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Published: May 01, 2023 7 min read
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Midsize cars are the Goldilocks of vehicles, straddling multiple categories and promising to avoid the drawbacks of each. They provide better handling and more space than compact and small cars. Meanwhile, you’ll get more agile performance and more miles to the gallon than with a larger car or SUV.

Using a step-by-step methodology, we compared the midsize cars on the market on such factors as value, features, performance, safety and technology. We list our five top choices below, along with how each stands out from the pack. The specs listed below each review are for the trim level we assessed, which was the one we judged offered the best value.

Our Picks for the Best Midsize Cars of 2023

Kia K5 — Best Overall and Best Value
Hyundai Sonata — Best for Features
Toyota Camry — Best for Performance
Honda Accord — Best for Safety
Chevrolet Malibu — Best for Technology

Reviews of the Best Midsize Cars

Best Overall and Best Value: Kia K5

Courtesy of Kia
  • Affordable, and holds its value well
  • Good fuel efficiency
  • Less power than many rivals

Starting prices for the midsize cars on this list hover around the $25,000-mark. The Kia K5 is no exception but, where competitors have a utilitarian interior, this car stands out for its well-appointed cabin. Upgrade to the $26,690 GT-line trim for luxuries such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The K5 received a nod from J.D. Power for its ability to retain value.

The GT-Line is especially well equipped, with a wireless phone charger and a larger, 10.25-inch touch screen. At 16 cubic feet of capacity, the K5 has one of the roomiest cargo holds on this list. Only the Honda Accord’s trunk is (slightly) larger, at 16.7 cubic feet.

Best for Features: Hyundai Sonata

Courtesy of Hyundai
  • Rich in standard features
  • Roomy cargo space
  • Expensive

Even the base version of the Hyundai Sonata boasts standard features for connectivity and convenience (8-inch color touchscreen display and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and safety (Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Driver Attention Warning and Lane Follow Assist).

The SEL Plus trim starts just below $33,000. If you can afford the extra $8,000 or so compared with the base model, you'll enjoy heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof. This model also comes with wireless phone charging and a larger (10.25-inch) touch screen. Android users can also access Hyundai Digital Key, which lets you use a compatible Android smartphone to unlock doors and start the engine.

The SEL Plus delivers ample power via the same 180-horsepower, turbo-four engine that powers the K5. However, you’ll find more brawn in the 203-horsepower Toyota Camry.

Like the Kia K5, the Sonata has a roomy cargo hold with 16 cubic feet of trunk space.

Best for Performance: Toyota Camry

Courtesy of Toyota
  • Powerful engine
  • Plenty of safety features
  • Small cargo hold

As Toyota’s top-selling car, the Toyota Camry is both a reliable performer and the most powerful car on this list. The sport-tuned suspension (standard on the mid-grade SE trim) improves handling for a crisp and responsive ride. For added grip, all-wheel drive is available for an extra $1,400.

The Camry comes with tech features found in many class rivals — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and a 7-inch screen. Wireless smartphone charging and a 9-inch screen are optional. Every Camry comes with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver-assist features, such as lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist and dynamic radar cruise control.

With 15.1 cubic feet of space, the Camry has the smallest cargo hold on this list.

Best for Safety: Honda Accord

Courtesy of Honda
  • Good safety ratings
  • Largest cargo capacity
  • Small screen

The Honda Accord is our top pick for safety due to its long list of safety features. All models come with the Honda Sensing bundle of driver assistance technologies, including forward collision warning, a collision mitigation braking system, and a road departure mitigation system. Upgrade one trim level to the EX model to add a blind spot information system with cross traffic monitoring.

The Accord was recognized as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and received 5-star ratings for crash tests performed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot capability and a 7-inch display screen are standard. The SE trim comes outfitted with heated front seats and a one-touch power moonroof.

The Accord bests class rivals in cargo capacity, with 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space.

Best for Technology: Chevrolet Malibu

Courtesy of Chevrolet
  • Long list of standard technology features
  • Good fuel economy
  • Less horsepower than the competition

The Chevrolet Malibu gets our pick for technological sophistication, thanks in part to its easy-to-use infotainment interface. All models come with an 8-inch touch screen and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is Wi-Fi-hotspot-capable and lets you install and control an array of popular apps directly through the interface.

When it comes to power, Chevy’s midsize sedan trails class rivals, with its 160-horsepower engine. Both the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5 are equipped with 180-horsepower engines, while the Toyota Camry bests the bunch to deliver 203 horsepower.

The Malibu provides 15.7 cubic feet of cargo space — which is more than what you'll find in the Camry but less than with the Accord.

Jaclyn Trop is an award-winning journalist who road-tests and reviews vehicles, in addition to covering automotive news. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications.