Australians love their sedans, whether they're locally built or from elsewhere around the world including sources in Japan, Thailand and Europe. For many, the sedan body style remains the only choice, however Large Car sales have plummeted in the past decade, as private and now business buyers seek to downsize.
A range of affordable mid-size sedans are available from the likes of Mazda (with the Mazda6), Hyundai (i45), Honda (Accord Euro) and Subaru (Liberty). The home-grown Holden SS Commodore and Ford Falcon XR models lead the sports sedan offerings. For high-end performance, look to Europe and the highly desirable products from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Powerplant options include four-cylinder units around 1.0-litre up to 6-odd litre V12 engines. Petrol, diesel, LPG and hybrid models are available and technical innovations to combat fuel consumption are regularly introduced in this family transport-oriented segment. Shoppers can choose models with stop-start while Ford’s EcoBoost four-cylinder has been applied to the Falcon range, and Honda offers a Variable Cylinder Management system which shuts down cylinders to boost the V6 unit’s economy.
Automatic transmissions are the norm however types vary from the more common four and five-speed units to six, seven and eight-speed versions; some with paddle-shift for a touch of sportiness.
On the safety front, most sedans receive the full-complement of crash mitigation technologies and achieve a minimum of four-star ANCAP ratings. Many boast a top score of five stars.
Sedans in the Light and Small Car segments are usually outnumbered by hatchback models, however the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan has always been popular and Mazda3, Ford Fiesta and Corolla sedans all offer reasonable passenger space.
Among mid-sizers, the Toyota Camry and abovementioned Mazda6 sell well while the Large Car segment is dominated by the local Commodore, Falcon and Aurion offerings. Holden’s Caprice ‘owns’ the Upper Large (sub $100k) category and executive transport above $100,000 is provided by BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ and Audi A8.