Early Favorites: Which 2017 Will You Test Drive?

2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlmited

Winter Storm Stella, microwave cameras, and St. Patrick dominated the news this week, but we’re more interested in the 2017 model year and which new cars shoppers want to see themselves driving. We’ve published 37 Test Drive Reviews of 2017 vehicles so far, and we’re going to take a look at those vehicles that have garnered the most inquiries from CarGurus shoppers. We haven’t spent enough time with a bunch of big sellers to review them yet, so we suspect our end-of-year list will look different, but we want to see which 2017s have already started generating interest. If you were buying a new car this year, do you know which 2017 you’d want to test drive first? Continue reading >>>

Dependable Drives: Ten 2014s Worth a Look

2014 Ford F-150

As anyone who’s shopped for a used car knows, cars retain value inconsistently. In this era of Big Data, armies of statisticians are gathering and analyzing all sorts of car numbers by maker, body style, price, location, model, and so on to see what we can learn. J.D. Power recently published its 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, which rates both makers and models, and it shows that Lexus and Porsche had the fewest reported problems per 2014-model-year vehicle, followed by Toyota, Buick, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and BMW.

Each year J.D. Power polls owners of 3-year-old cars to determine the number of problems they experienced during the previous 12 months, then ranks each maker and model by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. Last year we built a list of Reliable Rides featuring 10 cars that performed well in studies based on model years 2010 through 2013, and this year we’re going to take a look at some new winners and returning champs as well as some cars that have made important changes since 2014. Continue reading >>>

Reimagined Classics: What Do You Dream of Driving?

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz concept

We know most of you like classic sports cars, but we had no idea exactly how deep your enthusiasm ran until we saw the reaction to Wednesday’s post on the possibility of a midengine Corvette. Some folks commented directly, but the promo on our Facebook page drew hundreds of comments and shares. Commenters mostly ended up debating the current Corvette’s cost, practicality, and appropriate age bracket, but all those comments and the energy behind them impressed us. Thanks!

Now we want to know what other classic cars you’d like to see remade in new and different ways. We heard just this week about Dodge’s recent debut of the new Challenger GT, which can’t use the Hellcat V8, but can deliver power to all four wheels. What do you think of that? Are you interested in test-driving one? We’ll mention a few similar reimagined classics below, and we’d be happy to see what you think of those, but we want to see your ideas, too. We can’t promise any of them will actually get built, of course, but we’d love to help get a great revision into production. Continue reading >>>

The World Wants Cars to Talk, But Can’t Agree on a Language

Image courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Image courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

The U.S. Department of Transportation thinks cars should learn to talk to each other before they can drive themselves. Earlier this month it issued a proposed rule announcement requiring vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology in all light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. to allow the development of collision-avoidance applications that could prevent hundreds of thousands of accidents every year.

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2017 Trucks: Getting Better All the Time

2017 Nissan TITAN SV Single Cab

Remember when American pickups had a single bench seat and vinyl upholstery? When trucks were built to cart heavy stuff, in the bed or on a trailer, and didn’t need to do much more than that? The explosion of the crossover category proves shoppers want cars that deliver more practicality than your average sedan, and given the generally larger profit margins in the truck business, we’re not surprised truck makers want their products to offer more capability, too. That’s why truck lineups are growing, boosting capacities, and adding lots of useful cargo-management, safety, and driver-assistance features—not to mention leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheels, and plenty of chrome.

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Changing Model Years: North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists

2017 Genesis G90

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public this weekend after three days of well-attended press events and unveilings. This week’s debuting AutoMobility LA conference also featured presentations from a wide variety of industry experts and CEOs addressing the futures of the auto business, driving, mobility, and ownership, and kicked off a competition among ten promising auto startups. The car business is never boring, and we know 2017 promises plenty of excitement, there and elsewhere.

The L.A. show effectively kicks off a new model year, but it also sort of wraps up the current one. On AutoMobiltity LA’s first morning, the field of 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year nominees was narrowed from 30 to 9 finalists. Judged by a group of 60 journalists from magazine, TV, radio, newspaper, and online auto publishers in the U.S. and Canada, the NACTOY awards honor excellence in innovation, design, performance, safety, technology, driver satisfaction, and value.

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IMPA Test Days: We’ll Be Back

#IMPATestDays2016

The spectacular trees of New York State’s Catskill Mountains had to settle for backdrop status early last week. The New York City-based International Motor Press Association assembled a magnificent collection of cars, trucks, and motorcycles as well as a bunch of car and motorcycle writers at the Monticello Motor Club‘s (MMC) racetrack and extensive off-road course for IMPA Test Days 2016, 48 hours of intense on- and off-road testing.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

Mechanic fixing old car engine

Everyone knows someone who regularly gripes about “the end” of the manual transmission, uncovered V8 engines, and our ability to get away from it all. We prefer to drive with a stick, thank you, but we know manuals aren’t always faster, cheaper, and less expensive anymore. And while we love the sound and power of a V8, a turbo four can go a lot farther on a tank of gas and lets a driver get more value out of the car’s stereo. And we think our newfound inability to really escape has more to do with smartphones and the Internet than the advance of car technology.

So we’re going to take a look at some new and different cars that mark big changes we hope all drivers can agree are positive. We’re not sure they’ll end up on as many high-schoolers’ bedroom walls as the GTO Judge and the Lamborghini Countach did, but we expect to see plenty of them on the road, and who knows which 2016 might just become a sought-after collectible to today’s hipsters.

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Two New Tires Bring Fun Driving Year Round

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+

The Autumn Equinox is September 22, but when the kids go back to school, summer is unofficially over. Sure, there are plenty of warm days left, but the nights have started getting cooler, and it’s only a matter of time before the leaves change and the chill of fall and winter will take hold. Now’s the time to start thinking about tires.

Automakers routinely tout all-wheel drive as the best way to deal with challenging conditions, but regardless of which wheels get power, the tires are the only parts of a car that actually touch the road. A good set of winter tires can turn a rear-wheel-drive sports car into a competent winter commuter car, while a set of ultra-high-performance summer tires can render an AWD-equipped car useless in the snow.

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