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.

The current-generation Buick LaCrosse just received a facelift for the 2014 model year, but the GM -owned brand is now rolling out a new interior package that’s set to move the sedan up the luxury ladder. Available as the Ultra Luxury Interior Package, the bundle adds extra richness to the cabin and can be fitted on all LaCrosse models powered by the 3.6-liter V-6 engine, save for the base trim.

The first thing that changes when the package is selected is the leather that wraps the front and rear seats, which gain a deep Sangria hue and white stitching. Also present on the console and the door panels, the soft, semi-aniline leather is complemented by the Ebony-painted headliner and door pillars.

Moving over to wood trims, which are mandatory in a vehicle that wants to compete in the luxury segment, the LaCrosse sedan equipped with this special package comes with Shadow Tamo Ash inserts on its dashboard, center console and door panels. What’s fancy about this high-grade species is that it’s usually used to create musical instruments, especially drums, by renowned companies. What’s more, the shade selected by Buick matches beautifully with the Sangria leather.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Buick LaCrosse.

The Volkswagen Passat may be one of the company’s most popular offerings in America, but, despite being slightly larger and cheaper than its rivals, the midsize sedan is far behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in terms of sales.

Aware that in order to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018 they have to be more than just a niche player in the U.S., the Germans are struggling to up the ante with new or refreshed products such as the 2015 Jetta . Vehicles aside, they’ve also appointed Michael Horn as the new CEO for Volkswagen of America.

As it usually happens, a change in leadership is set to cause some strategy adjustments, but it’s a bit too early to draw any conclusions. However, when Mr. Horn sat down for a chat with the folks over at Motor Trend in New York last week, he revealed that the Volkswagen Passat is in for a major refresh for the 2016 model year.

The executive, who has already seen some of the facelift’s developments, claims the 2016 Passat will represent "a big step" in the sedan’s recent history. Specifically, while referring to the newly-unveiled Jetta, he stressed that VW’s design team is taking things up a notch for a "very strong" end result.

Well, I do hope Mr. Horn knows what he’s talking about, because the Passat has been America’s boring midsize sedan for quite some time now. Maybe not exactly as dull as the Toyota Camry, but the Japanese came up with a much more attractive design for 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat.

Source: MotorTrend

Korean automaker Kia Motors has officialy released details of the 2015 Sedona , its newest competitor in the minivan segment set for its global debut at the New York Auto Show happening April 16.

The news of a new minivan is good news for soccer moms everywhere since the market has grown stale over the last few years. Once the Sedona hits the market, it will be the newest game in town by a long shot with the second newest competitors – the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna – both being new for 2011.

Minivan sales have been relatively good with both the Sienna and Odyssey selling roughly 120,000 vans each in 2013. The Kia, on the other hand, has struggled. Only managing to roll 7,079 units off the lot last year, the Sedona is obviously in need of some help. Considering how well Kia’s other products are doing (think Optima ), the automaker is capable of a home run here, if they’ll cater to its audience with the right features, space, available options, and priced at the right dollar amount.

Even with an all-new van, it’s hard imagining Kia raising the Sedona’s price much past its current $25,900 starting slot, especially if it want to compete with the Odyssey, Sienna, and Grand Caravan. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the complete coverage of the 2014 New York Auto Show in the coming weeks.

Updated 04/14/2014: Kia announced today the official details on the 2015 Sedona with just a few days before the car’s official debut in New York Auto Show.

Updated 09/12/2014: Kia announced prices for the new Sedona which is now available at dealers at a price of $25,900. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia Sedona.

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


Back to top