Long-Term Road Tests Latest Updates
ADVERTISEMENT

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 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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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?

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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...

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


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.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: More Gauges, Debatable Usefulness

March 25, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Pretty much every car is going to come with a basic set of gauges, including a speedometer, tachometer, fuel level and coolant temperature. Sport-oriented cars often have a bonus collection of gauges. Presumably, the idea is that an enthusiastic driver will want to monitor the condition of his or her car more closely. Or, it could just be that automakers and people find more gauges to look cool. Or both.

Well, our 2015 Ford Mustang GT comes stocked with gauges. In addition to the usual ones there are two more on the center stack plus many more available in the driver information display. But how useful many of these gauges are is open to debate.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: Spacious Rear Seat in Most Dimensions

March 25, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After sitting in the back seat of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, I figured the dimensions probably measured up favorably to competitors like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Turns out this Sonata does much better in some respects than others.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Calming Influence

March 25, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Far too much time had passed since I last drove our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I don't know who to blame for the truck's utter lack of availability on the signup sheet, but as in most cases my index finger points straight at Senior Editor Josh Jacquot. And that damn rally car he's always towing around.

It sure didn't take long for me to remember just how much I love the big old lug (the Ram, not Josh). My ample commute home highlighted the Ram's smooth ride and superb interior.

But I'm also quite fond of the EcoDiesel engine. You see, it has a calming influence on me.

See full article and comment.


2015 Audi A3: Wi-Fi Speed Test

March 24, 2015

2015 Audi A3

The 2015 Audi A3 is one of the first vehicles to offer a 4G LTE connection as part of its $2,600 MMI Navigation Plus package. This package includes things like the MMI interface knob with handwriting recognition, a color driver-information display and Audi Connect.

Audi Connect is the suite of programs that take advantage of the high-speed connection to provide things like Google Earth, Google Voice search and social media integration. It also creates an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.

The idea is that maybe you need to get some work done on your laptop while at an offsite. Or maybe you have kids in the back that would be quiet if only they could watch some cartoons on an iPad. Seems like a handy enough feature, but is it actually good?

I ran an informal test to find out.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Trunk Full of Soda

March 24, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Our neighborhood high school has a big weekend show choir competition coming up, and I volunteered to donate a variety of beverages to be sold at the event's snack bar.

Grabbing the keys to our 2015 Kia K900 test car, I headed to the local Smart & Final to stock up on Gatorade and Coke products.

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: All the Gauges You Need

March 24, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

I've become a bit of a sucker for simple instrument panels like the one in our 2015 Nissan Murano. Big analog speedometer, big analog tachometer and not much else, that's the basic formula.

See full article and comment.


2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD: Introduction

March 24, 2015

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD

Our latest addition to the long-term fleet is a two-for-one deal. Allow us to explain.

The story starts a few years back when the third-generation Acura TL became an unexpected hit between 2004 and 2008. It was the right size, looked great and offered tremendous value. But then subsequent generations slowly got bigger, less interesting to drive and a bit odd-looking.

Even after some redesign rhinoplasty, the TL never got its groove back, so when the time came for an all-new car, Acura tried something radically different. Instead of merely updating the TL, it would create an all-new car that would take the place of both the TL and the smaller, compact TSX sedan.

The 2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD is that something new, and given its critical role in the company's lineup, we knew it deserved a place in our long-term road test fleet for the next year.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Ride Quality in the City

March 24, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I recently had a weekend in our long-term 2014 BMW i3 and most of that time was spent commuting on city streets. Unlike editor John O'Dell who got to have some Fun in the Twisties, I was doing short urban commutes. And on the kind of broken, practically cobbled city streets that line most of Los Angeles, the i3 had a pretty bumpy ride.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Well

March 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Since I drove our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel over a weekend, it became our family vehicle and I installed the larger of my two convertible car seats in its backseat.

As still I'm relatively new to parenthood and car seats, I was surprised to find three sets of LATCH anchor points in the backseat. It makes sense, though, given that a loaded crew cab is likely to be a multi-use family vehicle. Then, I glanced at page 18 of our Ram's owner's manual, and for a second or two, thought I might not be able to use LATCH to install my car seat.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: What's New for 2016?

March 23, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

If you are in the market for a Jaguar F-Type, the new 2016 models will be arriving in dealerships starting in April, with all-wheel drive and manual transmission options.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: Manual Transmission's Thud or Clunk Sound

March 23, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

I've noticed an odd aspect to our 2015 Ford Mustang GT's manual transmission. When shifting gears, there's often an accompanying "thud" or "clunk" like sound. This sound is not obvious, and I think it took me a few days of driving the Mustang before I picked up on it. But now that I know it's there, I notice it all the time. It bugs me, and I doubt it's "normal."

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: Freeway Brake Test

March 23, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

You know that moment, when brakes suddenly light up in front of you and the freeway traffic comes to near-crashing halt.

This morning as I stood on our 2014 Toyota Highlander's brake pedal, I glanced in the rearview mirror, praying the guy behind me was paying attention. 

See full article and comment.


2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Can't Get Past The Schnoz

March 23, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

With some cars the styling grows on you over time, with others it does not. I remember the first time I saw a BMW Z3 M Coupe. I was on vacation in Cape Cod, and there was one parked on the route of my daily run. I thought it was, well, kinda weird looking. After a week of running past that thing every morning, my feelings had completely changed and I wanted one. Even now, all these years later, it remains on the list of "Cars Mikey Must Have."

