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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala

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  • Thanks averigjoe for the link. :)
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Regarding those long warranties:
    They're long because automakers know the engine and tranny are some of the most reliable parts on the car. A/C commpressors, starter motors, alternators, computers and other electrical parts, etc are the parts that typically go bad after the 3/36 warranty expires.

    So, those warranties don't do much good but instill a false sense of security with people who don't realize that their warranty may not be of much use after the bumper-to-bumper term is over - especially for Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans whose engines/trannys easily go 150-200K miles between overhauls. My last Maxima (1996 SE) had 160K miles when I sold it and the engine/tranny ran like new.

    I read somewhere that one can upgrade the Azera's 10yr powertrain warranty to a 10yr bumper to bumper warranty for a fee. Now that's something to consider! Will such an upgrade make the Azera better/smother/more refined/etc than the Avalon? No, but it will most certainly make it cheaper to operate. I won't even compare reliability of American cars to the Toyota's long term reliability record.

    Anyone really interested in comparing the Av to Azera should read this months car mags - one of them (Motor Trend I think?) has a comparison test between the Av Touring, Azera and Volkswagen Passat. Great article.

    That Hyundai has improved from making cruddy unrelaible cars to a well built fairly reliable cars in the last 5-10 years speaks volumes about Hyundai's understanding how important quality and reliability is to our market, and how inept American automakers are at comprehending the same.

    Germany needs a lesson in reliability too. Chryslers haven't improved in reliabilty with the infusion of Mercedes juice - they just drive better and have better build quality, but reliability of Daimler Chrysler is still sorely lacking.

    If Hyundai continues on its path for another 5-10 years while improving quality and reliability to match the best Japanese automakers, they may earn my dollar in the future. But not yet.
    Regards to all,
    Deanie
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi:
    Detroit won't put modern engines into their cars because they're so hung up on the short-term savings of using cheaper-to-produce pushrod engines. As such, they're way behind the learning curve on building potent and desirable overhead cam engines. This is exemplified by V6 Avalons (and soon 07 V6 Camrys) being virtually as quick as a V8 300C, but with insanely higher fuel economy.

    What America needs to do is put a freeze on all spending on any car development that does not focus on improving build quality, real reliability, and implementing OHC engines. They should forget spending on styling, updates and even pull back on advertising a bit. This will hurt sales and market share for a year or three (but its happening to the big 3 anyway each year), but they'll emerge with product more likely to be bought by more discerning customers of Japanese branded cars.

    I'd love to buy American branded cars, but they just don't measure up. Imagine a 300 C, Ford, etc that had the long-term reliability/build quality of Honda/Toyota - that's a car I'd buy. Until then, America will sell cars based on discounts, superficial styling, and marketing - not true quality and reliability. And if that day does not come soon, the Big three will be comprised of Toyota, Nissan and Honda.
    Regards,
    Deanie.
  • Check the weights of the Avalon, Camry and v8 Chrysler 300. Also compare low end torque of the motors and overall gear ratios.
    Overhead cam motors are not necessarily better. The U.S. makes the best pushrod v8 motors in the world, and they have been doing exactly that for a long, long time.
    But heavy, high horsepower and torque cars usually do burn more gas.
    There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

    If you only need 2 seats, the Corvette, with a pushrod v8, is the best widely available high performance car in the world, and a real bargain too!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    averigejoe - have to agree with deanie on this one - while the US mfgrs. do indeed know how to make pushrod engines (largely because that is all they have done since the 50's) the penalty for this ancient technology is efficiency. The GM 3.8 V6 around since the mid 50's started life as a 'Buick 231' and has not changed substantially since - and it has been a good engine in terms of durability and even in terms of economy when combined with some long gearing (circa '95 LeSabre, for example) - but, at 200 hp, 250 ft/lbs. of torque not close to what an Avalon can do power wise although almost as good with fuel. The Ford 3.0, on the other hand, a disaster from day one, and Chrysler's track record (pre MB) just as bad.
    The American manufacturers will have to change this displacement as a 'cure' attitude and substitute some real technology if they are to remain competitive. In this $3.00/gallon world combined with cars that now can outperform about anything made in any era, don't think they have a choice. The consumer maybe just a little too smart to be spending their $ on something like a 300C with some rather serious reliability issues, and maybe 16 mpg vs. those same $ spent on things like Avalons/07 Camry, TLs/Accords, G35/Maximas/Altimas etc., all of which (V6s) will come very close to running with the 300C, save maybe 10 mpg, and have a much higher build quality to boot!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    If you are referring to the Ford "3.0" you could be referring either to the 3.0 Vulcan pushrod or the 3.0 Duratech.

