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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I do tend to have a problem when a car costing $30K is considered a "Family Car".

    My main point is that an "average" car buyer (normally not us zealots who post in Edmunds a lot) who uses CR as a car buying guide might easily miss the fact that a V-6 Fusion, as an example here, can be had reasonably equipped but not loaded to the gills for closer to $20K than $26K, even on a strictly MSRP basis, and we all know the pitfalls of using MSRP as a tool at all.

    True the other car mags are just as bad or worse, but that does not excuse CR for presenting this subtle bias.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    How is it a bias if it can affect any model of any make? I already pointed out an example using Toyota.

    If a consumer cant tell, using the Options section of CRs report, that MANY options bought the car up to the shown MSRP, thats his or her own fault. Car buying is a huge purchase, and CRs objective is to test cars, not hand-hold.

    ~alpha
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I do tend to have a problem when a car costing $30K is considered a "Family Car".

    My main point is that an "average" car buyer (normally not us zealots who post in Edmunds a lot) who uses CR as a car buying guide might easily miss the fact that a V-6 Fusion, as an example here, can be had reasonably equipped but not loaded to the gills for closer to $20K than $26K, even on a strictly MSRP basis, and we all know the pitfalls of using MSRP as a tool at all.

    True the other car mags are just as bad or worse, but that does not excuse CR for presenting this subtle bias.


    Well, to be fair, the last CR i picked up had tested the Accord Hybrid model, which rang in at over $30,000. Yes, it led in performance and economy, but priced most people right out! No reviews are perfect, and CR is about as close as they can get.

    My bet is that most people concerned enough to look at CR will already know the pricing options of their potential purchase.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The March 2006 issue of Consumer Reports ranks the Acura TL first and VW Passat 3.6 second, out of 23 Family Sedans Over $25K.
    The Passat is not check-marked, probably because it's a new model.
    The Accord Hybrid is 4th, Passat 2.0T 5th, Camry 6th, Accord EX V6 7th, Fusion 8th, Milan 9th, Altima 13th, Mazda6 15th.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I just saw a commercial for the Fusion. It was a big production, lots of special effects. The gist of it is that the Fusion is being brought into this giant complex someplace in the desert/badlands for its grand unveiling. It is accompanied by a platoon of engineers. The thing is all wrapped up, for secrecy, until it reaches the center of the giant building. But the whole thing turns out to be a teaser! The actual Fusion is never shown! Only the launch date is shown on the screen: 2-5-06, or Super Bowl Sunday.

    If you haven't guessed by now, this was not an ad for the Ford Fusion. It was an ad for the Gillette Fusion. Okay, so the names are the same, big deal. But the thing I found truly amazing, and why I even bother to mention it here, is that this Gillette Fusion has five blades! Now think about it--what car has five metallic, like-sized bands stretched across its prow, and has even been compared to a razor? The Ford Fusion! This is either the most incredible coincidence in modern mass marketing history, or Ford and Gillette have a really big cooperative marketing program going on. :) :) :)
  • this Gillette Fusion has five blades

    Oh, great! Now I can cut my face five times faster! :sick: :D ;)
  • jdeibjdeib Posts: 70
    "This is either the most incredible coincidence in modern mass marketing history, or Ford and Gillette have a really big cooperative marketing program going on."

