Long-Term Road Tests Latest Updates
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Long-Term Road Tests News & Updates

On this page you'll find the latest updates to our Long-Term Road Tests. The topics covered in these ongoing vehicle reviews range from things like fuel efficiency and comfort to highlights of specific features like GPS and audio technology. Check back frequently as our auto reviews are updated on a regular basis.

Daily Long-Term Vehicle Updates

2015 Ford Mustang GT: Pedal Placement Keeps Lost Art of Heel-and-Toe Alive

April 24, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Realistically, with some work and/or practice, you can perform heel-and-toe downshifts on just about any manual transmission car. But some cars definitely make this soon-to-be-lost-art easier than others. There are two keys to heel-and-toeing, besides lots of practice: Good brake-to-gas-pedal placement and a responsive throttle.   

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT has both.

In olden times, people really did the true heel-and-toe action, with the ball or toes of their right foot on the brake pedal and the heel blipping the throttle.

These days — and the Mustang is a good example of this —the pedals are arranged so that you do it more with the left side of your right foot on the brake pedal and the right side of your right foot on the gas, instead of a true heel-and-toe. We still call it heel-and-toe anyway.      

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 30,000 Miles

April 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We try to make sure that all of our long-termers hit at least 20,000 miles during their year with us. Clearly our Ram 1500 is a popular vehicle, as it just crossed the 30,000-mile mark. In that time it's delivered an overall mileage number of 22.5 mpg, just above its EPA combined rating of 22 mpg. That's a rare feat for any of our long-term cars, especially one that has been used for towing, hauling and various road trip duties over the last year.

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2015 BMW M235i: Hair-Saving Wind Deflector

April 24, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

There are definite cons to driving a convertible. One is a sunburn, another is fussed hair. Donning a hat can be a solution to both, but with time can also cause the dreaded hat hair. Or perhaps you'd like the feel of a light breeze in your hair, but would rather not resemble Diana Ross upon arrival. While clouds or the roof can fix the sun issue, our 2015 BMW M235i's wind deflector can take care of the, well, wind.

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2015 Kia K900: Best Fix for Chrome Wheel Rash

April 24, 2015

2015 Kia K900

After nearly 15,000 miles of threading our 2015 Kia K900 through L.A traffic and stretching it out over the occasional road trip, the luxury sedan's bright, shiny chrome wheels have taken a few hits.

I noticed this 3-inch scrape on the right rear wheel while fueling up. Ouch.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Testing MyLink and Siri Eyes Free Function

April 24, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is offered in Base, Work Truck, LT and Z71 trims, and the more upscale LT and Z71 trims (our truck is the latter) come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen and Chevrolet MyLink interface. I've driven our Colorado for a few days now and find that, overall, the MyLink interface is pretty easy to use when first starting out.

There are physical buttons for direct access to radio (terrestrial and satellite) and "media" devices (USB, Bluetooth streaming audio), as well as a "home" button. There are no hard buttons for navigation or phone setup, which are accessed through the home screen or the phone/navi icons displayed on some screens.

There are two minor downsides to the system, however.

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2015 Kia K900: Which Service Interval to Follow?

April 23, 2015

2015 Kia K900

In January, Dan Edmunds took our long-term 2015 Kia K900 to the local Kia service center for its first regular maintenance visit. Dan also pointed out the benefit of the K900's three-year/37,500-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance program.

While driving the K900 this morning, I noticed the dealer maintenance sticker in the corner of the windshield, stating service due at 13,335 miles. Our K900 was already at 13,663 miles.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Fits Four Tires

April 23, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

For the last few months I've been underwater, prepping my 1976 Pontiac Trans Am for The Bandit Run, now just about a week away.

After rebuilding the air conditioning, going through the carburetor, installing taller gears, replacing the rear springs, addressing a rear main seal leak, replacing a few hoses, getting the front end aligned and putting new foam in the front seats, it was time for some new tires.

To my amazement, four well-used BF Goodrich Radial T/As, sized 245/60R15, fit in the cargo hold of our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S.

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Better Long-Haul Comfort Than Our Luxury Kia

April 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

A few months ago I drove our long-term Kia K900 round-trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix. It was a trip that my cemented my impression of the car as underwhelming. Recently I took our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic on the same route. Call it a comparison test of sorts.

And you know what?

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2015 BMW M235i: First Chance to Test Sun-Reflecting Leather

April 23, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

We've had a great many long-term BMWs during my eight-plus years at Edmunds, but our 2015 BMW M235i is the first convertible. That means we've never had a chance to try a feature that has intrigued me since it was introduced for the last-generation 3 Series convertible: sun-reflective leather.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Installing Child Safety Seats

April 23, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Recently I was having some maintenance work done on my house and the contractor showed up in a Toyota Tacoma. I had Edmunds' long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado parked in front of my house so we ended up talking trucks. The contractor said he loved his Tacoma crew cab. The only issue for him was that he had two kids, one of them being five months old. "Basically, my wife can't ride with me if I have the rear-facing infant seat installed," he said.

My two kids are older than that but they still need safety seats. So I decided to check out how well our Colorado crew cab does taking on the wee little ones.

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2015 Volvo S60: In-Car Tour Guide by WikiLocations

April 23, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Traffic is just a way of life in Los Angeles. Sure, it can be inconvenient or maddening sometimes, but that's the price of living in a place where a lot of people want to live. I have several ways of coping with it, one of which is to see what sorts of extra features a car might have. One night, I was barely moving down Santa Monica Boulevard when I found our Volvo S60's in-car apps.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: It's Not Too Bright

April 22, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

LED map/reading lights sound like a great idea. They're bright, energy efficient and generally emit a pleasant color temperature. But LEDs bulbs are also pretty directional, focusing their beam of light in a fairly narrow spread. That's actually pretty handy when, you know, you're reading a Thomas Guide. But since most people abandoned that skill last millennium, LED overheads seem a bit more of a fashion than true utility.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Time-Lapsing L.A. With LEDs

April 22, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

The interior LED lighting is one of my favorite features of the 2014 Mini Cooper. With 10 different colors and varying degrees of brightness, the accent lights give the Mini a clubby ambience while driving at night.

