Author: Steve Allen |

What are least expensive midsize sedans for 2015? Here is rating.

A sedan is a passenger car in a three-box configuration with A, B & C-pillars and principal volumes articulated in separate compartments for engine, passenger and cargo. The passenger compartment features two rows of seats and adequate passenger space in the rear compartment for adult passengers.

10. Volkswagen Passat — $22,440

2016 Volkswagen Passat © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Passat © Volkswagen AG

The Chattanooga-built Passat raises the bar in the midsize segment, offering new styling inside and out as well as a host of new connectivity and driver assistance features. The new 2016 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan that is designed for the American lifestyle and built in Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For 2016, the Passat combines striking new interior and exterior design elements with a greater variety of available driver assistance, connectivity, and convenience features than ever before. Overall, the 2016 Passat features a winning combination of interior and exterior design, class-leading technology, available driver assistance systems, and a powerful and highly efficient base engine.

Styling updates at both the front and rear end give the 2016 Passat a more dramatic, refined appearance. “We applied a progressive design strategy with the new Passat, giving the car a dynamic presence and more sophisticated look,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design, Volkswagen. ”We have integrated several new design elements, including a sculpted, domed hood that significantly sets the car apart from its predecessor.”

The 2016 Passat remains a generously-proportioned four-door sedan. Nose to tail it measures 191.9 inches and features a stretched 110.4-inch wheelbase and 72.2-inch width, which allows for exceptional rear seat space, with 39.1 inches of rear-seat legroom.

With the arrival of the 2016 Passat, two new exterior colors are available across the model lineup: Pure White and Reef Blue Metallic. Urano Gray is available exclusively with the 2016 Passat R-Line Package.

9. Chrysler 200 — $ 21,995

2016 Chrysler 200 © Chrysler Group LLC

2016 Chrysler 200 © Chrysler Group LLC

The 2016 Chrysler 200 provides drivers and passengers a beautifully crafted car with an elegantly simple style, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art and easy-to-use technology, 60 advanced safety and security features and fuel economy ratings of up to 36 miles per gallon (mpg.) The 2016 Chrysler 200 is the mid-size sedan for customers who have earned a little luxury in their life, but demand value for their money.

2016 is the 90th year of Chrysler as a brand. To celebrate, a 90th Anniversary Package is being produced for the 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited model. The special edition package reflects the tenets of the Chrysler brand – a car that is packed with features that customers value, at a price they appreciate.

In addition to the standard features on the 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited model, the 90th Anniversary Package adds as standard equipment: 8.4-in. touchscreen radio with Uconnect Access and SiriusXM Radio, a sunroof, Convenience Group (one-year SiriusXM Radio, body-color power heated mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power four-way driver lumbar adjust, power eight-way driver seat and sun visors with illuminating vanity mirrors), front floor mats with Chrysler Anniversary logo and unique Chrysler Anniversary screen logo on the 8.4-inch touchscreen.

8. Kia Optima — $21,840

2016 Kia Optima © Kia Motors Corporation

2016 Kia Optima © Kia Motors Corporation

With its jagged mountain peaks, conifer-covered slopes, and whitewater rapids, Aspen is a unique blend of beauty and power, making it the perfect setting to launch the all-new 2016 Optima. Passionately designed and obsessively crafted, the Optima defies the staid midsize sedan segment with its exquisite design, abundance of premium convenience features, and exceptional refinement, delivering a class-up experience to those looking for higher levels of sophistication in their day-to-day driving.

Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX 1.6T, EX, SX and SXL. Like the outgoing model, the all-new Optima is built at Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and Kia owes much of its growth and success in this country to the car’s head-turning design and sporty performance. The all-new Optima encompasses everything the outgoing model did so well but does it even better. It has matured in all the right ways, from the European sport-sedan design to the premium materials to its improved ride and handling,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ergonomics, more technology and greater refinement.”

7. Subaru Legacy — $21,745

Subaru Legacy © Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Subaru Legacy © Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Legacy remains the only car in its class with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, a combination that gives it confident grip in all weather conditions.

In addition to the new STARLINK Safety & Security features, the Legacy receives several other refinements for 2016. A new auto on/off mode operates the windshield wipers with the headlights. Subaru retuned the electric power-assist steering for all Legacy models to provide an even more linear and natural feel. In the 2015 redesign, the Legacy Limited trims gained exclusive Stablex suspension dampers, and these have been further refined to reduce vibration over rough roads, especially those with washboard-texture concrete surfaces.

