Many drivers today want a midsize car with enough space for the family but isn’t quite a full-size vehicle like an SUV. Even more so, you want something like a Toyota or Honda that gives you a few luxuries and good reliability without breaking the bank. With all this in mind, most would expect an older vehicle from the 1990s, but you would be surprised to find things like a Toyota Camry. So given these requirements, what are the 5 most reliable used midsize cars you can buy for under $15,000 in 2023?
1. 2010 Ford Fusion
With all the practicality you expect from a family sedan, the 2010 Ford Fusion is a top choice for midsize cars. Specifically, the hybrid model of the Fusion delivers exceptional fuel efficiency and a solid driving experience. The Fusion hybrid is powered by a four-cylinder tied to an electric motor, which is good for 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Standard options on the Fusion hybrid include rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and Ford Sync infotainment system. Additionally, you can equip the Fusion with heated leather front seats, navigation, and a blind-spot warning system. Although the styling isn’t great, the Fusion is a well-rounded sedan.
2. 2009 Saturn Aura
The 2009 Saturn Aura has become an incredible value with the Saturn brand no longer existing. A forgotten midsize car, the Aura is praised for its tight handling, quiet cabin area, and powerful V6 engine. The base model Aura housed a four-cylinder engine with good fuel efficiency. However, interior quality is the biggest downfall of the Saturn sedan, with cheap plastic used throughout the cabin. J.D. Power gives the Saturn Aura a 9.1 out of 10 overall. Although the interior quality is lacking, the car makes up for its reliability and safety.
3. 2013 Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata has made waves in recent years. However, for the 2013 model year, the Sonata gives you the most bang for your buck in this list. Powered by either a 198 horsepower four-cylinder or a 274 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, the Hyundai has a little something for everyone. The turbocharged engine has excellent pick-up and plenty of steam for highway passing in the midsize car. Comfortably seating 5 passengers, the interior of the Sonata is good too. Leather seats become standard on the Limited trim, with heated seats all around. Dual-zone climate control keeps you comfortable, and the 16.4 cubic foot trunk is big enough for a large grocery haul.
4. 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid
One of the lower options on this list due to pricing, the 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid is still a heavy hitter. While it may not be the best value for the budget, it still squeaks in under $15,000. A terrific hybrid system gives the Camry 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. It pales compared to a Prius but does wonders in the midsize car class. The interior design of the Camry is sophisticated, with high-quality materials covering most surfaces. Every trim comes with a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen display. Midyear 2014.5 models saw the addition of a rearview camera as standard. Although the infotainment system isn’t as intuitive as others, the upgraded Entune Suite app allows smartphone connectivity.
5. 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
Rounding out this top 5 list is the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu gives a balanced ride, and its four or six-cylinder engines provide solid performance. A few negatives include a cheap interior feel and uncomfortable back seats. However, U.S. News gave the Malibu the number 1 spot for the best midsize car for the money in 2011. Reliability is its saving grace, with many examples reaching over 150,000 miles. Options like remote start, heated seats, Bose audio system, and quality leather seats pump the value.
Which midsize car should you buy?
The best choice is the 2013 Hyundai Sonata. Although it is on the expensive side of this list, it gives the best mix of technology, performance, and reliability. Most of these models are found around the $10,000 price point. Not only is the Sonata one of the newest cars in this price range, but it is also one of the best-driving and most powerful. With all of this in mind, the Sonata is the best choice for potential buyers.