A car to replace my 2011 Chevy Malibu...?

I’ve been leasing a Malibu, a four-door sedan, and have been pleased: very reliable, reasonably priced, comfy interior, good sound system, and good looking IMHO. There are a few design quirks that I dislike but which aren’t a big deal. Before that I had a 2008 Saturn Aura XE, which was very similar.

My three-year lease term is coming to an end in mid-October. The car’s still in very good condition, and I could now buy it without too much trouble, but I’m wondering about leasing another car.

Any suggestions? I’d like something comparable in price, size and engine strength, very reliable, good-looking, and American-made, if possible.


Ford Fusion is a wonderful looking American made car, IMO. I think it’s superior in many ways to the Malibu but in the same price bracket.

I like the look of the Dodge Dart and I like that it was designed in partnership with Alfa Romeo. It’s on the small side however, and I’m not sure the quality is where it ought to be. But since you’re leasing, long term reliability is not going to be an issue for you.

Good alternatives to American made cars are:

Kia Optima
Hyundai Sonata
Honda Accord
Toyota Camry
VW Passat

Not a very demanding set of specs. There are so many good, if not near-great cars today, even without getting into luxury or sporting models, that you could just about roll the dice and be happy.

I’d spend a few evenings reading Edmunds.com and other reasonably neutral car-info sites, filtering widely to cover the limits of your interest. Then read more specific reviews of the 2-3 models that most interest you.

And, of course, do your homework before actually going shopping. I caution against leasing but if it works for you, it works for you. You can still get a better deal by knowing the numbers and the options before putting yourself in the salesween’s hands.

ETA: I’d also start with a long, hard look at the Fusion. Good car, gotten better, the Aston-like redesign is very handsome.

Thirding the Fusion. Well reviewed and good looking.

Take a look at the Kia Optima. I’m a current Saturn Aura owner (and have owned only Saturns since 1999). The Optima tops my list to replace my Aura when the time comes. I test drove one last year and was really impressed.

The Optima and its sister the Hyundai Sonata are assembled in the US, for what that’s worth.

Just bought a 2013 Optima that we love so far.

Thanks, everyone. I’ve heard good things about the Fusion elsewhere, too.

Camrys are solely assembled and manufactured in Kentucky (previously California), and has been for a long time. Accord in Ohio I think. The same is true for most, but not all of their models.

The Fusion is one of the higher rated US cars. But they are/were at least partially built in Mexico. And Fiesta (but that’s not too surprising!)