The midsize sedan segment is one of the most competitive in the auto industry. With SUVs having taken over as the preferred family haulers, automakers have had to introduce more compelling, tech-filled midsize sedans in recent years to in order to keep the segment alive. Many of these vehicles that used to serve as mundane transportation appliances are now packed with features and wear bold, aggressive styling to go with more refined driving dynamics. Here we’ll outline the five newest, most modern family sedans on the market today, any of which will give you a heightened driving experience over previous generations.
Before getting into our list, a quick clarification. Just because these vehicles wear the newest designs doesn’t mean there aren’t other options worth considering, and the Mazda6 and the Kia Optima, which we expect to be all-new for 2021, are still highly competitive in this segment and are therefore worth a look as well.
2020 Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai just introduced an all-new Sonata that will be going on sale this fall as a 2020 model. The new Sonata wears attractive styling capped by a pair of bold, steeply-sloping LED lights accenting the main headlight pods. Around back, the Sonata keeps its 4-door-coupe roofline, finished off in back by a sleek ducktail spoiler and connecting rear taillights.
Two engines will be offered on the Sonata to start. On the lower end is a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder putting out 180 horsepower, while a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 191 hp joins the party, as well, which Hyundai predicts will achieve 33 miles per gallon in combined driving to the turbo’s 31 mpg combined. Both engines come mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. As Hyundai has offered a more powerful Sonata in years past, we suspect that there might be a more powerful variant of the new model in the works as well, along with hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
The new Sonata offers two large infotainment screens to choose from, both with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, along with all of the driver safety features one could want, including emergency reverse braking and a blind spot camera to go with traditional blind spot monitoring, along with a clever remote parking feature
Pricing for the all-new Sonata has not been announced yet, but expect an entry-level model to come in at around $25,000, while a fully loaded example should carry a sticker price of around $35,000, assuming a more potent engine option isn’t introduced prior to the vehicle’s launch date. Find a Hyundai Sonata for sale
2020 Subaru Legacy
Like the Sonata, the Subaru Legacy has been fully redesigned for the coming 2020 model year. Riding on a new platform, the new Legacy still offers standard all-wheel drive, but should also offer improvements over the outgoing model in every way.
Subaru’s suite of driver assistance safety tech is standard across the range, meaning that every 2020 Legacy will offer features like lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning and adaptive cruise control. The top-of-the-line trim also includes a 180-degree camera capable of filling in blind spots created on either side of the windshield by the vehicle’s A-pillars for better visibility. Every Legacy, except for the base model, also comes with a huge 11.6-in center infotainment screen with available high-speed LTE.
Two engines will be available. On the lower end is a 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder making 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, good for 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. A turbo returns to the lineup as well. In this case it’s a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder putting out 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and is expected to return 24 mpg city/32 mpg hwy. Either engine comes paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Pricing is expected to be announced closer to the Legacy’s on-sale date this fall, but expect a base price of around $25,000, while a fully-loaded model should top out at around $38,000. Find a Subaru Legacy for sale
2019 Nissan Altima
Two powertrain options are available for the Altima. A basic 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is offered that makes 188 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful option is 2.0-liter turbocharged four making a healthy 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. A CVT is the only transmission offered. Only the less powerful, non-turbocharged engine is available with the Altima’s new AWD system, meaning that buyers will have to decide between less power and AWD, or more power and front-wheel drive. With the non-turbo engine, the Altima returns 31 or 32 mpg depending on trim level. Add AWD and these figures drop by two. With the turbo and FWD, the Altima returns 29 mpg combined.
Like the other vehicles on this list, the Altima comes loaded with tech, and buyers get standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All but the lowest trims come with a variety of driver-assistance safety features, including blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and radar cruise control
A base-model 2019 Altima S with FWD starts at $25,110. AWD adds an extra $1,350. A fully-loaded Platinum model with the 2.0 liter turbo comes in at $36,745. Find a Nissan Altima for sale
2019 Toyota Camry
The best-selling sedan on the market, the Toyota Camry, was last fully redesigned for the 2018 model year. The new Camry ditched its rental-car demeanor for improved driving dynamics to go with newly aggressive styling, features of which include an optional black roof, 19-in wheels and an available bright red interior.
The Camry is available with three different powertrains. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, good for 28 mpg city/39 mpg hwy/32 mpg combined. Unlike the other vehicles on this list that all rely on turbocharging for their more powerful engines, the Camry still uses a traditional 3.5-liter V6. The Camry V6 puts out 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque while still returning 26 mpg combined. The Camry Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making a total of 208 hp and mated to a CVT. Depending on trim level, the Camry Hybrid returns an impressive 46-52 mpg combined.
Every 2019 Camry packs an array of standard active safety features including forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, steering assist, and automatic high beams. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic detection is optional. While the 2019 Camry gains Apple CarPlay compatibility, Android users are still out of luck, as Android Auto is still nowhere to be found.
An entry-level Camry L starts at $24,875, while a fully loaded XSE V6 will come in at about $38,720. Expect to pay between $29,000 and $39,000 for a Camry Hybrid, depending on trim level and options. Find a Toyota Camry for sale
2019 Honda Accord
Like the Camry, an all-new Accord was introduced for the 2018 model year. Now wearing a low and wide design, the new Accord is undoubtedly attractive, and despite being a 4-door sedan with a traditional trunk, its long sloping roofline gives it a coupe like hatchback appearance. The Accord’s interior is equally attractive as well and uses high-quality materials.
Standard on the Accord is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, while the optional engine is a 2.0-liter turbo putting out 252 hp and 273 lb-ft. Depending on trim level and transmission choice — either a CVT or a 6-speed manual is available — the 1.5-liter Accord returns between 30 and 33 miles per gallon combined, while the 2.0-liter — offered with either a 10-speed auto or a 6-speed manual — is good for 27 mpg combined. The Accord also offers a hybrid model that uses what is essentially the same powertrain as the previous-generation Accord Hybrid. The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid returns 48 mpg across the board.
Like the other vehicles on this list, the 2019 Accord is exceptionally safe and comes with a full-suite of active safety features including forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and optional blind spot detection. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are introduced starting with the Sport model.
The Accord starts at $24,640 for a base LX model, while a loaded, top of the line Touring model rings in at $36,870. Find a Honda Accord for sale