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 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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2014 Jeep Cherokee: Over-Sensitive Driver Aids

July 25, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Just a few days ago, Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh commented that our long-term 2014 Acura MDX had a hypersensitive collision alert. I've driven the MDX many times and I agree with Jay, but the MDX doesn't hold a candle to our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

In just three days with our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee, I must've yelled at the car a dozen times. Warnings were going off like a sinking submarine, without any real or imminent danger.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Dream Car, Dream On

July 24, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Just look at it, glinting in the sun. You can see its muscles tensing, as if it's about to leap into something heart-pounding and wonderful. The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is like a beautifully sculpted British action-movie star who expects to be treated to a certain kind of lifestyle. Sadly, it's one I don't currently have.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Worthless Sport Displays

July 24, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

Playing aimlessly with the iDrive system of our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo can have its rewards, but it can also be a bit like surfing eBay Motors after a few hard lemonades. You wake up the next day with a bad headache and keen sense of regret.

So I found out.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Back in the Shop

July 24, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

In the likely case you don't follow me on Twitter, you're probably unaware that our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is back in the shop.

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: 10,000-Mile Update

July 24, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

Just as with our 5,000-mile update, it's continued to be smooth sailing, mechanically, up to the 10,000-mile mark for the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Front Seat Small-Item Storage

July 24, 2014

22014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

The front seat in our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a nice place to be. Materials quality is high and I love the seats (more on that later), but there isn't much room for accessories, rubbish, contraband, paraphernalia, knick knacks, bric-a-brac, accoutrements, or other various flotsam and jetsam. Ya know, your stuff.

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2014 Mazda 3: Like Our Macan, It Could Really Benefit From Summer Tires

July 24, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Last month, fellow editor Jay Kavanagh observed that our long-term Porsche Macan's handling abilities are tamed by its all-season tires. He recommended making sure to get the summer tires if you're buying a Macan. (You are getting a Porsche, after all.)

It's not the only vehicle in our fleet that could use a set of summer tires, though. I happen to think the same thing about our 2014 Mazda 3.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Blind -Spot Monitoring

July 23, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Thanks to its tiny rear window, the blind spots in the truly magnificent 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe are considerable. As in huge. As in I'm shocked that you have to buy the optional "Vision Pack" ($2,100 MSRP) to get blind-spot monitoring with reverse traffic detection.

The Vision Pack, which sounds like something you'd take on a spiritual quest, also includes adaptive front lighting, cornering lamps, intelligent high beams, front parking sensors and a rear backup camera. You will want these technologies if you expect to change lanes, parallel park or back out of a parking space.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: New Rear Tire

July 23, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

We couldn't have placed a nail in the tire of our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG any more perfectly. Didn't lose any air, and was still too close to the sidewall to be repairable!

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Phoenix Road Trip!

July 23, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

Could you sense a tinge of sarcasm in that headline exclamation point? No? Well, it was there.

Not that there's anything wrong with Phoenix, Arizona, but this hotbed of desert heat is far from my first destination choice. Especially in the middle of summer.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited Long-Term Road Test: Introduction

July 23, 2014

22014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

The new Jeep Cherokee puts a new twist on a classic nameplate. Does it live up to the legend or take it in a completely new direction? We have a new long-term Cherokee for the next year to find out.

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2015 Porsche Macan: A Sporty Spirit

July 23, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan

Porsche put the 2015 Macan's tachometer right in the driver's face just like in the 911 and its other sports cars.

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2013 Tesla Model S: It Sells Itself

July 23, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

This may come as a disappointment to some, but we've sold our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S. A number of readers wanted us to keep the car for reasons ranging from "I want to see what else happens" to "the Model S is the only car worth reading about on this blog."

There was never a dull moment with our Model S, and while it wasn't my decision to sell it, I can understand why it had to go. First, we've already learned the lessons from this car. It is an impressive technological achievement, but Tesla needs to iron out its quality problems.

Second, we've already set our sights on buying two other vehicles: a 2015 Ford Mustang and a 2015 Ford F-150. Selling the Model S will make it possible for us to add two cars to the fleet and provide twice the content for our readers.

And third, we received not one but two offers for the Tesla and that was too good to pass up. Here's how it happened.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Not Sure About the Seats

July 22, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Now these are serious seats. They come standard on the "R" version of the F-Type Coupe and they're designed to hold you in place while the 550-horsepower V8 is doing its best to yank you out of them.

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2014 Mazda 3: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Comes In Handy

July 22, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

The 2014 Mazda 3 is unusual in the small car class by offering a large amount of available safety features. Specifically, these are optional driver assistance features: a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and automatic braking for low-speed collision mitigation.

Many small cars offer one or two of these features, but it's rare to have this much available. Our long-term Mazda 3 has all of them except the frontal collision warning and automatic braking. Yet in daily use, the one I appreciate most is the rear cross-traffic alert feature.

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2014 Kia Cadenza: Wind Noise

July 22, 2014

2014 Kia Cadenza

When driving our long-term 2014 Kia Cadenza I can hear quite a bit of wind noise coming from the area of the A-pillars.

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Hauls More Than You'd Think

July 22, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

Just back from our annual wine country road trip in the 2014 Nissan Rogue. Several of my colleagues have commented on the compact crossover's roomy cargo hold, so we decided to really put it to the test.

On the way up from Southern California to the Napa and Sonoma regions there were four adults and luggage for a long weekend, not a terribly challenging load.

On the way back we lost our two passengers, who flew home. But we kept some of their luggage and augmented that with eight cases of wine (not all for my cellar; we buy for a small group of enthusiasts).

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