By on December 26, 2019

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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95 Comments on “QOTD: The Best All-round Large Sedan?...”


  • avatar
    EliMorgan

    I have to go with the Nissan Altima SL. I just traded my 2016 in It was absolutely trouble free, not one service call. Smooth, quite and solid.

  • avatar
    Bill Henderson

    Volkswagen Phaeton.

  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    Easy… Chevrolet Impala. Styling that will look good for years, best user interface, nice touches on the interior such as the soft blue ambient light that looks like metal trim in the daylight, the secret dash compartment, and contrasting cording on the seats in some interior colors. The backseat is cavernous with beaucoup headroom. Great outward visibility… the list goes on and on.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Charger, only one available with an 8 and rear drive. I’m on my second one.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I voted with my money in 2015 and bought the Avalon, partly because I’m a Toyota brand whore and I love the 2GR V6 engine. But if buying today I would go with the Impala. I think it’s a really good looking car and the one I recently rode it was far and away smoother than my Avalon.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    What, no mention of the big Caddy CT6 as either a premium, luxury or standard large sedan? Poor Cadillac, can’t even be excluded by name. Anyway, I’ll go with the big Chevy, just because it seems to be the only decent 4-door sedan that GM still makes that still falls into the “affordable” category

    • 0 avatar

      Nope, that’s a luxury car which is why there’s no BMW or Lexus on the list.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Poor Cadillac, can’t even be excluded by name.”

        “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.”

        That’s why I mentioned Cadillac, the “standard of the world” couldn’t even be among those EXCLUDED by name. Come to think of it the Lincoln Continental could not be EXCLUDED by name as well. How the mighty have fallen

        • 0 avatar
          Chocolatedeath

          In my minds eye the 300 is in this category and not above. Both the Avalon and the Cadenza are larger inside and better overall than the 300. Of course if you start adding the v8 thats another story but only performance wise.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I agree, there is minimal difference between a V6 Charger and a V6 300.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The 300 has considerably less hateful interior materials. It occasionally betrays cost-cutting, but doesn’t feel like it’s aggressively trying to beat you over the head with your decision to buy from the cheap division the way the Charger does.

            I also find the 300 seats considerably more comfortable.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The 300 has considerably less hateful interior materials.”

            Maybe on the 300C with the interior upgrade option but every other 300 trim is 90% Charger right down to the part numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            That may be true under the surface, but what you touch is pretty different (including different shapes in the design and slightly different control arrangements). And the materials on the top of the dash and the console are different and better, even in the rental-spec 300s I’ve occasionally gotten from the Emerald Aisle.

            From behind the wheel the 300 is also noticeably quieter.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    After having driven most on this list and owning a 2017 LT Impala the choice is easy. Impala all the way. It just does everything a little better than the others in this list. It has one of the best balanced chassis’s compared to the other FWD based sedans, has a larger more useful trunk than the Maxima/300/Charger, a little bit more front seat space than the Taurus and a less claustrophobic feel, is priced lower than half the cars on the list and is packaged very well in the LY and premier trims. The 2.5 also gives this something rare in the class- a potential 600 mile driving range on the open road as witnessed twice by my 2017 LT with two 8 hour trips to Ohio in 2018 and 2019. It’s also marvelous at eating up miles with virtually no fatigue.

    • 0 avatar

      Why even mention the Impala it is getting cancelled. The Maxima is the champ in this list. Its interior is better than every single GM vehicle I have sat in including top of the line Cadillacs. It has a degree of sophistication GM has never reached in the mid-sized sedan category.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Akear, if the Maxima is the better car in this segment why do we, was going to say I but I can’t be the only one, never see them on the road?

        The Maxima out kicked its coverage when the starting price for a mid-level optioned unit eclipsed 40k. They have 6 versions, 3 are 40k or better. Who in their right mind pays 42k for a Nissan Maxima?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          …”Who in their right mind…?”

