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)

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'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 (8)

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 (36)

Top 10 Most Extravagant Car Options

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For every buyer who is satisfied with an average, ordinary family sedan in subdued "greige" paint, there is a customer out there who wants something special in the car he or she drives.

That's especially true the higher you go on the automotive spectrum toward the high-dollar luxury cars, where you'll find that just about anything can be had — for a price. That said, some automakers offer unusual options for things you might not even know you need, but that are available if you want them.

By Aaron Bragman | November 7, 2013 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Most-Improved Cars from the Past 15 Years

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If you read our series on the business of redesigns, you know that reimagining a car from the ground up can be a billion-dollar feat to implement the industry's latest technology, keep up with ever-improving competition and ultimately (hopefully) increase sales. They usually do just that: In Cars.com's analysis of 61 redesigns from 2009 to 2012, sales for the average remake saw an increase of 32.6% in the months following.

Why? Just look at their predecessors. Some undertakings replace a onetime star that lingered well past its freshness date (see the Volkswagen New Beetle), while others are the successor to a product doomed from the get-go (see the Dodge Caliber). Whatever you call it, the most improved overhauls can sometimes create butterflies out of automotive caterpillars. An important note: Sometimes the changes go beyond just interiors and drivetrains, and sometimes the car being replaced was so poor that the automaker gave the new version an all-new name.

The last time we named the most-improved cars, we considered models that showed progress through successive generations in the 2000s. This time, our editors nominated the most improved single redesigns from the past 15 years.

By Kelsey Mays | October 14, 2013 | Comments (13)

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