2016-2015 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Mid-size

The mid-size segment, while not as important as it once was, still serves those seeking no-excuses room and comfort for four adults. Many former mid-size buyers have downsized into the larger compacts now available, while others have migrated to compact CUVs that offer similar passenger space and greater cargo versatility.

After a bumper crop of new entries for 2015, the only all-new car in this segment to go on sale in the fall of 2015 is the second-generation Kia Optima. Expected this fall, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu has been delayed until the spring of 2016.

Updates to continuing models for 2016 include the Nissan Altima and the Volkswagen Passat, which receives a surprisingly thorough update very late in its lifecycle. 

The four-cylinder cars in this class deliver a pleasing blend of performance and fuel economy. They are as quick as many six-cylinder cars in this class were a decade ago. V6 engines, once popular in this segment, have virtually disappeared; often replaced with turbo fours that are easier to package and yield lower fuel consumption figures in U.S. Government fuel consumption tests, if not in real life. Volkswagen had a lock on diesel power in this segment with its Passat TDI model, but that engine was withdrawn at the beginning of the 2016 model year due to Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal. 

Active safety, including active cruise control, lane departure and collision warnings, are becoming more and more prevalent on mid-size cars

A note about mileage: The APA's posted fuel economy figures are taken the U.S. Department of Energy as those from the Canada EnerGuide were not available when out research was compiled.

Chevrolet Malibu  Hyundai Sonata  Subaru Legacy  Toyota Prius 
Chrysler 200  Kia Optima  Subaru Outback  Toyota Prius V 
Ford Fusion  Mazda 6  Toyota Camry  Volkswagen Passat 
Honda Accord  Nissan Altima     

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

NEW

 

 

What’s new
The previous-generation Malibu continues on sale for 2016 as the Classic, with the new fifth-generation Malibu delayed until the spring or summer of 2016. Once it goes on sale, there will be two generations of the Malibu available concurrently.

Comments
Shunned by buyers, the undersized 2013-2016 Malibu will be replaced by this all-new model that grows to about the same size as the successful 2008-2012 model. Despite an overly busy front end, styling is contemporary and at least as attractive as other cars in its segment.
The cabin reprises the twin-cockpit design theme used since 2008, and is fully competitive in terms of style, fit, and finish. Rear legroom, which was a significant shortcoming of the previous Malibu, is quite generous due to a much longer wheelbase. The front seats are supportive but the rear seat is mounted a bit too low for adult comfort.
A 160 horsepower 1.5L turbo four will replace the previous normally-aspirated 2.5L four. GM states that the new smaller engine, mated with a six-speed automatic, will be as quick as the old one, due in part to a 135 kilogram weight loss for the new car. Small-displacement turbo engines flatter the U.S. government fuel economy tests, but the real-world reduction in fuel consumption is likely to be modest at best, and the more complex engine may increase service and repair costs. A 2L turbo four is optional once again, but it is now mated to an eight-speed automatic instead of the six-speed used previously. A hybrid model, with no plug-in capability, employs a 1.8L gas engine linked to the drive system from the Chevrolet Volt. The hybrid powertrain produces 182 total system horsepower and the wheels are powered directly by electric motors.

Pricing
With air conditioning, a power group  and Bluetooth, the base Malibu, the L, is a lot of car for around $22,000. Moving up to the LS trim level brings niceties like alloy wheels, a rearview camera and the ability of the car to become a WiFi hotspot, but is overpriced for what it offers. The LT trim level is priced to reflect its additional content compared with the LS and the massive price chasm that exists between it and the 2LZ is justiable considering its wealth of additional features and the 100 extra horsepower of the 2L turbo four. A fully-equipped Malibu 2LZ is priced about $2000 less than a Honda Accord Touring V6 sedan with similar features. The Malibu is a good value lease for 2016. .

