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Surprised that the most expensive and most expensive to fuel sedan won first place in Motor Trend‘s comparison of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, and Volkswagen Passat? $29,333 ought to beat $22,235, shouldn’t it? But in a test where fuel econony matters matter, does the $29,333 car with 22.8mpg on premium gas beat the $22,235 with 23.8 on regular? Well, it does if 0-60 flies by in 6.7 seconds. Here are MT’s verdicts with a 1-10 rating from The Good Car Guy, with 10 being complete agreement and 1 being complete disagreement: 

1st Place: Volkswagen Passat – 
Despite a high sticker and thirst for premium, wins by a nose due to driving fun. 
GCBC Agreement: 5
2nd Place: Hyundai Sonata – 
Only lacking the VW’s verve; our #1 pick if family comes first.
GCBC Agreement: 7
3rd Place: Toyota Camry – 
Efficient, well executed, it’s the sound, yet charmless choice.
GCBC Agreement: 7
4th Place: Honda Accord –
Polarizing looks inside and out can’t hide a great engine and chassis combination.
GCBC Agreement: 3
5th Place: Ford Fusion –
Surprisingly athletic chassis hampered by wheezy engine and irritating transmission.
GCBC Agreement: 6
6th Place: Kia Optima –
Though due for a refresh, Kia finishes on top of the second tier. Room and economy are fine, it just needs the same refinements the Sonata received.
GCBC Agreement: 8
7th Place: Nissan Altima –
Steepest sticker, yet not the best ride, performance, or value. CVT and light steering create an effortless drive, yet fully loaded, it still seems lacking.
GCBC Agreement: 9
8th Place: Chevrolet Malibu –
Poor finish for arguably the best looker. Shame that sexy skin hides a weight problem the underpowered Ecotec can’t handle.
GCBC Agreement: 6
9th Place: Mitsubishi Galant –
Looks old, feels older, and saddled with many of this comparo’s worsts, including power-to-weight and EPA and observed fuel economy.
GCBC Agreement: 10
10th Place: Dodge Avenger –
Drum brakes, four-speed trans, cheap plastics, and poor economy make this a frightful drive. Gaps between last and first don’t get any wider than this.
GCBC Agreement: 10
Which cars were missing from the test? Former losers and models soon-to-be replaced. The Subaru Legacy could’ve finished mid-pack. Mazda’s upcoming 6 will charge to the top of the field. Pontiac’s G6 would compete with the Galant and Avenger (or Chrysler Sebring) for rear guards. The Saturn Aura is commonly regarded as a lesser Malibu. Check back tomorrow for more detail on MT’s controversial winner.