Over the past several years we’ve seen mainstream sedans splitting, quite clearly, into two different factions: Those that appear to prioritize form over function, and those that prioritize function over form.
Honda clearly takes the function over form route, but it's a more attractive effort than the Camry, which goes the same route.
Compared to the Camry, the Accord looks like it will have more personality, and the Honda's feature set looks more impressive from the outset.
Of course compared to either of those models that may prove an advantage when it comes to backseat space.
Somewhere in the middle is the Chevrolet Malibu, which has been redesigned for 2013 but is neither as large nor as roomy in back as the model it replaces.
The new Malibu is a small step up in interior refinement and fuel economy, however.
The model in this class that arguably walks the line between function and form the best is the Volkswagen Passat; the VW manages to pack a lot of space into an exterior that isn't at all daring but is classy and cohesive—and it's a good value for the money.
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|21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||N/A|
|Midsize Cars||Midsize Cars||Mid-Size Sedan||Large Cars||Midsize||N/A|
|4-Door I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan LS w/1LS||4-Door Sedan S FWD||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (Natl)||N/A|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A|
|4 Door Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||N/A|
|Manual||Automatic||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic w/Manual Shift||N/A|