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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    I agree that the Mazda6 could be left out because it is a niche player. I siad that in a previous post. I just don't see them leaving it out because of its size. But no matter how you look at it we both agree that it could reasonably be left out. The Altima I think should have been in no matter how close the redesign is. If they included the old Camry when the new one was months off in the last Sonata, Aaccord, Camry comparo, they could have included the Altima in this one. Also, they left it out of that last one as well. Will the ALtima ever make it into a comparo again?
  • narenjinarenji Posts: 161
    family sedans or not, people routinely cross shop between cars... who is to say that a camry/accord/sonata/fusion shopper wont look at the azera, or the maxima, or five hundred (you gotta be kidding about that POS, but anyway) or passat ... if i were in the market for a 5spd manual car w/ a v6, my options are smaller, but when comparing automatic cars, theres a bevy of cars... different classes or not, people cross-shop regularly. you can tell me a TSX is not in the same class, and i'll buy that... but if i were looking at a 30k accord, i would definitely look at a 30k maxima...
  • narenjinarenji Posts: 161
    maybe nissan isn't buying as much AD space on edmunds.com??
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Look, we (meaning you) don't have to understand it, it is what it is. Calling it a stupid comparo is nonsense. It does have relevance for those who are looking for a new vehicle. Why the Altima was excluded - who knows, maybe someone at Edmunds can answer that. The Mazda 6 was probably excluded because it's sales aren't nearly as high as the big boys, and it's "gotta-have" factor makes it more like a niche player, similar to Subara and VW. BTW, I never did get why Mazda always seemed a step behind in size if they really wanted to compete. Same for Subaru - it's current Legacy based auto's are actually a bit smaller in the interior than the previous one - I guess they didn't want to grow their market share.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Personally I expected the results. A few surprising items to note on the Sonata, it scored well on NVH (db), even lower than the Camry, something I did not expect; power and acceleration was good (enough to edge the Accord); braking was superb, stopping at the shortest distance.

    Since price sensitivity plays a huge role in the midsize class, I would divide these four into two classes, especially given the vast price differences. And while on the subject, if I was on a budget, the Sonata would be my pick; it trounces competitors in many key areas, and categories relevant to my needs. The combination of value and features, perhaps, is the best bang for the buck car ever produced.

    In all, these sedans are all great. Of course, there are areas where they excel and shine, respectively, but also areas where each would need to further improve upon.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    ----------------------------

    Here you go again. The Mazda6 is a better driver's car than the Sonata, just admit it.

    ------------------------------

    I already said I liked the Mazda's handling better. Isn't once enough? Do you want me to chant it? :P

    Sometines I think you are using a strange, agenda-driven filter to interpret my posts. You read all sorts of things into my posts that I didn't say at all.

    Please read posts carefully before you jump to conclusions my friend. It will serve you and everyone better. ;)

    Have you measured the Sonata panel lines against the Camry, Accord, Mazda6, BMW, and Mercedes yet? Get your dial caliper out and go measure! You may be shocked at what you find! :blush:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Will the ALtima ever make it into a comparo again?

    Who knows. I would like to think so, in 2007, when the Accord will be a lame duck. I wouldn't necessarily say that the Accord will lose to it, though; at least not in everyone's eyes. In a 2002 issue of Motor Trend, the old (98-02) Accord with only 200 hp beat out the Altima 3.5 SE and narrowly lost to the "new for 02" Camry SE V6. Well, we see how long Camry's reign (in the Mags, I mean) lasted! By 2008, time will be on Accord's side.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    That two of Edmunds' senior editors would choose the Sonata over the two higher-ranked cars shows that price does play a major factor in buying decisions in this class. A few points better? Yes. But at what cost? At some point, a car crosses the magic bar that meets a driver's needs. Making a car that leaps two feet over the bar is a great achievement, but ultimately it shows up in the scorebook as crossing the bar.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    family sedans or not, people routinely cross shop between cars... who is to say that a camry/accord/sonata/fusion shopper wont look at the azera, or the maxima, or five hundred

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Exactly! When shopping for my new car, I narrowed my choices down to the Sonata and the Miata. :P

    All seriousness aside, I think Edmunds was comparing mom cars. The Mazda6 does not fall exactly into that category.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    That two of Edmunds' senior editors would choose the Sonata over the two higher-ranked cars shows that price does play a major factor in buying decisions in this class. A few points better? Yes. But at what cost? At some point, a car crosses the magic bar that meets a driver's needs. Making a car that leaps two feet over the bar is a great achievement, but ultimately it shows up in the scorebook as crossing the bar.

    Well said!

    One comparison that I would like to see instead of these top of line or same price point comparisons (which really don't compare apples to apples ever!) is one in which Edmunds or C&D or MT test all these mid-size "family" sedans in the versions that are the most popular (ie best-selling)in each line. If that means comparing a Sonata GLS V6 vs an Accord LX I4 vs a Camry I4 LE (or whichever model is the most popular), then let's see that type of test if that is what the car buying public says is the preferred/best version within a model lineup.

