2011 Ford Taurus
When is comfort more important than on a long family road trip? For that matter, if you’re looking for room to stretch out and be able to enjoy the scenery – and family conversation -- in something other than a crossover, wagon or SUV, what are some 2011 sedans that fit the bill without costing an arm and leg? The following five large sedans are more than just adequate. They’re all quite affordable as well.
2011 Hyundai Azera
With a features list that approaches that of an entry-level luxury car, the 2011 Hyundai Azera, modestly updated for 2011 (a new one is coming for 2012), is a comfortable car to spend time in – either as a driver or passenger in front/rear seats. The Azera boasts front headroom and legroom of 40.2 and 43.7 inches, respectively. In the rear seat, there are 38.2 inches of headroom and legroom. With a starting MSRP of $25,495, it’s also quite affordable. Families looking at mid-size cars like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord can move up to a full-size sedan like the Hyundai Azera (as well as the Toyota Avalon) and still be in the affordable price range. For 2011, the Hyundai Azera is available in two trims – base GLS (which is anything but base, including lots of standard equipment), and up-level Limited (which adds luxury features). Hyundai offers a choice of two V-6 engines: a 260-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 and a 283-horsepower 3.8-liter V-8 (in Limited) get EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy of 20/28 mpg and 19/27 mpg, respectively. Eight airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) and active head restraints for front-seat occupants are standard. Another plus is Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
2011 Chrysler 300
When Chrysler breathed new life into its large sedan, the 2011 Chrysler 300, the Detroit automaker did more than just revamp the styling. With its high-quality interior, new Pentastar 292-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine (and available 360-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8), available all-wheel drive (AWD) on upper trim levels, the 2011 Chrysler 300 is the only rear-wheel-drive (RWD) large sedan in its class. Fuel economy is respectable, too, with EPA-estimated 18/27 city/highway mpg on V-6-powered models and 16/25 mpg and 15/23 mpg for RWD and AWD V-8s, respectively. As for front headroom and legroom, there are 38.6 and 41.8 inches respectively. In back, passengers are treated to 37.9 inches of headroom and 40.1 inches of legroom. Starting MSRP is $27,170 (up to $40,320). Families will appreciate the Top Safety Pick status awarded the 2011 Chrysler 300 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). TheCarConnection says the “riper, more mature Chrysler 300 renews our faith in restrained American styling – and in big V-8, rear-drive fun” in this review.
2011 Toyota Avalon
It’s roomy, offering near-luxury interior, provides good reliability and resale values, and sits squarely in the affordable large sedan category. The 2011 Toyota Avalon, redesigned for 2011, with starting MSRP of $32,595, is also reasonably budget-friendly for a family sedan consideration with standard luxury-like features – including standard leather seating, dual-zone climate control, back-up camera, moonroof, and eight-way power driver’s seat. How about headroom and legroom for front-seat occupants? There 38.9 inches of front headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom. Rear-seat passengers can relax with 37.5 inches of headroom and 40.9 inches of legroom. The 2011 Toyota Avalon, available as Avalon and Avalon Limited, is another 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick in the large car category. See why TheCarConnection editors give the 2011 Toyota Avalon an overall 7.8 (out of 10) rating in this review.