Reliability
Not rated. All new car. Free oil changes (up to four changes, based on oil life monitor in the car) for two years or 40,000 kilometers.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD  

Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
1.5L-4 T (160 HP), 1.8L-4 H (182 combined), 2L-4 T (260 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A, 8A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km.
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km.
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross-traffic, lane departure and forward collision warnings. Available lane kee assist and adaptive cruise control with auto brake.

Additional airbags:  Knee airbags for both front occupants and side airbags for outboard rear passengers.

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Chrysler 200

 

 

 

What’s new
90th anniversary (of Chrysler's incorporation in Canada) edition is available on the Limited model. Blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors are new options for the Limited trim level. The front seats have firmer padding for 2016.
Performance
The 3.6L V6 delivers thrilling performance along with a stirring soundtrack when pushed hard, but feels sluggish in normal driving as the nine-speed automatic transmission strives to attain the highest gear possible to flatter U.S. fuel-consumption tests. The transmission keeps revs low and in a rev. band that promotes a an annoying resonance from the exhaust system. The 200’s steering is nicely weighted and geared but lacks any feedback whatsoever. The 200 feels very well planted on the road and has a good ride-handling compromise, but rough roads generate squeaks and clunks from the suspension. Wind noise is well suppressed and Chrysler has done a fantastic job at quelling road noise. Massive front windshield pillars and a high rear deck line hamper outward vision. The gauges on our 200S test car were visually marred by little fingers extending into the instruments from their perimeters, as well as almost unreadable dark blue markings on the important even numbers like 40, 60, 80 and 100 km/h. Normal driving speeds of the speedometer were crammed into about half the dial, with the rest of the space devoted to readings up to 280 km/h as well as a script reading “speedometer” on the outer edge of the dial. The tachometer had a similar identifier on it, which should really be changed to “tack-ometer” because of its vulgarity. Our 200 was equipped with Chrysler’s touch screen system which is easy to use and one of the best in best in the business. The climate controls, also used in most Chrysler products, work well enough. The touch screen has to be used for air distribution as well as seat heaters and the heated steering wheel. Gears are selected by a rotary dial, which is great for packaging but is not as intuitive as a conventional gear selector.
The combined leather-cloth upholstery combination, which had blue and black leather bolsters and black cloth centre panels, was attractive enough, but the blue-toned wood trim in the cabin was nauseating to most APA drivers. The 200S’s front seats are comfortable, deeply padded and with large side bolsters, held drivers well without pinching. The rear seat itself is comfortable enough but legroom is very limited for this class of car. The centre console intrudes into the rear passenger foot space leaving little room for a centre passenger. Avoid the sunroof option as it exacerbates an already tight headroom issue on the 200. Ingress/egress is reasonable up front but the severely sloping roofline leaves those entering the rear seat wondering what to do with their heads. The multi-function centre console borders on wizardry with enough combined storage space to please even the most determined hoarders. Competitive trunk space

Comments
The 200 is based on the same variable architecture that underpins the Dodge Dart and the Jeep Cherokee. Despite looking very compact, the 200 is actually bigger outside than the substantial-looking Toyota Camry. The familiar 2.4L four and a 3.6L V6 return and hook up to the nine-speed automatic transmission that is working its way through Chrysler’s lineup. All-wheel drive is optional on V6-powered 200s. Lacklustre sales of the current 200 has led FCA head honcho Sergio Marchionne to note that the car won't be replaced once the current model reaches the end of its product cycle. 

Pricing
The Limited upgrade is priced to reflect its additional content, with the extra equipment included in the move from the Limited to the 200C trim level being a bargain. Overpriced S option group. The V6/all-wheel drive option on the 200C and 200S is priced at $4500. Depreciation is likely to be harsh. Leasing became available during the 2016 model year.