The Legacy 2.5i is powered by a 175-horsepower double overhead camshaft (DOHC) 2.5-liter Boxer engine that produces 174 lb-ft peak torque. It’s teamed to a standard Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) with manual mode and paddle shifters. The combination achieves 26 MPG city/36 MPG highway EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings, the best of any all-wheel drive midsize sedan and competitive with front-wheel drive models. The Active Grille Shutter system helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance.

The DOHC 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine in the Legacy 3.6R Limited produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6 sustains at least 225 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving. The 3.6R is paired with a high-torque Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode and paddle shifters. The Subaru BOXER engines, renowned for their outstanding balance, are placed lower in the chassis than a conventional upright engine. This low center of gravity contributes to the car’s handling agility.

6. Mazda 6 — $21,495

2016 Mazda6 © Mazda Motor Corporation

2016 Mazda6 © Mazda Motor Corporation

Debuting in 2012 as the flagship model in Mazda’s new-generation product lineup, Mazda6 earned high acclaim in markets around the world thanks to the alluring vitality of the KODO—Soul of Motion design language—and SKYACTIV Technology’s balance of driving pleasure, environmental performance and safety. The refreshed 2016 Mazda6 aims to fully respond to customer expectations and Mazda went to extraordinary lengths to bring new levels of depth and maturity to every aspect of the vehicle. In addition to an innovative interior design, the Mazda6 offers greater sophistication and value with enhanced exterior design, functionality, ride comfort, quietness and safety.

“It’s only been two years since we launched the third-generation Mazda6 and we’ve already given it a major refresh with the new 2016,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “To say we’re dedicated to making the best cars we can is an understatement. We’ve taken a car already at the very top if its game, the very best car in the segment, and we’ve made it even better.”

5. Hyundai Sonata — $21,150

2016 Hyundai Sonata © Hyundai Motor Company

2016 Hyundai Sonata © Hyundai Motor Company

Following its launch last year, the seventh-generation Sonata has garnered such accolades as being named “Best Midsize Car for the Money” by U.S. News & World Report and “Most Affordable Midsize Sedan” by

For 2016, the Sonata’s interior adds more content including Hyundai’s 7-inch color touchscreen Display Audio system, Android Auto and rearview camera system. In addition, a conventional sunroof is now available on Sport models and standard on Limited trims. Limited 2.0T models also add a heated function for the D-cut steering wheel.

Visual enhancements to the Limited include a more aggressively styled front bumper from the Sport model with a 3-bar grille, a new 17-inch alloy wheel design and updated woodgrain pattern interior trim on vehicles with the beige interior.

To reduce unsprung weight and improve handling, some of the Sonata’s suspension components are now crafted from aluminum instead of steel. The steering knuckle and the lower control arm in front and the upper control arm and assist arms in back are now aluminum.

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata continues with its all four-cylinder engine lineup. A 2.4-liter Theta II GDI engine producing 185 horsepower and 178 lb. ft. of torque powers the SE, Limited and Sport models.

Standard features include remote keyless entry with alarm, body color heated exterior power mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free phone system. Premium features such as HID Xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof and 10-speaker Infinity® 400-watt premium audio system with subwoofer are options. To simplify the Sonata lineup, the black leather interior with orange accents and brown leather interiors are no longer available and Urban Sunset exterior paint has been discontinued.

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Sonata lineup includes Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System, seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with indicators for each tire. Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Smart Cruise Control with spot/start capability, Rear Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) are available as options.

4. Volkswagen Jetta — $17,680

2016 Volkswagen Jetta © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Jetta © Volkswagen AG

In America, the Jetta has held the crown as Volkswagen’s best-selling car for many years, a title that has continued to this day thanks to the success of the sixth-generation model, released as a 2011 model.

After a redesign for model year 2015, the Jetta continues to add to value for the 2016 model year. A new 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection engine replaces the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine in the S model and the 1.8T in the SE and SE with Connectivity. This engine makes 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, as well as improving estimated highway fuel economy by more than 15 percent over the outgoing 2.0-liter engine.

