QOTD: The Best All-round Large Sedan?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd the best all round large sedan

Unpopular sedan offerings are getting the axe across the board this year, prompting a QOTD series about the best offerings in each size class. We’ve previously discussed compact and midsize offerings, and we round out the end of 2019 with everyone’s favorite: large sedans.

Today’s list of large cars is sourced as before from U.S. News, which takes the time to rank sedans by size. Every sedan on the list below shares common features: a trunk, four doors, and a non-luxury badge on the front.

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala

Toyota Avalon

Dodge Charger

Nissan Maxima

Ford Taurus

Three offerings are excluded here for luxury reasons; their badge and/or price push them out of the “standard car” category. They are the Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, and Kia K900. The six remaining above will shrink to four very soon: The Taurus is already dead, and the Impala is not far behind.

Speaking of Impala, the 2019 version is my selection for best all-round large sedan. It can be had in five trim levels for 2019 (decreasing to two in 2020), and is optionally blessed with GM’s 3.6-liter V6. It’s a mill that’s been around for ages, and is good enough to power premium Cadillac product. Prices range from $28,000 for the base model to $36,700 for the Premier with V6. The sweet spot is likely the LT 3.6, which rings in at just over $31,000 before any discounts by the dealer, and there should be discounts. Even with six cylinders, Impala nets an EPA rating of 28 mpg highway. It’s also very spacious inside, and feels well-made.

Reflecting upon the other competitors, the Cadenza is likely a depreciation king and looks a bit odd. Avalon is trying too hard for F-sport credentials these days, and carries a mixed message. The Charger is from 1999 or thereabouts, and the deceased Taurus is a similar vintage. Finally, the Maxima is saddled with a CVT and is way too expensive in any trim beyond the lowest two, quickly rocketing into Infiniti Q50 pricing territory.

But maybe I’m wrong on the Impala call. What’s your pick for 2019’s best all-round large sedan?

[Images: Ford, GM]

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Dec 29, 2019

    An Accord is functionally a large car and is a better car. A Passat is functionally a large car and is a better value. No wonder the "official" full size category is nearly dead: many of them are old designs with poor space efficiency. Midsizers have gotten huge and full sizers have languished without updates, so here we are. I'd rather not do a Charger: not only is it ugly as hell, but its headlights in the rearview make cop-averse drivers hit the brakes and slow you down. The Chrysler 300 is a nicer alternative if you can find a deal. The Impala is well reviewed but I find the styling odd. The Avalon is sensible if you buy for keeps (or Lyft) but depending on year may ride like a Cadillac or a Camry on cut springs; the car seems to have an identity crisis. The Kia, I'd have to drive but would be inclined to just say no. The Maxima I've driven and I just say no. That leaves the Taurus, which is a vintage Volvo S80 with all the elegance and style bludgeoned out of it. Even despite the criminally terrible visibility, cramped center console, and lousy space efficiency, it DRIVES like a vintage S80, which is to say, as easily as a much smaller car but with the reassuring solidity of a big one. And you can fit plenty of dead bodies in the trunk. "PARCELS, Luigi, parcels." Uh, yeah, you can fit lots of parcels in the trunk.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 29, 2019

    @cliff731--Many agree but unfortunately it is dead and that is why the Charger still soldiers on but it too will eventually die. There are still some nice used Panthers to find for sale but in another decade they will be harder to find.

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