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Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide

By KBB.com Editors on March 10, 2014 4:59 PM
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2015 Toyota Camry2015 Subaru Legacy2014 Honda Accord2014 Chevrolet Malibu2014 Mazda62014 Ford Fusion2014 Kia Optima2014 Nissan Altima2014 Volkswagen Passat2014 Toyota Camry2014 Hyundai Sonata2014 Chrysler 2002014 Dodge Avenger

The Most Popular Car in the Country

Accounting for almost one of every six cars sold annually, the midsize sedan segment is the country's best-selling car category. And it's a big year for this big group.

The Chrysler 200, Hyundai Sonata and Subaru Legacy have all been totally redesigned for 2015, and each is already on sale. The Toyota Camry gets a significant facelift for 2015, and will likely start arriving at dealerships around October.

But those are just four of 11 midsize sedans worth considering. With more great choices than any other group of car buyers, midsize sedan shoppers aren't facing an easy task. But we've driven them all, and we're here to help.

A Dozen Choices

Want to see more pictures of the all-new Subaru Legacy? Wondering how much you should really pay for a Honda Accord? Click on a car below for easy access to our full review, Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own figures, expert and consumer ratings, and everything else you need to make your best decision.

  • 2014 Chevrolet Malibu
    2014 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2013 Chrysler 200
    2014 Chrysler 200
  • 2013 Dodge Avenger
    2014 Dodge Avenger
  • 2014 Ford Fusion
    2014 Ford Fusion
  • 2013 Honda Accord
    2014 Honda Accord
  • 2013 Hyundai Sonata
    2014 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2014 Kia Optima
    2014 Kia Optima
  • 2014 Mazda6
    2014 Mazda6
  • 2013 Nissan Altima
    2014 Nissan Altima
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy
    2015 Subaru Legacy
  • 2013 Toyota Camry
    2014 Toyota Camry
  • 2013 Volkswagen Passat
    2014 Volkswagen Passat

Typically Equipped

Most of these 12 midsize family sedans start in the low $20,000 range and top out in the low- to mid-$30,000 range. Some offer V6, turbo or hybrid power, but most buyers go for the base 4-cylinder engine and pay about $25,000 on average.

New Features

The list of features now offered on these middle-of-the-market vehicles still reads a bit like science fiction: text-to-speech message reading, blind spot detection, cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, push-button start and one-touch Pandora internet radio (via your smartphone connection) to name a few.

Broad Appeal

You'll find five of these midsize sedans on this year's list of 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000, three of them made our list of 10 Best Hybrids Under $30,000 and two are among our 12 Best Family Cars of 2014

Resale Value Recognition

The Honda Accord is a perennial resale value standout, and the 2014 model is this year's Best Resale Value Award winner in the Mid-Size Car category. Following in the second and third spots were the 2014 Kia Optima and 2014 Ford Fusion.

Honda Accord or Toyota Camry?

The rivalry is older than some of the people driving the cars, and even though the midsize sedan segment has grown from a two-car race to a six- or eight- or 10-car competition, Accord and Camry are still the dueling gold standards and the two best-selling cars in the country. Which of the two should you buy? That depends, but here's the short answer.

Deeper Dives

Our long-term vehicle test fleet currently includes three midsize sedans: a Chevrolet Malibu, a Mazda6 and a Volkswagen Passat.

Interesting Alternatives

Want the amenities of a midsize sedan but don't need all the room? Today's compact cars offer an increasingly compelling array of features for less. Or for greater versatility and a higher driving position, check out this year's compact SUV lineup.

 

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