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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala

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  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I moved from an Elantra to a 3.5 liter Malibu Maxx. Although slightly rougher, the 'Bu has:

    1. almost as good mpg
    2. far lower maintenance, no timing belt to screw with.
    3. lighter weight than a corresponding ohc engine-- smaller physical size too.
    4. A loafing engine that can get 6000-8000 miles on an oil change (it's not cranking that fast).
  • Most modern DOHC engine these days have 5 or 6 speed automatics and not 4 like most of GM's current pushrod powered V6s and V8s. The Avalon turns about 1800 to 1900 rpm at 60 mph. I don't know about the Impala but I doubt it would be less than that. With VVti, most modern OHC engine also has good low end power too which most OHV supporters use as a bragging rights. Plus the 268 HP Avalon is rated at 31 mpg on the highway whereas the Impala LTZ with nearly 30 less HP is only rated at 27 mpg.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The 3.9L engine does have VVT, so its not really that far behind in technology. It produces 240+ horses, has plenty of low-end torque, is light, and cheap to build and maintain. Overall, I think its a good engine for the Impala.

    Would I prefer the Avalon's 3.5? SURE! But in effort to keep costs down and reinvest a bit in interiors (and the Impala's is MUCH improved over the former version), its a fine engine.

    ~alpha
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    American mfgrs. have always continued to do what they do best. Pushrod engines do tend provide proportionately more torque sacrificing a few ponies and some efficiency. Good example of this is the GM 3.8 V6 that rated up to about 210hp but 230 lbs torque - tied to some low cruise gearing this engine could get 30 mpg highway in some large cars. Call it antiquated if you will, but successful and reasonably durable. GM and Ford are starting to 'get with the program' as far as these continuously variable dual cam overhead valve trains, multiple injector engines such as the 2GR engine in the Avalon and the IS350 - guess we will see how it fairs long term - that 3.8 I'm talking about is, in many respects, a tough act to follow.
  • Sounds a lot to me like few of you (if any) have actually DRIVEN the Five Hundred. Especially with the CVT.

    Doesn't feel underpowered to me.


    Well, we DID take a Ford 500 with CVT for an extensive test drive where I put it through the wringer and I can unequivocally say that powerwise, it does indeed leave a LOT to be desired. Even my wife, a very mellow driver, commented on it's lack of power and responsiveness compared to her old car, a '00 Impala LS 3.8 V6 with 95,000 miles on the odometer. While we liked the overall size and appearance of the 500, it was notably underpowered compared to the Avalon Limiteds we were initially interested in. I can also say with absolute surety that the car we ultimately opted for, an '05 Maxima SE, would blow the 500 right off the road in all but the worst driving conditions in which case the 500's AWD would come in handy.


    And just like I could in my 1996 Taurus wagon, I can STILL out-accelerate 98% of the Corvette drivers on the road


    Not if the Corvette drivers are even trying.
  • "Even my wife, a very mellow driver, commented on it's lack of power and responsiveness compared to her old car, a '00 Impala LS 3.8 V6 with 95,000 miles on the odometer."

    What's her 0-60 time in that thing?

    What's your 0-60 time in the Five Hundred?

    Be sure to actually TIME it, and give it the gas.

    "Not if the Corvette drivers are even trying."

    And that was exactly my point.

    Am I going to win drag races in a Ford Five Hundred? Nope

    Do I have enough power to (safely) get around those who are in my way with one? Yup.

    Can I beat 99.9% of the drivers of a Toyota Avalon when I want to with it? Yup.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "Can I beat 99.9% of the drivers of a Toyota Avalon when I want to with it? Yup."

    What the hell is the point of a statement like that? Uhm, yea, a Chevy Aveo at full throttle will no doubt beat a 268 horse Avalon as well if the Avalon driver is using 1/4 pressure on the gas.... its not a testament to power or acceleration at all.

    Bottom Line: Even the most expensive Ford Five Hundred is among the slowest in the class. It'll outrun a Kia Amanti and nothing else, save MAYBE for the 3.5L 211 horse base Impala LS, 1LT, 2LT.... but I doubt even that b/c GM's 4 speed is very responsive despite lacking in ratios and the 3.5L has a torque curve that the Duratec can't match from its displacement.

    ~alpha
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    He meant he can beat 99% of the PARKED drivers of a Toyota Avalon...

    The old Avalon's performance left the 500 for dead.

    The new Avalon will roast the 500's headlamps in it's afterburners, and then shake the rest of it into shrapnel in the thundering wake of turbulence...

