In the hotly-competitive midsize car market, consumers looking for affordable wheels have some great choices in these Best Cheap Midsize Cars. All have a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) that’s under $25K, which is really about where a midsize family sedan should be priced. Of course, savvy consumers should work all the angles, including manufacturer’s rebates and other incentives, to get the best deal.

Here, then, are our top picks for Best Cheap Midsize Cars:

  • Mazda Mazda6Consumers looking for a sporty (dare we say sexy?) family sedan with an affordable price should check out the 2010 Mazda Mazda6, with starting MSRPs from $18,600 to $28,540. With its finely-tuned chassis and sensitive throttle, Mazda6 is pretty athletic – a plus for drivers with a yen for performance. Sure, it’s not a sports car. After all, it’s a sedan. Barry Winfield, of Popular Mechanics, says of the 2009 model: “It’s bigger, it comes in three trim levels, and it’s still got our favorite quality: The Mazda6 is a hoot to drive, unlike its less sporty foes in the marketplace.”
  • Ford FusionIt’s Motor Trend Magazine’s 2010 Car of the Year, a Consumer Reports recommendation, and a Consumer Guide Best Buy – and the 2010 Ford Fusion has the street creds to prove it. Once considered a respectable domestic alternative to import contenders, Ford Fusion now ranks at the top of the affordable midsize family car list. Crisp handling, front- or all-wheel drive, three new engines, and upscale interior with high-tech electronics – what’s not to like? MSRPs start at $19,695 for the base I4 (4-cylinder) S, and on up to $27,950 for the Hybrid. Edmunds says: “The market is overflowing with competent family sedans, but the Fusion’s well-rounded nature helps set it apart…if you’re in the market for a midsize sedan, this one belongs on your short list.”
  • Honda AccordSo roomy inside that the government classifies it as a large car – though most auto reviewers consider it a midsize, the 2010 Honda Accord continues to provide solid value for consumers looking for the best cheap midsize cars. Starting MSRPs are $21,055 to $29,905. Strong safety scores, roomy interior, performance that’s predictable and a little sporty (with smoothly accelerating V6), and Honda’s reputation for reliability are strong points. Yes, the design is a bit dated and the trunk is smaller than the competition and there’s no folding rear seat, but the Accord is still a great value. Car and Driver remarks: “In 28 years of 10Best competition, Honda’s Accord has made the list 24 times…what so reliably sets the Accord apart is its platform – as solid and unyielding as a shotgun barrel.”

Other choices that nearly made the list for Best Cheap Midsize Cars include Chevrolet Malibu (starting MSRPs from $21,825 for LS to $26,605 for the LTZ trim), and the all-new midsize sedan from Suzuki, the Kizashi (with starting MSRPs $18,999 for Kizashi S FWD to $26,890 for Kizashi SLS AWD).

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