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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala

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Comments

  • Way back before airbags were mandated by the government, General Motors made them an option - I believe they were around $250. Guess what, very few people wanted them enough to pay the extra money. Same thing with ABS.
    IMO, the sales manager at the dealership will order cars for the lot equipped with options the average buyer ( who is not really very well informed ) desires and will likely pay extra for. Maybe you don't buy a car to impress other people, but a lot of people do.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Hey Grad,

    You may have a good point here. I checked four local dealers only found a handful of XL models and none had SC. Really surprised me, I guess I am so used to seeing the XL come in at just under 30K I assumed SC when in reality they are all equipped with moonroofs instead. I know when I was shopping the Touring and XLS all had SC installed (in a package that includes heated seats) I am in southern NJ just outside Philadelphia.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    When I was shopping for my new Taurus, I wanted stability control on the base model. It was an option, but when I did a local dealer search almost none of them had it included on the cars on the lot. They all had convenience packages, but few safety packages. The reply I got from the dealers was the Taurus is really safe car without stability control. I don't disagree, but some families are going to want the safest car possible which in my book includes stability control
  • scbobscbob Posts: 167
    I looked at the Avalon, but really didn't like it all that much.
    But one problem with the Avalon Limited with ESC was that they would have to get one from another dealer and it was very far away. So, not as good a deal. Then I had to take my fourth choice color and options I did not want.
    Ended up with an Azera and got my first choice in color and options. Of course, it was also about $5,000 cheaper comparably, or better, equipped.
  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Take that example above about the 2% of Avalon XL's that have ESC.

    What I get out of that is, carmakers know the public wants the safety features, so they hold them hostage to higher trim levels, useless sunroofs, etc, and make 'em pay for everything to get the one thing they really want.
  • A perfect example of why we bought our Azzy over and above those
    "they hold them hostage to higher trim levels" manufactures! :surprise:

    Time for someone in charge at those 'other' companies to wake up and smell the roses. ;)

    :)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "so they hold them hostage to higher trim levels, useless sunroofs, etc"

    If you remember it was the same way for ABS. I think GM was one of the first manufacturers to make it standard on base model vehicles.

    P.S. I like my sunroof! :)

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "The reply I got from the dealers was the Taurus is really safe car without stability control"

    I think to an extent almost all cars today are "safe" Airbags, crumple zones, etc. IMO SC does not make a car any safer, its makes it more likely for someone doing something foolish to get out of trouble. There is a common misunderstanding that SC helps a vehicle handle better. It doesn't. Actually, on a test track it probably takes over before the actual limits of the car.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    relatively speaking - sure. But it is contradictory for Ford (in this case) to promote the heck out of what they would like you to believe is the 'safest' car in its class, to offer SC as a $500.00 option while it is standard on the Taurus X and will be federally mandated by the 2010 models anyway. It would seem that if Ford is expecting us to accept it as a 'new' car, then it should be equipped to at least meet governmental requirements for a lousy 2 model years. Kinda like mfgrs bragging on tire inflation monitors, something also recently added by our erstwhile government and also a 'knee jerk' reaction to some poorly desgned SUVs with crappy tires
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    'knee jerk' reaction to some poorly desgned SUVs with crappy tires
    The biggest problem with Explorer rollovers were that people were driving at high speeds on hot roads in vehicles with high center of gravities on tires that were severly underinflated. IMO that doesn't make the SUV " poorly designed ", or the tires " crappy ".
    When Ford began investigating what was going on, they surveyed every vehicle ( not just Explorers ) that came into their dealers for service, and found a very high percentage had less than 20PSI in the tires. Yeah, they could have had a more perfect design, and spec'd a higher recommended tire inflation, but tire inflation is ultimately an owners responsibility.
    I guess people would rather get a " Big Gulp " at fillup than spend time checking their tires.
  • jaymagicjaymagic Posts: 309
    Of course the Azera has traction control and vehicle skid control standard. Just another reason why the Azera is the value leader for full sedans.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    You're right and I never quite figured out why Ford replaced all those tires. In my opinion it's one of the biggest mistakes they ever made.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Depends on where you place value. If on features alone, then it sure does win.