But in the case of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4, it's not growing on me. I just can't get beyond that schnoz.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500: Restoring the Bed With a Line-X Spray-on Bedliner

March 23, 2015

2014 Ram 1500

Our 2015 Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Colorado were close to brand new when we had their Line-X spray-on bedliners applied. But our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel has some miles on it — over 26,000 of them.

At this point its bed is full of scuffs and scratches. Not many, mind you — we're not landscaping contractors or brick masons — but enough to make us wonder how beat up it might get after the next 26,000 miles and beyond. And we can only imagine the rust we might be seeing if we were located where they use road salt in winter or had the good fortune to live in a seaside bungalow.

The water cooler conversationalists on the testing team wondered if the Line-X spray-on bedliner treatment would be a good restorative measure. There was only one way to find out.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Awesome Seats

March 23, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

There's been a lot of talk around the office about seat comfort lately. And it's undoubtedly a highly subjective matter. But these seats are the best I've ever experienced in a truck, hands down.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Budget Executive Footrest

March 20, 2015

2015 Kia K900

The Kid finds no shortage of fun in our 2015 Kia K900. It's huge, roomy, and she thinks it's hilarious to control the front climate control from the rear seat. At least she's helping us get our money's worth from the $6,000 VIP package.

See full article and comment.


2015 Audi A3: Best Air Vent Design

March 20, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I agree with Josh. Not only do I like the way the air vents look in our 2015 Audi A3, but I like the adjustability of them.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Slightly Less Distinctive But Very Straightforward Control Layout

March 20, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

There's a reassuring simplicity to the control layout in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in the daytime, and at night when the illumination is white for the main instrument dials and blue for everything else.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Excellent Center Console Display/Rearview Camera

March 20, 2015

2014 BMW i3

The center display screen in our long-term 2014 BMW i3 is one of the best I've ever seen. The resolution is crisp, the screen is barely affected by sunlight and the rearview camera provides an impressive amount of detail.

This first photo shows the rearview camera display (in broad daylight of course) along-side the parking sensors so it's not the harshest test of the i3's abilities, but it works well in several other scenarios too.

See full article and comment.


2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Seat Agreement

March 20, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

I agree with Mrs. Hellwig's post about the comfortable front seats in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4. I'm tempted to say my photo is a little better, but it's not a competition. Yet somehow I just made it one.  

But back to the seats: It was especially nice to get into the Cherokee the other day for me, as I was suffering from a bad cold and my whole body was aching. The Cherokee made it seem like I was plopping down into a seat of wonderfully thick pillows. Seriously, the seat bottom is that plush and inviting. It actually made my body feel better, a pretty nice thing when you've got a long drive home.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: Automotive History and Passion

March 19, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Ford has been building the Mustang since 1964. It says so right on the dash of our 2015 Ford Mustang GT, just in case you forget. That's a lot of history. American history. Pony car history. Our long-term is the newest of the breed. But it's also a social magnet. Take a drive in a new Mustang and be prepared to have strangers come up to you and want to talk.

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: Snow Gear Fits

March 19, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

Of course it does. Impressive, right?

But there are a few other reasons why the 2014 Toyota Highlander, especially one with all-wheel drive (our long-termer is not), makes a solid winter mountain transport.

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: Unique Design That Works

March 19, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

When I first saw the center armrest in our 2015 Nissan Murano I was suspicious. Cutting out the center section for the sake of design seemed like a bad idea. Turns out, my right elbow had nothing to fear. 

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford F-150: More Door Detents

March 19, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The photo above would not have been possible with the previous-generation Ford F-150. You see, there were only two door detents, meaning you either had to squeeze through a narrow opening or prevent the door from flying into your parking-lot neighbor while climbing aboard.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Will the 2016 Model Offer a Factory Trailer Brake Controller?

March 19, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

We had to add an aftermarket electric trailer brake controller to our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado because GM doesn't offer a built-in one on their 2015 Colorado and Canyon compact truck. But I have a feeling that might change.

Why? It's because of something I ran across while searching for a suitable spot to mount the Tekonsha aftermarket unit we installed.

You've seen the curious access/toll card holder that others have written about. Interesting, but it seems an odd feature considering the size of the panel it occupies. To me it looked like the perfect spot for a trailer brake controller. But first I had to figure out if there was any real space behind it.

So I gently pried and tugged around the edges in an exploratory fashion until I convinced myself I could simply pull it off.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: A Good Running Buddy

March 19, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

When I'm up at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I get a distinct sadness deep in my bones. I run (shuffle-jog is probably a more accurate term) in a lot of "races" or events such as 5Ks and half-marathons, but no matter how many I do, my body knows it's not designed to be up and moving at that hour.