    For either engine, you are wrong that they were disasters from day 1. The 3.0 Vulcan, when first introduced in the original Taurus, (1987 model year was it?) was a very state of the art engine. One of the first with multipoint fuel injection and an electronic ignition system on a mass market car. The Japanese at that time were still largely using distributors and super complex carburetors. Yes the 3.0 Vulcan is an obsolete engine now, but is wasn't when introduced.

    Same goes for the 3.0 Duratech. When introduced in 1996 it was pretty much state of the art.

    With current enhancements of variable valve timing(on Fusion versions) and 6 speed transmission on Fusion or Five Hundred or the CVT transmission option on Five Hundred, the 3.0 Duratech drive train is not really behind the curve compared to much of the competion, expecially when you are talking AFFORDABLE cars.

    Neither engine has been a "disaster", and in fact have been quite reliable.

    Much of the competition's higher horsepower ratings come at very high rpm's which are rarely actually used in any real world driving situations.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually both - both engines pushrod, low output/efficiency, and rough as a cob at any rpm over 4000. And one of the reasons that Ford products have had consistently low ratings. And the reason, that an otherwise intelligently designed car (thank you Volvo), the 500, will never be more than a Hertz rental or fleet car. Read something very recently that Ford is finally discontinuing the engine in favor of a 3.5 at about 250 horse with some of those dreaded overhead cams etc. that may make it competitive to those more powerful and economical engines available from others. If they don't go out of business first....
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    My observation on the backend styling of the Azera:

    It seems to me every car company now is adapting the BMW's controversial high deck styling (aka. Bangel 's butt after BMW's chief designer Chris Bangel). I am seeing it on the Azera also. In addition, the old and droopy tail light of the older Honda Accord is now on the Azera.

    Other than that, Areza is very nice looking and well done vehicle inside out. I have no doubt Hyundai will sell quite a few of Azeras in the months to come. It will give people reasonable alternative to Avalon (still goofy styling), Ford 500 (too conservative) or Buick Lucern

    jt
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Now I know you don't know what you are talking about. The 3.0 Duratech is a 24 valve dual overhead cam V-6. It is not a pushrod engine, and as adapted in the Fusion and Mazda 6, it is also a variable valve timing engine. Ford is absolutely not discontinuing the 3.0 Duratech. You are confusing it with the 3.0 Vulcan pushrod V-6, which is basically being discontinued.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Amazing, isn't it? Maybe it's only the hopelessly CONFUSED who buy those foreign jobs and diss the American cars. ;)

    The Duratech 3.0L was an amazing engine when it was introduced in the '96 Taurus . . . and it's still a pretty darned good engine today.

    Hopefully the new 3.5L will be as reliable and trouble-free.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Yes, and also check out where Captain2 has also been posting besides this board. Had to take his Avalon back 6 times for an oil leak...........
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    True - my Av an early 05 and certainly a violation of that age old axiom - don't buy a truly new model car in its first year of manufacture. Even applies to Toyotas, but as I noted in my posts and referencing the eventual TSB a relatively minor design problem involving a drain hose. Since been fixed, of course, and while I found my dealer about as diligent as could be reasonably expected, I am disappointed with the general level of training on what was a totally new engine that is rightfully becoming the basis for many Toyota and Lexus products. And yes, my Avalon, one of those rare vehicles, that I actually look forward to driving every day - absolutely love the power, the quiet, the size, and most of all the economy.
    You guys are either missing (or ignoring) my point, however. Just like deanie, I would have no problem buying any 'Detroit' product - if all other factors were equal. But, they are not - and the drivetrains are the major reason why. The American manufacturers, for some reason, have never been able to build a smaller displacement performance engine and I contend that this is the primary reason that GM and Ford are in such finanicial trouble today. The US car market was handed over to the Japanese (and Europeans) way back in the 70's when all the Big 3 could do had names like Pinto, Vega, and Omni and were well behind (in all respects) of other names like Civic/Accord, 510, Corolla/Corona etc. Now the problem is even worse - that perennial cash cow of the American mfgrs, the trucks and SUVs are beibg discounted to the point of absurdity and GM, Ford, and Chrysler have very little presence in the car market anymore. In the meanwhile, here comes little ole upstart Hyundai/Kia - who has figured out how to build an engine finally - and can offer a Sonata that blows the doors off a Fusion, or an Azera that outbuicks Buick. Now there's a company that the Japanese needs to keep an eye on...
    Recently saw the 500SE advertised at $18k (about $2500.00 under invoice) and $30k F-150s advertised at 10 grand off.
    This can not be good for Ford or any other manufacturer that is forced to do things like this to move inventory. Don't imagine that Hyundai will be needing to do anything approaching this to sell Sonatas/Azeras, and Toyota has certainly been able to get almost whatever it wants for the Avalon. As deanie noted, GM and Ford are backed into a corner that the consumer expects high discounts on their products - to the point that quality has to suffer and technology lags - all because there is no money for them to do any different!
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Recently saw the 500SE advertised at $18k (about $2500.00 under invoice) and $30k F-150s advertised at 10 grand off.