    Don't forget that people have different ideas for value - it isn't just features per dollar.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while I am on record as putting a big fat question mark over these governmental requirements for supposed 'safety' systems in all vehicles and I happen to agree that it was likely not Ford's fault for all those Explorer rollovers, I only then ask the obvious question - why was this ONLY a problem with the Explorer specifically - if not somehow a design issue? There are certainly many many Explorer 'clones' out there made by a number of different mfgrs.that logically should have suffered from the same sort of problems.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    although I 'tested' a Sonata that didn't seem to have terribly invasive TC/VSC settings (would suppose the Azera must be the same), there are those among us that might just downgrade the Azera because TC/VSC is the only way it comes. Beauty will always be in the eye.....
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    I only then ask the obvious question - why was this ONLY a problem with the Explorer specifically

    Maybe because for whatever reason the news media didn't pick up on the others and blow it out of proportion.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • jaymagicjaymagic Posts: 309
    It also has the advantage of an off switch.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    nonsense - and not because the 'media' didn't make 'a big deal' out of it. The whole Explorer incident cost Ford millions (if not billions) not to mention almost destroying what was one one the largest tire mfgrs in the world - do you really believe that if Ford or Firestone/Bridgestone could have cast any doubts on what the media was largely attributing to vehicle and/or tire designs, that they wouldn't have? They could have simply commissioned one of these now infamous 'Ford Challenges' with let's say a Blazer (or Cherokee) with similarly underinflated tires, and come up the the result they wanted - an obvious 'solution' - throwing the competition under the bus as well. IMO, the fact that they didn't lends some creedance to the 'design flaw' claims. I still don't understand how these overpaid lawyers ever 'proved' negligence on Ford or Firestone's part, however!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    jaymagic - realistically ,yourself as well as other Azera drivers will always be driving with the thing on (its default mode). Since it is going to require a conscious decision(and step) to disable it - the only time I can imagine doing such a thing is when the road conditions are really really bad OR you, for some reason, want to get a little 'wild and crazy' in which case it is better for the rest of us that you didn't have that switch in the first place...
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "It would seem that if Ford is expecting us to accept it as a 'new' car, then it should be equipped to at least meet governmental requirements for a lousy 2 model years"

    This is Ford we are talking about here. The same manufacturer that rushed the 500 into production with an anemic outdated powertrain. They just don't "get it" I agree put the SC in and call it done. No matter what its merits many people seem to want it in their cars. At this point Ford needs to do whatever to sell cars, it certainly wouldn't hurt. I am sure there is some option that they could have cut to make SC standard and keep the base price close to what it is now.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • jaymagicjaymagic Posts: 309
    I am forced to admit there is much wisdom in your statement, captain ;)

    The only time I have actually turned it off, other than just to test how much it really did affect the car, was when I got a LOT of tar and rocks on my front tires and decided to "burn" them off. With it off you can get some serious wheel spin, if you want.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    The media always finds something and attaches itself to it like a pit bull, a flavor of the month sort of speak. They tend to blow these things all out of proportion and bad things can happen because of it.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • At this point Ford needs to do whatever to sell cars

    Volume doesn't help if the incremental profit isn't there.
  • I only then ask the obvious question - why was this ONLY a problem with the Explorer specifically - if not somehow a design issue?

    Apparently most other vehicles were less likely to roll over if the owners abused the tires and didn't inflate them properly.

