When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion, we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come.

The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord, Altima and Fusion, with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn't just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors (Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Nissan) were in the green.

After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata, but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn't expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 134 Comments
      PRiCeLeSsDoHBoY
      • 1 Year Ago
      With living in by one of busiest airports in the country (LAX) and living in one of the largest cities (Los Angeles), I'm glad that I don't see my new Mazda 6 everywhere. I think I've only spotted only 3 other people with it so far since I've owned it compared to the dozens of Altima's and Fusions I see every day. Most of the Fusions are rentals and Altima's just have good deals. However, my Mazda just is a head turner and has a better design and loses to the Altima MPG by 1. So I'm a happy owner.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Bassracerx
      • 1 Year Ago
      I do t see why anyone would buy anything other than the accord or passat all the oters are PoS
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bassracerx
        [blocked]
      Auto
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Accord is too expensive, too loud at highway speeds, and expensive to upgrade with great technology. This car is simply overhyped. I drove the new ones, EXL and sport, I personally thought the 7th generation Accord handled much better. The Altima really seems to be a better alternative to the Accord. But then again, Nissans are cheap to purchase. You can get good prcing on the Altima; some of the dealers out there are really lowering prices for this vehicle. The Fusion is surprisingly holding up well, I thought people would turn away because of its firm suspension and small backseats. I would buy one in a heartbeat (the fusion). The Malibu does not seem to be a good investment and neither the Passat (because of its reliability). Although I am surprised as to why people won't consider Mazda6 even though for money that car is good value.
        Mike Hunt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Auto
        My take on why the Mazda6 isn\'t getting attention is the advertising of it\'s arrival is next to nil, and the dealer network stinks!
          imoore
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mike Hunt
          Try virtually nonexistent. Mazda, for some strange reason, isn\'t getting the exposure it deserves. Two examples: 1. Sunbelt Motors in Meridian, MS is a dual BMW/Mazda dealership; however for the past 6 years BMWs occupy the showrooms and the entire lot. The Mazda\'s are tucked away on a side corner of the building, visible from only a side street. No advertisements. The used car inventory get better visibility. 2. The Carlock group in Tuscaloosa, Alabama purchased the Mazda/Volkswagen dealership last year. Recently they purchased the Kia franchise from another dealer and relocated it to the Mazda showroom. The Mazdas were pushed out to a side lot with poor visibility. Again no advertisement. Truth be told, Mazda just doesn\'t get the respect it deserves, at least in this area. I think it\'s a great brand. But if things don\'t change soon, Mazda may end up following Suzuki and Isuzu out of the door.
        Quest
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Auto
        The Accord is easily best in class; the 6 is next followed by the Fusion. I've driven everything in this segment and I give the rags and blogs credit cuz they all seem to state the same. For the record I've never owned a Japanese car; that said, if I was in the market for a volume mid-size it would be Accord or 6 in that order.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      lol @ the Fusion.... too bad... and people here say that bland doesn't sell.
      MJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Accord is head and shoulders above every car in the segment. However, the Camry, which is he worst car in the segment, manages to outsell not only the Accord but also the far superior Fusion and Altima. It boggles my mind. It's good to see that people are starting to wise up.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        imoore
        • 1 Year Ago
        @appraisal22, When was the last time you rented a car? I see lots of Accords and Civics at the local Hertz and Avis lots.
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imoore
          Define "lots". Almost NO sales of Civics and Accord go to fleet. Honda is the industly's lowest.
          imoore
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imoore
          \'Define \"lots\". \' Your attempt at humor is as funny as a cry for help. And maybe you don\'t see them, but I do. Every time I need to rent a car.
          Famsert
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imoore
          I rented a car a few months ago. The agency didn't even have a single Honda on the lot...
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        >You won't find an Accord at your local Rental Car. Yes, you will. EVERYONE sells to fleets to some degree.
          Wrangler_Unlimited
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          What difference does it make how it gets there?
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          NO, Honda does NOT to targeted Fleet sales. A dealership may sell an Accord to fleet, but Honda will not.
          carguy1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          Fleet sales are still fleet sales.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
          imoore
          • 1 Year Ago
          I\'ll agree that it does depend on location, as well as franchise operator. Since most of the sites are independently owned and operated, they can strike up a deal with their local dealer. But also try some of the smaller chains, like Payless and U-Save. since they do not tend to affiliate with preferred manufacturers like the larger companies.
        over9000
        • 1 Year Ago
        the general public begs to differ by your opinion.
          J
          • 1 Year Ago
          @over9000
          The general public is often pretty dumb when it comes to cars.
      BB79826
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan sold so many of these Altimas to fleets it is NOT even funny. Plus, every single review of the Altima says it's worse than the last model. Not a recipe for lasting success.
        over9000
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BB79826
        You mean Hyundai sold many Sonata to fleets...
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BB79826
        True dat. The CVT is the issue in my book....I like the Maxima 3.5, the Altima 3.5, meh.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        churchmotor
        • 1 Year Ago
        I suggest you go compare the weight and size of the Fusion and the Accord, then come back after you are INFORMED.
      may2nic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes! Sorry to hear about the slow mazda 6 sales but I plan on buying one later this year and thankfully it wont be a common sight every where.
        Zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @may2nic
        6 is a nice looking car but the interior is cheap, cheap, cheap. It wasn't impressive (sat in it at the NYIAS).
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      Two business trips this past month, and yes, both the Altima and Fusion are very popular at AVIS.
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        And your point is? Everyone sells to fleets, the question is how much. Necessary evil and all that.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        So no camrys in that lot?
          Rayvan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DK
          I rented an Avis Camry on Maui. Not a bad car.
        JeffyJeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        The 2012 and earlier Fusion? Or the 2013? I have a 2013 - albeit fully loaded Titanium with 19" wheels and a black metalic paint job, so it could never be mistaken for a rental. But I don't see why anyone cares if a version of their car is in a rental fleet. That's how I got my last Fusion. I rent a lot of cars and that Fusion left enough of an impression on me that I went out and bought one (again a fully loaded, non-rental quality version). Fleet sales are good advertising.
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JeffyJeff
          Saw several of the NEW Fusions at AVIS. We rented Altimas both times because the rear headroom in the Fusion is NOT acceptable.
          carguy1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JeffyJeff
          We? You know Lakers players?
      dohc73
      • 1 Year Ago
      It annoys the living crap out of me how wrong Chevy got it with the Malibu and it was mainly do to its styling. How far up their butts did the executives have their heads at GM when they approved the styling of that thing? They deserve the number five spot and it's probably the number seven spot if it weren't for fleet sales. Such a pity with all the resources they've got; damn bean counter a-holes.
        over9000
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dohc73
        Malibu doesn't have anything going for it. Rear legroom sucked, trunk space is meh... design is fugly. Remember how people here raved about its styling when the teasers were posted years ago?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dohc73
        [blocked]
          mybora99
          • 1 Year Ago
          Well, the new Dart isn't exactly a home-run hit. It's on its way to being a turd so I wouldn't say Marchionne isn't as clueless as GM execs. Don't get me started on the new Jeep Cherokee.
        Camaroman101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dohc73
        the exterior design looks great in my book, minus the tailights. its the interior and poor fuel economy that are the killers
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