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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2013
    I'd go the other way, mid-size cars are nearly as roomy and cost 30% less to own. You can get more equipment for less.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Maybe we both just have too much "finance" in our DNA!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    One thing I'll say for the Impala though...for perhaps the first time since the name got dusted off and put on a FWD platform, I'd say that it's more car than the Accord, and is worth a price premium. Honestly, I wasn't all that wowed by the new 2013 Accord, once I got to experience it close up. The seats felt a bit small, like they were really designed for a compact. And the front seat really didn't go back all that far. And, Japanese cars in general seem to be using more hard plastics than in the past, so I don't really see the big jump in interior quality anymore, over the imports.

    Now, I wouldn't go for a fully-decked out, $40K Impala. But, I've seen V-6 Chargers and 300's MSRPed up to that, and I think you can get the Taurus up there with little strain. So, I still don't see it as being overpriced.

    As for the Lexus ES? Honestly, not that impressed. At the DC auto show, I remember looking at some Acuras, seeing how plasticky they're getting inside, and thinking damn, they're a big step below Lexus these days. Until, that is, I sat in a Lexus! Seems like they're all cutting corners here and there, these days.

    The ES is also a LOT smaller inside than an Impala. To get Impala-sized room out of a Lexus, you need to make the jump to an LS. Maybe even the extended wheelbase model. The new Impala really is that big inside. While it doesn't quite have the shoulder room, I'd say that in most other respects, it's as big inside, if not bigger, than the older, "real" full-sized RWD Impalas and Caprices of days gone by.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,250
    New design doesn't inspire, afaic, but the power train is now world class.

    Turbo V6, 8-speed automatic for redone Cadillac CTS
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited March 2013
    According to Automotive News a naturally aspirated 321 hp 3.6 will also continue to be offered in the 2014 CTS, as the next step up from the turbo 4. There's no word, though, about what changes it will feature compared with the 2013 3.6.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    I think the problem with the Impala and the rest of it's market segment is that if you want big, for just a bit more you can get a loaded crossover like Traverse or Explorer. Luckily, I think most of these large sedans are developed off other chassis, so their development costs aren't that high allowing a product offering for the relatively small big car segment. Personally, I saw the new Impala at an auto show and it seemed pretty nice, but if I was going to spend $40K I'd probably get a Traverse instead.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700
    Personally, I saw the new Impala at an auto show and it seemed pretty nice, but if I was going to spend $40K I'd probably get a Traverse instead.

    A lot of people don't want the size or ride of SUVs vs. sedans.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    edited March 2013
    A lot of people don't want the size or ride of SUVs vs. sedans.

    And, I'm one of them. Although, I am finding that, the older I get, a high seating position is kind of nice. My '85 Silverado is just about perfect for me, while my '12 Ram seems a bit too high. But, after driving either of those two for any length of time, my 2000 Park Ave suddenly seems kinda small, and hard to get in and out of. And my older cars, even worse.

    Something like a Traverse probably isn't any longer or wider than the new Impala. Or if it is, we're probably talking negligible numbers. But, there's just something about the styling of the that feels bulky and ponderous. And, the few times I've sat in a Lambda, I wasn't impressed with the seats. Kinda low...high seating position relative to the road, but low with respect to the floor. And I didn't find the second row to be very comfortable, whereas the 2014 Impala's back seat rated up there with some of the better full-sized cars of years gone by.

    I think it's hard to make a really comfortable second or third row SUV or minivan seat, because they have to be versatile...either removeable or foldable, and that's going to sacrifice some comfort.

    Hopefully this is a ways off, but the next time I'm in the market for a new car, I'm thinking about something Impala/Charger-sized. I'm not about to pay $40K for one though!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited March 2013
    I agree that the '14 Impala is nice. In fact, its styling is much nicer than the Avalon and Taurus, in my opinion. But, what's with that extra material on top of the dashboard? I just don't get that. To me, it cheapens the interior, but I'm sure some will love it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It is the best looking of those 3.

