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Posts Tagged ‘midsize sedan reviews’

First Drive: 2015 Subaru Legacy

Aiming for the mainstream.

by on May.21, 2014

Subaru goes more mainstream with the 2015 Legacy.

Subaru has long been one of the best-kept secrets in the U.S. automotive market, a brand with a loyal but limited niche following. But with the launch of the all-new, sixth-generation Legacy sedan, the Japanese maker is taking aim at a more mainstream audience, and midsize buyers would be wise to put it on their radar screen.

When the new sedan was unveiled during last month’s New York Auto Show it marked the 25th anniversary of the Legacy nameplate. Like the rest of the Subaru line-up, it has long been popular in Snowbelt cities like Boston and Denver, and has developed an especially strong following among such targeted groups as young, active outdoor fans, nurses and even the gay and lesbian community.

In Drive!

But while the 2015 Subaru Legacy maintains some of the basic features that have long appealed to its loyalists – such as the brand’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system – the latest-generation sedan adds plenty of other appealing attributes, including what is now one of the industry’s best CVT gearboxes, great fuel economy, and a roomy, well-appointed interior. The new Legacy also gets the latest update of Subaru’s camera-based EyeSight safety system.

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First Drive: 2014 Mazda6

A standout in a crowded segment.

by on Feb.05, 2013

Mazda's new 2014 Mazda6 sedan.

It’s a great year for consumers looking to buy a midsize sedan.  The market is awash with brand new offerings from manufacturers like Ford, Chevrolet Honda and Nissan, never mind still-fresh entries from Toyota and the Korean makers.

Imagine the challenge for a smaller brand, like Mazda, just to get noticed.  But the Japanese maker has come up with the sort of package that should guarantee it some attention from smart shoppers looking for a mix of striking design, solid mileage and spirited driving.

Your Review Source!

Handsome, economical and fun to drive, the 2014 Mazda6 doesn’t disappoint, we discovered during our first drive of the new sedan,

Simply put, the exterior styling is gorgeous, delivering a refined and sophisticated interpretation of the maker’s aggressive new styling language first seen on the well-reviewed Takeri concept vehicle revealed at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show – which itself borrowed heavily from Mazda’s so-called Kodo, or Soul of Motion, design language.

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First Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

(Turbo) power to the people.

by on Oct.05, 2012

Chevrolet aims to take on the dominant Japanese with the all-new 2013 Malibu.

With a slew of new models heading for the showrooms, the midsize passenger car segment has turned into the auto industry’s most fiercely contested battlegroud. Nobody’s knocked off the Camry yet but gone are the days when all Toyota – or rival Honda — had to do to win the contest for customers was show up with something new every few years.

Once dominant in the midsize market, General Motors has spent years several decades trying to crack the code without really scoring. But after driving the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with a 2-liter turbocharged engine, capable of producing 259 horsepower and 260 foot pounds of torque, it’s pretty clear GM’s persistence is finally paying dividends.

Your Review Source!

For those who might be confused about Chevrolet’s strategy, the GM brand introduced an “Eco” version of the completely redesigned Malibu at the beginning of the year, adapting the eAssist mild hybrid technology first used on the Buick line, as well as aerodynamic tricks such as active grille shutters, to maximize mileage. As we get into the more traditional new model-year, Chevy is rolling out the rest of the Malibu line-up.

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First Drive: 2013 Ford Fusion

Can Ford's new model again set the midsize benchmark/

by on Sep.21, 2012

Ford will be going up against some tough competition with the 2013 Fusion remake.

The last time Ford dominated the midsize American passenger car market it was selling the original Taurus.   Despite that success, the maker quickly seemed to lose focus, shifting its attention to the more profitable SUVs that would soon dominate the U.S. market.  It didn’t take long for the Japanese to fill that midsize vacuum, Toyota, with the Camry, and Honda with the Accord, taking a commanding lead for the last quarter century.

But with U.S. fuel prices surging, and buyers suddenly beginning to shift back to passenger cars Detroit has woken up, unleashing an assortment of new and surprisingly competitive models.  At the top of that list is the new 2013 Ford Fusion.