    Let's just hope that the Ford isn't as disposable as the Gillette. ;) Unfortunately, the last Ford products in my family were. (A Taurus and a Sable that developed leprosy at 50,000 miles. (Everything fell off)) :P
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    Greetings all. As you all know I have been an avid Ford Fusion fan. No longer is it on my buying list. I am disappointed with Ford as a car company. They say they are going to pull out all the stops and then give us peanuts. The news lately has really hampered my view of my favorite American car company. First they introduce the Expedition that is not ready to go toe to toe with the new Yukon design wise, then they cancel the Ford GT (An American icon) and the Sport Trac Adrenaline (something to get excited about). Then the rumors of the imploded SVT team swirl (bye bye Fusion SVT_ and then came the straw that broke the camel's back. They announced the new MKZ, previously known as Lincoln Zephyr and stated the the Fusion would not get the 3.5 this year. To throw further salt in my wounds, the new MKZ does not have manu-shift. How do you have 250 plus horses and not manu-shift I do not know. Every other manufacturer, including the big bull Toyota is offering it in everything. Look at the new Camry SE for an example. Ford does not offer it in one of their vehicles. And why not pull out the stops and give the Fusion the 3.5? It is built in the same plant as the Zephyr/MKZ. Wait till next year when the V6 comparison is done and you have the new Camry turning out 269hp, the new Accord that has at least 250hp since the current Accord has that, the Sonata with 236hp, the new Sebring with 255hp. Bold innovation? I think bold ignorance fits better. To "win back the American road way" you cannot have a driver's car that is the slowest in it's segment. That is common sense. You have to offer everything the competition does and a little more. Maybe just a centimeter more, but something more non the less. The Fusion would have been equal with the 3.5 and manu-shift with its styling giving it a foot on the competition. For all the Ford people that monitor the boards, tell Bill Ford when he gets serious please give me a call.
  • I am with you man. Ford talks a lot of big talk but can't seem to quite back it up. Like you, I am a Ford fan and I plan on getting into a Fusion sometime in the future. But, come on Ford, you need to try harder, like the Avis commercial says. I may have to jump ship and go with the new Saturn.
  • Driverdm --

    Ford isn't making these choices to insult you or rub salt in your wounds. Ford is having a difficult period. These are business choices -- which they are making due to scarce product resources, overcapacity and falling sales. What Ford is saying is that it doesn't have the money or sales projections to do an SVT version of the Fusion right away, and that the company doesn't have enough 3.5 liter engines to go around just yet.

    Also, I think that the Fusion should be considered on its own merits, not based on the rest of the Ford product line-up. Be fair. Why slam the Fusion based on the Expedition's competitiveness with the Yukon?

    While some of these product decisions are disappointing, if Ford is losing money on cars like the GT, they can't afford to keep producing them as a vanity project. Same with the Sport Trac Adrenaline, which sounded interesting but probably was the wrong vehicle for the market just now.

    And -- no, the Fusion is NOT the "slowest" sedan in its segment. Perhaps it has the least announced horsepower of that group, but that doesn't make it "slow." These horsepower wars are sort of like the battle to have the most trunkspace -- it is getting a bit ridiculous, and isn't necessarily leading to better cars or better designs. I prefer a well-executed engine with a broad, flat power curve to an engine which is built for great horsepower numbers -- but all at the upper end (like, ahem, lots of Honda products). Or consider the Nissan Altima's torque steer issues. Or what will likely be durability problems with the Sonata's manumatic (as a car magazine found out, don't get careless and spill a soda on the shift gate, or you'll kill it!) Ford can't afford those sorts of glitches. They'll get crucified by the press. And they know full well what is keeping most people away from their products isn't performance -- it is the perception about quality, left over from the Explorer debacle and the botched product introductions in the late 1990's.

    Bottom line is -- you should probably write to Bill Ford and tell him what you think. But you should NOT take the Fusion off your list. It is a darned good car as it is, even without the 3.5 engine or a manumatic shifter. Drive it and see. It is well executed, and is fully competitive.

    Cheers!

    -- Bokonon
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Very well stated bokonon!

    When going into the showroom, it's best to check our emotions, loyalties, and any beefs with the company at the door. Unless you are rich, buying a car should be done in a cold, calculating, and logical way. In fact, it may be better to make your finl decision at home, not on the lot. When you find the right car, you will still get that emotional high when you drive it home, and it will be sweetened by the knowledge you made a good choice for YOU.

    I just bought a 2006 Sonata GLS V6. Eh! It was an impules buy, but I got lucky. :)
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    Bokonon I appreciate the well thoughtout post. I do believe however, that the Fusion is the slowest of the group. Ford had lost some favor in my eyes for the product cancellations and the 3.5 not going into the Fusion. I think I was touching two topics with one post. And also I had taken the Fusion off my list. I will just speak about the latter. They do make money on the Ford GT by the way, or they did until a recent recall. They may still make money on it but I don't remember. Anyhow, back to what I was saying.