For fun, the video and photo team took the Mini out for a night drive and did a time-lapse of the experience. With Canon 5Ds and GoPros in hand, we started off in Malibu and made our way through Santa Monica and Venice, before ending in downtown Los Angeles.

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2015 Ford F-150: A Good View from the Towing Mirrors

April 22, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

When I towed nearly 5,000 pounds with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 a few weeks ago, I was impressed by the various tech features in the cabin and the towing power of the 2.7-liter engine. One thing I neglected to mention though was the optional towing mirrors. We've already discovered that when fully extended, the mirrors can tag the exit of a parking garage.

But how do they perform when there's a trailer to watch?

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2015 Volvo S60: Light Steering Effort Benefits Broken Old Man

April 22, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

With fractured fingers and shoulder earned from crashing my motorcycle on a track day, I needed a car that required minimal effort. Remembering that our previous long-term S60 had adjustable steering effort, I signed out our new 2015 Volvo S60.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: The Best GTI Yet

April 22, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Years ago we had a 2010 GTI in our fleet. Certain editors were none too impressed by its non-defeatable stability control, soft reflexes and lame all-season tires. Another editor thought said editors were nuts.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and one of the dissenters of the earlier GTI, Mr. Jacquot, seems to have done an about-face after driving our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

I was intrigued. Does the new GTI truly address the concerns levied upon the earlier car? To find out, I drove it.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Front Parking Sensors Freak Out Even in Reverse

April 21, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Allow me to present a scenario. You jump into the 2015 Porsche Macan S. It is, per a perfectly common scenario, parked in a busy lot head-first against a wall. You check behind you like a responsible driver, looking for cross-traffic or pedestrians. There's nothing, so you put the car in reverse and prepare to move, noting in the rearview camera that there is still nothing behind you.

And yet, the Macan starts beeping at you as if you're about to run over something. What in the world?

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Aux Controls Keep Your Eyes on the Road

April 21, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

No one is going to buy a car because it has good steering wheel buttons. They're called "auxiliary" controls for a reason, but when the designers get it right, it sure is helpful.

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a great setup that is easy to learn and usable without looking. The latter is important as these controls are intended to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes focused on the road.

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2015 BMW M235i: Break-In Period Requires Many Miles of Restraint

April 21, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

I was genuinely excited when the sign-out sheet came around and our newest long-termer, the 2015 BMW M235i, was still available. I drove a hard-top M235i a while back and truly loved the experience. It had sharp, direct steering and a fantastic feel for the road, both of which I was anxious to experience again. Sadly, I couldn't really put our new convertible through its paces since we're still in the break-in period. It's a long one, too.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: The Right Truck for a Wrong Day

April 21, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

At the end of March, I signed up for a motorcycle track day at Willow Springs Raceway. I'm deathly afraid of loading my bike into a pickup with a ramp, so I rented a U-Haul trailer instead. Ah, the best laid plans...

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Thanks For the Tip, But I'm Good

April 20, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

As an avid left-foot braker and habitual jack rabbit starter, I first want to apologize for my actions. Surely they have an adverse effect on a vehicle's fuel mileage.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: V8 Makes You Forget Stiff Ride, Touchy Brakes

April 20, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Somehow our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT had 5,000 miles on the odometer before I ever even sat in it. How is that possible? Popular car, apparently. Now I can see why. It?s big-time fun.

Although it's a hoot to drive, the Mustang involves a bit of a learning curve, at least if you care about driving it smoothly. Most of it's related to the GT Performance package, but don?t think for a second we shouldn't have ordered that option.

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2014 BMW i3: Rubber-Wrapped Wagon Wheels

April 20, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Our 2014 BMW i3, has some crazy tires: 155/60 up front, 175/55 at the rear. That's a throwback to OG Beetle-skinny, but now wrapped around 20-inch wheels. Think of them like a modern wagon wheel or a big, fat BMX tire.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Here's The Future of Gauge-Integrated Displays

April 20, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Our 2015 Porsche Macan S, like Porsches in general, provides a glimpse at what we can expect from future tech interfaces. No, not a Boeing cockpit worth of center console buttons, but rather a configurable color display within the gauges than can do and show much of what the central touchscreen can.

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2015 Ford F-150: Will the Bike Fit?

April 20, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I know what you're thinking. Of course it will fit. The 2015 Ford F-150 is a pickup with a bed hanging off the back, for crying out loud.

Yes, but then I'd need some sort of rack, a lock and a wary eye in certain parking lots. I can avoid all this because ours has a crew cab or, as Ford fondly calls it, a SuperCrew cab.

Aluminum wasn't the only big change for 2015. Ford also shifted the central door post of the crew cab forward a couple of inches to improve access to the back half of the cab.

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2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: A V6 With Brawn and Brains

April 17, 2015

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD

Opting for the 3.5-liter in the 2015 Acura TLX not only puts 290 horsepower under the hood, it also gives you the chance to get more than 30 mpg on the highway. At least, that's what the EPA says.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Last Visit to the Dealer

April 17, 2015

2014 2014 Toyota Highlander

Our year-long test of our 2014 Toyota Highlander is nearing its end. But we recently passed 20,000 miles on the odometer and that meant an appointment for the required service. I called Toyota Santa Monica to set it up.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: No Performance Pack + Standard Seats

April 17, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Back in February, I wrote that there were a few elements on our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT that I would leave off the build sheet. The first was the GT Performance package, second were the 19-inch black wheels, and third were the Recaro sport seats. Well, I recently got a change to drive an equally orange Mustang GT without any of those items. So, did I like it better?

