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Although mass is an issue that is addressed throughout the vehicle development chain, it is sometimes not evident just how things turn out vis-à-vis what the competitors are up to in the same category.

Here is a look at three categories of vehicles—midsize sedan, compact crossover, and muscle car—with close apples-to-apples trims. Two things stand out.

One is that when it comes to these vehicles, which are, with the exception of the pony cars, all volume plays, steel is the dominant material for the bodies. While there is an aluminum hood here or there, steel is primary. (Of course, were we to look at suspension setups, the story would be significantly different, particularly as unsprung weight is a huge consideration in that area of the vehicle.)

For the midsize sedans and compact crossovers the models are high trim level; for the performance cars, we opted for base as the number of variants of those vehicles is seemingly a geometric progression.

2020 Camry XLE

Structure: Steel body, aluminum hood

Engine/transmission: 203-hp, 2.5-liter I4; eight-speed automatic

Dimensions: 111.2-inch wheelbase; 192.7-inch length; 72.4-inch width; 56.9 inches height

Camry XLE

(Image: Toyota)

Curb weight: 3,351 pounds

2020 Accord Touring

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 252-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged I4; 10-speed automatic

Dimensions: 111.4-inch wheelbase; 192.2-inch length; 73.3-inch width; 57.1-inch height

Accord Touring

(Image: Honda)

Curb weight: 3,428 pounds

2020 Sonata Limited

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 180-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged I4; eight-speed automatic

Dimensions: 111.8-inch wheelbase; 192.9-inch length; 73.2-inch width; 56.9-inch height

Sonata Limited

(Image: Hyundai)

Curb weight: 3,336 pounds

2020 Ford Escape Titanium

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 250 hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4; eight-speed automatic

Dimensions: 106.7-inch wheelbase; 180.5-inch length; 74.1-inch width; 66.1-inch height

Ford Escape

(Image: Ford)

Curb weight (AWD): 3,566 pounds

2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 230-hp, 2.5-liter I4; eight-speed automatic

Dimensions: 105.9-in wheelbase; 180.9-inch length; 73-inch width; 67.2-inch height (w/antenna)

Toyota RAV4

(Image: Toyota)

Curb weight (AWD): 3,490 pounds

2020 Honda CR-V Touring

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 190-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged I4; continuously variable transmission

Dimensions: 104.8-in wheelbase; 182.1-inch length; 73-inch width; 66.1-inch height

Honda CR-V

(Image: Honda)

Curb weight (AWD): 3,569 pounds

2020 Mustang EcoBoost

Structure: Steel body, aluminum hood and front fenders

Engine/transmission: 310-hp, 2.3-liter DOHC, Ti-VCT turbocharged I4; six-speed manual

Dimensions: 107.1-inch wheelbase; 188.5-inch length; 75.4-inch width; 54.3-inch height


(Image: Ford)

Curb weight: 3,542 pounds

2020 Camaro LS

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 275-hp, 2.0-liter DOHC, VVT I4; six-speed manual

Dimensions: 110.7-inch wheelbase; 188.3-inch length; 74.7-inch width; 53.1-inch height


(Image: Chevrolet)

Curb weight: 3,351 pounds

2020 Dodge Challenger R/T

Structure: Steel unibody

Engine/transmission: 303-hp, 3.6-liter DOHC V6; six-speed manual

Dimensions: 116-inch wheelbase; 197.9-inch length; 75.7-inch width; 57.7-inch height


(Image: FCA)

Curb weight: 4,182 pounds


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