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.

BMW 3 Series Sedan

In an interview with WhatCar, BMW ’s Head of Engine Development, Peter Nefischer has confirmed that the company is preparing a three-cylinder engine for the 3-Series sedan to be completed in the next couple of years. Currently, three-cylinder engines are only used for small cars like the Volkswagen Up! and Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost, but the new fuel emission regulation may force many automakers to adopt the same strategy.

"Downsizing will go further, with smaller, more powerful engines," he said. He states that the reason behind going smaller is that they have reached their limit in terms of technology on their standard internal combustion engines. These smaller engines would then be combined with turbochargers to give them the required power for a car as large as the 3 Series.

BMW is currently preparing a three-cylinder engine for the i8 hybrid supercar, but don’t expect to see that same engine applied to the 3-Series because the 3-Series won’t be combined with an electric motor.

Source: WhatCar

It’s Citroen ’s turn to go out and play in the snow, and they’ve brought their new generation C4 sedan along for the ride. These spy shots were taken in Northern Scandinavia, where the chill - and the risk of being outed - has prompted Citroen to cover a lot of the vehicle in that dread camouflage.

The current C4 Sedan is sold mostly in China, but with a lot of other smaller sedans popping up from different manufacturers (remember the Astra sedan recently spotted?) there may be a chance to see this model working its way to the European market. In countries like Italy, Spain, and countries in eastern European, the smaller sedan segment is rapidly growing, giving Citroen even more reason to make a big move.

Power for the Citroen C4 sedan is expected to come from the same engine range found in the current C4 hatchback, meaning choice of both petrol and diesel engines with power ranging from 90 to 150 HP. A Stop & Start system will also be offered.

Expect to see the new Citroen C4 sedan launched by the end of 2012.

Kia has brought a new range topping Optima to the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The special Optima SX Limited will go on sale in March and will be offered exclusively in three exterior colors: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl, and Titanium Metallic.

The special edition Kia Optima SX Limited will be distinguished by LED daytime running lights, a chrome-accented rear spoiler, lower door sills, wood interior trim, and a new set of uniquely designed chrome 18-inch wheels. The interior has been dressed up in black or white Nappa for the leather seats, door panels, center console armrest, and center fascia trim for a premium feel. All of these elements are combined with wood accents on the steering wheel, interior door trim, and shift knob, and a black tricot fabric lends a premium feel to the headliner, sun visor, and A, B, and C pillars.

The Kia Optima SX Limited is powered by the vehicle’s usual 2.0-liter turbo GDI V6 engine that delivers a total of 274 HP and achieves 22/34 mpg city/hwy.

Last year, Hyundai unveiled the new generation Elantra sedan - a model that featured an impressive exterior design language and a new 1.8-liter inline-four that producing 148 HP and 131 pound-feet of torque. Now, Hyundai has to unveil a new Coupe variant at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, which the company hopes will compete with the Honda Civic Coupe model.

Just like the sedan, the new Elantra Coupe will be powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 HP and 131 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, this engine delivers a fuel economy of 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

The new model will be distinguished by a unique "Fluidic Sculpture" two-door coupe design language that includes a hexagonal front fascia with jeweled swept-back headlights, a blacked-out rear diffuser, and much more.

UPDATE 06/15/2012: Hyundai has announced prices for the 2013 Elantra Coupe. Prices will range from $17,445 for the base GS version and will go up to $19,745 for the sport-tuned Elantra Coupe SE. An optional SE A/T Technology Package will add another $2,350. Hit the jump for a full pricing list.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Hyundai Elantra Coupe.

This year’s Super Bowl has been replete with auto commercials, and that’s a good thing because we’re not running out of things to talk about.

One of the most underrated ads we saw comes from BMW . We say its underrated because it doesn’t get the hoopla of Chrysler or the comedic shots of Hyundai , but it does drive home a pretty funny point in the 30-seconds it aired.

Of all the features that come with the new BMW 3-Series , one thing that should be of great use to drivers is the ability of BMW’s Connected Drive to read emails. Whether it’s for work or as a way to get away from the house when your mother-in-law is dropping by, being able read emails on your car is a luxury everybody should have.

Yeah, even if it means getting an earful from your wife as you subtly drive away from your house.

There aren’t a lot of cars in this world that probably gets less hype and appreciation than the Hyundai Elantra . Hard to believe, too, considering that the Elantra is a good enough car to win the 2012 North American Car of the Year of the award.

