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Top 15 Best Midsized Family Sedans For 2014

by Ryan ZumMallen on

As it stands, more U.S. customers buy midsized sedans than any other segment in the automotive industry. In a year with record-setting sales, some brands are even having trouble keeping cars on the lot. To help those sorting through the most lucrative market out there, we’ve compiled our second annual list of the best midsized family sedans available today.

From sporty performance to safe and reliable transportation for the kids, there’s something for everyone on this new list. Whether you’re looking for exciting practicality or quality at a nice price, we’ve found 15 cars that stand out in a crowded segment. Here are our picks for the midsized sedans you have to consider if you’re in the market for a new four-door. 


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Acura TL:  Thanks to its luxurious cabin, excellent reliability and impressive performance, the 2014 Acura TL finds itself on nearly every Best Midsized Sedan list out there. The 3.5L V6 engine can provide up to 305 horsepower, or up to 20/29 MPG, depending on your flavor of choice. It can also be had with plenty of standard luxury features like heated leather seats and USB ports for the $35,905 base price. You had just better be a fan of the styling, because the 2014 TL isn’t a design for all tastes. Regardless, the 2014 TL offers Honda reliability with a luxury twist – and we’re especially fond of the impressive SH-AWD system.
   

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Audi A4: A key player in one of the toughest battles in the entire auto industry, the 2014 A4 wins this spot over the 2014 BMW 3-Series for its standard leather, all-wheel drive and lower price. You know what you’re getting from Audi at this point, which is elegance that may be understated but always up to par. Their cars have few weaknesses, and the 2014 A4 is no exception. Available in a range of trims that starts with the $32,500 CVT 2.0T and ending with the $49,000 S Tronic Prestige, the 2014 A4 offers up to 333 horsepower and 24/31 MPG from the tried and true turbo-four. There are legitimate reliability concerns, but the 2014 Audi A4 is still an excellent choice for family sedan buyers looking to take a step up.
   

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Buick Regal: This is not here as a charity case. The 2014 Buick Regal legitimately holds its own and, in many ways, outperforms its more pricey competition when it comes to the overall package. Starting from $29,015, the 2014 Regal is standard with heated leather seats and an impressively composed suspension that makes it fun to drive. The 2.4L four-cylinder is capable of 19/31 MPG, and in the mighty Regal GS it’s turbocharged to reach 270 horsepower and 296 lb.-ft of torque. What really sets the 2014 Regal apart, though, is the reliability and quality for the price. This is an excellent sleeper car, but it shouldn’t be any longer.
   

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Cadillac CTS: Some information is still scarce on the upcoming 2014 Cadillac CTS, but what we do know about it paints the new sedan as the class of its segment. Starting at $46,025 with destination, the 2014 CTS sports a sharper new look and technology stuffed to the gills inside. The base 2.0L turbo-four has been improved since it appeared in the ATS and Buick Regal, while the mighty V-Sport model boasts a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 that is simply a 420-horsepower beast. The interior takes a giant leap forward over its predecessor, adorned with striking soft-touch materials and a giant center touchscreen. Looking for a luxury cruiser to turn the family sedan world on its head? Keep the 2014 CTS on your radar.
   

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Ford Fusion: Ford went all-in when they redesigned the 2012 Fusion, and it paid off. So much so that the 2014 Fusion is still an impressive buy two years after its debut. The car has dropped its V6 engine since then, but no matter. The handling is still excellent for an affordable four-door sedan, and the 2.5L inline-four is capable of 22/34 MPG while the optional 2.0L turbo-four sports 237 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft of torque – while still managing 22/33 MPG. All-wheel drive is also available, so there are myriad ways to find the 2014 Fusion that’s right for you, without compromising in the way of price or performance. Oh, and those gorgeous curves can be yours for as little as $21,900. Kudos, Ford.
   

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Honda Accord: You deserve to give the 2014 Honda Accord a look on principle alone. The four-door sedan has been so good for so long that it simply delivers, to almost any need and customer. The 2014 Accord will especially appeal to buyers looking for reliability and fuel economy, first and foremost, with the famous Honda build quality and up to 27/36 MPG. Pricing ranges from $21,680 to $33,430 for the fully-equipped 3.5L V6 model. The 2014 Accord is not as athletic or second-glance worthy as some of its competition, but Honda has chosen to focus on the overall package. Active families that need loads of space and safety will not be disappointed.
   

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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: After singing its praises in a recent road test, we remain impressed with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Expect more of the same in 2014, as customers continue to warm up to eco-friendly powertrains that can top 40 MPG, like this one does. Prices start at just $25,650 for the base model, while the Sonata Hybrid Limited begins at $30,500 – both with 199 horsepower. Don’t expect to race anyone, as the handling is floaty and the hybrid powertrain is build for efficiency. Choose the 2014 Sonata Hybrid, though, and you’ll find more than enough space and low cost of ownership in a surprisingly upscale package that bests even some more expensive models.
   

