This is the sweet spot of the automotive marketplace. Reasonably priced, typically spacious enough to serve as family transportation, and blessed with admirably low operating costs, the vast majority of the cars you see on the road fit into this category. This is where the lion’s share of the annual sales comes from, and as a result it is also the most hotly contested of all automotive segments. When a carmaker places a car in this category, they’d best come extremely correct—if they want to stand a chance. That’s how amazingly competitive the 10 best mid-size cars are.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Chevrolet Malibu
The venerable Chevrolet Malibu makes it way onto this list thanks to its quiet and comfortable ride, generous trunk space, and handsome styling. Its four-cylinder eco version delivers pretty impressive fuel economy numbers too, at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway. A generous array of standard features includes keyless entry, Bluetooth, and automatic headlights. If power means more to you than fuel economy, the turbo Malibu makes 259 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque. The options list also includes leather upholstery, a rear-view camera, and a power-operated sunroof. Pricing starts at $22,340.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Chrysler 200
The loveliest Chrysler model of the modern era—and quite possibly one of the best-looking of all time—the 2015 Chrysler 200 is sleek of line, enjoyable to drive, and boasts a delightful interior treatment. In other words, the new Chrysler 200 stands head and shoulders above the model it replaces in the storied automaker’s lineup. Power comes from a choice of either a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 173 ft-lbs of torque; or a 3.6-liter V6 producing 295 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque. For the 2015 model year, Chrysler 200 pricing starts at $22,495.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Dodge Dart
Dodge has a knack for exploiting niches; the Dart is a bit too small to be considered a true mid-size, but on the other hand it’s a bit too big to be considered a true compact. We like the Dodge Dart’s handsome exterior, spacious interior, fun to drive nature, and the fact it shares much with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Power comes from either a 1.4-liter turbo four making 160 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque, or a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four with 171 ft-lbs. Dart’s best fuel economy rating is 28 city and 41 highway. Pricing starts at $16,495.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Ford Fusion/Ford Fusion Hybrid
Whether you go with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, or the standard powertrain, the goodness of Ford’s mid-size offering readily shines through. Fusion is comfortable, quiet, very nicely equipped, and stealing Aston Martin’s grille didn’t hurt either. Spacious like a family car needs to be and responsive like a driver’s oriented car ought to be, the Fusion represents a highly compelling choice. Power ranges from a low of 175 horsepower for the base engine to 188 horsepower for the hybrid. The model’s best fuel economy also comes with the hybrid, at 47 miles per gallon combined. Pricing starts at $22,400.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Honda Accord/Honda Accord Hybrid
Routinely one of the best-selling cars on the market, the Honda Accord has earned its lofty position by dint of superior engineering, rock solid reliability, strong resale value and delivering an engaging driving experience. With a standard equipment list rivaling that of some entry-level luxury models, the Honda Accord represents an excellent value too. The base engine makes 185 horsepower; the hybrid makes 195 horsepower, while the top V6 produces 278 horsepower. The model’s best fuel economy, as you’d expect comes from its hybrid variant with a 47 miles per gallon combined figure. Pricing starts at $21,955.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Mazda6
Without question, one of the best driver’s cars in this segment, the Mazda6 delivers outstanding handling and an exceptional array of safety features, along with strong fuel economy. With all the mid-size Mazda has going for it we’re surprised it doesn’t do better in the sales race. But at least you can drive one of the best cars in the segment, and enjoy a measure of individuality. Power comes from a 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four delivering 185 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel economy comes in at 26-city, 38-highway, and 30 combined with the automatic transmission. 2015 Mazda6 pricing starts at $21,190.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Nissan Altima
Nissan’s Altima delivers good power, outstanding agility, and still manages to offer a composed ride. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 182 horsepower and 180 ft-lbs of torque, so you might consider the V6 option irrelevant—unless you drive an Altima equipped with the 3.5-liter 270-horsepower engine. Fuel economy is rated at 27 in the city and 38 on the highway with the four. The V6 returns 22 in the city and 31 on the highway. Standard equipment includes keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, and full power accessories. Options include remote ignition and blind spot monitoring, Pricing starts at $22,300.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Toyota Camry
Some say Toyota’s Camry is the car everyone hates to love. We say don’t hate the player; learn its moves, because the Camry’s game is very strong. Years and years of rock-solid reliability have solidified the Camry’s rep, while outstanding resale value finds people buying them over and over again. Camry is easy to drive, easy to live with, and good on gas. It’s spacious, delivers a comfortable ride, and let’s face it, the answer to the question; “What would Jesus drive?” yeah, it’s Toyota’s Camry. The best selling car in America year after year, pricing starts at $22,425.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Volkswagen Passat
For some drivers, only a German car will do. They way they feel super solid at speed on the highway and the businesslike appearance of their interiors are serious draws. Thing is German sedans can set you back quite a bit dollar-wise, unless you’re talking about Volkswagen’s Passat. Comfortable and spacious, with a tasteful appearance, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Passat costs considerably more than it actually does. Power ranges from 170 horsepower to 280. There’s a diesel version of the Passat too—offering 236 ft-lbs of torque and 35 miles per gallon combined. Pricing starts at $21,120.
The 10 Best Mid-size Cars: Volvo S60
One of the safest cars on the road, yes, Volvo’s S60 is arguably a luxury car, but if you option some of the other mid-size cars on this list up to where the Volvo is at its base price, you won’t see a tremendous difference moneywise. Power ranges from 240 horsepower up to 302. The S60’s best fuel economy rating is 29 miles per gallon combined. Subtly redesigned for the 2014 model year to look lower and leaner, the already good-looking Volvo became even more so. The S60 is also an enjoyable car to drive. Pricing starts at $33,300.