This week, we saw which cars thieves like most, which cars drivers like most, and one car we have a good feeling a lot of people are going to put at the top of their shopping list. Our colleagues at Motor Trend have once again stepped into the world of controversy, confusion, name-calling and adulation known as Best Driver’s Car. The 36-minute video is worth a look, even if you aren’t into racetrack handling, just for the camerawork and the banter. On the other end of joyriding, the National Insurance Crime Bureau has released its list of the 10 most frequently stolen cars in the U.S. It’s a list nobody wants to be on, much less be a reigning champion. Then there were the spy photos of the 2014 Kia Cadenza that we saw on Wednesday. This big sedan, related to the Hyundai Azera, will be going on sale sometime next year.
That’s not all, of course. Check below for the hottest news story of each day this week, and of course, come back every day next week to make sure you don’t miss out on a single thing.
Monday, August 20
Car thieves don’t steal the cars you think they do. Sure, if they could, they’d snatch Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces all day long. But the fact of the matter is that there aren’t too many of those out there to begin with, and besides, the real money isn’t in joyriding anyhow. It’s in stripping cars for their parts, and selling them on the black market. This is why, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that a list of the 10 most stolen cars is full of things like the 1998 Honda Civic, 2002 Ford Explorer, and the 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. So what was number one, the most stolen car of 2011? You’ll have to click through to find out.
Tuesday, August 21
As cars get better and better, and there’s less and less difference between competing products, manufacturers have to work around the edges to get and retain customers. One of the best ways to do this is with superior customer service: Some have it, others don’t. Every year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index measures a ton of variables, mixes it all together in a way only a statistician can love, and compiles it into a list of how satisfied customers are with each brand. The result: Customers love Lincoln and Lexus, but aren’t so hot on Mazda and Chrysler. Why would people be so fond of Ford’s luxury division, a brand many think should just cease to exist? You’ll have to click through to find out.
Wednesday, August 22
This is the part where we remind you, once again, that Korean automaker Kia is on an unstoppable roll, selling everything it makes as fast as it can make them. So, what’s a hyper-successful car company to do? Make more cars, of course. The 2014 Kia Cadenza will slot above the Optima in the company’s sedan lineup, essentially making it the flagship. based off the same basic mechanicals as the Hyundai Azera–Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same parent company–we already have a good idea what kind of engine and transmission it’ll be sporting. But this is our first good look at the U.S. version testing here, and a pretty clear shot of the interior, too.
Thursday, August 23
Sometimes, it seems like our colleagues over at Motor Trend have all the fun. For example, there’s their annual (sorta, they took 2010 off) Best Driver’s Car comparison. It pits a bunch of the world’s best driving cars together on the track and on the street in a no-holds barred contest to see which is the most satisfying for drivers. The cars are not judged simply by which is fastest in a straight line, but by which is most satisfying to drive on the street and the track. Which is why you have a $27,000 Subaru BRZ in the same contest as a Lamborghini costing nearly $400,000. After all the testing was done, a winner was chosen. Naturally, this being the Internet, nobody agrees, and feels free to sound off anonymously in the comments section on YouTube. The 36 minute video is definitely worth a look, and if you have more time–and a strong tolerance for f-bombs–give the comments a read, too.
Friday, August 24
The Toyota Corolla will probably never wind up on Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car list. But it sure does end up on a lot of shopping lists, and in a lot of driveways. This despite the fact that the current Corolla has been on sale since 2008, when it went on sale as a 2009 model. That’s a long time for any car, and even though the Corolla has maintained its bestseller status despite its age, eventually those years and lack of development are going to catch up. So it’s no surprise that an all-new Toyota Corolla is in the works, and equally unsurprising that we’re already catching spy photos of the new compact testing in the desert. We don’t know what’s under the hood, but we do know that the 2014 Toyota Corolla is going to bear a strong resemblance to the new Toyota Camry. Take a look for yourself and see.