Long-Term Road Tests Latest Updates
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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 Mini Cooper: DTLA Sunrise

May 29, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

I recently drove our 2014 Mini Cooper through downtown Los Angeles and it reminded me of a video we did not long ago that highlighted our favorite Mini feature: the LED interior lighting.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Short Gearing Is Fun Gearing

May 29, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

The $2,495 Performance Package on our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT includes a bunch of upgrades, but the biggest change on the day-to-day driving experience comes from its 3.73 final drive.

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2015 Acura TLX: Behind the Scenes at the Body Shop

May 29, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

Jay told you in his last blog that the collision damage to our 2015 Acura TLX "looks worse than it is."

Now it looks as bad as it is.

We got into the body shop to document the start of repairs on our TLX and it isn't pretty. If you're wondering, here's what $6,300 worth of broadside collision looks like:

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2015 Nissan Murano: Nav to Nowhere

May 29, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

I don't often venture north of Interstate 10 (the freeway that basically bisects the Los Angeles County basin), so before I headed to Westlake Village for the annual Heels & Wheels event, I consulted our 2015 Nissan Murano's navigation system. I didn't have the address at hand, but the Four Seasons Westlake Village was listed as a Destination in the nav, so I selected it and hit the road.

I knew vaguely where the hotel was located, so I started to take notice when the nav directed me to the opposite side of the freeway.

Six miles later, the nav politely announced I had arrived at my destination.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Seriously Simple Interior

May 29, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

There are a few small things I don't like about the cabin in our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. Tacky trim and rubbery steering wheel buttons are just a couple. But overall, the Colorado has the kind of purposeful design that makes it feel like a real truck.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the near-luxury feel of our Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. They have about everything you could ask for in a truck and then some.

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray: Taking Delivery (Video)

May 29, 2015

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

It's the phone call you dream about.

"Scott, this is Ted from The Finest Carrier. I just reached Los Angeles and I have your 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. Where do you want it delivered?"

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Back on the Road With Two New Tires

May 28, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

A severe gash in the tire of our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI was beyond repair. One new Bridgestone Potenza S001 was a given. With more than 10,000 miles on the opposite tire we decided to replace it, too. It wasn't as easy as we anticipated.

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2015 Volvo S60: Safely Hauls Home The Bacon

May 28, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

I often do the grocery shopping for my family. I realize this is mundane personal trivia, similar to revealing that I also wear a giant banana costume and dance around to Metallica when no one is home, but it provides an opportunity to learn how our long-term cars handle this common task (the grocery-hauling that is, not the fruit-shaking to "Harvester of Sorrow").

I've found that our 2015 Volvo S60 stands out as one of the better ones.

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2014 BMW i3: A Macro Look at Interior Materials

May 28, 2015

2014 BMW i3

It's been a lonnng time since I've done one of these posts, taking macro pictures of the different surface materials in a car. But when I sat in our long-term 2014 BMW i3, I was struck by the variety of raw and renewable materials used in its Tera World trim, including dark brown leather seats, open-pore eucalyptus wood trim, and natural cotton weave. It's a collage of colors and textures.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: 500 Miles for Lunch

May 28, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Last year I took a road trip to Las Vegas in our departed 2014 Kia Cadenza. In search of a new favorite restaurant after our old one, Max Brenner, closed, my friends and I discovered Holstein's Shakes and Buns at the Cosmopolitan. I ordered the Gold Standard burger. It's one of the best I've ever had and I've been thinking about it ever since.

As time dulled my memory, I asked myself whether the burger was really that good or if I'd let my enthusiasm carry me away. There was only one way to know. I would have to go back for round two before I recommended it to everyone I knew. I cleared my schedule, grabbed the keys to the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe and prepared to go to Vegas for lunch.

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Photographing a Pop Icon

May 28, 2015

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

We're on-board with the revolution. We like fuel-efficient V8s, turbocharged four-cylinders, EVs and high-performance hybrids. They're the future and we're headed there one way or another. But like all car people, we?re nostalgic.

So we bought an icon.

A Nassau Blue, 300-horsepower V8-powered wedge of classic American desire. We bought a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. You can read more about our motives here.

When I heard we were buying a '66 Corvette, my first thoughts turned to photography. When we introduced our 1987 Grand National a couple of years ago, I indulged my art director sensibilities on one of the most entertaining projects I've ever been involved with, pairing the imagery of that frenzied, electric decade with one of its iconic cars.  

With the popularity of Mad Men entrenching the spirit of the mid-Sixties into today's pop culture, I naturally wanted to bring some of that period flavor to a Corvette shoot. I made my pitch and got the nod.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Interior Quirks Make Me Smile

May 28, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

I chuckled when I first saw the 2015 Ford Mustang GT's speedometer. And then I made it purple. "Ground Speed" is a cute reference to the P-51 Mustang fighter plane, which inspired some design elements of the original pony car. It's one of many interior cues meant to remind you that this car has some history. Other pieces aren't so subtle, like the plaque above the glove box that reads "Since 1964," or the aforementioned ability turn the instrument cluster and doorsills lights purple. Or green. Or red.

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Introduction

May 28, 2015

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

In 1966, just as in 2015, every Corvette was rear-wheel drive, V8-powered and available as a coupe or a convertible.

After much debate and about six weeks of research we decided to pursue a Nassau Blue (the most popular color in 1966) coupe powered by the base and most popular engine, a 300-horsepower, 327-cubic-inch small-block with a 10.5-to-1 compression ratio, and a four-speed manual transmission.

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2015 Porsche Macan: 20,000-Mile Service

May 27, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

The other day I mentioned we dropped our 2015 Porsche Macan S at Beverly Hills Porsche for its scheduled 20,000-mile service and an assortment of TSBs.

It's back. Here's what got fixed and, more importantly, how much it cost.

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2015 Volvo S60: Double The Boost, Double the Trouble?

May 27, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Turbocharged and supercharged. It still sounds a little ridiculous, like some sort of powertrain combo your little brother cooked up in Gran Turismo for his fully-modded 600-horsepower Toyota MR2. But a real world car? A front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder Volvo no less? No way.

Yet here we are in our 2015 Volvo S60 T6, a car that doubles down on boost like a card shark in Vegas with an 11 at the blackjack table.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Compared to Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 3

May 27, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Last post, we discussed various aspects of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150's towing abilities compared to our 2014 Ram EcoDiesel, specifically, towing stability and power and fuel consumption.

