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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    even though I live in a part of the country that I could use a summer tire year around - and there is no doubt that a good 'sticky' tire can improve a lot of things, you must be careful:
    if that tire comes with an increase in either total wheel/tire weight or diameter, handling and/or braking could actually be compromised. Recommend sticking with factory wheels and possibly even a 'plus 0' tire sizing - meaning widen the tire (the 1st number) but decrease aspect ratio (the 2nd number) in the same proportion - all if wheel well clearances allows. Be careful to maintain total tire/wheel circumference otherwise your speedo, odo and even acceleration and FE can suffer. A good tire store should be able to fit a good set of 'summers' taking all this in account even allowing for an increase in wheel diameter and width. As a rule, the lower the aspect ratio the worse the ride. While we've all had our share of crappola OE tires, keep in mind that your tire and wheel sizes are part of an engineered system designed for your particular car although that doesn't mean that improvements can't be made. These cars are NOT after all 'sports sedans' by almost any definition - there is only so much you can do with all that front weight bias.
    A good performance 'summer' tire, BTW, can easily cost twice as much and last maybe half as long. This purchase of a set of tires needs to reasearched and considered as much as you did for the car itself! Such is the price of pleasures.
  • A Honda hallmark - the double wishbone setup in the Accord. They should have kept it for the Civic too. It isn't cheap though, thus almost everyone else prefers using MacPherson struts up front. One of the latest applications of the double wishbone setup - the upcoming Audi R8 supercar! :shades:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Maxima may prove to be the 07 Altima's stiffest competition for those V6 shoppers. Higher standard 'bling' level and street prices in the mid/higher 20's. The Altima can crack 30 big ones pretty easily. The Maxima is not that much larger.
    I look for the Altima 2.5 to be immensely popular, perhaps even supplanting the Impala in third place in total sales and right behind you know who.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Yeah, I know all the rest seem to use a basic setup with MacPherson strut. Camry and Corolla have those struts on all corners. Pretty expensive to repair. Loved the wishbones on the Miata. Great handling.

