Passenger car reviews
Road tests from the Chicago Tribune, cars.com and other reviewers. For a complete list, browse the cars.com passenger car buying guides.
April 19, 2012
In a quiet, forgotten corner of the automotive landscape there is a segment of vehicle called the large sedan. These cars tilt toward luxury but have a foot firmly planted in practicality and economics.
9:25 PM EST, November 9, 2011
You have to hand it to Volkswagen.
September 24, 2011
I'm a big fan of the Dodge Charger, and it would be on my short list of four-door sedans if I were in the market for one. But the model I recommend is the one that starts at $25,395, and comes with the excellent new 3.6-liter, 292-horsepower Pentastar V-6, Chrysler's best V-6 in — well, forever.
10:00 PM EDT, August 31, 2011
An earthquake recently cracked the Washington Monument. Billionaire Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes. Volkswagen is building a big-ol' American car.
August 20, 2011
Remember the 2011 Volkswagen Passat? Sorry, trick question — there wasn't one. But there's certainly a 2012 Passat, and it's prepared to make some noise, the way the new-for-2011 Volkswagen Jetta did.
5:45 PM EST, February 7, 2011
With the introduction of the Toyota Avalon in 1995, replacing the Cressida, the company made it very easy for customers for whom a car is essentially an appliance. Toyota gives those customers three choices: small (the Corolla), medium (the Camry) and large (the Avalon).
10:56 PM EST, December 22, 2010
A decade in the automotive industry is like the passing of the Mesozoic era; a lot changes. In 2001, Hyundais were questionable and Toyota was infallible. Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Plymouth existed. Scion did not. So it may come as a bit of a surprise that it's been 10 years since Volvo pulled an all-new S60 out of the oven.
November 25, 2010
You know you like a car when the only thing you would change is the hard, uncomfortable seats.
July 1, 2010
Test Drive: 2010 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR Coupe review
Two-door coupe versions of popular four-door sedans have been fading in popularity since designers figured out how to make four doors look sexy. Gone is the Toyota Solara, a two-door Camry. Ford has never sold a two-door version of the Taurus or Fusion, and Chevrolet's Monte Carlo, essentially a two-door Impala, lives on only in the memories of NASCAR fans. Honda still has a two-door Accord, but sales pale compared to the sedan.
October 11, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe
Jim Mateja: Hyundai Genesis coupe gets off to stylish start, but a little short on legroom, trunk space
The 2009 Hyundai Genesis sedan surprised many when it captured the North American Car of the Year award from the nation's automotive wordsmiths.
August 2, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Ford Taurus Limited AWD
Taurus captivated the public with its weird styling when introduced for 1986 and captured the auto sales crown from the Honda Accord.
June 10, 2010
Test Drive: 2010 Volvo C70 review
It's sobering how close Volvo and Saab came to joining Mercury, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Plymouth, Isuzu, Daewoo and Oldsmobile on the growing list of recently shuttered brands.
June 3, 2010
Test Drive: 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC review
With its 2010 Outlander GT S-AWC, Mitsubishi explores not only the limits of alphabetical nomenclature but also whether Americans care about a crossover with a complex all-wheel-drive system designed to provide extra cornering power and traction under virtually all conditions.
3:57 PM EDT, May 6, 2010
— Where have all the goofy cars gone? The cars that don't even make a drive-by of mainstream appeal before blasting full-throttle for weirdness. The cars that become cult favorites. Eccentric-looking and equipped with unusual features, they baffle most buyers but delight a few.
9:26 PM EDT, May 20, 2010
Those of us who have been around for a while have learned that practicality and entertainment are often annoyingly mutually exclusive. The 2010 Mazdaspeed3 is a happy exception.
May 6, 2010
Whether it's date night at the El Pollo Loco or trading clothes at a swap, it's never been so hip to live econo. Now Ford is hoping to capitalize on the trend with a new take on an old car designed for the fashionably frugal — and young.
January 11, 2009
The flagship Acura RL sedan now has an all-wheel-drive companion for 2009: the midsize TL sedan that adds AWD for security when roads are wet and snowy and sure-footedness when they're dry.
March 4, 2010
Test Drive: 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 S sedan
A variety of vehicles have enjoyed their day in the sun: Wagons until they gave way to minivans, which gave way to SUVs, which bowed to crossovers.
January 19, 2010
The Volkswagen GTI is an acquired taste, like skydiving, bronco riding, sword swallowing or watching the Cubs and Bears.
January 10, 2010
Test Drive: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour review
An upscale Honda Accord.
October 18, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi
October 4, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Subaru Legacy
All you have to do is ask.
September 13, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS
General Motors' cupboards aren't bare.
August 16, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Ford Mustang V-6 Premium convertible
Chevy Camaro made its long-awaited return for the 2010 model year, prompting Ford to tweak Mustang. Who says you can't teach a 45-year-old pony new tricks?
May 31, 2009
Test Drive: 2009 Nissan 370Z coupe
Chevy has the Camaro; Ford, the Mustang; Dodge, the Challenger.
May 16, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Honda Insight EX
Honda offered the first hybrid in the U.S., the Insight, which bowed in December 1999.
May 10, 2009
Test Drive: 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring
The 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February is now in showrooms, a sporty hatchback companion to the somewhat more formal compact Elantra sedan.
March 22, 2009
Test Drive: 2010 Chevy Camaro
PLYMOUTH, Mich.—Three years since the concept bowed at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, the Camaro coupe hits showrooms this week.
February 22, 2009
The 2010 Ford Fusion offers all the flavors.
June 1, 2008
Test Drive: BMW X6 35i review
The BMW X6 looks like a military weapon, with a front end that appears ready to take a chomp out of anything that gets in its way.
August 31, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Acura RL
If you want to know what the weather will be three days from now or whether there's an accident three blocks from here, the 2009 Acura RL is at your service.
December 28, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Toyota Matrix
The Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe are fraternal twins, basically the same car with different looking skin.
November 30, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Pontiac G5
Pontiac has trouble deciding what it wants to be when it grows up.
August 17, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Honda Pilot
When a vehicle controls the number of cylinders in use based on its need for more or less power, you'd think the automaker would shout it from the highest mountain—especially with gas prices rising like CEO salaries.
June 8, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has survived more than 40 years since its 1968 U.S. debut.
April 5, 2008
Test Drive: 2009 Mitsubishi Galant
Sometimes it takes more than a pretty face and shapely body to attract attention—at least in the auto industry.