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2015 Volvo S60: Seats Don't Fit Me

April 17, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

There's no more difficult part of a car to evaluate than the seats. For example, Cameron's frame fits nicely in the sport seats of our 2015 Volvo S60 while I would rather sit on the floor.

Okay, that's a little extreme, but I do have some serious issues with the seats that keep me from driving it more often than not.

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2015 Porsche Macan: It's the Best

April 17, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

If you want a small luxury crossover and can afford a 2015 Porsche Macan, just go buy one. I'm serious. I think the Macan is that good.

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2015 Ford F-150: Earns Five-Star Safety From Feds

April 17, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The crash-test results are in and our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew has been awarded a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The aluminum-intensive pickup received five stars in front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover crash test.

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2015 Volvo S60: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 16, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

The 2015 Volvo S60 barely sat still in its first full month with us. Overall economy increased from 22.2 to 23 mpg, slightly less than the EPA city rating of 24 mpg. New best and worst tanks were also set. That guy averaged 17.4 mpg on the low end and Ron achieved 27.8 mpg on his trip to San Jose.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: No Major Issues After 15,000 Miles

April 16, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Midway through my morning commute, our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's odometer clicked past the 15,000-mile mark. When I exited the freeway, I documented the occasion with the above snap.

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2015 Ford F-150: More Power Than Ram

April 16, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

In the ever escalating power wars, the 2015 Ford F-150 has the Ram 1500 beat. Well, at least in terms of wattage.

As you can see, our F-150 features an AC outlet that delivers up to 400 watts of total power at 110 volts. Not bad for a pickup.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Feels Appropriately Midsize

April 16, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

While driving around town, I still occasionally see relics from the bygone era of the compact pickup truck, decades ago when pickups were really small, like the Toyota Truck or Chevrolet S-10.

See one and you might even exclaim, "Aww, look, how cute!" Today's full-size pickups are bigger, taller and full of marketed macho. Yet I suspect that's part of the reason why I like our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. To me it holds a desirable, reality-based middle ground between the pint-sized and the potentially overgrown.

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2015 BMW M235i Convertible: Introduction

April 16, 2015

2015 BMW M235i Convertible

It's been a couple of years since we last had a convertible in the Edmunds long-term test fleet. Now that BMW has released a drop-top version of the compact and lively 2 Series, we figured it's as good a time as any to break out the sunscreen.

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2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: Slow Reacting User Interface

April 16, 2015

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD

There are plenty of pros and cons to discuss when it comes to Acura's driver interface. It uses a large central knob at the base of the center stack to access menus on the screen at the top of the center stack. In between is another screen but that's only for radio and ventilation controls. Got it?

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Impromptu Desert Coffee Run

April 16, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

At 4:00 am I found myself wide awake for no apparent reason. I tried to will myself back to sleep, but it was no use. So I fumbled around in the dark and grabbed the keys to our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI from the nightstand.

A couple of minutes later I was backing out of the driveway with coffee and donuts in mind.

I should have known it was far too early for my usual spot to be open, so I got back on the empty freeway and continued east. I glanced down at the GTI’s fuel gauge: full tank.

With no particular destination in mind, I called up a favorite podcast and sent it out through the VW’s speakers via Bluetooth connection and settled in.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 15, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

March was a slow month for our long-term 2015 Nissan Murano. It covered only about 600 miles, most of which were in the city. Those in-town commuting miles gave it a new worst-fill MPG and dropped the lifetime average from 20.7 to 19.7 mpg.

We've got 10 months remaining on this long-term test, however, and with the way many of us already love the seats and general cabin comfort, the Murano won't stay idle for long. With summer coming, we've got plenty of time for road trips and reaching the EPA estimates.

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2015 Porsche Macan S: The "A Word"

April 15, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan S

If you want to start an Internet flame war guaranteed to entertain on a rainy day, visit any music/home theater/car audio forum and start dropping the word "audiophile." Man, that word can get people fired up, at least the kind of people who nerd out to audio-quality obsessions and, equally, those that mock them. 

Start dropping the word "Bose" shortly thereafter and you'll have the kind of conflagration that drives people from their Malibu and Laguna canyon homes. In fact, I'm hoping to start one right here in this thread. I'm practically handing a lit match to our chief pyromaniac, fordson1, hoping his/her expertise in every facet of automotive manufacture, design and operation lights this puppy up like a crateful of Tijuana bottle rockets.

"Audiophile" is such a loaded word, drawing detractors and defenders, but what drives me bananas is seeing the word abused as a marketing term, such as it is in our 2015 Porsche Macan S.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Chrome In the Cabin: Why?!

April 15, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I like a lot about our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I like its laid-back power delivery. I like its ride. I like that it's quiet on the road.

But I don't like its chrome interior trim. Why do manufacturers insist on doing this?

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Bigger Space for Smaller Items

April 15, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

There's no question that Ford made big changes to the interior of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. It's obvious as soon as you open the door. Okay, so they made it look a lot nicer. But how much better does it function?

When I sat down in the driver's seat and could easily put my wallet in the door pocket I realized, "yep, they made real improvements here."

I found an old post on our 2011 Ford Mustang GT long-term car, and if you look at this re-enactment of the events of 2012, you can see the differences.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Coachella's Answer to the Bus and Beetle?

April 15, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

The annual Coachella music festival isn't only known for being an epic congregation of music fans, but for a particular kind of fashion sense: BoHo style, girls with the wispy hair and flower crowns, and guys with the man buns. Likewise one can't help but think that a road trip to Coachella requires a certain kind of car. Woodstock had the VW Bus and Bug, so what would work for Coachella?

Our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper did a pretty good job with its wide-eyed fascia, adorable compactness, and fun, millennial appeal. But did it deliver more than looks as a Coachella car?