Reliability
New car, not rated. The 3.6L V6 engine, nine-speed automatic transmission and this new version of the small-wide Fiat-Chrysler platform are all unproven. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.4L-4 (184 HP)*, 3.6L-V6 (295 HP) 

Transmissions: 9A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot and rear cross traffic and adaptive cruise control,forward collision warning with auto brake, lane departure and lane keep assist, are all optional.
Additional airbags: knee airbags for front occupants
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Ford Fusion


 

 
What’s new
New dash centre stack with a revised touch screen as well as more conventional buttons. New SE all-wheel drive variant. 

Performance
Equipped with a 1.5L turbo four hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Fusion delivers solid acceleration, is flexible and refined on the open road, but sounds coarse and feels lethargic in city driving. In a group test that included the Chevrolet Malibu 2.5, and four-cylinder versions of the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, the Ford was as quick as the Chevrolet but notably slower than the two Japanese-branded cars. The Fusion's six-speed automatic transmission functions well but was a tad reluctant to kickdown when requested. Nicely weighted and geared steering. The ride-handling compromise reflects careful development and is in keeping with the Fusion's mission as a large family hauler. Solid brakes. The swoopy styling, especially the swept back windshield pillars, restricts outward vision. Excellent rear view camera which shows the projected path of the car which alters depending on how much the steering wheel is turned. The new turbo fours in the Fusion use more fuel in real-world use than their official fuel consumption figures would indicate. With fresh modern design and attractive materials, the Fusion’s cabin is a success. The interior is fronted by an attractive dashboard containing what has become Ford's universal gauge package featuring a conventional speedometre flanked by changeable electronic displays. The instrumentation works well enough but the universal nature of the shared components diminishes the individuality of the various vehicles in Ford’s lineup. Comfortable seats ally with sufficient cabin space to allow for four (or five in a pinch) adults to contemplate a long journey. However, like most recent Fords, interior space is not generous given its substantial exterior dimensions. Big trunk, but the small trunk lid makes loading awkward.
Along with the Chevrolet Malibu, the Fusion was rated third in a four car APA road test, behind the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima

Comments
Power stems exclusively from four-cylinder engines. Two turbo fours, a 1.5L with 181 horsepower, a 240 horsepower 2L four, as well as a 175 horsepower normally-aspirated 2.5L four, are offered. A conventional six-speed automatic is the sole transmission available on non-hybrids. All-wheel drive, standard on the Titanium trim level, is optional on the 2L SE. Two hybrids are offered. A conventional hybrid twins a normally-aspirated 2L four with an electric motor to create 188 combined horsepower; with a plug-in "Energi" model employing the same hardware but its lithium-ion batteries can power the car in full electric mode for the first 43 kilometres, after which the car reverts to "conventional" hybrid operation.

Pricing

The base S trim level is very nicely equipped. The SE model is the portal to a wide variety of options and is available with the proven 2.5L non-turbo four-cylinder option. The extra six horsepower of the 1.5L turbo four will set you back $900 compared with a similarly-equipped 2.5L model. Upgrading from the 1.5L to the 2L costs an extra $2000 on the SE trim. The Titanium trim level, with the 2L turbo and all-wheel drive, is a bargain when compared with the all-wheel drive SE model. The hybrid SE is priced $4200 higher than an SE powered by a 2.5L four. The Titanium hybrid is price $1100 higher than the turbo Titanium, but lacks all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid SE energy is priced $8000 higher than an equivalent SE hybrid, with the Titanium plug-in is priced roughly $5200 more than its conventional hybrid equivalent. The plug-in versions are eligible for big rebates from various provinces. Good value leasing. 

Reliability

Rated average. Some expensive failures of the 2L turbo four. Unproven 1.5L turbo. The 2.5L is the best engine choice.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines: 1.5L-4 T (181 HP)*, 2L-4 T (240 HP), 2.5L-4 (175 HP)*, 2L-4 H and Energi  (141 HP gasoline, 188 combined)

Transmissions: 6A*, CVT
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 9.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 6.5/L/100 km
Active Safety Features:
Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings. Intelligent cruise control with frontal collision alert. 


