Best Buy Awards Midsize Car 2015
Our Midsize Car Best Buy of 2015 demonstrates the category's most appealing mix of quality, value, features, driving dynamics, fuel economy, safety and more, as informed by yearlong vehicle testing, back-to-back comparisons and our industry-leading pricing and resale value insight.
You can't please all the people all the time, but no car comes closer to doing so than the Honda Accord.
A renowned reputation for reliability provides the foundation for its success, but Honda's midsize sedan is much more than famously headache-free transportation. The Accord actually feels unlike any other midsize sedan. The transmission selector, parking brake and door handle all move with a uniquely pleasing action that quietly communicates quality and confidence. Those are small touches, yes, but they demonstrate just how thoroughly refined this vehicle is. The more critical -- and complicated -- acts of steering, braking and accelerating all deliver the same sense of gratification.
But the 2015 Honda Accord also excels in the more common, more measurable points of comparison. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the current-generation Honda Accord a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates 4-cylinder Honda Accord city/highway fuel economy at 27/36 mpg, for an impressive combined rating of 31 mpg. And Honda Accord resale values remain among the very best in the midsize sedan segment.
Whether you're the touchy-feely or the analytical type of midsize sedan shopper, the Honda Accord is relentlessly appealing.
The Honda Accord is among the oldest nameplates on sale today, and 2015 marks its 40th year in America. That's a long time to evolve and improve a product, and that's just what Honda has done. The Accord's reliability is legendary, a direct result of Honda having spent so much time refining the recipe over decades.
Long-term quality is a key influencer of resale value, and the Honda Accord is a standout on both fronts. Other midsize sedans can sometimes appear to offer more for less, but quite often the Honda Accord will cost less in the long run, thanks to a reputation that keeps demand for Accords high in the used car market.
The Accord may indeed be a little sportier than its chief competitor, the Toyota Camry, but it's the Accord's superior day-to-day driving manners that give it an edge. It's comfortable and confident on the highway, and buttery smooth in the stop, go and turn of city streets and parking lots. The latest Accord is the first with a "gearless" continuously variable automatic transmission, and the seamless power delivery is becoming a competitive advantage.
The Honda Accord topped our most recent list of 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000, and now it takes home the title of Midsize Sedan Best Buy for 2015.
More Honda Accord
The Accord is also one of our 12 Best Family Cars, and the Honda Accord Hybrid earned a spot on our list of 10 Best Green Cars. If you want to learn even more, read our 2015 Honda Accord review. And if you've heard all you need to hear, build and price your own Accord to unlock this week's Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.
2015 Honda Accord Photo Gallery
The midsize sedan segment has been completely purged of bad choices, and now each of the 11 options is the right choice for someone. If you're looking for something fun to drive, the Mazda6, Ford Fusion or Volkswagen Passat may very well prove the best buy for you. With key factors like quality and resale value becoming less of a differentiator across the category, often the right choice is simply the one you like most. Here are the four other midsize sedans we handpicked for inclusion in this year's awards program, in alphabetical order:
2015 Chrysler 200
A Familiar Name with New Appeal
Totally redesigned for 2015, the Chrysler 200 earned a spot in our Best Buy competition based on its thorough newness, standout styling and premium-like interior. A long shot to take the title, Chrysler's immensely improved midsize sedan deserved a closer look.Arguably one of the best-looking sedans in the segment, the new 200's standout styling is definitely one of its key strengths. The visual appeal carries through to the inside, especially on upper-end trims, while Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system is one of our favorites for its clear layout and intuitive operation. Most buyers will opt for the 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive powertrain, but not surprisingly the Chrysler 200 is most impressive when equipped with the powerful 295-horsepower V6 matched with all-wheel drive.
Midsize sedan shoppers seeking maximum roominess will want to look elsewhere, but buyers in search of premium style and something different might give the new Chrysler 200 a test drive.
2015 Hyundai Sonata
Impressive Follow-Up to Hyundai's Biggest Hit
The Hyundai Sonata has also been completely redesigned for 2015, and it gave the Honda Accord a serious run for its money in this competition. In addition to the attractive sticker prices and class-leading warranty on which Hyundai built its brand in this country, the new Sonata is also noteworthy for its well thought-out interior, smooth powertrain and competitive resale values.
Outside, the new Sonata isn't as boldly styled as its predecessor, but the attractive, more mature shape should serve it well over time. Inside, a gorgeous, high-resolution touch screen is a highlight in both design and function, and rear-seat legroom is seemingly limitless.
The new Sonata is yet another impressive step forward for Hyundai, and we look forward to spending more time with it in the coming year.
2015 Nissan Altima
The Makings of a Stalwart
Roomy, comfortable and offering an impressive set of features and technologies, never before has the Nissan Altima been a more viable alternative to the segment's two perennial top-sellers. In our full review we noted, "The 2015 Nissan Altima offers all the 'best-of' benefits of a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but without the midsize-sedan 'me-too' factor that inevitably comes with buying one of those cars."
The passenger cabin is a key area of strength for the Altima, combining tasteful design with a sense of warmth not found in many of its competitors. The seats are notably comfortable, and the Altima is quiet on the highway, where it's also rated to return an impressive 38 mpg when equipped with the 4-cylinder engine.
One of our most recent 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000, the Nissan Altima is a solid choice among stiff competition.
2015 Toyota Camry
An Even Better Bestseller
Boasting stylish new sheet metal, impactful interior upgrades and revised driving dynamics, the most attractive Camry ever is fresher and more contemporary throughout. Combined with the reliability and resale values that have helped make it the best-selling car in the country 12 years in a row, the 2015 Toyota Camry now qualifies as an even better buy.
Almost completely redesigned outside, the Camry is both sportier and more elegant at once. Highlighted by a bold front end and tastefully detailed rear, it's a look that promises to satisfy the Camry faithful while also appealing to a new group of buyers. The interior wasn't overhauled as thoroughly, but nicer materials, newer technologies and smart design changes have clearly elevated the experience. Finally, revised steering, braking and suspension tuning make for a more responsive Camry, while it still qualifies as an especially comfortable and easy to drive midsize sedan.
Unavailable in time for the back-to-back driving portion of our awards program and thus not eligible for the Midsize Sedan Best Buy title, it will be interesting to see how this impressively enhanced Camry performs in next year's Best Buy awards program.