          My friend with bad credit. It was a ’17 Maxima and when he went to trade it in on a new ’19 Silverado HD loaded (still with bad credit) and paid full MSRP (around $65K, again who in their right mind…) the Chevy dealer refused the Maxima, it had low miles and minty condition, and yes upsidedown on that loan, but still, just something to think about.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Nissan must have improved in recent years, our 2013 is bad enough I swore I would not buy another Nissan product.

      • 0 avatar
        BrentinWA

        The Maxima, like all Nissans, is a fleet queen and only found at the lower end rental counters. I cringe when I arrive at my airport to find yet another Nissan waiting for me. Usually an Altima, but have also had Maximas with the rubber band tranny…. the Altima and Maxima are indistinguishable from one to another and equally unsatisfying.

      • 0 avatar
        BrentinWA

        The Maxima, like all Nissans, is a fleet queen and only found at the lower end rental counters. I cringe when I arrive at my airport to find yet another Nissan waiting for me. Usually an Altima, but have also had Maximas with the rubber band tranny…. the Altima and Maxima are indistinguishable from one to another and equally unsatisfying.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I agree with you, ponchoman49, my father drives a similar Impala and although I find it to be one of the dullest “fullsized” sedans on earth it is a well-mannered, uncomplicated, nice-riding, dependable, front-drive sedan. Which is all the more reason to be angry at GM. They know how to build good cars, they just choose not to :(

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        @Lie2me, YES.

      • 0 avatar
        cognoscenti

        Lie2me wrote: “Which is all the more reason to be angry at GM. They know how to build good cars, they just choose not to”

        I suggest a minor change to that sentence: “They know how to build good cars, they just choose not to MARKET THEM.” GM marketing is either absent, or just plain awful. Some group at GM decided not to attempt to sell the Impala, even though it is really a great car. They left it to wither and die, while they spent any advertising dollars they had elsewhere, such as on tired “Real People” commercials.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Of the choices I think each one has a trim level/options combo that is a sweet spot and each has a trim level/options combo that would be drudgery comparatively.

    My pics would come down to Impala Premiere (there really isn’t anything a new Cadillac sedan does better without outrageously more money being spent) a Charger R/T (nice compromise between price and power output) and Avalon Touring (because the TRD version is crazy expensive compared to the Camry version.)

  • avatar

    So GM is cancelling decent cars like the Impala and continues to sell bottom feeders like the Equinox. Why can’t GM do anything right.

    What a disgrace!

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Sales weren’t too shabby either. Over 50,000 units a year. Far cry from the 1970s heyday but certainly respectable. Better than some CUVs being touted is the wave of the future.

      Anyway to the question, my vote goes to the Dodge Charger. It is aging but it still manages to remain popular and relevant. Great engines too.

  • avatar
    mikey

    “Why can’t GM do anything right ? ” I’m going to need to work on my reading comprehension . I thought the QOTD was something about ranking large sedans ??

  • avatar
    mikey

    I looked at a 17 Impala LTZ and couldn’t make the right deal. Last summer I spotted a fully optioned 19 Impala Premier at the local Chev dealer. Three days later the Chevy dealer owned a Mustang , and the big black Chevy was mine.

    Properly detailed, the Impala looks real nice…It handles well for a big car, and delivers decent gas mileage.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    Kia Cadenza – Certainly not. Nothing special new, and so few sales the dealerships seem to be trying to prop up the used values – so charging top dollar, though I bet they’re not buying them back top dollar.

    Chevrolet Impala – My used choice – though the ride is a bit fragile which is disappointing. Looks good, large, quiet, mostly comfortable

    Toyota Avalon – Lease choice. Little else to recommend.

    Dodge Charger – Drawn to this one, the V6 with the 8 speed and AWD is fantastic for Canadian winters. Just enough room. Yes it’s getting old, but the Pentastar is lovely, and the platform still feels solid. In the matte grey, blacked out wheels and grille it looks pretty mean, and is good value used.

    Nissan Maxima – My rental choice, the interior is lovely, the CVT doesn’t bother me. Rides and drives well.

    Ford Taurus – Only temptation is to buy a white one and drive the speed limit on the highways, and if anyone passes me accelerate to pull behind them and imagine them defecating in their pants… I find it small inside for a very large car, poor visibility. Ride and handling is fine, but nothing to write home about.

