The newest 2014 Midsize Sedans sell better than any other segment on the market. They are built to be an everyman's car, providing enough space to serve without complaint as the only vehicle for the average family. Competition within this segment has reached a fevered pitch, as manufactures have worked even harder to provide more of everything, including more spacious interiors, more refined powertrains and more fuel-efficiency than before (due mainly to more stringent CAFE requirements). Today's top midsizes also offer hybrid-like fuel efficiency, sporty driving dynamics and all the comforts of a solid luxury car.
In the last couple of years, each major player in the midsize sedan game has come out with an all-new model. Here are our Top 5 Recommended Midsize Sedans for 2014.
A carryover from 2013, the 2014 model year brings a few improvements, including refined front and rear fascia’s, new high-wearing seat fabric and an improved auto-dimming rearview mirror. What else? The price. The new Accord is $275 more than the outgoing model, but the updates are worth it. Those minimal attributes still stack up to make the Accord our top choice for economical midsize family sedans. On the outside, sharp exterior styling is joined by a spacious interior with top-shelf material quality. For families with growing teens, or who need seating capacity for five full-size adults, the Accord's roomy back seat is a welcome change from sedans with tighter proportions like the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. In the realm of interior technology, Honda doesn't break much new ground, but the total navigation and infotainment package is intuitive and works as it should. Standout features include a class-exclusive blind-spot monitoring camera and the i-MID display, which shows the info you use the most high on the dash for quick reference. And unlike its competitors, the Accord is once again available as an attractive two-door coupe, still maintaining good rear seat room and a truly sporty choice when fitted with the V6 and manual transmission.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 23 city/33 highway.
The venerable Toyota Camry has been the top-selling passenger car in the U.S. nearly every year since the early 1990s, and it's easy to see why. Toyota has the midsize family sedan formula down pat, and doesn't need to rely on look-at-me styling to sell hundreds of thousands each year. The Camry is built like a tank, and thanks to Toyota's legendary reliability, affordable parts, excellent resale value, and 2 years of Toyota Care free scheduled maintenance, this overachieving midsize offers one of the lowest total costs of ownership on the market. In terms of improvements, Toyota's touchscreen Display Audio system now comes standard even on the base “L” trim, and hard plastic surfaces have been replaced with soft-touch materials. When fitted with the optional Entune smartphone-pairing infotainment module, Display Audio comes to life with internet radio and tons of convenience apps. Built for comfort rather than corner-carving performance, the Camry can be dull and even a little disconcerting if driven hard, but with so much to like about this award-winning midsize, most owners won't care.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 24 city/34 highway.
The 2014 Ford Fusion represents a quantum leap forward over the undistinguished model it replaces. Any discussion of the new Fusion must start with its sleek, luxury car-like exterior design, which has shades of Jaguar and Aston Martin and makes most other midsizes look boring and conservative by comparison. Inside, the Fusion continues to impress, with a class-leading commitment to interior tech. The SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system may not be for everyone, but for those who are never without their iPads, it's a sophisticated, fully featured experience that's become easier to use with recent updates. You'll also find available features like a 12-speaker premium audio system with HD radio, remote start, keyless entry and start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and interior ambient lighting. The Fusion lags a little behind the Accord and Volkswagen Passat in the look and feel of interior materials, especially in the lower-priced trim levels.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 22 city/33 highway.
The Nissan Altima has always been one of the sportier choices in the midsize sedan segment, its powerful engines and capable chassis setting the bar with each new generation. The manual transmission choice has been dropped, leaving the excellent 2.5-liter four-cylinder (182 horsepower) and CVT transmission combo as the entry-level choice. Nissan's continuously variable automatic, which uses a sub-planetary gear to widen available gear ratios and better mimic the feel of a traditional automatic, is the best we've tried, and helps four-cylinder models achieve an outstanding 27 city/38 highway mpg. One thing that stands out with the Altima is that the high-end audio and other premium upgrades are competitively priced, meaning a loaded Altima will be easier on the wallet than with most competing models.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 25 city/35 highway.
The Mazda6 with SKYACTIV technology is the newest redesigned midsize sedan to come to market, making the choice even more difficult for those seeking a sporty, practical ride. Arguably the most exciting product to come out from Mazda since the legendary RX-7, the new 6 is the very definition of over-engineering. While the previous-generation Mazda6 was a great car saddled by a cutesy, unattractive exterior design, the 2014 model is eclipsed only by the Fusion as the class's most beautiful offering, its long, low-slung design accentuated by curves in all the right places. That commitment to style extends to the interior, which is well thought-out if a little lacking in whiz-bang tech features. Rear seat legroom is admirable. The base “Sport” model is inexpensive; though note that most available luxury and convenience features are only offered on the higher trim levels.
EPA-rated fuel economy: Up to 25 city/37 highway.