SUV and crossover sales are strong, but let's not forget about midsize sedans.
Midsize sedans are also practical for families and cargo, even if some models are being squeezed out of the market entirely as buyers flock to bigger options.
Here are 11 midsize sedans you can buy for less than $30,000.
If you look around at the sea of egg-shaped SUVs and crossovers on the road and find yourself overcome with a sense of existential dread over the fate of small cars, fear not! Contrary to sales data, SUVs aren't the only cars available to you if you have a family and also need trunk space for everything else.
There are still plenty of good and fine midsize sedans still available, even if you feel as though the sedan apocalypse is upon us. The good news is you can also get some really good ones for $30,000 or less.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines the midsize class as a sedan that has an interior passenger and cargo volume between 110 cubic feet and 119 cubic feet. For the sake of simplicity, let's just imagine something about the size of a Toyota Camry.
Here are 11 of the best ones.
When people think of midsize sedans, they generally think of the Honda Accord — and for good reason.
Honda's been making the Accord since the mid '70s and it is consistently one of the most popular cars in the United States. Ever since Honda opened its first US plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 1979 and began producing American-made Accords in 1982, more than 10.5 million Accords have been built in the US. It was the first foreign car to be manufactured on US soil, according to Edmunds.
Today's Accord can be had in a few different ways. First, there's your regular Accord sedan, which you can get in various trims (and also with a six-speed manual transmission, if you opt for the Sport trim).
There's also a hybrid, for those looking for something more efficient. The EPA claims the Accord Hybrid's mpg rating is impressive — 48 mpg in the city, 47 mpg on the highway, and 48 mpg combined.
And as far as cars for the masses come, its styling is handsome and inoffensive, appealing to the mass market.
Prices start at $24,020.
If you've ridden in an Uber or a Lyft within the past two or three years, chances are you've experienced the Toyota Camry firsthand. The Camry is Toyota's answer to the Accord, and it's also quite great at its primary job of being a car.
The Camry's popularity as a ride-hailing vehicle is no coincidence. It has a spacious back seat and a big trunk. The seats are comfortable and the exterior doesn't look bad, either. You can have it with just the gasoline motor, or you can get it with the hybrid powertrain. Mileage estimates for the hybrid are 51 mpg in the city, 53 mpg on the highway, and 52 mpg combined, according to the EPA.
And if that wasn't good enough, the Camry also has a secret weapon: If you get it with the V6 in some of the higher trims, you'll get a Camry that has 301 horsepower. A Camry! That's almost as much horsepower as a base Ford Mustang. That would have been unheard of just a few years ago.
The power bump puts you past the $30,000 price point, but I just wanted you all to be aware.
Regular Camrys and the hybrid do not make 300 horsepower, but they do cost under $30,000, and many models now have optional all-wheel drive instead of just front-wheel drive.
Prices start at $24,425.
Recent Mazdas have risen up the ranks favorably for consistently punching above their weight class. Get into any new Mazda today — take in the trims, materials, and fabrics used — and you'll be convinced the interior is from something much more expensive and upmarket.
All of that can be had in the stylish package of the Mazda 6. Two engine options are available. The first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that's good for 187 horsepower. The second is a slightly more expensive turbocharged 2.5-liter that's good for 250 horsepower.
Notably, the 250-horsepower unit has a high torque figure, with 310 pound-feet compared to 186 pound-feet on the less powerful engine. Yet, because the Mazda 6 is front-wheel drive, all that power being sent to the front wheels can cause something called torque steer — the tendency for a torque-happy FWD car to tug to the side when it accelerates. Still, the power is a lot of fun.
If you do wind up with the Mazda 6, do consider getting it in Mazda's lovely Soul Red Crystal Metallic shade of paint. It looks good on sunny days, cloudy days, and everything in between.
Prices start at $24,100.
Nissan is but one of the many automakers, including Hyundai and Mazda, focused on bringing advanced driver-assistance technology to the masses.
