Long-Term Road Tests News & Updates

On this page you'll find the latest updates to our Long-Term Road Tests. The topics covered in these ongoing vehicle reviews range from things like fuel efficiency and comfort to highlights of specific features like GPS and audio technology. Check back frequently as our auto reviews are updated on a regular basis.

Daily Long-Term Vehicle Updates

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Multiple Personalities

April 18, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

Depending on what drive setting you select, sport, normal or "Eco Pro," the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo has very different personalities. In sport, I'm an impatient lane changer. In normal, I'm relaxed until I see some open road, then I explore the German heritage of this sport sedan. But when the freeways are clogged I'm a mellow Eco Pro guy.

This morning's 32-mile commute restricted me to a blazing top speed of 35 mph. So I switched into Eco Pro and watched my bonus miles begin to build. By the time I reached the office I had amassed a whopping 1.3 bonus miles. What, may you ask, are bonus miles?

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Stop the Auto Stop-Start

April 18, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Automatic stop-start technology in cars is a divisive issue. On the one hand, it's a not-unpleasant experience to sit at a long red light with the engine off, enjoying a bit of quiet time. On the other hand, we've strived for years to make sure we DON'T stall out in traffic and having a car do that intentionally is really, really annoying.

Especially on my commute.

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2014 Acura MDX: We've Cleared 10,000 Miles

April 18, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We're now at the halfway mark for a long-term test of our 2014 Acura MDX. For almost each vehicle in our fleet, we aim to rack up at least 20,000 miles in a one-year stay. We started our MDX test back in October 2013, so we should be on track.

So far, our MDX has been rock-solid and earned plenty of favorable comments.

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Mobster's Trunk

April 18, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

Oh yeah, the bike fits. Lengthwise, no less. The scooter and the helmet fit, too. There's even enough room for the kid that rides that stuff, but we don't put her back there too often.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: My Brother-in-Law Bought One

April 18, 2014

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

This is not a photo of our long-term 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Nope. It's a pic of my sister-in-law's new car.

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2014 Acura MDX: Deciding on a Three-Row Crossover SUV for Around $50,000

April 17, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

I really like our 2014 Acura MDX. It's versatile, enjoyable to drive and equipped with a nice selection of convenience and luxury-oriented features. If I were shopping for a three-row luxury crossover SUV, it would be very high on my consideration list.

But it's not the only one on the list.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Arizona Road Trip

April 17, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

I needed wheels to get to Arizona for a Hyundai press event drive, so Edmunds' Car Czar, Mike Schmidt, assigned me our long-term 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250.

No problem, I had barely driven the new Mercedes and wanted to spend some quality behind-the-wheel time in it anyway.

Here are some thoughts from the 800-mile, almost-all-highway road trip:

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Smells Like a Corvette

April 17, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Although the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray rankles Corvette traditionalists with its overstyled exterior, squareish taillights and seats that didn't come from a furniture store, it still carries one unmistakable reminder of its origins.

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Easy To Park

April 17, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

The bird's eye view parking camera is starting to become mainstream now and for good reason. Of all the parking aids that have been added to modern cars, it's one of the most useful.

There's no doubt that the backup camera is a big help when easing into a space. No more "feeling" around for that bumper behind you.

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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Best. Cruise. Control. Ever.

April 17, 2014

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo

That's right. I'm not afraid to say it. The cruise control on our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo is the best I've ever sampled.

I should note, for the record, that I am talking about standard cruise control here. Our 3 Series GT is not equipped with the optional adaptive cruise control system that's built to maintain a following distance if other cars are present.

It starts with the controls on the steering wheel. Buttons for power, set and resume are set in an array around a thumb wheel for making speed adjustments. Roll it up or down against the detent to trim the set speed in 1 mph increments. Push past this initial resistance and you'll get a 5 mph bump.

On the instrument panel, a ring around the outer rim of the speedo contains lights that pinpoint your current set speed. Orange indicates an inactive speed that you'll get back to when you hit resume, green indicates an active speed you're at or, if you just made an adjustment, heading towards. The chosen set speed also shows up digitally and lingers for a few seconds on the head-up display whenever you make a change.

All of that is great, but it's not the best part.

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2013 Tesla Model S: Driving Impressions and 20,000-Mile Update

April 16, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

It's a rare day when the keys to our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S end up in my pocket. I have a long commute perfect for adding miles to our long-term cars, and it was during only my second outing with the Tesla that it finally hit the 20,000-mile marker.

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2014 Kia Cadenza Shopping Comparison: Genesis vs. Cadenza

April 16, 2014

2014 Kia Cadenza

I'm sometimes guilty of making broad assumptions. "The 2014 Kia Cadenza is just like a Hyundai Genesis sedan," I said to myself. This is somewhat true on a superficial level. Both cars are roughly the same size and represent the luxury offerings from their respective brands. There is also a higher-end car above each (the Hyundai Equus and the Kia K900). The Kia Cadenza and the Hyundai Genesis cost roughly the same too. The 2014 Kia Cadenza starts at $35,900 and the 2014 Hyundai Genesis starts at $36,120. But despite these similarities, there are some differences too.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: 5,000-Mile Update

April 16, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

We hit the 5,000-mile mark in our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 just before heading out on a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona to drive the new 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan.

So far the little Mercedes has been running pretty well, aside from two weird, very-early-on issues: a check-engine light and a squeaky Comand screen, both of which occurred when the car had less than 1,000 miles on the odometer.

