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Best Family Sedans [Ranked for 2021]

Best Family Sedans

Best Family Sedans

There was a time when “family car” meant a midsize sedan. Those days have passed, and crossovers are now all the rage. However, there are still sedan lovers out there.

Sedans do have a slight handling edge in some circumstances. Midsize sedans also pack a tremendous value for buyers.

Our list is based on our testing of the vehicles, Consumer Reports Reliability data, and IIHS Safety scores. We also consider things like an available spare tire and a green powertrain option important.

Here is our list of the best sedans for families.

Are you looking for a vehicle to comfortably seat the whole family? Check out all our picks for the best family vehicles.

Read about how we rank our vehicles >>

Best Sedans for Families Comparison

Model IIHS SafetyConsumer Reports
Reliability Score
Best MPGPrice Range
Toyota Camry
TSP+
5/5
52
$27K - $39K
Honda Accord
TSP+
3/5
48
$27K - $39K
Subaru Legacy
TSP+
3/5
30
$25K - $39K
Honda Civic Hatchback
TSP

3/5
32
$23K - $31K
Nissan Sentra
TSP
3/5
33
$21K - $24K

Safety Scores are from IIHS (Top Safety Pick)

1. Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry Best Family SedanAlthough choosing the rest of our list was tricky, the Toyota Camry was an easy choice for Best Family Sedan. With the best reliability and safety scores possible and a hybrid trim with dramatically better fuel economy than its peers, how could the Camry be anywhere but in first place?

The Camry line features affordable trims, value trims with good content for the family dollar, powerful sporty trims, optional AWD, and a hybrid trim with an annual energy cost comparable to electric vehicles. In addition, Toyota throws in two years of included maintenance in the purchase price just to be clear which brand offers the best value.

The Camry is not the largest vehicle on this list, nor does it have the largest cargo volume. However, it is roomy for two adults up front and up to three kids in the back. The Camry defines this segment and is our pick as the Best Family Sedan.

Pros

  • Best fuel economy of family sedans
  • Best reliability scores
  • Highest possible safety score
  • V6 option

Cons

  • Not the roomiest in its segment

Current Toyota Camry Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaCamry$7502.49%$249/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing10/4/2021
2021ToyotaCamry Hybrid$1,000 2.49%10/4/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals here.

2. Honda Accord

Honda Accord Best Family SedanThe Honda Accord brings a roomy interior, crisp handling, modern infotainment, and a long history of being the reviewers’ choice in the family sedan segment. Your author has owned two.

Like the Camry line, Honda offers affordable value trims, sporty trims, and a hybrid to make certain it captures as many family buyers as possible. If you lean Honda’s way in terms of brand preference, the Accord is an easy pick when shopping for a family sedan.

One notable feature missing from the Accord line is all-wheel drive. However, the CR-V and Passport are right next to the Accords in the showroom.

Pros

  • Satisfying driving experience
  • Classic Honda trim selections
  • Hybrid and up-powered options
  • Highest possible safety score

Cons

  • AWD not available

Current Honda Accord Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HondaAccord1.90%$259/month for 36 months, $2,899 due at signing11/1/2021
2021HondaAccord Hybrid1.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals here.

3. Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy Best Family SedanAre you surprised to see a Subaru on this list? Did you even know that Subaru still made a midsized sedan? Here’s a bigger surprise, the Legacy came danger-close to taking second place on this list. For shoppers who need or want all-wheel drive, we would suggest comparing the Legacy to the Camry.

More surprises await Subaru shoppers. The Legacy has the largest infotainment screen of any vehicle on this list. One can also choose an up-powered turbocharged engine. Combine the turbo with AWD, and you have a vehicle that is unique in this segment.

The Legacy has the highest safety score possible, and Subaru has been building safe sedans for ages. What’s missing? There is no green trim available in the Subaru Legacy line, which is why it is in third place on this list of Best Family Sedans.

Pros

  • Best Infotainment screen
  • Highest possible safety score
  • Turbo option
  • AWD is standard

Cons

  • No green trim available

Current Subaru Legacy Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021SubaruLegacy0.00%$199/month for 36 months, $2,879 due at signing9/30/2021
2022SubaruLegacy1.90%$215/month for 36 months, $2,899 due at signing9/30/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Subaru deals here.

4. Honda Civic Hatchback

Honda Civic Hatchback Best Family SedanIf you remember the Civic as a small sedan, let’s update that thought. The Civic Hatchback is within three cubic feet of the passenger volume of the Camry and has an enormous cargo volume compared to its peers on this list. Of course, we are adding a 5-door vehicle to this list, and that’s cheating!

Whichever Civic body style you opt for, the Civic will deliver an enjoyable ride, a roomy interior, and many family-friendly features. There is no green trim of the Civic, but the Insight is basically a Civic in disguise if you want a hybrid. Sadly, the plug-in-hybrid Clarity version of the Civic has just been discontinued, or it would have been at the very top of our list.

Suffice it to say that if you want a wide variety of great family cars in many shapes and sizes, Honda is a place to shop first.

Pros

  • Close in size to a midsize sedan
  • Massive cargo volume (due to hatchback design)
  • Fun to drive

Cons

Current Honda Civic Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HondaCivic1.90%11/1/2021
2022HondaCivic1.90%$209/month for 36 months, $2,799 due at signing11/1/2021
2021HondaCivic Hatchback

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals here.

5. Nissan Sentra

Nissan Sentra Best Family SedanThe Nissan Sentra snuck onto this list mainly because we tested an affordable SV trim and were floored by how great it was for the money. We then started looking at its safety and reliability scores and realized it was a gem. Since then, we’ve seen other media outlets and owners see it that way as well.

The Sentra is a well-rounded sedan with ample interior space. It is basically the same size as a Civic, so it is not that much smaller than a Camry. Nissan's Sentra starts at about $21K. One of our local media group employees leased a Sentra this week and is paying under $200 per month. He has had six Sentra cars in a row.

The Sentra earned a spot on our list of best vehicles for new parents due in large part to its amazing price point and value.

Pros

  • Amazing value
  • Low entry price
  • Surprisingly roomy

Cons

  • Reliability scores are hit or miss depending upon model year
  • AWD not available

Current Nissan Sentra Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021NissanSentra0.00%$139/month for 36 months, $3,989 due at signing10/4/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Nissan deals here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best family sedan to buy?

Our research puts the Toyota Camry in first place among family sedans. The Camry offers tremendous value and the best safety and reliability scores in the industry.

Which is the most reliable sedan?

The Toyota Camry has earned a 5/5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports for the past three consecutive model years. The Camry also had an unbroken streak of 5/5 reliability ranking years from 2010 through 2017.

What is the best entry-level sedan?

Our research and testing point to the Nissan Sentra SV as the best entry-level sedan available in America. It offers a very low price point but offers impressive space and features. The Sentra also is a Top Safety Pick.

Which is the safest sedan?

The Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry all earn the industry’s highest safety rating, the Top Safety Pick Plus designation from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.