cars and trucks. The labels show the percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts. (By congressional mandate, the American Automobile Labeling Act lumps Canada into the same "domestic" pool.) In addition to showing where the car was built, the label will tell you where its engine and transmission came from.

This marks the ninth year for the AMI. The top two finishers had a clear lead, but the last four finishers are newcomers, and this year saw the list hit a record low for eligible models. Read our related story to see why the pickings this year were so slim.

Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

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When I was 10, my dad set me and a go-kart loose in an abandoned parking lot, free to zip around the blacktop. At that age, you don't give a thought to how much gas costs; it's all about the fun. At this age, however, fuel economy is a big consideration when it comes to buying a car, but it doesn't have to trump the fun-to-drive factor.

More Top 10s

There are plenty of cars that offer both fun and fuel savings, from affordable subcompacts and gas-electric hybrids to pricier luxury cars and diesel-powered vehicles. To qualify for this list, a car has to have an EPA combined rating of 30 mpg, while bringing out the inner go-kart-loving kid in all of us:

By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (9)

Top 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy

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There's a certain crowd of people who don't really care what car they drive, in particular. They just want whatever is the cheapest way to get from A to B, period. They want something new, something with a warranty, something efficient. They probably don't even take into consideration the well-written expert reviews on a site like Cars.com penned by experienced automotive journalists.

More Top 10s

It is for those people that we've compiled the following list, the top 10 cheapest cars to buy and fuel, the cars that deliver the biggest financial bang for your hard-earned buck.

By Aaron Bragman | February 24, 2014 | Comments (26)

Top 10 Most Iconic Cars of the Last 25 Years

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Aside from Hollywood and the military, there's no industry that creates as many icons as the car business. Whether it's through expressive styling, performance under the hood or some other factor, the auto industry has a knack for taking steel, glass and rubber, and creating cars and trucks that become universally symbolic. It's these iconic cars that offer a window into America's history with the automobile.

More Top 10s

With so many from which to choose, we decided to narrow our focus to cars from the past 25 years. From an initial list of 30 contenders we whittled down to the 10 you see here. Be sure to let us know in the comments section below what cars you think are the most iconic and which ones we missed.

By Mike Hanley | February 4, 2014 | Comments (21)

The Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2013

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Even as 2013 cars sales stalled a bit in December, new-car sales overall still landed around 15.6 million units for the year. That's up 8 percent over 2012, and it marks the best sales since 2007. If 2014 sees similar gains, the experts are right: Happy days for the industry will be here again.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: December 2013

Does that mean happy days for the consumer? Yes, but with caveats. Even as discounts edged upward, ballooning MSRPs sent transaction prices to nearly $33,000 per car by December, according to CNW Marketing Research. Compare that to all of 2012, when transactions averaged as low as $30,184 at the beginning of the year. New cars got pricier, yet shoppers still bought them.

By Kelsey Mays | January 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Most-Read Stories of 2013

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In 2013, Cars.com readers were most interested in knowing what were the best-selling vehicles, what had changed on vehicles between model years, kinds and capacity of seating, proper vehicle care and, most of all, our advice on which cars to buy — specifically affordable used ones. Our post advising car shoppers on the best used cars for $10,000 was the No. 1 post of the year — not surprising considering 40 million used cars were sold in 2012. Our perennially popular post advising readers on which cars fit three child-safety seats secured the No. 4 spot. Meanwhile, maintenance advice posts also proved popular, finding fixed positions at Nos. 3, 7 and 10. Find out what else was popular in 2013.

1. 10 Cars for $10K: The Best Used Cars for $10,000
2. Which Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain's Chairs?
3. Do You Really Need to Change the Transmission Fluid?
4. Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?
5. Best Hybrids for the Money 2013
6. 2014 Toyota RAV4: What's Changed
7. How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?
8. 2014 Honda Accord: What's Changed
9. Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2012
10. How Long Do Tires Last?

By Matt Schmitz | December 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

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Automakers give all sorts of reasons for canceling a model. Sometimes it comes from a deliberate one-and-done cycle, as Scion often employs. Other times a car too similar to its corporate siblings — compare the ultra-luxury Maybach brand to an optioned-out Mercedes-Benz S-Class — and allowed to age without a redesign can spell doom. And some cars just plain stink: Four of our 10 Worst Cars of the 2000s sputtered out with no direct replacement.

Whatever the cause, cancellations often coincide with lackluster sales. Consider former Volvo spokesman James Hope, whose eulogy for the now-defunct S40 and V50 was short and sweet. "The S40 and V50 are great cars," Hope said. "Our focus, however, needs to be on our [sales] volume vehicles."

More than a dozen models were discontinued in 2013. We polled our editors to see which cars we think will meet their end next year.

By Kelsey Mays | December 18, 2013 | Comments (37)

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