In this final installment, we'll consider some of the towing-specific features provided by each.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport: Northbound & Down

May 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport

I got our suitcases into the trunk and my suit on the coat hook. The wife and I were finally ready to take our 2015 Hyundai Sonata six hours north to San Francisco for a wedding. Little did I realize it was graduation weekend for many universities.

I've made this journey, literally, a couple of hundred times in the last 17 years. The fact that I know every landmark relative to arrival time makes it that much more painful when the roads are clogged.

This trip was going to suck. Both ways.

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2014 BMW i3: Torque Makes It the Perfect City Sleeper

May 27, 2015

2014 BMW i3

You know what makes our 2014 BMW i3 so fun?

Not its quirky looks or futuristic interior, but instead its instant torque. It hits 30 mph from a standstill in 3.1 seconds, just like our long-term GTI! But even that figure doesn't fully convey the i3's off-the line punch. It's what you want a car to do when you're trying to get across six lanes with oncoming traffic and no traffic light: Launch without lag.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Off-Road Trim Works Fine On Road

May 27, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

It's no secret that most off-road packages are added for looks. People want the stickers, the tires and maybe the skid plates. You get all that with the Z71 trim level in the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado along with heavy-duty shocks that can stay cool under hard conditions.

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2015 Kia K900: Good on the Highway, Not in the City

May 26, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Admittedly, I don't fall directly in the demographic for our long-term 2015 Kia K900. No spouse, no kids, nobody named Bruce Wayne to chauffer around in the back seat. Having driven the K900 for a solid week in various conditions though, I've decided this isn't a car I could live with in Los Angeles, or in any city for that matter.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Low Oil and Service Due

May 26, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

On a recent road trip, Dan Edmunds cycled our 2015 Porsche Macan S  past the 20,000-mile mark. When he handed the keys over, he warned me about the service indicator, but I was surprised to see a low-oil warning just a minute or so from my house.

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2015 Volvo S60: That Familiar Swedish Competence

May 26, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

I grabbed the keys to our 2015 Volvo S60 recently and one of the first questions that popped in my head was: Didn't we just have an S60 in our fleet? The exact details were fuzzy, but when I checked, sure enough there it was: our 2012 S60, a T5 model highlighted by its spiced pumpkin latte-hued color.

Both our 2015 car and the older 2012 are of the same generation, but the new T6's main differentiating quality is its 302-horsepower four-cylinder engine. To the mainstream, it's a small difference, but to Volvo the turbo-four represents its future, as the engine will proliferate across the automaker's lineup.

My lack of immediate recall on the old car also speaks to an inherent quality of the S60. This is not a shock-and-awe sedan that addles your memory synapses. Instead, it just stays in the background to deliver a balanced luxury sedan experience.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Sizing It Up

May 26, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Well, it's been a while since my last long-term post, and before last night, I had only driven a 2015 Ford Mustang GT once, at a manufacturer-sponsored event on the big track at Willow Springs. After a few medium-hot laps, I recall walking away as impressed as Mr. Edmunds by its capabilities.

But even on a wide-open track, I thought the new Mustang seemed awfully large.

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2015 BMW M235i: Performance-Tested — Stiff, Sharp and Committed to Going Fast

May 26, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Our 2015 BMW M235i convertible packs a wallop worthy of the tri-colored M badge. This new model has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that generates 322 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It has an eight-speed automatic transmission and is driven by the rear wheels.

The convertible is about 300 pounds heavier than the 2014 coupe we tested last year, but it's just as willing to attack corners and deliver a thrilling driving experience. Read on for our instrumented performance numbers gathered at the test track.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Grocery-Smashing Trunk Hinges

May 25, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It's not the first time we noted the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has intrusive hinges in its cargo area. But today I realized just how annoying the Sonata's trunk setup can be.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: A Minivan for the Minivan-Averse

May 25, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander

Our 2014 Toyota Highlander has come and gone. We parted ways with a handshake at CarMax and thanked it for the some of the adventure and family hauling it offered us during its stay. I'll personally remember the Highlander fondly for hauling a large load of hardwood flooring for my first home and for carrying me and a friend in total comfort to a mutual friend's wedding in Utah.

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2014 BMW i3: Dog-Friendliness Rating

May 25, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Erin Riches has noted that the rear-hinged rear doors in the 2014 BMW i3 make loading a kid into her rear-facing seat a less-than-ideal experience. But what about when you're loading dependents that don't require a seat large and substantial enough for NASA to deem it excessive for missions to space?

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2015 Kia K900: Interior Highlights (Video)

May 25, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Over the span of a week, I put about 330 miles on our long-term 2015 Kia K900. I drove it to and from work all week, and on the weekend took a 200-mile road trip to visit my mother. We've been critical of the K900's overall ride quality, but the interior is very likeable. I thought I'd show you around.

Here's a short look-around at the K900 interior, highlighting a few of my favorite aspects and a few features that I'm not a big fan of:

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2014 Mini Cooper: It Grew Up a Little, But It's Still Fun

May 22, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

I've managed to hang around Edmunds.com a good long time, so I still have memories of driving our long-term 2002 Mini Cooper S (it was Electric Blue) and our 2007 Cooper S (Chili Red). I wasn't as (modestly) skilled behind the wheel as I am today and I'm sure I made all kinds of dumb mistakes while driving those cars, but man, were they fun. I think I'd finally hit my stride with heel-and-toe downshifting when the 2007 came along, and I was always looking up remote back roads when I had the key to it.

During my first few commutes in our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper, though, I just wasn't feeling the old excitement.

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2015 Ford F-150: How Does Standard-Size Plywood Fit?

May 22, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I recently carried a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood in the bed of our 2015 Ford F-150. That's a standard size for construction materials so we wanted to see how cleanly it fit, even in a 5.5-foot short bed.

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2015 Kia K900: Better Tire Pressures

May 22, 2015

2015 Kia K900

I've been playing with the tire pressures on our long-term 2015 Kia K900 and I think I found a sweet spot.

