What Midsize Sedan Gets the Best Mileage?

Altima2

Part of the scoring in our big 10-car $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge comes from observed mileage over a drive route that consisted of close to 180 miles of both city and highway driving in and around Baltimore. The winner, the Nissan Altima, reported 32.4 mpg.

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

We made no effort to mirror the EPA test cycle, but more highway driving should benefit all the cars, and it didn't do so, at least not equally. One sedan hit its EPA-estimated combined mpg figure exactly, two fell short and seven exceeded their ratings.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 17, 2014 | Comments (2)

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge: What the Judges Said

FamilySubaru

To evaluate our midsize sedans, we put them through a battery of tests in and around Baltimore:

  • We took all 10 cars on a mileage drive of about 180 miles to judge real-world fuel economy.
  • The experts drove all 10 over the same course, back-to-back, to judge ride and handling, acceleration and braking.
  • Then we brought in a real-life family, Amit and Michelle Kapoor, both 34, and their two young children (above), to help us evaluate these cars. Amit works as a defense contractor, and his wife works for the federal government. They live in suburban Washington, D.C.

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge
Index | Results | Mileage Test

The Kapoors joined our judges:

  • Aaron Bragman, Cars.com Detroit bureau chief
  • Jennifer Newman, Cars.com assistant managing editor
  • Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor
  • Fred Meier, auto editor for USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, producer for PBS' "MotorWeek"

We set a maximum price of $27,000, including a destination charge, and each car had to get at least 28 mpg in combined EPA ratings. Ten cars fit that bill (in alphabetical order):

  • 2015 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT
  • 2015 Chrysler 200 Limited (all-new)
  • 2015 Ford Fusion SE
  • 2015 Honda Accord EX
  • 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport (all-new)
  • 2015 Mazda6 iTouring
  • 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium (all-new)
  • 2015 Toyota Camry SE (refreshed)
  • 2015 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SE

Here's how the scoring broke down: The experts' scores accounted for 75 percent of the total score; 15 percent came from the family's scores; and 10 percent was based on fuel economy.

Here is what the judges had to say about each car, in order of how the cars finished:

By Patrick Olsen | November 17, 2014 | Comments (16)

What's the Best Midsize Sedan for $27,000?

Sedangroupshot2

Midsize sedans remain the best-selling category of cars in the U.S. With this class remaining hot, the competitors have more to offer than ever before, with advances in technology, features and mileage making them more desirable and livable.

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Test

We focused this Challenge on midsize sedans that cost less than $27,000, including the destination charge, and achieve at least 28 mpg in EPA combined fuel-economy ratings.

We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for midsize sedans that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing outside Baltimore with experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life family, here's how the results broke down:

By Patrick Olsen | November 17, 2014 | Comments (37)

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Photo Gallery

2015 Chevrolet Malibu

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu finished fifth in our $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge. "The styling won't suit everyone, but the Malibu offers a lot of value for the price," said one of our judges. Check out our Malibu photo gallery below.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By David Thomas | November 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge: Features Video

"When you spend $35,000 or more on a midsize family sedan, you expect it's going to come packed with all kinds of technology and safety goodies, but when you're a little bit more budget-friendly, around $27,000 … can you get anything good at that price?" Cars.com Aaron D. Bragman wonders aloud in the video above. The answer is yes. Watch the video for five examples — and check back Monday for our full coverage of the $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chevrolet Malibu: Car Seat Check

IMG_8966

After a full redesign for 2013 and an extensive update for 2014, Chevrolet's midsize sedan rolls into 2015 with few changes. Two child-safety seats fit comfortably in the Malibu's backseat, and the sedan's extra Latch anchor makes its backseat even more flexible for parents in terms of where they can install car seats with the Latch system.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Geiger | November 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

The Top 10 Worst Car Redesigns Since 2000

2013ChevyMalibu

Typically when a car gets redesigned, it gets better. An automaker has likely spent years improving its performance, styling and comfort to make car shoppers take note. A redesigned model can spark sales, and the most successful ones can change the course of an entire brand.

Related: More Top 10s

However, not every redesign is a success. The editors at Cars.com have come up with 10 of the worst attempts at overhauling a car since the millennium turned in 2000. And to prove first impressions count we've included some of our thoughts from the cars' original reviews that seem to still resonate today.

By David Thomas | November 11, 2014 | Comments (7)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback
2. 2014 Nissan Rogue
3. 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe
4. 2014 Honda CR-V
5. 2015 Honda Fit
6. 2014 Hyundai Elantra
7. 2014 Mazda3
8. 2014 Toyota Highlander
9. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
10. 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

By Matt Schmitz | September 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Buick Regal, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

2013ChevroletMalibuRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 120,000 model-year 2011-13 Buick Regal and 2013 Malibu sedans

The Problem: The vehicles are equipped with two turn signal bulbs in each front turn signal; if one of the two bulbs burns out in either front turn signal lamp, there is no indication to the driver and he or she may continue to drive the vehicle. If half of a front turn signal is not illuminating, other drivers may not be aware that the affected vehicle is turning, increasing the risk of a crash. Cars.com first reported on this issue on July 23.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will update the body control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | August 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

2013HondaAccord

As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

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