Crossovers may be all the rage, but midsize sedans are still the bread-and-butter vehicles for most automakers. The players are as diverse as the companies who make them. So which ones are the best for those who want more than just a daily grocery-getter? TFLCar is here to help with the top five midsize sedans that aren’t boring.
Fifth place: 2016 Kia Optima
The Kia Optima is differentiated from its sibling, the Hyundai Sonata, by one thing: its daring styling. Looking more European than Asian – thanks to design chief Peter Schreyer, who came to Kia from Audi – the Optima is one of the most distinctive sedans in the segment. Kias have never been the most satisfying cars to drive, but Hyundai/Kia is learning quickly, and the new-for-2016 models – the Optima and the Sonata – are the best-driving sedans yet from the Korean automakers. But while the Sonata is draped in tasteful yet conservative styling, the Optima is the one to get for its eye-catching design.
Fourth place: 2016 Nissan Altima
Nissan’s redesigned Altima is one of the best mid-cycle refreshes in recent history. Despite running on the same chassis – and sharing nearly identical dimensions inside and out – the Altima looks like an all-new vehicle. Inspired by the new Maxima, which is one of the most daring new designs of the year, the Altima now has the looks to back up its above-average driving dynamics. A new, sporty SR model also ups the Altima’s performance cred. Despite its CVT, the Altima is a satisfying car to drive.
Third place: 2016 Ford Fusion
Ford may have cribbed their corporate grille from Aston Martin, but they used to own the company anyway, so some cross-pollination is expected. And they couldn’t have picked a better company to ape, as the Fusion is, along with the second-place winner, one of the best-looking sedans on the market. The Fusion also has some moves to satisfy enthusiast drivers and an upscale cabin to coddle passengers.
Second place: 2016 Mazda 6
Mazda is known for it’s “zoom-zoom” philosophy, and it permeates their lineup. Even their crossovers are fun to drive. The Mazda 6 sedan has the same athletic demeanor, with taut handling, responsive steering, and an available manual transmission, which is becoming more rare in the midsize sedan segment. Plus, it’s draped in stunning bodywork. It’s one of the best-looking sedans on the market regardless of price. More people should be buying this car.
First place: 2016 Honda Accord
The Accord may be one of the best selling cars in the land, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bore-fest. The Accord is Honda’s flagship model, so it has to do more than just sell units. It has to embody all that is good about Hondas, and it does. It is surprisingly satisfying to drive, with excellent dynamics, smooth, powerful engines and one of the best manual transmissions in the business. Plus, it has Honda’s stellar reliability and economy. It’s a car that’s hard to beat.
Check out this TFLCar first drive video review of the 2016 Nissan Altima: