The ultimate sedan car buying guide

The classic sedan car segment may be the most competitive group of all vehicles in the market today. This car body style includes a broad range of cars that come with different levels of performance, comfort, reliability, overall quality, and fuel economy. However, with more consumers overwhelmingly choosing SUVs for family transport, the long-held dominance of the sedan has been eroded. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t find the right sedan for you, it may just require a bit more searching.


With over 100 domestic and foreign sedans to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. However, some of the key things you should consider include price, size, fuel, comfort, economy, safety, performance, and reliability. All these factors are often related. For instance, a small sedan car with a small-displacement engine will get a better fuel economy and better handling than a midsized sedan with a bigger-displacement engine.

However, because more and more car manufacturers are focusing their attention on efficiency, most modern midsized sedans are now offering space and efficiency, as you can see in the Hyundai i30 review.


  1. Cargo space

Ensure that you look at the size of the sedan’s cargo area as well as the shape. Two different car models may have the same cubic footage but have a different height and width of the trunk. The shape of the cargo space can affect how you use that space. For instance, if you’re a big golfer, you should carry your golf bag along when shopping for a sedan to see how it fits. On the other hand, if you and your friends or family go skiing during winter, remember to pack a pair of your skis for the trip to your car dealer.

  1. Engine and fuel economy             

Generally, four-cylinder engines are more fuel-efficient than vehicles with V6 engines. Additionally, new four-cylinder sedans can balance power and fuel efficiency well. However, not all sedans with four-cylinder engines can equate to fuel economy and horsepower. This means that some V6s can be more fuel-efficient than sedans with four-cylinder engines.

Most modern cars come with a combination of direct-injection technology and a turbo to help improve performance and thrift on fuel. However, in the real-world, fuel economy is often based on driving style and conditions. Keep in mind that most turbocharged sedans may require premium fuel.

Manual transmissions were considered more efficient than automatic transmissions. However, manual transmissions are now rare and advancement in transmission technology has led to more efficient automatics. Most modern automatic sedans have a range of six to nine forward gears. However, some have additional gears that aid in fuel economy by enabling the car to cruise at lower revs.

You can also consider a gasoline/electric hybrid sedan to save on significant amounts of fuel. However, these cars can be pricey and it may take you a long time to recoup the initial cost. Instead, you may opt for a diesel model that offers a better fuel economy.

  1. Safety features

According to Consumer Reports, sedans, especially the large and midsized ones have the lowest injury and death rates. This is because they have a good balance of protective structure, maneuverability, and available safety gears. However, not all sedan models provide the same protection to drivers and passengers. Therefore, ensure that you check the safety ratings before you purchase. Most safety ratings will include an assessment of crash –test results and crash-avoidance capabilities that are based on tests performed by the insurance industry and federal government.

  1. Advanced safety features

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) and forward-collision warning (FCW) are some of the most important advanced safety features, and they will soon become standard equipment on most new cars. A car equipped with FCW provides the driver with a tactile alert to warn them of an impending collision with another car or object. If the car is also equipped with an AEB and the driver ignores the forward collision warning, the car will automatically start braking for you. According to the IIHS, these two features have cut rear-end collisions by over 50%.

  1. Visibility

Most new sedans are equipped with cameras, sensors, and predictive technology that alert you before you hit something. However, it’s still important that you purchase a car that has clear visibility. Therefore, check for blind spots in a car and the rear window.


While more and more consumers choose SUVs and crossovers over other body styles, you can easily find a sedan that matches your size, driving style, and price bracket. All you need to do is to research the best model and use the above tips to choose a sedan with the right features for you.

Photo Credit: Lexus

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