An early rise is necessary if I want to make the start line on time, though, and this last weekend I was up bright and early to run a local 15K (9.3 miles). To get there, I drove our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. The Jag isn't a top choice in our fleet when it comes to a soothing ride and comfort, but it turned out a lot better than I expected.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: 5.0 Mojo

March 18, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Ford upgraded almost everything for the new-generation 2015 Ford Mustang. But the company must have used the adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" when it came time to look at the GT's 5.0-liter V8 engine. This mill was awesome when it debuted for the 2011 Mustang and still has plenty of mojo today.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Screen Washes Out in Direct Sunlight

March 18, 2015

2015 Kia K900

On my recent drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix in our long-term 2015 Kia K900, I observed that the car's multimedia screen washes out in direct sunlight. This renders it, at best, difficult to view. Usually it ends up unreadable.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford F-150: Watch Those Mirrors

March 18, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

This is what can happen when you're not paying close attention while exiting a parking garage in our 2015 Ford F-150. It wasn't that I wasn't paying attention at all, I just didn't realize that our extendable trailer tow mirrors were in their most extended position. That only leaves a few inches of clearance on either side when exiting a certain section of our office garage.

See full article and comment.


2015 Porsche Macan: 15,000 Miles

March 18, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S passed the 15,000-mile mark while Scott was driving through Utah. More about his trip will be coming soon.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Stepping Up; Way Up!

March 18, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Admittedly, it's a first-world problem, but the unique carbon-fiber construction of the 2014 BMW i3 gives it a tall step-in height that tripped me up more than once while I was using our long-term model recently.

The height of the door sills doesn't require one to do a standing high jump to gain entry, but at 18.6 inches from the ground in front, 19.6 inches for the rear entry, they do require a stretch.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Can't Block the Sun

March 18, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Temperatures have been in the high 80s in Los Angeles this past week. When I get into our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper after it's been parked in my driveway, the interior is pretty hot.

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: Highlander Hits the Slopes

March 17, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

Last fall, a friend I've known more than half my life announced his plans to marry. I and many of his friends raised a hallelujah. I'd only met his lady a few times, but it was enough to see that she was smart, pretty and ambitious, and that our boy was fortunate to be even a waterboy in this girl's league.

She'd grown up spending winter vacations in Park City, Utah, when her parents would load the kids in a wagon and Dad would put the hammer down and cover the distance from their Chicago home in a day. So they decided to marry in Park City since it was a fairly equidistant point to gather both sides of friends and family. A wedding in a ski town is not an opportunity to waste.

I asked fleet whisperer Mike Schmidt if he could spare a four-wheel-drive for the occasion. Another friend would join me for the drive and the Ram 1500 was an obvious choice. But it had plenty of miles already and this was before its recent meltdown. The F-150 and Chevy Colorado were other options, but Mike asked if I'd consider our 2014 Toyota Highlander.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen GTI: Feels Expensive Because It Is

March 17, 2015

2015 Volkswagen GTI

Like many of our editors on staff, I like the overall feel of our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, from the way the doors close to the precise steering to the crisp shifts from the DSG automatic transmission. This GTI is clearly a step above your average compact hatchback.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Tunnel Blasting and Decibel Readings

March 17, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

It may frighten small children and annoy my neighbors, but for me, our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe produces one of the best exhaust notes of any car currently on sale. And, as I've done with other long-term cars in the past, I decided to test how loud the Jag was inside a tunnel at wide-open throttle.

For science, I swear.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Road Trip Composure, or Lack Thereof

March 17, 2015

2015 Kia K900

I recently drove our long-term 2015 Kia K900 from Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ, and back. One freeway, Interstate 10, connects the cities at either end. It's a straight shot, 390-mile run through the desert, with little elevation change and no turns to speak of. An ideal environment for this car...right?

As it turns out, no, it isn't.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Fun in the Twisties

March 17, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Yes, I know our long-term 2014 BMW i3 was designed to be a short-haul commuter/city car, but it does have a BMW badge.

So I took it to my favorite stretch of country road in the Santa Ana Mountains (yes, we still have country roads in the otherwise densely developed O.C.) to see how much of Bimmer's sporty DNA was transferred to its battery-electric runabout.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: More Refined But Still Plenty Fun

March 17, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

I really like what Ford has done with the newest 2015 Mustang. In prior years, Mustang GTs were plenty of fun to drive but you had to put up with a few negatives (like the ho-hum interior and non-independent rear suspension) that impacted daily driving appeal. This time around, Ford has polished off the rough edges but smartly maintained the car's core appeal.

See full article and comment.


2015 Lexus RC F: Performance Tested

March 16, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

When we got our 2015 Lexus RC F, it was delivered to us fully broken in and ready to take to our test track. With a 467 horsepower V8 and starting price just north of $60K, the 2015 RC F has the unenviable task of bringing the fight to sports car behemoths like the BMW M4. With its torque-vectoring differential, carbon-fiber roof and carbon-fiber spoiler, the RC F certainly looks up for a fight. We have performance numbers for both coupes. So which one wins at a stoplight drag race? Read on to find out.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Rearview Camera

March 16, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

A few months ago, Senior Editor Josh Jacquot mentioned how awesome it was to have a standard rearview camera in our new long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado test truck.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Finally Drove It and It Was Worth the Wait

March 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Twenty-six thousand miles had gone by since we added the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to our long-term fleet, and I still hadn't driven our truck. Actually, I hadn't driven any Ram 1500 since the significant round of updates for the 2013 model year. So I signed out our diesel pickup for the weekend and drove it home. As others have written, this truck is easy and enjoyable to drive.

Its relaxed character reminds me a lot of our departed long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, though with a few key differences.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Service at 10,000 Miles

March 16, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

At 9,800 miles the service light in our 2014 Mini Cooper illuminated. We tried a little something different this time, utilizing the early bird drop-off at Long Beach Mini...

