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

2014 Nissan Rogue: Power Door On/Off Switch

July 30, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

What's the point of that "Power Door On/Off" switch to the right of that cluster on the 2014 Nissan Rogue's dash?

Well, first I'll tell you what it does: If you turn the button to "off," the power hatch function will no longer work via the push-button on the exterior of the hatch, or the one on the inside of the hatch. If you press that exterior hatch button when the main switch is "off," you'll still be able to lift the tailgate manually, though.

Full power will still work via the key fob as well as the button on the dash.

What I couldn't figure out was why have an "off" switch in the first place...

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Well Suited For Long Highway Drives

July 30, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

It's summertime. It's time to pack up your family and head out for the Great American Road Trip to Wally World. But what are you going to drive? "A Tesla Model S!" you might say, having gained inspiration from our record-setting LA-to-NYC drive (and back).

The more practical and obvious choice, though, would be something like our 2014 Toyota Highlander.

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2014 Mazda 3: Performance Testing

July 30, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Back in January, when our 2014 Mazda 3 S five-door joined our long-term fleet, it marked a huge step forward for the venerable hatchback. Vast improvements took place inside and out, along with a slew of new features that raised the bar for the entire segment.

Even though the Mazda 3 is far more refined than its predecessors, its lively spirit and fun-to-drive nature are solidly intact. For definitive proof, we ran it through our usual battery of tests.

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2014 Acura MDX: Headlights Revisited

July 30, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Some months back I had nice things to say about the so-called jewel-eye headlights on our 2014 Acura MDX. But the pictures didn't really illustrate how far the high beams penetrate down the road because I made the comparison on a treeless desert backdrop. I could see the difference from the driver seat, but it didn't come across on the small screen.

The worth of the low beam and high beam headlights grabbed my attention once again on this most recent Oregon trip, but this time the countless trees we drove past made it easier to illustrate my point.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Brakes

July 30, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan

In my last update I mentioned how much I like driving the 2015 Porsche Macan S. My one issue with this compact SUV is the brakes.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Performance Testing

July 29, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

One of the highlights of our very nice 2014 Toyota Highlander it its 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine. Without really trying, it's almost too easy to bang the go-pedal, have the automatic kick down a few gears and spin a few dozen miles worth of rubber off of the front wheels.

But what happens when you take a more grownup approach to see what the limits on this Highlander actually are? And how does it stack up against a 2014 Toyota Highlander XLE with all-wheel drive we tested previously?

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2014 Mazda 3: Compromises

July 29, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I've apparently become the Lexus demographic. This won't be a fair characterization to the fine folks who build F Sports and actively work to transform the brand's image from floaty to fiery. But as I get older and start chasing kids from my lawn, I'm less tolerant of tightly-wound ride compliance like the 2014 Mazda 3's.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Impressions

July 29, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

I was fortunate enough to attend the West Coast launch of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe in the middle of June. I had the opportunity to drive the roadster when it showed up at Edmunds HQ a while back and it quickly became one of my favorites.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Suits Me Fine

July 29, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan

The compact size of our new 2015 Porsche Macan S is perfect for me. At only 5'4" I find the Macan easy to get in and out. I was instantly comfortable in the driver seat, and all the controls are within easy reach. It's too early to tell, but this may be my new favorite long-term car in our current fleet, although I haven't driven the Jaguar F-Type yet.

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2014 Acura MDX: Oregon Road Trip MPG

July 29, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

This trip to Oregon in our long-term 2014 Acura MDX AWD wasn't a vacation, really. My eldest daughter is heading off to college this fall, and she needed to attend a two-day introDUCKtion program to meet her advisor, sign up for classes and see how much space she'll have in her dorm room at the University of Oregon.

I'll share a few new observations I made during the drive in a couple of posts to come, but the thing that really stuck out was the range and fuel economy. We managed to wring 541 miles out of one tank at 29.9 mpg. Not bad at all considering its 27-mpg highway rating.

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Trucking to Vegas

July 28, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

I needed a vehicle for a weekend road trip to Las Vegas, something that could comfortably carry my four cousins and their luggage. My cousin, Cesar, is a big truck fan and so I figured I'd take the long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado to get his take on it. Plus, I've never gone on a road trip in a truck and I wanted to see what it was like.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Will the Golf Clubs Fit?

July 28, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

The dilemma: I signed out our new 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe because, well, because it's the F-Type. Unfortunately, I was coming back from a weekend vacation and had my travel golf bag and a suitcase. I could've swapped into another car, but hey, this is exactly the scenario one expects from these pages. I'm here to serve.

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Phoenix Road Trip Part 3

July 28, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

After staying in Chandler, Arizona for the night, it was off to Nissan's proving grounds in Stanfield the next morning to get some background information on the 2015 Nissan Murano.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Child Seat Won't Fit

July 28, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Our child safety seat will not fit in the back of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250. This is a rare problem. In fact, our Cadillac ATS was the only other long-term vehicle that shared this flaw. Here's why it doesn't work...

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Nice Dash Design

July 28, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

When writing about cars for a living, one of the things you have to guard against is falling down the enthusiast well. We all have an idea of what makes an enthusiast. He or she is the car expert in their social circle, the one who subscribes to the magazines, reads the Web sites, follows new models and commits 0-60 times to memory. It's tempting to write for this reader because you don't have to explain as much.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Plenty of Cargo Room for a Compact SUV

July 28, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited may be considered a compact SUV, but it still has enough room inside to take care of regular-size chores. When I picked up some wood trim recently I didn't even bother to look to see if it would fit before I left. Most of the pieces were fairly manageable five-footers, but I did have one piece of 1x2 that was eight feet long.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: It Sits Low

July 25, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Ever watch a big cat stretch itself to noodle length and drape its belly on the ground? That's what our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe would do at every driveway and deep gutter if you took them at anything close to regular speed.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Great Big Sunroof

July 25, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

This is not an inexpensive car. Base price is $42,375 and our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo, which has more than its fair share of options, carries an MSRP of $55,500.

At those numbers it should be equipped with plenty of cool stuff, which it is. Check out its big sunroof.

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Phoenix Road Trip Part 2

July 25, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

Driving the miles and miles of desert highway from southern California to Nissan's proving grounds near Phoenix, Arizona gave me much time to consider the front seats in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI.

The verdict?

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Beverage Bus

July 25, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

A friend told me he recently moved into product planning at a major automaker. He comes from the engineering corps, but apparently you can't wait for old engineers to peel off into retirement if you want to rise in that department. Not if you want a steadily rising paycheck, anyway.

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