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

More Car Seat Checks

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.

More Recalls

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.

More Recalls

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

More Car Seat Checks

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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2009-2011 Mitsubishi Sedans, Hatchbacks and SUVs

2011MitsubishiLancerRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 166,000 model-year 2008-11 Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution performance sedans and Outlander SUVs, model-year 2009-11 Lancer Sportback performance hatchbacks and model-year 2011 Outlander Sport crossovers, all equipped with four-cylinder engines

The Problem: The vehicles have an engine pulley and belt arrangement for turning the alternator, the cooling fan and the power steering pump (if equipped); these pulleys may experience unusual wear and allow for belt detachment. If this occurs, the battery may discharge, resulting in an engine stall and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drive belt with a rubber belt; drive pulleys that are excessively worn will be replaced. All repairs will be made for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mitsubishi at 888-648-7820, 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 | October 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Impreza Starts $300 Higher, Adds More Standard Features

E_042814_CAM_A_21490_v2

The 2015 Subaru Impreza may not have the lowest starting price among compact sedans — that title still belongs to the stripped-down, hard-to-find base Volkswagen Jetta — but it still packs appealing value. Set to hit dealerships next month, the restyled Impreza's base 2.0i trim starts at $18,990 with destination and a five-speed manual transmission. With the continuously variable automatic transmission, it starts at $19,990.

Related: 2015 Subaru Impreza Gets Some Major Updates

Both cars represent a $300 increase over the 2014 Impreza 2.0i manual/automatic, but the list of standard features adds cruise control, a backup camera and a 6.2-inch touch-screen stereo with HD radio and various smartphone-streamed apps. Like before, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, steering-wheel audio controls, power windows/locks, air conditioning and remote keyless entry are standard.

By Kelsey Mays | October 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

2014ChevroletSonicRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 300 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars

The Problem: A loose electrical connection in the steering column could impact the performance of the driver-side front airbag, according to The Detroit News. If the condition is present and the airbag lamp is illuminated, the driver-side front airbag may deploy only as a single-stage airbag in crashes of a certain severity, the newspaper reported. GM said it is unaware of any crashes, injuries or deaths as a result of the issue.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 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 | October 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com