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Posts Tagged ‘midsize sedan’

Honda Pulls Wraps Off All-New 2018 Accord

Update: could an Accord Type-R be in the works?

by on Jul.14, 2017

Honda goes to the heart of its domestic opposition, revealing the 2018 Accord in Detroit.

Honda has finally pulled the covers off its tenth-generation Accord, revealing a sedan  that’s both more stylish and lavishly equipped and which takes a “new direction” in its powertrain line-up with the debut of not just one but two new turbocharged engine options.

The launch of the 2018 Honda Accord comes at a critical time for both the Japanese automaker and the auto industry as a whole. Long one of the U.S. market’s best-selling models, the new Honda sedan will launch into a market where buyers by the million are migrating from passenger cars to SUVs, crossovers and other light trucks. Complicating matters, Accord will go up against a dramatic new version of arch-rival Toyota’s midsize Camry sedan.

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“We are redefining the Honda Accord for a new generation of buyers by bringing something unexpected that challenges the idea of what a mainstream sedan can be,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of the Automobile Division at American Honda.

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First Drive: 2018 Toyota Camry

Toyota aims for a younger buyer with the 2018 Camry, but what will the faithful think?

by on Jun.21, 2017

Coming at you: Toyota has more gas and hybrid variants to choose from with the 2018 Camry.

Here’s a question for you: how many redesigned sedans have been launched over the last two or three years, and what are they? It’s something Jack Hollis, Toyota Division general manager, asked last week as journalists gathered for the first drive of the completely redesigned Toyota Camry.

“Nothing really stands out,” he said during the event in Oregon. “If you’re a sedan buyer, what are you getting excited about? The new truck, the new crossover the new SUV.”

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It’s a concern for Hollis and his employer as Toyota gets ready to launch the fully redesigned midsized sedan later this year. The Camry has been the number one-selling passenger car in the U.S for 19 of the past 20 years, while more than 18 million have been sold worldwide since its launch in 1982. Yet Toyota hasn’t been exempt from the sudden shift in buyer preference, as 63 percent of U.S. car buyers opt for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers rather than passenger cars.

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Honda Set to Reveal All-New Accord on July 14

Gen-10 sedan getting Civic design cues, Type-R engine.

by on Jun.19, 2017

The new 2018 Accord will clearly borrow key design cues from the Honda Civic.

One of the most important automotive unveilings of the year – at least for Honda fans – will take place next month, the automaker pulling the wraps an all-new version of the midsize Accord sedan on July 14th.

The Japanese automaker offered up a teaser image to substitute for hard details about the new model – though we did get a look at a heavily camouflaged version of the 2018 Honda Accord during a visit to the company’s Japanese proving grounds last month.

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During that visit we got to drive an early prototype complete with the new turbocharged inline-four engine that will replace the familiar Honda V-6 in the tenth-generation Accord. The new model is new from the ground up and is also expected to feature a new suspension system similar to what was offered on a “mule” car we drove during the proving grounds visit.

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Nissan Uncovers 2016 Altima

CEO Ghosn takes new sedan to the streets of New York.

by on Sep.22, 2015

CEO Carlos Ghosn takes the 2016 Nissan Altima on a tour of the Big Apple.

Rather than climb up on stage at last week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn apparently wanted to keep the world waiting another week before getting a glimpse of the 2016 Altima makeover.

Instead, Ghosn spent the morning crawling through traffic to get to a series of business meetings in what has become one of the midsize market’s best-sellers. And after consecutive years of one-upping itself, Nissan hopes to do it again with the refreshed sedan.

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The 2016 Nissan Altima adopts some of the new styling cues we first saw on the redesigned Maxima earlier this year, adding optional LED headlamps and other changes to both the front and rear. The 2.5-liter engine now gets 39 mpg, making it among the best in its class. And there are new connectivity upgrades

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Kia Shows Design Direction for 2016 Optima Remake

New sedan set for NY Auto Show unveiling.

by on Mar.19, 2015

Kia continues to go edgy with the 2016 Optima remake.

