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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.

Posted on by TB +  

The 2014 TSX Sport Wagon is the perfect example of Acura giving shoppers a competitive, unique and well-built luxury station wagon for just above $30,000. And what does the market say in response to the only low-roof hauler in a time when Shooting Brake and coupe bodies have never been hotter?

The market yawns, then saunters over to the RDX sitting nearby in the (usually totally empty of humans) Acura showroom floor. A slightly taller ride height and a V-6 engine are available for a few thousand over this classy and nimble TSX Sport Wagon.

For that cash, the RDX brings much, much newer infotainment controls and available AWD that the TSX lacks.

But the RDX is wearing (even worse) looks these days that are like a melted and shrunken MDX. Or maybe a mushed up Starburst candy.

So the RDX solution is not quite as appealing as when the RDX was a spunky turbocharged bandit.

After being outsold by the brand’s crossovers by more than twenty to one, the TSX wagon is 100-percent carryover for 2014. Some new pics that are not renderings or a photochop are welcome from Acura , but the TSX is in a holding pattern while Acura tries to define its future strategy.

The TSX Sport Wagon is not alone in offering frugal family transit with great quality and handling. The BMW X1 is a sporty and quick rear- or all-wheel-drive crossover new in America for 2013, while the Mazda CX-5 is even a bit more eager in corners than the Acura .

But for the shopper who really wants to make a wagon envy statement?

Please follow the jump for all the details on the 2014 Acura TSX Sport Wagon.

Posted on by Simona  

The Cadillac CTS was not the best-received model that the luxury automaker released when it debuted back in 2008. Despite its lukewarm reception, it has grown on buyers and has really blossomed into quite the staple in Caddy’s lineup. Now, at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, Cadillac has unveiled the third-generation CTS Sedan , but no coupe model yet.

Unfortunately for Cadillac , the images had leaked several days before the model actually debuted, so we already knew what it would look like. However, there are still plenty of details left unknown. For example, we have no clue what model will receive that sexy, sexy twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. We also have no clue what features the new CTS will include.

Well, all of the mysteries can be laid to rest today, as Cadillac has officially released all of the information on the upcoming CTS.

Updated 06/13/2013: Cadillac announced today prices for the 2014 CTS sedan that will arrive in dealerships this fall. Click past the jump to find out how much you have to pay for the new CTS.

Updated 8/27/2013: GM took the CTS Vsport to the Nurburgring and laid down a healthy 8:14.10. You can read more about the run and see two videos of the run after the jump.

Updated 9/27/2013: Cadillac has unveiled the configurator for the 2014 CTS. The models starts off at $45,100 and caps off with a fully loaded CTS Vsport model at $72,300. Check out the configurator for yourself here.

Click past the jump to read all of the information on the 2014 Cadillac CTS Sedan

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The Ford Fusion is becoming one of the biggest hits for any American automaker who dares tussle with the best-selling Accord and Camry . A grunty and quick EcoBoost triple-cylinder 1.5-liter joins the engine and drive layout choices for 2014, which now reaches seven variations — an unprecedented total for any American car starting at just $22,000.

So this handsome Ford runs a three-banger in 1.5-liter EcoBoost specification? Will it have the speed of a lawnmower and the engine note of a go-kart? Nope and nope. This is a potent engine, with much more power at all revs than the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder. It’s also quite affordable to produce, so will hopefully take a larger percentage of Fusions than the pricier EcoBoost engine options.

Lastly, AWD is on the table with the top-spec 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Larger wheels look terrific, like they were milled from a solid block of aluminum, some swanky comfort and active safety tech, and a few new colors round out the Fusion’s updates for the new model year.

All this sounds good, but buying a Camry can be done blindfolded over the phone: are all these choices a recipe for confusion on American dealer lots?

Since becoming fans of the Fusion this summer with our Fusion Hybrid and Energi tester models, we’re happy to keep the Fusion rocking the sales charts.

Even so, the gasoline choices are fantastic for keen drivers: the manual box 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0-liter AWD are arguably even better vehicles for their lack of electrified tech.

Click past the jump to read all the latest updates for the 2014 Ford Fusion, one of the most confident and stylish midsize cars available.

The 2014 Acura TSX has officially been unveiled and in the two years since it received a facelift, the model sure looks like it’s need of another one.

That’s not a knock on the TSX per se, just an observation based on the improvements its competitors have had since then. There are still some pretty interesting qualities to one of Acura’s sportier models, including the rather spacious interior cabin and the refined handling characteristics, but if the Japanese brand has any intention to keep up with the times, it’s pretty important that it starts with arguably the first thing customers will notice when in the market for a new car.

The TSX SE model is back, though, and that’s a huge plus, especially for those looking for a cheap yet performance-inclined midsize sedan . The return of the two powertrain options also gives the TSX a little performance variety, much needed considering that it’s segment has some pretty strong competitors that offer equal amounts of horses with more features catered to enticing buyers to splurge money for their respective models.

But Acura opted to keep still with the 2014 model. It should be enough to get the TSX its fair share of looks, but not enough to put it over the top as one of the most desired models of its class.

Posted on by Simona  

Ford unveiled the Taurus nomenclature for the first time in 1985 and kept the model into production for almost two decades, making the sedan the second oldest nameplate it offered on the North American market. Because of dwindling sales, Ford pulled the Taurus from its retail showrooms in the 2007 model year, leaving it just as a fleet vehicle. In the 2008 model year, the Taurus returned as the re-badged and restyled Ford Five Hundred.

However, Ford understood that bringing back the name won’t help much if its neglected the model as much as it did just before its initial demise. Having learned from its mistakes, Ford unveiled the sixth-generation Taurus with an all-new look that was revolutionary for the era.

This new generation brought a completely new look, completely transforming the face of the Taurus and, of course, customers’ opinions about it. In 2013 Taurus received a facelift that made it even more attractive and kept it looking relatively fresh.

For the 2014 model year, Taurus is offered in three trim levels — SE, SEL and Limited — with prices starting from $27,495.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford Taurus.


The Mercedes CLA-Class has only been on the market less than a year, and it’s already gathering steam as one of the German brand’s most popular models.

That’s what happens when you have an affordable model that takes advantage of the esteemed history that Mercedes-Benz has in the industry. So with the CLA-Class gaining in popularity, the natural approach from aftermarket companies is to present programs that will only make the model more popular.

At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Mercedes tuner extraordinaire Carlsson presented its first program for the CLA-Class. The usual tuning digs that Carlsson has been known to do are all present in Mercedes’ new four-door compact coupé at the IAA.

Exterior upgrades from Carlsson included a front spoiler that can be fitted with CLA models sporting the AMG sport package, an electro-polished stainless-steel grille insert can also be added as an option, contoured side sills and a new rear apron. The latter, in particular, has cutouts that were put there for the four polished tips of the tuner’s sports exhaust silencer, which functions in reducing backpressure, thus providing more horsepower for the four-door compact coupe.

A set of wheels are also offered in various sizes — 18-, 19- and 20-inch — and two wheel designs — the 1/10 and the 1/16 RS — both of which also come with special edition versions. Rounding out the mods to keep the CLA on the road are sport springs that lower the four-door coupe’s ride hight by 35 mm (1.38 inches).

Interior upgrades are left to the customer’s tastes, and include a choice of high-quality leather and Alcantara from in different colors, courtesy of Carlsson’s in-house "saddler." Other key interior options include new floor mats, alloy door-lock pins, illuminated sill plates and an alloy foot-pedal and footrest set.

For the performance program, Carlsson installed its new C-Tronic CB Plug & Drive module, connecting to the ECU through an adapter plug included in the kit. When installed, the kit drives up the output of the CLA200 to 187 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The CLA250 also saw its output now hit 253 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, while the top level CLA45 AMG nets a new output of 450 horsepower, up from its standard 360-horsepower output.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Mercedes CLA-Class

The growing market for up-scale sedans has prompted a lot of automakers to step up their game in order to keep up with the times. European car brands have no need to worry because these models are already part of their vehicular lineups.

