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Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide

By Editors on March 10, 2014 4:59 PM
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Toyota CamryHonda AccordChrysler 200Hyundai SonataFord FusionSubaru LegacyChevrolet MalibuNissan AltimaKia OptimaMazda MAZDA6Volkswagen Passat

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 the best-selling car in the country, the Toyota Camry, gets a new look and more.

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.

Eleven Options

Want to see more pictures of the redesigned Toyota Camry? Wondering how much you should really pay for a Honda Accord? Click 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
    Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chrysler 200 Midsize Sedan
    Chrysler 200
  • 2014 Ford Fusion
    Ford Fusion
  • 2013 Honda Accord
    Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata Midsize Sedan
    Hyundai Sonata
  • 2014 Kia Optima
    Kia Optima
  • 2014 Mazda6
    Mazda MAZDA6
  • 2013 Nissan Altima
    Nissan Altima
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy
    Subaru Legacy
  • Toyota Camry Midsize Sedan
    Toyota Camry
  • 2013 Volkswagen Passat
    Volkswagen Passat

Typically Equipped

Most of these 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 to name a few.

Broad Appeal

You'll find five of these midsize sedans on our most recent 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 it took home our most recent Best Resale Value Award in the Mid-Size Car category. Following in the second and third spots were the Kia Optima and Ford Fusion.


While the Chrysler 200 was completely redesigned for 2015, its corporate-cousin Dodge Avenger calls it quits after 2014.

Deeper Dives

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

Looking Ahead

The 2016 Mazda6 will feature subtle styling tweaks inside and out, plus a significant tech upgrade. It was among several 2016 models unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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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