Tag - camry

Driven: 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

The Toyota Avalon has always occupied a sort of tenuous middle ground between the Camry and its Lexus platform mate, the ES, in that it is somewhat larger and nicer than the former, but lacks the brand cache and upscale interior detailing of the latter despite costing nearly as much. The ES pips it on rear seat legroom as well, a category you’d think the longer Avalon would surely excel in. So then, what purpose does the Avalon serve in the Toyota ecosystem? Let’s find out.

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Driven: 2015 Chrysler 200C

Pity the designer or engineer that has to come up with a midsize sedan that isn’t an Accord or Camry. It’s gotta be tough work. Not only do you have to create a car that does it all for the American driver – aces safety tests, fits five people and their stuff in maximum comfort, sips fuel, is reasonably priced and holds its value, has a solid warranty, and oh yeah – stops, goes, handles, feels and looks great – but you have to do it year after year without faltering.

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Driven: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited

Hyundai’s midsize sedan has undergone quite the transformation in the last four model years. Take the 2011, for example – radically restyled compared to the car that came before it, the previous Sonata probably had the most pronounced impact on Hyundai’s catapult rise to the American mainstream. Glancing quickly at this new Sonata, it might be easy to label it a more conservative restyling of the same basic car. But to write it off as such would be doing the 2015 model a great disservice.

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Driven: 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE

The Toyota Camry was the best selling sedan in the United States for 2013, with over 408,000 units sold. This is the twelfth year straight that Toyota has held the #1 spot for sedan sales, besting the likes of the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima which round out the  top three. There are plenty of newcomers clamoring for consumer attention in the mid-sized sedan segment like the fantastic Ford Fusion, Mazda 6 and Kia Optima.

So what keeps the Camry at the #1 spot year after year, even with increased competition from other manufacturers? I spent a week with the 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE to find out.

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Driven: 2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL

 

When Volkswagen introduced the current North American market, US-built Passat in 2011, it was a move seen as either heresy or necessity, depending on which side of the VW enthusiast fence you sat on. After all, if the company wasn’t going to trade on its “Continental manufacturing for the mainstream” appeal, what was the point? At least, that was the counterargument to VW’s claim that a midsize sedan designed specifically for the North American market would finally allow them to compete on price, size and content with competitors from Asia and the US. Despite being three model years in, we haven’t yet covered the “NMS” Passat on these pages. No time like the present…

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