The high quality medium sedans are on the list of many buyers, but they pack safety equipment, comfort items and fast performance.
TOYOTA CAMRY V6 SL
US $ 48,400 by car, 19 pts
The new Camry range starts at $ 31,500 and comes with four-cylinder, hybrid or V6 in most classes. The flagship SL V6 comes with the works: radar cruise control, leather trim, electric adjustment for front seats and 18-inch alloys. Maintenance intervals are 12 months / 15,000 km (up to six months / 10,000 km on other Toyotas). Routine maintenance costs only $ 585 for three years. The warranty is below average in three years / 100,000 km. Resale value is above average.
The most beautiful Camry by far. You know the world has really changed when a Camry has the design advantage over a Holden Commodore – and most other rivals mid-sized sedans. The bold style has a low, wide position and the glass area is huge, so it's easy to see when maneuvering. The interior is one of the most spacious in the class. There is just a saving of space in the huge boot.
The 3.5-liter V6 has serious mumbo (224kW / 362Nm). With eight speeds, it reaches the speed limit quickly. We stopped the clocks in the 0-100km / h dash in 6.7 seconds. It has a powerful sound that people will enjoy and passengers will not notice. It's a bit thirsty, with 8.9L / 100km.
All models come with stand-alone high- and low-speed emergency braking, seven airbags and track control that are a bit wrong. The flagship receives jobs, receiving rear cross traffic alert and blind zone warning. An up-to-date crash safety rating means that this five-star ANCAP score really counts.
Here's the tricky part. The SL is a rocket straight, but not so competent in the corners. The 18-inch alloys and low profile tires are not as good at absorbing spines as other Camrys in 17s with more rubber around the rims. It can mix as the suspension and tires do not cushion the impact quickly enough.
KIA OPTIMA GT
$ 48,900 by car, 19.5 pts
The Optima starts at $ 38,600 by car. In the Optima GT with 2.0-liter turbo, the standard fare above the Camry SL includes Apple CarPlay / Android Auto and full-size alloy spares. Six-month / 7,500km short maintenance intervals mean costly routine maintenance – $ 1575 for the first three years. The warranty is industry leader: unlimited seven years / kilometers.
It's more discreet than the Camry, as with most mid-size cars. The interior is spacious but can not match the Toyota. Cabin layout is practical if a little dated, but there are ample storage cubbies and the center console is a decent size. External view is good even with slightly tapered side windows. Boot is marginally smaller than Camry, but fits in normal size.
The turbo four (180kW / 350Nm) may not look like much, but it has plenty to get up and go. With a six-speed car, the time is 6.8 seconds to 0-100 km / h. Regular unleaded though exploring that power is thirsty work (8.5L / 100km). It may lack the V6 character, but it has the power to match.
Top-of-the-line Camry-like kit: standalone emergency braking, radar cruise control, front and rear sensors, blind spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert and six airbags should the worst happen. The Optima has an updated five-star ANCAP rating. The Camry and the Optima are anchored to the half-star of our classification due to the lack of recognition of speed and rear signs.
This is a gem to drive. A small suspension adjustment was part of the upgrade earlier this year. He feels light on his feet, composed of bumps, clinging with confidence thanks to rigid Michelin tires. The brakes have a comforting feel. Driving enthusiasts may not see themselves in an Optima, but they would enjoy the driving experience if they put the bias aside.
The Camry V6 looks great, its resale value is unbeatable – but the Optima GT is the best drive. Purpose to haggle on price.