    Sorry barnstomer64, I've driven the 500 and you lose on this one. If you drive a new Avalon you'll know what we are talking about! ;)
  • "What the hell is the point of a statement like that? .... its not a testament to power or acceleration at all."

    That's my point, exactly. And you made it for me.

    If you have enough power to beat 99% of the drivers on the road . . . you don't really need any more (other than for bragging rights or "racing" in situations that are most-likely unsafe for all involved.)

    Now, when you own a car that has to be FLOORED to keep up with the average drivers on the road . . . then you're definitely well into the "underpowered" category.

    I guess it all gets down to your definition of "underpowered":

    1) Underpowered in terms of drag racing?

    2) Underpowered in terms of beating ALMOST EVERY determined driver out there in a true sports car?

    3) Underpowered in terms of enough acceleration to get around the vast majority of drivers on the freeway, merging safely, etc?

    If you've got to beat every male teen and early 20's driver out there with a sports car, then the Five Hundred might feel underpowered to you. Otherwise, it's nowhere NEAR "underpowered".

    A lot of people FEEL that it's underpowered, because of how the CVT works compared to a normal automatic.
  • "The new Avalon will roast the 500's headlamps in it's afterburners, and then shake the rest of it into shrapnel in the thundering wake of turbulence..."

    With less than 1% of the Avalon drivers at the wheel, sure.

    Otherwise, it's down to which driver really wants to get around the other vehicle.

    I'd venture to say that the vast majority of Avalon and Five Hundred drivers have lost enough testosterone that they feel the need to get into a race at every opportunity. Most are satisifed to simply be able to get around the idiots drivers on the roads. And either vehicle gives them the power to do just that.
  • "Even my wife, a very mellow driver, commented on it's lack of power and responsiveness compared to her old car, a '00 Impala LS 3.8 V6 with 95,000 miles on the odometer."

    What's her 0-60 time in that thing?

    Edmunds say 8.2 seconds for a 2000 Impala LS

    What's your 0-60 time in the Five Hundred?

    Edmunds says 8.93 seconds for a 2005 Ford Five Hundred Limited w/AWD & CVT

    Be sure to actually TIME it, and give it the gas.

    Bleh. We already drove the car and felt it with the seat of our pants. Believe me, if even my wife notes a lack of power, it's readily apparent. When literally EVERY review notes the cars lack of power compared to it's competitors, that should probably tell you something, too. And where we really missed the power in the Five Hundred wasn't in jack rabbit starts and 0-60 times, but at highway speed when we punched it to see what kind of passing power it has. This is where we felt the Maxima really shineseven moreso than the Avalon. Not only is the car at least 2.5 seconds faster than the Five Hundred in 0-60, but it pulls hard all the way to 6500rpm and the passing power is phenomenal. It's just plain FUN to drive. (Probably a good thing it's the wife's primary car. I'd have a ticket by now. :P )

    "Not if the Corvette drivers are even trying."

    And that was exactly my point.

    Am I going to win drag races in a Ford Five Hundred? Nope

    Do I have enough power to (safely) get around those who are in my way with one? Yup.

    Can I beat 99.9% of the drivers of a Toyota Avalon when I want to with it? Yup.


    Yes, the Five Hundred has adequate power to safely drive and manuever in modern traffic. No one is disputing that. Yeah, you will probably beat my 70 year old parents and their Avalon to the next stoplight. I'm not exactly sure what bragging rights that gives anyone. I guess it boils down to whether one wants to settle for merely adequate or go for ample in the power department.

    By the way, we kept that '00 Impala LS as a work car for myself. So I suppose I'll be able to thrash those Five Hundreds in either the Maxima or the old beater. :P

    The Five Hundred could be such a better car if Ford would just give it the heart it deserves.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    vehicle dynamics (braking, power, handling etc.) without a doubt THE most important set of safety features on any car. It's not whether you use the Avalon's power regulary, it is the fact that it is there if and when you need it. The 500 is a big comfortable car that falls well short of any Avalon (and even things like 300 3.5's) in this regard. Ford has been having some trouble getting the car off the dealer lots, Avalons generally hsve to be ordered - should tell you something. Yes, I own an Avalon - and will tell you that I never even considered a Ford product and never will or, at least, until I see the Red Sea part again!
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    Like I said, you in a Ford 500 can beat 98% of Chevette drivers on the road. Maybe you can take on Ford Expedition drivers and Ford Focus drivers. I think that most Ford Explorer drivers are also good targets for you especially if it comes with V6 engine. So keep an eye out for that V8 sign on Explorers.