    Probably will never happen. :(
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
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    if I was on a budget, the Sonata would be my pick; it trounces competitors in many key areas, and categories relevant to my needs

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    For the sake of argument, let's say the Camry and Accord are, on balance, better cars than the Sonata.

    But you have got to ask yourself, are the Camry and Accord $6000-$10,000 better? Are they worth paying a $150-$250 higher monthly note?

    There's always a better car just $5K higher in the price brackets. Where do you stop?
  • 94hawkskin94hawkskin Posts: 116
    That's a great point Tenpin288. Most people are that buy Camry's and Accords buy the LE I4 and LX I4 models. When most people that buy SOnata's buy a V6 model for less than their I4 counterparts. A vehicle that costs $5K more better win a comparison.

    I would like to do a test. Give these editors $20,000 and have them do the research and then go to the dealerships and actually buy a vehicle. I would bet that most would come back with a Sonata when using real money.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    Edmunds already did something like that last time--but they used $22,000 as their bar. The results were quite different. It's good to see comparisons done different ways. Some people want the best car in the class and don't mind paying for it, others are looking for the best value.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well it's been my basic commuter for 16 yrs with 500,000+ miles on 4 of them ( I skipped the Gen5 because the styling was just 'ehhh' to me ). It is/has been the basic family sedan and commuter for those value driving experience somewhere in the region of preparing taxes.

    This is the basic audience and it will remain so with the CE/LE in the high teens/ low $20K range.

    But it now can appeal to a wider range of buyers.
    The basic SE V6 which will likely be a big hit will be more in the $24K range, not $30K, with all the positive driving experiences listed in the comparo.

    The TCH just above this will grab a different segment, then the XLE V6 will blend into the Avy which blends into the ES350.

    At every $1500 budget point there is a great option to keep buyers coming in. Buyers often have a preset range in their minds when looking. Frankly a $30K buyer simply will not look at a $17K vehicle. It's out of the question. This is another great recognition by Toyota marketing.

    But if you are going to ask $30K then the vehicle has to be at least competitive in that range. The XLE V6 may actually come in last in a comparo with the 3-series, Passat, Audi, Avy, ES350, TL but it will be competitive.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    That was a good comparison, but what I would like to see is a test of each model's best selling version regardless of an artificially imposed price boundary (though I would bet that there would be a pretty good price variance involved). By taking each models' best selling version, we get to see what the majority are actually buying and if the Honyota buyers are actually willing to spend more or are having to spending more to get what they want compared to the Sonata/Fusion, et al. It would be interesting to compare option choices/sacrifices made in purchasing the most popular versions. And that is my .02. ;)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Let's pose a question in reverse....

    If there were only normal price differences between the basic 4 models - which is likley to happen soon - where would the analysis lead you?

    Say:
    $21000 LE Camry
    $20850 LX Accord
    $20250 Sonata/Altima/Fusion (4c )

    This is the heart of the midsized market. It's not exciting but it's where the buyers are. Except for the Fusion/Milan and Malibu/G6 all the models normally are 4c.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    If that were the only thing to base my choice on, I would still look closely at the lower price points, if only because the extra money could be me some nice accessories. However, test drives, personal opinions, etc, all have to be considered in a choice of this magnitude. That is why I would like to see that test comparo of each model's best selling versions and also maybe the reasons each model is chosen by its' customers.

    Inquiring minds want to know... ;)
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Posts: 170
    The lower price of the Sonata vs. the CamCord is the only way Hyundai can sell the car at good levels.

    Hyundai still has to discount and extend their warranties to get past their old self.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Unfortunately, the tail wags the dog. Most people set a monthly payment maximum and pick out a car that exceeds it by $50-$75. :)

    The name of the game (unless you are a rich car magazine)is bang for the buck. Bang = all good attributes in a car, including reliability and intangibles such as status. Realistically, the reliability gap has narrowed among foreign name plates until it's not worth an extra $50 a month on that payment. Accord and Camry used to have 2x the reliability of their domestic competitors. Near perfect is hard to improve upon, so their competitors have naturally gained on them. But that's another topic...
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    It was actually the December 2001 issue of Car and Driver that you are talking about, when the Accord LX V6 beat the Camry SE V6 for 1st, Altima SE V6 taking third-- that was the highest the Altima has place in a C/D comparo, ever.

    ~alpha
  • 94hawkskin94hawkskin Posts: 116
    The problem is there is not a normal price difference between the basic four models. There is at least a $4K difference and in some cases up to a $8K difference. If you take price out of the equation then I would have bought an 06 Camry. But for $4K less I got a Sonata.

