why is the Optima, Sonata, Avenger, and 200 not mentioned in the competitors list at the end of the article?
Chev needed to do something as its sales for 2012 dropped by 50% over 2011 and the Mazda 6 and Subaru Legacy sold less as well as the Dodge Avenger.
The sales dropped in 2012 as people were waiting for the all new 2013 model. The previous generation Malibu (2008-2012) is still my favourite (especially the platinum package). It sold quite well, offered 6 speed auto in the 4 cylinder, got decent fuel economy, and also had a strong V6.
As for the Mazda6, that generation (2009-2013) has never done well, Mazda forgot it's root, and just made the car bigger, faster, and uglier. It's reliable, but nothing to see it apart, no sport hatch, and no wagon like the previous generation. The 2014 will turn that around, skyactiv, good looks, and an upcoming diesel.
Honestly not sure about the Legacy. Whenever I think of Subaru, I want the Outback, something with a little ground clearance, AWD of course, good cargo room, and hatch style, no trunk. Which is why Subaru remains the favourite of pet owners. But I will never buy a Subaru, because aside from Porsche, their prices compared to the US are the most inflated. And the 2.5L is not the most reliable engine around.
Umm, the Dodge Avenger, is reserved for fleets, the 2.4L engine is underpowered, in most trims it comes with a 4 speed auto, the fuel economy is bottom of it's class. The only good thing is the 3.6L pentastar. But that starts at $28k, and for the same price you can get something that has a better interior, and not using such an old platform.