Just because it’s a sedan doesn’t mean it has to be stodgy. Automakers have really stepped up their game in recent years to offer consumers the latest technological advances in the all-important family sedan category. And, that also translates to creature comforts, styling and performance. What else do you look for in a sedan? Besides room and comfort, ride and handling, good fuel economy and top safety scores, there’s the purely subjective component of what you like or don’t.

In choosing these Top 3 Best Used Sedans, we’ve combed reviews from Automobile, Edmunds, Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, Consumer Guide, Kiplinger, Road and Track, U.S. News & World Report Automotive Rankings, and safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Use them as a starting point for your research.

  • Chevrolet Malibu (2008-2009)– U.S. News & World Report hails the midsize Chevrolet Malibu as the 2008_Chevrolet_Malibu_Hybrid_DC“surprise of the automotive world” with its “2008 redesign [that] made it one of the best choices family car buyers could make.” Consumer Guides gives Malibu a Best Buy nod, noting its “refined powertrains, smart interior design, and value pricing.” Malibu, winner of numerous automotive awards, is also available in a hybrid. Edmunds likes Malibu’s strong-performing 352-hp 3.6-liter V-6, “excellent ride and handling balance, roomy cabin, comfortable seats, high crash-test scores, solid fit and finish” but pans a few unavailable luxury features, some “subpar cabin materials.”
  • Hyundai Genesis (2009) – Road and Track says “Hyundai cleared the fence with the Genesis…It puts power down like a BMW and rides like a Lexus.” Automobile raves the “new Genesis is a no-holds-barred assault on sedans and near-luxury sedans from Japan, America and Europe.” Genesis, named the 2009 North American Car of the Year, receives U.S. News & World Report’s #2 rank in upscale midsize cars, with a “V6 engine that competes well within its class, or a [375-hp 4.6-liter] V8 that’s even more powerful than one… in a BMW 5-Series.” U.S. News gives Genesis Excellent safety and reliability scores. Edmunds’ cons include no all-wheel drive, lacking “brand cachet.”
  • Infiniti G37 (2009) – Redesigned in 2008 and initially coupe only, the sedan joins the premium midsize Infiniti G37 lineup in 2009 – and garners automotive experts’ praise. Car and Driver says, “The second-generation G35 sedan was good. Really good…But now it’s dead…. We don’t mourn too deeply, you see, because the G35 has been replaced for 2009 by the G37.” Consumer Guide says the G37’s performance [with its 328-hp 3.7-liter V-6 engine and 7-speed automatic transmission], space and available all-wheel drive makes it an excellent alternative to Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes and “prices that undercut those rivals, make the G37 an excellent value.” U.S. News & World Report ranks G37 as #3 most affordable upscale midsize cars.

Also worth considering: Acura TL, BMW 3-Series, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Honda Accord and Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Lexus IS and ES, and Nissan Altima.

By Suzanne Kane

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