Top 10 2020 Midsize Cars by Customer Satisfaction

Knowing what people who own a given vehicle think about it is an important consideration when you’re shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV. But how can you be sure that a consumer’s perspective is valid? J.D. Power is here to help.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited Red Front Low View

Every year, J.D. Power surveys tens of thousands of verified new vehicle owners to find out what they like and what they don’t like about their cars, trucks, and SUVs. To qualify for the survey, they need to have owned the vehicle for at least 90 days, and for a vehicle to rank, a minimum number of survey responses are required for each make and model.

From this information, J.D. Power creates several automotive industry benchmark studies, including the annual Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures customer satisfaction with a broad range of ownership factors ranging from design and comfort to technology and driving dynamics.

For the APEAL Study, every model with a qualifying sample receives an index score that summarizes what consumers like you think of its overall appeal. This list contains the top-rated 2020 midsize cars in customer satisfaction, ranked in order of their final index scores. The average index score for this segment is 843.

1. 2020 Hyundai Sonata – Highest Midsize Car in Customer Satisfaction According to Consumers!

Daringly redesigned for 2020, the Hyundai Sonata has clearly made an impression on the people who buy the car. A 191-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard while a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder comes with higher trim levels. Both use an 8-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid version of this Hyundai is also available, making 192 horsepower and returning 47 mpg in combined driving. Trunk space measures 16 cubic-feet, and the Sonata is a Top Safety Pick according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is 869, and the Sonata receives an APEAL award in the Midsize Car segment. 

2. 2020 Honda Accord 

One of the largest midsize sedans available, the 2020 Honda Accord is roomy inside and out and offers a 16.7 cubic-foot trunk. A 192-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a manual or a continuously variable transmission is standard, while a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with a 10-speed automatic is available. A hybrid powertrain supplying 212 horsepower is also offered with some trim levels. As far as safety is concerned, the IIHS calls this Honda a Top Safety Pick.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Honda Accord is 855. 

3. 2020 Kia Optima

Stylishly designed, the 2020 Kia Optima comes in six trim levels and with a choice between a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, a 178-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, and a 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Depending on the engine, a 6-speed automatic or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission powers the front wheels. Hybrid (202 hp and 42 mpg) and Plug-in Hybrid (28 miles electric range) versions are also available, and depending on which of these Kias you choose, trunk space ranges from 9.9 cubic-feet to 15.9 cubic-feet. The Optima is a Top Safety Pick+ according to the IIHS. The 2021 Kia K5 replaces it next year.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Kia Optima is 850. 

4. 2020 Nissan Altima

The 2020 Nissan Altima comes in five different trim levels each equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel-drive is an option, and with it the engine’s horsepower rating drops from 188 to 182. A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is available for the sporty and luxury versions of this Nissan, making as much as 248 horsepower and exclusively powering the front wheels through a CVT. Trunk space measures 15.4 cubic feet, and the Altima is rated as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Nissan Altima is 849. 

5. 2020 Mazda Mazda6

An older design benefitting from a continuous program of improvement, the 2020 Mazda6 comes in five different trim levels. The more affordable models have a 187-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, while higher trims have a turbocharged version of that power plant that makes up to 250 horsepower. Both employ a 6-speed automatic powering the front wheels. Trunk space measures 14.7 cubic-feet, and this Mazda family sedan is a Top Safety Pick+ according to the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mazda Mazda6 is 843.

6. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu (in a tie with the 2020 Volkswagen Passat)

Soon, the Chevrolet Malibu will be the last Chevy sedan standing. The company is phasing out its other 4-door models, and the Malibu could be next. In the meantime, the Malibu is offered in five trim levels, all equipped with 15.7 cubic-foot trunk. A 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission are standard with a single exception. The Malibu Premier has a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 9-speed automatic. This Chevrolet does not earn a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu is 839, in a tie with the Volkswagen Passat.

7. 2020 Volkswagen Passat (in a tie with the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu)

Since people don’t buy sedans like they used to, Volkswagen restyled the 2020 Passat rather than redesign it. This is a big car for the segment, on par with the Honda Accord in terms of passenger space, though it has a smaller 15.9 cubic-foot trunk. All four trim levels use a 174-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Safety ratings from the IIHS look promising, but full testing is incomplete.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Volkswagen Passat is 839, in a tie with the Chevrolet Malibu.

8. 2020 Toyota Camry

Whether you’re seeking a midsize car for value, efficiency, performance, or indulgence, there is a 2020 Toyota Camry that meets the requirement. Choose L, LE, or XLE trim for less excitement, or get SE, XSE, or TRD trim for more. Engines include a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, a 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, and a gas-electric hybrid generating 208 horsepower while getting up to 52 mpg in combined driving. All-wheel drive is available, trunk volume measures 15.1 cubic-feet, and this Toyota is a Top Safety Pick+ according to the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Toyota Camry is 833.

9. 2020 Ford Fusion

In its final year in 4-door sedan form, the 2020 Ford Fusion is available in four trim levels, with three engines, and in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. A 175-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is standard, with turbocharged 1.5-liter (181 hp) and turbocharged 2.0-liter (245 hp) 4-cylinder engines available. Both hybrids make 188 horsepower, with the Fusion Hybrid returning 42 mpg in combined driving and the plug-in providing 26 miles of electric range before running on gasoline. Trunk space ranges from 8.2 cubic-feet to 16 cubic-feet, and this Ford does not earn a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Ford Fusion is 827.

10. 2020 Subaru Legacy

Redesigned for 2020, the Subaru Legacy comes in six different trim levels each equipped with standard all-wheel drive. Most Legacys have a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine while versions with XT in their name use a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 260 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission is standard with each. You can fit 15.1 cubic-feet of luggage into the trunk, and this Subaru is a Top Safety Pick+ according to the IIHS.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Subaru Legacy is 823.