2009 Toyota Camry
Oh yes, and did I forget the part about how the Fusion wipes the floor with the Camry? The new hybrid version of the Fusion has a Camry hybrid pummeling 41 city/36 highway fuel efficiency rating. Also, the new Fusion hybrid can be driven in full electric mode at speeds up to 41 miles per houreven the Prius wont do that.
(21 city/30 highway)To many peoples eyes this latest edition of the Accord is possibly the ugliest version ever. But that doesnt mean all that much when its a Honda. Honda cars arent about sexy styling so much as perfectionism in engineering and on that count the Accord never disappoints. Its 190 horsepower 4 cylinder is sewing-machine smooth and even if you dont like the way it looks on the outside you can take heart knowing that your Accord will still retain a lot of its value come resale time.
Still having trouble with the looks? Well, you can always blindfold yourself before you walk out to the car in the morning (hopefully your wife or husband will help get you to the car door). The interior, while not the most intuitive, is a perfectly pleasant and well built place to be. Plus, the exterior frumpiness can be minimized somewhat by optioning it with one of the darker paint colors. Just as with people, black is always very slimming for cars.
(22 city/32 highway)Why is it that Hyundai seems to be making some of the most coherent exterior design statements on the market nowadays? This is, of course, despite their occasional struggles with being blatant stylistic copy cats. Ah-hem. I am talking about you Mr. Hyundai Genesis Sedanyou owe an apology to Lexus, Lincoln, BMW, Mercedes, Acura, Infiniti and pretty much every car that has ever come with a leather interior. That car copies so many other vehicles it practically creates an entirely new stylistic genre.
But with the exterior design of the Sonata Hyundai really hit one out of the park not because it is ground breaking or sexy but because it is simple. It has a crisp, organic shape that avoids the two pitfalls of most modern car designers. It doesnt look like a jellybean and it doesnt have creases in the bodywork where no creases need to be. I blame Chris Bangle from BMW for the latter modern design issue.
The Sonata also got a real boost last year when the firm updated the somewhat awkward looking dashboard with a unit that really does bring to mind the one found in the previous generation Acura TL. The 2009 Sonata also comes standard with a 175 horsepower 2.4 liter engine as well as that epic 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.
This South Korean automaker really has been piling on the deals as of late with various offers ranging from their Hyundai Assurance Plan (for up to one year they will buy back your new car if you lose your job) to yet another Free Gas for a Year scheme. No matter what deal it comes with, the Sonata is a solid buy.
(20 city/29 highway)While the insane looking flared front wheel arches on this new Mazda midsize sedan do take a little bit of getting used to, any new owner of a 2009 Mazda6 can take heart knowing their car comes standard with zoom-zoom. And what is zoom-zoom? Well, it is two things really. First off, it is a marketing campaign slogan for Mazda Motors. And second? Its the annoying phrase you can you can repeat over and over again while driving your new 6 that will surely cause your friends and family to plot your untimely death.
While the Mazda 6 has always been the really quirky choice among Japanese family sedans, never before has it been as space, power and technology competitive with the Accord or Camry. The interior, while spartan in some places, is nicely equipped in all forms. As with all Mazdas, the 6 makes the most sense from an economic standpoint when equipped with each and every option. I mean, really, a $34,000 mid-size Mazda? Who do they think they are trying to overcharge us like that? Toyota?