Five years after making its debut at the New York Auto Show, Kia will lift the covers on a new version of the Optima sedan. And the Korean carmaker is hoping that the 2016 model will live up to the brand’s ad slogan, “The Power to Surprise.”

The outgoing Optima was a breakthrough car for Kia, transforming it from a stodgy, value-focused brand to one pushing the boundaries of design. Preliminary renderings released by Kia suggest that the new 2016 Optima will maintain its edginess.

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The two images released by Kia pick up on many of the design cues first seen at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month in the form of the Kia Sportspace wagon concept. That show car picked up on the familiar Kia “tiger nose grille, giving it an almost slit-like appearance, with quad LED headlamps. Like the Sportspace, the Optima renderings show a coupe-like curve to the roofline, with bolder sheet metal creases than the current sedan, as well as muscularly flared wheel wells.

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Chrysler Reinvents Itself with Next-gen 200 Sedan

Got their mojo rising.

by on Jan.13, 2014

Chrysler will offer both sporty 200S and more sophisticated 200C versions of the new midsize sedan.

Few cars have been more closely tied to an automotive turnaround than the Chrysler 200, the midsize model giving some desperately needed momentum to the smallest of the Detroit makers when it was launched with the help of an unusual, two-minute commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl featuring rapper Eminem.

But while the current Chrysler 200 has certainly fared better than the unloved Sebring model it replaced, it’s little more than an afterthought in a market segment Chrysler Brand President Al Gardner describes as “brutal.” It takes a lot to go up against such powerhouses as the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

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But while the current Chrysler sedan isn’t quite there, the maker is betting it can challenge the established order with the all-new model making its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

And bet is probably the right word considering Chrysler is investing more than $1 billion to bring the new sedan to market, including not just the cost of product development but the money being spent to upgrade the suburban Detroit plant that will assemble the new Chrysler 200.

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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.

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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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2013 Ford Fusion Grabs Mileage Crown

Hybrid will nudge 47 mpg.

by on Sep.18, 2012

The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 47 mpg Highway, 8 mpg better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The 2013 Ford Fusion has snatched the brass ring, winning certification as the most fuel-efficient model in the critical midsize passenger car segment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has the last word on the mileage numbers that appear in a vehicle’s Munroney, or window, sticker, the hybrid version of the 2013 Ford Fusion gets 47 miles per gallon.  And that number holds for the new model’s city, highway and combined ratings, an unusual bit of news.  In the highway category, the 2013 Fusion’s numbers are 8 mpg better than the current midsize champ, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, with a 4 mpg advantage in the city.

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Ford didn’t displace the new king-of-the-hill when it comes to its conventionally powered Fusion, however.  The EPA says the Fusion with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four still lags one mile per gallon behind the 38 mpg Nissan Altima, itself newly remade for 2013.

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Battle of the Heavyweights: Can Nissan’s Altima Topple Toyota Camry?

Toyota chief insists, “It simply won’t happen.”

by on Jun.22, 2012

Toyota aims to maintain its lead in the midsize segment but faces tough competition.

In the automotive answer to a sumo title match, two Japanese automotive heavyweights are about to square off, Nissan declaring a throwdown against long-time rival Toyota for dominance in the crucial midsize car market.

The smaller of the two makers is betting its newly redesigned Altima can topple the long-time segment leader, the Toyota Camry.  But its rival is clearly not ready to cede dominance anytime soon, a senior Toyota official told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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“It simply won’t happen,” said Toyota brand boss Bob Carter when asked if Altima has a chance of winning the perennial midsize grudge match. At the end of 2012, he declared during an interview, “Camry will be the best-selling car in America for the 12th consecutive year.”

Not if Nissan has its say.  “We are expecting to compete at the top level, and we are going to take a shot at being number one in the segment,” said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, during the debut of the new Altima at the New York Auto Show in April.

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