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: For MyFord Touch, No News Is Good News

March 16, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

If you're a long-time reader of Edmunds' long-term vehicle reporting, you might remember that we had a 2012 Ford Explorer. It was a likeable enough SUV. But click on the Audio and Technology link and start scrolling down. You'll keep scrolling, too. There are dozens of negative posts. The hapless 2014-15 New York Knicks aren't as much of a disaster as the MyFord Touch system was.

Then we got a 2013 Ford Focus ST, also with the MyFord touchscreen interface. It was better. But not by a whole lot.

Now we have a 2015 Ford Mustang GT with MyFord Touch (MFT). Go ahead, click on the Audio and Technology link. There is not a single update on MFT so far. It's like a Web page version of hearing crickets. No news is good news, right?

See full article and comment.


2015 Volvo S60: Persistent Heated Seats, Steering Wheel

March 16, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Last Tuesday night I drove home from a bike ride in our 2015 Volvo S60. When I jumped in the car the temperature was in the low 40s. It was chilly. I activated the heated steering wheel and driver seat.

The next day I got a surprise.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Dash Is a Wet Blanket

March 13, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Beauty's in the eye of the beholder and while some find the design of BMW's all-electric city car to be on the ugly end of the scale, I find it appealingly quirky, as befits a futuristic car.

But the hard plastic interior surfaces of our 2014 BMW i3 leave a bit to be desired.

BMW uses a cotton-fiber reinforced plastic composite for the dash and door panels, and opted to leave it in its natural state as part of the overall design theme of green and sustainable. That's fine.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Great Seats, Weak Heaters

March 13, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Somewhere in the post about my road trip in our 2014 Mini Cooper, I briefly mentioned the seats and said I'd give them a full post.

Here's why: They're great and I didn't want that greatness to be buried in a post about a long drive.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500: Suspension Articulation and Ramp Travel Index

March 13, 2015

2014 Ram 1500

We've had our 20-degree RTI ramp much longer than we've owned our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel. On more than one occasion they've been in the same room at the same time but, for one reason or another, the latter was never driven up the former.

That changed last week. I finally pointed the Ram at the ramp and crept up the slope until the big 4x4 just barely began teetering. The point at which the tiniest sliver of light is visible beneath the left rear tire is where Ramp Travel Index is measured.

On the way up, the Ram passed its first test by clearing the ramp with its underhanging aero flap, a feat the Colorado didn't come close to managing.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: 5,000 Miles So Far

March 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We've had our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in our long-term fleet for about three months now. Just a few days ago we also clicked off 5,000 miles, which puts us on schedule to achieve our typical goal of amassing 20,000 miles for a car with a one-year stay.

So far, our Sonata has been very well received.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Useful Fuel Station Information

March 13, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Are you one of those people who refuse to refuel your vehicle until it's nearly empty? I'm sure there is a well-know personality type like this, but I am not that guy.

Nonetheless, I found the fuel gauge in our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI getting low and this message popped up on the touchscreen: "Warning: Fuel tank almost empty. Do you want to find a gas station nearby?" Grammar aside, that's pretty cool. I was close to home and knew precisely where they were, but clicked "Search" just to see how accurate the list would be.

See full article and comment.


2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: A New Owner

March 13, 2015

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

When our long-term tests are finished, CarMax is usually our go-to source for turning it back into cash. However, this time the CarMax appraisal fell short of our expectations when they offered only $15,000 for the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.

Our True Market Value® price and a review of classified ads, showed us that the CL65 AMG was worth about $25,000. It was time to face facts: We'd have to sell this car ourselves.

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: Heated Steering Wheel

March 12, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Some people may say that using a heated steering wheel in 69-degree weather is ridiculous. I beg to differ. As with heated seats, if the option to warm up a body part is available, I'm going to use it.

See full article and comment.


2015 Porsche Macan: Elevated Intimacy

March 12, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

One of the nicest things about a Porsche 911 (such as our former long-termer) is sliding into its snug cabin. The seat pulls you in and hugs you tight. And off you go.

See full article and comment.


2015 Audi A3: Audio Review

March 12, 2015

2015 Audi A3

There's a wicked-awesome guitar solo at the 2:50-mark in the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Strip My Mind." If you were living under a rock in 2006 and missed the Stadium Arcadium album, I recommend you stop reading this and go listen to it now. It's a double album (sub-titled Mars and Jupiter) and it's an excellent way to spend 123 minutes.

I'll wait.

Last week, I drove to work in our long-term 2015 Audi A3 with Stadium Acradium pumping through the Audi's speakers the only way it should be played: at full volume. It wasn't quite 9:00 a.m. by the time I parked at the Edmunds garage, and I should've been in the throes of a full-blown air-guitar solo. I wasn't though and it was the Audi's fault.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Adding a Line-X Spray-On Bedliner

March 12, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Like many of you, we were blown away by the good looks of the color-matched Line-X spray-on bedliner we added to our 2015 Ford F-150 pickup a few weeks ago. A lot of "are you thinking what I'm thinking?" water-cooler talk followed soon after, and the next thing we knew our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4x4 pickup was in the spray booth at Line-X of Orange County.

We thought about trying GM's factory spray-on bedliner when we first bought our Colorado, but the trucks we found in dealer inventory didn't have the $475 option. The Chevy Colorado Z71 CrewCab 4x4 we eventually selected had the $140 accessory bed mat instead.