Nissan ProPilot is the automaker's semi-autonomous driver assistance and safety technology. Usually, you'd find comparable tech in costlier cars, but Nissan announced it'd be available on the new Altima two years ago. That means advanced safety features aren't exclusively a toy for the rich anymore.
The Altima comes in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Prices start at $24,100.
Subaru might be notable for its Forester, Crosstrek, and Outback models, but the Japanese automaker also does offer a midsize sedan in the form of the Legacy.
The Legacy, now in its seventh generation, has increased safety, as well as improved noise, vibration, and harshness qualities. Power comes from a 2.5-liter, boxer four-cylinder motor that's good for 182 horsepower.
The continuously variable automatic transmission admittedly feels like a bit of a drag to use. Otherwise, the Legacy has inoffensive exterior styling and all-wheel drive for those wintry days.
Prices start at $22,745.
If you want to keep the price of your Chevy Malibu under $30,000, you have to get it with the 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Unfortunately, the Malibu, which began production in the '60s, may not stick around for much longer. Sales are down and there's talk that the car could be discontinued altogether by 2024. In 2019, The Car Connection confirmed that the Malibu hybrid would be axed from the 2020 lineup.
But if you believe it's your life's calling to own a new Malibu, they're still around for a bit longer.
Prices start at $22,095.
The days of Korean cars having flimsy build quality are over. The modern Kias are stylish, sporty, and much more upmarket than Kias of a mere five years ago. Kia's midsize sedan offering, the Optima, also has a hybrid option.
The regular Optima has a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower. There's also a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine option that produces 178 horsepower. The hybrid Optima is just about $30,000, and offers an EPA-estimated 42 combined highway and city mpg.
Prices start at $23,390.
The new Hyundai Sonata is one of the sleekest cars to launch in recent memory. Its front fascia and overall shape bring European silhouettes to mind.
The base-trim Sonata makes 191 horsepower from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the top-trim option produces 180 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. Inside, the new Sonata is futuristic and minimalist.
There's also a hybrid version, with the updated body style on the way. The 2019 hybrid model is still the only one listed on Hyundai's website, though, which means it's still got the outgoing Sonata's body style.
The outgoing hybrid 2019 Sonata gets an EPA-estimated 39 mpg in the city, 44 mpg on the highway, and 41 mpg combined. While the 2020 isn't on Hyundai's website yet, it is on the EPA's, with estimates of 45 mpg in the city, 51 mpg on the highway, and 47 mpg combined.
Prices for the gas-powered 2020 model start at $23,600.
The Volkswagen Passat is the only European offering on this list.
Bigger than the Jetta but smaller than the Arteon, the Passat occupies that sweet space between the two. It's a sharp-looking thing — and with the fit and finish of European luxury.
What's more is that you can get the sportier R-Line trim and still keep things under $30,000. The R-Line has slightly more aggressive styling and sporty, 19-inch alloy wheels.
All Passat models are powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 174 horsepower. That power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Prices start at $22,995.
Buick Regal Sportback
At the end of 2019, Buick announced it would stop building its entire Regal lineup at the end of the 2020 model year. That includes the Regal Sportback, GS, and TourX station wagon. But while it's still around, let's revisit the Regal Sportback.
The Regal is as nice a car as any. The interior is ergonomically set up and the Sportback version has a neat hatchback opening design, which should make packing the trunk easier. The car is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
It's kind of a shame the Regals are going away, because they are a nice change to the crossover- and SUV-heavy Buick lineup. Just a sign of the times, I suppose.
Prices start at $25,370.
Ford has also made announcements regarding the Fusion sedan's cancelation, but that won't happen until 2021. You've got a little time left to bring one home if you want.
There's also a hybrid option. It gets an EPA estimate of 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The regular, gasoline engine-only Fusion nets an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
The Fusion is the last sedan Ford currently offers. After it's gone, the entire Ford lineup will consist of SUVs, crossovers, and the Mustang.
Prices start at $23,170.
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