Additional airbags: knee airbags for front occupants
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 5/180,000 hybrid components
Current Generation Debut: 2013
Country of Origin: Mexico, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Ford Fusion


 

 
What’s new
Mid-cycle remake for the Fusion goes on sale as a 2017 model in mid 2016. Minor exterior styling and cabin trim updates, including a revised centre console with a rotary dial gear selector. Blackberry designed SYNC3 replaces the previous Microsoft-derived interface. new Titanium trim level as well as a high-performance V6 Sport trim that combines a 2.7L V6 turbo and all-wheel drive. The V6 Sport uses the active suspension system employed in the Fusion-related Lincoln MKZ.  The 2017 Fusion is equipped with an auto stop/start apparaturs. Lane keep assist and pedestrian detection added to the active safety suite available on the Fusion.  

Performance
Equipped with a 1.5L turbo four hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Fusion delivers solid acceleration, is flexible and refined on the open road, but sounds coarse and feels lethargic in city driving. In a group test that included the four-cylinder versions of the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, the Ford was notably slower than the two Japanese-branded cars. The Fusion's six-speed automatic transmission functions well but was a tad reluctant to kickdown when requested. Nicely weighted and geared steering. The ride-handling compromise reflects careful development and is in keeping with the Fusion's mission as a large family hauler. Solid brakes. The swoopy styling, especially the swept back windshield pillars, restricts outward vision. The new turbo fours in the Fusion use more fuel in real-world use than their official fuel consumption figures would indicate. With fresh modern design and attractive materials, the Fusion’s cabin is a success. The interior is fronted by an attractive dashboard containing what has become Ford's universal gauge package featuring a conventional speedometre flanked by changeable electronic displays. The instrumentation works well enough but the universal nature of the shared components diminishes the individuality of the various vehicles in Ford’s lineup. Comfortable seats ally with sufficient cabin space to allow for four (or five in a pinch) adults to contemplate a long journey. However, like most recent Fords, interior space is not generous given its substantial exterior dimensions. Big trunk, but the small trunk lid makes loading awkward.
The Fusion was rated third in a three car APA road test, behind the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima

Comments
Most Fusions will be powered by a four-cylinder engine. Two turbo fours, a 1.5L with 181 horsepower, a 240 horsepower 2L four, as well as a 175 horsepower normally-aspirated 2.5L four, are offered. New for 2017 is the Ford 2.7L V6 turbo that produces 275 horsepower and a whopping 350 lb.-ft. of torque. A conventional six-speed automatic is the sole transmission available on non-hybrids. All-wheel drive, standard on the V6 Sport and Titanium trim level, is optional on the 2L SE. Two hybrids are offered. A conventional hybrid twins a normally-aspirated 2L four with an electric motor to create 188 combined horsepower; with a plug-in "Energi" model employing the same hardware but its lithium-ion batteries can power the car in full electric mode for the first 43 kilometres, after which the car reverts to "conventional" hybrid operation.

Pricing

No 2017 pricing details are available.

Reliability

Rated average. Some expensive failures of the 2L turbo four. Unproven 1.5L turbo. The 2.5L is the best engine choice.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines: 1.5L-4 T (181 HP)*, 2L-4 T (240 HP), 2.5L-4 (175 HP)*, 2L-4 H and Energi  (141 HP gasoline, 188 combined), 2.7L-V6 T (275 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A*, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive                            

City Fuel Economy:  9.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.5/L/100 km
Active Safety Features
Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings and lane keep assist. Intelligent cruise control with frontal collision alert and pedestrian detection 
Additional airbags: knee airbags for front occupants
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 5/180,000 hybrid components
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  Mexico, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Honda Accord


 

 

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle remake including styling updates front and rear, a mild cabin refresh with new fabrics and colours, a stiffer body structure and "Honda Sensing," a suite of active safety gear, is standard on fancier trims and optional on the LX and Sport models. Hybrid model discontinued. 

