Every year hundreds of new-car models are introduced and enter the research process for millions of car shoppers. The dizzying number of choices sometimes shrouds from the masses what are good cars.
Here are 10 cars that Cars.com's editors agree are overlooked due to no fault of each vehicle's own substantial merits.
The Mazda6 is one of the rare family sedans that is both fun to drive and fuel-efficient; it's rated as high as 28/40/32 mpg city/highway/combined with an automatic transmission and the optional GT Technology Package, which includes regenerative braking and active grille shutters. But even the base automatic gets 38 on the highway. Good cabin quality, intuitive controls, comfortable seating and a striking design also fall into the Mazda's favor.
After an update for 2014, Volvo's sedan gets a new powertrain and some additional safety features for 2015. Although the S60 blurs the line between compact and midsize, the sedan easily accommodated two child-safety seats in our Car Seat Check, with ample room and accessible Latch anchors.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
This isn't just a standard-model sedan with a token badge and some performance styling cues. The 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar sedan — now bowing at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, along with wagon sibling the V60 Polestar — takes its track-ready theme seriously, particularly with regard to its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, which provides 345 horsepower and thrusts the sedan from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
The performance-ready powertrain is assisted by new suspension, brakes, chassis and engine hardware, while the standard six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system work in tandem with new steering-wheel-affixed paddle shifters. No pricing is available yet on this limited-release vehicle, but it should be available closer to its summer dealership date. Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.
Volvo's notoriety as a performance brand is practically non-existent compared to its reputation for safety. We've seen a few R-Design models in the past with sporty intentions, but that name is more bark than bite with mostly appearance add-ons.
Enter Polestar, Volvo's performance tuner that co-developed 2015 Polestar editions of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon to the tune of 345 horsepower that's good for zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds; Volvo says the pair are its quickest production cars to date. More than simply a badge and fancy wheels, the S60 and V60 Polestars have new suspension, brake, chassis and engine hardware to amplify performance credibility.
Volvo announced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show that only 120 examples of the sedan and wagon are planned for sale in the U.S. when Polestars arrive at dealerships this summer.
Vehicles Affected: Approximately 30,929 model-year 2011-12 Volvo S60 sedans manufactured between June 22, 2010, and May 14, 2012; only five-cylinder vehicles with a vehicle identification number code of 62 are affected.
The Problem: If the engine oil pressure becomes low, the vehicle may not alert the driver. This could damage the engine and cause it to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
The Fix: Dealers will update the affected software for free.
What Owners Should Do: Volvo has already started notifying owners. Owners can call Volvo at 800-458-1552 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.
"What about a manual transmission?"
Used luxury-car prices slid the most in September, continuing a trend from last month. The Infiniti M37's price dropped the most; it fell 4% ($1,288) to $34,687. The Volvo S60, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW Z4 registered some of the largest price drops last month, and prices for all three fell yet again in September. The Z4's price dipped 3% ($1,445), while asking prices for the S-Class and S60 dropped 2% ($1,488 and $625, respectively).
There was considerably less price fluctuation among the cars that saw price gains in September, with all models in the top 10 getting a 1% price bump. Of the 10, half were pickup trucks or full-size vans, and not a single luxury model made the list.
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