In the 1950s, “large” was the only size car many makes offered. Since then—mostly due to cost and fuel economy—small cars all the way down to “tiny” have been made available. But some people still like ’em big.
For those buyers, the pickings are rather slim—at least compared to other automotive classes. We count just eight vehicles in the Large Car class, a number that has gone down significantly in recent years.
Pickings are also pretty slim when it comes to body styles. All the cars come only as 4-door sedans…no exceptions. V6 engines are standard in all, with only two offering an optional V8. Anyone who just woke up from a 40-year nap would be appalled.
The Buick LaCrosse and Kia Cadenza are both redesigned. The new LaCrosse is detailed on the following pages. The all-new second-generation Cadenza gets a new structure that’s stiffer yet lighter than the previous platform, a 290-hp 3.3-liter V6 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the expected range of available comfort and safety features. The Chrysler 300 gets new appearance packages and a new infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The Dodge Charger gets the same new infotainment system as the 300, along with nostalgic Daytona models that include a functional hood scoop, upgraded brakes and wheels, and retro-style body graphics. The Toyota Avalon gets Toyota’s Safety Sense P suite of safety features as standard equipment.
With the launch of Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand, the Hyundai Genesis sedan is rebadged as the Genesis G80. In light of its new luxury brand name and expanded level of standard equipment, the Genesis G80 becomes a member of our premium large car class. No 2017 information was available on the Ford Taurus or Hyundai Azera as of this writing. We don’t expect significant changes for either, though it’s possible the current Azera could be dropped for 2017.
Just one large car offers a hybrid version: the Toyota Avalon. The Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus offer all-wheel drive in place of front-wheel drive.
Then there are the similar Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, which also offer all-wheel drive, though in these cases, it’s in place of rear-wheel drive (the 300 and Charger are the only RWD vehicles in the class). But their real claim to fame is that they offer a V6, a V8, and really stompin’ V8s. A 370-horsepower 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8 is offered in standard models, but the potent Charger R/T 392 and SRT 392 versions come with a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter V8, and the Charger SRT Hellcat packs a supercharged 707-hp 6.2-liter V8. These are executive hot rods that can rival some far more expensive premium sedans for performance.