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 Simona  

After being teased for quite some time now, the new generation Mazda 6 has finally made its first appearance today before its official debut at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show (August 29 through September 9, 2012). The new model is set to go on sale by the end of the year, with prices to be announced at a later date.

The new Mazda 6 is the second Mazda model - after the new CX-5 - to adopt the company’s full range of Skyactiv technology and the "KODO – Soul of Motion" design language. The sedan is the mass production model born of the Mazda Takeri concept unveiled back in 2011. On the exterior the new Mazda 6 combines the animalistic tenacity, dignity and a sporty flare, while the interior has received better quality materials and a nicer design.

As for the engine lineup, Mazda announced details just for one gasoline, but for sure more engines will be used. This Skyactiv-G 2.5 produces nearly 200 horsepower.

Updated 01/03/2013: Mazda announced U.S. prices for the new-generation Mazda 6 which is now on sale. Prices will range from $20,880 for the entry i Sport version and up to $29,495 for the i Grand Touring version. The mid-level version, i Touring trim, is priced at $24,495. Mazda is offering an optional Touring Technology Package priced at $2,000 and a MRCC/FOW Package priced at $900.

Updated 07/05/2013: Mazda has announced the fuel economy and pricing for the all-new i-ELOOP system. See the amazing mpg increase after the jump.

Posted on by Simona  

When Steve Saleen officially regained his namesake brand, you knew it would only be a matter of time before his company would debut its first project car. That time, apparently, was at the LA Auto Show when Saleen introduced its return to the auto industry with the Saleen 351 Mustang.

"Since regaining the Saleen brand, I really want to bring it all together with the heritage that Saleen is known for," Saleen said. "With the current Saleen [302] Mustang model it provides all the right features to bring back and update the S351 model."

Based on the 2013 Ford Mustang , the car’s name comes from the engine used under the hood, which is a 351-cubic-inch V-8 engine tricked to deliver way more than a base Mustang.

Next to that, Saleen is offering numerous other updates to the interior and the exterior, but also an updated suspension and braking system - all made to transform the Mustang into a real beast.

Updated 07/05/2013: The new Saleen 351 is now officially into production, so the tuner has unveiled tons of new details on its first Mustang-based package since Steve Saleen regained control.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Saleen 351.

Posted on by TB +  

Buick ’s 162-mph performance flagship is back for 2014 with a new AWD option and a revised engine design for quicker turbo boost. The 2014 Regal GS keeps all the styling elements that make it such a showstopper: the polished 20-inch alloy wheels and satin metallic intake/exhaust breathers.

There are new headlights and taillights to mark out the latest model but it will take a real spotter to differentiate the two from most angles. Up front, the projector ball is now toward the outside edge of the headlight assembly and a new LED design brings a much brighter corner graphic. Out back, the chrome trunk bar now runs the full width of the car and a wrap-around LED design brings wider tail lamps.

The GS now shares its engine with the 2014 Regal Turbo but stands alone when it comes to exterior presence, dynamic performance and interior materials. The AWD option is a welcome addition to the GS package but is only offered with the automatic transmission. Relax, the 2014 Regal GS is still available with a manual on the front-drive cars.

This hot midsize sport sedan is clearly a huge visual upgrade over the base Regal but is actually priced with a minimal $2000 jump above the loaded Regal Turbo .

Do the enhanced performance, sophisticated drivetrain and massively upgraded interior make it worthwhile? And how does it stack up versus the Audi A4 and the Cadillac ATS ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Regal GS with extra information on the extensive engine update and AWD option.

With summertime about halfway over and fall bearing down on all of us, the thought of taking the summer tires off of your beloved ride in favor of all-season rubber that just doesn’t perform the same is depressing. With exception to us southern-state dwellers, you need a set of tires that can handle the rain, snow and ice that the winter, fall and spring present us, and most summer tires simply can’t handle the elements. Well, Michelin has an all-new all-season tire that packs summer tire-like stickiness with an all-season design and features: the Pilot A/S 3.

This all-new Pilot Sport tire uses a special blend of silica to help enhance the "sticky" feeling of the tire and a tread design that helps jettison water from under your car’s footprint. The combination of water channeling and extra silica really helps the tire bite down on the road. Additionally, variable-thickness sipes on the outer section of the tread help break up the tension in the water and then lock together to create maximum rubber contact to the asphalt.

When it comes to tires, you cannot base purchasing decisions on sheer performance, unless you have tons of money to blow. You also have to consider how long the manufacture guarantees the tire will last. Most summer tires don’t include a mileage warranty and most all-season tires with any sort of warranty are too hard to perform well. Michelin obviously found a nice balance with the Pilot A/S 3,as these shoes come with a 45,000-mile warranty.

A truly unique feature on the A/S 3 that surprises even me - a seasoned expert in the tire industry - is Michelin’s Helio Compound, which helps the rubber retain its soft and sticky properties in cold temperatures. This is a frequent complaint of all-season tire users, as it can take seemingly forever for your tires to get up to temperature on a cold day. Not only does this increase cold-weather grip, but it also increases comfort in cold weather.

You can snag up these tires now between the sizes of 175/65R15 and 285/35R20, which covers cars ranging from the Fiat 500 to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG . Once we get our hands on a set of them, we will let you know just how well they do, so stay tuned!

Click past the jump to see detailed videos on these all-new tires and the crazy tests they underwent.

Posted on by TB +  

Buick’s midsize sedan benefits from a variety of mechanical, style and tech updates for 2014. The base Regal Turbo is now just as powerful as the GS and can be equipped with AWD for the first time.

It also marks the first time a base model Buick sedan can reach 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.

