Best sedans

Australia’s Best sedans as ranked by CarExpert

There are fewer people looking to buy a sedan these days, and also fewer sedans to choose from now than in years gone by.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good ones. In fact, some of the sedans featured in this list are better than the hatchback or SUV alternatives. There’s exceptional value on offer in a few of the models on this list of the best sedans available in Australia. 

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Hyundai i30
Hyundai i30
$23,720 - $54,700

In times gone by, compact sedans were known for being conservative and even boring to look at. Not the case here.

The Hyundai i30 Sedan – known as Elantra in other markets – is eye-catching. It has edgy styling, sharp lines and, to some, could be a bit too extroverted. It clearly looks like the car was designed to be a sporty N or N-Line model from the get-go, and the basic versions do look a bit odd as a result. The range starts off from $26,000 for a 2.0-litre non-turbo engine with a six-speed manual, while the more expensive N-Line models come with a 1.6-litre turbo engine with seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

The sporty N version of the i30 Sedan packs a menacing 2.0L turbo with WRX-beating levels of grunt.

The i30 Sedan hasn’t been tested by safety authority ANCAP. The hatchback version of the i30 does have the maximum five-star ANCAP rating from 2017, though. Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and junction assist, as well as lane-keep assist and Lane Following Assist, while more expensive versions add blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic assist and safe exit warning.

The swooping roofline cuts into headroom but there’s quite a lot of legroom on offer – more, in fact, than the larger Sonata.

You get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all models, though it’s only wireless on models with the smaller 8.0-inch (instead of 10.25-inch) screen.

The i30 Sedan has a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s capped-price servicing for the life of the car, too, no matter which spec you pick.

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5 Door Hatchback and 2 more
47 to 50 L > 588 to 770 km
FWD
1600 kg Towing Capacity

Myriad variants to choose from

Too much tyre noise

In times gone by, compact sedans were known for being conservative and even boring to look at. Not the case here.

The Hyundai i30 Sedan – known as Elantra in other markets – is eye-catching. It has edgy styling, sharp lines and, to some, could be a bit too extroverted. It clearly looks like the car was designed to be a sporty N or N-Line model from the get-go, and the basic versions do look a bit odd as a result. The range starts off from $26,000 for a 2.0-litre non-turbo engine with a six-speed manual, while the more expensive N-Line models come with a 1.6-litre turbo engine with seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

The sporty N version of the i30 Sedan packs a menacing 2.0L turbo with WRX-beating levels of grunt.

The i30 Sedan hasn’t been tested by safety authority ANCAP. The hatchback version of the i30 does have the maximum five-star ANCAP rating from 2017, though. Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and junction assist, as well as lane-keep assist and Lane Following Assist, while more expensive versions add blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic assist and safe exit warning.

The swooping roofline cuts into headroom but there’s quite a lot of legroom on offer – more, in fact, than the larger Sonata.

You get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all models, though it’s only wireless on models with the smaller 8.0-inch (instead of 10.25-inch) screen.

The i30 Sedan has a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s capped-price servicing for the life of the car, too, no matter which spec you pick.

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Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3
$61,900 - $91,600

The only electric model on this list is also one of the most popular sedans in Australia.

The Tesla Model 3 is an international success story, with the Chinese-sourced model sold here offering better build quality than the early examples that arrived on our shores.

The facelifted Model 3 range is only available in two trim levels at launch, with the entry-level RWD single motor model listing at $61,900 (plus on-roads) and the Long Range single motor at a $10,000 premium ($71,900 plus on-roads). The entry model offers a WLTP rated EV driving range of 513km, and the Long Range is stated to offer 629km of range. It offers DC charging up to 250kW.

The interior of the Model 3 won’t be to all tastes, with the 15.0-inch info screen in the middle of the dashboard the control centre for the car, and that’s where your speedometer is, too. Even stranger – Tesla has updated the steering wheel and removed the indicator and cruise control stalks, instead placing the controls on the wheel itself. Back seat room is very good for the size of the car, and there’s a new 8.0-inch display for media and climate controls.

It has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2019, and comes with a number of standard tech items like Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors.

If you want to, there’s Telsa’s so-called “Full Self-Driving Capability” option for $10,100, with: All Enhanced Autopilot functionality, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, Autosteer on city streets (upcoming).

The Model 3 is backed by a modest four-year/80,000km warranty for the vehicle, while the battery and drive unit is backed by an eight-year warranty (160,000km for the base model, 192,000km for the Long Range).

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4 Door Sedan
AWD/RWD

The only electric model on this list is also one of the most popular sedans in Australia.

The Tesla Model 3 is an international success story, with the Chinese-sourced model sold here offering better build quality than the early examples that arrived on our shores.

