Toyota and Ford Disagree (Again) Over Global Best-Seller Title

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The Toyota Corolla ended 2013 in ninth place on the U.S. sales ladder, eclipsed by a cadre of full-size Detroit pickup trucks and three popular family sedans — including Toyota's own Camry. But car shoppers across the world, where the streets aren't so Texas-sized, preferred the Corolla to every other car model in 2013.

$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge

This is according to Toyota, citing registration data from analytics firm Polk. The automaker says the data, which captures 96 percent of new-car sales worldwide, indicated 1,098,524 Corolla registrations in 2013. That beat an April 9 proclamation by Ford that the Focus was 2013's global best-seller with 1,097,618 registrations. Ford, like Toyota, cited Polk data.
 
It would seem that Toyota won by a hair. But, as a certain former president might say, it depends how you define the terms.

By Kelsey Mays | April 23, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Subaru Outback Video

The reigning champ among most popular vehicles for Cars.com editors to actually own — the Subaru Outback — is redesigned for 2015 and there's even more to like about it. The first thing Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays noted when he saw the new all-wheel-drive wagon was a greater sense of harmony in its exterior styling, tied together by a hexagonal grille. A PIN-locking system for the rear liftgate and a 6.2- or 7-inch touch-screen multimedia system are new, while passenger comfort and utility continue to impress. Watch the video above.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Outback More Cargo Friendly

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The Subaru Outback has been a popular alternative to traditional crossovers for years. The redesigned 2015 model looks to further that appeal with a number of convenience features centered on the cargo area.

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The new Outback's cargo area is only slightly larger than before. Thanks to a little extra width and reshaped interior pieces it now measures 35.5 cubic feet with the backseat up and 73.3 cubic feet with the split-folding backseat down. That's more than the Honda Crosstour's 25.7 cubic feet with the backseat up and 51.3 with it down, and it's similar to the Toyota Venza's measurements of 36.2 and 70.2 cubic feet. But there are more upgrades than just the extra room.

By Mike Hanley | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Mazda3, 2014-15 Mazda6

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 5,700 model-year 2014 Mazda3 compact cars and model-year 2014-2015 Mazda6 midsize sedans equipped with the 2.5-liter engine and a regenerative braking system. Only Mazda3 vehicles manufactured from June 12 through Dec. 18, 2013, and Mazda6 vehicles manufactured from May 20 through Dec. 4, 2013, are affected. 

The Problem: Driving through rain or heavy puddles could cause the alternator belt to slip and send a faulty message to the power control module. This could cause a loss of power steering assist and possible engine stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Dealers will reprogram the PCM for free.

What Owners Should Do: Mazda will notify owners later this month. Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Concept Photo Gallery (27 Photos)

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With the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen concept, now bowing at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the German automaker heralds the all-wheel-drive diesel hatchback as a "bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen." The concept is 1.1 inches longer, 0.7 inches wider and 0.9 inches lower than the current Jetta SportWagen, and the wheels are 1.7 inches farther forward.

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On the front end, the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood, in addition to a more angular horizontal design and slender grille, VW says. In the rear is a clean surface around the VW badge, a wider rear window and geometric taillights.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback Photo Gallery (29 Photos)

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If you've seen the quintet of other Audi A3 variants, you already have a solid idea of what you'll see when the 2015 A3 Sportback TDI hits U.S. dealerships in June. We confirmed the family resemblance this week when we got an early peek at the new A3 TDI at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

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While its design is similar to the rest of the A3 lineup, the hatchback body style and resulting raised roof should improve headroom. The Sportback carries on the interior family tradition, as well, with a nice array of standard features for its entry-level price.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 18, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Subaru Outback: Up Close

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Subaru has found its styling stride with the new Outback. It's an attractive wagon with smoother lines and a more conventional front-end look. Even though it has crossover-like ground clearance, the 2015 Outback doesn't look like a high-riding SUV and it's easy to step in and out of it.

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New cabin styling has a richer appearance, and the 3.6R Limited on the auto-show floor had matte-style woodgrain trim and soft-touch surfaces.

By Mike Hanley | April 17, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Subaru Outback Photo Gallery (55 Photos)

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Like its updated Legacy sedan counterpart, the redesigned-for-2015 Subaru Outback stays true to its roots with an understated exterior styling update. Its look still straddles the line between traditional wagons and crossover SUVs but a larger, more trapezoidal grill and less body cladding give it a more streamlined look.

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Inside, Subaru says shoulder room, front and rear hip room, and rear legroom have increased, and cargo room is also up by an extra 1.2 cubic feet.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 17, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Subaru Outback: First Look

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Competes with: Honda Crosstour, Toyota Venza, Dodge Journey

Looks like: The Outback gains cleaner, more cohesive styling

Drivetrain: 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 256-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder with continuously variable automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

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Subaru's redesigned Outback gets updated exterior styling, better estimated gas mileage, and new drivetrain, entertainment and safety technology for the 2015 model year. Like past versions, the Outback straddles the divide between traditional wagons and crossover SUVs and comes standard with all-wheel drive. It hits dealerships this summer and will be offered in Standard, Premium, Limited and 3.6R Limited trim levels — the latter with a six-cylinder engine. The 2015 Subaru Outback debuts at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

By Mike Hanley | April 17, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Ford Focus: Up Close

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Ford would like you to know that the Focus is the best-selling compact car in the world, and it's not difficult to see why it's popular. The Focus always has been stylish, and adding in its European-style tight handling and excellent interior materials means that there's a definite appeal to the compact sedan and hatchback. Ford showed off the latest 2015 Focus at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show last month, but now it's time to see the sedan version, which is more popular in the U.S.

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The hatchback variant was on display in Geneva, but the 2015 Ford Focus sedan and Focus Electric hatchback are rolling out here at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. All are set to arrive in the U.S. late this year.

By Aaron Bragman | April 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

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