When it comes to choosing a midsize sedan, one model that many people put toward the top of their list is the Honda Accord. There are a number of reasons as to why. For starters, the Accord has been known as a reliable vehicle since its launch in the late ‘70s. Honda has also found a nice balance between comfort and sport in terms of the Accord’s ride. The cherry on top is a wide range of trims available for the Accord. Whether you’re looking for a model that won’t break the bank, or one that can rival luxury models in terms of features, Honda has an Accord for you.
There are some downsides to the Accord though. While Honda does offer a wide of trims, you can’t customize any models since there isn’t an option list. For example, if you want navigation with cloth seats on your 2015 Accord, you are out of luck since it only comes with models that have leather. Also, the Accord’s styling has gotten a little bland, which is something Honda has tried to fix with an updated design for the 2016 model.
You might be wondering if there are some alternatives to the Honda Accord. In fact, we have three models that are worth a look.
You Want a Bit of Customization: Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is the best-selling passenger vehicle in the U.S. In 2014, Toyota sold 428,606 Camry sedans, leaving competitors like the Accord and Nissan Altima in the dust. Now a bit of this sales success comes from the reputation that the Camry name has built for itself since the 1980s. Helping the Camry’s case is the ability to customize any of the wide range of trims available. Want navigation on the base Camry LE? You can get it. Feel like getting a sunroof on a SE Hybrid? That can be done.
Are there downsides to the Toyota Camry? Like the Accord, the Toyota Camry isn’t the most inspiring in terms of design. Toyota tried to fix this with a recent refresh that includes a new front clip and other sporty touches. But the fix has turned some people off, as the changes are a bit too much. Also, some Camry trims are not good values in terms of standard and optional equipment. For example, the XLE four-cylinder comes with leather seats, but blind spot monitoring is part of option package. In comparison, many competitors have this as a standard feature on the top trim, so it seems a little odd that the Camry does not.
The 2015 Toyota Camry starts at $23,070.
You Want a Lot of Value in a Midsize Sedan: Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai has built a reputation for being an automaker that offers a lot of value in its vehicles. The 2015 Sonata is no exception to the rule. Consider the standard equipment on the base Sonata SE includes a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185 horsepower, a six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a blind spot mirror for the driver, Bluetooth and heated side mirrors. The best part is that the Sonata SE starts at less than $22,000. Now higher trims of the Sonata get more features such larger wheels, power seats for the driver and passenger, heated seats, automatic climate control, a five- or eight-inch touch screen infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, leather and push-button start. Along with the impressive list of features, the Sonata also boasts two other engine options. There is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder model that can get 38 mpg on the highway and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 245 horsepower.
The Sonata’s downsides begin with the exterior. The last-generation Sonata was largely praised for its sleek styling that many competitors have begun to copy. Meanwhile, the current Sonata looks pretty similar to competing midsize models. Also, Sonata Sport and Sport 2.0T models don’t feel that much sportier than the standard Sonata, despite changes to the suspension and steering.
You Want a Midsize Sedan that Will Give You a Smile: Mazda6
The past two Mazda6 generations have been known as being some of the most fun-to-drive midsize sedans on sale. However, Mazda’s midsize car was faulted in the past for poor fuel economy and limited rear seat space. Luckily, the third-generation Mazda6 has addressed all of these problems. Mazda has made the 6 slightly larger, which means a much more comfortable back seat. Power comes from 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower, and it delivers 31 mpg combined, making it one of the most fuel-efficient sedans in the class. As for interior appointments, Mazda has really stepped up here with more soft-touch materials and aluminum trim throughout the cabin.
Mazda hasn’t changed the fun-to-drive aspect that has been a part of the 6 since the beginning. The suspension keeps body motions in check, while the steering provides the right amount of weight and feel needed for enthusiastic driving.
Now the downsides to the Mazda6 are a ride that some will find a bit too firm. Also, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the only engine you can get with the Mazda6. If you want a V6 or a turbo-four, you are going to have to look at the competition.
The Mazda6 lineup begins at $21,495.