The addition of a new infotainment system for 2016 provides a comprehensive suite of connectivity features. Volkswagen Group of America is one of the first in the industry to support all three available connected car systems: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The new MIB II system offers USB and VW-Car Net® App-Connect, allowing owners with these systems to access select apps from their smartphones directly through the vehicle’s head unit. VW Car-Net’s connected vehicle services umbrella also includes connected car services, advanced telematics, and enhanced navigation available by subscription.

Other adjustments to equipment have been made for 2016. TSI® S models add MIB II infotainment with a 5-inch touchscreen and USB, and speed-sensitive electric power steering is now standard. All other models receive MIB II infotainment with a 6.3-inch touchscreen, USB and VW Car-Net App-Connect, as well as a rearview camera (new for SE). The TSI SEL (replacing the 2015 SE w/ Connectivity and Navigation) receives automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers; and a soft-touch dash. The TSI SEL Premium (replacing the 2015 SEL) receives automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers.

3. Dodge Dart — $16,995

2016 Dodge Dart © Chrysler Group LLC

2016 Dodge Dart © Chrysler Group LLC

Building on the Dart sales growth in the 2015 model year, including a string of year-over-year sales gains and an all-time sales record, the 2016 Dodge Dart lineup carves out a place for compact car consumers looking for more value, style and performance.

New for the 2016 model year, the Dart offers compact car buyers a list of new options they can choose to help differentiate their Dart from the crowded compact car class. New features include an available Sport Appearance Hood on GT and SXT models with the Rallye or Blacktop Packages for a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $495; the popular 18-inch Hyper Black wheels are now standard on the Dart GT model and a new 18-inch Gloss Black 10-spoke wheel is optional. Also new for 2016 are two new colors: TorRed and Go Mango.

In response to high demand for the popular Blacktop Package, Dodge is continuing the blacked out look for the 2016 model year on the SXT model and expanding the availability to the GT model in the first quarter of 2016. The 2016 Dodge Dart Blacktop Package includes 18-inch Gloss Black aluminum wheels, Gloss Black exterior mirrors and all-season tires.

The Dart SE Rallye Appearance Package adds attitude to the entry model, adding 17-inch Granite Crystal aluminum wheels, black headlamp bezels, a black grille surround with black crosshair and dark bumper.

2. Nissan Sentra — $16,780

2016 Nissan Sentra © Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

2016 Nissan Sentra © Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

The Nissan Sentra compact sedan has achieved some impressive numbers over its more than 30 years and seven generations of production. In the United States alone over four million Sentras have been sold, with more than 93 percent of Sentras sold in the last 10 years still on the road today*. Sentra is also Nissan’s third best-selling vehicle, behind Altima and Rogue. And, since the introduction of the latest generation design in fall 2012, Sentra has experienced tremendous growth in sales and market share, making it one of Nissan’s fastest growing nameplates.

Now, to help keep the momentum going for the 2016 model year, Sentra has undergone a significant refreshening – starting with a revised exterior and the addition of an expanded suite of available safety and driving aid technologies.

“In what is turning out to be ‘the year of the sedan,’ Nissan has made major changes to our three best-known sedans – launching an all-new Maxima 4-Door Sports Car, a major makeover of our number one selling Altima, and now a redesigned Sentra,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

1. Chevrolet Cruze — $16,170

2016 Chevrolet Cruze © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Cruze © General Motors

The all-new 2016 Cruze – a larger and lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated evolution of the brand’s best-selling global car.

Packed with new technologies such as available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and new active safety features, as well as a more spacious interior and an athletic, aerodynamically optimized design, the 2016 Cruze elevates the compact car segment – from San Francisco to Shanghai and from Boston to Buenos Aires.

It will be offered in more than 40 global markets and goes on sale first in North America in early 2016. A new, standard 1.4L turbocharged engine with direct injection and an SAE-certified 153 horsepower (113 kW) helps enable a General Motors-estimated 40 mpg on the highway with the available six-speed automatic transmission. Stop/start technology helps enhance the Cruze’s efficiency in stop-and-go driving.

The new turbo engine and a leaner architecture that reduces up to 250 pounds (113 kg) also contribute to the new Cruze’s stronger performance, with expected 0-60-mph acceleration of eight seconds.

“The 2016 Cruze builds on a very successful program that introduced Chevrolet to new customers the world over,” said Alan Batey, president, General Motors North America. “We retained all the attributes that made the original Cruze a hit around the globe and built on them to make this car more sophisticated, more fun and more Chevrolet.”