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: BMX Bike Fits

April 14, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"Daddy, will my bike fit in your car? I thought it would be fun to take it over to the beach and go for a ride."

I wasn't sure. In our driveway sat our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It has a good-sized trunk, but I didn't know if my daughter's 20-inch BMX bike would fit.

"I don't know honey," I shot back trying to hide the doubt in my voice. "We can try."

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Re-Installing the Cargo Cover

April 14, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

So I have an expensive purse. Most days it is worth more than the sum total of its contents, cash and credit cards included.

On the rare occasions that I need to leave it in the car, I'm careful to lock it in the trunk or hide it under the cargo cover in a minivan or SUV.

That's how I realized the cover in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee was snapped in backwards.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Thoughts On Six-Passenger Comfort

April 14, 2015

2014 2014 Toyota Highlander

We've posted a few updates about the rear seating in our 2014 Toyota Highlander, including our views on third-row seat access and comfort or how we like it during long-distance drives. After driving around my family of four plus two grandparents recently, I discovered a few new angles on our Highlander's rear seating.

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2015 Volvo S60: Reconfigurable Instrument Panel

April 14, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

I remember a Volvo official from Sweden making a big fuss over the new instrument panel in the 2015 Volvo S60 at the launch event in Spain. It was understandable. Previously, the S60 had pretty conventional looking (but attractive) gauges with equal-size dials for the speedometer and tachometer. As is fashionable these days, the new gauges are reconfigurable.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 14, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

As seems to be the case with trucks around here, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had a busy month. It covered 2,545 miles over the last four weeks with a variety of commuting and hauling responsibilities, using 105.2 gallons of diesel fuel and ticking ever closer to the 30,000-mile milestone.  

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Will People Want It in 50 Years?

April 13, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Here's our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado with a 1958 Chevrolet "Apache" 31 stepside ancestor. I won't pretend to be an expert on these steezy old wheels. So I spent an hour researching this truck on the internet, enough to make me an expert on many blogs and forums where I don't have to use my real name.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Big V8 Takes Big Oil at 5,000 Miles

April 13, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

Our 2015 Lexus RC F wasn't about to let us overlook its desire for scheduled service at 5,000 miles. The instrument panel first displays a polite "service soon" warning. When the need grows more immediate, it switches to "service now." Within a few days of seeing the latter of the two cues, we took the RC F in for maintenance.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: DEF Jam V: Running It To Empty

April 13, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

It was that time again. The DEF gauge on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel was buried in the red zone. This time I decided to let it run way down for a couple of reasons.

First, I wanted to make sure it was low enough to accept three 2.5-gallon jugs, which are cheaper on a per-gallon basis than 1-gallon bottles. Last time I pulled the trigger too early and only had the confidence to add 6 gallons. For this go-around I made sure the DEF tank was empty enough to get into the no-restart countdown messages, figuring that would ensure that three 7.5-gallon jugs would fit.

Second, I wanted to see if the no-restart countdown warning was obnoxious and dire enough to trigger an EV-style range anxiety response in the pit of my stomach. Would I be sweating it or would it be no big deal?

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2015 Volvo S60: Why I Might Not Share It

April 13, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

After a week with our long-term 2015 Volvo S60, I believe it may be my new pet car in the long-term road test fleet, i.e., the one I'll be loath to share with my colleagues. It's a superb car for commuting and not just because of its fantastic driver seat.

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2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: Serious Light With Signature Style

April 13, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

With the arrival of the 2015 Acura TLX, and the updated 2016 ILX sedan and 2016 RDX SUV, all Acura models now feature what the company calls "Jewel Eye" headlights. They're technically LED headlights surrounded by LED accent lights. The only remaining non-LED lights are the turn signals.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 13, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

March was a record-breaking month for our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Dan Edmunds hit a new best range on a single tank of gas, with the GTI miserly sipping 91 octane for 376.5 miles. Then videographer Rich borrowed the Volkswagen for a highway-heavy road trip and achieved 34.5 mpg, the best fill MPG so far. The trips constituted the bulk of the 1,620 miles traveled in March, good enough to increase its overall fuel economy from 26.0 to 26.2 mpg.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: JDRF Track Day Fundraiser

April 10, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in a fundraiser for the JDRF, the largest charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and finding a cure. The event was held at Willow Springs International Raceway, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles, and I was asked to bring our 2015 Ford Mustang GT to give rides around the main track, “Big Willow."

How could I say no? I mean, really. It’s an excellent cause and a great way to spend a day.

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2015 Porsche Macan S: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 10, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan S

It's not typical for our hard-driving Editor-in-Chief Scott Oldham to break any fuel economy records, but during his recent 1,400-mile round-trip from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah, Chief Oldham guided our 2015 Porsche Macan S to a new "best fill" record of 23.9 mpg.

That's 0.9 mpg better than the Macan's EPA highway fuel-economy rating.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Earns "A" and "B" Ratings From Edmunds

April 10, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

By virtue of utilizing Hyundai's 2.4-liter four cylinder engine, our long-term Sport trim 2015 Hyundai Sonata earns a "B" rating from our editors. Other models in the Sonata line score higher. Read on to discover why.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Anti-Excitement On The Road to 20,000 Miles

April 10, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

I've been watching a lot of Roadkill episodes on YouTube recently. Now those guys know how to make a road trip eventful. To elevate my recent 2014 Toyota Highlander road trip to similar levels of excitement, I feel like I should have: a) disabled two out of the Highlander's six spark plugs; b) replaced the Highlander's suspension bits with those from a 1973 Corolla; c) let a family of squirrels live in the interior for a month prior; and d) wear nothing but Freiburger-approved shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.