    The Camry and Sonata were very similar at the options I wanted in terms of build quality and performance. The only reason I even considered a Camry was because of the name. It is true Hyundai has to charge less to attract buyers, but I love that now I am an owner. After 7K of trouble free miles I am very satisfied with my decision. The most I would have paid over the Sonata for a Camry was maybe a $500 difference, but not anything close to $4K.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You are right that at $4000 price is a major ( only? ) consideration. My contention is that this situation is not likely to last for very long. Hyundai has no inherent low-cost advantage over it's main competititors.

    At some time soon the top management is going to want a return from the product managers on all the investments made in putting the Sonata solidly in the US market. It'a a waiting game on the part of HonYota. Presently the American buyer benefits in being able to buy a worldclass vehicle at a fantasic price, but IMO it's temporary.

    While not being complacent I believe that Hon/Yota know what the cost is of building a midsize auto here. Sonata prices will have to come up to at least the Altima level, it's just good business. For the US buyer, buy now while the vehicle is priced as it is.

    Here is another view that I used to use in my past career. Buyers used to say that they could buy 'x' amount of steel at prices 10% below mine. I knew what that competitor(s) had available in quantity. I would 'encourage' the bargain shoppers to grab all the steel that they could at that price because it was good for them - but also for me. By doing this they were taking all the low-priced comptition out of the market. It's a parallel situation here. HonYota with superior reps and now superior products may be directing the low-priced buyers to Hyundai. This is good for these buyers but it's also good for HonYota because Hyundai is making upwards of $4000 - 7000 less profit on every vehicle than HonYota.

    It's a strategy of 'impovershing' Hyundai by making sure that they get little or no money for their vehicles. Hyundai as a huge, well run company knows what is going on as well. Is it realistic to think that they like being pushed into the back of the kitchen forced to eat the scraps HonYota leave? Not likely.
  • 94hawkskin94hawkskin Posts: 116
    I doubt that HonYota is dumping their lower priced car owners to Hyundai. Everybody knows it is far cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to attract new ones. The fact is that Hyundai is a lot better buy than the more expensive Honda and Toyota models for most people that do the research.

    What Hyundai is doing now is undercutting the competition to gain market share and a good name in the buying community. I do agree with you that Hyundai will eventually raise prices as their reputation catches up to their product. Hopefully they will keep their $1,000 owner loyalty rebate as I will be a repeat customer. I have been overly enjoyed with my Sonata and me and my wife will probably add the 2008 Sante Fe to our lineup if that vehicle does as good as I hope in safety and the like.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    Is it realistic to think that they like being pushed into the back of the kitchen forced to eat the scraps HonYota leave?

    It is this kind of attitude of contempt that turned me away from HoYota dealerships years ago.
  • Camry IS NOT IN THE SAME CLASS AS THE FUSION OR SONATA.

    If they tested one w/similar equip then this new sedan comparison on Edmunds would have some validity.

    BUT, because these people here on Edmunds picked a car $7,000 or 30.4% MORE EXPENSIVE THAN FUSION as first place just goes to show that this was not a comparison test, this was a joke. They would have picked the toyota regardless, even if it had 3 wheels.

    Once you get to a stagerring 30% price increase, the class of cars is changed. Thats it. I bet many people shopping for the 3rd and 4th place cars cannot afford the 1rst and 2nd place cars, as tested.

    I had more respect for Edmunds. I don't care if the new Camry can fly, cook, and jump rope, at a 30% price premium, you are in a different class, and should be compared to higher priced cars.
  • 94hawkskin94hawkskin Posts: 116
    I would argue that a $30,000 Camry or Accord is in the same class as a $24,000 Sonata. Which speaks very highly for the Sonata. I can't speak for the Fusion since I never test drove one. I do feel that the Camry and Accord is better, but not that much better to offset the price difference.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    How are you doing math?

    The price of the Fusion was $25,650 and the Camry was $30,840. Thats a $5200 price difference, not 7 grand. Get a grip and/or learn how to subtract. The Fusion lacks a lot of features at that price as well, including Bluetooth, Stability Control, Navigation, SmartKey, rear seat vents, rear window sunshade, 440 Watt JBL, etc...

    ~alpha
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
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    At some time soon the top management is going to want a return from the product managers on all the investments made in putting the Sonata solidly in the US market.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    I don't think the low prices are temporary. I believe Hyundai intends to make their living at prices $4-5K below Accord and Camry. Their new plant in Alabama has world-class automation and efficiency, and a lean workforce to make the low prices possible. The facility probably has tax concessions from the city and state to keep costs down as well.

    Hyundai would have been dumb to try and compete on equal terms with such great cars in such a crowded field.

    Money,,, the great equalizer!
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    why do you think Hyundai can built a car cheaper than Toyota?
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    I already told you. :)
This discussion has been closed.