Believe it or not, factory spec is a comically low 31 psi (cold) in all four Hankooks. It feels like it. Every time I drive the car I think it feels like the tires are low. So I check, only to find out they're exactly at the factory spec of 31 psi. After 10 months and nearly 15,000 miles, I decided to do something about it. I decided to try some higher pressures to see if the car felt better to me.

It does.

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2014 BMW i3: Carbon Fiber Chassis Sets Up Promising Future for BMW

May 22, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Our long-term 2014 BMW i3 is BMW's Prius. Some enthusiasts decry its existence, but the i3 represents long-term strategic planning that gives the company a technological head start, one that will make the industry play catch-up for years to come.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Suspension Is Fine - It's the Tires That Are Too Stiff

May 22, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

Don't worry, I don't intend to beat a dead horse regarding our 2015 Lexus RC F  In fact, I think it rides just fine. But as James said in his last post, the tires can sound pretty angry when you're on a concrete freeway. Sure enough, we have plenty of those here in Southern California. And when you're humming along at highway speeds, radio off to better hear the smooth hum of that big V8, the road noise from the tires nearly overpowers all 467 horses.

It's especially noticeable since there are sections of highway that I drive that switch between concrete and asphalt. It's like pushing a button that says "road noise" when you switch between them.

Of course, there's a reason why the tires are so loud.

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2015 Nissan Murano: First 5,000-Mile Service Not Cheap

May 21, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Our 2015 Nissan Murano was a hot ticket during its first three months here. Before we knew it, the SUV needed its first scheduled oil change and tire rotation at 5,000 miles. The closest Nissan dealer to our office is in downtown Los Angeles, 12 miles away. Instead, I took the Murano home and brought it to nearby Puente Hills Nissan.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Deep Center Console, Man

May 21, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Rag on us all you want for getting the short bed with our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. I maintain that a Colorado crew cab with the 6'2" longbed is the wrong sled and will probably have you creasing corners and crushing sprinkler heads when you roll a tire up the island at your local Target parking lot. Looks dopey as well.

If you must have a longbed, get the extended cab. If you need the crew cab, get the short bed, then blog about every time the bed comes up too short (or just follow Kurt's roundly-ignored suggestion and get a simple bed extender).

Can't rag on the Colorado's long, tall center console, though.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: 500 Miles of Rain and Rear-Drive Reflections

May 21, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

I don't usually call anything shy of 1,000 miles a road trip, but after covering half that distance in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I'm going for it. When I signed out the Jag for this trip, I was torn. On one hand, I would have to suffer its invasive seat-seams for hours.

On the other hand, it was going to rain and I like RWD + rain.

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2015 Volvo S60: 5,000 Miles of Praise, A Few Peeves

May 21, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

Our long-term 2015 Volvo S60 just cleared 5,000 miles. We normally try to capture the moment when the odometer clicks over, but the jet-lagged editor who took this photo didn't notice the five-grand mark until his personal fog had cleared 100 miles later.  

Taking a look back at our Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E, so far there have been zero mechanical failures and zero reasons to visit the dealer. For the most part, this Swedish sedan has been easy to live with, praised for its powerful engine, good handling-to-ride compromise, classy interior and comfy front seats. It should be noted the S60 has also been panned for its seats, but Mike Magrath is an "outlier," as we say. I don't want to imply his opinion doesn't count, but...

Truth is, we don't love everything about Volvo's new supercharged/turbocharged four-door. In fact...

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2015 Kia K900: It's Not You, It's Me

May 21, 2015

2015 Kia K900

I put a few hundred miles on the long-term 2015 Kia K900 in the past few days and it prompted me to leave the following imaginary note inside the K900.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Quiet Cabin Reveals Squeaky Headliner

May 20, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

Our long-term RC F is quiet inside. The absence of road and wind noise allows the burly V8 and powerful surround-sound audio system to shine. Unfortunately, it also spotlights a flaw.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Five Reasons Why UConnect Rocks

May 20, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I really like the optional 8.4-inch touchscreen interface in our 2014 Ram 1500. It's Chrysler's corporate 8.4AN/RA4 system that's used in a variety of other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, but that commonality doesn't diminish its specialness.

Here are five reasons why the Ram 1500's UConnect system is superior to systems offered in other full-size trucks.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: I Want the 2016 Mustang Hood Blinkers

May 20, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

I'm usually not one for gimmicks. I don't like the horse lasers on our 2015 Ford Mustang GT. I think the pulse feature of the Jag's start button, its rising vent cluster and silly door handles are unnecessary. I don't get Lamborghini (except the Espada. I'm pro Espada).

That said, I'm really diggin' the hood-mounted blinker indicators on the 2016 Ford Mustang.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Driver Seat Borders on Luxurious

May 20, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

The increased size and refinement of the 2014 Mini Cooper compared to the two previous generations of the Mini is undeniable. I'm already on record as a skeptic, because the visibility out the front and back of our long-term car isn't as good.

But darn it, I'm smitten with the driver seat in our Mini.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Hidden Battery Jump Start

May 20, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

It was pushing 11:30 on Saturday night as I filled up our 2015 Porsche Macan near the end of a long road trip you'll read about later. A black, last-generation Toyota Camry sat quietly across the island as its driver walked back from the mini-mart after paying the clerk.

Soon after I heard a series of clicks, followed immediately by a muttered curse and a female voice imploring, "Sir, can you help me?"

I was more than a little road weary and just wanted to get home. But there was no one else around and, unlike me, she had jumper cables at the ready. "Sure," I said, figuring this shouldn't take long.

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2015 Ford F-150: Sounds Like A V8, But Should It?

May 20, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

With all the towing I've done lately, I've had ample opportunity to hear the engine in our 2015 Ford F-150. Or rather hear what Ford wants me to think is the engine, because this V6-powered truck rumbles with the unmistakable sound of a V8 when its throttle is open.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Comes Out On Top In Recent Crash Test

May 19, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

In a new round of testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, our 2015 Nissan Murano finished tops among seven popular SUVs and crossovers in the small overlap front crash test. The Murano earned the Institute's "Good" rating, and by offering the optional frontal-collision and mitigation system (can automatically apply braking if driver fails to take evasive action), it qualifies for the Institute's "Top Safety Pick+" award.