It turns out we're not big fans. The rubber protects the bottom well enough, but the box sides and tailgate are fully exposed. Water gets trapped underneath, too, which might be a concern if it ever rained around here again. And it turns out we're not that fond of how the rubber is a bit grabby when we try to slide certain items in or out.

A Line-X spray-on bedliner was just the ticket, but this time we decided to try a standard black one. After all, our Colorado is a dark shade of gray that goes by the name Cyber Gray Metallic. Black should go nicely with that and save us money.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford F-150: Hauling the Bedroom Furniture

March 12, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

You know that guy driving the pickup truck packed full of his kid's bedroom furniture down the highway. He's got the tailgate down and the precarious load looks as if it's going to topple at any moment, spilling pink chairs and other assorted IKEA items all over the road.

Yeah, that was me. That was me in our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Oh Nuts, We Hate When This Happens

March 12, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Usually this type of rear-wiper malady belongs to an SUV or crossover, but our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback also has a rear-wiper. Shouldn't that missing cover have been robust enough to withstand a car wash? Next time we run the car in for scheduled maintenance, we'll see how much it cost to replace.

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: Cargo Bed

March 11, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

We had just arrived in Newhall Ranch for my daughter's choir competition (some 60 miles away) when a migraine hit me, full force. Suffering for years with chronic migraines, I've learned that the fastest way through the pain is to shut down immediately — no noise, no lights.

I pulled up the 2014 Toyota Highlander's side window shades, flipped down the third-row seats and dove into the cargo area.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volvo S60: Finger-Pinching Door Handles

March 11, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

The first time I opened a door on our 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E down in the Edmunds parking garage, I pinched my finger.

"Ow!"

Vehicle Testing Assistant Cameron Rogers was down there with me, laughed, and asked if I needed a tutorial on door opening.

Now I'll give you that one pinch of the finger is probably a fluke. But when it happens a second time (as it did this past weekend), well, that's when it starts to become a "hmm..." kind of moment. Three times? I'm sorry, but there is something a bit off about the S60's door handles.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford F-150: Lousy Door Handle Design

March 11, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

There are many clever design elements in our 2015 Ford F-150. The interior door handles are not one of them.

I say this as a current owner of a 1975 F-250 (equally crappy interior door handles) and the previous owner of a 1986 Ford F-250 (great door handles).

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: Performance Tested

March 11, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Each car in our long-term test fleet is driven gently until the engine is fully broken in. The owner's manual for the 2015 Nissan Murano recommended we wait until the odometer clicked past 1,200 miles before we could run it through our usual round of performance tests. We brought it to our test track shortly after clearing that threshold to see how the crossover handled the dragstrip, skidpad and slalom course.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Creaky Seat

March 11, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

The seats on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe are a constant talking point around here. They're rock hard, have tons of lateral support and feature a fun seam down the middle.

And now they have a nifty creak!

See full article and comment.


2015 Porsche Macan: The Best Porsche?

March 10, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Is the 2015 Macan S the best Porsche? Well, the existence of the 911, Cayman, Boxster and their great many great variations would indicate otherwise. So too would the usually merry band of monogrammed polo shirt-wearing Porschephiles who would surely threaten my very existence should I be serious about answering my rhetorical question in the affirmative.

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: DVD Player

March 10, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

Although I have driven our 2014 Toyota Highlander countless times during the past 10 months, I have only just realized that the family hauler we picked traded a rear-seat DVD package for a giant sunroof.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Towing Impressions, Round Two

March 10, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Last weekend I towed about 330 miles with our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. It wasn't easy going, either. There were long, steep grades to scale, dense fog, persistent construction and miserable downpours. All in, it was a solid test of the truck's towing capability.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: Love the Capless Fuel Filler

March 10, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Ford pioneered the Easy Fuel Capless Fuel Filler back in 2008 (on the 2009 Explorer), and we've lived with a few Fords with it since, including our long-term 2009 Ford Flex, 2010 Ford Mustang GT, 2011 Ford Explorer and 2013 Focus ST. Our orange long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT is the latest.

Basically there's no cap to unscrew or hang while fueling. Just insert the gas pump nozzle and start gassing up.

Seven years ago I thought this was gratuitous engineering at its worst. An answer to a non-question. A dismissal of all that is holy.

Are we really that lazy? What's next, a car that drives itself?

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Buy One Already

March 10, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Welcome to scenic Hacienda Heights, California, home of my accountant. It's where I happened to be on my most recent evening with our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, and daylight was fading fast, so I snapped this gem of a photo. Please enjoy.

Please also know that like the MkVI VW Golf GTI, this seventh-generation hatchback is really a wonderful car and probably priced too low for what you get. Although, our Autobahn-trim car came in at $31,515, which is not unreasonable but not cheap, either. For maximum value, I think an S or SE model with the Lighting package (and probably the Performance Pack, and if you're going that far, probably also the adaptive suspension dampers on the SE), would be the way to go.

