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 Toyota Highlander: Party at the Park

September 18, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

The time had come for my Girl Scout troop to "bridge" from Cadettes to Senior-level scouts.

Since this ceremonial adventure typically includes a real bridge, we packed our 2014 Toyota Highlander full of outdoor party supplies and headed to a local expanse of greenish grass, complete with a drought-stricken stream and wooden-plank bridge.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Cruise Control Braking and Calibration Ruminations

September 18, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

I, like my fine compatriot Mr. Monticello, find our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited's lack of engine braking annoying.

There are other things about its powertrain calibration I find suboptimal, too.

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2014 Mazda 3: Adaptive Bi-Xenon HID

September 18, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Driving around the city in the 2014 Mazda 3 it's easy to forget how sophisticated the bi-xenon HID lighting system is. But when I was driving down a mountain road near Lone Pine, Calif., it showed how both the directional capability and the leveling feature work together to provide a crisp, clear — and safe — picture of the road ahead.

At first, the moving beams caught me by surprise, as if my eyes were getting jumpy. Then, I grew to like the way that turning the steering wheel gives you a picture of where you want to go, not what you don't want to drive into. The auto-level feature is designed to adjust to road conditions as well as leveling when passengers and cargo are added.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Ancient Nav

September 18, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

The navigation system in our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is nearly 10 years old. If you count the development time, it's probably even older. In technology terms, this is ancient history.

To put this in perspective, here's some of the tech from a decade ago. In 2005 Windows XP was going strong on PC, iPod video was all the rage, and I was proudly sporting a matte black Motorola RAZR phone.

So it wasn't a surprise to me to see how outdated the CL65's navigation system has become, but it is interesting to see how tech has changed over the years.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Removing the Step Bars

September 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A while back, Dan Edmunds asked if you, the readers, thought we should lose the step bars on our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Like many of you, my response was, "Yes."

So this weekend, to prepare for a bit of light off-roading, I removed the rails. It would give me more clearance along dirt roads. And I think they make our truck look a bit clunky. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to get my hands dirty. Cue the workshop music.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: First Aid Kit

September 17, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 has a first aid kit that resides in its trunk. Though you'll not be setting up a roadside triage center with this kit, it's reasonably comprehensive and includes 10 normal-sized band aids, four extra-large band aids, 8 gauze pads and a whole lot more, including scissors.

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Windshield Wipers

September 17, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

While other parts of the country are getting hit with major thunderstorms, drought-struck Southern California finally scored itself a substantial sprinkle.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Dirty Work

September 17, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

You can never have a truck often enough when moving homes. It's an invaluable tool before, during and for weeks after the move. I might make the costs of a pickup part of the escrow package next time I move. I didn't have a truck when I needed to dispose of old paint cans, some decaying chemicals and other junk left behind by the previous owners, but the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo was available.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Onboard Help

September 17, 2014

2014 Mini Cooper

Owner's manuals should be on paper. This is a truth universally acknowledged. But I have to say that the 2014 Mini Cooper has an onboard manual and related content that are useful and easy to access. Some things are just interesting, such as this animated explanation of the parking assistant feature.

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2015 Porsche Macan: The Bench Fit

September 17, 2014

2014 Kia Cadenza

Once my cheap Ikea ottoman fit inside our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S it was time to get serious. I turned to my two young daughters, "Kids," I said with authority, "Go get The Bench."

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2014 Kia Cadenza: Changing Public Opinion

September 17, 2014

2014 Kia Cadenza

There are a few places I frequent in L.A. where they know what I do for a living. The people at the cheese store, my butcher, my liquor store and my hardwood supply place always ask me, "Whatcha driving today?"

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2015 Kia K900: Virtual Instrument Panel

September 16, 2014

2015 Kia K900

You'll see it every time you press the button to start a 2015 Kia K900 sedan. The former blank slate of an instrument panel comes to life and goes through a little boot-up dance before settling down and getting on with the job.

See for yourself after the jump.

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2014 Mazda 3: Testing the Limits

September 16, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

My brother, who lives in Denver, Colorado, was car shopping recently and asked what I thought of the 2014 Mazda 3. It's a big hit with the other editors so I relayed this to my brother who went out and bought one.

Ever since then I've wished I had more time in our long term 3 so we could swap impressions about the car. Recently, I set out on a four-day trip to the Sierra (yes, it's singular) and finally got some seat time in the Mazda. Here's one of the first things that struck me.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Why You'll Want To Buy A Macan

September 16, 2014

2015 Porsche Macan

Porsche has taken its sweet time fielding a small crossover luxury SUV. BMW's been doing it since 2004 with its X3, for example. So what does the new 2015 Porsche Macan offer that nobody else has thought of so far? It seems to me that it's a sense of spirit and fun.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Here Comes Mr. Obnoxious

September 16, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

No, that's not what they say about me when I stroll into the Edmunds office. Okay, maybe it is, how would I know? I do talk a little louder than most, and sound travels well across our open floor plan. My therapist says I shouldn't look at this as a bad thing, instead telling me, "You liven the place up for them, Mike."  

But there's no question you can say "Here comes Mr. Obnoxious" when the 2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe drives by.   

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Safety Rating

September 16, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its safety rating for the 2015 Nissan Rogue, which earned the same four-star overall rating as our 2014 Nissan Rogue long-term test vehicle.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: This Is a Good Vehicle

September 16, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Sometimes, it's as simple as that. You drive a car for a while and it just makes a good impression. For me, our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited is like that. I took it on a weekend roadtrip from L.A. to Monterey and it cemented things for me.

But what, exactly, makes the Cherokee good?

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2014 Mini Cooper: Interior Fun Without Foolishness

September 15, 2014

2014 Mini Cooper

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a movie character type who exhibits "psychotically bubbly" kookiness for no apparent reason. The Mini vehicles that we've had in our long-term fleet were Manic Pixies of the automotive variety.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Parksense Foibles

September 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 is a Laramie, so it comes standard with a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors (Parksense as Ram calls them) are a $395 option.

Since I live in a crowded city and I parallel park quite a bit (yes, I've parallel parked the Ram about a dozen times over the last week) parking sensors are a bumper-saving piece of equipment that I'd opt for, but this particular system has a few issues.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: 10,000 Miles

September 15, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

Somehow, when nobody was looking, our 2014 Toyota Highlander crossed the 10,000-mile mark.

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