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Top 10 Best Mid Size Car or Sedan Under $25K - 2011 edition

Updated on October 27, 2011

Sedan car also known as saloon car is very famous selection for any american family. The compact size, the cost, and the great handling are three of the most important reason why family or personal choose a sedan car. All these cars provide exceptional value for any person to buy this car either for work or for leisure. The selections is also done based on the customer rating that were done by various magazines such as Edmunds or Car & Drivers for 2011 model.

The car selection include small size car and mid size car. Most of these car selection has a very high rating from customer review and editor review from Edmunds.

The following is the list of Top 10 highest rated Sedan under $25K for 2011 model:

1. Mazda 3

2. Nissan Altima

3. VW Jetta

4. Honda Accord

5. Ford Fusion

6. Kia Optima

7. Toyota Camry

8. Hyundai Sonata

9. Chevrolet Malibu

10. Honda Civic

Top 10 Sedan Car Under 25k

(click column header to sort results)
Lowest MSRP  
Review Rating  
Length (in)  
Width (in)  
Height (in)  
Fuel Tank (gal)  
Fuel Economy (mpg)  
turning cycle (ft)  
Cargo Capacity (Cu ft)  
Horsepower (HP)  
Speed 0-60mph (s)  
speed manual  
Mazda MAZDA3
Nissan Altima
Volkswagen Jetta Diesel
Honda Accord
Ford Fusion
Kia Optima
Toyota Camry
Hyundai Sonata
Chevrolet Malibu
Honda Civic
Table Comparison of Car under 25k
Mazda3 | Source

1. 2011 Mazda MAZDA3

This is one of the cheapest Sedan in this list. Mazda 3 provides more driving enjoyment than its affordable price would suggest. Driver will feel the smoother ride, more athletic chassis, communicate steering and less vibration coming into cabin. Mazda 3 is known for having nice cabin with its interesting architecture design and leather upholstery.

The 2011 Mazda 3 is available in hatchback body styles and four-door compact sedan. The 3i model is available in Sedan and is offered in Sport, SV and Touring trim levels. Standard equipment on the SV includes 16-inch steel wheels, height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls and full power accessories and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player.

In government crash tests, the Mazda 3 earned the highest rating (five stars) for both driver and passenger in frontal impact protection. The Mazda 3 sedan is not so spacious, particularly in back seat where long-legged people might feel cramped. However, the driver seat offers a wide range of adjustment (especially if equipped with the power adjustments), and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel is a welcome feature.

Pros of 2011 Mazda3:

  • Very affordable compact car
  • Great handling and very responsive
  • Driver will enjoy the driving feel (zoom zoom zoom)
  • energetic 2.5-liter engine;
  • Very stylish, complete interior features
  • Driver will have variety of luxury options
  • Excellent handling and maneuverability
  • Interior is well designed
  • Low, flat cargo floor for more storage

Cons of 2011 Mazda3:

  • Ride may be too firm for some drivers
  • The controls can get too complicated
  • Cabin and trunk is smaller than those of competitors.
  • Some may notice road noise while driving
  • Less headroom with Moonroof
  • Fuel economy is not great

2011 Nissan Altima
2011 Nissan Altima | Source

2. 2011 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima is offering the fun for the whole family. The Altima's fun factor depends on which engine is chosen. The V6 version or the 3.5 SR, comes standard with a sport-tuned suspension that trades some ride comfort for sharper handling, making this Altima feel more like a sport sedan than a family sedan. The four-cylinder-powered Altima are understandably less thrilling, though they are still more involving to drive, thanks to the composed chassis and communicative steering. For those who prefer sleeker styling, the Altima is also available as a coupe.

2011 Nissan Altima is a good choice for sedan, especially when fitted with the V6. Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a trip computer and full power accessories. A stereo is not included, but the car is pre-wired with four speakers.


  • Very responsive steering
  • Cabin construction is solid like a rock
  • Impressive electronic features
  • For sport feel, there is also coupe body style
  • Great car chassis


  • Backseat is small than competitor
  • Too complex options structure

2011 VW Jetta
2011 VW Jetta | Source

3. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel

In the past, people who bought a Jetta would also consider a BMW 3 Series or a Honda Accord. There was a premium quality to the Jetta that its buyers recognized as worth the extra cost of admission. The new Jetta has a longer wheelbase for more rear seat room. But the revised steering, standard rear drum brakes and the base model's 2.0-liter engine are not satisfying. Additionally, the Jetta's interior no longer boasts the upscale materials and thoughtful little details that used to give it a premium feel. These all changes are the main reason of the cheaper and lower price. The new base model Jetta S costs less than $15,000.

The Jetta Base is a stripped-down model that comes with 15-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, power locks and windows, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and height-adjustable front seats. The S type adds power/heated mirrors, air-conditioning, keyless entry, and a four-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and CD player.

The 2011 VW Jetta is a good choice for a small or midsize sedan. With its spacious interior, plenty of standard features of a fuel-efficient clean-diesel engine, the new Jetta holds its own against other top choices of sedan.


