outside the labs

Most Satisfying 5-Year-Old Sedans

Reliable, fuel-efficient cars favored by our testers and CR members

2017 Mazda6 driving in the city
Photo: Mazda

You’re more likely to score a deal on a sedan in today’s fraught used-car market now that buyers have shifted to SUVs. You’ll save on the purchase, and most sedans return fuel economy superior to similarly sized SUVs, thus making their operating costs lower. 

The efficiency stems from sedans being lighter and more aerodynamic vehicles than SUVs. And they don’t have off-road pretensions, along with all the heavy hardware to make it happen. Their engines can therefore be smaller to achieve the same performance. 

More on Car Buying

There are many sedans to choose from. To help guide members in their selection, we balance our own extensive testing with surveys asking CR members to share their experiences with their cars. Many cars beguile when new, but will they hold that charm after several years of ownership? Reliability, comfort, and ease of use of the controls play a big role in how someone regards a car over time.

We ask members whether they would buy the same car again. That decision is the basis of our Owner Satisfaction score. We also look at how owners rate their cars on satisfaction in five categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, and audio controls. We have data on more than 300,000 vehicles from CR’s owner satisfaction surveys to help you choose.

We combed through our data to find the 2017 models most people said they would buy again, including models in the small, midsized, and large sedan categories. We picked models known for strong reliability and fuel economy, those that are the most likely to provide years of relatively trouble-free service.

Some of these models carry our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the list below is available to you. CR members also have full access to the results of our Annual Auto Surveys; first-drive reviews of the newest cars, SUVs, and trucks; our full road-test results; and exclusive ratings for each vehicle we buy and test.

If you’re not a CR member, click below to become one to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.