The Best Sedans

15

As much as the public laments its death, sedans remain integral to many automakers’ product lineups. Sedans range from practical family models to extravagant luxury models and can provide reliable transportation.

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Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is ideal for Simi Valley and Calabasas drivers seeking a comfortable yet stylish sedan with numerous features. The Sonata boasts an updated exterior design, while its interior now contains higher-grade materials than before. Plus, this Hyundai stands out among competitors thanks to its safety features!

This year, Hyundai is making every effort to differentiate its Sonata from rivals, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – and in many respects succeeds. Its sheet metal is elegant; cabin space is spacious; infotainment system ranks as one of the best available – yet in some areas of performance, the Sonata still falls short: ride quality may be firm while seats lack the supple comfort and adjustment range of leading competitors.

Still, the Hyundai Sonata remains one of the leading contenders in our class. Its advanced safety measures earned it five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; hybrid versions can achieve 49 mpg city driving and 50 highway mileage, respectively.

The Sonata offers various engine and transmission options to meet every budget. SE and SEL trim levels come standard with four-cylinder engines producing 185 horsepower; for the SEL Plus and Limited trim levels, there is an available turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 195 horsepower; finally, there’s also the N Line, featuring six-cylinder power producing 290 horsepower with sportier suspension and steering for an athletic feel.

While the N Line can be enjoyable on twisty roads, its ride quality may not match a more comfortable sedan around town. Furthermore, its less responsive rotary shifter may cause noticeable vibration at low speeds.

The 2024 Hyundai Sonata received minor stylistic changes, most noticeably in its front grille and headlights. These feature an increased chrome surround for an aggressive appearance, while headlights sport an attractive set of LED daytime running lights running horizontally across its face. Inside, designers lowered the dashboard height and vent height to make it appear more open while replacing the traditional shifter with the pushbutton system beneath the infotainment screen; a new, more contoured steering wheel was also implemented as a change.

Nissan Sentra

As SUV sales surge, sedans like the Nissan Sentra provide more cost-effective, fuel-efficient, and enjoyable driving alternatives. Its current generation debuted in 2020 and looks sleek and sporty, drawing inspiration from Altima and Maxima models while maintaining its own identity thanks to high-end features that distinguish it. While cargo space may be limited, drivers who don’t regularly fill their vehicles may find the Nissan an excellent choice.

Sentra models utilize a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 149 horsepower paired with continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, producing satisfactory acceleration but failing to differentiate itself from competitors. While its lack of torque may limit response times in city traffic situations, its CVT can make driving at highway speeds far more rewarding due to its communicativeness.

Contrast that with its ride quality, which ranks among the highest in its class. The chassis is firm yet compliant, and the cabin feels upscale if equipped with available quilted leather upholstery. Both front seats offer superior comfort and space, while rear seating can comfortably seat two adults; additionally, its 14.3 cubic-foot trunk capacity exceeds the average in this segment, while its 60/40 split back seat can fold flat for increased capacity.

If you want to extend the capabilities of your Sentra, consider upgrading to its SV model. Standard features of this vehicle include hands-free keyless entry and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration; an All-Weather package adds dual-zone automatic climate control and heated elements in its steering wheel, front seats, and exterior mirrors. If you have additional money, the SR may also offer impressive driver assistance technologies that rival that found in Camrys or Civics.

The Nissan Sentra is an outstanding value, as even its base S model has plenty of features. However, we recommend spending a bit more to obtain its higher trim SV level for access to adaptive cruise control and dual-zone automatic climate control – two features not found on any lower model.

Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has long dominated the midsize sedan market. Renowned for its reliability and offering an eco-friendly hybridized version that provides exceptional fuel economy, its stylish appearance stands out from its competition.

Toyota has revised the Camry with a sleeker exterior and enhanced interior features, providing its buyers with functionality and value that they’d expect from a sedan, such as excellent resale value and multiple driver assist and safety features.

The 2023 Camry is available in five trim levels. Each offers unique combinations of features; even its entry-level LE comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, SiriusXM satellite radio service, and more.

In the SE model, you’ll find a more luxurious audio system featuring nine JBL speakers and a larger display screen in the dash. In contrast, the XLE offers additional driver assistance technology such as full-speed range adaptive cruise control with complete stop capability, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitor.

The TRD is a performance-oriented version that boasts power-assisted brakes, track-tuned suspension, and cat-back exhaust for an athletic look. Furthermore, its gloss black front splitter, side aero skirts, rear diffuser, and pedestal rear spoiler are complemented by special TRD badging for an eye-catching finish.

Even the basic nonhybrid Camry models exceeded expectations in EPA efficiency tests. Four-cylinder LE and SE models scored 28 mpg city and 39 highway, while hybrid versions achieved impressive 31 city/40 highway ratings.

Chevrolet Malibu

Chevy’s Malibu sedan remains among the few competing against SUVs in an increasingly SUV-dominated market. In 2024, Chevy added rear park assist backup warning and standard tire inflator kit features to stay relevant.

The Malibu is designed with comfort in mind. Front seat passengers will find ample headroom and knee room, while rear legroom is above average in its segment; even taller adults will fit comfortably in its back seats. Trunk space is generous.

The Chevy’s infotainment system is easy to use and compatible with popular smartphone applications, integrating seamlessly. A range of safety features are standard, such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance; however, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert will cost an extra $250.

Malibu’s outdated interior can also be a potential deal breaker. Although attractive, its plastic surfaces aren’t high-end enough and could turn some buyers away. Furthermore, thick roof pillars and limited outward visibility could limit outward visibility even more.

Every Malibu has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that offers ample acceleration. Premium gas works best but falls behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in fuel economy, only managing 30 mpg overall.

There are four trim levels to select, with the base LS model being the least costly option; upgrading to an LT adds a rear USB charging port, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and two USB ports. Finally, an RS trim turns your Malibu into a sporty coupe featuring black accents and dual exhaust tips – perfect for anyone seeking an affordable yet sporty ride.

Drivers looking to save money while finding an all-round midsize sedan should consider the Chevrolet Malibu. This car boasts an extensive list of features and an intuitive infotainment system but may lag behind other midsize sedans regarding outward visibility and acceleration speed. Still a solid option, prospective shoppers should compare other midsize sedans before purchasing; its impressive warranty coverage and corrosion protection make this an excellent value overall.

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