But while our Murano came out on top, our long-term Jeep Cherokee did not. It earned only a "Marginal" score in the small front overlap test. Other vehicles tested included the Jeep Wrangler ("Good"), Ford Flex ("Acceptable"), Hyundai Santa Fe and Dodge Durango (both "Marginal") and the Dodge Journey ("Poor").

The IIHS small front overlap test aims to test the crash-worthiness of a vehicle's outer edges, which are generally not incorporated into the overall frontal crash structure or crush zones. The vehicle travels at 40 mph into a 5-foot tall rigid barrier, simulating a collision with a tree, utility pole or an oncoming vehicle (think a headlight-to-headlight strike), forcing the front wheel, suspension and firewall to absorb most of the crash energy.

Make the jump to see great video of our Murano and others getting munched in slow motion. Keep an eye out at 0:50 to see the Murano's left front wheel get absolutely obliterated.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: No Repair for Severely Cut Tire

May 19, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Was it a debris strike? A half-assed vandalism attempt by a would-be tire slasher? How long has it been like that anyway?

There's no way to tell. The left rear tire is holding air and the pressure is correct, so the TPMS warning light hasn't been triggered. I only found it because the gash and the setting sun happened to converge in the right place, catching my eye as I walked from the hatch to the driver's door of our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Clawing Back MPG In Eco Mode

May 19, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Somebody has to drive our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in Eco Mode. The boss ain't gonna do it. Might as well be me.

With 60 mostly-highway miles ahead of me and light, nighttime traffic, I figured this might be a good time to try out Eco mode. In this scientific, controlled experiment, I simply wanted to see if I could endure the commute tethered to the electronic ballast, namely duller throttle and lower rpm upshifts.

It wasn't so bad.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Great Audio, Terrible Interface

May 19, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

Say what you will about the Lexus RC F, but it's hard to argue that it doesn't make great noises. No, I'm not talking about the big V8's burble and howl. This time I'm referring to the 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio upgrade which, bundled with navigation, adds $2,840 to the price.

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2015 Kia K900: HUD Doesn't Work with Polarized Shades

May 19, 2015

2015 Kia K900

The head-up display on our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is a nice feature. Like almost every other HUD, it displays your current speed but it also issues small warning images for when someone is in your blind spot. I like this feature because it helps me keep my eyes on the road. I'm all for checking mirrors, but this is a great secondary warning system if someone slips into the next lane without me noticing.

The problem is that I can't see the HUD when wearing my sunglasses.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Potential Range from Here to Texas

May 19, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If you're driving a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, your stops for fuel can be rather infrequent. In the year that we've had our truck, we've averaged 436 miles between fill-ups. The furthest we've gone on one tank is 700.2 miles, back in November when Travis Langness drove up to Northern California.

I've been wondering, though: How far can you potentially range in a Ram 1500 with the diesel engine?

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Airbag Software Recall

May 18, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Fiat-Chrysler announced an increase in the number of 2014-2015 model year Jeep Cherokees affected by an earlier recall to reprogram airbag software. The additional 62,148 vehicles share the same potential for accidental deployment of side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags. Fiat-Chrysler said most reported incidents occurred in "harsh, off-road environments."

We called to see if our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited was part of the recall. It was.

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2014 BMW i3: 5,000 Miles

May 18, 2015

2014 BMW i3

So what have we learned in the first 5,000 miles of 2014 BMW i3 ownership? For starters, it's surprisingly fun to drive for a car with shockingly skinny tires. It also fits a rear-facing baby seat or a couple sets of golf clubs if you need those capabilities.

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2015 Ford F-150: Remote Tailgate Release Comes In Handy

May 18, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

When I needed a truck, I didn't have one. When I had a truck, I didn't need one. That was my story before I bought a Ford F-150 years ago and remains my story now that I've sold it. Lucky for me, I had access to our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 last weekend, because I needed a truck.

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2015 Lexus RC F: I Don't Mind the Ride Quality

May 18, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

The alternate title for this update could have been: "Why James and Dan are Wrong." James commented about our 2015 Lexus RC F's stiff ride quality in his Arizona Trip update while Dan's rough ride offsets luxury experience made him initially grumpy. Sheesh, you'd think these guys were ready for AARP memberships.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Wish It Still Had 50/50-Split Rear Seats

May 18, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Our 2014 Mini Cooper has 60/40-split folding rear seats. That represents a change from the 50/50-split rear seats in the previous two generations of the Cooper. Ordinarily this isn't something I would care about, but now that I'm a parent, I have an opinion on this change. And I'll warn you: Most likely, I represent the minority.

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2015 BMW M235i: One Size Fits All

May 18, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

I am height-challenged in the sense that my gawky, 6-foot 4-inch frame makes it difficult to fit perfectly in many compacts and sports cars. Imagine my delight when I climbed into our 2015 BMW M235i for the first time to find that the small convertible offered plenty of room to stretch my legs. Even better is the ample head room afforded by a tall roof and adjustable seat bottom.

I'm not the only one surprised by the M235is unexpected amount of driver space.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Arizona Road Trip in Pictures

May 17, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Take the jump for a photographic recap of my recent 500-mile road trip to Arizona and back in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Fuel Update for April — Commuting Miles Bump Up Overall Average

May 15, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

That 5.0 might just stand for its average mpg by the time we get through with it.

It's really not that bad, though. In April, the Mustang spent most of its time commuting our editors around Southern California, so it's hard to expect any kind of fuel efficiency heroics from our 2015 Ford Mustang GT's five-liter motor. That said, we did add another 1,200 miles onto our not-so-little pony (yeah, I went there) and managed a minor improvement in fuel economy.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: 10,000 Miles and a Return to Form

May 15, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

We've reached the 10,000-mile mark on our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Most of us love this new-generation GTI, which is once again hailed as a driver's car. Some feel the ride is a bit too stiff, but hey, it's a rare car that pleases everyone on our staff. 

The GTI has been pretty reliable so far, though not completely trouble-free. The first problem was a faulty passenger seat heater early on. Strangely it would turn itself off about five minutes into use, and then refuse to turn back on without a full restart.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Paddle Paint Peeling (Again)

May 15, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

A few weeks ago, we had our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe in for regularly scheduled service. While there, we had them replace the painted-plastic shift paddles because the paint had begun peeling from one of them.

Now it's already happening on the new ones.

