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Posts Tagged ‘midsize sedans’

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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Hyundai Takes Aim at Toyota with 2015 Sonata

New Korean sedan tones down styling, adds more features.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Hyundai's Dave Zuchowski introduces the new Sonata at the New York International Auto Show.

Not all that long ago, Hyundai was an afterthought in the competitive midsize sedan market, largely focusing on bargain hunting buyers. But all that changed, a few years back, when it introduced a stylish new remake of the Sonata sedan, the first model to showcase its distinctive “Fluidic Sculpture” design language.

For 2015, the Korean carmaker is rolling out an all-new version of the Sonata, and while it is toning down the previous model’s sometimes over-the-top angles and curves, Hyundai is growing more confident it can take on even some of the midsize segment’s most formidable players, notably including the Toyota Camry.

Your Automotive Source!

“The Sonata has been playing a key role in Hyundai Motor’s rapid growth in the global market, as well as leading the development of the Korean auto industry. We are confident that the all-new Sonata will change the landscape of the global midsize sedan market,” said Choong Ho Kim, the maker’s president and CEO, said when the all-new version was unveiled in South Korea last month. Now, U.S. buyers will have a chance to decide as the all-new Sonata makes its American debut at the New York Auto Show. (more…)

With Competitors Gaining Ground, Toyota Plans Major Camry Update

Maker promises more than the typical mid-cycle “refresh.”

by on Apr.03, 2014

The 2015 Toyota Camry update may borrow key design cues from the NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept.

It’s been a tough winter for Toyota, the maker’s traditionally best-selling Camry line unexpectedly losing some of its momentum in a hotly competitive midsize sedan market.

And that has the Japanese giant scrambling to hang onto the sales lead it has held in the U.S. market for the last dozen years. Toyota confirms it will unveil a new version of the Camry at the New York Auto Show later this month, and it promises that the 2015 update will be more than just the usual mid-cycle refresh.

Insight!

Just how far it will go without a complete redesign remains to be seen, but with the Nissan Altima actually having led the sales race during January and February, Toyota officials are rapidly buying into the philosophy set by CEO Akio Toyoda who is demanding more “passion” from its future products – or “waku-doki” in Japanese.

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First Official Look: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

Larger, more mature design, more new features.

by on Mar.24, 2014

Hyundai pulls the wraps off the all new 2015 Sonata during a preview in Korea.

It’s turning into a big year for the folks at Hyundai. Not only is the Korean carmaker set to start selling its next-generation Genesis luxury sedan, but it’s also getting ready to roll out an all-new version of the Sonata line.

Long an also-ran in the midsize segment, the outgoing Sonata was a real game-changer for Hyundai, showing that the maker could build more than just base econo-boxes.  It was surprisingly well-equipped for the segment, still reasonably affordable – and it introduced the maker’s distinctive Fluidic Sculpture design language.

Automotive Insight!

We got to see the updated styling approach, Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, with the new 2015 Hyundai Genesis, and the basic language carries over to the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, starting with the more distinctive grille, but also translating into a design that is a far bit more subdued – mature, if you prefer – than the over-the-top creases and curves of the outgoing midsize sedan.

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First Drive: 2015 Chrysler 200

Chrysler finally gets into the (midsize) game.

by on Mar.20, 2014

Chrysler is looking to make inroads into the competitive midsize market segment with the news 2015 Chrysler 200.

Anyone looking for a midsize car has a wealth of choices from a wide variety of carmakers which have brought some very good options to U.S. showrooms in recent years.

Now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has entered the competition with a very good alternative that could provide an unexpected challenge to such formidable rivals as the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda6, and Chevrolet Malibu, never mind the midsize segment-leading Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.

Product News!

For those familiar with the old Chrysler 200 – or worse, the old Sebring – the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 that made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year is likely to come as a very big surprise. Start with its distinctive exterior styling – which harkens back to the era, two decades ago, when Chrysler routinely set the industry agenda when it came to design. (more…)

Honda Accord Hybrid Hits 50 – MPG, That Is

Gas-electric sedan lands bragging rights as highest city-mileage midsize hybrid.

by on Sep.06, 2013

Honda bests the competition - at least in the city mileage category.

In the battle for bragging rights in the high-mileage category, Honda has landed a solid blow against the competition, its 2014 Accord Hybrid delivering an EPA-certified rating of 50 mpg in city driving.

That’s a full three miles per gallon better than the previous king-of-the-fuel-economy-hill, the 47 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid.  The Toyota Camry Hybrid comes in at 43 while the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes in at 40.

Your High-Efficiency News Source!

But to put another perspective on Honda’s achievement, the 2014 Accord Hybrid gets about 10% better fuel economy around town than the first-generation Toyota Prius, a dedicated gas-electric model that used all sorts of tricks, including a super-aerodynamic, ultra-light body to maximize mileage.

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Chevy Does Emergency “Refresh” to Bolster Lagging Malibu Sales

Sedan will get more rear seat space, new center console and updates to the powertrain line-up.

by on May.31, 2013

Chevy does a quick update on Malibu.

General Motors has revealed an updated version of its 4-door Chevrolet Malibu, an unexpectedly rapid “refresh” of the midsize sedan that reflects the less than stellar reception it has received since its introduction last year.

Due to market this coming autumn, the 2014 will feature modest exterior updates and a number of more substantial changes to the interior – all reflecting feedback Chevy has received both from those who’ve bought the Malibu and from potential buyers that turned to the maker’s competitors, said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations.

Auto News From a Source You Trust!

Though the current version of the Malibu has been on the market for barely a year, development “was done before we went through bankruptcy,” Reuss noted during a conversation with reporters.  The vehicle reflects the way things by GM’s old management team, he added, and “was not aggressive enough.”

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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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Volkswagen Reveals Passat Performance Concept

More punch from a midsize package.

by on Jan.11, 2013

A show car for now, the Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept may yet return in production trim.

Like many of its competitors, Volkswagen has a handful of offerings to share with the media and mainstream masses next week but while it’s keeping a reported new SUV under wraps for now the German maker has decided to pull the covers off another new entry.

And the Passat Performance Concept suggests we’ll be getting a little more punch out of the maker’s midsize mainstay in the near future, even though VW is only suggesting the show car is meant to “explore this practical four-door’s sportier side.”

The Last Word!

The overall look is still that of a practical sedan.  While some makers have been emphasizing show over go – witness the new Dodge Dart GT – Volkswagen appears to be downplaying the visual excesses.  The only real upgrades to the exterior include larger bi-xenon headlamps, LED taillights, 19-inch Luxor alloy wheels, a dual exhaust system, two-tone leather seats and carbon fiber interior accents.

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Mazda Confirms Diesel Coming for 2014 Mazda6

New sedan launching with SkyActiv gas package.

by on Nov.29, 2012

Mazda will offer both a small gas engine and a new diesel for the 2014 Mazda6 sedan.

Mazda will launch a diesel version of its new midsize Mazda6 sedan during the second half of 2013, the maker confirmed during an LA Auto Show news conference – and while the maker won’t release official figures until closer to launch, a well-placed source said the maker is looking to match hybrid-level fuel economy numbers with the package.

Mazda is the latest manufacturer to announce plans to enter the diesel market, a niche largely populated by European makers, such as Audi which earlier announced plans to add four new diesels to its U.S. line-up next year.

Your Automotive Experience!

The new Mazda6 itself was earlier previewed during an introduction in, of all places, Moscow over the summer. The sedan is an example of the Japanese maker’s aggressive new Kodo design language which features a low-slung nose and aggressive wheel bulges intended to deliver a sense of power and agility.

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