Make your own choice on transmission (three-pedal or DSG) and door count (2 or 4), but seriously, consider buying one of these at some point during this generation.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 10, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Besides the usual commuting and canyon shenanigans, our long-term F-Type also completed a road trip up to California's central coast.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: Big Trunk

March 9, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've loaded a few items into the trunk of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata so far. Each time, I thought to myself that the trunk seemed pretty roomy. And in actuality, the Sonata is a leader among its main rivals for trunk space on the spec sheet, too.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volvo S60: Get the Sport Seats

March 9, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

"Schmidt, have you spent any time in a Volvo with the sport seats? They are amazing. We need to test one just so we can sit in those things for a year." Thus began my begging crusade to add any Volvo to our long-term fleet as long as it had the sport seat option. Luckily for me, Volvo just loaned us a 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E, which comes standard with the ultra-comfy buckets.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Here's a Rear-Facing Car Seat That Really Fits Well

March 9, 2015

2014 BMW i3

As we've written in our full road test and in our "A" rating on the 2014 BMW i3, this electric hatchback has more interior space than you imagine when you first walk up to it. The headroom is striking when you're in the driver seat. Yet, there's a surprising amount of legroom as well, and that's what really matters when you're installing rear-facing convertible car seats.

Because convertible car seats vary so much in shape and dimensions, you have to keep auditioning them until you find one that's a good match for your vehicle's backseat and your child. In this instance, I found that my second-string convertible car seat, a Safety 1st Guide 65, fit exceptionally well in the back of our long-term BMW i3. Not only is it a good match for our extended-range EV's interior dimensions, it conforms well to the shape of the BMW's seat-bottom cushion.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Ramp Travel Index, Take 1

March 9, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Inquiring minds wanted to know. Could our compact 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4x4 pickup surpass the 420-point RTI score recently achieved by our full-size 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup?

Suspension articulation is one of many 4x4 attributes that have a direct bearing on off-road potential. Others include ground clearance, clearance angles (approach, departure, breakover), gearing, tires — the list goes on.

RTI is rarely found on a spec sheet, but it is something that's easily measured on our specially made 20-degree ramp.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 9, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Our 2014 Mini Cooper isn't hitting the MPG estimates set by the EPA. This is not surprising as tiny turbocharged motors tend to nail the test and then struggle when faced with things like 70 mph freeway speeds and hills.

February's a short month, but thanks to Brent living in the middle of nowhere and my trip to Vegas, we managed to throw 1,800+ miles on the Mini this month. I've included the first two days of March because that was the end of my road trip and I want credit for our new highest-ever calculated mpg of...

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Service Due

March 9, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

We've had our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe nearly eight months and it's finally due for its first service. The F-Type needed a quart of oil a few weeks ago and a new set of tires before that, but neither of those issues required a visit to the dealer.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

A significant unexpected event held down the mileage added to our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel this month. It spent nearly two weeks out of commission as the dealer and Ram's corporate engineers tried to understand why it suddenly stalled.

Some 1,171 miles were added during February, but only 511 of them can be added to the fuel log. The truck had well over 400 miles on its trip odometer when it was towed, but during the course of the investigation and repairs the mechanic and field engineer drained the remaining fuel, inspected the tank, added an unknown number of gallons and made several diagnostic and confirmation drives.

Along the way the tank and fuel were ruled out as potential contributors, but their tinkering means we have no way of determining the number of gallons that were consumed by the engine during this period. All we could do was top-off the tank when we got the truck back in order to put everything back on track for next month.

The 511 miles we can account for came in a single tank that was consumed at a rate of 22.6 mpg, which kept our Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 4x4's lifetime average at 22.3 mpg. Both figures compare favorably to its official 22 mpg EPA combined rating.

See full article and comment.


2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 6, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

We've been putting our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited to good use over the past couple of months, and February saw us drop another 1,800 miles on our True Blue ute. We're about seven months into our time with the Jeep, and, well, how are we doing?

Numbers are on the other side.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: First Service Due Soon

March 6, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

As I was moseying along on the 405 North freeway in our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado on my way to the office, this maintenance reminder popped up.

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 6, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

The 2015 Nissan Murano completed its first month in our long-term fleet while on vacation in Desert Hot Springs, a small town that sits over natural hot mineral water aquifers in the low desert of Southern California. (Hence the palm tree poking its head out of the Murano's roof.)

Let's take a look at how this midsize SUV's fuel economy fared during its first 2,000 miles. Keep in mind this first month included its break-in period, a trip to our test track, and the vacation drive.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Surprisingly, the Shifter Is Intuitive To Use

March 6, 2015

2014 BMW i3:

Sometimes I'm slow to learn new things. When I saw the column-mounted shifter in our long-term 2014 BMW i3, I was pretty sure I would get befuddled and make the wrong selection at some point.

See full article and comment.


2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 6, 2015

2015 Audi A3

February is the shortest month and not exactly prime road-trip season. Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 consumed 40.8 gallons of fuel over 957 miles. We managed to earn a new "worst" fill of 17.8 mpg, and with the other three stops at the pump, the monthly fuel economy worked out to 23.5 miles per gallon, just a tick under the EPA estimate for city driving.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Road Trip

March 6, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

On a recent fuel economy update for our 2014 Mini Cooper, LTRTB reader Darex made a comment that stuck with me. "It is a FANTASTIC road trip vehicle. The sport seats are a 10/10 for comfort, and it's plenty fast and potent for the interstates...I've taken road trips in my MINI. It's as pleasant as you could want for this purpose."

My brain called bull. I'd driven our Mini for extended periods of time and while it's not rough, the ride sure is firm and I was sure it would be nothing but tiring on a long drive.