    You’ll notice there’s no “new buy” choice – buying a new large sedan is just asking for financial ruin on resale right now. Unless someone could get me 25%-30% off an Impala, or I lived in Florida for the Avalon.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      It truly is not unusual to see $10k+ off the upper end Impalas on CarGurus. A Premiere for under $30k is a steal.

      My first choice would be the Avalon (they seem to age very well) and then the Impala, which is a good looking car.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    For as long as the SRT versions remain available the Charger is the only choice for me.

    If forced to pick a base or standard engine car it would be the Avalon.

  • avatar
    ajla

    V8 Charger is the only one I’d be willing to buy and I actually did buy a new R/T in 2014. It is fun car to drive but mine had a lot of quality issues (although CR recently gave Dodge overall a decent reliability score).

    The RWD layout does give it less cargo and passenger space than something like the Impala but I never had an issues doing 4 adults + luggage.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    It would have to be the Honda Accord. I’ve read that not only does the Accord outperform, it’s actually larger inside than the Impala.

    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byclass/Large_Cars2019.shtml

    The Civic is now a midsize car inside.
    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byclass/Midsize_Cars2019.shtml

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Where’s the Chrysler 300? That’s the one I’d get from this list.

  • avatar
    volvo

    I guess it would be the Avalon but why wasn’t the Camry on the list?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Because it’s a mid-sized.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You reminded me, when did Volvo become a luxury brand? Is it when they became unreliable? The base stripper 3-series I sort of understand, but Volvo?

      That’s great marketing! Just make them junky, stage them next to late model Land Rovers and Jaguars at BHPHs and bingo.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Volvo’s have been finicky since the late 90s. It *can* be made to run a long time, but its the TCO that kills ya because that cost can be steep.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “Finicky”? Is that what they’re calling it now? There’s a cat named “Morris” that would like to differ.

          But that was one good thing about the exiting Taurus and Impala. They’re sort of finicky too, but minor fixes won’t “total” them or break the bank.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Have a look inside. The current crop of Volvos may have the best interior design on the market.

        We seriously thought about an XC60 T8, and the interior was a big part of the reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I’ve always considered Volvo semi-premium since the mid-70s. Our ‘99 S70 was just as well built and luxurious inside as a BMW 5 series. It’s reliability was European luxury too, which is why after 5 years we fled back to Japan Inc.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I will just say that all of the above are probably incorrect. There are midsize sedans with more interior room that many of the cars on this list. Some cars classified as large cars have fairly cramped interiors despite their immense footprints and curb weights. I don’t think any of these cars but for the Avalon is long for this world, it’s difficult to include anything that is on the chopping block or in its second decade of production.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    My money would go to FCA for a V6 Charger GT.

    Sure, the Charger R/T sounds fantastic and accelerates with sublime authority, but I am a cheapskate, and don’t want to pay for V8 fueling when the Pentastar V6 provides plenty of power for my needs AND doesn’t have that annoying implementation of cylinder deactivation that the Hemi’s do. From what I have observed, the Penatastars are REALLY good engines…and in Charger, return 30 mpg with regularity. Given the large production numbers, supply of repair parts for Pentastar engines will be plentiful for 50 years or more….just to keep the Jeep Wrangler fleet going!

    The Impala is an iconic name, but, to my thinking, just doesn’t work on a FWD car, despite it’s overall superiority compared the the last Impalas in the 1990s. The Impala offers a decent value proposition in today’s market, but a dismal personal experience with my last GM product, and its mostly generic aesthetic, removes it from my list of contenders. The others on this list are dead to me.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Totally agree regarding the Pentastar. Early teething problems were dealt with. For many years now it has been one of the most reliable and efficient engines in the marketplace. FCA puts them everywhere, so parts are a breeze. Like the Hemi, real FCA winner.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      If you think there is a lot of difference in real world fuel economy between the V6 and the 5.7 in a Charger or Challenger, you would be wrong. The main difference between the 3.6 and 5.7 is how much the car costs in the first place and how much the insurance is. The best bang for the buck is a 5.7 and put it in Sport Mode and cancel the cylinder deactivation.

