2010: New Mid- and Full-Size Sedans

By Brian Alexander,
2010 Audi S4
With all the inconsistency in model year numbers – in some cases, 2010 models have been on sale for over a year, while in others, the 2010s are just rolling out – it can be hard to keep track of what’s fresh and new in the automotive market. Here are some vehicles you should look out for in the coming year.

2010 Porsche Panamera


2010 Subaru Legacy
Recently Released:

2010 Audi S4
Ditching lazy V-8 power in favor of a supercharged V-6, the all-new Audi S4 is better than ever. The new engine has gobs of torque across the rev band and is especially potent in the lower gears, while the addition of a dual-clutch automatic is a welcome option for those who prefer a two-pedal setup. Fuel economy is way up too, at 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway. A new sport differential that actually enables oversteer is a must-have. Pricing starts at $45,900.

2010 Buick LaCrosse
Looking to ditch its, um, older image, Buick is set to release more hip, modern cars along the lines of Lexus and Acura. First up is the 2010 LaCrosse, and it certainly looks the hipper part. Several engines are on offer, with a turbocharged four-cylinder on the horizon that will promise improved fuel economy. With a starting MSRP of just $27,085, it may just give the more expensive competition something to worry about.

2010 Ford Taurus/Taurus SHO
Released this summer, the Taurus underwent a reinvention of sorts. While the model was synonymous with mediocre mid-size rental transportation in the ‘90s, it has grown up in its newest iteration, both figuratively and literally. Make no mistake, this is a massive car, with high tech options available such as real-time traffic updates and radar cruise control. Pricing starts at $25,995, but lots of options mean it can run much higher than that. The top-of-the-line SHO features a mean twin-turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive, though it’s not as edgy as we’d hoped.

2010 Jaguar XFR
Want BMW M5 pace without the backbreaking racer suspension or top-heavy, almost F1-ish engine? Want Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG grunt with a less cold, calculated cabin and fistfuls of low-end supercharged torque? Jaguar’s new XFR joins the posh supersedan club, and the segment is all the better for it. We loved the XF’s modern cabin the first time around, but when you cram a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 with 510 horsepower under the hood, it only gets better.  At $80K, it’s not cheap, but it is most certainly worth the money.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Instead of trying to beat sporty competition in the dynamics department, Mercedes-Benz has gone and made the kind of sedan they built the company’s excellent reputation on – a stylish, luxurious tourer. The E-Class is a great place to while away the hours on a road trip or in traffic, and both V-6 and V-8 engine choices allow buyers to get just as much car as they want. With a starting price of $48,600, the new E-Class is actually priced lower than its predecessor.

2010 Porsche Panamera
That’s right, Porsche – conquerors of nearly every form of motorsport and masters of the horizontally opposed engine – have built themselves a sedan. A sedan with a hatchback, actually, so it’s a bit more utilitarian than you might think. But forget all that, this is a Porsche, which means it’s quite good at going very, very fast both in a straight line and around corners. The interior is properly luxurious and you can have rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but at $89,800, it’s right up there with the best of the best. For a real rush, may we suggest the Turbo model?

2010 Subaru Legacy
Subaru has long been a niche brand of versatility-inclined vehicles, but the new Legacy is looking to break the mold. With a modern yet oh-so-nonchalant interior and a variety of engine and transmission choices, not to mention styling that puts the established competition to shame, we can find little fault with Subaru’s more mainstream approach. If you need all-wheel drive versatility, look no further than this $20,690 bargain.

Coming soon:

2011 Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai has redesigned its mid-sized volume sedan, and while it clearly draws inspiration from just about every car in the segment, for what it lacks in outright style it more than makes up for with its Genesis-esque interior.  With an announced price of just $19,915, it conveniently slots in below Camry and Accord, too.

2011 Infiniti M
Because the current Infiniti M is still a looker, and dynamically, is right up at the top of its class, we expect the all-new 2011 model to shake up the segment a bit. Both a 3.7-liter V-6 and 5.6-liter V-8 will be available initially, with a V-6 hybrid model coming approximately a year after the car’s debut. With an announced price of $46,250, it seems like a bargain to us.

2011 Hyundai Equus
Hyundai is on fire lately (well, not literally), still riding on the success of its excellent Genesis. And while the idea behind the Genesis was that it be a cut-rate Lexus, the idea behind the Equus is that it be a cut-rate Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Now that’s an idea we can get behind.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide
Yep, Aston Martin is getting into the sedan – er, “four-door sports car” – game too. Essentially a stretched DB9, the Rapide ticks all the right boxes – it’s got Aston Martin looks and a 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Keep an eye out for this one.


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