With the growth in popularity of trucks and SUVs, you may have forgotten the former standard of family transportation: the mid-size sedan. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, annual passenger car sales were down 47.9% in Canada at the end of June this year. But with automakers adding even more features, safety gear, and technology into the last remaining models, there can be a lot of value for buyers who don’t need the functionality of a truck or an SUV. To help with your next vehicle purchase decision, based on sales in Canada for the first six months of 2020* from least to most, here are the ten most popular new mid-size family sedans for 2020.
10th place: 2020 Kia Optima (452 sold)
To be replaced by the Kia K5 for the 2021 model year, the existing 2020 Optima takes a page from the Euro sport sedan playbook. With a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $28,495 CDN, the front-wheel-drive Optima EX's standard features include a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Headroom front and back are excellent, and there's enough available legroom for the Optima to accommodate four adults comfortably. The Optima's trunk holds up to 453 litres of cargo, a generous amount. For families looking to save fuel, the 202-horsepower $43,995 Optima PHEV can run up to 47 kilometres on electricity alone before the gasoline engine is needed.
9th place: 2020 Subaru Legacy (496 sold)
Redesigned for 2020, the all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy boasts more interior room, 428 litres of trunk space, a stiffer body and more responsive chassis, along with standard Subaru EyeSight safety and driver assists across all trim levels. All Legacys boast more interior room and a more luxurious interior than before with high-grade materials and much-improved sound insulation, which dramatically lowers noise, vibration and harshness. Base MSRPs start at $26,395, with a 182-horsepower and 176-pound-feet of torque 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. The $37,095 Limited GT and $39,095 Premier versions get a 2.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
8th place: 2020 Mazda Mazda6 (504 sold)
If you're looking for a mid-size sedan with impressive ride and handling characteristics, a powerful engine and an elegant interior, the 2020 Mazda6 is a great choice. The base Mazda6 GS trim's MSRP of $27,350 includes a 187-horsepower and 186-pound-feet of torque 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. But the 227-horsepower turbocharged alternative in the $36,650 GT gives the Mazda family sedan greater acceleration and passing power. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. With one of the best interiors in its class, with clean design, impressive materials and upscale décor, the Mazda6's front seats are accommodating and comfortable, while the rears are also well-cushioned. Rear trunk space is limited to 416 litres.
7th place: 2021 Nissan Altima (682 sold)
Borrowing the same distinctive looks as the larger Maxima sedan, the redesigned 2020 Nissan Altima adopts a bold V-Motion grille and floating roof design. Like the Subaru Legacy, all-wheel-drive is now standard on all Altimas. MSRPs start at $28,098. The lone powertrain choice is a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder making 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque with continuously variable automatic transmission. The new Altima’s interior has been upgraded and would be at home in a class-above model. Seating up to five people and offering up to 437-litres of trunk room, the 2020 Altima is smaller inside than class leaders but remains a capable mid-size family sedan.
6th place: 2020 Volkswagen Passat (695 sold)
If you were to look at the redesigned-for-2020 Volkswagen Passat side by side with its 2019 predecessor, you would instantly notice the sharper, more aggressive styling. Starting with an MSRP of $27,145, the Passat is somewhat sporty, but its strong suit is its quiet, roomy, comfortable cabin and a relatively large trunk (450 litres). If you want a mid-size sedan with a backseat for adults, the Passat is a top pick. The Passat’s 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has 174 horsepower, as it did before, and 206 pound-feet of torque—a 22 lb-ft increase. The only powertrain choice is this engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive.
5th place: 2021 Hyundai Sonata (1,159 sold)
Fully redesigned for 2020, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata brings loads of safety equipment with a starting MSRP of $26,999 in the base Preferred trim, plus unexpected technology and amenities in higher trims. Furthermore, the goods come at a price that still undercuts competitors and a ride and handling package tuned for comfort. The Sonata’s 462-litre trunk is one of the largest in the segment. A 2.5-litre, 191-horsepower and 181-pound-feet of torque 4-cylinder is the base engine. The $31,299 Sport trim gains a 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a $40,099 2020 Sonata Hybrid with 192 horsepower that scores a 5.0 L/100 kms combined city/highway estimate.
4th place: 2020 Chevrolet Malibu (1,441 sold)
The front-wheel-drive 2020 Chevrolet Malibu offers sleek styling, good ride and handling characteristics, a pleasant interior, and one of the better infotainment systems in the segment. Starting with an MSRP of $25,248, the Malibu’s base engine is a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder making 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque mated to a CVT. The $37,848 Premier trim adds a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder with 250 horsepower, 260 pound-feet and a 9-speed automatic transmission. While the Malibu’s interior isn’t revolutionary, the plastics have a high-quality feel, and there are numerous soft-touch surfaces all placed where they should be. Trunk space is average, with 447 litres of room.
3rd place: 2020 Honda Accord (2,548 sold)
A perennial mid-size family sedan favourite, the front-wheel-drive 2020 Honda Accord delivers an upscale aura with solid handling, low ownership costs and high Kelley Blue Book resale value. The 2020 Honda Accord’s 5-passenger interior is roomier than you might expect, especially in rear-seat legroom and a 473-litre trunk. With an MSRP starting at $28,705, the base LX trim comes with a turbocharged 192-horsepower and 192-pound-feet of torque 1.5-litre 4-cylinder and a CVT. The $34,405 Sport 2.0 gets a 252-horsepower and 273-pound-feet of torque turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder with a 6-speed manual transmission—$1,300 more with an automatic transmission. The $34,705 Accord Hybrid offers 212-horsepower with an impressive 5.0 L/100 kms combined city/highway fuel economy estimate.
2nd place: 2020 Ford Fusion (3,499 sold)
Although 2020 will be the Ford Fusion’s last model year, the front-wheel-drive sedan remains a popular choice with Canadians for what it is: a comfortable and well-equipped 5-seater that’s both handsome and a pleasure to drive. The popular Ford 4-door sedan is available as a 188-horsepower, fuel-efficient Hybrid SE (5.6L/100 km combined) starting with an MSRP of $28,789 or a 195-horsepower $31,843 Plug-in Hybrid SEL with up to 42 kilometres of electric range. The base trim gas engine Fusion SE begins at $26,272 with a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder that makes 181 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. With its logically placed controls, the Fusion interior has a handsome if a bit dated look. Four adults fit with ease inside or five in a pinch, and there are 453 litres of trunk space.
1st place: 2020 Toyota Camry (3,788 sold)
Following the Camry’s latest redesign, Canada’s best-selling mid-size family sedan’s sharper exterior is wrapped around a new chassis that provides unexpected driving thrills. Starting with an MSRP of $26,620, front-wheel-drive Camrys get a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel-drive can be had for an additional $3,230. The 208-horsepower, gas-electric $31,550 Hybrid scores a combined 4.9 L/100 kms estimate, while the $40,490 XSE stands out with a class-exclusive 301-horsepower V6 engine. Gas versions get an 8-speed automatic transmission (hybrids receive a CVT) and 427 litres feet of trunk space (less in the hybrids). Fun family sedan fact: All Camrys offer more rear-seat legroom than a full-size Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
*Vehicle sales based on manufacturer-supplied information between January 1 and June 30, 2020.