    But that doesn't mean, necessarily, that these vehicles were designed with this in mind . . . they could've just gotten lucky that their design didn't lead to the same number of problems as there was in the Explorer.
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    I do recall that there was some reason with the Explorer design that caused Ford to recommend a lower than normal inflation pressure - something like 26 or 28 PSI.
    Take ten lbs off that recommended pressure and they're into more of a danger area than if the spec'd pressure was in the 30 to 35 PSI range to start with.
    The whole deal brings to mind the Audi " unintended acceleration " problem which almost destroyed that company's presence in this country.
    The media latched onto that one, too. 60 Minutes had a mechanic rig up an apparatus in the transmission that caused the car to speed up to almost 40 MPH. Drivers complained their cars were " possessed by demons ". In fact, the main cause was the seat to pedal relationship, and drivers were hard on the accelerator rather than the brake. IMO it was driver error. The result - now we all have to have our foot on the brake before shifting out of Park.
    We have mandated airbags because people wouldn't buckle up, and we're going to have low tire pressure sensors because people don't check their tire pressure.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "Volume doesn't help if the incremental profit isn't there"

    True, any good business model would have to balance profit in relation to volume. However, IF Ford would start to sell more, and create demand, they wouldn't have to offer crazy rebates and financing which would in time yield higher profits.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "The result - now we all have to have our foot on the brake before shifting out of Park.
    We have mandated airbags because people wouldn't buckle up, and we're going to have low tire pressure sensors because people don't check their tire pressure."

    I don't have a problem with putting my foot on the brake before shifting, actually I think after awhile it has become second nature. Airbags do help and have certainly gotten better with the "dual stage" sensors to accomodate smaller people. The tire pressure monitor isn't just for people that don't check pressure. What if along the highway you picked up a nail and started to lose pressure? If you are on the road for a long ride the system should notify you before the tire gets low enough to heat up and cause a blow out.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    they wouldn't have to offer crazy rebates and financing which would in time yield higher profits.
    I just read a post on the Avalon 08 forum from a gentlemen that was claiming to have paid 'sticker' for his new Avalon - something that happened regulary when the 05 came out as well. And then we wonder why Toyota makes so much money, the Avalon holds it resale values so well, and Toyota seemingly has the money to mfgr generally 'better' cars. Also makes you wonder how long it's been since Ford (or any 'US') mfgr could say the same thing. A lesson to be learned?
  • scbobscbob Posts: 167
    Very complicated situation. To some extent Toyota/Lexus is riding on its reputation, which was fairly earned. However, reliability in last few years has not been as good. Many, but not all, Toyota or Lexus dealers will only knock a couple of hundred off an Avalon or Lexus, whereas other dealers, such as Hyundai, knock off thousands.
    Charging a lot for new models keeps prices of old models up.
    Of course, there are the many billions in health care costs that Ford owes. Add to this higher current salaries,executive pay, retirement, etc. and you can see how hard it is for the Big Three to compete. Why do you think they build new plants in the anti-union South?
    But this does not negate the problem that the Big Three have not paid as much attention to quality as they should have.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    reliability in last few years has not been as good
    overall probably a fair statement (Lexus excluded), but with a coupla caveats - first Toyota has done an admirable job maintaining what it could of its 'legendary ' reliability in spite of meeting rather insane (and unforecasted I believe) growths in demand and secondly most of the other mfgrs have improved to a point that that 'reliability' should only factor in a buying decision when that buyer is expecting 150k (or more) ( or 10 years) out of his/her purchase - very unusual these days. In short it is easy for Ford/GM to produce competitively reliable cars when they have a lot of time (and largely must spend that time because of those union contracts) and in fact those cars must use parts and pieces from yesteryear (financial considerations?) where real new model problems were generally addressed a long time ago. Had either company did what Toyota did do with the Avalon 3 years ago, I think there is a very strong possibility that this reliability gap that is shrinking would instead be widening.
    I broke a cardinal rule (never buy a truly new car in its first year of production) with the purchase of my 05 Av, have been rewarded with 60k troublefree miles, and would NEVER have even considered it with something other than a Honda, Toyota, and/or Nissan product. And that, more than any other reason, is why I along with many many others will spend a bit more money on cars made by those particular mfgrs.
This discussion has been closed.