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2010 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ah yes, the good ol' midsize sedan. Bastion of the American family car set and holder of most automaker's sales crowns, as well as that of the best-selling automobile in the United States. As pointed out by Motor Trend, only three car nameplates have held the top sales spot in America in the last 20 years: the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Of course, the current midsize sedan sales leader is none other than the aforementioned Camry. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you're certainly aware that Toyota has found itself in the hot seat with numerous claims of unintended acceleration and two separate recalls that are meant to deal with such safety defects.

Besides its recent safety woes, Toyota has had to deal with constant pressure from every other automaker seeking to dethrone the Camry as the midsize sales leader. So, the natural question is whether or not the segment stalwart can maintain its edge in the face of such stiff competition and a newly sullied reputation. MT sought the answer in its latest comparo.

These days, Ford's numero-uno midsize sedan is the Fusion, which was significantly redesigned this year, and that car won the coveted Motor Trend Car of the Year Award for 2010. Also new-for-2010 (as a 2011 model) are the Hyundai Sonata, which features swoopy new duds and a high-tech four-cylinder powertrain, and the Subaru Legacy, which is the only model in the segment to come standard with all-wheel drive.

Though not all-new for '10, the Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Altima are certainly perennial power players in the midsize sedan segment, and as such were included in MT's comparison test. With introductions out of the way, who do you think could have grabbed the top spot in Motor Trend's comparison test of these seven leading midsize sedans? Hint: See the photo above. Suffice it to say... we were a bit surprised. Click here to see for yourself.

In related news, the boys from Inside Line have gone a slightly different route with a much smaller midsize sedan comparison, pitting the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2010 Mazda6 and 2010 Honda Accord together in a winner-takes-all fight. Click here for the results.

Do you agree with either MT or IL, or would you rank them totally differently? Have your say in 'Comments.'

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how much Motor Trend Received from the Japanese for this report.

      You gotta be nuts to buy or own a Toyota unless you want to drive a lethal weapon and take your chances of dying on the American Highways ! ! ! Like Ray Lahood of the Secretary of Transportation said these Toyotas need to be parked until the Japanese come up with a fix. The US Federal Government needs to step in and ban all these defective Toyota's going back to 2002 off the roads. When I see one in back of me I change lanes. I am to young to die by getting killed by one of these loaded cannons going 100mph on the American Highways ! ! !
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think these foreign carmaker are greasing the palms of most of these Car magazine editors, especially Consumer Report.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmm... if the Fusion is MT's car of the year why wouldnt it win this comparison also? Why wasnt the Camry the car of the Year if it is better than the Fusion? It was out when they did the other test. To me it seems MT is trying to help Toyota's image out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cars can't win COTY twice with MT. Camry won it already.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Silver haired seniors? I'm a senior and I drive a Ford Ranger...Red. Before this truck I had a Jeep, stop pidgeon holing seniors, I'd probably give you a run for your money when it comes to energy and good health and modern thinking.. Don't count out Seniors, you're here because of us. When it comes to sterotypes you 30 somethings are very predictable and rude. Nothing wrong with a Toyota, its not me but its a good car. I'm glad no one is falling for that Government inspired recall crap, they are now our competion, what did you expect to happen, we are offering trade ins , our cars for toyotas, something smells. Did you see Toyotas new SUV? Beautiful!!. They have been making cars for 50 years and all of a sudden they can't do anything right? I hope they pull out of America because the Whitehouse plans on putting them out of business, more jobs lost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      how many midsize sedan buyers are enthusiasts anyway? They just want a comfortable,reliable car to take them and their families from Point A to Point B.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not only is the Camry not deserving of first place (I own one), it surely doesn't beat out a Malibu (I own one). LOL @ Motortrend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Apparently excitement or enjoyment didn't factor in at all. But MT only seems to review automatic SUVs and family saloons these days anyway...
        • 5 Years Ago
        What do they want, boredom and angst?
        • 5 Years Ago
        90% of drivers on the road aren't looking for "excitement" or "enjoyment". So why factor them?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow Toyota won the ad money contest. Motor Trend has as much credibility as Autoblog. Which...is not much.

      "Putting Suckas in Fear
      Making the tears rain down like a Monsoon"

      That sounds like a very brief synopsis of what Toyota vehicles did to victims and their remaining family members.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When did Toyota ever called it a hoax?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just because Toyota can't replicate a problem on one car does not mean it does not exist. There are all kinds of intermittent problems that do not repeat themselves in testing. Toyota calling something a hoax is not a determining factor in the event being a hoax.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rented a Camry on my last vacation and found the interior to be plain and ugly. I find their interiors are the worst of all of the others but M/T must see something that I don't. The sad part is if the Camry is the best just how bad are the others? I still prefer the interior on the Malibu, it looks more up scale then the Camry. Honda needs to do something about all the black vinyl that they are using these days or find new materials to use.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They decried the materials used in the Malibu.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This must have cost Toyota a pretty penny.
        • 5 Years Ago

        "reference links" are only appropriate when statements of fact are made.

        "This must have cost Toyota a pretty penny" is a statement of conjecture

        "This cost Toyota a pretty penny." Would have been a statement of fact that would have required a reference link.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ bitter

        Reference? yeah it's called my personal experience with each of these (top 3) vehicles and coming to the realization that only someone with a financial obligation would choose the car they did. Then again we are talking about MT here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Motortrend's opinion of the Best midsize sedan since 2007 has always been the Camry. just like for the past 20 some odd years Car and Driver's best midsize sedan is the Honda Accord. opinions opinions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Reference link?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess the only question now is, who owns Motor Trend Magazine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With the mainstream FUBAR of the Legacy for 2010.

      There isn't a car in this segment that I would buy.

      Boring as hell, the whole lot of them. The Legacy GT 6-speed is about the only one that comes close to actually performing, but it is much worse looking than the Fusion 3.5 AWD Sport, which I don't believe offers a manual at all.

      Of course Legacy doesn't offer the 3.6 liter H6 with a manual gearbox...

      The Ford Edge Sport might actually be better looking and possibly more composed in it's handling than most of these, and I have never really like CUVs, while I used to like mid-sized sport sedans, if a manual gearbox isn't important.

      None of these sedans actually offer the practicality of a liftback hatch in this size class, since the Mazda 6 went pear-shaped, and lost it's manual+6-cylinder combo, and it's other body-styles, in it's update a few years ago.

      You couldn't PAY me to own a Camry or Accord, and Altima is nearly as boring, and just as Wrong-wheel-drive. I'd rather drive my old $1000 SVX until it dies, and then buy 10 or 20 more, and use them up successively, also.

      This market segment is sad and boring, and getting worse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Eh I don't know, while not as sporty as the 6, the Malibu I just bought (2.4 LT2) makes me smile and that's an attribute I do not find in several cars anymore, even the supposedly fun compacts (Golf, Mazda 3 (well it does, but... Meh)).
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