The Goldilocks of Mid-Size Vehicles: These Cars Got it ‘Just Right’

Mid-size vehicles offer a great balance for drivers who want both room and affordability. When the marketplace is flooded with distinctive SUV hybrids or fuel-savvy compacts, the prices on a mid-size sedan drop. For students, families and people just getting started, the medium-size car offers refinement and detail that used to cost so much more.

Whether you’re trying to find used cars or looking to buy a new one, the mid-size world has plenty of quality options available.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

US News lists the 2013 Fusion as their top pick for mid-size. This Ford model has the added benefit of being a hybrid — that means eco-friendly and less money at the pumps. Why the Fusion?

  • Excellent fuel mileage
  • High safety scores
  • Roomy interior

The Fusion boasts 47 mpg in the city. The US News reviewers note the quiet ride as something you always get from a hybrid car. It still has punch, however. A four-cylinder gas engine combined with an electric motor produces the 188-horsepower ride.

Photo by Tino Rossini via Wikimedia Commons

2013 Volkswagen Jetta

Edmunds likes the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta in the mid-size category. It’s affordable with a base price ranging around $15,545. The Jetta offers a spacious interior and smooth ride. It comes with a standard five-speed transmission with an optional six-speed automatic. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder provides decent fuel economy, as well. Edmunds reports 23 mpg in the city.

The inside isn’t going to dazzle anyone. The Jetta has plastic surfaces that bring the overall price down. What you lose in sparkle, you gain in space, however. This model has an expansive cabin and trunk that makes it a good choice for a family with young kids or a college student who goes back and forth from home.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ChengH

Volkswagen Passat SE

MotorTrend.com also likes Volkswagen but leans more toward the Passat SE — their 2012 Car of the Year. The reviewers liked the clean and refined surfaces of the Passat. The Volkswagen built character into this model that is both subtle and engaging. Like the Jetta, the interior isn’t going to blow your mind.

The powertrain really stands out on the Passat SE. MotorTrend claims the turbo-diesel design puts hybrids to shame by offering 600-plus miles per tank. This model also features a twin-clutch transmission — meaning you can accelerate to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons archives

2014 Mazda6

For those looking to buy new or near new, the 2014 Mazda6 offers impressive fuel economy and an upscale design. US News ranks this model number five of their 20 best for midsize. Mazda paired a four-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission together to give it a respectable 25 mpg for city travel.

The inside of the car is full of upscale features like push-button start and six-speaker audio system with USB. Some models come with Bluetooth, rear-view camera and a 5.8-touchscreen control panel. Those looking to upgrade can choose to add heated seats, dual-zone climate control and a Bose surround-sound speaker upgrade, as well.

So, if you’re not willing to squeeze the kids into a subcompact or take out a mortgage every time you fill up an SUV, than a mid-size sedan may be the answer.

Photo by Brett Levin Photography via Flickr

Gerry Lane loves to blog about the auto industry, when hes not taking care of his four kids and two dogs.

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