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2015 Kia K900: Fast But Not Fun

May 15, 2015

2015 Kia K900

These days every car company wants you to believe they make fun cars, trucks and crossovers. They're all sporty. They're all fun to drive. And they spend billions of dollars on advertising and marketing convincing you of this big fat lie.

Don't believe it. Most new cars have plenty of power, but the truth is they don't actually perform well when asked, and they're not much fun to drive. Most pack about as much personality as a modern NASCAR driver.

Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is just such a machine.

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2015 Ford F-150: Interior Trim Looks Better Than It Feels

May 15, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

This is an instance of things that look good, but don't feel good. I'm referring to those lovely "metallic" radio knobs with the beautifully ridged edges.

At first glance they look great, like adjustment knobs on a lathe in a machine shop or dials on a safe. But then you give one a twist to bump the volume or change the station and all that admiration disappears.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Steering Wheel Volume Adjustment Is an Ergonomic Fail

May 15, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Secondary audio controls on the steering wheel are not exactly a new innovation, and predictably, our long-term 2015 Nissan Murano has the standard set: seek, source and volume adjustment.

I've found that audio system volume is generally the only thing I use steering wheel audio controls to adjust. If I'm going to seek or change audio sources, I end up using either the touchscreen or the vehicle's voice control.

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2015 Kia K900: Fuel Economy for April - City Slogging Barely Budges Average Fuel Economy

May 14, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Driven mostly around town in April, our long-term 2015 Kia K900 didn't break any fuel economy records during the past 30 days, but that wasn't such a bad thing, either.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Fuel Economy Update for April - A New Low, A New High

May 14, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

After road trips to popular desert destinations like Borrego Springs, California, and Joshua Tree National Park, at the very end of March, our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI spent most of April in heavy traffic.

In the midst of those 656 miles, we achieved a new low water mark in fuel economy: 15.2 mpg. The rest of our travels netted better numbers though, so the GTI's lifetime average crept up 0.1 mpg to 26.1.

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2014 BMW i3: Flat Tire and No Spare

May 14, 2015

2014 BMW i3

"If only I had just gone my normal route. I shouldn't have tried to outsmart traffic." These are the thoughts that entered my mind as I stared at a flat tire on our 2014 BMW i3 on a freeway off-ramp in Inglewood.

I was commuting to our offices in Santa Monica and decided to forgo my normal route to take advantage of the HOV lane on Interstates 105 and 405. Traveling happily in the sparsely-populated lane, I whizzed by vehicles caught in the slog of post-dawn LA traffic.

Then I heard the chime of the tire pressure monitoring system. The i3's TPMS system displays air pressure in each tire, and the recommended cold pressure the front tires is 33 psi. The driver's side tire was reading 20 psi. A few seconds later, it dropped to 16. Time to get off the freeway. Now.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Why Is No One Driving It?

May 14, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

If you were to look at the shared spreadsheet that we Edmunds editors use to sign out long- and short-term cars ("The List"), you'd see line after line of our initials next to the cars we need or want to drive for that week. If you were to look at last week's List, you'd see a big, gray empty line across the spreadsheet cells for the 2015 Ford Mustang GT, indicating that it sat idle for the entire week. 

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Arizona and Back in a Day

May 14, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

I recently started taking long-term cars on one-day road trips for no particular reason. One morning it was our 2014 Mini Cooper for 600 round-trip miles to Bishop, California, then the Mini again to Laughlin, Nev., for another 600 miles.

This time my destination was the Arizona border, 500 miles away. I chose our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Comparison With Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 2

May 14, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

In part one of our towing comparison between the 2015 Ford F-150 and 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, we talked towing stability. Here in part two, we compare power and fuel consumption. Which engine makes the most sense for pulling a roughly three-ton load: the Ram's 3.0-liter diesel V6 or the Ford's 2.7-liter gasoline V6? Dive in.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Remote Touch Interface Is Innovative, But Inferior

May 14, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

We've had a couple updates so far about the technology interface in our 2015 Lexus RC F. Early on, Ed contended that the latest Remote Touch touchpad system in our car was an improvement over earlier Lexus systems such as in our long-term GS and IS. Then about six weeks ago, James drove our RC F to Arizona and found Remote Touch to be "terrible."

I drove our RC F and used the system for more than a week. Here's my take.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for April - City Miles Drop Our Combined Average

May 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was a rather uneventful month for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. We only added around 500 miles to its odometer and most of those were in town. As a result, it turned in one of its least-efficient tanks so far at just 17.5 miles per gallon. That dropped its overall average to 24.7 mpg, which is well below its rated number in combined driving.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Tells Us When the V8 Is Running

May 13, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

I was doing a little spring cleaning on my phone, and I'll admit it took me a moment to remember why I took this picture. Then I did.

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Not Great Trim for a Truck

May 13, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

I like our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado quite a bit. It's a versatile size, performs well and remains comfortable on long trips. But there are a few minor things I would change about the interior ...

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2015 Kia K900: Power Soft-Close Door Latches

May 13, 2015

2015 Kia K900

Our 2015 Kia K900 is so well-equipped that I continue to find features I had either forgotten about or didn't realize were included in our $66,000 luxury sedan. This week's discovery: power soft-close door latches, included as part of the $6,000 VIP package.

Watch this three-second video for a demonstration:

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Sleepy Infotainment Screen

May 13, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

After a run/bike/run workout at O'Neill Regional Park last week in preparation for an upcoming mountain bike duathlon, I stopped into the Trabuco Canyon General Store for a Coke and a Snickers. Negated some of my hard work, yes, but I was tired and hungry.

I was in the store for only a minute or two, but when I got back into our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and fired it up, the infotainment screen didn't turn on. Worse, as I put the gear selector in reverse, the backup camera didn't come on either. I waited a few seconds, but still nothing from the screen.

And then, yes, I was forced to use my mirrors and even turn my head to look behind me before backing out. The horror!

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2015 Porsche Macan: Rear Passenger Comfort Is Optional

May 13, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

According to my friend and Edmunds colleague Keith, the rear seat of our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S is a comfortable place. He rode back there on our way home from the OC Half Marathon and said that he was satisfied with the ride quality and seat comfort. He wondered aloud, though, why there weren't any climate control vents for rear seat passengers.

I wondered the same thing. Where on this $62,365 Porsche had they hidden the rear vents? It turns out that Porsche kept them on the options sheet for 2015.  

