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 +  

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.

The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is a sneaky-powerful car. It doesn’t carry much publicity as one because it’s overshadowed the Mustang. But as far as power, the Taurus SHO packs quite a punch.

Recently, U.S. tuner Hennessey took possession of a Ford Taurus SHO and at the behest of its owner, proceeded to give it a performance program that’s worthy of applause.

Thanks to the installation of a stainless-steel cat-back exhaust system and a dual cold-air induction system to go with an ECU remap, Hennessey was able to increase the high-powered sedan’s output to a stout 445 horsepower. With that improvement, the Taurus SHO is now capable of hitting 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, and sprint the quarter-mile in only 12.8 seconds at 109 mph. No details were given on the top speed but we won’t be surprised the least bit if this Taurus SHO can peak at around 160 mph.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering if the modifications ended there, they don’t. That’s because Hennessey also gifted the Taurus SHO with a serialized dash, engine plaques, "445 Boost" and "Hennessey" badges, and embroidered headrests.

Hennessey didn’t say how much the program cost, but it did say that the kit comes with a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Taurus SHO

Source: Hennessey

Everybody’s producing exclusive models in Japan these days. A few days after Volkswagen introduced the Golf Erste Edition in the Land of the Rising Sun, fellow German automaker BMW is set to have its own limited-run, Japan-exclusive model.

It’s called the 5-Series Executive Sport Edition and as you can tell, it’s been tagged as an exclusive model by BMW because of the multitude of new features added to make it stand out from the rest of the 5-Series models out there.

Only 300 models of the 5-Series Executive Sport Edition will be made. Unfortunately, none of them will hit U.S. shores, so the closest thing we can come to looking at them is through the photos below.

That being said, it’s not like we’re missing a whole lot. It’s still a 5-Series, which is available in our shores, albeit with a few added goodies. But in the end, we won’t be losing a whole lot of sleep knowing that this model will only be available from halfway around the world.

Click past the jump to learn more about the BMW 5-Series Executive Sport Edition

Posted on by David Hurth  

The 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited made its debut at the New York International Auto Show and offers a sporty package for the mid-sized sedan market.

The Kia Optima line is the best-selling line for the Korean automaker and the SX Limited model offers a more upscale feel. The cars styling has subtle details that set it apart from the other cars in the model’s lineup.

The SX Limited offers a high performing engine and a lot of tech goodies. The more powerful engine option is given away with styling cues such as larger chrome alloy wheels, red brake calipers and chrome accents. Kia is hoping that this model will help give the car a bit more excitement than the lower level cars in the model’s lineup.

The design of the car was out of Frankfurt Germany to help ensure a pleasing European design. The Limited is styled to compete with sporty mid-size sedans from Europe and Japan and looks like it will give them a run for their money.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited.

Posted on by Aravind 0

Keeping a close eye on BMW’s strategies and launches, Infiniti is pretty adamant in competing with the Bavarian Giant. So, we were simply waiting for Infiniti to launch a model to compete with the upcoming 4-series.

Call it coincidence if you like but, apparently, Infiniti is working on a new coupe to rival the upcoming two-door coupe from Bimmer, according to Infiniti’s boss Johan de Nysschen. Softly confirmed to be called the Q60, the coupe will be designed along the lines of the recently announced Q50 sedan . The relationship between the Q50 and Q60 can be easily compared to the one between the 3-series and the 4-series.

“I think the coupe is an important part of the platform,” de Nysschen said. “Most certainly we are working right now on a coupe derivative of the car Q50" said de Nysschen.

Given the fact that the coupe will be a derivative of the Q50, expect the standard 3.7-liter V-6 engine to power this two-door beauty. Or if you are into going “Green,” you can opt for a hybrid powertrain that will combine a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and an electric motor.

de Nysschen hasn’t divulged any info on the prices, so we can only speculate the price to carry a premium over the Q50 sedan. de Nysschen did confirm that Infiniti expects to launch the Q60 as a 2015 or 2016 model year.

Already we can sense the tension between the Germans and the Japanese — at least in the automotive realm. So expect the rivalry between the two to be a fierce one.

Stay tuned, as we will update this review as more info becomes available.

UPDATE 1/25/2013: We have just release the first TopSpeed rendering of the 2013 Q60, which you can see above. This is our interpretation of the upcoming model and in no way an official image.

Source: Autospies

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