QOTD: Best All-round Midsize Sedans in 2019?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd best all round midsize sedans in 2019

Many sedans are due to fade away at the end of this year, replaced via a cadre of crossovers (as preferred by Middle America). To that end, we began a trio of sedan-focused QOTDs last week. First up were the compact and subcompact sedans, where your author awarded the Mazda 3 a class win.

This week, we’re talking midsizers. The choices are fewer in number than you might think.

Midsize sedan options on the list below are sourced from U.S. News and their car classifications by size. While the website lists the gasoline and hybrid versions as unique models, we won’t be so liberal here; all model varieties are considered a single entry. Luxury marques are not included on the list, nor are any cars with rear apertures other than trunks. The resulting contenders number 11:

Chevrolet Malibu

Ford Fusion

Honda Accord

Honda Clarity

Hyundai Sonata

Kia Optima

Mazda 6

Nissan Altima

Subaru Legacy

Toyota Camry

Volkswagen Passat

The list above presented a number of issues as I was sorting through to award a best all-rounder. They’ve all got issues: The Fusion’s old (and doomed), the Accord is hideous, Optima’s due for replacement, and the Clarity is ridiculously expensive ($36,000+). Who wins the award then?

It’s the Camry.

“The Camry’s Golden Age was long ago,” you’ll think. And you’d be right, but hear me out. The Camry loses enthusiast credibility (if any’s to be had in this segment) with its lack of a manual transmission, unlike the Accord. But you know what else it lacks? A CVT in anything but the Hybrid trims. If you’re willing to pony up, Camry also has the tried-and-tested 3.5-liter 2GR V6. Its basic design debuted in 2004, and it powers plenty of Toyota, Lexus, and Lotus vehicles. Special bonus: Unlike some of its competitors, it’s built in the U.S., right in Kentucky. And though it’s mostly hideous to behold, the visual flaws can be minimized by selecting dark paint and avoiding the sporty SE trim.

The midsize, non-luxury sedan is a limited field in 2019. What’s your pick for best all-rounder?

[Images: Honda, Toyota]

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2 of 73 comments
  • Tolljob Tolljob on Dec 19, 2019

    The Camry is the only car on the list I have driven. I had one as a rental for a week in November. It was a nice car, plenty of room. Handling was OK, power was adequate, transmission was unobtrusive, interior was pleasant. Those are not ringing endorsements, but I think that is what the Camry is aiming for. I had always thought if I ever bought a sedan it would be an Accord, but after driving the Camry I am not so sure. Of course i have never driven the Accord.

  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Dec 19, 2019

    Fewer in number than I might think? Eh, ok. It's not like every other article on here doesn't mention the death of the car, right?

  • Tassos The EQS is the best looking BEV, better than even the only Tesla I would ever consider (the S) and more luxurious inside etc etcThe self driving features will come in handy when I'm 110 and my eyesight and reaction times start to suffer.But that's four decades away, and only Tim recommends 40 year old "used cars"
  • Tassos "Baby, Baby light my fire!""Oh God please give me a Kia Forte" --Janis Joplin
  • Tassos The fugly looks of any Subaru, and especially the non-sporty non-elegant, fugly, low-rent looks and interior of the WRX are alone a sufficient turnoff to never want to own one.One can be a 100% car enthusiast but ALSO demand a beautiful AND luxurious vehicle one can be truly proud of and which makes one very happy every time one drives it.The above is obviously totally foreign to Subaru Designers and managers.Αnd who cares if they sell all they make? this is 100% worthless bragging, since they hardly make ANY. ALL of Subaru's models together, all dozen of them, sell less than the top selling Toyota or Honda or even Tesla sells. ANd furthermore, if you have the intellectual horsepower to understand it, bulldude, which I am 99% sure you sure as hell do not, it is NOT about the sales units, it is not even about the sales revenue.It is all about the P R O F I T S.Am I going slow enough for you, bulldude?
  • Thehyundaigarage Am I the only one that sees a Peugeot 508?
  • Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.