But for an American brand, like Ford , looking to gain some traction in a market ripe with premium competitors, it needed to step up.

And step up it did.

At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Ford will introduce the Mondeo Vignale Concept, a premium and luxurious take of its European midsize sedan . The concept is Ford’s answer to calls from customers asking to see if the Blue Oval can offer them a vehicle that answers their checklist of styling and quality, advanced technology, and exclusivity.

For the most part, Ford has answered that call with the intention of bringing the Vignale Concept to production in the near future, making it only a matter of time before it enters a market ripe with competition and stakes a name for itself.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept

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The Nissan Maxima is back for 2014 with only a handful of updates late in this model’s life cycle. A new Limited trim on the base model offers all the coolest elements from the $36,000 SV Sport package for only $31,750. Upgrades include a new dark-grey wheel design, dark grille and light surrounds and xenon low beams.

As equipped, the Maxima looks far more youthful and sporty than its tenure on the market would suggest. In fact, there is even a little bit of modern-day Infiniti Q45 about the slinky lights, giant fender arches and boxed jaw. The Nissan Maxima’s best asset is still its $31,000 base price, which holds the line for 2014. The SV trim is now about $700 more expensive, but brings big upgrades in equipment and handling.

The classic 4DSC is no longer the golden performance car that it once was, when it was a standout with its standard V-6 engine and manual transmission. Those days are gone for the Maxima in this generation, as a CVT automatic saps some of this big sedan’s hot rod charisma.

The sports sedan idol at Nissan was clearly passed to Infiniti almost a decade ago, so where does that leave this flagship in buyers’ minds versus the Acura TL or the new Chevrolet Impala ?

lick past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Nissan Maxima, with info on the latest updates and specs on the latest Limited Edition styling updates.

Motor Authority was at the Nissan 360 event this past week and managed to snap a few teaser images of a wildly styled sedan . This four-port car features a profile that is eerily similar to the GT-R , and the timing f these images leads us to believe that this may be a new Maxima concept will possibly make its way to the Detroit Auto Show in 2014.

Nissan refers to its Maxima as a "four-door sports car" and at one point, that classification was true, as early Maxima models outperformed nearly every other midsize sedan on the market. In recent years, however, the Maxima’s styling has become flabby and the CVT that hooks up to its powerful V-6 is not best suited for anything with "sports car" in the title. Yes, its 6.2-second run to 60 mph is still one of the best in its class, but the flab-tastic styling and droning CVT gotta go!

If these teasers at Nissan 360 bear conceptual fruit sometime in 2014, it means that the Maxima may well regain the looks and drivetrain to match its classification as the "4DSC." With a new bedmate in the GT-R — at least in profile view — this leads to the possibility of the Maxima ditching front-wheel drive in favor of a sportier all-wheel drive system or even a — GASP — rear-wheel-drive setup. That would make this the first non-front-wheel-drive Maxima since it switched from the Datsun 810 platform in 1985.

If this is all not just hyperbole, then we expect to hear an announcement of a new Concept Maxima — or at least a "concept sedan" — coming very soon, so stay tuned.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Nissan Maxima and to see a Comparison image that shows the current Maxima, this teaser image and the GT-R.

Posted on by Simona  

The first details on the Opel Cascada were release late in 2012 and the world debut followed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show . The model was then launched with a choice of three engines, with the most powerful one delivering a total of 167 horsepower. Now Opel is preparing to expand the Cascada lineup with a new Turbo edition that will be released at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show .

The new Cascada Turbo will pull its power from an all-new Opel 1.6 SIDI turbocharged engine that makes its debut in this model. The new turbo engine delivers a total of 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This output ensures a power output per liter of 125 horsepower — tops in its class.

With this amount of power, the Cascada can hit a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph) while delivering a fuel economy of 6.7 liters fuel per 100 km (35 mpg) and 158 g/km CO2 (preliminary figures).

Next to the more powerful engine, the new Turbo version of the Cascada will also receive numerous optimizations to the induction and exhaust systems, plus an exclusive HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Opel Cascada.


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