    I like the layered dash, it adds depth and texture to break up the usual monotony.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Andre, I've driven several of these lambda's long distance as rentals. I think you are right on the money regarding it's second row seats. Maybe the biggest drawback besides rear visibility. I think the Asians generally do the second row seats better, but the D3 are better in sound insulation and smoothness. However, the handling is surprising good for their size, which I found out driving on some two lane mountain roads several times. I didn't notice a problem with the front seats regarding seating position or road feel. The power adjustments were pretty flexible on them. I used to be a sedan man, and still have one in my garage. But as I drive more of these crossovers, and own one, I'm finding I like the elevated driving position. Of the large crossovers I've driven, I like the lambda's best, except that they are a bit pricey compared to most of their competition. Of course, I do a lot of Interstate driving which may affect my preferences.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    That "layered" material looks like an after-market item to me. You know, the kind of thing that some people place on their dash to prevent the material from cracking from cold and heat. I can't think of any other car that includes the layering as a design element. There must be some that I haven't noticed. Of course, that feature differentiates the Impala, which may be positive. Maybe I'll learn to like it. I frequently change my mind when it comes to cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I like the part at the base of the windshield, that gives the impression of an un-interrupted swoop from the doors to the dash. It makes me think of what Buick tried to do back in the 1990, but unfortunately back then, build quality was too sloppy, so all it would do was draw attention to misaligned doors and such!

    But, the piece over the gauge cluster, and the piece over the Nav screen look a little tacked on.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't mind it. In person the two-tone looks nice, and like I said, it's less monotonous.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I do remember liking it in person at the DC auto show. In googling some pics of the Impala dash, it does seem a bit busy. But, I think it looks better in person.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700
    Andre, I've driven several of these lambda's long distance as rentals. I think you are right on the money regarding it's second row seats. Maybe the biggest drawback besides rear visibility. I think the Asians generally do the second row seats better, but the D3 are better in sound insulation and smoothness. However, the handling is surprising good for their size, which I found out driving on some two lane mountain roads several times. I didn't notice a problem with the front seats regarding seating position or road feel. The power adjustments were pretty flexible on them. I used to be a sedan man, and still have one in my garage. But as I drive more of these crossovers, and own one, I'm finding I like the elevated driving position. Of the large crossovers I've driven, I like the lambda's best, except that they are a bit pricey compared to most of their competition. Of course, I do a lot of Interstate driving which may affect my preferences.

    I've also rented a Traverse a couple of times, and in my opinion the interior was very plastic/cheap (perhaps the rental grade ones are different?). I also thought that for it's size and bulk, it didn't have that much room inside. Perhaps I'm spoiled by our Odyssey, which feels a lot more car-like yet has more space and better mileage. Not a lot to actually recommend the SUV unless you want to tow, or have some image problem with the minivans.

    I also think the vans like Sienna and Odyssey have really nice second row seats. Even the third row is not bad. In general I guess I'm just underwhelmed by the midsized SUVs on the market. If I were going to get an SUV at all, it would be a small one. I really like smaller vehicles, but can see the appeal of more storage space. A smaller vehicle with a lot of space puts you in the small-SUV or hatchback category.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I find it a bit strange but there are Sienna owners who don't have kids.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    A minivan is going to trump a crossover in room and seating, no doubt. If you want all that I guess you need to look at a Suburban. Honestly, all of the lambda's needed an interior facelift, Traverse the most. That has happened with the updated 2013's. The drawback to minivans is driver legroom if you're tall, but unfortunately that's true of the Explorer as well. Also, because the vans have more open interior space, they can be noisier on the highway. That is a bigger issue with the Honda, but the new Sienna I rented was also louder than the crossovers I've had, although I've heard that the Pilot is noisy.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    I think a lot of older drivers like minivans because they are easy to get into and out of, and the elevated view helps too.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    I've been liking them since I was 35 (not including the VW Bus I had access to for a year in '71 or so). No kiddos. :shades:
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