  • Spacious trunk and interior 
  • The car is well-equipped with features 
  • TDI is still a fuel-economy champ,
  • Back seat is spacious, and feels airy,
  • smart electronics interface;
  • fuel-efficient diesel model.
  • Attention to styling details, outside and in,
  • Handles like a VW—which means, big, wide, usefully shaped trunk


  • Disappointing interior quality;
  • slow throttle response with automatic;
  • numb steering;
  • Cheaper interior obvious even to newbies,
  • Turbo and diesel versions will still be pricey,
  • Navigation system’s a half-step behind the best
  • sluggish base engine.
  • Cleaner look still leans into Civic territory


Honda Accord
Honda Accord | Source

4. 2011 Honda Accord

Honda Accord has been top-of-mind answers when people think of midsize sedan. Accord was first introduced in 2008. The 2011 Accord is the biggest yet, offering the most accommodating interior in its class. While its steering remains responsive and tactile, the Accord has a tendency to feel super-sized when driven around corners. Its acceleration is a bit underwhelming, with five-speed automatic transmission doing duty when most competing models now offer six-speeds.

There is one bright spot for 2011, because the Accord's engines choices are now more efficient with EPA rating of 23 city/34 highway, a rise of about 2 mpg. The 2011 Honda Accord remains a solid pick among family sedans. It's spacious, fuel-efficient and reliable and should hold its value well.


  • Ample passenger space
  • excellent visibility
  • fuel economy is great
  • excellent resale value
  • Good ride and handling
  • No single road noise while driving
  • Reputation for reliability & affordability


  • Interior quality is mediocre
  • seats may be uncomfortable
  • If you have the Accord coupe, it is difficult to access the car backseat
  • Bluetooth limited to a few top trims
  • Headroom is tight in back
  • Not a fuel-economy leader

Ford Fusion 2011
Ford Fusion 2011 | Source

5. 2011 Ford Fusion

The Fusion earns some of its high marks because of its architecture. Even though Fusion is slightly smaller size but it doesn’t impact the interior room, it also gives the Fusion more agility. The Fusion does have some downsides (see ‘Disadvantages’ below), but overall the Fusion is very well-rounded. It drives well, is comfortable and has very good safety ratings. The 2011 Ford Fusion is considered one of the top picks for a midsize family sedan.

The 2011 Ford Fusion is a midsize sedan available in Sport, SE, S, and SELL trim levels. The base S comes standard with keyless entry, full power accessories, 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, blind-spot mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, cruise control, 60/40-split rear seats, and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and a CD player.


  • Interior is spacious
  • Good responsive handling and comfortable ride
  • excellent Ford Sync system for Hi Tech
  • good four-cylinder fuel economy
  • Great design and looks futuristic
  • Hybrid's soaring city fuel economy
  • available all-wheel drive as option


  • Button-happy center stack
  • raspy four-cylinder engine note
  • Smaller inside than truly large family sedans
  • Fusion Sport wants, needs paddles for shifting
  • numb electric power steering on non-Sport models
  • Smaller V-6 is a groaner

6. 2011 Kia Optima

The 2011 Kia Optima (after extreme makeover) now has sleek styling body, substantial power and plenty of value, giving it an instant standout among the other sedans. Kia Optima is taking more premium, European look for the interior. Optima has also maintained the lengthy warranty and strong value. The Optima packs in a ton of features for a price that undercuts most competitors, while offering things that others do not such as ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

The 2011 Kia Optima is available in four trim levels: EX, LX, SX and EX Turbo. Standard equipment on the LX includes a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories and a height-adjustable driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, keyless entry, satellite radio, a stereo with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. Opting for an LX with the automatic transmission provides you with alloy wheels, cruise controller and the availability of the Convenience package, which consists of an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-way power driver seat.


  • Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
  • Fantastic ride/handling balance
  • Interior looks fantastic
  • Impressive value for extensive features
  • Offer generous 10 years warranty
  • Great looking exterior
  • Sporty instrument-panel look
  • Perky, refined driving feel
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Standard Bluetooth connectivity


  • Can be tight on headroom;
  • numb steering
  • Short, flat seats
  • Not much headroom for tall people
  • Can't get UVO and navigation together

2011 Toyota Camry
2011 Toyota Camry | Source

7. 2011 Toyota Camry

For some reasons, Camry remains one of the top family sedans on the market. The plush-riding champs on highways as well the optional V6 are some of the reasons. Camry is a choice for those who are seeking for comfort and efficient transportation.

The 2011 Toyota Camry is a midsize sedan available in four trim levels - base, SE, LE and XLE. The base Camry comes with a four-cylinder engine, while the other trims provide a choice between the four-cylinder and a V6. The base Camry features 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto up/down windows for all four doors, cruise control, a six-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary input jack, air-conditioning, full power accessories and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. While, the Camry LE adds an eight-way power driver seat and keyless entry.


