midsize cars

midsize cars

  Midsize cars offer a compromise between expensive luxury and cheap cars. They are comfortable and nicely equiped but they often look a bit dull and not real fast. But they will often be the best deal for the money conscious consumers.

In a market that has no shortage of worthy competitors, the Nissan Altima has etched a name for itself that we just can’t overlook. Sure, more notable models like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry get more of the buzz, but the Altima, thanks to its redesigned exterior, sophisticated interior and a choice of two engines, is by no means a slouch.

For the 2014 model year, Nissan built on the changes made to the 2013 version to give the Altima more bang for your buck. The addition of the newest version of NissanConnect is a huge plus with connectivity to online apps never been easier.

That’s crucial for young buyers of the vehicle and Nissan did a good job of keeping the Altima look sporty and athletic to cater to a new wave of potential customers.

Updated 06/02/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 2015 Altima which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices for the 2015 Altima will range from $22,300 for the base 2.5 version up to $31,950 for the 3.5 SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Altima.

The Forester has truly come into its own in the last two years, receiving plenty of accolades and praise for its utilitarian personality and car-like refinement in this latest generation. Completely revised in 2014 , the Forester gets a few minor updates for 2015 that make it even more a bargain to brag about. While the quirky little crossover isn’t fast, sporty, or particularly good-looking like most of TopSpeed’s covered content, it is outstandingly practical.

A small $225 price hike over the 2014 model covers a multitude of added features. For one, the backup camera now comes standard — a handy feature when the cargo area is chock-full with stuff. The center stack now gets a color multi-function display, replacing the outdated black and white unit. And Subaru’s EyeSight system drops a large $500 off its sticker price, costing $1,295 paired with the All Weather Package on 2.5i Premium models.

Everything else that make the 2014 Forester a success is carried over, including an unchanged pair of engines and transmissions. Base models get the 2.5-liter flat-four mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The combo is good for 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The CVT remains an option, though at an extra $1,000. The more powerful option is the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four making 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. Unfortunately, upgrading to the turbo relegates the transmission choice to the CVT.

Trim levels for the 2.5-liter still include 2.5i, Premium, Limited, and Touring, while the more-upscale 2.0-liter turbo is only adorned with the Premium and Touring trims.

In all, the Forester is an honest crossover that works well. It just takes getting past what looks to be a bland cover to find a multifaceted vehicle well positioned to tackle nearly any task the average American brood can throw at it.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru Forester.

The current-generation BMW 3 Series has only been around for a couple years, but keeping with the company’s LCI ethos, it’s not surprising to see that the 3 Series is due to get a facelift. This fresh batch of spy photos straight from our photographers is proof of that.

For the most part, the camouflage on the 3 Series was left on the front end, but our curious eyes did find a few hints of change on the face of the 3er. Looking closely, you might notice that the front bumper has been redesigned to accommodate the more upright air intakes.

On the flip side, the unmistakable kidney grilles appear to be taking the inverse route as the intakes, looking more and more like its veering towards the grille design on the i3 and the i8 . Maybe our eyes are fooling us, but that’s what the photo is showing.

What we can at least expect are more details of the revised 3 Series in the coming months with the model set for its debut later this year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 3 Series

Meet the all-new Hyundai Sonata. It’s longer, wider, more rigid, more comfortable, quieter, and a good bit better performing than its predecessor . All important things when competing with the likes of the Toyota Camry , Chevy Malibu , and Ford Fusion . Though it hasn’t officially been revealed inside the U.S., the Sonata has already sang its first note within its Korean home market.

The Sonata is an immensely important car for Hyundai USA as it, along with the Genesis and Elantra, have catapulted the automaker from nearly dead last to a top contender in the American sedan market. It’s been an astonishing feat, really. This redesign should help not only maintain, but also excel Hyundai’s brand perception within the States.

Outside, the car gets a completely new look thanks to Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” design language with a less swoopy, more chiseled look than before. Only the doors, side windows, and roofline recall the previous car, though that’s not a bad thing. The Sonata hums a new tune inside as well, with a completely new dashboard design. The swoopy lines are gone here, too and traded out for a more angular look. The large gauge cluster and lower center console look very premium and recall those of the range-topping Equus , however the oddly-shaped area around the infotainment screen and the questionable wood trim are less appealing. The interior does boast improved NHV levels and the ergonomics are said to be improved.

Hyundai will likely debut the U.S.-spec Sonata at the New York Auto Show on April 16th where we’ll learn more about the powertrain specs, pricing, and availability. But until then, we’ve got a full run-down on everything Sonata below the jump.

Updated 04/16/2014: The all-new 2015 Sonata made its North American debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show, so, we’ve updated our review with new details, images and more specs.

Updated 05/22/2014: Hyundai announced prices for the all-new Sonata set to be put on sale later this summer. Prices will range from $21,150 for the base version and goes up to $28,575 for the Sport 2.0T version.

