The midsize sedan segment has unquestionably been the loudest with a crowded pack of contenders vying for the name recognition the Sonata has achieved during the past two years. Its a diverse mix, with cars considered past their prime (Accord, Camry), the new innovative (Fusion, Sonata), and on-the-cuspers Malibu and Optima looking to reach the next level.
Here is the latest on three 2012 models.
2012 Camry – The Camry is firing on all cylinders with a new 7th generation model set to launch this Fall. It is characterized by a redesigned exterior and higher mpg numbers to a projected 24/35 mpg, up from its current 22/32 mpg. A new six speed automatic is rumored. Industry analysts are not forecasting a price increase. Look for the Camry to rebound after the lowest number of sold cars last year in more than 15 years.
2013 Fusion – Ford has enjoyed tremendous publicity over the past several months, one of the top 3 spot holders for most vehicles sold in May (the others are GM and Chrysler) Launching as a 2012 model in early 2012, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is projected to reach a record 48 mpg city, trumping its current EPA by 12 mpg. Look for it to debut no more than $30,000. All in all, the 2010 North American Car of the Year looks to do more damage in the midsize segment.
2012 Altima – Late June saw pricing announcements for the soon to debut Altima, with a limited redesign and little interior changes other than a value package upgrade worth $490 with Bluetooth connectivity and automatic on/off headlights. Fuel economy is below average for its class at 23/32 mpg. With pricing starting at $20410, it looks to be one of the cheapest midsizes alongside the Kizashi and the Sonata for what is a solid performer all around.