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Article Highlights:

  • The Honda Accord makes waves with its safety scores
  • Kia’s Optima offers great tech
  • The Mazda 6 brings sporty to the family sedan

By now, most know the used car market is a huge mess right now. Chip shortages have driven prices sky-high. But that doesn’t stop us from rooting out a bargain of epic proportions. Usually, that means sports cars of questionable reliability. However, today we’re shifting gears and looking at the Honda Accord, Kia Optima, and other excellent used family sedans for when that bargain sports car leaves you roadside.

The Honda Accord is the most reliable used family car

A silver Honda Accord, and excellent used family sedan, shot from the front 3/4 at an auto show
The Accord is an excellent bargain choice | Fabrice Coffrini via Getty Images

First up: The Honda Accord. It’s only fair we pay homage to the king first. This is a used family sedan, so safety here is paramount. Thankfully, the Accord offers plenty of that, with side airbags all over and rock-hard child restraints. These models can regularly be found on sites like AutoTempest for under $10,000, but steer clear of high-mile cars. Additionally, it should be noted the trunk on mid-2000s models can be a bit slim for a family sedan.

From there, the Honda Accord is all strengths, as can be expected from one of the best used family sedans. A good number of cars can be found with a coveted V6 powerplant. Even by today’s standards, the Accord has plenty of pep. For those of you that miss the sports car that left you high and dry at the mechanic’s, there’s also a manual transmission to be found if you look hard enough.

A Kia Optima is a used family sedan bargain

A silver Kia Optima shot from the 3/4 angle at an auto show
The Kia Optima | Eric Piermont via Getty Images

Unfortunately, that’s something that can’t be said of the Kia Optima, despite it making our list of the best used family sedans. Again, we’re looking at cars from the early to mid-2000s here. That means stick cars are starting to become scarce. However, the Kia’s make up for it with a much more up to date infotainment. Unlike the Honda Accord, you’ll find USB outlets. Moreover, a good number of Optimas can also be had with Bluetooth.

Like the Honda Accord, the Kia Optima also comes with a good number of safety features for a family sedan. Once again, that means side airbags aplenty and solid child seat hookups in the back. Coming in slightly larger than the Honda, the Kia also offers a shade more usability. Obviously, it should be noted that the Kia’s reliability will be a weak point compared to the Honda.

The Mazda 6 might be the best used sedan

A red Mazda 6 sedan shot on a back road from the 3/4 angle
A 2013 Mazda 6 | National Motor Museum via Getty Images

Finally, that leaves us with the Mazda 6. If new new is your goal, the Mazda 6 is the car for you. Depreciation means access to cars well into the 2013-2015 era of the best used family sedans. Plus, there’s a stick-shift available should you wish. Aggain, a healthier V6 option can be had. It’s the sportiest choice on this list, too. So, if you’re pining for a used family sedan sports car, this is your go-to. Regardless, any of these make fine choices so long as you buy the nicest, newest one you can afford.


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