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Fuel Economy Update for April — Nearly 300 Miles on Single Tank

May 12, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

We skipped our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe fuel economy update last month, so we'll make up for lost time here. We've put approximately 2,250 miles on the Jag in the last two months and during that time it went in for routine maintenance and tire repair.

Our lifetime MPG, and best and worst fills remain the same, but we did manage to slightly increase our best range.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Drives Better Than the Pathfinder

May 12, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

It's easy to pick on Southern California for its lack of public transportation infrastructure (yes, we have trains and busses, but they don't go where people need them to). But look at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. It is the prettiest Union Station in the country.

As you see, I drove our long-term 2015 Nissan Murano here this week. A family member of mine actually took the train home from work. At first, I was none too excited about driving the Murano. From the driver seat, it feels big to me, like the current Nissan Pathfinder or our departed long-term 2012 Ford Explorer. I've quickly acclimated to the Murano's size, however, something that never really happened for me with the Explorer.

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2015 Acura TLX: Crash-Tested

May 12, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

It looks worse than it is.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Compared to Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 1

May 12, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I've now towed my rally car with every truck in our fleet: the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the midsize 2015 Chevy Colorado.

Since the Ram and F-150 are direct competitors, it seems appropriate to draw some comparisons. I've divided up the critical components of the job into categories. Today we'll talk Towing Stability.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Manual Shift Mode Falls Short of Competitors

May 12, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

For everyday driving, the eight-speed automatic transmission in our 2015 Lexus RC F is just what I'd hope for in a modern auto. It upshifts smoothly as the RC F's speed increases and quickly drops down a couple of gears when you gently press on the gas for maneuvering through typical city traffic. The Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes further liven up the shift points and responsiveness.

You can also slot the gear lever to the left for manual shifting, pushing it forward for upshifts, pulling back for downshifts, or use the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The speed and smoothness of manual shifts also changes, depending on which drive mode you've selected.

But compared to other competitors with automated manual transmissions, the RC F doesn't quite measure up.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee: Low on Miles But Hitting Fuel Economy Target

May 11, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Though it crossed the 15,000-mile barrier this month, our 2014 Jeep Cherokee didn't stray far from home, accumulating just 1,054 new miles. That's an improvement over the 627 miles amassed last month, but we'll need to pick up the pace if the Cherokee is to reach 20,000 miles in its final 10 weeks with us.

No new records for best fill or best range were set this month, and our Cherokee's lifetime average fuel consumption remained unchanged at 21.5 mpg.

The Cherokee V6 4x4 earns an EPA combined rating of 22 mpg, which means our Cherokee Limited is hitting its marks with 15,501 miles under its belt.

The stats break down like this:

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2014 Mini Cooper: Obsessing and Twitching Over the Volume Control

May 11, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

The weirdest things bother me. Girls that say "like" more than once in a sentence. Sunglass lenses that aren't perfectly spotless. Wristwatches not set to the exact second. And this. The volume knob/power button in our 2014 Mini Cooper.

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2014 BMW i3: Do Golf Clubs Fit?

May 11, 2015

2014 BMW i3

You are retired. Perhaps you live in a place where the sun frequently shines. Perhaps your home, as a result, has a roof-mounted solar power system. Perhaps, therefore, a plug-in car like the BMW i3 makes an immense amount of sense. Perhaps, let's also say you golf (did I mention you're retired and live in a sunny place?). Perhaps you're even my parents. Will your golf clubs fit in the 2014 BMW i3?

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: These Gauges Are Great at Night

May 11, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Ed already told you how great the gauges are in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. I'd like to add that they are particularly stunning at night. I noticed them on the way home from the grocery store this week.

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2015 Ford F-150: Broken Rear Seat Release

May 11, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

There's no real way around this. We broke the rear seat release on our 2015 Ford F-150. More specifically, I broke it. But it does come with some explanation.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Fuel Economy Update For April

May 8, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

April was a quiet month for our 2015 Lexus RC F. We didn't go on any road trips or rip it up at a high-performance driving event. Instead, the RC F stayed close to our Santa Monica corporate office, filling in for commuting and date nights. As a result, we added only about 1,300 miles. Fuel economy did rise for the month, though.

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2015 Audi A3: Subwoofer Dial Controls the Low

May 8, 2015

2015 Audi A3

My daughter likes to remind me that she's all about the bass, no treble, and I tell her that's great if she wants to play in a good rhythm section someday. It worked well enough for Charles Mingus, Ron Carter and Carol Kaye, after all. I then like to remind her that the Volkswagen group does great, old school-style digital audio controls better than anyone, like in our 2015 Audi A3 and our long-term GTI of days past.

That's about when she fixes me with a quizzical stare, says I'm weird, and I realize that I'm on a fast track to no longer being the coolest guy in her world.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Spoiler Spoils Classic Lines

May 8, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

To me, the active spoiler on our long term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is the car's least-aesthetically pleasing feature. On an otherwise smooth and exquisitely-designed rear end, the spoiler looks out of place. Even when the spoiler is tucked away, the rear character lines are abruptly interrupted by the spoiler's presence.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Mine Would Be Blue, Expensive

May 8, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

I really like our 2015 Porsche Macan S. As in "configure-one-and-see-how-negatively-that-monthly-payment-would-affect-my-life" like it. The answer, as it turns out, is "very negative." But going through the process, I noticed that our long-termer isn't equipped the way I'd do it.

Here's how I'd have mine.

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2015 Volvo S60: Taming the Hills of San Francisco

May 8, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

In Los Angeles, we don't really get to try out features like hill-start assist. But when I drove our long-term 2015 Volvo S60 around San Francisco recently, I tested that feature like crazy. It was a godsend there, especially considering that my best friend who I visited lives on that insanely steep hill in the photo.

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2015 Ford F-150: A Slow Month, But Still Not Hitting Fuel Economy Target

May 7, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

April was a relatively slow month for our 2015 Ford F-150. It spent most of its time locally and accumulated only a modest 530 miles. Accordingly, our best and worst fills remain the same as they did in March at 14.0 and 17.3, respectively. Best range also remains unchanged at 557.3 miles. After almost 7,000 miles, we're still falling short of the EPA combined estimate.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Last-Gen GTI Has Better Hatch Gate Design

May 7, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

One thing I always liked about our last long-term GTI, the MkVI 2010 Volkswagen GTI, and the 2011 GTI my family subsequently leased, was the double hand-hold on the inside of the hatch gate. Whether you were right- or left-handed, it was easy to get hold of the overhead gate and close it.

