Volvo again? It certainly seems I am on Volvo’s preferred reviewers list or something as the brand populates this test driveway quite often. In the past year or so I reviewed all the new models of the automaker’s middle class in the form of S60, V60 and XC60 and now I add to that 2015.5 versions of S60 and XC60.
Volkswagen’s best-selling car in North America just got better. The Jetta, which received a major redux in 2011, has been updated for MY2015, and the car receives some styling updates along with new technologies, making it both smarter and safer. And when mated with the new clean diesel TDI powertrain the new Jetta is a vehicle shoppers need not overlook.
It is hard to believe the Hyundai Sonata has entered its seventh-generation. Seems like just yesterday we were all struggling to figure out how to pronounce the brand’s name; here it is 2014, and the Korean automaker is launching an all-new version of its now very popular midsize sedan that is larger, quieter, smoother and more advanced than ever.
Two years ago I drove the then all-new, fifth-generation Nissan Altima and despite only spending an afternoon in the vehicle I knew it was a hit for the automaker. Fast-forward a couple of summers, and after spending an entire week behind the wheel of a 2014 Nissan Altima SL I am further convinced this may be one of Nissan’s best.
In 1989, Lexus introduced its flagship sedan to the world, dubbed LS. Over the past 25 years the luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales has tweaked and honed this impressive alternate choice to the German hierarchy into its current form of the LS 460, and offers it in standard, long wheelbase, hybrid and, as we tested, F Sport forms.
It was only a few months ago when I reviewed the 2014 Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan. This past week, I’ve found another VW Passat in the test driveway; this review model outfitted with the TDI diesel engine backed by manual gearbox, so this review is pretty much just going to be an update for the powertrain variation.
During a recent (and very short) schedule with Ford press vehicles, I was able to revisit two vehicles first reviewed here last summer, specifically the Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion Energi. As I had already become familiar with these models, would a week behind the wheel of each still prove them to my liking?
One in every six vehicles sold in North America is a midsize sedan, so it goes without saying that automakers have to remain very competitive in this segment. Chrysler, while making a presence, has failed to deliver a compelling vehicle consumers have been drawn to. All that is about to change with the 2015 Chrysler 200.
I have a favorite new sport sedan and its the 2014 Chevy SS. This is Chevrolet’s first rear-drive performance sedan in nearly two decades and that last one had a nickname of “Shamu.” The Chevrolet SS sedan utilizes GM’s global rear-wheel-drive architecture that also underpins the Camaro but the new SS is more than merely a four-door Camaro, much more.
You’ve probably seen the commercial, the one where the “know-it-all” guys are yelling at the female motorist telling her she is about to pump diesel fuel in her tank. Not sure how that campaign worked for Audi getting its point across that an attractive, quiet automobile can be a diesel, but driving the 2014 Audi A6 TDI sure works.
The Mazda3 recently turned 10 years old, and to celebrate the automaker gave the world an all-new, third-generation model. Mazda‘s been a bridesmaid to other Japanese automakers for years, but with new releases like the CX-5, Mazda6 and this little gem, Mazda proves it deserves to be in the same conversations as the likes of Toyota and Honda.
Last year we reviewed the ninth-generation Honda Accord sedan that quickly became one of our favorite new rides. Fast-forward a year, and we test the newest of that family in the form of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid with the most significant difference being the next-generation two-motor hybrid-drive powertrain and, just like that, Honda has another hit on its hands.
Despite hitting a setback in sales volume due to winter weather recently, the midsize sedan market is a hot segment. Consider the competition: Accord, Camry, Fusion, Malibu and Avenger. In an attempt to make its car more populous in driveways than rental fleet lots, Dodge offers special edition Avengers such as this 2014 Dodge Avenger Blacktop.
Most of us know that GM and Toyota battle it out each year for global auto sales leadership, but how many of you know who is the No. 3 automaker in the world? If you said (guessed) Volkswagen, you are correct, and thanks to ‘people’s cars’ such as the 2014 Passat, VW will not be relinquishing that position anytime soon.
It has been about five years since we last saw an “all-new” Mazda6, and that was about five years after Mazda first introduced the new midsize sedan to the world as a replacement for the 626. In that time it’s made valiant attempts at grabbing marketshare from key competitors Accord and Camry, but efforts always fell short – until now.
Nissan is celebrating its 80th anniversary as it releases the Sport Sedan Concept at the North American International Auto Show, calling it a design study with a real emphasis on next-generation design and sporty style, embodying Nissan’s next-generation design signatures. The Sport Sedan Concept shares some common traits of recent concept vehicles and now brings them to a four-door design.
The Chrysler Group, consisting of Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram, debuted the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be the first midsize sedan with a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox via new electronic rotary shift dial and offer an all-wheel-drive system with an automatic fully disconnecting rear axle.
It has been no secret that in recent years, Volvo has become a favorite brand of mine and the S60 sedan has been a car I have really enjoyed driving. To be fair, Volvo has usually delivered something in an R-Design package but recently I was able to test the entry midsize offering and was not disappointed.
Earlier this year, the “hot rodders” over at the Street and Racing Technology group of Chrysler expanded its “Core SRT” strategy to Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 models. The Core program adds exclusive content to the performance versions of these vehicles, designed and built with the “back-to-basics” performance driving enthusiast in mind. Recently we tested the 300 SRT8 Core model.
The Buick Regal is the “fun-to-drive” sedan from the once-stoic automaker. Re-released for the 2011 model year, Regal has taken on a totally new persona with this iteration, one that harkens back to the mid-80s when a younger (in body and spirit) and more enthusiastic driver discovered just how well the words “Buick” and “Turbo” go together.
Many of the reviews written around stately, premium sedans these days at one point or another use a reference to Buick including my review of the Hyundai Azera where I accused that Korean sedan of being so “Buicky.” Well, let’s take a look at the latest large car from General Motors’ premium brand in the form of the 2014 LaCrosse.