    I test drove a base Aura, then a week later, the Accord. I liked the Accord. Will have to test the Aura XR down the same road again and see if I have a change of heart. It seemed like the Aura was OK, but the Honda a better overall feel. And a very fine V6, and transmission, I may add.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Altima to me was not all that quiet on the road, the CVT feel I did not care for, and steering seems kinda light for a performance leaning sedan. The push button thing is kinda fun, but perhaps something else to go wrong. The bling on the thing seems to be growing in size. Still OK, but closer to overdoing the lens thing. We don't need the headlamps to wrap all the way to the tail lights, which both as closing in on.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    there will be a number of folks that prefer the traditional revup-shift/revup-shift and control of even the usual automatic. On the other side of the coin these new 5 speed+ autos in many of these cars are also getting harder to live with. May be a price (and choice) of progress?
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    When Nissan discovered the oil consumption problem surfacing on some early 2006 2.5 liter engines, they immediately stopped shipping the 2.5 liters and instructed their dealers not to sell any more 4 cylinder units until Nissan could find a fix. Not all dealers complied, but this shows great responsibility on Nissan's part. Nissan took a sales and perception hit for this, but instead of stonewalling, they wanted to arrest the problem and fix the defective units already sold. This is unlike Toyota who continue to sell millions of Camrys and other models with transmission problems and deny they exist. Nissan also make their TSB's available free of charge on their website, so owners can be aware of any problems and their remedies. I think this is a huge plus.
    Having had a 2006 Altima 3.5SL for 10 months now, I am very impressed with the quality of the vehicle.
    I'm not sure about the 2007 Altima though. It seems quite a bit smaller than my 2006, especially in the back, and like you, I'm not convinced of the CVT yet, but it may be a better alternative than Camry's problematic 6 speed.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    hey Alan - glad you have had good luck with your 3.5, my wife's 3.5 just cracked 80k, never been in the shop and gets 26 mpg all year long. Still runs REAL strong, of course. She is now 'hinting' (I'm sure you know how wives do those kinda things ;) ) on a new one - and I will likely end up with the CVT (in a 3.5) with some reservation.
  • All the Accord autobox really needs is a SportShift option IMO - 5 cogs are good enough. The 6-speed autoboxes may get you an extra 1-2 mpg on the highway, and seems to be a lot more problematic.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Nice to hear from you Captain! I'm going to take a Nissan CVT for a drive one of these days. Either the Max or the new Altima 3.5. Perhaps it will drive better than than we think. I drove a Ford Five Hundred with the CVT a few weeks ago. The engine was thrashy and gutless, but the CVT seemed very unintrusive and not as "motorboatish" as I would have imagined. I was almost impressed with the transmission.
    A CVT may be a better solution that a perpetually shifting and confused multi-speed auto. Can you imagine the Lexus LS460 with it's 8 speed? No thanks. Perhaps Nissan is on to a good thing after all.
  • Its interesting that people don't care for the CVT, in theory it should be more efficient than any of the slush-boxes because it can hold the engine at any RPM it wants, so it can hold it at peak torque, peak horsepower, or peak efficiency. Its like having infinite gears so the engine can always be in its powerband.
    People tease me for being "old school" and wanting a true manual transmission but when technology comes along to make the slushbox a little more effective, people don't like it. I don't get it.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while Honda did have some tranny failure problems a few years back, I've never heard of any drivability complaints similar to those you hear about in pretty much all of the cars in this group, 5 or 6 speed. The Camry complaints are almost getting legendary. The jury is still out on the CVTs regardless of who makes it. I would expect the new Accord to also have an updated 6 speed such is the pressure of a few extra mpg. This may NOT be good.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I think you are answering your own question - everything seems to be what 'IT' does as opposed to what necessarily you want IT to do.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Agreed, Honda should resist this stupid cog-war and keep the 5-speed they have. The 5-speed in our Pilot is perfect.
    Sometimes less IS more.
  • Yeah, thats why I buy a does what I want it to do. I've logged about three quaters of a million miles on 3 cars (all were used when I got them) and never needed to replace a manual transmission. So far, the only auto box that outlived the car was the TH350 in a 70s Nova.
    If you have a slushbox, something is thinking for you, thats why people get it, so they dont have to pay as much attention when they drive. I don't get what the big deal is with the CVT being more efficient about it.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you may be interested to know that the CVT is leaving the 500 3.5, supplanted by the rough shifting (and reticent) 6 speed, the model I drove a couple of years back. Perhaps too much HP/torque for that particular CVT?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Its interesting that people don't care for the CVT, in theory it should be more efficient than any of the slush-boxes because it can hold the engine at any RPM it wants, so it can hold it at peak torque, peak horsepower, or peak efficiency.

    Is peak torque, peak horsepower, and peak efficiency all the same RPM? (not likely) At least I know what my traditional automatic will do when I hit the gas. The CVT would have to be consistent, for me to trust it to give me the power when I want it. Don't think it could win that trust with just a test drive.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    don't assume that just because you have a clutch that you also have more control - read the road test of the M5 (of all things) in the recent C&D. The lawyers and the 'tree huggers' have yet to be heard from!
  • Probably the best form of gearbox today might be a DSG or Ferrari semi-auto... basically a manual transmission that's shifted faster than anyone of us could manage.

    A Honda automatic seems to be a weird beast - its not your typical slushbox and neither is it an automatically shifted manual. I can't seen to find much more information about it though.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    Yes, apparently the new joint effort Ford/GM 6-speed isn't that great. Seems to be following a trend doesn't it? I really don't see what was so wrong with the excellent and proven 4-speed autos the manufacturers seem to be so keen on dumping. The modern engines have more than enough power and torque which actually reduces the need for more gear ratios. Perhaps it is the auto mags who trash every car they test that doesn't have a brand-new high-tech transmission.
    I'd rather have a smooth-shifting 4 or 5 speed than an up-to-the-minute hyper-intelligent Super-Cray powered multi-speed Hi-IQ tranny that is a technological showpiece and looks great on paper and does everything except change gears smoothly and appropriately. From a practical perspective, how can a car possibly drive smoothly or be perceived as functioning properly when the transmission is perpetually trying to recalculate and flip ratios?
    Remember Cadillac's cellular-based multi-sensored, micro-processor controlled multi-pump orthopedic seat they came out with a few years ago? Just one small problem - it wasn't as comfortable as a regular seat.
    This is all techno overkill with diminishing practical returns.
This discussion has been closed.