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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala

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  • On the other hand, the same case could be made for the Taurus, only better.

    The Taurus at $24k has the same engine as the top models (260 hp). The cheapest possible Avalon with Stability Control (standard on Taurus) was over $29k on MSRP, and there were only 2 in the southeast equipped for this price. 2! That includes ALL colors of Avalon XL cloth with VSC. Meaning, that in all likelihood, you won't be able to find one this cheap.

    The Taurus also offers AWD, something the Avalon doesn't.

    When it comes down to dollars, the Taurus really delivers for your money.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Traction control is standard on the Taurus but stability (advance trac in Ford talk) is optional. I know where you are going and the Taurus is a great value, but the Avalon is better equipped in XL form than a 24K Taurus. Auto temp, auto headlights, full sized spare, reclining rear seats, etc. Add those features in and the price gap narrows.

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

  • Ah, sorry. I've recently started shopping cars with (and for) my grandmother, and we had looked at the Taurus SEL. I was thinking it came with Stability Control standard. I do understand the difference in TC and SC, but was apparently misinformed about the Ford. And yes, things like auto-temp and auto headlights are things that narrow the price gap, but you have to want those things for the gap to narrow.

    For my grandmother, the thought of the nice cushy ride is appealing, but a larger price is not. She's not one for "fancy" features. Her three previous cars are a 1991 Civic DX (bottom level model, she had A/C added as an option!), 1996 Accord LX, and currently has a 2002 Accord LX. The Accords are fine rides, if fairly basic (PW, PL, mediocre stereos and so on). She wouldn't care to learn how to use things like reclining seats, auto temp, or auto lights. She'd want to be able to control all of those things herself (she doesn't like the Automatic Climate Control in her sister's [my aunt's] 2005 Odyssey either). She likes basic. The base model Taurus isn't "BASIC" but it is easier for her to use with manual A/C controls, etc.

    She has a computer, but it is like pulling teeth to get her to use it :). She's 72.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    It may not come standard but would be willing to bet that almost all models on the lots are optioned that way. The Avalon is like that too, get used to it SC will be mandated on all cars in the next few years.

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

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    She has a computer, but it is like pulling teeth to get her to use it. She's 72.

    Gotta answer that! My 81 year old father and 78 year old mother are avid computer users!! They don't know or care much about cars, but they couldn't live without their computer. :P
  • Well, in my grandmother's defense, she was a manager in word-processing at an insurance company for 53 years (Same Company for that long!) so she certainly knows how to use the computer, but I think she's had her fill of them! She started on a typewriter, but has been on a computer monitor for at least two decades.

    She knows how, as she used to type 130 WPM! She just doesn't want to do it anymore.
  • It may not come standard but would be willing to bet that almost all models on the lots are optioned that way.

    Do a search for Avalon XL, cloth in your area, and see how many have VSC. In my ZIP, 35023, there were 115 Avy XL models, but only 2 of those had VSC.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Well, then, don't blame it on her age!! :P ;)
  • Ain't it the truth. The average car buyer would much rather spend his money on a stereo upgrade, or shiny wheels, or whatever; than on stability control, or ABS, or curtain airbags, or any other safety equipment.
    The cars on lots are spec'd out accordingly. If such equipment is not standard, odds are you're not going to find it in large numbers.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    I don't know how you determine the "aveage car buyer." Maybe it's within your peer group. The average 25 yr old may have different priorities than the 35 yr old, who may have different priorities than the 45 yr old and so on.

    Anyone with hearing loss, and there are a lot us (not just old folks) don't care all that much about "killer" stereo systems. Shiny wheels? Yeah, they usually look good but they don't do anything for you when you're driving the car and others only really get to notice them when you're stopped or parked.

    Safety features and cabin interior (like the grad says) are higher on my list than some exterior feature that might impress someone I don't even know.

    Frankly, I don't buy a car to try to impress anyone. I buy based upon what I can afford and will give me the most value, comfort, features, dependability, etc for the money.
  • 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: 5,023
    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: 5,023
    "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: 5,023
    "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.
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