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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sedan Standouts

With so many sedans models to choose from, manufacturers and marketers scramble to position each with standout features that will hook the buyer.  Will the decision come down to looks, performance, fuel efficiency, safety features or interior creature comforts?  None can afford to fail in any of these areas; buyers will decide which ones make the mark and why.


Acura’s TLX replaces the TL and TSX, and sits somewhere in the middle of the previous models in external dimensions.  Our test model featured the 3.5-liter V-6 9-speed automatic transmission engine with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) outputting 290 hp and 267-lb-ft.  Fuel saving features include engine stop-start and Variable Cylinder Management, which drops to three cylinders during low-load driving.  Inside, standout features include the cool push-button transmission control, clean interior design and wide comfortable seats.



The 2016 Nissan Maxima defines the Acura TLX and Toyota Avalon as its primary competitors and touts features on the Maxima simply not offered by these competitors:  panoramic moonroof, power tilt/telescopic steering column, heated steering wheel, Zero Gravity seats, Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Driver Attention Alert, Bose® premium audio system, two USB ports and Easy-Fill tire alert.  The 2016 model is presented as a true “4-door sports car” with 300 hp and redesigned chassis with fighter-jet inspired exterior and cockpit-inspired interior.

The Hyundai Sonata is a comfortable midsize sedan that’s easy on the pocketbook while meeting the mark in acceleration, steering and handling, and ride quality.   A spacious cabin, comfortable seating, and lots of features delivered at a hard-to-beat price are Sonata’s bragging rights.  Our Sport trim level added some body styling tweaks, automatic headlights, rearview camera, 8-way power driver seat and Blue Link telematics system with smartphone integration.  A Platinum Package added even more.  Even so, the test model’s price tag remained under $26k.


Lexus’ large luxury sedan has long been a showcase of technology, interior furnishings and refined driving experience.  Our 4.6-liter V8 eight-speed automatic with optional all-wheel drive delivered 360 hp and 347 lb-feet of torque.  While the LS 460 is a favorite among the affluent older demographic, suspension and steering tweaks make for a more involved drive.  In particular, the
F Sport package with firmer suspension and steering tuning and upgraded brakes will satisfy the inner child in the typical buyer while drawing in other buyers, too.

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