    I also drove both the 500 and Avalon and there is simply no comparison between two cars. Avalon is much faster and much quieter. The engine is much smoother in Avalon. I did like the trunk in 500 and I thought that 500 was more solid car. I also liked the inside of a 500 better. Ford 500 is also much cheaper. You can pick one up in Atlanta for under $20K. Avalon is at least $6-8K more then a 500. Its almost not fair to compare the two cars because they are in a different price range. I have not test driven a GM car in 10 years. One GM car was enougth to last me a life time.

    Ford 500 with the new 3.5L will be a great car, but right now its underpowered. Even Ford admits that they released 500 and Freestyle with current 3.0l engine because the development of 3.5L engine was behind schedule.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Azera at least on paper looks to be a viable alternative to the Avalon. Would not expect it to have the Av's near Lexus level of fit and finish, but in terms of drivetrain and option levels it looks to save almost 5 grand over the Avalon. Actually, it needs to - research resale values on a 3 year old Sonata V6 vs. let's say a Camry V6 (Accords and Altimas also apply) - what you will find out is that at trade-in time the higher values of the Japanese cars exceed the difference in cost new. Unfair, perhaps (in view of the Hyundai's warranties), but why not not buy the Avalon, in this case, if you are going to get the higher cost back (and then some) when it comes time to sell it? Korean cars unfortunately have a stigma of, well, being Korean - despite the fact that the new much, much improved Sonata V6 is actually a pretty fine little car and I'm guessingt that the Azera is likely following suit.
    The Impala, Pontiac, 500, and even the 300 not even in the same class as the Av and probably the Azera!
  • "and will tell you that I never even considered a Ford product and never will or, at least, until I see the Red Sea part again!"

    Well, at least we know you're not biased. LOL
  • "Edmunds say 8.2 seconds for a 2000 Impala LS "

    "Edmunds says 8.93 seconds for a 2005 Ford Five Hundred Limited w/AWD & CVT "

    And this site

    http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Spec_Glance.aspx?year=2005&make=Ford&model=Five%20Hundre- d&trimid=-1

    Says 7.6 seconds for the SEL with CVT (no AWD)

    And this site

    http://auto.consumerguide.com/Auto/New/reviews/full/index.cfm/id/38122/Act/Roadtest?print=- yes/

    says 7.5 seconds for the AWD / CVT combo

    And this site

    http://www.automarketreview.com/1112504.shtml

    says "That said, it actually doesn't perform as lethargically as the power numbers suggest (7.5 to 8.5 second 0-60 times, depending on AWD and tranny)"

    And MotorTrend

    http://motortrend.com/roadtests/sedan/112_0411_hd_500ford/index2.html

    says 7.5 (fwd); 8.0 (awd)

    "Yeah, you will probably beat my 70 year old parents and their Avalon to the next stoplight. I'm not exactly sure what bragging rights that gives anyone."

    $20 says I'll beat at least 90% of those my age driving one, too. Why? They bought the car for status, not to actually use the driving performance capabilities.
  • "My other issue is just that a 3.0L engine putting out barely over 200 horses isn't good enough anymore. The Duratec is a fine engine, but it's being laden with an AWD system, making the power a bit deficient."


    "What's Hot
    • Voluminous interior space, nice appointments
    • Refined, well-controlled handling
    • Sharp steering, good brakes

    What's Not

    • Engine sadly underspec'd
    • Fit and finish not yet up to the best Japanese/German standards
    • Styling not for everyone
    "
  • "Yeah, you will probably beat my 70 year old parents and their Avalon to the next stoplight. I'm not exactly sure what bragging rights that gives anyone."

    $20 says I'll beat at least 90% of those my age driving one, too. Why? They bought the car for status, not to actually use the driving performance capabilities.

    Do you not understand that you are not "beating" someone who isn't even trying? Avalon drivers must thoroughly humiliate every Five Hundred they encounter lest they be deemed mere status seekers? Have you even driven a new Avalon and seen how much more refined and better equipped it is than a Five Hundred? We certainly know that people are not buying Five Hundreds for their performance capabilities.

    Dang, the next time I manage to out-accelerate a Five Hundred or any other new car from a stoplight in my 23 year old 82hp CJ8 I'll have to remind myself what a great driver I am and how competitive my Jeep is.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    only has to do with Ford's astounding track record of putting well assembled and reliable vehicles on the road. Can't think of one - at least in the last 50 years - well after, however, when the Red Sea parted...
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    This car isn't even in the showroom yet. So we have to compare a video of it to these other cars? What if it has the lame driver's seat init like the Sonata?

    I wouldn't want to buy a first year edition of any Korean car considering their reputation. Aren't they having a fire sale on the XG350 now?
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