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Charming, Thoughtful and Misnamed

April 16, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

The 2014 Nissan Rogue is misnamed. This comfortable, competent crossover is not brash or belligerent, and its only unruly behavior comes from its loud and lazy continuously variable transmission. True, this is not an easy characteristic to overlook. For some, it will be a deal-breaker. But we've all got a derelict among our gene pool, so for the moment, overlook it we will.

Nissan would like you to think the Rogue rebels against its rivals, that it has uncommon swagger in its segment because of things like optional third-row seating and an ability to drive atop trains.

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Junk in the Trunk

April 16, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Picking up your 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the factory in Bowling Green has its perks. You get a bit of VIP treatment, a museum tour, a factory tour, a free lunch and better than average odds of falling into a sinkhole.

You also get some extra free stuff thrown in your trunk, stuff you might not get if you picked up your Stingray at a local dealer. See that photo up there? Let's run through what's included.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Rearview Camera Blackout

April 15, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Rearview (or backup, if you prefer) cameras are great. Though I still use the mirrors as well, especially when parallel parking, the camera takes away a lot of the stress and allows you to park with uncanny precision. This is especially valuable here in L.A., where many parking spaces seem to be of substandard width. The system in our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is a fine example of the breed, with a sharp image and handy guide lines. Travis recently did a post highlighting all of its handy features.

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2013 Tesla Model S: When to Choose Max Charge

April 15, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

For the past two and a half years I've been driving a 2011 Nissan Leaf SL and I'm sold on electric cars. But as the months go by, I feel more and more restricted by the range. There are several places I routinely want to go that are about 80 miles away, 160 round trip. So we're not talking full-on road trip, just too far for the Leaf. That's why, when I saw the 2013 Tesla Model S was available, I decided to stay electric but push beyond my normal boundaries. Still, I wanted every bit of security I could get.

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2014 Acura MDX: Quiet V6, But Sporty When You Want It To Be

April 15, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Pop the hood of our 2014 Acura MDX and you'll find a rather unassuming plastic cover over the 3.5-liter V6 engine. It might as well have "Generic V6 by Kirkland" stamped on it. But what lies underneath is actually one of the more appealing engines in the three-row crossover segment.

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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI vs. Ford Fusion Hybrid

April 15, 2014

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

A friend of mine is in the market for a new car, and specifically a midsize family sedan with good fuel economy. I suggested he take a look at our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI and he was quite impressed when I brought it by. Mainly, the enormous back seat means he can set the front seats as far back as he wants without worrying about bumping up against his rear-facing child seat. When you're 6-foot-4 like he is, that matters. The cavernous trunk was another attraction. His wife was almost in shock at how deep it was.

However, the Ford Fusion Hybrid has also caught his eye. Although I was quite impressed with it during our hybrid sedan comparison test, my gut reaction was that it would be considerably more expensive than the Passat TDI. I was wrong.

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette: Tire Chatter When Cold

April 15, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray exhibits a judder when you make a tight turn (say, turning from a driveway onto a narrow street) when the car is stone cold. And it's completely normal and nothing is wrong.

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2014 Toyota Highlander: Handy Interior Storage

April 15, 2014

2014 Toyota Highlander

A car tends to accumulate lots of random stuff in the course of a long road trip, and our run to Reed College and the University of Oregon in our new 2014 Toyota Highlander long-term test vehicle is no exception.

Fortunately, the Highlander's design team has built in a few clever storage features, the most prominent of which is The Shelf.

The Shelf runs under the dash from a point just out of range of the driver's right knee to the passenger's door. It looks unobtrusive and somewhat stylish when empty, and the list of the things it can hold is long: keys, phones, those little travel size Kleenex packets, pens, pay-to-park receipts, iPhone cords (there's even a hatch in the bottom to thread the business end to the USB jack below), Starbucks gift cards, my wallet and those archaic paper foldy things called road maps.

The surface is slightly tacky so our junk doesn't scoot around much in corners. However, as Confuscious once said, "Pens and pencils are easy to roll. Deal with it."

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2014 Nissan Rogue: Nice, But CVT Is a Deal Breaker

April 14, 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

I spent a few days in our new 2014 Nissan Rogue. It's a nice, roomy crossover that's comfortable with plenty of space for a small family and their things (and relocating their things). It's got a power liftgate. Once used, you'll never want to lift a slab of glass and steel by yourself again.

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Comfortable and Useful

April 14, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Last weekend, I needed a car from the Edmunds fleet that could haul some really dirty laundry. I was running a 10.3-mile obstacle-course race called Tough Mudder, and our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado was the obvious choice for transportation. My friend Dann and I woke up early on a Saturday morning to put ourselves through this torture. Other vehicles might've been plusher along the way, but for me, the Silverado was the perfect choice.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Adding Oil...Again

April 14, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our twin-turbo V12-powered long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is using oil. About a quart every 1,000 miles.

We bought the car back in December with 56,000 miles on it. It was a CPO car and had just been serviced by Mercedes-Benz of Reno, NV. However, we've already added oil to the big V12 four times: a quart at 58,500 miles, 59,000 miles, 61,000 miles and now at 62,000 miles. Per the car's spec we used Mobil 1 0W40 full synthetic European Car Formula, which ain't cheap.

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2014 Mazda 3: It's Got Spunk

April 14, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Despite it being a noisy tapping machine, I like driving our 2014 Mazda 3. I've always had a fondness for sporty hatchbacks and I don't mind the Mazda 3's firmer ride. I'll put up with some noise over a wishy-washy soft ride any day.

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