2015 Subaru Outback Video

"The Subaru Outback has been redesigned and updated for the 2015 model year; it's got new exterior styling, some interior refinement, a new drivetrain and improved fuel economy," said Cars.com reviewer Bill Jackson. "But has Subaru done enough to appease the faithful while attracting new buyers?" Watch the video and decide.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Wife Tested: 2015 Subaru Outback

FallOutbacks

If there's one car that's found its way into our own garages — if not our hearts — as an editorial team, it's the Subaru Outback. At one point five editors have owned the all-wheel-drive wagon, including my family. We're on our second Outback, a 2010.

Related: 2015 Subaru Outback Expert Review

The 2010 is my wife's daily driver and shuttles her to work and our kids to school, soccer practice, gymnastics, doctor's appointments, you name it. We've also done many a road trip in the four-cylinder continuously variable automatic transmission combo. That's why I went through a somewhat unusual step of making sure that my wife could get behind the wheel of a 2015 Outback when one arrived at our Chicago headquarters for our editors to test..

By David Thomas | October 27, 2014 | Comments (3)

Subaru Updates XV Crosstrek for 2015

Xv-crosstrek

Subaru continues to roll out its camera- and radar-based safety system; the XV Crosstrek is next in line to get the automaker's EyeSight safety system for 2015. The driver-assistance package integrates adaptive cruise control, precollision braking and lane departure warning. Subaru also updated the wagon's multimedia system this year, replacing the small, outdated touch-screen unit with a choice of two larger, freshly designed systems. 

Related: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

Model-year 2015 XV Crosstrek 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited and XV Crosstrek Hybrid base and Touring trims are again available for 2015; EyeSight is available on the 2.0i Premium model. A new 6.2-inch touch-screen multimedia system and backup camera join the cabin in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and XV Crosstrek Hybrid models. It integrates Subaru's Starlink smartphone system with Aha, Pandora and iHeart Radio apps. 

By Jennifer Geiger | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Outback: Car Seat Check

OutbackCSC

In its 2015 redesign, beloved family hauler the Subaru Outback continues to smartly straddle the line between a practical wagon and a rugged SUV, while getting subtle updates to its exterior styling, interior upgrades and improved fuel economy. Families will appreciate the new Outback's roomier cabin, cushier feel and an improved center storage bin that can hold larger items like an iPad. We last car-seat checked the Outback in 2012; that model proved as delightfully utilitarian as the vehicle's reputation. Can the 2015 live up to that easy-to-use, easier-to-love rep?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

2005ToyotaSequoiaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call 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 | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, 2012-2013 Beetle

2013VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly half a million Volkswagen cars, including more than 400,000 model-year 2011-13 Volkswagen Jetta sedans and nearly 42,000 model-year 2012-13 Beetle hatchbacks and convertibles

The Problem: A rear or side-rear collision could damage the rear suspension trailing arms; if this damage is not repaired, the trailing arm could fracture suddenly, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash, Volkswagen said in a statement about the voluntary recall. No accidents or injuries related to the issue have been reported, the automaker said.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine whether the trailing arms have been damaged. On cars that do not have damaged trailing arms, the dealer will fit a sheet-metal inlay on the rear trailing arms, which will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision and will be a signal for the owner to take the car back to a dealer for inspection. Work will be done for free. The automaker has not announced a notification schedule, but said it will contact all owners of affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange an appointment.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 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 | October 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is a lot like the C-Max Hybrid — but with a plug-in port. "This hatchback is fun to drive but kind of cramped, and did we mention it's also sort of expensive?" Mays said. "So the real question is, is it all worth it?" Watch the video and decide.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

Subaru's Impreza Fits Smaller Families

IMprezaBack

When most families think of Subaru, the cars that seem to come to mind are the Forester crossover and Outback wagon. Many don't have the Impreza, Subaru's entry-level compact, on their radar. It's got a lot to offer with its family-friendly sedan or hatchback body styles and standard all-wheel drive, plus it's more affordable then its larger siblings. For smaller families who have active lifestyles but don't need or want a larger car, take note and get to know the Impreza. Subaru recently announced that it's refreshing the 2015 Impreza with a new front end, a standard backup camera and more.

Related: 2015 Subaru Impreza Gets Some Major Updates

The Impreza competes against the likes of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf. My test car was a 2014 Subaru 2.0i Sport Limited hatchback with a starting price of $23,990, including destination. It came equipped with leather seats, snazzy 17-inch alloy wheels and a moonroof. However, its most appealing feature, which none of its competitors offer, is standard all-wheel drive.

That all-wheel drive makes for sure-footed handling under all road conditions. Even on Southern California's mostly dry roads, the Impreza felt confident through the curves. However, the 2014 Impreza's 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine seemed sluggish when accelerating, and it was louder than other compact cars I've driven. For 2015, Subaru has added more sound-deadening materials, thicker window glass and tighter window seals to address the noise issue.

By Carrie Kim | October 14, 2014 | Comments (14)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi: Car Seat Check

2014FordCMaxEnergi

The Ford C-Max Energi hatchback is a fun-to-drive hybrid that Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said "delivers comfort, style and efficiency," but warned that it "compromises cargo capacity." That's not all that the 2014 C-Max Energi has had to compromise.

Parents who purchased the C-Max Energi hoping for convenient car-seat installation might be disappointed with it. Although the 2014 version earns a couple of A's for the easy install of our booster and infant seats, the rest of its report card looks like the answer sheet of a high school student guessing on every question of a multiple-choice test: C, C, C ... see what we mean below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2015 Subaru Outback

2015SubaruOutbackRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 60 model-year 2015 Subaru Outback wagons manufactured between Jan. 22 and Aug. 18, and equipped with a Subaru accessory trailer hitch assembly

The Problem: During installation, the trailer hitch mounting nuts may have been overtightened, potentially resulting in failure of the trailer hitch mounting studs. The mounting nuts may not provide sufficient force to remain attached to the studs, or the studs themselves might break. If this happens while a trailer is being towed, the driver might not be able to operate the vehicle as desired, or the trailer may detach from the vehicle, in either case increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Subaru began notifying owners on Tuesday, and dealers will replace all eight mounting nuts for the trailer hitch assembly, and inspect all eight mounting studs for damage; all work will be done for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783, 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 | October 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

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