So, to prove Darex wrong, when the time came for me to hit the road for a Vegas weekend, I signed out the Mini.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 6, 2015

2015 Kia K900

We've driven our 2015 Kia K900 more than 1,200 miles in February.

In mixed city/highway driving, we averaged 17.3 mpg. No big road trips or vacations this month.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

In February we didn't use our 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport for any road trips. Much of the driving was commuting around in Edmunds' home base of Los Angeles. In total, we added about 1,500 miles.

As a result our fuel economy for the month hovered around the lower end of the spectrum.

See full article and comment.


2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Audio Review

March 5, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

One of the benefits of our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is the excellent 12-speaker Meridian sound system. The 770-watt system is a $1,200 option on the base, S and V8 S trims, but it comes standard on this 550-horsepower R Coupe beast, and man does it sound good.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Spam Bot

March 5, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I received the following email from our long-term 2014 BMW i3 recently:

Dear BMW ConnectedDrive Customer,

The state of charge of your V275231 is low!

We recommend recharging the battery.

Kind regards,

BMW ConnectedDrive

It seemed like a helpful note at first. But then I received at least 25 of these emails in the two months that we've had the car.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Fuel Economy for February

March 5, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

We're nearing 7,000 miles on our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado after adding it to the fleet in mid-November and the news isn't getting better. Since January we've put about 3,000 miles on the odometer. In February, we saw our lifetime MPG drop to 17.5 (it was 17.7 at the end of December).

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford F-150: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 5, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The average fuel economy of our 2015 Ford F-150 is improving, but still not enough for us to be impressed.

In February, the aluminum-bodied pickup, which is powered by a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, averaged 16.3 mpg over about 1,700 miles of mixed driving. And our best single tank average is now up to 17.3 mpg.

See full article and comment.


2015 Kia K900: Front-View Camera

March 5, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Our parking garage at the office can get pretty crowded and we double up cars in tandem spots fairly often. Some vehicles are large enough to take up a whole spot right up to the white divider lines. Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is very helpful in this type of situation.

I first relied on this feature at a busy supermarket parking lot. The lot was crowded and spaces were difficult to find. As I pulled slowly into a spot, the front parking sensor camera came on to help me know how far I could pull into the spot before coming too close to the car parked opposite. When this front camera comes on, so does the all-around overhead view, showing the parking lines on both sides of the K900.

See full article and comment.


2014 Toyota Highlander: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 5, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

Our 2014 Toyota Highlander continued to do its thing throughout the month of February, carrying people and cargo to a variety of local events. With no long road trips on the schedule, the Highlander still racked up nearly 1,500 miles.

See full article and comment.


2015 Porsche Macan: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

Our 2015 Porsche Macan S's fuel economy nudged ever so slightly up in February and we (or rather, I) managed to set a new mpg tank record. Unfortunately, neither is especially impressive.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Very Likeable Sedan

March 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata for a few days in a row. It's sort of a sneaky car. It's not going to blow you away with flash and pizzazz, but pay attention and you'll realize that it goes about its business in an impressively polished manner. For just about everything I'd actually want in a midsize sedan, the Sonata's got it.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volvo S60: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

During the month of February, our first half-month or so with the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E, we put on 910 miles. We averaged 22.2 mpg on the required 91-octane fuel.

Obviously these are still wicked early days for us in Volvo's new turbocharged/supercharged four-cylinder S60 sedan, with only a few fill-ups so far. But it will be interesting as we get deeper into the test to see how our fuel economy stacks up against the EPA's rating of 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway) for this car .

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Clamshell Doors/Entry and Egress

March 4, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Not everyone likes the styling on our 2014 BMW i3. Admittedly, it has a complicated profile and a snub-nosed face that only a mother could love, but I like that it's different. It stands out from the crowd. Sure there are disjointed folds, interrupted character lines and mismatched colors everywhere, but I'm still a fan.

Aside from the endless aesthetic debate we could have about this car though, one of the design elements adds a bit to functionality: the clamshell doors.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Practical Sun Visors

March 4, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

The sun visors on our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado are fantastic. I mean it. Seriously. Just look at all that blocked sun. Or, rather, don't look at it.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The staff piled on about 1,200 miles during the shortest month of the year, and the running fuel economy average for our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI ticked up wee-bit from 25.8 to 26.0 mpg. At this rate, it looks doubtful we will ever achieve the EPA's estimated 28 mpg combined unless the car goes on several more highway-intensive road trips.

See full article and comment.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

In the month of February we drove our 2015 Ford Mustang GT a total of 624 miles. It had a lengthy stay in airport parking and the remainder of the month limited to city driving. We still managed to set a record this month, however...

See full article and comment.


2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Lights Out

March 3, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Most modern cars offer navigation and entertainment displays that range from 8 to 12 inches wide, some in widescreen aspect ratio, many with touch-sensitive surfaces. Pretty impressive technology that seems to keep in step (or at least a step behind) the latest tablet technology.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Third Service

March 3, 2015

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

The office was in full party mode, celebrating Mike Monticello's return from Austin, when he strode to my desk and threw the keys to the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo in my face. "It needs to go in for service now," he bellowed like a demon lord perched atop a pile of skulls. It was typical Monty, but the car did need to visit the dealer for basic maintenance.  

The 328i doesn't have a standard service schedule. It instead has an onboard computer that calculates the interval based on how it is driven. An oil change was all the computer requested this time. The drivetrain malfunction that Mike experienced and the warning message Donna saw also needed addressing.