Our seventh-generation long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI also has this feature, but the cutouts in the plastic aren't as deep, so the hatch isn't as easy to grab.

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2014 BMW i3: Man Wrestles Floor Mat, Loses

May 7, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I was washing our 2014 BMW i3 last weekend. Easy stuff, right? Things were going fine until it came time to vacuum the floors up front.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Easy-to-Use Navigation System

May 7, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

You would think most manufacturers would have the whole navigation thing down to a science by now. You would be wrong. Some are too clever for their own good while others use logic that isn't very logical. The setup in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is one of the better systems I've used in a while.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee: How Would Our Crossover Compare Off-Road to the Cherokee Trailhawk?

May 7, 2015

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

The Jeep Cherokee is unique in the compact SUV segment because it's available in three distinct 4-wheel drive, tire and suspension combinations.

Our Cherokee Limited 4x4 sits at the lower end of the Jeep off-road spectrum with the so-called Active Drive I four-wheel-drive system and 225/60R18 tires. Sport and Latitude 4x4s with the AD I system get 17-inch tires and wheels with the same rolling diameter. All of them ride on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, stand 66.2 inches tall and have 7.1 inches of ground clearance.

Step up to the optional Active Drive II system when you buy a Latitude or Limited and you'll get a class-exclusive, low-range transfer case that enables superior low-speed crawling. It also provides a neutral position for flat-towing your Cherokee behind a motorhome.

Moreover, you'll get a significant 1.1-inch suspension lift that hikes ground clearance to 8.2 inches and raises the roof to 67.3 inches. Jeep engineers had to devise longer rear trailing arms to maintain the desired rear suspension geometry, which is why the wheelbase of an AD II-equipped Cherokee is somewhat longer at 107.0-inches.

The Trail-Rated Trailhawk has what Jeep calls Active Drive Lock, which is the AD II system with low range, plus a lockable rear differential. The 1.1-inch lift is standard here, of course, but the addition of taller P245/65R17 off-road tires produces an additional half-inch boost to ground clearance (8.7 inches) and overall height (67.8 inches).

I wondered what all of this would mean for Ramp Travel Index, otherwise known as RTI. I measured a Cherokee Trailhawk some months ago, but never got around to measuring our long-term test vehicle on our 20-degree RTI ramp until late last week.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Decent Adaptive Cruise, But Could Be Better

May 7, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

During my 2,200-mile road trip with our long-term 2015 Nissan Murano, I used the cruise control. A lot.

As something of a persnickety cruise control-er, I made a few notes about the Murano's cruise control system, which does some things very well, but has room for improvement.

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2015 Porsche Macan: Returns Best MPG Yet in April

May 6, 2015

2015 Porsche Macan

The 2015 Porsche Macan S doesn't have much time left in our long-term fleet, but that doesn't make it any less popular than it was the first day it showed up in our garage. During the month of April, the Macan blew a fuse, carried around some tires in the boot and added about 1,800 miles to the odometer.

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2015 Ford F-150: Ford Issues First Recall for New F-150

May 6, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

It's seemingly a feast of recalls around here. First our A3 and Golf GTI, now our F-150. But in the best fashion of an inexplicable traffic jam, there's nothing to see here. We didn't expect our 2015 Ford F-150 to be one of the 91 trucks affected by Ford's recall for improperly installed or missing underbody heat shields. But our luck with trucks has been suspect lately, so we followed up just to be sure.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: One Year With the 328i GT

May 6, 2015

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

It's the end of the road for us with the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. It was an odd-lookin' thing and, loaded with options up to a cool $55,500, wasn't exactly entry-level luxury. But we liked it well enough. It offered loads of rear legroom and more cargo space than the sedan, and in some respects made more sense than a 3 Series wagon.

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2015 Nissan Murano: Camping, Cargo, Clutter

May 6, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Two adults, a toddler, an infant and their baggage piled into a 2015 Nissan Murano for a week of camping. It felt like a punchline should follow and in a sense, it did. This was our first legitimate get-out-of-town since our 10-month-old came on the scene, so we tried to keep things mellow. But kids tend to make life an adventure.

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2015 Lexus RC F: V8 Guts and Glory Along Parched California Hills

May 6, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

Let's just say you've hypothetically stopped at an empty rural intersection in a 2015 Lexus RC F. There's no oncoming traffic in any direction. It's just you and emptiness. You've done your hypothetical pre-flight prep: "Sport S+" mode selected, traction/stability control safety nets loosened, gear shifter in manual mode. You let your foot off the brake and the RC F creeps out slowly.

Now you turn the wheel in and give the RC F the spurs. The 5.0-liter V8 spins up, the rear tires break loose, and there you are, rear end hanging out like an Alabama dirt track racer. You catch the slide with a bit of opposite steer and then tug on the right shift paddle for an upshift as the digital tach approaches the 7,100 rpm redline. The RC F's rear tires bark slightly as second gear catches and then you're off, hammering towards the horizon and distant ribbons of curving pavement.

This RC F is your typical Lexus about as much as Al Capone was just your typical beverage distributor.

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2014 Mini Cooper: Excellent Visibility Makes Small Cabin Feel Large

May 5, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

Our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper is an excellent city car, partially because of its scant dimensions, but also thanks to excellent visibility out of the cabin. As Erin Riches has noted, it's not as easy to see the edges of the car, but the outward view still makes for a good driving experience.

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2015 Audi A3: Lifetime MPG Ticks Up in April

May 5, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Here is the April fuel economy for our 2015 Audi A3. Last month we covered 1,717 miles, which is right on pace with our monthly goal. We would have missed the mark if not for a weekend over-and-back to Phoenix to visit family. Take the jump for an A3 fuel economy recap.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Hey Driver, Your Wheels Aren't Straight

May 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Parking on a hilly street the other night, I left the wheels of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata turned in toward the curb. When I got back in the car, the Hyundai quickly flashed me this message:

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Sticky When Wet

May 5, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

For the first time in a long time it rained in Southern California last week. And lucky me, I was in our long-term, 550-horsepower, rear-wheel drive, summer tire-equipped 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

It's seldom that we get to test cars in conditions other than "sunny and warm" here in SoCal, so I was curious to see what the F-Type was like in the wet. And just how sideways I could get it.

