10 Most Popular Midsize Cars

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 23, 2016
2016 Toyota Camry XLE photo

Once upon a time, midsize cars were the most popular vehicles sold in America, but times have changed and now small SUVs and crossovers are the hottest thing on the market.

If you remain partial to sedans, this buyer’s guide summarizes key details and ratings for the 10 most popular* midsize cars available for sale in America today, including pricing; quality, reliability, and appeal ratings; fuel economy; safety ratings; and cargo volume.

*Popularity based on calendar-year sales through July 2016

10) Volkswagen Passat (39,362 sales)

2016 Volkswagen Passat photo

With size more like a full-size car than a midsize car, the Volkswagen Passat has a large interior and a big trunk. Select from S, R-Line, SE, and SEL Premium trim levels, each equipped with a standard turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. A V-6 engine is optional for the SE and SEL Premium.

Base Price—$23,260*
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—20/38
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume—15.9 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 model

9) Chrysler 200 (46,455 sales)

2016 Chrysler 200 photo

Chrysler’s midsize 200 sedan was redesigned for 2015, representing a distinct improvement over the previous model. It is available with a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Trim levels include LX, Touring, Limited, 200S, and 200C.

Base Price—$23,210
Initial Quality—2 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—2 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—18/36
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars*
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume—16.0 cu. ft.

*Rating applies only to front-drive models; Testing incomplete for AWD models

8) Toyota Prius (58,451 sales)

2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring photo

Many people consider the Prius to be a small car, but it is as roomy inside as a midsize car. A 5-passenger hatchback, the Prius is equipped with a fuel-efficient, 121-horsepower gas-electric hybrid powertrain rated to get 52 mpg in combined driving. It comes in numeric trim levels known as Two, Three, and Four, with an Eco package (Two) and Touring package (Three, Four).

Base Price—$25,065
Initial Quality—3 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—4 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—54/50
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume—24.6-27.4 cu. ft.*
 
*Depending on trim level; Measurement is for trunk only; Toyota does not provide a maximum volume measurement when the rear seat is folded

7) Kia Optima (70,847 sales)

2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0 Turbo photo

Kia redesigned the gas-engine Optima models for 2016 and carried over the Optima Hybrid from the previous generation of the car. Gas-engine models are offered with a 4-cylinder engine or a choice between two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Trim levels include LX, LX 1.6T, EX, SX, and SX Limited. The Optima Hybrid features a gas-electric powertrain and comes in Base and EX trim levels.

Base Price—$22,990
Initial Quality—3 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/40
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”*
Cargo Volume (Optima)—15.9 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Optima Hybrid)—10.8 cu. ft.

*Applies only to redesigned, gas-engine Optima models

6) Hyundai Sonata (125,036 sales)

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid photo

Hyundai provides something for everyone in the Sonata. From affordable family car to sporty and upscale sedan to efficient hybrid to a plug-in hybrid supplying up to 27 miles of pure electric driving, the Sonata lineup is among the most diverse of any midsize car.

Base Price—$22,585
Initial Quality—3 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—5 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (Sonata) (city/highway mpg)—25/44
Fuel Economy (Sonata Plug-in Hybrid)—99 MPGe
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars*
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume (Sonata)—16.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Sonata Hybrid)—13.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Sonata Plug-in Hybrid)—9.9 cu. ft.

*Applies only to gas and Hybrid models; Plug-in Hybrid models have not been tested

5) Chevrolet Malibu (132,145 sales)

2016 Chevrolet Malibu photo

Two distinctly different versions of the Malibu are on sale in 2016. The Malibu Limited is the old, previous-generation car. The Malibu is the new, completely redesigned car. The new Malibu is offered in L, LS, LT, and Premier trim levels, equipped with a choice between a 4-cylinder and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. A Malibu Hybrid is also available.

Base Price—$22,500*
Initial Quality—3 PCRs**
Predicted Reliability—5 PCRs**
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs**
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/46
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume (Malibu)—15.8 cu. ft.*
Cargo Volume (Malibu Hybrid)—11.6 cu. ft.

*Applies to the redesigned Malibu
**Applies to the Malibu Limited

4) Ford Fusion (170,840 sales)

2016 Ford Fusion Titanium photo

Ford’s sleek Fusion is available with a choice between a 4-cylinder, two turbocharged 4-cylinder, a gas-electric hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. All-wheel drive is optional with the larger of the two turbocharged gas engines. Trim levels include S, SE, and Titanium. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid supplies 19 miles of pure-electric driving range, according to Ford.

Base Price—$23,135
Initial Quality—2 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—2 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (Fusion) (city/highway mpg)—22/41
Fuel Economy (Fusion Energi)—88 MPGe
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not a “Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume (Fusion)—16 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Fusion Hybrid)—12 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Fusion Energi)—8.2 cu. ft.

3) Nissan Altima (197,644 sales)

2016 Nissan Altima photo

Nissan keeps it simple with the roomy and comfortable Altima sedan. Versions carrying the Altima 2.5 designation have a 4-cylinder engine and come in base, S, SR, SV, and SL trim. Cars carrying the Altima 3.5 designation have a V-6 engine and are available in sporty SR and luxury-oriented SL trim.

Base Price—$23,335
Initial Quality—5 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—2 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/39
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume—15.4 cu. ft.

2) Honda Accord (201,300 sales)

2016 Honda Accord photo

Honda sells the Accord as a coupe or a sedan, each available with a choice between a 4-cylinder and a V-6 engine. One of the few car companies still offering a manual gearbox in its midsize car, Honda makes a continuously variable transmission available with the 4-cylinder engine, while the V-6 is commonly paired with a traditional automatic. Trim levels include LX, LX-S, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring.

Base Price—$23,040
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—18/37
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume (Sedan)—15.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Coupe)—13.4 cu. ft.

1) Toyota Camry (233,832 sales)

2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid photo

Toyota’s best-selling Camry is available with a 4-cylinder, V-6, or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain in LE, SE, and XLE trim levels. Additionally, a sport-tuned XSE version is available, but only with a gasoline engine. An automatic transmission is standard in gas versions, while the Camry Hybrid is equipped with a continuously variable transmission.

Base Price—$23,935
Initial Quality—5 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—5 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—21/39
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume (Camry)—15.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Camry Hybrid)—13.1 cu. ft.









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