Is Driving a Certain Car Your Ticket to Traffic Court?

2015WRX

Look, just because you drive a Subaru WRX doesn't mean you're more likely to be the type of person who exceeds the speed limit or breaks other traffic laws. OK, it actually does mean that, but we're not the ones saying it, Insurance.com is. The auto-insurance rate-comparison website analyzed online quote info from more than half a million drivers and more than 500 car models between January 2013 and July 2014, and identified the cars most likely to be used in the commission of a traffic offense. Coincidentally, a fifth of the list is composed of competitors in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge in which the WRX scored the fastest times.

Related: The $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

According to the study, one in three drivers of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX compact performance sedan has had a traffic violation for an offense such as speeding, failure to yield or drunken driving in the past three years, making it the No. 1 most-ticketed car.

By Matt Schmitz | September 30, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ

2014FordC-MaxRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 750,000 model-year 2013-14 Ford C-Max hatchbacks built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between Jan. 19, 2012, to Nov. 21, 2013; Fusion sedans built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico between Feb. 3, 2013, and Aug. 24, 2013; Escape crossovers built at the Louisville Assembly Plant between Oct. 5, 2011, and Nov. 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ sedans built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant between April 25, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013

The Problem: The restraints control module may experience a short circuit; if this occurs, the airbag warning indicator will illuminate. Depending on the location of the short circuit, the deployable restraint systems (airbags, side curtain airbags, pretensioners) may not function properly in a crash, increasing the risk of an injury. In addition, the short circuit may affect the function of other systems that use data from the restraints control module, including stability control, in which case the corresponding warning indicator would also illuminate. Ford, which announced the voluntary recall today, said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners and dealers will replace the restraints control module for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 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 | September 26, 2014 | Comments (3)

Unexpected Family Car: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

15Golf_entry_CK

When my husband and I became parents, we embraced our new roles with enthusiasm - except when it came to what it might mean for us out on the road. No disrespect, but we just aren't the minivan types and we both enjoy smaller cars with a little more pizazz than your average family crossover. But it didn't take long for us to realize how much a car seems to shrink with a rear-facing car seat in the backseat and a stroller in the trunk. We chose the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta as our family car, which had the largest backseat and cargo area in its class at the time. Now life's become a little simpler with a preschooler, and Mama's thinking about a new car.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

The timing was right for my family to test the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. I had some concerns about this stylish compact hatchback, but we were off to a great start with its family-friendly lower Latch anchors. The Golf's anchors are covered by plastic doors that flip up to reveal the anchor. No digging, no sweating to install my daughter's car seat; we were off and running.

By Carrie Kim | September 26, 2014 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 290,000 Chrysler Sedans, Wagons, SUVs

2008DodgeChargerRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 290,000 model-year 2008 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, and Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured before May 12, 2008

The Problem: Ignition keys may not fully return to the On position after rotation to the Start position during engine startup, instead remaining between the Start and On positions. If this happens, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost, though not airbag function. Also possible, though less probable according to Chrysler, the ignition key could move through the On position to the Accessory or Off positions, causing reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering and safety features such as front airbags. The automaker, which announced the voluntary recall today, said it is unaware of any injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Chrysler said it will notify owners of when they can schedule service, which will be done for free. In the interim, the automaker advises drivers to confirm that their ignition keys are set in the On, or 1 o'clock, position after starting the vehicle to ensure engine power and functionality of all systems, including front airbags. Also, Chrysler says to separate ignition keys from key rings or other keys.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 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 | September 25, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Subaru Impreza Gets Some Major Updates

2015SubaruImpreza

Competes with: Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte

Looks like: Pretty much the same outside and in

Drivetrain: 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine; five-speed manual transmission or CVT; all-wheel drive standard

Hits dealerships: November 2014

Subaru has recently released a redesigned 2015 Legacy and 2015 Outback, and it seems the automaker wants to update its smallest car offering this year too. The 2015 Impreza sedan and hatchback don't get a significant overhaul like their stable mates, but the compacts do get much-needed enhancements like a quieter cabin and new multimedia system.

By David Thomas | September 25, 2014 | Comments (10)

Recall Alert: 2015 Honda Fit

2015HondaFitRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 6,000 model-year 2015 Honda Fit hatchbacks manufactured between April 11 and June 9, 2014

The Problem: The vehicles may have been assembled with an A-pillar interior cover designed for vehicles without side curtain airbags. The incorrect A-pillar interior cover may adversely affect the performance of the side curtain airbags in a crash, increasing the risk of an injury.

The Fix: Honda will begin notifying owners on Thursday, and dealers will inspect the A-pillar interior cover and install the correct cover, if necessary, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009 or 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 | September 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

SlayerScion

As long as there has been heavy metal, teenagers have sought out bands with which to frighten their parents. Now there's a car to really drive 'em nuts. In November, Toyota-owned Scion will unleash a special-edition car perfectly suited for that purpose, the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC, inspired by the irreverently iconic headbangers, Slayer. On second thought, given the band's influential career spanning more than three decades, the youngsters' enthusiasm may actually take a backseat to that of Mom and Dad for a road trip "South of Heaven" to spend some "Seasons in the Abyss."

Related: Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

You can't make out a whole h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lot from the rudimentary pencil-sketch-style image Toyota released this week of the modified version of Scion's sporty coupe — beyond it being obligatorily black in color with a large, red circle adorning the hood (the band's inverted-pentagram logo, perhaps?). No doubt something very similar has been sketched on more than a couple fifth-period Life Sciences textbooks by daydreaming junior-high misfits (we don't mean us). In any case, the automaker promises an exterior style commensurately aggressive to its subject with band-inspired details. And perhaps of equal importance, that influence carries over into the interior as the "multimedia machine" boasts amps, towers of speakers, a custom mixer and a 32-inch monitor for media playback, Toyota said.

By Matt Schmitz | September 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Improved 2015 Kia Soul Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick, Forte Fails

2015KiaSoulCrashTest

The 2015 Kia Soul hatchback has rejoined the ranks of vehicles deemed worthy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick. Meanwhile, the 2015 Forte fell short again after losing its status the previous model year, despite improvements.

Related: Not All Small Cars Shine in Latest IIHS Crash Tests

The Soul redeemed itself this time around by earning a good rating in the IIHS' stringent small overlap front crash test, which simulates what happens when a car strikes an object such as a tree or utility pole. IIHS rates cars on a scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good. The Soul scored poorly on the small overlap test for the 2013 model year, and wasn't even tested for 2014 because Kia said things had not improved. The hatchback came back strong for 2015, however, raising its rating on the test from poor to good (acceptable would have earned it Top Safety Pick status). As is necessary for the safety designation, the Soul also earned good scores in the institute's other four crashworthiness evaluations: moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

IIHS said the Soul improved by strengthening the front end and occupant compartment for 2015. "The driver space was maintained reasonably well with a small amount of intrusion," IIHS said in a statement. "The dummy's movement was well controlled, and its head hit the frontal airbag, which stayed in position during the crash."

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Honda Fit Video

Honda's compact hatchback, the Fit, is back for 2015 with a redesign and a host of new entry-level features. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says that "if the last Fit was already a solid effort, this one is a must-drive for anyone shopping small cars." Watch the video to learn why.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | September 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Prius Review

2014ToyotaPrius

"The 2014 Toyota Prius hybrid is spacious and its extreme efficiency is impressive, but you have to put up with a noisy, bumpy ride and an interior that's showing its age," said Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley. Check out Hanley's review for more.

2014 Toyota Prius Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (21)

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