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Infiniti Q50: For the sporty side of the midsized family sedan segment, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 explodes onto the scene with a new name and eye-catching new muscles. As the flagship for the brand’s new design philosophy, the 2014 Q50 picks up where the sporty G35 and G37 left off and takes the lineage in a new luxury direction. The heart of the Q50 is the rear-wheel drive platform, sending 328 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft of torque from the 3.7 V6 to just two wheels. All-wheel drive is also available for those looking to make the best use of its cushy ride and confident chassis. Rear-wheel trims score 20/29 MPG and a hybrid model earns up to 28/34 MPG. With a starting price of $36,700, the 2014 Q50 makes a big statement and undercuts its competitors in doing so.
   

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Kia Optima: In a stable of creative and interesting cars, the 2014 Optima may be the best of the bunch. Kia has poured impressive quality into their sporty four-door, from interior luxury and roominess to nimble handling and assuring safety. Of course, it’s all available from an astonishing $21,350 for the base 2014 Optima LX. This is the family sedan for those that want to impress the people inside the car – for the last few years, the Optima has been enough to impress people on the outside, too. The standard 2.4L inline-four engine offers 200 horsepower, and starting from $26,800 you can opt for the 274-hp turbo, too. Plenty of cars claim to challenge the status quo; the 2014 Optima actually does it, and could change the way we think about value in the process.
   

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Lexus IS: A flashy new design and updated tech make the 2014 Lexus IS a strong competitor in the luxury four-door segment. Are all those exaggerated lines and curves more style than substance, though? With the same 2.5L V6 with 204 horsepower and 3.5L V6 with 306 horses, it may appear so. But in the $35,950 IS250 and especially the $39,465 IS350 with eight-speed automatic transmission, Lexus has sharpened and plushed their smallest sedan to the extreme. The result is an extremely capable performance machine that is more than happy to soften up for a quiet and cushioned ride. One of the most versatile vehicles in the entire auto industry is back, with a personality that’s even more Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde than ever before.
   

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Mazda Mazda6: Give a round of applause to all the auto designers out there, because they sure aren’t making the choice very easy if you’re looking for something pretty in this segment. At the top of that list is the 2014 Mazda6, a rolling sculpture with dynamic lines and curves that are at once sporty and premium. And all for a starting price of just $20,990 with up to 26/38 MPG. The beauty of the 2014 Mazda6 is that it combines style, performance and efficiency like nothing else out there. The dynamic chassis is truly exciting with precise steering, perhaps to make up for the 184-horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder. We’ll see the even more fuel-efficient and extremely torque diesel engine a few months from now, lending even more variety to the 2014 Mazda6.
   

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Nissan Altima: If you’re buying for your family, you want a car that can do a little bit of everything. There are a few cars that offer that kind of practicality, and the 2014 Nissan Altima is right up there with them. A veritable do-everything sedan, the 2014 Altima has a great engine, nimble steering, improved CVT, plus excellent safety ratings and 27/38 MPG for a price that starts at $21,760. Not bad, but is it enough to turn you away from the Fusion or Mazda6? That’s a matter of preference – if the 2014 Altima speaks to you, there’s certainly no shame in that. It may not do anything exceptionally, but the 2014 Altima offers across the board quality rarely seen these days.
   

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Toyota Prius: By now, you know exactly what the 2014 Toyota Prius has to offer. After all this time, the Prius still leads the way in fuel economy with 51/48 MPG, and does so from just $23,215. The electric motor pairs with a 1.8L inline-four engine making a paltry 98 horsepower, but the combination of efficiency and all-around practicality continues to make the Toyota Prius simply intoxicating to the U.S. buying public. Equal parts family sedan, station wagon and five-door hatchback, the 2014 Prius has cargo capacity in spades and has an exceptional reliability rating. These are just some of the reasons the Prius has made the crossover from eco-chic to practical everyday family sedan, and that isn’t about to change anytime soon.
   

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Volkswagen CC: In a segment where many cars try to be all things to all people, the 2014 Volkswagen CC focuses on strengths that will truly impress potential buyers – if they can overlook its weaknesses. With a unique, couple-like stance a la the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, the CC is in a class alone when it comes to design (the optional R-Line trim especially looks dashing). Of course, such a design isn’t without concessions. Backseat room is sparse and trunk space is limited. With a starting price of $30,545, though, the 2014 CC offers an excellent interior and impressive handling for its size. The 2.0L turbo-four makes 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft of torque through an excellent manual or DSG transmission, with available all-wheel drive. Kinda makes it sound worth the concessions, no?
   

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Volvo S60: Another exception to the midsized four-door rule, the 2014 Volvo S60 sticks to its guns and doesn't make apologies. That means you’re getting that legendary Volvo peace of mind with universal top safety ratings, with the quirky combination of spirited performance and Swedish comfort that only the 2014 S60 can provide. Powered by a 2.5L turbo-five with 250 horsepower or a 3.0L turbo-six with 300 horses, the 2014 S60 boasts plenty of grunt from its $31,900 starting point on up. Front and all-wheel drive are available, and fuel economy climbs as high as 21/30 MPG. Competitors like the Audi A4 and Buick Regal have it beat there, but the truth is that aside from safety, the 2014 S60 doesn’t do any one thing better than everyone else. You won’t find the unique characteristics that make the 2014 S60 a cult classic in any other car, though. Three cheers for variety.

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