The base Turbo and eAssist receive the most noticeable exterior update via new front and rear styling details, but the refinements are still very subtle. All Regals now have new LED running lights up front, a reshaped fascia and new LED taillights out back.

One surprise about the Regal is that it is not very cheap. There are no stripped-out versions and the prices start at $29,000 for this European-designed sports sedan. The Regal competes with other near-luxury sedans, like the Acura TSX and Lincoln MKZ .

This is no Buick LeSabre when it comes to styling but even more so in terms of handling and performance. The old ‘Dynaride’ days live on with the smaller Verano and larger Buick LaCrosse. The Regal takes a far sportier path with firm seating and a well-balanced ride/handling compromise closer to the Cadillac ATS than any previous Buick .

Can the strongest and most-competitive Buick Regal in decades compete successfully versus all these competitors? Is the compact, but premium, cabin a problem versus some jumbo midsize cars, like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord ?

Updated 11/14/2013: GM has just announced that the Buick Regal will come standard with the once-optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It also turns in even more power than before and better fuel economy.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Regal Turbo and eAssist sedans with highlights on the updates ahead of the car’s arrival in dealers this fall.

Posted on by Simona  

It’s not very often that a smaller vehicle is a company’s flagship, but we don’t care what BMW might tell you about the 7 Series , the 3 Series is the automaker’s top dog. Its styling has always worked and never been vulgar like some other models in the BMW lineup. Additionally, it’s won more awards from the automotive press than the Los Angeles Lakers have NBA titles.

Believe it or not, the 3 Series has been around since 1975, but it really came into its own in 1992, when it won the first of 19 straight "Car and Driver 10 Best" awards. In 2006, it won the "World Car of the Year" and also the What Car? "Car of the Year" awards. Under the hood, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six won the "International Engine of the Year Award" for 2007.

To keep up with this impressive tradition, the sixth generation 3 Series unveiled at BMW’s plant in Munich has been built as a revolution and not as an evolution. The new model sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting prowess, elegance, and comfort, and has grown significantly in size compared to its predecessor.

Update 06/28/2013: This review has been updated to include the 2013 model year.

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

At the end of 2011, BMW unveiled the new generation 3 Series in sedan version, but left the station wagon out in the cold after that. Now, after we capturing the car during its testing a few times, BMW has finally dropped the official details on the new 3 Series Sports Wagon.

As expected, the station wagon version will feature the same design language as the sedan model, albeit with an extended rear for better cargo room.

Unfortunately, BMW wasn’t so generous in offering models for the Sports Wagon. In fact, there is only one model available – 328i xDrive – but there are plenty of optional packages to spruce it up a bit. BMW will offer Sport Line, Luxury Line, and Modern Line equipment packages, as well as an optional M Sport package which will be available at launch.

UPDATE 05/10/2013: This review has been updated with all of the 2014 model year details.

Hit the jump to read more about the new 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Posted on by TB +  

The revised Chevrolet Malibu is now better positioned to compete in the hyper-competitive mid-size sedan arena with a restyled nose, refreshed engine choices and a bump in performance for the Malibu Turbo.

The advertising spend for the launch of the 2008 Malibu was the largest in General Motors’ history, and even today, the memories remain of that cherry red Malibu plastered on every billboard, print and broadcast media outlet. A critical mistake when launching the 2013 model was a press car painted the same red color. The color and ultra-subtle styling evolution meant consumers simply didn’t notice the change and flocked to more distinctive competitors like the new Ford Fusion , Hyundai Sonata and a broad range of crossover SUV models.

The Chevy Malibu also faced stiff competition on dealer lots from the previous model that was now packing huge discounts in order to clear inventory. For buyers contemplating a new Malibu, the larger back seat of the previous model and a pile of cash on the hood were enough to convince them to go for the older, nearly identically styled model.

Fighting to re-gain attention, the 2014 Malibu packs real interior and exterior updates into the long-running ‘Bu nameplate. The nose marks out the biggest change and shows a new take on the split-bar grille appearance of Chevy sedans. Perhaps most critically, Chevy’s press images show a car in dark grey metallic paint that significantly enhances the perceived value of the car. Anything but cherry red, right?

So how does the revised 2014 Malibu lineup compare with the top sedans in the segment for value, comfort, performance and style? Offered in standard, Eco and Turbo trims, the Malibu is finally out of the fleet-sales doldrums and firmly a contender for the top domestic midsize sedan.

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery.

Posted on by Simona  

The sixth-generation BMW 5-Series sedan - or the F10/F11 - was unveiled in 2009 as a 2010 model and the station wagon version, also known as the Touring model, arrived one year later. This would make it a relatively young model, but BMW is already offering a revision for both the sedan and the touring models.

Just like with the sedan , the Touring version also received only minor revisions, including: different structured lower air intakes, a modified front apron and more sharply contoured taillights. For the interior, BMW offers a new chrome trim, more room in the storage compartments, and new upholstery colors and interior trim elements.

BMW is also adding a new 518d and, for the top version, a more powerful V-8 powertrain.

Updated 05/20/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 5-Series Touring.

Posted on by Simona  

Alongside the seventh-generation Golf , Volkswagen has also dropped one of the world’s most fuel-efficient family cars – the new Golf BlueMotion – onto the market. The model is about 15-percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, but at the same time it also offers the same level of practicality, comfort and safety as a standard Golf.

The new model was previewed by the Golf BlueMotion Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and, as no surprise, the production version is basically identical.

When compared to a standard Golf, the BlueMotion version features a lightweight design and it is more aerodynamic, thanks to a lowered ride. The exterior updates combine with a highly efficient diesel engine to ensure out-of-this-world fuel economy.

The model is now on sale and on the British market and is relatively affordable for such an efficient car.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion.


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