Family sedans were once the most boring cars on the planet, as they were little more than econo-boxes that so happened to be large enough to seat five people comfortably. This all began to change in the mid-2000s when the last of the boring family cars, the previous-generation Ford Taurus, finally retired. What's changed? Everything. These newer family sedans are stylish, sporty and feature refined engines that produce horsepower previously reserved for sports cars. Some of these sedans even boast sub-7-second 0-to-60 mph times.
For the 2013 model year, we present the top-5 family sedans. Each gives prospective owners the option of a fuel-sipping base four-cylinder engine delivering nearly 200-horsepower, or optional powerplants--either a torque-rich V6 or a turbocharged four-cylinder which will deliver over 225 horsepower. In addition to the power, these sedans also offer up fuel economy of over 30 mpg and oodles of base features. With family sedans leaning more towards their luxurious counterparts, it's reassuring to know that they still maintain pricing in the low-$20K range.
The Honda Accord has been delivering knock-out blows for what seems like forever and the 2013 model year is no exception to its streak. For 2013, Honda redesigned the Accord, giving it a more stylish and luxurious look. There is no doubting the Accord’s supremacy in the family sedan segment, considering its peppy base four-cylinder, 278-horsepower optional V-6, decked-out cabin, and point-and-go handling. On top of all of that, you can add in the fact that Honda has by far one of the best reputations in the automotive industry, making the Accord a very deserving addition to this list.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 24 city/34 highway.
In terms of rivalries, the Accord versus Camry rivalry plays second fiddle to the Yankees versus Red Sox rivalry. The two have been trying to outdo one another since the 1980s and the Accord has maintained a slight advantage in recent years, but that doesn’t lock the Camry out of the competition. The Camry still has a quality build and two solid engine options: a 178-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. Where the Camry consistently falls short is in its rather “blah” styling, despite a redesign just a year ago, and its sloppy handling.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 25 city/35 highway.
The Ford Fusion is a relative newcomer to the family-car segment, but it is already making a whole lot of noise. For 2013, Ford completely redesigned the once-bland Fusion into a sexy machine that looks, dare we say, almost Jaguar-like. On top of its phenomenal interior and exterior styling, it features an array of engines that range from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 175 horsepower to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a stout 240 horsepower. With an array of four-cylinder engines, the Fusion offers up world-class fuel economy that ranges from 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with its optional 1.6-liter engine.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 22 city/33 highway.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 27 city/38 highway.
Mazda is well-known for injecting a sporty feel into every car it builds, including its family sedans. This rings especially true with the all-new 2014 Mazda6. The Mazda6 comes standard with a brand-new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 184 horsepower and 185 foot-pounds of torque. This engine is rated at 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway when equipped with the automatic transmission. Later in 2013, Mazda will offer up a 2.2-liter diesel engine that is sure to offer a boost in torque and mpg. Mazda rounds out the package with a roomy and stylish interior, loads of standard features and a price just over $20K, making it one of the best values in this list.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 26 city/38 highway.