With a family in tow, that subcompact car may no longer have the room you need, but an SUV is likely still too big. That’s where a midsize family sedan comes in. These vehicles offer four doors, comfortable rides, roomy rear seats, spacious trunks, and loads of great features.
Though the midsize sedan segment has shrunk with the popularity of crossovers and SUVs, there are still many to pick from. What’s the best midsize car for your family? We created a list of the eight best midsize sedans to help you narrow it down.
In 2018, Toyota introduced the all-new Camry, giving it the sportiest looks it’s ever had. Later, the Toyota Camry upped its sportiness further with the TRD package. This visual upgrade added unique wheels, body kit, exhaust tips, interior, and more.
Though it’s going into its sixth model year, the Toyota Camry remains one of the best midsize sedans in Canada. It features three powertrain options, starting with the base 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 202 to 206 horsepower (hp) and 182 to 186 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque, depending on the trim. A notch up is the 3.5-litre V6 engine with 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. If you do a lot of commuting, there’s also a fuel-sipping hybrid model that pairs a 2.5-litre four-cylinder powerplant with an electric motor that combine to produce 208 hp.
The Camry is also one of the few midsize sedans with available all-wheel drive (AWD), but it’s only available with the base 2.5-litre engine. The V6 engine is only available with front-wheel drive.
Inside, the Camry is stylish but also roomy. It features 965 mm of rear legroom and headroom, making it perfect for kids and adults. Plus, the trunk can handle up to 428 litres of cargo.
The Camry’s got loads of standard technology, too, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, and more. Safety tech is also plentiful, including standard automatic emergency braking with bicyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, and more.
The Honda Accord entered its latest generation in 2018. Unlike the Camry, the Accord took on a more upscale and mature look instead of leaning into the sporty side.
The Accord has three powertrain options, beginning with the base 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder with 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. The Sport and Touring trims also have the option to add a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder with 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking better fuel-efficiency, there is a hybrid model that combines a 2.0-litre four-cylider engine and electric motor for a total of 212 hp and good fuel economy.
The Accord’s cabin is upscale in every trim, but the Touring model borders on a luxury car with premium materials and features. It’s no slouch in its base SE trim either, as its standard features include a 7-inch driver information centre, aluminum pedals, 12-way power driver’s seat, leatherette and cloth upholstery, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more. There is also plenty of standard safety tech, including automatic high-beam headlights, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more.
There’s lots of space inside the Accord too, including 1,026 mm of rear legroom, 948 mm of headroom, and 473 litres of cargo room.
The latest-generation Passat arrived all the way back in 2012, but it’s received plenty of updates over the years to keep it fresh.
The Passat is one of the few midsize sedans with only one powertrain option: a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylider that produces 174 hp. It leaves a little to be desired in the power department, but it offers a smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride.
The Passat was last available new in Canada in 2020, so its interior is a touch dated and borders on bland for some buyers. However, it is spotless and well-organized, appealing to those seeking something simpler.
Its standard features also show some age but are still fine for the average buyer. They include a 6.33-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker audio system, remote start, and more. There are no standard advanced safety features, but the Highline trim includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitoring.
As for roominess, the Passat’s rear seats are spacious, with 993 mm of legroom and 960 mm of headroom. Its trunk has plenty of space for all your road-trip luggage at 450 litres.
The latest-generation Hyundai Sonata arrived in the 2020 model year with a sleek, stylish, and eye-grabbing design. It’s one of the few midsize family cars that stands out from the crowd.
The Sonata has four powertrain options, but you won’t find them in every model year. The base engine is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 191 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. The midrange powerplant is a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder pumping out 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Topping the gasoline-only engine lineup is the 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder with 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque, but this is only available in the performance-oriented N-Line trim. The fourth powertrain option is a hybrid setup that delivers 192 total horsepower for the green buyer who wants better fuel economy.
Even in its base trim, the Sonata comes well-equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, premium cloth upholstery and more. It also has all the expected standard safety gear, including adaptive cruise control with stop and start, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, bicyclist and oncoming traffic detection, and rear occupant alert.
Roominess is a little limited in this family sedan, as its rear seats have just 884 mm of legroom, which adults will find a little tight. However, its 975 mm of rear headroom and 453-litre trunk are just fine.
The Kia K5 was an all-new family sedan in 2021. It’s closely related to the Hyundai Sonata, so it has many similar design features, including its shallow-raked rear glass. The front end is unique, however, boasting heartbeat-style LED accent lighting and Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille.
Inside, the K5 is clean but still feels like an upscale, near-luxury sedan, thanks to premium materials in the upper trim levels, the large infotainment touchscreen, and the flat-bottom steering wheel.
Powering the K5 are two engine options, the base 180-hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder and the GT trim’s exclusive 290-hp 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit.
Even in its base LX trim level, the Kia K5 is very well-equipped. Its standard features include a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shifter knob, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, push-button start, and more. The safety gear is also plentiful and includes standard blind-spot collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, and automatic emergency braking. The only negative is adaptive cruise is only available in EX and higher trims.
Like its Hyundai cousin, the K5 has limited rear legroom at just 895 mm, but its rear headroom is fine at 960 mm. Oddly enough, Kia doesn’t list its luggage capacity, but it’s safe to say it’s likely similar to the Sonata’s 453 litres of trunk space.
The K5 replaced the Kia Optima, but it had a great run through 2020 as Kia’s premium midsize sedan. Its design wasn’t nearly as eye-grabbing as the K5, but it was mature, well-rounded, and elegant. The most recent Optima generation ran from 2016 through 2020.
Under its hood, the last-generation Kia Optima had three powertrain options, starting with the base 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit that pumped out 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The mid-level engine was a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produced 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Topping the range was a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that injected 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque into the SX 2.0 trim.
As a premium sedan, the Kia Optima offered many upscale features, even in its base trim. These standard items included heated mirrors, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, and more. Safety gear was also abundant for its age. The standard safety gear includes blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, and more.
The back seats had tighter-than-normal legroom for this class of vehicle at just 904 mm, eating into its practicality as a family sedan. However, the rear headroom and luggage room were ample at 960 mm and 450 litres.
The latest Nissan Altima arrived in 2019 with a nice blend of sportiness and upscale looks, drawing some inspiration from the larger Maxima. The interior is likely the Altima’s sore spot, as it’s a little too curvy and looks older than it should. However, if you enjoyed that era of vehicles, the Altima may suit you perfectly.
The latest Altima has just one powertrain option, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that delivers 182 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque.
The Altima is competitive in terms of features, as it comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch driver-information system, and more. The Altima also has some standard advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, rear automatic braking, and more.
Rear legroom and headroom are snug in the Altima at 895 mm and 932 to 937 mm, respectively. The cargo room is about average at 437 litres.
The last-generation Mazda6 arrived in 2014 and ran through 2021 before getting discontinued. Through those years, it went through some light updates and powertrain upgrades.
The Mazda6 boasts a sporty body, which matches the model’s precise handling and peppy powertrain options. The interior is clean and comfortable, but the upper trim levels can look quite premium with their upscale materials and colour schemes.
The most recent Mazda6 had two powertrain options, starting with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit with 186 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The big upgrade in 2021 was the new 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque (93 octane fuel). Sadly, you’ll only find this in the 2018 through 2021 models.
The Mazda6 offers plenty of features, even in the base model. These standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, heated front and rear seats, and more. Standard advanced safety gear is also generous and includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
This Mazda family sedan has relatively roomy rear seats with 983 mm of legroom and 942 mm of headroom. The trunk capacity is tighter than most at just 416 litres.
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