      A friend of mine was driving an old Taurus and came into some money and decided to buy his first car, which was a V6 Charger (2WD) and it ended up getting about 1.7 MPG average better than his brother’s Charger R/T. He wasn’t happy and soon, the V6 was gone, and an R/T was in the garage.

      In 2018, I moved from a Challenger R/T to the joy that is a Challenger Scat Pack. It makes me happy every single time I drive it. The 6.4 and 8 speed auto is one great combo. Oh, the new car gets about 1.5 MPG less than the old one did. Big deal. I’m happy to pay the $15-20 a month for the 6.4.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Points taken. Thanks for the response!

        I had a rental R/T last year. I played with the Sport Mode, trying to cancel the cylinder deactivation on the freeway. I found that Sport Mode kept the transmission in 7th gear when I was cruising at 70mph. I did NOT like that. Turn Sport Mode off, and it shifted to 8th, but then deactviated those cylinders, creating some vibration and ruining the exhaust note. The weird exhaust note actually gave me a headache.

        Another issue with the V8 cars, as I understand, is that the ride is firmer compared to the V6 cars. I am 50ish….and like a nice cushy ride. I found the R/T more firm than I would prefer, the V6 cars ride a bit softer, more what I like.

        As such, my interest in the V6 cars is not strictly related to purchase price or power.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Best large sedan is a 4 door fullsized pickup truck.

    – The Market

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’ve never been up on pickups but pound for pound I’m not sure you can score a crew cab in similar configuration to say an Impala LT. I could see a small premium because of what a truck can “do” vs said Impala but what is a reasonable premium? Not to mention mileage and wearables… truck tires tend to be quite expensive vs the conventional 16in.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        I dont know about where you are, but by me you can get a 2019 RAM Tradesman V8 crew cab 4×4 for $33900 USD nowadays. Thats less than most of the sedans named in the comments. Its admittedly basic, but checks all the boxes for pickup duty.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Even when skipping the 4WD, I do expect there will be a greater expense getting a CC truck with equal features as a competing sedan. However with 72 month financing it won’t matter much. Plus the truck will likely depreciate less, be more durable long-term, and outside of FCA is the only way to get a V8 in a passenger-centric vehicle without spending $70K.

        Personally, my biggest problems with trucks are their physical size (a crew cab Sierra is about the size of a ’75 Oldsmobile tuna boat while a Charger is about the size of a LeSabre or 60s Dart) and their on-road dynamics are still behind most cars.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah it’s their size, road dynamics and fuel consumption keeping them from truly becoming mainstream “passenger cars”. What are they, about 5% of the market, subtracting for partial or full industrial/commercial use?

          But everything else is creeping up to the size of fullsize pickups, and their fuel economy and road dynamics are getting better all the time.

          Except if you can stand them, besides crazy rebates, it’s a great thing to spec them with “easy care” (and cheap/poorman) rubber floors and vinyl (knit) seats, or even “crank windows” and if you’re that miserly, besides infotainment “delete”,
          and the OEM will still happily allow 4wd and crew cabs with those industrial, bottomfeeder specs.

          What (AWD) sedan maker will go along with any that nonsense?

  • avatar
    usernamealreadyregistered

    I want to like the Impala but can’t get past the apparent lack of a center rear headrest. For me, a key reason to get a large sedan instead of something smaller is the ability to stuff an actual human in the center seat for short trips. Neighbor kid, grandma, disliked coworker, youngest child, etc. We did this all the time when we owned an Avalon. A puzzling number of domestic vehicles lack the headrest needed to use the center seat safely for anyone out of a car seat and taller than 4’ 6”.

    I know, I know, if I want to carry 5 people I shouldn’t get a sedan.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I think I’ll change my user name to ihatesedans. The last one I wanted was the imported from Australia Chevy SS, which I may still buy some day. Absolute classic of the genre, in my opinion. Does not get any better until the price gets much higher.

