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)

2014 Toyota Prius Video

If we said the Toyota Prius hybrid is as remarkable as any ol' Ferrari or Lamborghini, some of you might be dismissive, to put it politely. But Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley argues that, in its fifth year, the fuel-sipping 2014 Prius continues to be nothing short of an "automotive marvel." Watch the video.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | September 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Focus, C-Max

2014FordFocusRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 500 model-year 2014 Ford Focus compact cars and C-Max hybrids manufactured between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2014

The Problem: Incorrectly assembled steering gears could cause impaired steering, including a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners on Sept. 8, and dealers will replace the steering gears for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673, 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 | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Prices First Electric Car; 2015 e-Golf Will Cost $36,265

2015VolkswagenE-Golf

Volkswagen today announced pricing for the all-new 2015 e-Golf as the electric hatchback prepares to "charge" into dealerships in the fall. VW's first fully electric, zero-emissions vehicle starts at $36,265, including an $820 destination charge, for the SEL Premium model.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

The e-Golf, which we first saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, is powered by a compact electric motor and 24.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, good for 115 horsepower and 199 pounds-feet of torque. It's mated to a single-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen said the e-Golf has an average range of 70 to 90 miles and a 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, achieving an 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes. The hatchback offers three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Eco and Eco Plus.

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (5)

Honda to Retrofit Early 2015 Fit Hatchbacks to Match IIHS Top Safety Pick Rating

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.59.00 PM

Thanks to structural modifications to improve crashworthiness, the 2015 Honda Fit earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Honda will reach out to those who already bought a 2015 Fit and modify the bumper structure for free.

Related: Honda Boosts 2015 Fit's Gas Mileage

The redesigned Fit scored good in IIHS' side, rear-impact, roof-strength and moderate-overlap frontal tests, and it earned an acceptable score in IIHS' small-overlap frontal test after Honda modified the front bumper structure. The old structure earned the 2015 Fit a marginal in IIHS' small-overlap test. (IIHS scores are good, acceptable, marginal and poor.) All Fits built after June 9 have the revised structure, but some 12,000 cars were already built or sold before the changes occurred.

By Kelsey Mays | August 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Subaru Legacy, Outback Earn IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Status

2015SubaruLegacyCrashTest

For the third consecutive year since the Top Safety Pick Plus designation was introduced in 2013, the Subaru Legacy sedan and its station-wagon sibling, the Outback, have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top prize. The 2015 Legacy and Outback both improved their ratings to good from their predecessors' acceptable score in the institute's stringent small overlap front crash test, which approximates what happens when a vehicle strikes a tree or utility pole. In addition, the cars earned superior ratings for front crash prevention when equipped with the optional EyeSight forward collision warning system with autobrake, which stopped the vehicle completely at both 12 and 25 mph during testing.

Related: IIHS: These Used Cars Are Safer For Teen Drivers

The IIHS said structural performance improved to a score of good for the 2015 Legacy compared with a marginal rating in 2014. "The driver space was maintained well, with the safety cage preventing excessive intrusion into the occupant compartment," IIHS said in a statement. "The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and the frontal and side curtain airbags worked together to protect the head from contact with interior structures."

The IIHS noted that Subaru has the most 2014 Top Safety Pick awards of any brand; other Subaru recipients include the BRZ, Impreza, Forester, WRX and XV Crosstrek. To earn a Top Safety Pick Plus award, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, as well as good ratings in the institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

IIHS photo

By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

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