Cars.com recently partnered with USA Today and MotorWeek to test a group of seven full-size sedans. The cars, all priced under $38,000, were tested over multiple days, including on a 200-mile route to test their real-world mileage. These vehicles were also put through a unique cargo room test to see which car can hold the most golf bags (out of 10).
It came close, but there was still a clear winner. Click through the gallery to see which full-size sedan took the prize. Next
No. 7: 2013 Nissan Maxima
Although it scored the lowest on this list, the 2013 Nissan Maxima was described as “a driver’s car” that is fun, offers nimbleness, and plenty of roominess. However, the panel also agreed the Maxima is dated, with an older-style navigation system and outdated window switches. The Maxima also features a sloping roof that robs backseat passengers of space.
Even with the smallest trunk tested at 14.2 cubic feet, the Maxima was able to fit all 10 golf bags.
The unit tested was $37,475 and was the only unit with a CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission). The Maxima is also the only car in this group with a heated steering wheel and is one of two cars with folding rear-seat release from the cargo area and extendable thigh support. Next
No. 6: 2014 Ford Taurus
Judges found the 2014 Ford Taurus steers like a champ and handles great for a car of its size. The car’s driver seat was described as “comfortable” and one judge said it “hugged in all the right places.” However, most judges found the 2014 Ford Taurus’s entertainment system to be lacking, with slow reaction times, small screen icons. The car’s brake system was also an issue, with some judges noting poor brake response time.
The unit tested was $35,790 and its observed 25 miles per gallon combined was the lowest tested in the batch. The 2014 Ford Taurus also features a backup camera with rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated seats, and with the largest trunk space in the group (20.1 cubic feet), the Tauraus easily passed the golf bag test, fitting all 10 bags. Next
No. 5: 2013 Toyota Avalon
The 2013 Toyota Avalon used in this test was $32,010, the least-expensive car in this group. This low sticker price was one of the key highlights for the judges, who also liked the re-designed exterior. The Avalon’s backseat was described by one judge as “titanic.” However, judges complained that the Avalon’s base model lacks features expected in these cars, even at the lower price.
The Avalon offered the highest fuel-economy rating in the group and is the only car with one-touch windows for all windows. It also features 16 cubic feet of trunk space, which allowed it to carry nine out of 10 golf bags. Next
No. 4: 2013 Dodge Charger
The 2013 Dodge Charger used in this test was priced at $37,910, the second-highest price on this list. It was the only car tested with power-adustable pedals and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Judges liked the Charger’s tight handling and were impressed by the performance of the car’s V-6 engine. However, judges also complained that the Charger looks “like a cop car” and scares other drivers into slowing down to 5 miles per hour below the speed limit.
The Charger also offers heated and ventilated front seats, heated and cooled cupholders, and is one of two cars tested with heated rear seats. It also has 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space that allowed it to fit eight out of 10 golf bags. Next
No. 3: 2013 Hyundai Azera
Judges described the 2013 Hyundai Azera as “sexy, exciting, and safe.” As one judge pointed out, “you get a lot of toys for the price,” including heated and cooled seats, a panoramic moonroof, and rear sunshades in every direction. The Azera also impressed with a quiet ride and a responsive feel. On the downside, the car’s exterior left something to be desired and some of the car’s interior features (like an oversized radio knob) puzzled the judges.
The Azera used in this test was priced at $37,255 and was the only sedan tested with power rear sunshade and side sunshades and one of two cars tested with heated rear seats, folder rear-seat release from the cargo area, and with extendable thigh support. With 16.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the Azera was able to fit all 10 golf bags. Next
No. 2: 2013 Chrysler 300
The 2013 Chrysler 300 used in this test was priced at $37,925, the highest price tag of the bunch, and impressed many judges with the quality of its ride. Judges praised the 300’s power and handling and eight-speed transmission. While judges liked the 300’s exterior, they were less than thrilled with the interior. One judge said from the inside it appears “the 300 is missing the luxury element.”
The 300 also had an impressive fuel economy of 27.9 miles per gallon (observed), was the only car ested with front and rear parking sensors, and was one of two cars capable of fitting three child-safety seats in the backseat. With 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, the 300 was able to fit nine out of 10 golf bags. Next
No. 1: 2014 Chevy Impala 2LT
The 2014 Chevroley Impala ’s “Camaro-like look” was highly praised by the judges. The praise did not stop at the Impala’s exterior either. The Imapala’s interior makes the driver feel like “a pilot in a sci-fi spaceship cockpit.” The downside was the complexity of the dashboard, which was described as “cartoonish” by one judge.
The Impala used in this test was priced at $35,770 and features a blind spot warning, a forward collision alert, and lane departure warning. It also has rear parking sensors, a backup camera, was also the only car tested with a household AC outlet in the rear seat. It has the second-largest trunk at 18.8 cubic feet and was able to carry nine of 10 bags. Back to the beginning
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