    Of the cars listed, gimme the Impala with the 3.6. A powerful, reliable engine covers a lot of sins. The Pentastar is a gem, but it’s a bit weak for smile-inducement.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Charger/300 are the ONLY choices here. Fwd based bland vanilla appliances don’t even exist to me.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Maxima isn’t full-size by any reasonable definition. It has no more room inside than the Altima. It’s just nicer.

    In a similar vein, the dead Taurus is full-size outside, but not inside. You will feel like you have more room in the back seat of a Fusion.

    Charger, yes, yes, RWD and you can get it with enough power to send it into orbit, blah, blah, blah. The fake ZF is also a really nice transmission. But it’s the worst car on this list by a considerable margin in any other respect, from ride to styling to interior quality to comfort to feature content.

    I haven’t driven the current Avalon and am quite curious about it. I like the TNGA Camry and if the Avalon drives similarly it might be my first choice, bass mouth notwithstanding.

    I had forgotten the Cadenza was still in production, but I can’t get along with the ride. Too floaty boaty.

    The Impala is the best of the cars in this category I’ve driven, although its LaCrosse platform-mate is even better.

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    I drove an Impala as a service loaner for a day after I dropped my wife’s Corvette off for service. It was a nicely equipped V6. I came away impressed and wondered why anyone would pay a premium for an Avalon. However, when I voted with my checkbook, I bought a 2018 Charger SXT Plus Leather. I just like it better than the Chevy. However, if I had to pick a FWD sedan, it would be the Impala.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Have to go with Impala on that list for basically the reasons listed by Corey.

    I WANT to love the Maxima dearly, but I believe it has the smallest interior of the options listed (maybe the Taurus is a smidge smaller?) and I can’t get past that CVT. The depreciation on a Maxima is terrifying too.

    The Impala hasn’t been around since ’99 like the LX platform Charger, which I also want to love. I had one as a rental and as much as I loved the V8, the grumpy, and the RWD dynamics, the interior is flat out cheap and screams that it is dated sans UConnect, and the body styling was over the top.

    The Impala is understated but has presence, has a huge backseat, usable trunk, the 3.6 is fully sorted out, it has gears, Super Epsilon was a good platform, and it can be had for a screaming bargain.

    When you look at the list of choices, it is no wonder the category is dying.

    Maxima, Charger, Impala, and Taurus are all dated platforms (the P2XX based Lacrosse came out in 2017, the Impala and XTS stayed on Super Epsilon) . The Avalon has controversial looks, but is likely the best of the bunch if you take price off the table as a deciding factor, and I’ve had several rental Kia Cadenzas that left me scratching my head on why the car mags love it so much.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Well I would likely never buy any of those new with 28’s money but if forced it would be Avalon despite the awful styling. If it was el freebie lease and I’d have to turn it in, I’d go with the KIA for S&G.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am going with the Impala all the way. A really nice car and very reliable. If I hadn’t bought my neighbor’s low mileage 2012 LaCrosse I would be tempted to buy the Premier.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Of the vehicles listed, I would probably pick the Charger. This is based solely on my experience with the 300S V6. Yes, yes I know they serve different missions, but at least the 300 with 301 hp delivered a surprising amount of scoot for a vehicle its size. I have to imagine a similarly equipped Charger would deliver on that area too.

    I’m blind to most Nissan’s and have been snubbed by snotty Toyota salesbots. I’m not sure where the closest Chevy dealership even is, and the last Kia/Nissan dealer I had the displeasure of walking into made me feel dirty.

    I’ve ridden in a current gen Taurus, and found it to be “a bit of car.” That’s the some total of my experience.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    Hard not to call Honda Accord and VW Passat ‘Large’ given their 103 ft3 interiors package more efficiently than the Chevy or Dodge

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Dodge Charger would be the top full sizer for me. The own a Challenger GT with the Pentastar which is smooth and powerful.

    Chevrolet Impala-A nice full sizer(CR top pick)with the Epsilon II platform and interior that has been much improved over the previous but good long in the tooth W body. GM will be kicking themselves for letting sedans like this wither away.