The Last Word!

The new midsize model has a number of things going for it that could give Ford significant momentum despite the breadth of competition it will face.  There’s the fact that the Fusion Hybrid will deliver best-in-class 47 mpg fuel economy that markedly bests the comparable Toyota Camry and falls only 3 mpg short of the vaunted Prius. There’s the range of advanced safety and infotainment features. And then there’s the new Fusion’s striking design.

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First Drive: 2013 Honda Accord

Gunfight in the Midsize Corral.

by on Sep.10, 2012

Honda hopes to land back on top of the midsize segment with the 2013 Accord.

Be prepared for one of the nastiest gunfights the auto industry has seen in years.  The 2013 model-year will bring the launch of an assortment of new entries into the always-competitive midsize sedan segment, including an all-new Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Altima.  And now comes the new 2013 Honda Accord.

Once the dominant player in the midsize market, Honda has had to settle for second, for much of the last decade, chasing the Toyota Camry.  But with all the new sheet metal, leadership is up for grabs.  Nissan has openly declared its desire to topple the midsize king-of-the-hill.  And you can bet that’s Honda’s goal, as well.

Your Automotive Source!

“It’s playing out like an arms race,” Honda product planner Vicki Popponi said during a media preview of the new Accord. And Honda is going to need to deliver the big guns.  The maker took a critical drubbing when it launched an all-new Accord, two years ago, and has had some serious sales setbacks with other recent models including the Insight, CrossTour and CR-Z.  So, there’s little room for error with the 2013 Honda Accord.

Honda initially will offer three new powertrain packages with the 2013 Accord - a fourth to follow.

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First Drive: 2013 Nissan Altima

Can a one-time also-ran topple the midsize king-of-the-hill?

by on May.25, 2012

Nissan is aiming to dominate the midsize sedan segment with its all-new 2013 Altima.

Japanese automakers have long dominated the U.S. midsize passenger car market.  Or, to be more precise, Toyota, with its Camry, and Honda, with the Accord, have been the manufacturers to reckon with.

But in recent months, the established order has shown signs of coming undone.  Sales of the Camry took a dive – in part due to last year’s production shortages – until the maker ramped up its marketing and incentives and dumped tens of thousands of the sedans into rental and other fleets. The aging Accord has had even more trouble as it approached the end of its lifecycle.

The Last Word!

Surprisingly, even though it was also due for replacement demand for the outgoing Nissan Altima, however, showed some unexpected resilience, surging towards the top of the sales charts. And now, with Nissan about to roll out an all-new 2013 version of the sedan CEO Carlos Ghosn has boldly predicted the new model will topple Camry as the king-of-the-hill.

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First Look: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi

"The complete transformation of our brand."

by on Jul.30, 2009

There's a lot riding on the new midsize 2010 Suzuki Kizashi.

There's a lot riding on the new midsize 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, company officials promising it will bring "the complete transformation" of the Suzuki brand.

Few products have been asked to play such a significant role, but American Suzuki has a lot riding on the upcoming launch of its 2010 Kizashi sedan.

The Japanese maker has long been little more than a niche player in the critical U.S. market – even though it is now the world’s 11th largest automotive manufacturer.  With the addition of the midsize Kizashi to its line-up, Suzuki is hoping to move into the mainstream.  It’s an ambitious – some would say audacious – plan, with the Japanese automaker not only planning to take on big name brands, like Toyota, with its Camry, and Honda, with the Accord, but even some luxury marques, such as Acura.

Great Things to Come!

Great Things to Come!

“This product will complete the transformation of our brand,” said Gene Brown, American Suzuki’s vice president of marketing, during a preview of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi.  The sedan will also have to help reverse a sharp sales decline, among the worst among any brand competing in the American market.

In Japanese, Kizashi means “something great is coming,” and Suzuki put that message out when it first showed the sedan, in concept car form, at the September 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.  It reappeared, a half-year later, at the New York Auto Show.  Now, Suzuki officials confirm the production version is due to hit showrooms by the end of 2009.

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