Looking at the auto sales data for U.S. consumers, it’s easy to notice the prominence of midsize sedans. Nearly one in every two cars bought by American shoppers falls into the midsize category traditionally dominated by Honda and Toyota. For decades, no family car proved more efficient and reliable than the Accord or Camry in the driveway. One might argue a lack of legitimate alternatives from Detroit is what pushed U.S. automakers into such hard times early in the twenty-first century.
Those days may be coming to an end. The Accord and Camry will continue to rank near the top of the U.S. sales charts in the foreseeable future, but the popular Fusion and new sales leader Altima are changing the way the industry (and the highway) looks. Throw in the work of Korean automakers and the U.S. market is intriguing for consumers and analysts alike. Here are eight midsize cars driving the industry in 2014, listed with their base prices before destination charges.
1. Nissan Altima ($22,110)
Nissan’s entry in the midsize segment is the best selling car in the United States through February 2014. By unseating the perennial champion Toyota Camry by 1,000 units, the Nissan Altima proved it is gaining in popularity. It posted gains of 11 percent in February 2014 over sales from the prior year.
U.S. consumers gravitate toward the impressive 38 mpg highway in the base 2.5 liter model that delivers 182 horsepower. Drivers who want some more pop under the hood can opt for the 3.5-liter engine ($26,260) that’s capable of a maximum 270 hp. Fuel economy in the souped-up Altima dips to 31 mpg on the highway.