2021 Best Midsize Sedan Buying Guide

The midsize sedan segment is home to many of the most recognizable and popular car models of all time. These days the sedan has fallen a little out of vogue, with SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks ruling the car market with an iron fist. But with the ongoing chip shortage, many new car buyers have to bend to their second and third choice making the midsize sedan shine proudly. This is the best midsize sedan buying guide for 2021. 

The 2022 Kia K5 midsize sedan in blue found its way on the 2021 best Mid-size sedan Buyer's guide
Kia K5 midsize sedan | Kia America

What is the best midsize sedan for 2021?

“The best” can be a hard moniker to figure out. For most people, “the best” is a fairly subjective title. There are so many models of cars out there, and many of them do very different things. But unlike SUVs and trucks, the midsize sedan segment doesn’t offer quite the same degree of variation between models in the same way SUVs or pickups might. 

For most buyers shopping in the sedan market, the goal is reliability, comfort, utility,  and, depending on price range, some luxury. The sedan marketplace is getting cooler every year. Many automakers are making them roomier and more comfortable than ever.

But the sedan market is just for practicality. More automakers than ever before are slapping turbochargers in sedans making the segment even a bit of fun to drive. This 2021 best midsize sedan buying guide will show a range of options that run the gambit of the midsize sedan segment. 

2021 Subaru Legacy

2021 Subaru Legacy Parked in the street during sunset
Subaru Legacy | Subaru
  • Base price: $23,820
  • Trunk space: 15 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 27 MPG

Subaru has had a monster run for the past few years; it seems that a Subaru model is always found on a best-of list for any segment it makes a car for. This best midsize sedan buying guide is no exception. 

Like all good Subarus, the 2021 Subaru Legacy is equipped with standard all-wheel drive. The base model comes with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder but is offered in an optional turbocharged version of the same engine. While all trim levels get decent gas mileage for the segment and are decently equipped, the upper trim is where the fun is.

Starting at $28,020, the mid-range Sport model gets enough of the fun stuff like upgraded lighting, bigger wheels, and push-button ignition without getting too pricey. Not to mention, the Legacy received the highest honors from the IIHS safety test. 

2021 Kia K5

The 2022 Kia K5 midsize sedan in blue found its way on the 2021 best Mid-size sedan Buyer's guide
Kia K5 midsize sedan | Kia America
  • Base price: $24,455
  • Trunk space: 16 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 29 MPG

The new 2021 Kia K5 is a fine car, indeed. At its starting price of just under $25k, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any sedan that is this reliable, practical, and pretty for this price. While it is pretty and the base model is cheap, the base 1.6-liter engine is a bit puny, according to Car and Driver. 

That being said, Kia plans to fix this issue by releasing the GT trim later this year, which promises a 190-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This new trim will run somewhere around $31,000 and will likely get slightly fewer MPG. 

2021 Toyota Camry

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE
2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE side driving shot | Toyota
  • Base price: $25,965
  • Trunk space: 15 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 32 mpg

The Toyota Camry hardly requires any introduction. This, albeit slightly boring car, has been one of the most popular sedans for a long time. According to Consumer Reports, it’s popular for good reason. The 2021 Toyota Camry landed a stellar score of 88/100. Its lifetime of killer reliability, utility, and monster gas mileage should make learning that the 2021 model is the number one rated midsize sedan on CR. 

After Car and Driver’s review, they mention that aside from being the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid, the 2021 Toyota Camry was even a pretty good time to drive. Every powertrain option delivers whether you go with the base four-pot engine, the hybrid, or the TRD V6. The 2021 Camry starts at $25,965 for the base car and tops out around the $33,000 mark for the TRD.

2021 Hyundai Sonata

2021 Hyundai Sonata at sunset
2021 Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai
  • Base price: $24,595
  • Trunk space: 16 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 28 MPG (hybrid: 52 MPG) 

Not dissimilar to the Kia K5, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata earns its place on the best midsize sedan buying guide for 2021 by offering the Sonata in a Ford F-150-esque eight different trim levels, three of them hybrids, as well as the N Line variant equipped with a 290-hp turbo four-cylinder. 

Typically picking the mid-range model in the lineup will be the better choice for most buyers. In this case, that’s the SEL Plus, which comes with a 180-hp engine, 19-inch wheels, and several interior upgrades. But, for those doing a lot of driving, the jump up to the 52 mpg hybrid model might make the most sense. 

2021 Mazda 6

  • Base price: $25,270
  • Trunk space: 14 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 28 MPG

Auto enthusiasts tend to love themselves some Mazda. However, it seems like the normal, well-adjusted normal people have also caught a bit of Mazda fever lately, and for good reason. Mazda makes great cars. The 2012 Mazda 6 is the marques midsize sedan offering, and it slays. 

The 2021 Mazda 6 is good-looking, quick, and utilitarian. Mazda is known for having killer chassis, and the Mazda 6  takes advantage of that Mazda engineering. If you’re looking to take advantage of the Mazda 6’s fantastic chassis, Grand Touring and higher trims come equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that puts out a respectable 250 horsepower and, more importantly, 320 pound-feet of torque. 

2021 Honda Accord 

  • Base price: $25,725
  • Trunk space: 17 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 33 MPG

You knew the 2021 Honda Accord had to be here. The Honda Accord has done plenty of evolving over the years, but it has never changed its ethos. The Honda Accord has always been an affordable but nice sedan for the people, but it still has to evolve and adapt to the times. 

Changes for the new year include a minor facelift and a standard touchscreen infotainment display. In line with changing times, sadly, Honda will no longer offer the Accord with a manual transmission. The 2021 Accord is offered in six different trims, ranging from $25,725 for the LX to $37,655 for the Touring trim. The best trim is probably the Sport equipped with the optional 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with Honda’s 10-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Honda Clarity

2021 Honda Clarity makes 2021 best Mid-size sedan buying guide
2021 Honda Clarity | Honda
  • Base price: $34,355
  • Trunk space: 15 cubic feet
  • Combined fuel economy: 110 MPGe

The 2021 Honda clarity is a tough contender in the midsize sedan market. It may not be the sporty eye candy many of us dream about, but its utility and earth-friendly plug-in hybrid and hydrogen power-cell powertrains give this car some serious weight to throw around. 

Honda cut the all-electric version of the clarity from the lineup for 2021, but the hybrid and hydrogen models are pretty impressive on their own. The hybrid can roll 50 miles on just electric juice, while the hydrogen model claims 360 miles on one fill. Considering the newness and price of the $60,000 hydrogen model, the recommended version, for now, is definitely the PHEV, starting at just over $35k and pulling down 110 MPGe. 

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