    Just one of the reasons I don't mind buying Fords. If one is stupid enough to make a decision (vs. a Toyota/etc) by using MSRP, then one deserves what he gets.

    The smart buyer knows what each dealer will typically sell at (true "sales price"), and compare those values. The even smarter buyer will know to wait for a truly good deal like one of those specials. I typically don't do the latter, because it rarely ends up being a car with all the options and color that I want.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    "In the meanwhile, here comes little ole upstart Hyundai/Kia - who has figured out how to build an engine finally - and can offer a Sonata that blows the doors off a Fusion"

    Well, there you go again.

    Per good old Edmunds own tests:
    Fusion V-6 Automatic: 0-60 in 8.0 seconds
    1/4 mile in 15.8 @89.16 mph
    600 foot slalom 61.4 mph
    60-0 in 124.03 feet

    Hyundai Sonata V-6 Automatic: 0-60 in 8.2 seconds
    1/4 mile in 15.7 @89.6 mph
    600 foot slalom 55.7 mph
    60-0 in 128 feet

    Only in 1/4 mile did Hyundai win any of these tests. The others Fusion won, and in the handling category, 600 foot slalom, Fusion won fairly handily.

    Neither one would blow the doors off the other, except maybe in the twisties where Fusion had a definite edge.

    Facts please, rather than generalizations based on cars of the 70's. By the way, those Japanese cars of the 70's quickly turned into rustbuckets on wheels in any climate where they used salt in the winter, and they weren't very reliable either and they were expensive to repair. The only advantage they had back then was they were inexpensive to buy new.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    MRSP certainly means nothing buying anything - but actual selling prices are certainly determined by the consumer's perception of value. The Avalon XL will sell for something about $24k and may not cost a whole lot more to produce than that SE selling at $18k. Evidently, there are a lot of folks out there who perceive it to be worth the extra $6k. The point is that Toyota, in this case, making a bunch of money, Ford not - and it will not be a good thing for this country when (or if) the major automakers go belly up or we taxpayers have to subsidize them. I would much prefer to see that the consumer thought the 500 to be WORTH 3 or 4 thousand more, money that Ford could take and turn around and improve their products and their powertrains. As it is right now - don't see that happening - Ford and GM simply can't afford it!
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    I would much prefer to see that the consumer thought the 500 to be WORTH 3 or 4 thousand more

    It's not . . but then neither is the Avalon. :P

    Some people prefer to buy their diamonds at a retail jewelwer, too, instead of going to a discount jeweler and paying 50% of the "50% off sales price" of the retail jeweler.

    money that Ford could take and turn around and improve their products and their powertrains

    There's already the new 3.5L coming out, and the new 6-speed tranny, as well as improvements in the Duratech 3.0L in some vehicles, as well.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I wouldnt trust edmunds.com times worth a lick. In EVERY OTHER PUBLICATION out there, from Motor Trend, to Car and Driver, to Consumer Reports, to Consumer Guide, the Fusion V6 is spanked by the Sonata V6.

    I am very suspect of the numbers in the Sonata v. Camry. v. Accord test-those were the slowest numbers that I've seen all three of those models post.

    If you're going to compare vehicles, its best if you can find a comparison test under which the vehicles were likely tested in the same types of weather conditions, and best, using the same test driver.

    With that said, in the December issues of Car and Driver and MT, the Sonata, in a test against the Fusion, beat it, unequivocally. Again, in the March issue of Consumer Reports, the Sonata V6 beats the Fusion V6 soundly in all acceleration tests.

    ~alpha
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Sonata runs in the low 7's, the Fusion gets closer to 8 - but it is not just that - the Sonata's engine smoother, more eager to rev etc. - all-in-all more refined. And it is a fun car to drive!
    The Sonata/Azera engines not quite up to the Toyota 2GR, the Nissan VQ, or the Honda V6s, but pretty darn close. Ford and GM would do well to buy their engines from Hyundai.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Toyota, or any other manufacturer of a high demand vehicle, could care less what you, me, or any individual, thinks its car is worth. They have more than enough folks lined up willing to pay the $24k - they know what it is worth because that is what they are getting. When supply catches up with or exceeds demand, then they care and likely will reduce prices. Fully expect that Avalon pricing will ease somewhat - something called the 07 Camry.
    Purchase decisions based on discounts as opposed to value will certainly keep you in 'Detroit' cars for some time to come!
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Purchase decisions based on discounts as opposed to value

    I don't buy on discounts, I buy on price/value.

    I don't see the extra value in any Camry/Accord/Avalon/etc over my Five Hundred.

    I can't help it if the yuppies of the world are blind.

    And, oh yeah, I make more than most of them anyway, so it's not an issue of lack of money.
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