The facelifted Model 3 range is only available in two trim levels at launch, with the entry-level RWD single motor model listing at $61,900 (plus on-roads) and the Long Range single motor at a $10,000 premium ($71,900 plus on-roads). The entry model offers a WLTP rated EV driving range of 513km, and the Long Range is stated to offer 629km of range. It offers DC charging up to 250kW.

The interior of the Model 3 won’t be to all tastes, with the 15.0-inch info screen in the middle of the dashboard the control centre for the car, and that’s where your speedometer is, too. Even stranger – Tesla has updated the steering wheel and removed the indicator and cruise control stalks, instead placing the controls on the wheel itself. Back seat room is very good for the size of the car, and there’s a new 8.0-inch display for media and climate controls.

It has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2019, and comes with a number of standard tech items like Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors.

If you want to, there’s Telsa’s so-called “Full Self-Driving Capability” option for $10,100, with: All Enhanced Autopilot functionality, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, Autosteer on city streets (upcoming).

The Model 3 is backed by a modest four-year/80,000km warranty for the vehicle, while the battery and drive unit is backed by an eight-year warranty (160,000km for the base model, 192,000km for the Long Range).

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Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla
$29,270 - $40,450

The current-generation Corolla sedan is vastly different to the hatch, in that the three-box sedan model is actually really practical.

It has more back seat space and boot room than the hatchback, and indeed is among the best in the class in terms of interior space utilisation for people and parcels.

The Corolla’s interior is a nice place to be, with a clean, modern design. The infotainment system is hardly the most impressive in the segment, but there’s wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the high-grade versions certainly feel special enough to justify their pricing.

As with the Corolla hatch, there’s a choice of naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre and petrol-electric hybrid 1.8-litre four-cylinder powertrains across all of the grades. The sedan uses as little as 3.5L/100km on the combined cycle in hybrid guise, which is truly impressive.

All models boast a five-star ANCAP rating, and come standard with AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and Lane Tracing Assist. SX and ZR models also include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Corolla is backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s very cheap capped-price servicing for the first five years. Plus, if you service your Corolla on time, it could be eligible for seven years’ powertrain warranty, and hybrid models are eligible for 10 years battery warranty if a hybrid health check is completed annually.

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4 Door Sedan, 5 Door Hatchback
43 to 50 L > 833 to 1103 km
FWD
1300 kg Towing Capacity

Super low running costs

Hatch has small boot

The current-generation Corolla sedan is vastly different to the hatch, in that the three-box sedan model is actually really practical.

It has more back seat space and boot room than the hatchback, and indeed is among the best in the class in terms of interior space utilisation for people and parcels.

The Corolla’s interior is a nice place to be, with a clean, modern design. The infotainment system is hardly the most impressive in the segment, but there’s wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the high-grade versions certainly feel special enough to justify their pricing.

As with the Corolla hatch, there’s a choice of naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre and petrol-electric hybrid 1.8-litre four-cylinder powertrains across all of the grades. The sedan uses as little as 3.5L/100km on the combined cycle in hybrid guise, which is truly impressive.

All models boast a five-star ANCAP rating, and come standard with AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and Lane Tracing Assist. SX and ZR models also include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Corolla is backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s very cheap capped-price servicing for the first five years. Plus, if you service your Corolla on time, it could be eligible for seven years’ powertrain warranty, and hybrid models are eligible for 10 years battery warranty if a hybrid health check is completed annually.

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Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry
$34,320 - $50,320

The Toyota Camry is the car that is the most pragmatic choice for those who want a lot of car for not a lot of money.

Admittedly, prices have gone up since the current model launched in 2018, and since then the brand has dumped the impressively powerful V6 model.

But most buyers continue to opt for the thrifty four-cylinder hybrid anyway, and it makes up four of the five different variants in the Camry line-up. There’s also a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine in the base Ascent that’s quite good.

The hybrid offers excellent fuel economy: 4.7L/100km is the combined cycle claim, and ask any Uber driver – it’s real-world efficient, too.

Inside is a 9.0-inch touchscreen media system for all grades, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the cabin space on offer is exceptionally good, with large-SUV-like levels of space in the second row. Huge boot, too.

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert aren’t available on the base Ascent, but all models feature AEB, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The Camry has a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and if you choose a hybrid there’s up to 10 years of battery warranty cover if you have an annual hybrid health-check done. And if you maintain your Camry on time, there’s up to seven years of powertrain cover, too. Capped-price servicing is cheap, with five years cover available.

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4 Door Sedan
50 to 60 L > 882 to 1190 km
FWD
400 - 1200 kg Towing Capacity

The Toyota Camry is the car that is the most pragmatic choice for those who want a lot of car for not a lot of money.

Admittedly, prices have gone up since the current model launched in 2018, and since then the brand has dumped the impressively powerful V6 model.

But most buyers continue to opt for the thrifty four-cylinder hybrid anyway, and it makes up four of the five different variants in the Camry line-up. There’s also a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine in the base Ascent that’s quite good.