So in its own little way, the Hyundai Elantra is celebrating its award in a rather unique and potentially annoying way: riding a victory lap in the neighborhood with its horn in full blast exclaiming its awesomeness.

Sounds like the kind of thing that gets people to throw rocks at your car, but in this instance, we don’t’ blame Hyundai and the Elantra for pulling off this ad, especially since the Elantra deserves all the recognition it can get for being one of North America’s best automobile purchases.

Say whatever you want about the Elantra, but make no mistake, it’s a car worthy of respect and - in this case - a victory lap around the neighborhood.

Source: Hyundai

Audi will be bringing the new generation A3 hatchback to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, leading the way to the unveiling of the S3 and RS3 versions shortly thereafter. The RS3 will be the last to arrive, but will undoubtedly be the most impressive.

The new RS3, like the entire A3 family, will be built on a new MQB platform that will make the car about 10% lighter when compared to its predecessor. Audi will also adopt an updated exterior language as seen in the A3 Concept unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show. There will also be an improved interior and an upgraded infotainment system.

Under the hood, the next RS3 will retain its usual turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but its output will be increased from the current 340 HP to 350 HP. Audi will also be working to improve fuel economy.

More details about the next RS3 will follow shortly, so stay tuned! Until then, check out our rendering and let us know what you think!

Peugeot 308/301

Peugeot is ready to leave the current generation 308 out in the cold, with a new model ready to jump in its place. Logic and previous history will tell us that the new model will be called 309, but back in 1993, Peugeot was selling a car in Europe by that name and that turned out to be a "not so successful car." Not to have that negative air to surround their new model, Peugeot has decided to name their new model the 301 . We’ve already gotten our first glimpse of the new 308 back in November 2011, and now the vehicle is out again, this time for its cold weather testing somewhere in Sweden.

The Peugeot 301 will be built on a new platform shared with the Citroen C4 and DS4 . Compared to the model it replaces, it will be shorter as well as wider and will be lighter and more agile than the new 208 .

The 301’s engine line-up will also be shared with the Citroen models and includes a wide range of both petrol and diesel engines, as well as a diesel hybrid. Peugeot will also be adding engines from the new three-cylinder family under the short bonnet.

As for the exterior design, it is believed it will be a mixture between the 208 and the SR1 Concept .

Expect to see the new Peugeot 301 launched sometime in 2013.

Ford unveiled the new generation Fusion in early January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show and, right on cue, it has been followed by the NASCAR version. This is, in fact, the third time Ford has simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model. The first dual launch came in 1968, with the sleek fastback Ford Torino and then again in 2006 with the Fusion .

The NASCAR Ford Fusion features a very aggressive stance from the outside and the inside, but keeps the proportions found in the production Fusion. There are brand and design cues on the side of the vehicle and an identifiable front end grill with the distinctive look of a Ford.

"This is a seminal moment in the sport where we had a chance to get it right once again and make sure the race cars are race versions of street cars. And I am proud because I believe we have accomplished just that," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "The 2013 Fusion is a stunning car and the 2013 NASCAR Fusion is even more stunning and I can’t wait to see it perform on the track and connect with race fans."

The new NASCAR Ford Fusion will be enduring its testing season for the entire year and will then have its racing debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 in February.

UPDATE 05/23/12: Ford Racing has unveiled the first livery of the Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup race car. It bears the red and white colors of Motorcraft, which, if you didn’t know, is Ford’s spare parts division. Check out the Fusion’s new digs leading up to its maiden NASCAR voyage this season.


The Volkswagen Jetta is getting a hybrid version. Yes, a hybrid version.

That may not mean much to those gas-guzzling, sports car-driving types, but for those that take pride in alleviating some of Mother Nature’s plights, a green Jetta is just what the doctor ordered.

The Jetta Hybrid, which was launched at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, will provide customers a more economical version for a car that has long been one of Volkswagen’s most popular models.

The hybrid engine doesn’t sound like a world-beater - the lithium-ion battery only produces 1.1 kWh - but it’s still competent enough to allow the car to hit 44 mph. And when you add that to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that hits a total of 170 horsepower, you have a car that’s fixing to make a lot of Jetta lovers smile from ear to ear.

UPDATE 10/08/2012: Back in August 2012, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid established an impressive speed record of 185.394 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just a couple of short months later, the vehicle returned to the scene of the victory to break its own record, and succeeded in doing so! The car averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. Even more impressive is that, during the first round, it hit a top speed of 187.147 mph.

Find out more about the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid after the jump.

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