The countdown is on to Father's Day: Are you prepared to reward Dad with a gift worthy of a lifetime of love and sacrifice? Our Cars team has assembled their own four-wheel personal picks for Father's Day to inspire your decision making. Should this not be the year for a new car, it may be fun simply to play the "What if?" game with your Dad.
We just took delivery of a car that is made for spring: a "Mars Red" SLK250. This two-seat convertible is just what the doctor ordered to get us out of the winter doldrums. And if the cold weather reappears, our SLK has a folding hardtop, heated seats, and the automaker's exclusive "airscarf neck-level heating system," which features vents in the head restraints that blow warm air on your neck. It's a nice touch that we really liked in the last SLK, and its SL big-brother we tested.
With the exception of the upcoming, lease-only Smart EV, Mercedes-Benz has been almost absent from the electric-car movement. But that's not to say their advanced alternative fuel activities are dormant. Rather than field battery-powered cars, the automaker has been focusing on more forward-reaching technology: fuel cells. (A fuel-cell car is essentially an EV with an on-board electricity generating ability.)
As gasoline prices continue to climb, the cliché "pain at the pump" is being thrown around with great frequency. But, how much pain is it really? Inspired by anecdotal complaints of drivers boasting of wallet-denting fill-ups, we crunched the data to see what the most expensive tanks are to fill, and we found more than 20 vehicles go beyond the $100 mark.
Mercedes-Benz will display a freshened look, new interior features, and claimed better fuel economy for the GLK compact SUV at the New York auto show in April.
Our Annual Autos Issue presents a dizzying array of facts and figures, all aimed at helping car shoppers choose the right model for their needs and budget. While we rate the automakers and present numerous best and worst lists, we haven’t offered a simple guide to the best and worst models by brand. Until now.
Most shoppers focus on the purchase price and resultant monthly payments, if financing, when buying a new car. While it may be the most visible cost, the purchase price is really just the beginning. There are many real costs that are not so clear upfront and can vary widely between models and car segments.
The car market is regaining traction. And in testing about 80 vehicles in the past year, we’ve gotten a good look at what’s new and notable. With erratic pump prices and stricter gas-mileage standards being phased in, fuel economy is a prominent goal. Automakers are pursuing it with more small cars, hybrids, and diesels; more efficient gas engines and transmissions; and a budding wave of electric vehicles (EVs). Here are some highlights:
The future of vehicle safety depends on talking cars. That is, cars that can communicate wirelessly, sharing data on their speed and positioning, giving them the ability to alert drivers of potential dangers.
Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota have a commanding lead in car brand awareness, as determined from interviewing car owners for the 2012 Car Brand Perception Survey.
The people have spoken: Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet excel over other brands in the minds of adult car owners, though the brand’s advantages are less this year than in the past. These are among the findings of the 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
The last 20 years saw the rise of luxury brands, including Lexus, Acura, BMW, Infiniti, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Even Cadillac, once near death, was revived by edgy styling, improved driving dynamics and a rocking Led Zeppelin ad campaign.
Mercedes-Benz has introduced a revamped version of its mbrace telematics system, with additional features and services, enhanced smart phone-based remote access, and the ability for users to make cloud-based updates as they become available.
If much of the country is still focused on value for the 99 percent, the Detroit auto show still has plenty of room for the remaining 1 percent. For those with money to burn, some of the finest hardware anywhere is on display.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: