This fall, car shoppers will have a new crop of roomy midsize 1995 sedans to choose from.
- CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO AND LUMINA. The two-door Monte Carlo and four-door Lumina will be about the same size as the Ford Taurus and Honda Accord, for an estimated $15,000 to $19,000.GMs boxy look has given way to sloped hoods, rounded fronts and contoured door panels.
A 160-horsepower, V-6 engine is standard on most models, as are dual air bags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and an anti-theft system.
- CHRYSLER CIRRUS AND DODGE STRATUS. The interior is slightly larger than in the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, thanks to the cab-forward design Chrysler developed for the LH cars.
Both are tuned for sporty handling. Dual air bags, side-impact protection, child-proof rear-door locks and ABS (except on the Stratus ES) are standard.
- FORD CONTOUR AND MERCURY MYSTIQUE. These replacements for the smaller Tempo and Topaz are powered by lightweight V-6 engines that, Mercury says, will require only fluid and filter changes for 100,000 miles. (Ford is expected to follow suit.)
Dual air bags are standard. Traction control and ABS are optional.
- MERCEDES-BENZ E300 DIESEL. This $40,000, rear-wheel-drive car is the equivalent of the midsize gasoline-powered E-class sedans.
It uses the same four-valve-per-cylinder technology that allowed gasoline engines to breathe more efficiently and thus delivers more power and speed.
The 3-liter engine has a catalytic converter, making it the only diesel clean enough to meet air-quality standards in California and New York.
- HYUNDAI SONATA. Newly redesigned, the $13,300 Sonata, from Korea, joins the many Accord aspirants on the market.
Structural improvements make the new Sonata 20 percent stiffer than the previous version, for better stability, traction, ride and handling.
It comes with a 137-horsepower engine. Dual air bags are standard.
- OLDSMOBILE AURORA. At $32,620, this four-door, front-wheel-drive car is loaded with standard traction control, ABS, self-leveling suspension, dual air bags and keyless entry.
More powerful than its competitors - Acura Legend, Infiniti J30, and Lexus ES300 and GS300 - the Aurora has a 4-liter V8 that delivers 250 horsepower.
- CADILLAC LSE. Still on the drawing boards is a four-door sedan in the $30,000 neighborhood.
Cadillac's concept entry car will have rear-wheel drive, one of the few in General Motors' stable, and ride on a midsize frame.
Its designed to be powered by a 3-liter V-6 with four valves per cylinder.