10 NHTSA 5-Star Safety Picks for Any Lifestyle

2016 Volvo XC90

Cars and safety have had a long and difficult relationship, but it became way more complex with the arrival of the smartphone. A Pew survey last year determined that 64% of American adults own a smartphone, and anyone who’s spent any time on American roads within the last couple of years knows many people use those phones while driving. In fact, we’re just concluding April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, during which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched its “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign.

We strongly urge everyone reading this post to take NHTSA’s recommended steps to minimize their distractions while behind the wheel and avoid getting pulled over–and not just in April, but year-round. Unfortunately, there’s very little any driver can do about to prevent other drivers from getting distracted. So here are ten 2016 cars that should meet the needs and budgets of a wide variety of drivers, all with 5-star overall safety ratings from NHTSA. We hope none of you will ever have to test your car’s safety features, but just in case….

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Have CUVs Replaced the Family Sedan?


For every Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat, Subaru Legacy, and Chrysler 200 sold so far this year, more than two CX-5s, Tiguans, Foresters, and Cherokees have left dealer lots.

The midsize family sedan, once a ubiquitous sight on American highways and in suburban garages, is being replaced by the car-based crossover.

Today’s CUVs offer the same interior seating capacity as sedans, but offer additional cargo space that’s also more accessible. Plus, CUV drivers sit higher and have a better view of surrounding traffic, while available all-wheel drive can handle almost all road conditions.

Have we reached the point where CUVs have replaced sedans?

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What’s Your Stance on a Car’s Best Stance?

stanced subaru brz

Forgive me if I’m late to the game on this one, but I’ve recently learned a new term that’s popular among certain tuners and modifiers.

The always-reliable and entertaining Urban Dictionary perhaps best defines “Stancing” as:

To destroy a car’s handling abilities by having it lowered an excessive amount. Typically, the tires are tucked way inside the vehicles fenders. But in order to have a hellaflush stance and run the required excessively wide wheels with tires that are stretched just to fit onto the wheels, the car has to have an excessive amount of negative camber.

I’ve seen cars that have been lowered like this. Their tires look like the result of an unfortunate axle-breaking accident involving the car, a curb, and an icy day. I didn’t realize that this trend had a name and that entire groups of people do this to their cars on purpose.

I don’t like it. Why destroy a car’s handling (and looks) like this? I much prefer cars that come from the factory with a killer stance. That is, a car that looks strong, intimidating, and ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.

Here are some of the cars that come stock with a great stance, no lowering (or axle-breaking) required.

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The Battle of 2015’s Best Sedans

2015 Mazda6

There’s not a bad sedan on the market today. Any sedan, from any automaker that sells cars in the United States, should provide safe and reliable transportation for many years.

The differences in cars are in their levels of quality, performance, comfort, technology, and safety. Buying a top-level Lexus sedan will provide a much different experience than an entry-level Kia 4-door, but both will probably be on the road for about the same amount of time.

So how do car shoppers know which sedan is the best? Or better yet, how can they discover which is the best for them?

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The Six Most Attractive, and Affordable, Cars on the Market


Let’s take a few minutes to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all.

I’m not talking about dumb stuff like mountains and rivers; I’m talking about real beauty, like every time we see a new Kia on the road.

We may not naturally associate things like Kias with beauty, but the once-mocked Korean brand has officially become one of the most attractive cars on the road. Well, one of the most attractive affordable cars anyway.

Keep reading for rest of the most attractive, and attainable, cars available today.

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The Best Cars You Haven’t Driven


We, as humans, tend to fall into ruts. We find something we like, and then we either forget to try anything else or get so wrapped up that we just assume our choice represents the best choice possible. This is true in everything from ice cream to cars.

Personally, I’m a vanilla guy. I go out for ice cream or frozen yogurt, or “fro-yo,” as the kids say these days, and I always get vanilla, because I like it, and I know what to expect. Oddly enough, I’m not like that with cars. I like variety and have driven nearly every make and model out there. I’ve owned models from Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki, Subaru, Jaguar and Audi.

Because of my vast experience behind the wheel, I can help you find the diamond you might never have considered. In return I’ll just ask for your advice on branching out from vanilla.

Here are the best cars you haven’t driven, but probably should:

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New Mazda6 Makes Used Ones Seem Obsolete

2014 Mazda6

Attention Mazda owners: Drop what you’re doing, grab your checkbook and head back to your dealer. Your car just became obsolete.

It’s not often that I’m so taken by a new car that I suddenly believe all former versions are no longer driveable. The 2014 Mazda6, though, might be the car that redefines Mazda and makes an older Mazda6 just another cheap used midsize sedan.

That’s saying a lot, because I happen to think a used Mazda6 is one of the best buys on the market today.

The new one, though, might change everything.

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Cars Coming Soon: All-New 2014 Mazda6

2014 Mazda6

I like it when teaser pictures reveal everything.

A typical teaser image of a coming vehicle is a vague, blacked-out silhouette or just the line from the hood to the trunk. Other teasers show an extreme close-up of a taillight or a fender flare and hope the image pacifies the public before the car’s official debut. Sometimes teasers show no parts of the car at all. I remember a teaser for the new Ford Explorer that showed only a snow-covered forest.

The 2014 Mazda6 has some teaser images floating around, most of which do a lot more than tease. In fact, they show a nearly full reveal of what’s to come. Keep reading to see the pictures, and be sure to let us know what you think!

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