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 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Engine Break-In Road Trip

November 21, 2014

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

I spent a long weekend with our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI during its engine break-in period. We spent over 10 hours and 500 miles together. Here's what we did in pictures, and a few words...

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe vs. F-Type S

November 21, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

I've waxed poetic several times about how good looking our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is, but you don't have to pay for the range-topping F-Type R to get those looks. The F-Type comes in several different configurations including the mid-range F-Type S (seen here in British Racing Green). The R has a supercharged, 550-horsepower V8 while the S has to make due with just 380 horsepower from a supercharged V6. So what does the V8 R provide that the F-Type S doesn't, and what's the cost?

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2015 Audi A3: More Trunk Space Than You Might Think

November 21, 2014

2015 Audi A3

On paper our 2015 Audi A3 looks like it has a trunk that's too small to fit much of anything. The official number is 10 cubic feet, which is nothing for a modern sedan. There are convertibles that offer similar space and even our slope-backed Mercedes-Benz CLA boasts over 13 cubic feet.

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2015 Porsche Macan S: Infotainment Issues

November 21, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan S

The last time I drove our 2015 Porsche Macan S, I ran through my usual regimen. Plug in the iPhone, adjust the seats and mirrors and go. A few minutes into my drive, I decided to pair my phone so I wouldn't have to text a friend while driving. No problem. A minute or two later I was yacking away with my brother from another mother. Once the call was over, I switched back to listen to the music on my iPhone. That's when the problem started.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Likes to Go Fast

November 21, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

My first time behind the wheel of the controversial 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 found me driving up to Willow Springs International Raceway, a distance of about 100 miles. It's mainly freeway driving and I was lucky to be going against traffic. Not only did I get to pass miles of stopped traffic going the other way, but I was free to pick my speed — carefully. This car likes to go fast. And in such a well-insulated car, you don't want the first indication of your speed to be flashing lights in your rearview mirror.

As I drove, I thought of the mixed bag of comments this Mercedes has received. I agree with those who love this engine. It's hard to believe it's just a four-cylinder. And being front-wheel drive, while it flies in the face of Mercedes tradition, doesn't detract from the fun factor. But then I began to consider what I had read about the ride quality.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Cruise Control

November 20, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

The cruise control in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is always ready for use. Press the "Set" button and cruise control is engaged. Seems reasonable, right? Tell the car to do something and it does it. This a refreshingly unique setup though, and it's not as common as you'd think.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: More Fuel Range Than You Think

November 20, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

Last week I drove our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander out to La Quinta, California to visit my parental units. La Quinta is about 150 miles due east of my home base, all of which is covered on Interstate 10, a major roadway.

When the trip was complete, imagine my surprise when, despite averaging 22.1 mpg over the 306.7 miles, the Highlander was in need of a refill.

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2015 Audi A3: Clean Climate Controls

November 20, 2014

2015 Audi A3

This should hardly be worth mentioning in a modern luxury car. I'm talking about simple, easy-to-use climate controls that can be used at a glance. Seems obvious, but plenty of cars get it wrong. Our 2015 Audi A3 is not one of them.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Powertrain First Impressions

November 20, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is equipped with the larger of the two engines available, a 3.6-liter V6, that's backed by a six-speed automatic. The V6, known as LFX, and the 6L50 transmission are straight out of GM's parts bin.

Somehow, both of them seem less refined in the Colorado than I recall from other applications.

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2015 Kia K900: Back Seat Amenities

November 20, 2014

2015 Kia K900

While the driver seat of the 2015 Kia K900 is a nice place to be, rear passengers get some love from Kia, too.

Our long-termer comes standard with heated rear seats, a power rear window sunshade, manual side sunshades and a rear seat USB charging port.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Tiny Gear Indicator

November 19, 2014

2014 Mini Cooper

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! The manual gear indictor within the instrument panel (can you even see it in this photo?) of the 2014 Mini Cooper is the smallest ever created.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Child Safety Seat Fitment

November 19, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

I've written some earlier updates highlighting the family-friendly nature of our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. Here's another supporting reason: the easy installation of child safety seats.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Alarm Fixed

November 19, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan

Our 2015 Porsche Macan S has a neat feature. If you leave it parked and locked, the alarm will randomly, frequently go off. For a long time. For no reason at all.

You know this, though. Dan told you so back in August when we took it to Beverly Hills Porsche to be told that it was a known problem, and that Porsche didn't have the new part yet.

We got the call last week that the new motion sensor was in stock.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Trunk Shows Nice Attention to Detail

November 19, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Trunks are usually an afterthought when it comes to trim, especially in sports cars. Not so in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Tall Box Sides

November 19, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Yes, that is indeed "stuff" in the box of our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, a midsize pickup. Prepare yourselves for plenty more photos of objects there because, after all, it's a truck.

I show you that jungle-gym subframe thing there (a thousand internet props to anyone who can correctly guess the make and model it came from) not out of a sense of pride for using a truck in a truck-like manner. No, I show you this object to illustrate something about the Colorado which is, again, a mid-size pickup.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Rough Rider

November 18, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

I imagine this is the view that Mercedes marketers want many of its new customers to see: a downtown cityscape from behind the wheel of a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Driver Seat Wear

November 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The front seat of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is showing some wear after 16,800 miles of service. This seat is a comfortable place to be. I spent over 400 miles in the saddle yesterday and had no complaints. And I'm not sure how this plays into seat wear, but by the looks of things, our staff is right-cheek dominant.

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2015 Kia K900: I Could Get Used to This

November 18, 2014

2015 Kia K900

There are certain modern features on cars that are so convenient they are making it onto my must-have list.

If I were buying a new car I would want heated seats (no surprise), a rearview camera (soon to be standard) and a head-up display. This last one has only just made it onto my list after traveling several hundred miles in our long-term 2015 Kia K900.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Introduction

November 18, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

It's strange to think that for the last few years, the only midsize trucks for sale in the U.S. were a pair of Japanese pickups, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. General Motors axed the old Chevrolet Colorado in 2012, the Ford Ranger was discontinued after 2011 and the Dodge Dakota was left for dead in 2010.

While the boys from Detroit poured their money into full-size trucks, Toyota and Nissan quietly scooped up customers who preferred pickups with a smaller footprint. So nonexistent was the competition that neither has been significantly updated since 2004.

This year is a different story. The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is a small workhorse with attractive sheet metal, a welcoming cockpit and engines that are more powerful and efficient than its predecessors. We just had the all-new Silverado in our fleet, so we added a Colorado to our long-term fleet to see how the smaller Chevy stacks up against its bigger brother in terms of utility and comfort.

We have 12 months and 20,000 miles to evaluate the first new midsize truck in a decade.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Very Likeable as a Niche Vehicle

November 18, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

A few days ago, a friend of mine was asking what I thought about the long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo I was driving. "Oh, it's very nice. Very practical." I said. He nodded his head as he walked around the car more. "Yeah, but do you like it?" he further asked. Now that question gave me pause.

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