Hyundai Sonata – This is the Rodney Dangerfield of midsize sedans. It just gets no respect, but I enjoyed my time with the Sonata when it was first redesigned in 2006. My only quibble with it then was a lack of thigh support on a long trip. Otherwise, I drove it over hill and dale and found it simply delightful. Plus, it comes with a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. (Check the details closely on what gets transferred to a new owner when you purchase the car – the good news is reliability scores are so high on the Sonata you may never need the warranty).
The folks at Consumer Reports have little quibble with the 2006 model. It should work to your advantage that CR gives it only an average resale value. Edmunds.com says a decently equipped ’06 Sonata with the preferable 3.3-liter V-6 should set you back about $11,500. I think that’s a steal.