If we don’t take the full-size pickup truck into account, the mid-size sedan has traditionally been the most sought-after type of vehicle in the U.S. Crossovers have been threatening sedans and their position of power for quite some time now though, and they’ve finally managed to dethrone them. The best-sold sedan for 2017 finds itself in as low as sixth spot overall behind the trio of large pickups, the Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue. The duo of Japanese compact crossovers has recorded north of 400,000 sales each, whereas Camry sales amount to 387,000 units. Despite losing on popularity, sedans are still irreplaceable for many Americans. 8 out of the top 20 best-sold vehicles in the U.S. are still sedans, both large and small. We can likely expect sedan sales figures to deteriorate even further, but that doesn’t mean we’ll skip mentioning the best sedans 2019 is bringing our way.
After all, we’re only continuing where we’ve left off with the list of best sedans for 2018. As before, we’ll skip on exotic and ultra-luxury brands such as Rolls Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin. We won’t, however, skip on other luxury brands from Germany, Japan, and the U.S. This means the list will be populated by both affordable family options and more expensive luxury sedans that can’t exactly pass as value for money choices. We also decided against discriminating possible entrants by size, though you’ll find out that larger sedans have generally fared better than smaller ones. You can also look to the future and view our list of 2020 Sedans.
What’s The Best Mid-Size Sedan That 2019 Has To Offer?
Introduced for the 2016 model year and having been carried over without major changes for 2018, the tenth generation Honda Civic is due to be refreshed in 2019. The mid-cycle makeover should see the compact become softer around the edges, though more important changes will likely be in safety equipment. Expect a standard rearview camera and possibly even blind spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts. With that, Honda might also offer a completely revised infotainment system.
Don’t expect too many changes in other areas, though. The Honda Civic sedan should continue to offer a quirky 174-horsepower 1.5L turbo four engine, while the base 2.0L 4-cylinder worthy of 158 ponies might get retired. The CVT and 6-speed manual will likely remain the Civic sedan’s transmission choices beyond the year 2018. With that in mind, fuel economy ratings should also remain intact. The Civic returns up to 36 mpg combined and up to 42 mpg in the open when fitted with the turbo engine and CVT gearbox. It also throws in more than competent handling and a rather comfortable ride for its class.
The 2018 model year will be the last year for the fourth generation Toyota Avalon. As of 2019, Toyota’s flagship sedan enters an exciting new fifth-gen spell that should last at least five or six years. The redesigned Avalon will follow its smaller sibling Camry by getting the same new TNGA architecture. Its overall dimensions won’t change much, but the Avalon’s wheelbase will get stretched by 2 inches regardless. The new platform and fresh design will be accompanied by an all-new Entune 3.0 infotainment system which finally offers Apple CarPlay integration. No such luck for Android Auto though, as the Avalon’s 9-inch touchscreen display won’t be compatible with it.
As far as engines are concerned, the new Avalon will continue to offer both the 4-cylinder hybrid and V6 options. The 3.5L V6 will get a power hike from 268 hp to 301 hp, while the 2.5L hybrid 4-cylinder gets 8 additional ponies for a net output of 208 horsepower. A CVT gearbox remains mandatory with hybrids while V6 Avalons are receiving new 8-speed automatics instead of the outgoing 6-speed units. It remains to be seen how these changes will impact the next-gen Avalon’s fuel economy.
Much like the Avalon, the current generation Audi A6 also hails from the early 2010s. It was introduced in 2011, to be precise; in other words, the 2019 Audi A6 is also in for a redesign, along with its A7 and A8 flagship siblings. Unlike the Avalon, the A6 still hasn’t been revealed, but spy mules have been caught testing plenty of times. The C8 generation of the A6, apart from updated looks, should bring in a host of new features and upgrades inside the cabin. It should also shed some weight, which is certainly welcome news considering the fact that fully stacked models weigh more than 4,000 pounds.
The powertrain lineup, on the other hand, should be carried over, and the addition of a mild-hybrid system from the upcoming A7 is to be expected. A 3.0L turbocharged V6 which generates 340 horsepower will thus be coupled with the 48-volt primary electrical system and a lithium-ion battery capable of recuperating up to 12 kWh through regenerative braking. We can only imagine the 2019 Audi A6 will implement the same system on its smaller 2.0L turbo-four unit as well. New mild hybrid systems shouldn’t affect the overall performance, but they’ll certainly have an impact on the Audi sedan’s fuel efficiency.
Unlike the Audi A6, BMW’s luxury mid-size sedan has already received a complete overhaul. MY2019 examples are still far away, but they aren’t supposed to bring any major changes. Especially since the new 530e plug-in hybrid and M550i xDrive models have already been introduced for the 2018 model year. Despite donning the M prefix, the M550i isn’t a true BMW M5. The latter has yet to make its appearance, and that may be the biggest change the 2019 BMW 5 Series will bring with it. Meanwhile, close to $75,000 worth of M550i is here to sate the thirst with as much as 456 horsepower on tap.
The M5, which is scheduled to appear in 2019, on the other hand, will likely offer around 600 ponies and a six-digit sticker. It too should find motivation behind the M550i’s 4.4L twin-turbo V8. The thing is, the M5 gets a whole new engine code, aluminum block and heads, and 24.5 psi of boost. All that German engineering and trickery results in an extra 150 ponies. All that power won’t be routed to the rear via a manual gearbox, however, and this time, buyers are to blame. Last gen BMW M5s with manual transmissions amounted to some 5% of total M5 sales despite the Bavarians specifically developing the unit for the U.S. market. Instead, we’re getting the 8-speed automatic this time.
