There are plenty of great midsize sedans to choose from today, but what if you want to spend your money in Detroit? Well, there are really just two options.
Yes, if an affordable American automobile with four doors is something you crave then the best options out there are from Chevy and Ford. The Malibu and Fusion are solid offerings that give “import” brands a run for their money.
Starting with the bow-tie offering, the Malibu has lost a ton of weight with its latest redesign. OK, not literally 2,000 pounds, but the 300 it shed is a HUGE accomplishment. It rides on an all-new architecture that should be stiffer, safer and more efficient than ever.
The top engine offering in this car is a 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo that puts out a strong 250 horses with 258 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which peaks at a basement-level 1,700 RPM. This propulsion unit is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, though Malibus with lesser engines make do with a six-ratio self-shifting gearbox.
As for efficiency, this Chevy stickers at 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 33 on highway drives. These figures result in a combined score of 26 MPG, which is respectable for a car with 250 horses under its hood.
Moving on, Ford’s Fusion is as stylish as ever since the current model bowed for the 2013 model year. Arguably, it’s still the most handsome sedan in the midsize class.
The most muscular engine offered in this blue-oval family car is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger. Closely mirroring the Chevy’s output numbers, it’s good for 240 horses and 270 lb-ft of peak twist. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available in the Fusion, but trumping the Malibu it can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
When it comes to fuel economy, a front-drive version of this Ford matches the Malibu perfectly in every drive cycle. Coincidence? We think so!