Alas, I did none of the above. But I did complete my road trip up with a total of approximately 800 miles while also vaulting past 20,000 miles on the odometer. I'm also not sunburned, frostbitten, exhausted, filthy or otherwise deranged. I'll consider that a win.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Clears Curbs With Ease

April 10, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

For a low-slung sports car, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has pretty excellent curb clearance. The curb in this photo is 12 inches high, pretty tall by curb standards. But the Jag's door clears it with no problem. With a step-in height of 16.38 inches, the bottom of the Jag's doors are higher off the ground than our long-term 2015 Mustang (14.75), a 2014 Boxster S (14.31), or our long-term 2014 Stingray (13.0).

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2015 Nissan Murano: Treats Rear Passengers Well

April 10, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

One of the added features you get with the Platinum version of the 2015 Nissan Murano is a pair of two-level seat heaters. Not bad for a non-luxury crossover.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 9, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

In March we made an effort to add miles to our 2014 Mini Cooper, which had fallen out of step from its 1,700-mile per month pace. We ultimately covered more than 2,600 miles and smashed previous records for single-tank fuel economy and range. This also raised its overall average by 1 mpg. Take the jump for details...

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2015 Lexus RC F: Drive Modes Change Gauge Themes (Video)

April 9, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

The 2015 Lexus RC F has four drive modes that alter its acceleration and change the look of the LCD gauges. The speedometer on the right is analog and remains consistent throughout all modes. It isn't very useful though, since the numbers are small and aren't really in your line of sight.

I can't really comment on the nuances of the drive modes since I don't have a road test background, but I will say this: When you're driving in "Normal" mode, it doesn't feel like the car has 467 horsepower. The RC F doesn't drive like you think it would until you're in "Sport S+," the highest setting.  I think Sport S+ also has the best gauge layout, partly because it reminds me of the Lexus LFA gauges. Well, a slightly less cool version.

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2015 Porsche Macan S: Center-Mounted Tachometer

April 9, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan S

That our 2015 Porsche Macan S utilizes a center-mounted tachometer speaks volumes about its purposeful design. Center-mounting the tach says "this is a priority." I've driven cars with sporting intent which place less emphasis on knowing engine speed. Fiat 500 Abarth, I'm talking to you.

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2014 BMW i3: Doesn't Remember

April 9, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I like a lot of things about our 2014 BMW i3, but the car's short-term memory is not one of them.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Nearly 5,000 Pounds

April 9, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I thought I was going to be the first person in the office to tow something with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150, but Jay Kavanagh beat me to the punch. Our trips were two weeks apart but nearly identical, as Jay and I both took the F-150 from Los Angeles to Sonoma, California. Our cargo was similar too, although mine was more than 1000 pounds heavier than Jay's haul. Even with the extra weight, the big blue Ford pulled like a champ.

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2015 Acura TLX: Rough Start-Stop System

April 9, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

I own a 2015 Acura TLX. I bought my TLX in September, and I test drove both the four- and six-cylinder versions before making a choice. I decided to go with the four-cylinder base model. I have about 6,500 miles on the thing so far and I must say I'm really enjoying it.  

As much as I the four-cylinder TLX, I often wonder if I should have gone with the bigger engine. I traded in my beak edition 2011 Acura TL Technology Package for the TLX after becoming accustomed to the extra horsepower and torque from the 3.5-liter V6.   

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2015 Kia K900: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 8, 2015

2015 Kia K900

We added 2,000 miles to our 2015 Kia K900's odometer in March, and nearly half of those miles were covered on Engineering Editor Jay Kavanagh's round-trip from L.A. to Phoenix.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Moving Day

April 8, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

I took our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado to see if I could move all my belongings into my new studio apartment in one trip.

Laid out in front of me was a 45-gallon tub filled with stuff, a large duffle bag packed with clothes, three medium-size boxes, a camping stove and a queen-size mattress with a box spring -- all my worldly possessions, in other words.

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2015 Volvo S60: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Installed; Some Pros, Some Cons

April 8, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

You expect a rear-facing convertible car seat to be easy to install in a car like the 2015 Volvo S60, right?

And sure enough, it took me very little time and minimal brainpower to get my child's oversize seat nice and snug using the LATCH anchors in the passenger-side rear position. The rolled-up towel helped me achieve the desired seat-back angle while compressing the seat during the installation, but otherwise, there's nothing difficult about it.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Hood Glare

April 8, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

This was my view from the driver seat of our 2015 Nissan Murano yesterday afternoon. With the sun high in the sky, there's significant glare directly in front of the driver. My front passenger reached across to take this photo to simulate the driver-eye view, but it was just as bad on her side.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Room to Boom

April 8, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Roy Haynes is a legendary jazz drummer. He's 90 years old and still performs. Haynes has played with the heaviest jazzbos: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Theolonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea. Back in the 50's and 60's, Haynes, like Miles, dressed sharp and liked fast cars. Davis and he would often race each other through New York City in their convertibles.

He's said his first car was a convertible Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and his garage has included custom Eldorados, a CL500, a Firebird, a Bricklin, and several others I don't recall from my reading on the man. And even if he no longer hammers the throttle (and I can't say he doesn't), I suspect Roy would like our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 8, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

We added about 1,400 miles to our 2015 Lexus RC F in March and averaged 19.6 mpg, which is somewhat better than the EPA estimate of 19 combined. James's road trip to Arizona helped us nudge that number higher last month.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: 5,000 Miles

April 7, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Just fewer than four months ago, we added a 2015 Ford Mustang GT to our long-term test fleet.