Nissan’s mid-size sedan has been going on without major changes for years now. A feat its rivals have evidently already exploited, seeing as the Altima has slid to the 14th spot of best-sold vehicles in the U.S. It’s not even the best-sold Nissan anymore since the Rogue has managed to push almost 150,000 more units. All that is about to change soon, though, as Nissan has yet again shifted its focus towards the intermediate. The 2019 Altima will become the first Nissan car to don the company’s new Vmotion 2.0 styling.
The 2019 Nissan Altima aims to correct most of its predecessor’s shortcomings – especially in the interior department. Better quality materials, a new infotainment system and larger tablet-style display are all set for next year. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be carried over. The new Altima will also host a number of advanced safety systems such as a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking; all should be available from the entry level. The powertrain lineup hasn’t been revealed yet, but a carryover is the most likely possibility. An optional all-wheel-drive system might be the only major news here. That and the possible resurrection of a hybrid model or use of a turbocharged 4-cylinder in order to boost fuel economy.
With 198,210 units sold throughout 2017, the Hyundai Elantra just manages to squeeze into that last spot on the list of the top 20 best-sold vehicles in the U.S. That speaks a lot about both the compact sedan and its Korean manufacturer. They’ve long been underdogs, competing with much more solvent Japanese and domestic automakers, but no more. Unlike most of its competitors, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra will almost certainly remain unchanged. If nothing unforeseeable happens, that is.
Currently in its sixth generation, the Elantra was last redesigned for the 2017 model year. This is when most of its defining features like aerodynamic design, a more efficient 1.4L turbo four engine, and advanced safety gear were introduced. Most entry-level models are still powered by the older 2.0L naturally aspirated engine, but there’s still a sporty 201-horsepower 1.6L turbo-four option as well. All this should remain on offer in 2019 when Hyundai’s compact might slowly start to show its age. However, it’ll still be fresh enough for most buyers. Efficient and spacious too. Above all else, it’ll be more affordable prior to the mid-cycle refresh looming around the corner.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is arguably the best-looking sedan on the market. Even people disagreeing with that statement will have to admit it’s definitely one of the top choices in that regard. To be fair, almost every Alfa ever produced has been a good-looking car – not counting a few black sheep, of course. Unfortunately, they’re also known for their lackluster reliability at best over the years. The Italian automaker that’s recently returned to the U.S. market, however, says that’s a thing of the past.
New Alfas will continue to win beauty pageants while hopefully breaking down much less often in the process. The Italian automaker’s new line of luxury sedans is usually tied to a 280-horsepower engine and an 8-speed auto that backs it. However, the Giulia can also be ordered with a Ferrari-sourced 2.9L twin-turbo V6 engine that develops as much as 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of twist. And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Actually, it should also be said that the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 3.8 seconds to 60 mph are only one part of the carefully crafted amalgam of features, performance, and stylings.
The 2019 Honda Accord will likely only offer a new trim or some shuffling within current packages since it’s already been completely redesigned for 2018. It’s currently the 10th best-sold car in the U.S. after the Japanese have managed to push 322,655 units of their intermediate sedan in 2017. Despite high hopes after the aforementioned redesign, the Accord’s sales have actually dropped 6.5% compared to 2016 and the last year of the ninth generation models. The fact that the new Accord was crowned the 2018 North American Car of the Year should help it improve on that front in the future.
As mentioned earlier, the 2019 Honda Accord will continue with its current set of options. This includes both the standard 1.5L turbo four with 192 horsepower and optional 252-horsepower 2.0L turbo four available with Sport and high-end models. The former will save on fuel (30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway) while offering more than ample power, while the latter builds on the power play and converts a naturally unimpressive intermediate into fun on wheels. At the same time, the smaller engine comes with a CVT gearbox, while the larger offers a choice between standard 8-speed auto and optional 10-speed unit. Regardless of choice, Honda has really hit that sweet spot with the new Accord and they’ll only get to build on that next year.
The Chevrolet Malibu is yet another sedan competing in that demanding mid-size segment. It’s been fully redesigned for the 2016 model year but hasn’t managed to break into the top 20 best-sold vehicles in the U.S. so far. Maybe things will change after the upcoming mid-term refresh scheduled for the 2019 model year, although we highly doubt it. Regardless of its sales figures, the Malibu will still be one of the best sedans 2019 is bringing our way. It’s tech-savvy, spacious, efficient, and powerful enough at the same time. Plus, Chevy also offers a hybrid model for those that put even more emphasis on fuel savings.
Speaking of engines, most models will be powered by standard 1.5L turbo four with 160 ponies. The optional 250-horsepower 2.0L turbo four is standard exclusively with the top Premier trim, while a hybrid 1.8L setup returns up to 46 mpg combined. Most reviewers will agree that entry-level Malibus should offer more than what they do for almost $22,000, and that top models aren’t the best in terms of value for money. It’s the middle ground that takes the cake here, and that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. 2019 model year Malibus are finally bringing in some much-needed changes in the design department.
Mercedes-Benz S Class
No list of top-rated sedans would be complete without a proper Merc. Specifically, the S Class, which still sets the bar for luxury and performance after so many years. It all but controls market price as well since you won’t find one for less than $90,000. Keep in mind that’s the price tag for the entry-level S450 sedan. 4Matic all-wheel drive adds another $3,000, the S560 adds $10,000, and AMG models cost $147,500 and $229,500 respectively for the S 63 and S 65. Don’t even get me started on the list of optional features which sees even these prices skyrocket.
Despite the obvious exclusivity factor price-wise, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz S Class will still be one of the best sedans 2019 will have to offer. Really, one of the best sedan lineups, for that matter. It should also be the last or penultimate sixth gen S Class at most. Especially considering they’ve been running on the same platform since the 2014 model year. Despite being somewhat older, Mercedes Benz S Class sedans are still way ahead of their time in almost every segment imaginable. They’re rightfully considered some of the best vehicles the class has to offer.