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 (36)

2015 Toyota Camry Photo Gallery

2015 Toyota Camry

The 2015 Toyota Camry finished 10th in our $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge. "Its bouncy ride, road noise, drab interior and newly uglified front styling make me wonder how this is any way competitive with the Accord or Altima," said one of our judges. Check out our Camry photo gallery below.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

By Matt Schmitz | November 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

$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)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback 
2. 2015 Subaru Legacy
3. 2015 Toyota Camry
4. 2015 Acura TLX
5. 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
6. 2015 Audi Q3
7. 2015 Lexus NX 200t
8. 2015 Honda Fit
9. 2014 Nissan Rogue
10. 2014 Honda CR-V

By Matt Schmitz | November 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid and Avalon, Avalon Hybrid

2014-camry-hybrid

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 5,650 model-year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid sedans

The Problem: Toyota is reporting that the left front suspension lower arm may have an improperly manufactured bolt hole which could affect bolt clamping force. In the event of severe impact to the area, which could be caused by driving on rough pavement, the lower arm could separate from the ball joint, causing a loss of steering control. The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the left front lower suspension arm for free.

What Owners Should Do: Toyota is currently notifying owners via mail. Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 for more information.

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

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback
2. 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C
3. 2015 Acura TLX
4. 2015 Lexus NX 200t
5. 2014 Nissan Rogue
6. 2015 Toyota Camry
7. 2015 Honda Fit 
8. 2014 BMW 535d 
9. 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
10. 2014 Honda CR-V

By Matt Schmitz | November 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Highlander and 2015 Lexus RX 350

2014ToyotaAvalonRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 20,000 model-year 2014 Toyota Avalon and Camry sedans, Sienna minivans and Highlander SUVs, and model-year 2015 Lexus RX 350 luxury crossovers

The Problem: Fuel may leak from one of the fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment; in the presence of an ignition source, this increases the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Toyota will begin notifying owners Monday, and dealers will replace any of the suspect fuel delivery pipes for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or 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 | October 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback
2. 2015 Dodge Challenger
3. 2015 Lexus NX 200t
4. 2014 Nissan Rogue
5. 2015 Honda Fit
6. 2014 Honda CR-V
7. 2015 Infiniti QX70
8. 2015 Toyota Camry
9. 2015 Kia K900
10. 2014 Jeep Cherokee

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

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