2012 Sedan Buyer's Guide - Most Dependable
by Martha Hindes
Mom, dad and apple pie. A day at the ballpark. A long, luxurious trip. Courting a business client in comfortable style. Think of driving a sedan and those are some of the things that might come to mind. For this is one middle-of-the-road vehicle that can capably fulfill so many functions it can defy being categorized. It's the family hauler that keeps siblings safely stowed in the back seat, with ample room to wriggle on a long trip. It's the cushy carrier that can ferry a potential client to lunch in appropriate style for serious business talk. It has cozied up to uncountable fast food windows for a family meal on the fly. You know the drill: shake, burger, fries and maybe a slice of prepackaged pie after a winning ballgame or a busy day at work. It's about as mainstream and dependable as any set of wheels can get.
While many sedans used to be mostly sedate -- a sign of their innate functionality -- those days have changed, expanded, grown beyond their boundaries. Current sedan versions, while remaining infinitely usable, wear beautifully crafted exteriors, at times hiding their sedan character with barely perceptable rear door handles for a sultry and sporty coupe appearance. Interiors that once were simply functional, now are laden with the latest audio and visual electronics for information and entertainment on the road. Lush seating surfaces, sometimes touched with warmed or cooled leather for a pampering touch, still offer the comfortable ride, ease of access and convenience only a sedan can provide. Knockout color combinations are guaranteed to add eye popping appeal. And today's high-revving, highly refined engines designed for more oomph with less wallet ouch lets them do what sedans were designed for -- just about any automotive task on the list.
For Road & Travel Magazine's 2012 Sedan Buyer's Guide, we choose a variety of staples to help kickstart one's automotive imagination.