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CarAdvice

Medium Cars Under $60k

Toyota Camry
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  • Spacious and well presented inside; Creamy-smooth V6 engine; Loaded with safety tech; Manageable capped-price servicing

  • Behind the times on infotainment tech; Dash intrudes on passenger knee room; Dithering eight-speed auto spoils refinement; Could be more frugal by modern standards

Volkswagen Passat
  • Wolfsburg brings a big extras list for a small premium; Strong and efficient engine; Excellent road manners; Capable AWD system; Good towing capacity; Classy, practical interior

  • Ground clearance could be higher for an all-roader wagon; Comfort mode’s floaty ride and slow engine response; DSG still not the perfect automatic gearbox; Some interior-quality inconsistencies

Mazda 6
  • Assured handling and comfortable ride; Turbo petrol’s mid-range muscle; Atenza cabin looks upmarket; 6’s improved road noise; Equipment level lives up to Atenza’s ‘range-topper’ status

  • Some similarly priced wagons have bigger boots; Older Mazda infotainment system; 6 not as engaging to steer as previous generations; Performance comes with a fuel-economy penalty

Hyundai Sonata
  • Excellent road manners; Better cabin design and layout; Metal-for-money equation; Hyundai ownership experience

  • Missing active safety tech; Price gap between Active and Premium; Lack of hybrid

Subaru Liberty
  • Excellent (expanded) suite of driver-aid tech; Improved connectivity; Smart-looking cabin; Strong engine with effective CVT; Build quality

  • Bouncy country ride; Gluggy steering; Thirsty six-cylinder; Expensive servicing

Medium Cars Over $60k

BMW 3 Series
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  • Interior vastly superior to the old model; Fast, responsive drivetrain; AWD system doesn't kill BMW soul; Does the Jekyll/Hyde balance perfectly

  • The old BMW steering wheel was nicer; M40i xDrive wagon is not available here; Perhaps the exhaust could sound gruffer

Mercedes-Benz C200
  • Quiet cabin at highway speeds; Mild hybrid technology offers a new tech dimension for the C-Class; Infotainment upgrade overdue and welcome; Economical in and around the city

  • Over 10 per cent weight increase due to 48V mild hybrid components; Three-year warranty only; COMAND infotainment system not as good as its competitors

Audi A4
  • Lots of sheetmetal change to enhance appearance; Techy new infotainment format; Adaptive Comfort suspension improves ride-handling balance

  • MMI Touch more distracting to use; Surprise-free on-road experience; Stop-start coasting feature of little real-world benefit

Jaguar XE
  • Superb design; Clever in-built rear-view mirror camera; Good fuel economy; A1 ride and handling; Fewer range variants

  • Rough engine stop/start system; Interesting climate-control set-up; Tight rear comfort

Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Great steering and handling; Spirited and efficient drivetrain; Steering wheel and paddle-shifter design; Outsider appeal, badge cachet

  • Dated centre display; Lacking some modern tech, for example, a head-up display and lane-keeping assist; Fairly steep servicing costs