Last night, right on schedule, the odometer digitally rolled over to 5,000 miles.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 7, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

After road trips to Oregon and northern Nevada, our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited took it easy in March and traveled only 826 miles in mostly local driving. Our observed fuel economy hovered right around its lifetime average of 21.5 mpg, with one of three tank-fills exactly hitting the EPA's combined rating of 22 mpg.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Road Trip Number Eight

April 7, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

By my count, Edmunds editors have taken our 2014 Toyota Highlander on seven long-distance, road-trip-like drives so far. Dan's trip to Oregon was the big one, but we've done plenty of shorter trips within California, too. I'm adding another one to that list, about 700 miles roundtrip for a family road trip over the Easter weekend.

It's fair to say that we like the Highlander when the open road beckons.

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2014 BMW i3: No AM Radio

April 7, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I usually listen to sports talk on the drive home, so imagine my surprise when I pressed the radio button on our 2014 BMW i3 and couldn't find the AM band. The photo above shows your choices. I tried scrolling the control knob in both directions, but the AM option never appeared. I took to the interwebs and found that this wasn't a glitch, but rather a design decision.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel

April 7, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Our 2015 Porsche Macan S includes the optional $615 heated carbon fiber steering wheel. I prefer leather. I don't want the control surface that I'm touching every second while driving to be rock-hard or slick. Carbon fiber is both.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 7, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In addition to the usual day-to-day duties, our long-term 2014 A3 has spent some time with editor Brent Romans and made a day trip out to the desert.  

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2014 Mini Cooper: "S" Model No Longer Required

April 6, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

In the past if I saw a Mini Cooper running around without the dual-outlet central exhaust that comes on the S model, I'd usually snub it as "just the base car" and move on with my day. Yeah, I know. I'm a jerk.

It wasn't pure snobbery, though. That base car was pretty gutless in a straight line. But those days are over thanks to the 2014 Mini Cooper and its standard 134-horsepower three-cylinder turbo engine.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: First Service

April 6, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Soon after our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado took a Line-X bath, an oil change message popped up in the instrument panel. Oil changes are calculated by the onboard computer separate from the scheduled service intervals recommended by the manual. We planned things this time to get the oil change and 7,500-mile service performed simultaneously. The manual prepared us for a tire rotation along with a variety of inspections and fluid checks. I made an appointment to visit Puente Hills Chevrolet at 10:45 AM on a Friday.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 6, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata didn't go on any long road trips during the month of March. It hit the 5,000-mile mark early on in the month, but from there it was mostly city miles and short commutes for the Sonata.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: A Standard-Size Stroller Just Fits

April 6, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

It's well documented that the current Jeep Cherokee is short on cargo capacity compared with other compact crossover SUVs. Although we've managed to fit plenty of stuff in our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, the cargo bay behind the backseat is small. Too small, in my opinion.

Here is the largest and cushiest of the three strollers I own. Yes, three. We also own three car seats. And three automobiles. We're Americans and we like having options.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: The 1.5-star Entune App

April 6, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

"If I could give it zero stars I would."

"Entune failed us again."

"Toyota, you should be ashamed of yourself and this app."

These are quotes from just a few of the recent user reviews on Toyota's latest Entune app in the iTunes store. The total rating for Entune is 1.5 stars. I was curious. Does it really suck that bad? It was time to find out with our 2014 Toyota Highlander.

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2015 Ford F-150: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 3, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

March was a busy month for our long-term 2015 Ford F-150. We racked up 2,700 miles over the last four weeks, 2,000 of which were spent towing various trailers. Engineering Editor Jay Kavanagh towed something that vaguely resembles a Miata to and from Sonoma Raceway. I took a similar 2,000-mile trip to purchase a car and lug it home (more on that soon).

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2014 Mini Cooper: Road Trip Driving Impressions

April 3, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper needed miles. So I took it on a one-day, 600-mile road trip to Bishop, California. A few days later I added another 600 miles driving to Laughlin, Nev., and back. The days between were spent commuting to and from the office and accounted for another 500 or so miles. The trips gave me plenty of time for driving impressions.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Clunks, Creaks and Regular Maintenance

April 3, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

After crossing the 16,000-mile mark on our beloved F-Type, it was time for a scheduled visit for what amounted to an oil change and inspection. But we also had a few other issues to address.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 3, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

The very first fill-up of March was a lost cause. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but our 2015 Ford Mustang GT fuel logbook contains the simple note "pump issues" where the gallons-added entry should be.

I suppose we'll never know the fuel economy of those 227 miles.

And I think I should also exclude another 90.9-mile fill-up, even though no mistake was involved. It was a full fill, too. I personally added 15.363 gallons of premium with just three miles to go on the distance-to-empty meter.

How could this be?

I was at a track-day fundraiser at Willow Springs raceway that you'll read about in a future post. Near the end of the day, the car stumbled while cornering hard in Turn 5, whereupon I returned to the pits and drove straight out the gate to the nearest gas station. The in-car gauge read 6.3 mpg, but the math worked out to just 5.9 mpg.

Not a very representative activity, I must admit.

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2015 Porsche Macan: To Utah and Back

April 3, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

There's a guy that lives in a modest white farmhouse about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. His house is visible from I-15, as it sits just a few hundred yards west of the interstate, and it's the absolute perfect backdrop for his ride.

Yes, his ride.

Sitting in front of this man's house was his car. His beautiful car. Parked under a tree. On the grass. Within spitting distance of his front door.

There sat a near perfect replica of Bo and Luke Duke's General Lee. An orange 1969 Dodge Charger artistically festooned with a "01" on each door and the now-controversial stars and bars on its roof. I could even make out the correct push bar on the nose and of course the classic Mopar's 15-inch black and silver Vector wheels.

I was in awe.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 2, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

March was "madness" for our 2014 Toyota Highlander. First, Dan Frio drove it out to Utah and back to attend a wedding. Later in the month, John DiPietro again headed west, this time driving to Indian Wells, Calif., to check out a professional tennis tournament. I've added a few extra miles myself.

Add it up and you've got a total of about 2,500 miles driven for March. As most of that was on the highway, I was curious to learn how our Highlander did for fuel economy.