    The Fusion is a "driver's" car. I own a Mazda6i and it was a logical upgrade for me. According to the C&D comparo, the Fusion was second to last 0 - 60, with the Camry being the only thing behind it. Now the Camry has 269 horses and has not gained substantial weight enough to offset that horsepower increase and the SE is geared for performance. That makes the Fusion the slowest out of the bunch. The Pontiac G6 is also faster. Of the midsive cars I will most will consider, G6, Sonata, Accord, Camry, Fusion, the Fusion is the slowest. You can't have a driver's car being the slowest in the group.

    "Or what will likely be durability problems with the Sonata's manumatic (as a car magazine found out, don't get careless and spill a soda on the shift gate, or you'll kill it!)"

    I read that too in a magazine. I thought to myself, "Now, come on". If someone is careless enough to spill the soda right into the shifter they have to suffer the consequences, kind of like if they drank and sneezed it into the radio unit. You can't design a car with components, thinking what if someone pills something in it.

    - driver
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    I don't really have favorite car company's, just favorite cars. Bobad, I am still looking at a Ford Edge. I had my heart set on a Fusion though. Manu-shift is a must for me sicne owning the Mazda. I would take it at 221 with the manu-shift. They have a tranny like that, they just won't use it. A Ford exec at one point sighted that they didn't think there was demand for it so they didn't offer it and instead offered the "D" and "L" that has been criticized by the press. Mazda on the other hand has said that it is necessary for their "sporty" car image and made it standard on even their minivans. What is the difference between a driver's car and sporty car? I really which there was a manu-shift so I could go pick up a Fusion but they didn't give me one. Everybody else however does except Honda which probably will have it on the next Accord.
  • ctc1ctc1 Posts: 66
    I spilled coffee down there, so far so good, but a real hassle to clean up.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The Fusion was rated 8th for family sedans over $25K in the March 2006 Consumer Reports, the Mazda 6, 15th.
    6th place is not bad in a list of 23 vehicles.
    The Acura TL and Passat were #1 and #2.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Note, if CR had bought a Fusion SEL V-6 (top of the line model) but without all the bell and whistle options (most of which if left off would have had no effect on the CR rating of the vehicle), it would have ranked second on the list of the CR "Lower Priced Family Sedan" list. I forget the range CR assigned to the lower priced models, but I believe it was $15K-$25K or $20-$25K.

    CR managed to buy a Fusion with just about every option, which pushed it's price much higher than a "normal" Fusion will sell at.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I don't know what a "normal" Fusion is, but the car CR bought included safety & security package w/curtain air bags, ABS, and traction control, all of which everyone should get, in my opinion.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    OK, to prove my point, MSRP of a Ford Fusion SEL V-6 with the three options you mentioned comes it at $23,645, still well under the "Magic CR" under $25K category.

    To make my point further, a Fusion SE V-6 with the same three options has an MSRP of $22560, and the only thing you lose from a performance standpoint going to this version is smaller 16" steel wheels with lower performance tires, which might slightly lower the CR ratings a bit, but we don't know that as they didn't test that combination.

    In any case V-6 Fusions can be had for well under $25K MSRP.

    As we all know, MSRP is an arbitrary number but is what CR reports. Fusions are discounted between $2K-3K off MSRP in my area as I just checked one local dealer who had their selling prices for a the Fusions they had in stock tacked on their windows a couple weeks ago
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Well, CR wasn't unfair to only the Fusion. They could have tested a fully-optioned Sonata LX for under $25k, but instead went with two GLSes (one with a V6). Their choice of cars to test was rather strange.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I don't disagree with you on that point. The savvy consumer has to dig a bit deeper to find all the facts, especially if true out the door cost of the car is an important factor in narrowing ones choices, which is where sites like Edmunds comes in very handy, and is where I quickly found MSRP's of different Fusion configurations to prove my point.
  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    Why is Fusion an upgrade to Mazda6? In other words,
    some of the zoom-zoom was lost during the translation.
    Why upgrade at all if not for a bimmer?! All right, there's a refreshened Mazda6s out there if you insist on more power and sporty driving.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    CR buys off dealer lots. In the case of the Fusion and Sonata, I highly doubt scores would have changed if, for example, the LX Sonata was purchased instead of the GLSV6. In regards to the Fusion, it only has to do with how the ratings were presented in terms of Over/Under $25K. The Altima and Camry V6s can also be had for under $25K, so what?

