The traditional 4-door sedan may not be getting as much love as trucks and SUVs these days. After all, truck and SUV sales accounted for 63% of all consumer vehicle sales in 2016 — resounding proof that folks love their trucks and SUVs. But if you’re one of those buyers who automatically rule out sedans, you’re missing out on some of the best vehicles the industry has ever produced.
Today’s family-size sedans are more stylish, roomier and better appointed than ever. They’re technologically advanced, safer and more efficient, too. Even more good news for buyers just entering the market: generally speaking, a family-sized sedan costs an average of $10,000 less than a similarly equipped SUV.
So with that in mind, here are our five favorite picks for awesome family sedans, winners of hundreds of awards for style, safety and technology, and all with a base price below $25,000.
Hyundai Sonata — The 2017 Hyundai Sonata is a smooth driver that comes with an impressive list of standard features, boasts excellent fuel economy, and has one of the biggest trunks in the class. Add one of the longest warranties in the industry and consistently high customer satisfaction ratings and you’ve got a formidable contender. If there’s a downside to this great mid-size sedan it’s Sonata’s less-than-exciting power plants—both the base engine and the available turbocharged versions don’t deliver quite as much punch as we’d like. The upside to that equation, however, is excellent fuel economy, and most drivers will find Sonata’s overall performance to be more than adequate.
Chevy Malibu — Chevy has a solid sedan here. Malibu is roomy, comfortable and surprisingly stylish. The 2017 Malibu received a big thumbs-up from industry reviewers and owners alike. The available engines deliver plenty of power and impressive fuel economy. Handling is crisp and responsive, the cabin is roomy and quiet, and the controls are configured in a very user-friendly way. Cargo space is adequate. Malibu boasts great safety scores and can be configured to suit almost any driver. Malibu serves as solid proof that Chevy is really on its game.
Kia Stinger — With styling that takes aim at the likes of BMW and Lexus, the Kia Stinger is the Korean automaker’s challenge to existing sport sedans. Going on sale later this year, it will be available with two different engine options—a 255-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder will serve as the entry-level engine, and a 365-hp turbo 3.3-liter V-6. The Stinger will sport an eight-speed automatic transmission, and buyers will be able to choose between rear- and all-wheel drive.
Mazda 6 — Mazda adds a little sizzle to the class with the Mazda 6. It’s a sleek, sharp sedan that pleasantly surprises buyers with an impressive group of features standard with the base-level Sport trim. Mazda6 delivers an excellent blend of performance and comfort. Responsive steering and precise handling combine with a very comfortable ride to create a full, rich driving experience. Step up to the Touring level and get more of the features that make Mazda6 an IHH Top Safety Pick.
Ford Fusion — For buyers who love the brand, Ford’s Fusion is an obvious contender in the class. It’s got plenty going for it, too, with a passenger compartment that’s roomy, comfortable and stylish. It’s a safe, good-looking ride that’s well trimmed and boasts plenty of power—it’ll deliver some mild to middling thrills upon request. There’s little to complain about with the possible exception of Fusion’s less- than-stellar fuel economy. The base engine is rated 21mpg in the city and 32mpg/highway.