Performance
Hooked up to CVT, the Accord sedan's 2.4L four furnishes quick, eager and smooth performance. Honda's CVT, unlike many others, minimizes high-rev operation to such an extent that few drivers will be aware that the Accord is equipped with a CVT unless they hammer the throttle. The Accord accelerated neck and neck with the Nissan Altima, both of which were considerably faster than the Ford Fusion 1.5T and Chevrolet Malibu they were tested against. Previously, the Accord handled a bit more crisply than the Toyota Camry, but the 2016 Camry is surprisingly Accord like. Nicely weighted and geared steering. Strong brakes with good pedal feel. Engine and wind noise are subdued, but Honda's traditional downfall, pronounced road noise is joined by prominent road grit pinging off the underside of the Accord. A high driving position and large windows provide a level of visibility seldom enjoyed in modern cars.
The hybrid model combines brisk performance with very good fuel economy, but the small 2L four works hard to provide minor increases in speed and sounds annoyingly fussy in typical driving.
The Accord's cabin is fronted by a gauge package pulled right out of the CR-V. The instrument cluster is easy to scan. A large screen, for the rear-view camera in all models and the navigation screen on fancier variants, dominates the centre of the dashboard. Below the main screen is a separate touch screen controlling audio source and station selection, as well as a conventional volume knob. The all-button climate controls reside in a narrow strip between the radio screen and the multi-function control knob on navigation-equipped cars that dominates the main centre stack of the dashboard. While the Accord's cabin is fashioned from mostly attractive components, the (except for the headliner) all-black cabin that is paired with most exterior colours is oppressively grim in appearance. Faux alloy trim is particularly well done but trim fillets meant to be ebony wood in reality resemble dull scratched plastic and do nothing to relieve the monochromatic ambience of the Accord's cabin. Though the Accord's cabin may look grim, with big, comfortable seats and acres of space, it is one of the most comfortable cars in its segment. Trunk space is on the small size for a car this big.

Comments
Power for most Accords stems from a direct-injected 185 horsepower (189 in the Sport trim level). Except for the EX-L sedan trim level, which is only offered with the CVT, all the 2.4L Accords are offered with a six-speed manual transmission. An optional 278 horsepower 3.5.L V6 can be hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission in sedan and coupe body styles, but the latter offers a six-speed manual as well.
Pricing

At $25,450 with automatic transmission, the base LX model is a comprehensively equipped car that will suit many buyers. Upgrading from the LX to the Sport model represents tremendous value for the money if you desire its additional features. Honda Sensing, the suite of active safety equipment that includes forward collision warning, active cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning and lane keep assist is a $1000 option on the LX and Sport trims and standard on fancier models. Accounting for its standard Honda Sensing system, the EX-L trim upgrade is a very good value compared with the Sport. The content that is standard on the Touring model matches its price supplement over the EX-L quite precisely. Placing a V6 under the hood of an Accord costs $3100 on the EX-L and $2800 on the Touring. The Accord coupe only intersects with the sedan at the Touring trim level, with the coupe body style commanding a $400 supplement when powered by the 2.4L four and $1040 with a V6 under the hood. Very good value leasing.  

Reliability
Above average reliability predicted. Unproven CVT transmission with a few reports of transmission failures and unsolvable issues.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD*, 2CP
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP*, 189 HP Sport)  3.5L-V6 (278 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, CVT*, 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, active cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist and lane departure warnings.

Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Hyundai Sonata

 

 

What’s new
The 2.4L four has undergone some internal updates said to enhance refinement and fuel economy. Transmission oil heating is said to improve operation after a cold start, the on-board computer has had been modifiied and aluminum is more widely used on the Sonata's suspension this year. A conventional hybrid joined the lineup in the fall of 2015, with a plug-in hybrid expected sometime during the 2016 model year.