    Face it: no rag is ever going to test every combination of a vehicle line. The Fusion and Sonata were both rated very favorably, in my opinion, so maybe the bitching should stop. Consumers should recognize that scores are based on the tested vehicles, at the tested prices, and those scores may or may not be achievable with different combinations of drivetrain and equipment.

    More thoughts on the Sonata GLS V6- where is the outside temperature readout? Is there only one trip meter? Why? Overall, an impressive vehicle, but those are two things I expect of a car at 22K...Or am I just not using the trip computer correctly?

    The drivetrain continues to impress me, though the manumatic feature doesnt. Much preferred the feel and workigns of other similar systems, such as that in the Subaru Outback (last week's ride). The vehicle pitches in turns more than I recall from test drives, but the steering has appropriate weight for a family car and the brake pedal feel is reassuring.

    I wouldnt be able to buy the car because I simply cannot STAND the swamp green interior lighting and far too liberal expression of the fake wood, but drives damn nice. (Perhaps Hyundai is copying Toyota to too great a degree... for years Toyota used a very slightly less garish though similarly off-putting green IP panel lighting in Camrys and Corollas)
    ~alpha
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    You can also get a Passat for under $25K.
    If you just look at the bar graphs in CR and ignore the prices, you can see how they all stack up against each other.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Fusion and Milan will NOT be getting the 3.5L for MY '07...

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060207/AUTO01/602070403/1148-

    ~alpha
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    I wouldnt be able to buy the car because I simply cannot STAND the swamp green interior lighting

    My 01 Corolla had that exact same interior lighting. I just find it bland. I'm really attracted to the bright white LED lighting actually, that's why I really love the Accord's interior at night.

    The Fusion and Milan will not get the 3.5 engine? :surprise:

    The Fusion and Milan are already under powered when compared to the competition. How will they be able to compete when the next generation's, with even MORE powerful engines? The new Camry has 268 hp!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    So now when someone offers an opinion here, it's "bitching"?

    As for lack of an outside temperature readout and a 2nd tripmeter... would that be considered "bitching"? ;) Somehow I have managed to live without an outside temperature readout on my 3 current cars--I check the temp before I leave the house or turn on the radio, or look at the nearest temperature display on banks etc. And I don't seem to miss the 2nd tripmeter on my one car (another Hyundai with a trip computer) that has only one.

    If you don't like the fake wood, you could get a GL model, or a GLS or LX with the grey interior--no fake wood there.

    Not buying a car because of the color of the panel lighting? Would that be considered "bitching"? :)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Yea, I was bitching. But I've only bitched about the interior lighting, say, twice. This issue of CR separating the rankings between Over/Under $25K has been beaten to a dead horse, and yes, equipping cars differently could change presentation of the ratings.

    Why not contact CR through their website and tell them not to break out the ratings anymore between price classes, and just keep everything lumped together?

    ~alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I didn't "[non-permissible content removed]" about CR's price classification scheme. My question was why CR tested two Sonatas of the same trim line, when they could have easily tested one GLS and one LX. And don't tell me it's because LX models are hard to find on dealer lots. Maybe I will send CR a note about that when I get some time, although I am having trouble seeing how to do that through their web site, so I guess it would need to be snail-mail.

    Have you contacted Hyundai about the green gauges and fake wood?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I think it would be a bit harder for Hyundai to change all the purchase orders for the bulbs used for the instrumentation of the Sonata than for CR to differently sort and format 3 Excel columns, but yes, I will contact Hyundai.

    I agree, the 'Contact Us' page for CR is difficult to find, but its there, you must access it through FAQs.

    http://custhelp.consumerreports.org/cgi-bin/consumerreports.cfg/php/enduser/ask.- php

    ~alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Thanks for the link. I was thinking on the gauges and fake wood trim, if Hyundai gets enough complaints from people saying, "I would buy your car except for the gauge illumination and fake wood trim", they might make changes--not to existing cars, but in the future. They are usually pretty good about responding to customer complaints on design features, I have found.
This discussion has been closed.