Click past the jump for more info on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata

The all-new 2015 Outback has been spotted roaming European streets while dressed in bulky camouflage garb. Though the car is fully disguised, its easy to tell Subaru has slicked up its best-selling model for the last half of the decade.

Starting with the updated front fascia that includes xenon headlights, lower fog lights, and the traditional-to-Outback high approach angle, the design seems to be more styled than before. The hood has some nice character lines riding just over the front fenders and rising into the A-pillars, which rise at a more sloped, aerodynamic angle.

Just below the A-pillars, the side mirrors are repositioned on the door. The body cladding along the rocker panel returns, as does the cladding along the lower front valance. The matte-black painted wheels should look nice one coated in a proper finish. Out back, the rear bumper still includes a step and large red reflectors. Up above, the rear glass enjoys a more forward rake, much like the front windshield. The roof rails return as well, assuring us the Outback won’t lose that utilitarian, do-anything, carry-all we’ve come to love.

Though it’s hard to see from the photos, the photographer notes the dash has an all-new design with two large gauge pods, a sportier-looking steering wheel with silver paddle shifters, and new HVAC vents.

We expect the Outback to get an updated version of its current 2.5-liter flat-four to serve as the standard mill. Rumors swirl around Subaru dropping the upmarket 3.6-liter flat-six for the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four from the Forester in premium-trimmed Outbacks, though nothing is confirmed. Of course, Subaru’s standard AWD will return, making this wagon a capable winter weather hauler and light-duty off-roader.

Click past the jump for information on the 2015 Subaru Outback

The Honda Accord has been around for what seems like forever, and it has undergone more changes that I don’t care to count. After a nice redesign just a year ago, the Accord carries into the 2014 model year with no changes at all. I got my hands on a range-topping Touring version of the 2014 Accord , which had just about every gadget and gizmo imaginable in a mainstream, midsize sedan .

The Accord has long had one of the most boring cabins in its segment, and the redesign takes care of some blandness, but it remains pretty blah. Besides the sleepy design, the Accord Touring’s cabin was very nicely equipped, thank to standard leather, 360-watt audio system, blind-spot camera, Bluetooth and heated seats.

Under the hood, Honda continues with its tried and true 3.5-liter V-6 that nets the sedan just under 300 horsepower. That’s decent power for a midsize sedan, but automakers are now moving toward smaller, turbocharged engines to increase fuel economy, but maintain power output, and Honda is still missing this boat.

So how does the Accord stack up to the likes of the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry ?

Read my full Driven review after the jump to find out.

BMW 4 Series Coupe

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show . Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf .

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

Subaru Legacy

With the announcement of the new Subaru Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show , the plucky Japanese company surprised absolutely nobody. The new sedan was less attractive than its preview concept, and the old four-speed automatic has been dumped for the new CVT. So business as usual for the last several new cars to come from Subaru .

Almost every piece of the running gear has remained exactly the same in the transition to a new generation down to the engines and even the wheelbase. If you were expecting new engines, more power or the return of a turbocharged Legacy, you were left with nothing but disappointment. If you believe the team at Car and Driver though, that is all going to change in a few years.

According to C&D’s sources, the current 3.6-liter flat-six will be dumped for a smaller six-cylinder around the mid-cycle refresh. This new engine makes sense, as Subaru is already in the process of getting rid of its older engines for newer more fuel efficient ones, and the new flat-six will see use in the upcoming Outback replacement.

While a new six-cylinder would be nice, the big news is that the new 2.0-liter turbo FA engine found in the 2015 Subaru WRX will also make its way into the engine bay.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru Legacy.

Source: CarAndDriver

The Honda Crosstour suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis. Is it a wagon or is it a crossover ? Honda classifies it as the latter, though, so that’s good enough for us.

In some ways, the Crosstour has the qualities of both car types yet it still behooves us to watch Honda peddle the vehicle when it already has a full lineup of models that customers to choose from.

But hey, give credit to the Japanese carmaker for venturing into the road less travelled. The Crosstour really is on a unique platform and to be fair to it, the vehicle does have some impressive qualities about it that should make for an intriguing purchase, even if you have to compromise on some things to make way for other things.

It’s confusing, we know, but then again, isn’t that the state of mind the Crosstour will leave you in?

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Honda Crosstour

It wasn’t that long ago when Hyundai was relegated as an afterthought company in the auto industry. Those times, though, are all but gone, because the Korean brand has more than become a player in the business, it’s actually established itself as a contender in some markets, including the compact SUV division.

Hyundai can largely thank the Santa Fe for that, and with a new look, new features and options to match, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport is ready to take on the world.

One of the Santa Fe Sport’s new goodies in its 2014 model year is the company’s new Blind Spot Detection system (BSD) and a rear parking assistance system. Those two technological upgrades alone are certainly worth more than the standard lip service.

That aside, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport also boasts a steady diet of upgrades, something Hyundai actively did to ensure that its prized SUV has been given the proper training to duke it out with its rival models.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.


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