Top five family sedans on display at CIAS 2016
The all-new ninth generation of Chevy’s mid-size offering breaks free of its rental-fleet stigma, coming at us with a sleekly handsome body shell and improved interior.
2016 Chevrolet Malibu
The all-new ninth generation of Chevy’s mid-size offering breaks free of its rental-fleet stigma, coming at us with a sleekly handsome body shell and improved interior. The longer wheelbase translates to much-needed rear legroom, and extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel has the new Malibu shedding up to 136 kg when compared to the outgoing model.
The base engine is an all-new 160 horsepower 1.5-litre turbo four. Next up is a 250 horsepower 2.0-litre turbo, and there is also a 182 horsepower hybrid mated to a 1.8-litre four with an electric drive unit. Naturally, all the latest connectivity features are on the menu. Industry-first Teen Driver can limit top speed, fully enable all driver’s aids, and allow parents to monitor little Suzie’s and Sam’s whereabouts and driving habits. Big Mother is watching.
2016 Toyota Prius
The fourth generation of Toyota’s pioneering hybrid grows a bit in width and length. It also gets bold new bodywork with standard LED headlights and active grille shutters. The interior retains its futuristic two-tier architecture, but quality is kicked up a notch. With a lower centre of gravity and stiffer structure, it’s more refined and handles better too, but of course the Prius is really all about fuel economy. A revised 1.8-litre gas four pairs with a new electric motor to provide a combined 121 horsepower and reduced fuel consumption.
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Hyundai expands on the already impressive Sonata sedan with an available hybrid powertrain. Compared with the previous-gen Sonata Hybrid, the 2016 squeezes out more mileage and comes in a larger, considerably more refined package. Back seat room is generous and appointments are plush. It’s not particularly exciting or swift, but it is comfy and tech-savvy. Yes, Hyundai has toned down the styling from daring to conservative with this Sonata, but it is a better car in every way.
2016 Nissan Altima
Keen to continue the Altima’s winning ways in the tough family car market, this fifth-generation sedan receives an extensive mid-cycle makeover for 2016. The Altima now sports the new “Energetic Flow” design as seen on the Maxima and Murano. The cabin is tweaked, getting further connectivity and safety features. The use of more high-strength steel in the structure reduces weight and things are quieter inside thanks to more insulation and acoustic glass. A new SR model gets enhanced handling along with a sporty interior and exterior accents.
2017 Ford Fusion
Ford’s stylish mid-size family sedan gets a refresh for 2017 that includes a more aggressive look, new safety features, a Jaguar-esque knob instead of a lever gear selector, and the updated Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For family types in a hurry, the new Fusion V6 Sport packs a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 making 325 horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque. Adaptive damping and 19-inch wheels aid handling, while all-wheel drive ensures all that juice gets to the pavement.