Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide: More Car for Your Money

By Editors on July 13, 2016 12:32 PM

Roomy, comfortable, efficient, tech-savvy, and sometimes even fun to drive, today's midsize sedans deliver more bang for the buck than perhaps any other category of vehicles. It's no wonder they remain among the top-selling cars in the country.

Explore your 11 options below -- listed in order of popularity according to the most recent year's sales -- or scroll past the cars to get you first peek at new models, pick up some smart sedan test-drive tips and more.

2017 Toyota Camry

Starting Price: $23,905

The best-selling car in the country is as easy to drive and reliable as ever, and now more attractive. Read More

2017 Honda Accord

Starting Price: $23,990 (w/auto)

An editors' favorite and perennial award winner, the Accord gets a special edition and a hybrid model for 2017. Read More

2017 Nissan Altima

Starting Price: $23,335

Enhanced last year, the Altima is becoming one of the segment stalwarts. Read More

2017 Ford Fusion

Starting Price: $22,995

The boldly styled Fusion, updated for 2017, is still turning heads and winning buyers with its good looks. Read More

2017 Chevrolet Malibu

Starting Price: $22,555

Totally redesigned last year, the Malibu is roomier, more stylish and more tech savvy. Read More

2017 Hyundai Sonata

Starting Price: $22,435

Benefiting from a recent redesign, the Sonata remains Hyundai's biggest hit ever. Read More

2017 Kia Optima

Starting Price: $23,095

The recently redesigned Optima offers an appealing mix of style, features and price. Read More

2017 Volkswagen Passat

Starting Price: $23,260

The only European entry in the segment, the roomy, comfortable Passat is also a pleasure to drive. Read More

2017 Chrysler 200

Starting Price: $23,210

Smaller than most midsize sedans, the 200 is also more stylish and more fun to drive. Read More

2017 Subaru Legacy

Starting Price: $22,815

The Legacy's claim to fame remains its standard all-wheel drive, but its stellar reputation for reliability is equally compelling. Read More

2017 Mazda Mazda6

Starting Price: $23,830 (w/auto)

Arguably the most stylish, most fun-to-drive midsize sedan, technology updates make the Mazda6 even more appealing for 2017. Read More

What's New

The Chevy Malibu and Kia Optima were totally redesigned for the 2016 model year, while the Mazda6, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat all received major updates and enhancements for 2016. A significantly refreshed Ford Fusion arrived for 2017, and Toyota unveiled its 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show.

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.

Comparison Test

Every year we grab a handful of the latest and greatest midsize sedans and set out on a long road trip to discern the meaningful differences among this group of increasingly impressive cars. This year's test included all-new versions of the Chevy Malibu and Kia Optima, plus updated takes on the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat. 

Best Buy

On the strength of its stellar reputation for quality and value, the 2017 Honda Accord was named the Kelley Blue Book Midsize Car Best Buy of 2017

Broad Appeal

You'll find eight of these midsize sedans on our most recent list of 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000, six on our collection of 10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000, and four among our 16 Best Family Cars of 2016.

How to Test Drive a Sedan

In the video below our own Micah Muzio demonstrates how to get the most out of the all-important and irreplaceable test drive.


Resale Value Recognition

The Subaru Legacy 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 Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

Interesting Alternatives

Want the amenities of a midsize sedan but don't need all the room? Today's small cars offer an increasingly compelling array of features for less, as demonstrated in our Compact Car Buyer's Guide. Or for greater versatility and a higher driving position, check out this year's Compact SUV Buyer's Guide.

First Look: 2018 Toyota Camry



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