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.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 12, 2016
Our 2015 BMW M235i features keyless push-button start. It's a nice convenience, a nice slice of buyer satisfaction. Many cars offer this feature in tandem with keyless entry, so you can stick that keyfob in your pocket or bag when you leave the house and not worry about it again until you get home.
Except you can't with our M235i. When you approach it and grab the door handle, there's no soft confirmation beep that it's unlocked for you. No swift sequence of approach, open, slide into driver seat, close door, go. No, if you want keyless entry on our M235i, you're on the hook for another two grand to get the Premium package.
by Joe Martinez, Videographer/Editor on February 12, 2016
My two friends and I loaded up the bed of the 2015 Ford F-150 and headed 308 miles north from Santa Monica to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. We started our journey with the gas tank three-quarters full on a sunny Friday morning.
My friends argued for shotgun but when they opened the rear door there was no more fighting. Our backseat passenger had more than enough room to sit behind me, and he and I are both six-feet two inches. There were no complaints during the four-and-a-half-hour drive into the cold.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on February 12, 2016
Our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT recently crossed over the 20,000-mile mark. This signaled a reminder in the car that another service was needed. Thankfully, the Mustang only requires an inspection, tire rotation and oil and filter change at the 20,000-mile service, so I hoped we could get in and out of the shop in just a few hours.
I dropped off the Mustang at Santa Monica Ford around 10:30 a.m. I didn't make an appointment, so I was quite pleased when I was immediately greeted by a porter and directed to a service advisor who helped me right away.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 12, 2016
Well, duh. There's nothing illuminating about saying that our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is lightweight. But in the context of today's cars, it's staggeringly lightweight.
Consider that at 2,350 pounds, the new model weighs the same as a 1994 Miata. This despite the modern car's vastly stiffer chassis, superior noise isolation, significantly increased performance, a far longer features list, and crashworthiness that's lightyears beyond the old car.
But even that comparison doesn't really do the situation justice. For that we need to turn outward. To Italy.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 12, 2016
The 2015 Dodge Viper isn't for everyone. Click on any post below and you'll find gripes about the flaming hot door sills, back-breaking suspension and outward visibility that is among the worst of any car on sale today. To save some time, you could just read James's post which catalogues the Viper's most egregious crimes against humanity, and walk away with a pretty good idea of what the car is all about.
My own opinion of the Viper fell more or less in line with that of other editors, but something interesting is happening. My opinion is changing. I am changing. Is someone gripped by Stockholm syndrome aware of their condition?
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 11, 2016
It's quiet, smooth and glides over bumps. That's my subjective review of our long-term 2016 Kia Optima's suspension so far.
After a few days around the city in the Optima, I'm really pleased with how comfortable it is. Our long-term Kia K900 had some issues once it had a full load of passengers, so I'm hoping the Optima doesn't fall victim to the same pitalls. For the time being, it seems really comfortable.
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on February 11, 2016
Expecting good fuel economy from an 8.4-liter V10 when it's used as a daily driver is, well, dumb. And our 2015 Dodge Viper is doing absolutely nothing to change anyone's expectations there. But what about the rest of the car?
In January we put another 1,000 miles on our quasi-supercar, and as a result we've experienced the pains — and costs — of that reality. For one thing, the nose of our beautiful blue Viper is starting to show the wear and tear that 17,000 miles does to the front end of a car. The mileage didn't just get to the paint either, as we went ahead and replaced all four tires at a head rush-inducing price of $1800.
But tires and paint are just hardware. What about the liquidware?
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 10, 2016
There are minivans capable of swallowing a full 4x8-foot sheet of plywood. Our 2015 Kia Sedona is not one of them. At least not in the configuration we have. It will, however, swallow two-halves of a sheet of plywood.
That's what I did this past weekend in order to get some lumber home without resorting to using a truck. It helped that I didn't need a full-size sheet for my particular application. This is one of the drawbacks of getting the exceptionally comfortable, but slightly less practical, "first class" seats that come with the SX Limited. They're great for hauling people, but slightly less flexible for hauling cargo.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on February 11, 2016
I've driven a lot of Hondas. Let's go down the list, just for giggles.
When I was in college, my parents had a '95 Accord EX sedan, which refused to quit but ultimately got replaced by a '98 Accord LX sedan that my dad drives to this day with 270k-plus miles on the clock.
My own second car (after an '85 300ZX with a broken odometer liberated its timing belt) was a '94 Integra LS, which was too turquoise. I sold it and bought a '93 Prelude Si. That saw me through to grad school, when I manned up and got a '95 Integra GS-R coupe. That one failed smog when I moved to California, so I shipped it home to my mom in Maine (who was still driving it until it rusted out last year) and bought a 2001 Prelude.
I don't have a Honda anymore, but suffice it to say that I know them well.
So when I felt some vibration in our long-term 2015 Acura TLX's brake pedal on my way down a lengthy high-speed grade, a series of traumatic Honda flashbacks ensued.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 11, 2016
As lukewarm as I am toward the engine and transmission of our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, I appreciate the little crossover's spacious cabin. Its boxy body may have been designed with little consideration to aerodynamics, but the high roof provides ample headroom. I'm 6-feet, 4 inches, and there are several inches between the top of my head and the headliner.
There's also enough legroom for me to sit comfortably in the driver seat. But most unusual is the ability to sit behind myself, a feat not often achieved in a vehicle with the Renegade's dimensions.