2015 Volkswagen Golf Real-World Cargo Space

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Volkswagen's redesigned 2015 Golf is perhaps one of the best surprises of the year thanks to its luxury-car-like refinement and increased versatility. The Vee-dub's new shape is an important part of its great usability for 2015 with cargo capacity up by approximately 8 percent compared to the outgoing Golf. Plus, the load floor is 0.7 inches lower and the cargo opening is 1.9 inches wider.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

"It's sometimes easy to forget that the Golf is one of the longest-running hatchbacks in the industry, and it remains extremely practical. The cargo area is 22.8 cubic feet with the seats in place to the top of the seats and has 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. The seats fold down with a pull of a lever near the headrest in a 60/40-split configuration and lie flat without any other adjustments," Cars.com reviewer David Thomas says in his First Drive.

See how well common cargo items fit inside the new Golf's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | December 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

Honda Cargo Wars: How Does 2016 HR-V Compare to Siblings?

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Being the middle child is tough. Your parents are always asking, "Why can't you be more like your older sister?" Meanwhile your bratty little brother gets away with murder. Despite being "born" last, the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V is the middle child in Honda's brood of compact family haulers, smaller than the CR-V crossover and bigger than the Fit subcompact hatchback. Since carrying capacity no doubt tops prospective buyers' lists, we thought we'd see how the HR-V stacks up against its five-passenger siblings.

Related: Research the 2016 Honda HR-V 

The HR-V compact crossover distinguishes itself from the CR-V and Fit with its sporty looks compared with those vehicles' more right-angle-heavy exterior designs; plus, it's about 10 inches shorter than the CR-V and 9 inches longer than the Fit, with a width measuring about 2 inches less than the former and 3 inches more than the latter. Inside, Honda promised the HR-V would provide "unmatched interior spaciousness and cabin versatility." Only real-world users can decide how well those promises will be fulfilled, but in terms of passenger volume, the HR-V certainly holds its own, measuring 100.1 cubic feet compared with the 2014 CR-Vā€™s 104 and the 2015 Fit's 96.

When it comes to cargo space, however, things get considerably more varied. Behind the rear seats, the HR-V has 24.3 cubic feet of room compared with the CR-V's 37.2 and the Fit's 16.6. Meanwhile, with the seats down, maximum cargo space for the HR-V increases nearly 2.5 times to 58.8 cubic feet. The Fit's max cargo space jumps by more than three times to 52.7 cubic feet, while the CR-V's nearly doubles to 70.9 cubic feet.

Check out the graphic below for a side-by-side comparison of cargo volume.

By Matt Schmitz | November 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI: Car Seat Check

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Both the Volkswagen Golf and its performance variant, the GTI, entered their seventh generation with 2015 redesigns. The cars haven't exactly set sales records ablaze in the past, though a reduced starting price for the Golf, a win for the GTI in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge and a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should at least spark some interest among car shoppers not already carrying a torch for the five-seat hatchbacks. Another selling point ā€” for families with small children ā€” should be the Golf's and GTI's accommodation of child-safety seats. Much like in 2012, when we tested the Golf R, the cars earned high marks in our tests. Check out the Car Seat Check below for more.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Impreza Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

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The 2015 Subaru Impreza has joined the ranks of the most crashworthy vehicles on the road as determined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The car, available as a sedan or hatchback, earned the safety agency's highest distinction, Top Safety Pick Plus, when equipped with the optional EyeSight Driver Assist Technology; without the option, the Impreza earns the Top Safety Pick designation.

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

Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Impreza received ratings of good in IIHS' front small overlap, front moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength and rear impact evaluations. EyeSight earned the car a superior rating in front crash avoidance. EyeSight comes as part of a $2,795 option package that includes a moonroof, navigation, keyless entry and push-button start; it's available on the 2.0i Limited model sedan and 2.0i Sport Limited hatchback.

By Matt Schmitz | November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 9,000 2012-2014 BMW Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 9,000 BMW vehicles, including model-year 2014 328i Sports Wagons; 2012-14 BMW 320i sedans, 328i sedans, 320i xDrive sedans and 328i xDrive sedans; 2012-13 BMW 528i and 528i xDrive sedans; 2013-14 BMW X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i sports activity vehicles; 2013-14 BMW X3 xDrive28i sports activity vehicles; 2012-14 BMW Z4 sDrive28i roadsters; and 2014 BMW 428i and 428i xDrive coupes

The Problem: Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail, causing a reduction in braking power and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: BMW will begin notifying owners late this month, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location for free. This latest action is an expansion of a recall from earlier this year.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417, 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 | November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept Photo Gallery (21 Photos)

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The Volkswagen Golf R 400 concept debuting this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is part track toy, part tribute to the German automaker's racing history. As such, the hot hatch's exterior design drives the point home quickly. The body is widened, and bumper and rear fenders flared for maximum aggressiveness. Further flourishes include 19-inch wheels, a wraparound carbon-fiber splitter on the lower side, a rear roof spoiler and abounding glossy black carbon and faux-carbon-fiber trim along with LED accents.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The track theme extends to the interior, with sport bucket seats embroidered with "R" badging, glossy carbon and yellow contrast stitching, and white ambient lighting around the door accents and stainless-steel doorsill plates. Oh, and lest you think it's all for show, under the hood is a 394-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that rockets the R 400 from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

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

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

2016 Fiat 500X: Up Close

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Fiat's most-recent four-door foray in the U.S. was the supremely ugly, yet versatile Fiat 500L. Much of our staff loved the space-efficient 500L, but I found it hard to look past its pimply, high school-faced awkwardness.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage 

I'm more onboard with the 2016 500X, Fiat's smaller newcomer with available all-wheel drive, meant to compete with the growing breed of smaller-than-compact SUVs like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Chevrolet Trax.

By Joe Bruzek | November 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Scion iM Concept: Up Close

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We now know the Scion iM concept will indeed become a real product in the U.S., so I took a closer look. Based on the Toyota Auris hatchback sold overseas, this concept is much more real inside than outside.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The interior looks like that of a real car; only a suspiciously large screen in the dashboard looks out of place in a car at this one's likely price level. It's well laid out and the materials quality is decent as shown here ā€” comparable to a Corolla but perhaps not to the best in the compact class.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country Photo Gallery (27 Photos)

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The version of Volvo's compact wagon that debuted at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show may not look very different from the regular V60 but this is the V60 Cross Country

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Modifications to the compact all-wheel-drive wagon include an additional 2.6 inches of ground clearance compared to the regular V60, 18- or 19-inch high-profile tires and standard hill descent control.

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

By Jennifer Geiger | November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop 2-Door

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Vehicles Affected: More than 5,800 model-year 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop 2-Door cars manufactured between Jan. 7 and July 21

The Problem: The spare wheel may have been attached under the car with a nut that is not self-locking. Vibrations from driving may cause the nut to loosen, allowing the wheel to separate from the car, becoming a road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mini-manufacturer BMW was expected to begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the spare wheel securing nut with a self-locking nut for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mini at 866-275-6464, 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 | November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

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