The hybrid offers excellent fuel economy: 4.7L/100km is the combined cycle claim, and ask any Uber driver – it’s real-world efficient, too.

Inside is a 9.0-inch touchscreen media system for all grades, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the cabin space on offer is exceptionally good, with large-SUV-like levels of space in the second row. Huge boot, too.

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert aren’t available on the base Ascent, but all models feature AEB, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The Camry has a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and if you choose a hybrid there’s up to 10 years of battery warranty cover if you have an annual hybrid health-check done. And if you maintain your Camry on time, there’s up to seven years of powertrain cover, too. Capped-price servicing is cheap, with five years cover available.

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Mazda 3
Mazda 3
$30,320 - $42,320

The Mazda 3 sedan is a more practical choice than the hatchback, and in a big plus for customers, there’s a choice of six different variants and two different engines available in the range.

The engine choices comprise the less-impressive 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the three entry level models (G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring) while the 2.5-litre in the G25 Evolve SP, G25 GT and G25 Astina feels more effortless in the way it gets the job done.

As with the hatchback, the Mazda 3 sedan doesn’t have the most accommodating back seat. It does have a sizable boot though, and an attractive and well-appointed interior.

However, it doesn’t have the same level of high-tech interior usability as some rivals on this list, with a smaller media screen in most grades, and it’s not a touchscreen system which can make interacting with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto a bit more difficult. However, all grades come with sat nav, which is a nice plus for those who like it old-school.

It boasts a five-star ANCAP rating, and the list of standard safety equipment is truly impressive. There’s AEB (forward and reverse), adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert, while you can even get features like a surround-view camera and front cross-traffic alert without having to step all the way up to the top of the range.

It’s backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a five-year capped-price servicing plan available, too.

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4 Door Sedan, 5 Door Hatchback
51 L > 773 to 879 km
FWD
1200 kg Towing Capacity

Loads of style

Pricey to buy and service

The Mazda 3 sedan is a more practical choice than the hatchback, and in a big plus for customers, there’s a choice of six different variants and two different engines available in the range.

The engine choices comprise the less-impressive 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the three entry level models (G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring) while the 2.5-litre in the G25 Evolve SP, G25 GT and G25 Astina feels more effortless in the way it gets the job done.

As with the hatchback, the Mazda 3 sedan doesn’t have the most accommodating back seat. It does have a sizable boot though, and an attractive and well-appointed interior.

However, it doesn’t have the same level of high-tech interior usability as some rivals on this list, with a smaller media screen in most grades, and it’s not a touchscreen system which can make interacting with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto a bit more difficult. However, all grades come with sat nav, which is a nice plus for those who like it old-school.

It boasts a five-star ANCAP rating, and the list of standard safety equipment is truly impressive. There’s AEB (forward and reverse), adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert, while you can even get features like a surround-view camera and front cross-traffic alert without having to step all the way up to the top of the range.

It’s backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a five-year capped-price servicing plan available, too.

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MG5
MG5
$24,990 - $28,990

If you want a cheap small sedan that looks good and has a long warranty, this could be a great choice for you.

The recently launched MG 5 sedan won’t tick all the boxes for active safety tech – but there are other models on this list that do. And remember, this car comes at a significant price advantage over other small cars that do have all the active safety gear on board.

The model line-up consists of two variants - the entry-level Vibe, which has a 1.5-litre non-turbo engine with a CVT auto, while the top-spec Essence model has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.

The four-grand step up from Vibe ($24,990 drive-away) to Essence ($28,990 drive-away) also nets you a few more features including a sunroof, though both grades come with LED lights, alloy wheels, a touchscreen media system and digital instruments.

The interior of the MG5 is spacious, with a good amount of occupant accommodation in the second-row, and a sizable boot space making this a potential choice for young families.

MG offers a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, with capped-price servicing for the same period, too.

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4 Door Sedan
50 L > 847 to 877 km
FWD

If you want a cheap small sedan that looks good and has a long warranty, this could be a great choice for you.

The recently launched MG 5 sedan won’t tick all the boxes for active safety tech – but there are other models on this list that do. And remember, this car comes at a significant price advantage over other small cars that do have all the active safety gear on board.

The model line-up consists of two variants - the entry-level Vibe, which has a 1.5-litre non-turbo engine with a CVT auto, while the top-spec Essence model has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.

The four-grand step up from Vibe ($24,990 drive-away) to Essence ($28,990 drive-away) also nets you a few more features including a sunroof, though both grades come with LED lights, alloy wheels, a touchscreen media system and digital instruments.

The interior of the MG5 is spacious, with a good amount of occupant accommodation in the second-row, and a sizable boot space making this a potential choice for young families.

MG offers a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, with capped-price servicing for the same period, too.

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