Comments
Hyundai's new 2015 Sonata, about the same size as its predecessor, is the first mainstream car from Hyundai to feature its new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 styling. The cabin has abundant soft-touch surfaces, more attractive materials, and looks chic. Though the dashboard contains a near-intimidating number of buttons, they are logically arrayed, segregated into separate audio and climate functions and quite easy to deal with. Big, clear gauges with crisp graphics. The front and rear seats are more comfortable than on the previous Sonata. The Sonata is lower than many competitors and ingress and egress can difficult for the older, prosperous types who would consider the Sonata. Large trunk.
According to Hyundai, the Sonata's platform is all-new and incorporates advanced steels for greater rigidity, safety and driving precision. The previous normally-aspirated 2.4L four and 2L turbo return, but have been re-tuned for better midrange response. In APA testing, the new Sonata was indeed smoother, significantly quieter and better-riding than before. Hyundai’s six-speed automatic shifted gears smoothly and responded particularly well in city driving. Observed highway fuel economy of under 7L/100 km is impressive for this segment, as is range, which, according to the trip computer, promises around 850 kilometres on a full tank. The performance delivered by the base 2.4L four renders the 2L turbo superfluous. The 2L turbo is very fast when pushed but feels very pedestrian in typical driving and has a distinct exhaust resonance around 1500 rpm. Advanced safety equipment such as Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go capability, Blind Spot and Cross Traffic monitors, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision warning and Lane Change Assist, are available. The Blind Spot Monitor and Adaptive Cruise Control perform well.
The last Sonata was a big success for Hyundai Canada, maintaining strong sales even as the car aged. In a recent APA four car group test, the Sonata was rated very closely behind the top-rated Camry, with the Mazda 6 and Chrysler 200 trailing the two top cars by a wide margin.

Pricing

At just under $24,000, the base Sonata, with air conditioning, heated seats and alloy wheels, is nicely equipped for the money. Fantastic value GLS and Limited package upgrades. The Sport and Sport Tech package prices reflect the value of their extra contents almost exactly. If you want the additional content in the 2.0T Ultimate compared with the 2.0T, it is well worth the money. When additional equipment standard with the turbo is accounted for, the supplement for the 2.0T is about $1500, dropping to about $500 when you compare the 2.0T Ultimate to the 2.4L Limited. A Sonata 2.0T Ultimate is priced about $2500 lower than a comparably equipped Honda Accord V6 Touring. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is Above Average. The previous Sonata avoided the decline in reliability that affected some other Hyundai models built since 2010. Have the rear brake calipers dismantled, cleaned and lubricated annually to postpone expensive repairs down the road. The direct injection engine is prone to accumulating carbon deposits; an air intake and fuel injection cleaning (two related services) are fairly expensive, but recommended every three years to avoid an eventual and even more expensive de-coking of the cylinder head. The suspension on the 2011-2014 generation car can develop clunks starting at around 100,000 km due to worn rubber components front and rear. The durability of the suspension components on the new car is unknown.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP)*, 2L-4 T (245 HP), 2L-4 H (154 HP gas and 38 kW electric; 50 kW electric for plug-in) 

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features:
Available forward collitsion, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings as well as active cruise control with auto braking.
Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000. Hybrid: 8/160,000 on all hybrid system components.
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Kia Optima

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Second-generation Optima goes on sale in Canada in late 2015.

Comments
Riding on a new platform, the second-generation (in Canada, third in the U.S.) Optima is a stylistic evolution of its breakthrough predecessor.
The cabin is fronted by a somewhat 80s-themed dashboard that features clear gauges and logical controls. The front seats are comfortable, with a supportive rear seat replacing the uncomfortable, oddly-shaped perch used previously. Cabin materials are significantly more luxurious than before and the interior is now genuinely plush.
Two existing four-cylinder engines, a normally-aspirated 2.4L and a turbocharged 2L, return for 2016. Kia claims enhancements to the 2.4L result in greater refinement and modestly improved fuel efficiency. New for 2016 is a 178 horsepower 1.6L turbo four, which is too close to the output of the 2.4L to make any sense. Transmissions include a six-speed automatic for 2L and 2.4L cars; with a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission featured on the 1.6L turbo model.
Available active safety equipment includes blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, active cruise control and forward collision detection with autonomous emergency braking that can bring the vehicle to a complete stop if it detects a collision.