See full article and comment.


2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Back in Service

March 3, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel is back in our hands after an extended stay at McPeek's Dodge of Anaheim, the dealership that was closest to the point at which it stalled abruptly.

And by "extended stay" I mean 12 days.

Why so long? The Ram engineering group in Detroit got involved. But not because I asked them to — I didn't. I guess that someone who knew someone must have seen the Tweet I'd sent out while I was waiting for the tow truck. Perhaps the problem description raised a red flag.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Testing the Range Extender

March 3, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I knew I'd be driving 40 or so miles to Simi Valley, Calif., and back to visit the in-laws. I also knew I'd be making a return trip to downtown Los Angeles. There was any number of regular old gasoline-powered cars available with hundreds of miles of range, and yet, I chose to take our long-term 2014 BMW i3. It was time to test its range-extender engine.

See full article and comment.


2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Armrest Rattle

March 3, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

From the first time I set off in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, I heard a rattle. It was coming from somewhere behind me, and would only pop up during travel over bumpy or coarse roads. I figured something was left behind in the cargo area by the previous driver. I'll check it when I stop, I told myself. Naturally, I'd forget about it by time I'd reach my destination, only to be reminded again when I got back to driving the GTI.

When I finally did peruse the cargo area, I found no extraneous objects back there and that all was in order. It was later that I found the source of the rattle (it should be obvious, what with the headline and lead photo...) and understood why I was probably the first on staff to notice it.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Hauls Leaf Springs

March 3, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

After seven years of missing all the fun, I've decided to take my 1976 Pontiac Trans Am on this year's The Bandit Run. The event, which takes place this May, is an annual road trip tribute to Smokey and the Bandit, the greatest movie of all time.

It should be "redneck heaven" to quote the great Bo Darville.

But a four-thousand-mile road trip in a 40-year-old car takes some preparation. And the scramble has begun.

Good news, replacement Trans Am leaf springs (four leaf) fit easily in our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper.

See full article and comment.


2015 Hyundai Sonata: Opinions on the Touchscreen Interface

March 3, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is equipped with the optional navigation system and 8-inch touchscreen display. A couple of my coworkers have written some updates on how they like the center stack control layout (here and here), so I thought I'd follow up with some specific commentary on the Sonata's latest touchscreen.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mini Cooper: Much Improved for Wider Appeal

March 2, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

A few days ago, I read some of the updates we have on our old 2007 Mini Cooper S. I have fond memories of that '07 car, but I was concerned that I was thinking back and only remembering the good parts, which would be like saying I really liked Star Wars: The Phantom Menace because all I remember is the light saber battle between Darth Maul and Obi Wan/Qui-Gon. And sure enough, there were Jar Jar Binks aspects about that car that we didn't like. Reacquainted with all things Mini, I came to the conclusion that our 2014 Mini Cooper is a much better car for the majority of small car shoppers.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Movable Cupholder

March 2, 2015

2014 BMW i3

At first glance, the 2014 BMW i3 has only one cupholder up front. Au contraire.

See full article and comment.


2015 Lexus RC F: Ventilated Front Seats

March 2, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

I swear I'm not trying to gloat, but it was 85 degrees and sunny in southern California just a few days ago. While the east coast was being attacked by snownadoes, I was breaking in to a sweat just by going outside. That meant I had the air conditioning in our long-term 2015 Lexus RC F set to "LO" and the ventilated seats set to their highest output setting.

I suggested the use of the cooling function on the seat to a friend of mine when she got in the Lexus. After a few minutes, she commented that she could feel them working from both the back- and butt-positions. I had my seats set to the highest ventilation position, too, but I couldn't feel a thing. Apparently, this difference came down to a choice in wardrobe.

See full article and comment.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Installing a Trailer Brake Controller

March 2, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

We bought our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado with the Trailering Package because we wanted it to be ready to do some towing. The 3.6-liter V6 is good for only 3,500 lbs. without this option, but that jumps to 7,000 lbs. when the package is present.

Among other things, the trailering package pre-wires the truck for a 7-pin trailer connection, the kind that supports electric trailer brakes and trailer battery charging via the alternator when on the move. It's all built into the wire harness and fused in the under-hood fuse box.

The only thing missing is an electronic trailer brake controller. The current-generation Silverado options list offers a built-in one, but that option is not available on the Colorado.

This isn't that unusual. Built-in trailer brake controllers in full-size trucks are a relatively new development. So we simply did what truck owners always did up until a few years ago: We installed our own.

In the recent past, pre-wired tow-package trucks would come with a small sub-harness that was stuffed in a bag in the glove compartment or hidden under a seat. It'd have a connector on one end and bare wires on the other. The idea was you'd splice you're trailer brake controller to the bare wires and plug the connector into a waiting receptacle under the dash.

I went looking for something like this and ran into a roadblock.

See full article and comment.


2015 Nissan Murano: Stout V6 Makes It Feel Smaller

March 2, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

After some initial seat time in our 2015 Nissan Murano I'm glad it comes standard with a V6. Sure, there are plenty of smaller, turbocharged four-cylinder engines that deliver similar levels of output these days, but the broad range of torque from the Murano's 3.5-liter V6 makes it feel far more responsive, especially for a vehicle of its size.

See full article and comment.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Past Long-Term Road Tests

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411