  • Roomy interior or cabin
  • extraordinarily refined and fuel-efficient V6
  • Very quiet and cushy ride in interior or cabin
  • excellent crash test scores.
  • Powertrain is very refine and responsive
  • Comfortable, just-right ride quality
  • Great Fuel economy (four-cylinder)


  • Spotty fit and finish,
  • Spiritless handling.
  • Lackluster build quality
  • Conservative, anonymous exterior
  • Interior materials looks cheap

8. 2011 Hyundai Sonata

The previous Hyundai Sonata might be inspired by the Camry and Accord, but the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is not at all. 2011 Hyundai Sonata has become worthy of headliner status in the family-sedan arena. With engine choices for the new Sonata is a 2.4-liter inline-4 or a 2.0-liter turbocharged variant. Besides that, 2011 Hyundai Sonata also provides brisk performance and high fuel mileage, as well a refined demeanor.

2011 Hyundai Sonata is available in SE, GLS and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the GLS includes a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, heated side-view mirrors, air-conditioning, a 60/40-split rear seatback, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo and Bluetooth with phonebook download.


  • Smooth ride with high fuel economy,
  • Comfortable and great layout of car interior
  • Very spacious trunk for storage
  • Strong safety scores and great value for this car
  • Offers 10 years warranty
  • Well-damped ride
  • Big standard features list among competitor


  • Some consumers may miss V6 option,
  • Can be tight on headroom
  • Inconsistent steering feel
  • Seats feel rather firm
  • Cabin gets noisy at higher speeds

2011 Chevy Malibu
2011 Chevy Malibu | Source

9. 2011 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu was acknowledged as the 2009 North American Car of the Year and got a quiet many of positive praise. The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu remains popular, well-equipped entry in the segment of midsize family sedans. It's starting to delay behind stronger segment leaders in some respects.

Standard equipment on the Malibu LS includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, full power accessories, automatic headlights, a six-speaker stereo with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.


  • Strong power especially V6 engine
  • economical inline-4
  • Great balance between ride and handling
  • Quiet interior during ride
  • Great scores in various crash tests
  • Looks great in term of car style
  • Smooth, isolated powertrains
  • Good fuel economy especially for four-cylinder


  • Inconsistent quality of interior or cabin materials
  • Lacks some competitive features.
  • Rear seat is a little cramp
  • No DVD-based navigation
  • Doesn't feel sporty, even with the V-6

10. 2011 Honda Civic

For quite a long time, the Honda Civic has been the go-to small car choice, not only due to its legendary quality and reliability also because of its fun-loving driving dynamics. The main prevailing characters of Honda Civic are agile, comfortable and efficient. This is also one of the top best seller compact car choice for any single person in America.

The 2011 Honda Civic is a compact car available as in five main trim levels: DX, EX, EX-L, LX and Si. The DX comes with just the basics, including 15-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and power windows. The DX sedan's optional package includes a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system, an auxiliary audio jack and air-conditioning. The LX options offers 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, full power accessories, center console with a sliding armrest, a folding rear seatback.


  • Wide variety of power trains
  • Great fuel economy
  • Comfortable and well-built interior
  • Available coupe body style for sporty looks


  • Some common convenience and safety features are only available on fancier models
  • elevated road noise
  • hybrid's high price and slow acceleration


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    Post Comment

    • chan0512 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camarillo, CA


      I think Chevy Malibu has a great potential to be even top 5. Thanks for your comment.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 

      7 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      I didn't realize the malibu would make top 10. Of course I see plenty of Mazda 3's, Civics, Jetta's, Accords, but not so many Malibu's. I guess it depends what part of the country you are in. Nice to see a couple American cars ranking on the top 10 list.

    • melodyandes profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the information.

    • chan0512 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camarillo, CA


      Thanks for your input. I guess I need another segment for under $20k car. I'll provide this in later day.

    • thefundu profile image


      7 years ago from India

      I guess you had forgotten Ford Focus and the newer one has a lot of charm. Even Skoda Superb is a lot more hot car in this segment. I had found both of these cars to be wonderful in every aspect whether say it features or drive feel, they are awesome machines.

    • SJKSJK profile image


      7 years ago from delray beach, florida

      Good information. It will be useful when I get a new care next year.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice Hub. The new Chevy Malibu's are very nice and have gotten really good ratings.

    • chan0512 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camarillo, CA


      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like this list. More to come.

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      I like Toyota Camry so much. Thanks for that investigation.

    • chan0512 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camarillo, CA

      I like Honda alot. Actually I'm driving a honda myself. I used to have toyota corolla. Thanks for stopping by The Casual Critic.

    • The Casual Critic profile image

      The Casual Critic 

      7 years ago

      I'm a loyal Honda fan and am glad to see the Accord and Civic on the list. Though, I'm loving the new Mazdas and Kias too!

    • chan0512 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camarillo, CA

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope so as well. Nissan Altima is number 2 in my list.

    • profile image

      used cars Libertyville 

      7 years ago

      As I'm a Nissan owner, I'm too much glad to see the Nissan Altima in your list. I hope this affordable price will suit to new customers.


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