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2015 Acura TLX: Quiet Ride

April 2, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

Having spent the past few days driving our long-term 2015 Acura TLX, I'm impressed with how quiet the ride is, even on the freeway, and even with the audio system switched off. Road, wind and engine noise are kept to a minimum, not always the case in a Honda/Acura product. The cabin is peaceful and comfortable.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Vastly Better Seats Than Before

April 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Ed has already written that the driver seat in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is quite comfortable and supportive on long commutes. I heartily agree with him and would like to add this is a much better driver seat than the one we had in our 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS.

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2014 Mini Cooper: The Bike (Sorta) Fits

April 2, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

It's been quite some time since the last installment of my (future) award-winning 783-part series, "Will the Bike Fit?"

So how hard is it to put a mountain bike into the now-larger 2014 Mini Cooper? It's far from a cinch, that's for sure. Not that the 29-inch wheels of my mountain bike were helping anyone. Well, except for me out on the trails. Then they're nice to have.

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2015 Ford F-150: Chipped/Cracked Windshield

April 2, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I was packed up and ready for a 1,000-mile road trip when I saw it: a chip/crack in the windshield of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Does It Make the Cut?

April 1, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

First, I'd like to say that Mike Monticello has ruggedly handsome style.

But he's a bit of a Whiny Wendy when it comes to the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. Armrests are too hard. V6 is good, but not great. Boo hoo. In fairness, he's also praised the seats and says the ride is "certainly tolerable."

Maybe I'm just a little more rugged (if not handsome) than Mike because I find the Colorado checks most of my boxes, especially when it comes to thinking about a replacement for an aging Jeep Cherokee. First, I just like trucks. I like what they can do, I like what they represent. To me, trucks have always been the ultimate expression of open-road escape (once I got over the whole late 80s mini-truckin' craze).

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2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: Nearly Perfect Gauges

April 1, 2015

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD

Can't tell you how nice it is to see a clear set of analog gauges in our 2015 Acura TLX. I mean, this is a car that oozes technology from every corner. The fact that designers were able to keep at least some of that technology out of the instrument cluster is surprising.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Torque-Split Display

April 1, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Our 2015 Porsche Macan S comes standard with all-wheel drive. Included is this gauge which shows torque-split in real time. It's constantly dancing around in ways that approximate how it's distributing torque to where grip is most needed.

That sending torque to the wheels with the most grip is an inarguable point. Whether you need to know what it's doing, or more philosophically whether you need to see it, is less clear.

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2015 Kia K900: Great Steering Wheel

April 1, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Simple, sturdy and covered in nice materials, the steering wheel in our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is one of my favorite features on the car. We've got the optional "Leather-Wrapped & Genuine Wood" steering wheel that is heated, has a simple three-spoke design and several small, but easy-to-find, buttons for audio and cruise control.

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2015 Audi A3: Nimble Handling

April 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I've driven our 2015 Audi A3 quite a few times the past three months. Most of that time has been spent commuting, kid schlepping and general life stuff. But occasionally I've zipped through a turn quickly and thought to myself, "Dang, this thing is pretty capable."

Just yesterday I made a special trip on some lightly- trafficked roads to learn more about the A3's handling characteristics in further detail.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Loves the Rain

March 31, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Rain + our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper = Fun.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rides and Steers Better Than Its Predecessor

March 31, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

If you're a long-time reader of our long-term road tests, you might remember that we used to have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS in our fleet. I liked the idea of that car, which offered lots of space and lots of features in an attractive wrapper, but the actual execution left me cold. Fortunately, a few of my complaints have been addressed in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: The Battle of Britain

March 31, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Let's say you have up to $120 grand to spend on a two-seat sport coupe and you want a premium brand and some serious performance. Let's also say for the sake of this argument that you want it to be British. You're pretty much down to the Jaguar F-Type Coupe and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. What do you do?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Sporadic Clicking Noise

March 31, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has developed a sporadic "click-click-click-clicking" noise coming from the engine bay.

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2015 Volvo S60: Auto Braking by City Safety

March 31, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Caroline and I were driving into our office complex after a lovely lunch when we were met with a rather abrupt surprise.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Impressions

March 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Up until last weekend I'd spent very little time driving our long-term 2015 Ford F-150. My first real drive in it would be towing a craptacular race car from Los Angeles to Sonoma Raceway and back, an 850-mile round trip.

So, how'd it go?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Carefree Trip to IKEA Thanks to the Bedliner

March 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Trips to IKEA are never going to be a problem if you have a full-size pickup like our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at your disposal. Hauling away a bunch of assemble-it-yourself furniture is even more convenient since Dan Edmunds had our truck's cargo bed coated with a Line X bedliner.

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2014 BMW i3: Park It Anywhere

March 30, 2015

2014 BMW i3

While the city ride quality in our long-term 2014 BMW i3 isn't ideal, it does have the ability to fit into nearly any parking spot you can find.

Bumper to bumper, it's the exact same length as a 2015 Mini Cooper (157.4 inches) and it's 10.7 inches shorter than a VW e-Golf. The Fiat 500e is considerably smaller (142.2 inches long), but if you want a back seat that can accommodate adults, I'd avoid the Fiat. At 69.9 inches, the i3 is only two inches wider than the Mini and five inches wider than the Fiat and an inch narrower than the VW. Basically, it's the right size for "compact" parking spots.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Road Trip Pictures

March 30, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

On a whim I drove our 2014 Mini Cooper 600 miles for a loaf of bread and beef jerky. Take the jump for photos and a recap of the trip...

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2015 Volvo S60: Road Trip to San Jose

March 30, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

I attended the 2015 Nv idia GPU Tech Conference in San Jose, CA recently. This conference is further proof that cars are no longer mechanical devices and are instead becoming advanced computers on wheels.

