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Large-sedan reviews

Road tests of the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Buick LaCrosse, and Ford Taurus

Consumer Reports magazine: October 2012

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Unpredictable spikes in gasoline prices have steered many buyers toward smaller, fuel-efficient cars. But if you’re willing to trade some gas mileage for a vehicle with a roomier, more upscale cabin and a more refined driving experience, several well-crafted large sedans might better suit your lifestyle.

The biggest news in this group is the ongoing regeneration of Chrysler’s flagship 300. When we tested the V8-powered 300C last year, we found it to be a huge improvement over the mediocre original. For 2012, the 300’s V6 engine was paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, which improved driveability and helped the large sedan get a decent 22 mpg in our fuel-economy tests. Its 83 test score now puts the 300 V6 near the top of this class, below the Hyundai Genesis.

We also tested the redesigned Hyundai Azera; a Buick LaCrosse equipped with GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system, which achieved a best-in-class 26 mpg overall; and the freshened Ford Taurus, which suffers from a cramped interior, limited visibility, and complex controls.

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