Used Fiat 500c Convertible Prices Spike in August

2012 Fiat 500c

Summer is winding down, but that didn't stop used Fiat 500c prices from heading up in August. Asking prices on Cars.com for the subcompact 500c, which features a power-retractable soft-top, jumped 8.1 percent ($1,324). That increase put it well ahead of the Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV and Nissan Quest minivan, which advanced 1.9 percent ($792) and 1.8 percent ($405), respectively.

Related Deferred Payments: Read the Fine Print

Prices for the Chevrolet Express 1500 full-size van decreased the most, down 5.3 percent ($1,153) from a month ago. The Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car and BMW 650i luxury two-door round out the month's top three biggest drops, with prices down 3.8 percent ($897) and 3.6 percent ($2,370), respectively.

Overall used-car prices declined again in August, continuing a trend that began in the spring. Average listing prices were down 1.4 percent ($315) to $22,604. That's the steepest monthly decline we've seen so far this year.

By Mike Hanley | August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Prius Real-World Cargo Space

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Compared to its midsize sedan hybrid competitors, the Toyota Prius hatchback's cargo space is a winner with 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the folding backseat, a feature some sedans lose in their transformation to a hybrid. Throw in a 50 mpg combined EPA rating and it's easy to see why the purpose-built hybrid is so popular.

Related: Best Hybrids for the Money 2014

The original Prius fits in the middle of the current Prius lineup that includes the smaller Prius c and wagonlike Prius v. See how well common cargo items fit in the Prius' cargo area below.

By Joe Bruzek | August 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Toyota Tundra

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Vehicles Affected: More than 16,200 model-year 2013-14 Toyota Tundra pickup trucks modified by Gulf States Toyota Inc. as part of certain vehicle packages to be equipped with a combination of non-Toyota-brand 20-inch alloy wheels and chrome-plated lug nuts

The Problem: The coating on the lug nuts may give, causing the lug nuts to loosen or the wheel studs to fracture, which may cause the wheel to separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GST will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace 20 lug nuts and torque them to specification for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GST at 800-444-1074, 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 | August 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Toyota FT-1 Concept Goes Upscale (18 Photos)

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Toyota's bright red FT-1 sports car concept drew the excitable eye of everyone who attended the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit where it debuted. We haven't forgotten about the red and racy concept, and neither has Toyota, which just released a reimagined version with an upscale vibe more ready for a leisurely cruise down a coastal highway than carving corners on a racetrack.

Related: Toyota FT-1 Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

The pull-me-over red exterior is replaced with a graphite re-skin, and I think does a better job showing off the FT-1's curves. New interior touches are equally as minimalistic and work to great effect with saddle leather highlights and new textures providing a more Lexus-like experience than Toyota. Toyota's design team took inspiration for the interior from modern, high-tech superhero costumes and high-end leather bags.

By Joe Bruzek | August 14, 2014 | Comments (2)

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 (10)

Recall Alert: 2014 Toyota Sienna

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Vehicles Affected: More than 260 model-year 2014 Toyota Sienna minivans manufactured between June 17 and 24, 2014

The Problem: The protective cable sleeve of the shift control cable may have been damaged during assembly; this could cause the control cable to bind or separate during gear shift operation, causing incorrect gear selection. If separation occurs while the vehicle is being driven, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear, and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, when the driver goes to park the vehicle, despite selecting the Park position, the transmission may not be in Park, and the vehicle could roll away, injuring exiting occupants or bystanders.

The Fix: Toyota will begin notifying owners early this month, and dealers will inspect and replace the transmission shift control cable for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, 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 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

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 Toyota 4Runner Real-World Cargo Space

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The off-road-ready 2014 Toyota 4Runner packs a fair amount of cargo room for an SUV geared toward rugged dirt duty. The five- or seven-occupant 4Runner's maximum 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space is actually a wee bit more than the family-focused eight-person 2014 Toyota Highlander's 83.7 cubic feet.

Related: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Expert Review

Though redesigned for 2014, the changes are mostly cosmetic and a number of the 4Runner's interesting cargo features carry over, including the available sliding rear cargo deck on five-person 4Runners that supports more than 400 pounds and slides out of the rear hatch area. The sliding cargo floor makes it easier to cope with the tall off-road-friendly ride height. See how well common items fit into the 4Runner's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Toyota Prius Gains Special Edition

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Toyota is adding a little extra spark to its hybrid Prius for 2015. The Persona Series Special Edition ties in a few unique interior and exterior components to the midlevel Prius Three trim, including 17-inch wheels with a dark metallic finish — 15-inchers are only available otherwise — plus the special edition adds a new Absolutely Red exterior color and the front occupants' footwells feature blue lighting.

Related: 2014 Toyota Prius: Car Seat Check

The Persona Series tacks on $1,235 to a Prius Three, so it starts at $27,810 with destination for the Absolutely Red exterior. Prius Three trims come equipped with navigation, a 6.1-inch touch-screen and keyless access. Add an additional $395 for the available Blizzard White exterior, which is the only other color option in the Persona Series. On the inside, this special edition pairs Toyota's black imitation leather SofTex with gray accent stitching along with chrome highlights on the shift knob ring and door handles.

The 2015 Prius Persona Series goes on sale in September. Information on updates to the rest of the Prius lineup will be released later this week.

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By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Prius: Car Seat Check

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When Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder critiqued the 2012 Toyota Prius, he called it "an exceptionally efficient car at a relatively low price for people who care more about conservation than the act of driving. Given its success, the formula seems to have worked just fine." Evidently, that formula has continued working so well that the popular hybrid has changed little in the past two model years. That comforting sameness extended to child-safety-seat installation, which remained relatively easy, garnering just a couple of minor complaints from us with regard to the head restraints and seat belts.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | July 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

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