I took the long-term 2015 Volvo S60 because it was quiet, comfortable and had plenty of power for highway passing. Here are a few impressions, my road trip fuel economy and a slight issue that happened on the way back.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Inconsistent Horn

March 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The last time I drove our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel the horn was inconsistent. If I tried to hit it lightly, nothing would happen.

If I pressed harder it would eventually work. And it seemed like once I got it working, it would become more sensitive for use for a little while after that.

This was especially noticeable when I was driving on the two-lane Ortega Highway. A car pulled over to let me and the Ram by, I tried to give him a little "honk-honk" to say thanks. Nothing happened at first, so I pressed harder and then suddenly it was like I was laying on the horn at the poor guy, as if I were mad at him.

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2014 BMW i3: Regenerative Brakes

March 27, 2015

2014 BMW i3

The feeling of regenerative braking is one of the most overt indicators that you're driving a hybrid or electric vehicle. When you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal while driving, the car will immediately slow down, converting the forward momentum of the car back into energy for the batteries.

Our long-term 2014 BMW i3 uses a regenerative braking system that slows the car down pretty dramatically, but after just a few miles, it's easy to get used to how strong it is and modulate your pressure accordingly. If you plan far enough in advance, you can avoid using the conventional brake pedal at all.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Trip to Tennis Tourney

March 27, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

With tickets in hand for the BNP Paribas Open pro tennis tournament at Indian Wells, I selected the keys to our 2014 Toyota Highlander. It seemed like a good choice for a 300-mile (round trip) mostly freeway cruise. As this is the most time I'd spent in the Highlander, I can see why this is such a popular, and Edmunds "A"-rated, choice in the midsize crossover segment. Following are four reasons (in no particular order) why the Highlander made this small road trip a pleasure.

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2015 Volvo S60: Active Headlamps

March 27, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Our long-term 2015 Volvo S60 test car has optional bi-xenon active headlamps. It's not earth shattering technology. Even the famed Tucker "Torpedo" had at least one headlamp that followed the direction of the steering wheel back when the earth was still cooling.

But what's nice about our Volvo is that owners may choose to disable this functionality, as well as others, on this screen. Although we can't think of a reason we'd like to de-select this light show, so click through to see video of exactly how active these Volvo active headlamps truly are.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Well in the Center, Can't Use LATCH

March 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

If you only have one child and you don't have a bad back (that would be aggravated by repeated stooping), it's easy to make a case for buying a midsize sedan like our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There's so much room to spare in here, even compared to most small crossover SUVs and the rare compact minivan like my Mazda 5.

Given all the room in the Sonata, I chose to install my kid's larger-than-average convertible car seat in the rear center position. Hyundai gives you a LATCH setup only in the rear outboard positions, but as usual, I was tempted to use the inboard lower anchors for a center installation. Fortunately, Hyundai lays out what is and isn't OK very clearly in the Sonata's owner's manual.

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2015 Audi A3: Road Trip to Indian Wells

March 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Recently, a few of us in the office decided to attend the 2015 BNP Paribas tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Adjacent to Palm Springs, Indian Wells is about 140 miles from our offices in Santa Monica. This tennis tournament, though not as significant as grand slam events like Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, is still a major tournament with all the top players. I also noticed that Audi was a major sponsor of the tournament this year. Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 seemed like a natural fit to drive to the event.

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2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: Push-Button Shifter Works Just Fine

March 26, 2015

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD

It's easy to look at the push-button transmission shifter in our 2015 Acura TLX and think it's overkill. I'm usually the first person on our staff to take this stance. Why take a perfectly good shift lever and turn it into several buttons?

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: L.A. Freeway Ride

March 26, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Stereotypes have a basis in reality, and certainly L.A. traffic is not an exaggerated thing. Every once in a while (or for about 19 seconds at a time), there's a moment of free-flowing traffic on the notoriously choppy 405 freeway that enables a quick hand-held video from behind the wheel. Click through to see how our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI fared on the thoroughfare.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Radio Replaced

March 26, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Three weeks ago we took our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited in to address an issue with the Bluetooth. The problem was easy to repeat. Press the phone icon on the touchscreen and the system froze as displayed in the picture above. The repair was not as simple...

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2015 Volvo S60: Performance Tested

March 26, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

The most significant feature on our 2015 Volvo S60 is its new powertrain. Its eight-speed transmission is new as is its 2.0-liter inline-4. The new engine is both supercharged and turbocharged which, on paper, promises a wide torque band to maximize the S60's 302-horsepower. Our track day put the forced-induction duo to the test.

The owners' manual didn't specify an engine break-in period so we followed our internal guidelines, driving carefully for the first 1,000 miles. Once we broke through our self-imposed barrier, it was time to go to the test track.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Audio Off and Camera On

March 25, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

This shouldn't be as rare as it is, but the rearview camera in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI test car remains active despite shutting off the audio unit. I discovered this because I was listening to AM radio as I entered Edmunds.com headquarters underground parking garage, didn't want to hear the static any longer and shut off the audio. More often than you might realize, this can also shut off the camera's display (if it uses the same display as the audio unit). Not so in the GTI: The black screen came back to life as I slipped the shifter into R and backed into a parking stall. Nice.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Learnings From an Arizona Road Trip

March 25, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

The 2015 Lexus RC F should be a prime candidate for road trips. Obviously not with kids or bulky leisure equipment in tow, but for the type of two-person, plus-maybe-a-pet-or-two vacations I take, a luxury coupe is just about the perfect choice. You know, like this luxury coupe. But does the RC F deliver as expected? To find out, I set out with my dog Maggie to visit my folks in Arizona.

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2015 Volvo S60: Five-Star Safety Rating

March 25, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Crash test results are in, and the 2015 Volvo S60 earned the top five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2015 S60 received five stars in the front, side and rollover crashworthiness tests.

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