    Ford Taurus-The interior is a bit tight with its Range Rover like center console but the SHO with the 365 horsepower Ecoboost and awd

    Nissan Maxima-Meh the floating roof style and CVT just don’t peak my interest.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Half of this list isn’t even large and the Taurus is awful. Between the two cars remaining in contention the Charger is right wheel drive, feels roomier, and you can’t make the quality knock with a straight face when holding it up against equally bad Chinesium.

    That said, I couldn’t buy one while the Challenger exists.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I hate sedans even more than I hate CUVs, at least CUVs are practical while being crap to drive. I have had all of these as rentals bar the KIA in the past year or so. Here is my ranking:

    1. Dodge Charger – by a mile, no comparison, not even CLOSE. Would never buy one, but they are at least ridiculously obnoxiously fun with the V8, and competent with the V6. Gun to my head, this comes home with me. I’d much rather a Challenger (with a stick!) though, I don’t need four doors if I am going impractical.

    2. Chevy Impala – boring but competent snoozefest. Decent interior in the nicer trims. Thank God the 4cyl ones seem to be gone – those were annoying slow for ME, and that is saying something.

    3. Toyota Avalon – making a Camry bigger does not make it better. And UGLY. So, so UGLY. Inside and out.

    4. Ford Taurus – decent to drive, but ridiculously cramped, you can’t see out the back, and the center console “buttons” and touchscreen are epically terrible.

    5. Nissan Maxima – completely terrible car in every way. I actually WON’T accept one as a rental anymore. Ugly, terrible transmission, sloppy handling, completely pointless when the cheaper Altima is all but exactly the same.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    IF there was no Challenger for me to buy:
    The only one worth having is the Charger, it wins by V8 and RWD alone. Besides the 5.7 and 6.4 Hemis, it looks good and is a lot of fun to drive.

    The others range from blah to “MY EYES!”, and they are all FWD, so…

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    I’ve always liked the looks and presence of the Impala has over the majority of sedans on the road. It stands out, and looks very stately .

    Also GM did a very good job on the material quality on the Impala compared to say the interior of the Chargers which are cheap as hell. Hard plastic on the upper door panels and dash, while the Impala has very sleek, aluminum inserts, pho stitching, softly padded door panels and a padded dash as well. The only hard plastic is on the lower door panel, glove box and the sides where your thighs would lean against like most other car makes have, and a couple of cheap bits here and there near the dials, but everything else feels wonderfully put together for the price and it not being a luxury sedan. The drivetrain is very smooth as well, and the ride is really quiet.

    The car just feels solid and luxurious sounding upon closing the doors. It has a really nice “thunk” too. The car is well insulated from the outside world and has been extremely reliable too.

    Nissans are garbage, they might look nice from the outside, but OMG do they drive like crap! The Altima doesn’t even come close to the Impala, nor does the Maxima in some ways when comes to quality and solidarity.

    Never driven an Avalon just because I can’t stand how damn ugly they look. That snout and the fact that it’s a Toyota is a turn off for me. Every other damn person is driving a Toyota (no offense Toyo owners), so I didn’t want what everyone else owns neither.

    Yes, GM’s Epilson 2 platform has aged well, and is very tight feeling body to drive. My 17 Impala has almost 80,000 miles on the odo now, and it still has the original brakes, suspension components, and everything else. Nothing has gone wrong with the car this entire time nor has a check engine light come on. The interior is still rattle free, with no odd noises or broken trim.

    I love my Paly, and plan on keeping it for a few more years since I am not sure what I want next. Always liked the 300, I just can’t get over the really dated cheap low rent interior, and long term reliability. The 300 has the smoothest most comfortable ride out of any sedan I’ve driven lately.

  • avatar
    cliff731

    The Chevy Impala a nice car… but give me a Ford Motor Company “Panther” platform car… V-8 and RWD… yeah…!!!

    (Regrettably no longer in current production… )

    I’ve been driving one since 2003…!!!

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    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.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @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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