Pricing
The base LX trim level is nicely equipped and will suit the needs of midsize bargain hunters. THe LX+ trim upgrade is a bargain. The LX Technology mdoel, powered by a 1.6L turbo four hooked to a seven-speed dual clutchtransmission; is priced around $1600 higher than the LX+ model. Good value EX and EX Technology upgades. The SX-L trim level is overpriced. Good value leasing for 2016.
Reliability
Good reliability predicted on the 2.4L normally-aspirated four. Average reliability predicted for the two turbocharged engines.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines: 1.6L-4 T (176 HP), 2L-4 T (247 HP), 2.4L-4 (185 HP)
Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, active cruise control and forward collision detection with autonomous emergency braking.
Additional airbags: Driver side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Mazda 6


 

 
What’s new
Early release mid-cycle remake of the 6 went on sale as a 2016 model early in 2015. Mild styling revisions outside with a new dashboard, centre console and seats inside. Mazda claims that additional sound insulation has improved refinement. Three year full vehicle limited warranty and five year powertrain warranties have no mileage limits.

Comments
The 6’s 2.5L four delivers is flexible and delivers good urge but becomes raucous when pushed. The six-speed automatic transmission works unobtrusively and is particularly smooth in stop-and-go traffic, where other automatic transmissions can turn indecisive. Very good fuel economy. Though nicely geared, the 6’s steering is light and devoid in feel. Shod with low-profile tires on 19 inch wheels, our test GT model rode harshly and coped poorly with urban tarmac but exhibited excellent suspension control on large bumps taken at speed with a full complement of passengers. Braking is competent but with a soft pedal feel. Prominent wind noise combines with the vocal engine and elevated road noise to make for a less than serene driving environment. Small windows translate into limited outward visibility.
Despite substantial exterior dimensions, the 6’s cabin space is noticeably less than offered by Camry and Sonata it was pitted against in a recent four car APA road test that also included the Chrysler 200. While the 6 has more rear seat legroom and headroom than the 200, it doesn’t offer the kind of space buyers in this segment expect. Elegant conventional gauges are set in an attractive horizontally-themed dashboard that features an aftermarket-looking stuck on infotainment screen. The 6’s cabin design, assembly quality and the rich look of its interior components should give the German luxury brands a model to aspire to. Audio quality is acceptable, but not quite what was expected on such an expensive car. Large, but shallow trunk is accessed through a small aperture. Weak rear defrosting.

Pricing
Like other Mazdas, decisions made on how to equip the various trim levels seem odd and designed to thwart any direct comparisons with competitors. What is straightforward is that the 6 is expensive for what you are getting no matter which model of the car you buy. Within the 6 model range, trim upgrades are good value. The GS Luxury package is keenly priced and is equipped with the most sought after luxury items (leather, navigation, sunroof) of the GT but avoids some of the GT's unnecessary items like the 19 inch wheels shod with low-profile tires and trick headlights. The Technology package offered on the GT is replete with items such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning and collision warning with auto stop, but at $2800, is expensive, especially compared with the $1200 Tech package offered by Subaru. Good value leasing.
Reliability
Not rated due to insufficient sales. Average reliability is predicted. Mazdas generally develop a few more problems than similar cars from Honda, Hyundai or Toyota. Unlimted mileage warranties and a seven year warranty for rust perforation.    

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.5L-4 (184 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Laser cruise control, lane departure warning and collision warning with auto stop optional on GT trim level

Additional airbags:  None
Warranty: 3/Unlimited, 5/Unlimited
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Next Page