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2015 BMW M235i: Best Seats in the Fleet

May 5, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

The seats in our Volvo have received praise here. And they're fine if you like firm seats with minimal adjustments, rigid bolsters, stiff leather, no thigh support and a headrest that's constantly punching you in the brain stem.

The seats in our 2015 BMW M235i have none of these downsides and are my new favorite seats in the fleet. By far.

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2014 BMW i3: An Extra-Large Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits, But Rear-Hinged Doors Not Ideal

May 5, 2015

2014 BMW i3

A couple of months ago, I installed my daughter's compact convertible car seat in our 2014 BMW i3. It fit wonderfully, preserved useful legroom for the front passenger in front of it and heightened my enthusiasm for commuting around southern California in the i3. That car seat is not especially cushy however, so when I had to run some errands this week, I installed my primary car seat, the oversized (and discontinued) First Years True Fit C680 SI.

It fit, but not without compromise.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for April

May 4, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel did some sitting around this month, as we only added about 1,750 miles to the odometer (we're averaging about 2,200 miles a month). I'd argue it was well-deserved rest for one of our favorite workhorses, but we still managed to work in about 400 miles of towing among the light-duty commuting. We also surpassed the 30,000-mile mark.

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2015 Lexus RC F: Our As-Tested Price Just Shy of $80K

May 4, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

"Our RC F is a pre-production vehicle on loan from Lexus and has one option package that is not yet available on production models. It's called the Performance package, and it bundles the torque-vectoring differential ($1,750 a la carte), 20-spoke wheels ($1,500 a la carte), and a carbon-fiber roof and rear spoiler. We will post a future update when pricing is announced."

We wrote this in the introduction of our 2015 Lexus RC F when it was loaned to us. At the time, we didn't know the full MSRP. We estimated the price at $77,115. Lexus recently updated pricing info for the RC F so we can update our calculations. Read on for final pricing.

2014 BMW i3: Misaligned Door Panel

May 4, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I walked out to our 2014 BMW i3 yesterday and found this. The base of the passenger door was sticking out. At first I thought the door wasn't closed all of the way but there was more to it...

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2015 Nissan Murano: CVT and Seats Shine On Long-Haul Road Trip

May 4, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

Last week I took our long-term 2015 Nissan Murano on a 2,200-mile road trip from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., and back. It was almost exclusively a freeway blast, because that's how you connect those two endpoints.

The objective this time was to reach the destination and not linger on the road too long, so I took Interstate 5. This is a long, straight, boring freeway until you reach Shasta in northern California, where it bends and climbs, and comes with pretty views.

Here's what I learned about this big wagon on this trip, which was also my first time driving it.

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Performance Package Worth The Money?

May 4, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

We ordered our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT with the $2,495 GT Performance Package to fully exploit the car's new independent rear suspension. The package includes 19-inch wheels, staggered-size summer tires, six-piston front brake calipers, 380 mm rotors, a strut bar, a front splitter,  a Torsen differential and a 3.73 final drive ratio.

The additions helped during our long-term Mustang's recent track session. We wondered how it compared to a GT without the package, so we borrowed one with the 6-speed automatic and brought it to our test track.

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2015 Acura TLX: Indecisive Adaptive Cruise Control

May 4, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

Our 2015 Acura TLX has adaptive cruise control. If I have to be a part of the unpredictable, mindless river of humanity that characterizes LA's terrible freeways, I like adaptive cruise control.

I do not like the adaptive cruise control on our TLX.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Returns Best MPG on the Road to Joshua Tree

May 3, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

For my girlfriend's birthday, I took her to Palm Springs for the weekend. As a video producer, I wanted to video the experience, but she would have none of it. What's the saying: what goes on during a road trip should be haphazardly remembered through the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI long-term blog?

Getting out of Los Angeles is always a chore. You expect bumper-to-bumper traffic anytime you want to get on the road and leaving Santa Monica at 11:30 on a Friday afternoon was no exception. 

But with the GTI, I had an unexpected weapon.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Trouble Finding the Smart Key

May 1, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

I've driven our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe for an extended stretch over the last few weeks — about eight days combined — and at least four times, the car has refused to start on the first attempt. Nothing was mechanically wrong, but according to this little screen on the dash, the Smart Key was in a place where the Jaguar couldn't sense its presence. I like to call that place my front pocket.

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2015 Audi A3: Our Car Avoids VW Fuel Pump Recall

May 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Volkswagen is recalling more than 6,000 vehicles for possible fuel-pump failure, and some 2015 Audi A3 models are included in that sweep.

In its recall summary, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that "improper nickel plating of the components within the fuel pump may result in the fuel pump failing. If the fuel pump fails, the vehicle will not start, or if the engine is running, it will stop and the vehicle will stall, increasing the risk of a crash."

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2015 Lexus RC F: Attractive and High-Quality Interior Design

May 1, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

I've been driving our 2015 Lexus RC F for a few days now. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much opportunity for full-throttle acceleration runs or weekend getaways along twisting, ocean-side roads. Instead it's been a lot of highway driving and commuting around town. But sitting in traffic provides ample time to admire what Lexus has done with the RC F's interior. If this were my car, it'd be one of the high points.

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2014 BMW i3: Climate Control Lacks Power

May 1, 2015

2014 BMW i3

It's already summer in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley  and I needed genuine cabin cooling when I drove our 2014 BMW i3 this week.

Ordinarily, I'm not very particular about air-conditioning systems in cars. I rarely set the automatic ones any cooler than 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and I usually have the manual systems on the lowest fan setting. I rarely use any Max A/C mode. I'm a naturalized Californian and I don't like to be cold.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Better Steering and Shifting in Sport Mode

May 1, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata a lot, often choosing it over sexier, more powerful cars and I never regret it.

Sure, my kids think I'm crazy for passing up our long-term Jaguar F-Type and Ford Mustang GT to drive home in the Hyundai, but this is one of those cars that just feels right to me, from the shape of its seat, to its sightlines and steering feel.

However, I always drive it in Sport Mode.

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