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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My 'Bu's DIC is a lot more complete than my Optima's.

    Two trip odometers
    A sophisticated OLM that shows 7K+ change intervals and percentage to change, not just a light.
    Outside temperatures
    Miles to Empty
    Average MPG
    Average speed.
    Sometimes annoying messages for stuff like ice on the road.

    Everything I could think of but a compass.

    Did an 89 Aerostar have all of that? My cars of the late eighties/early nineties including Camrys certainly didn't.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The EPA site reporting drivers actual mileage. 2005 model year (to allow enough responses):

    Malibu Maxx: range 28-37 average 30.5 mpg.
    Accord 6: range 18-31 average 23.9 mpg.

    The Malibu is the only car I've owned that did better than the old (inflated) epa mileage charts.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    A friend of mine had a Nissan that would talk to her. It would tell her if the door was open, lights were on, fuel was low and such things. She thought it was great at first, but after a while, you get tired of hearing the car tell you, what you already know. Car makers can go too far, with all the useless gadgets.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    To each his own, I test drove the Aura and G6 with the 3.5, then the 3.6 DOHC, and it seems like day and night, the difference. But then again the 6 sp. vs the old 4 sp. is yet another advantage for the Aura XR with the 3.6. I prefer the smoothness, sound and performance of the 3.6. I guess I may own a pushrod again, one fine day, if I buy a used Corvette for a play car / club driving car. The old 350 had one hell of a long run, as did the 3.8V6. I have owned cars from GM with pushrod V6s and they all ran... except the 3.8 in the Olds98, which stopped on occasion, then ran again. Pretty good gas mileage, I suppose it is tall gearing, a bit rough, but never broke engine wise. None were smooth and powerful like the Honda I have now however.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The eighties DID produce talking and digital dashes both of which were tremendously annoying. Knowing the percentage of your oil life left and how many mpg you're getting is helpful, however.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the 3.6 (and possibly the new Ford 3.5) may be (I haven't driven them yet) where the GMs/Fords/DCs of the world need to go if they are going to ever hope to be competitive in the car business again. And you mention something that is equally as important as raw HP - engine smoothness, refinement, and willingness to rev - something historically dominated by those 'Japanese' (and German) makers. The old 3.0 and 3.3 Camry V6s, while down on HP, were still wonderfully refined engines - something that can't be said about those 3.0 DTs/Vs, the 3.8/3.5/3.9 GMs, the 2.7 Chrysler etc. etc. Hyundai has managed to improve their cars substantially with the 3.3 and a 3.8), never could understand why the US brands can't 'get with the program'?
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Hard to say why they do what they do. But if they cant hold onto a market share because they use pushrod engines, they'd better change. It's all about giving what the majority wants. Could be that the majority doesnt care yet. Or heaven forbid....they LIKE the sound and feel of a pushrod engine! Drive around my city and you see way more GMs than anything else.

    I still the think the average buyer for this type of vehicle couldnt care less about refinement, willingness to rev, etc. as long as they can feel that solid torque and acceleration when needed, they're happy. There's still alot of people here brought up on the solid engines of the past (and present) and like the familiarity of em, the sound of them. I certainly prefer the growl of an LT1 or Boss 302 and even my 3.5 over some pesky buzzy little thing with one of those fart cans installed as a muffler. Sounds like a radio controlled airplane, what an annoyance that is.

    Refinements or not, you put a buzz buggy against a 350 thats been done up right by some guy in his backyard and redlines at about 7500...there's no contest on what sounds and works better. Mazda got nowhere with the rotary. A supposed marvel and virtually rev limitless. Just never caught on.

    My experience with many products that claim to be new and improved, high tech, revolutionary, etc. may only lead to disappointment. People like whats familiar and what has been proven to work, and easy and cheap to fix. GM engines are all that so why knock the tried and true? Let's all live together happily....just keep that buzzing sound down will ya!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    V8s are, well, V8s and will always have that "detroit" rumble and, if for no other reason than displacement provide the kind of torque than helps drivability a bunch - all at the expense of that $3/gallon stuff. The good V6s will 'growl', a pleasing sound in its own right, and will of course be more rev happy. 4s are 4s, and will generally lead to uneven delivery of available torque and HP, and are often buzzy, as you say. So it seem to me, that the V6 is the best compromise, for those of us that want both usable power and decent FE which is where I think the buyers are looking - I would hate to think that there are too many folks out there buying A-to-B appliances, especially for this kind of money!
    And I certainly agree with your comment that 'high tech' or 'new and improved' is not necessarily good!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Pushrod V8 may sound pretty darn good indeed, such as the Ford 5.0, but the V6 pushrods do not. For the i4, I would say the Miata sound, or those older British cars got the sports i4 car sound down pretty good.

    As for the number of GM cars seen on the streets of my home town, I would say they are mainly foreign cars, though SUV and trucks, and rental cars are more likely GM. But then again, this is California. People are pretty picky about the car performance here on the left coast. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, VW and others from abroad seem to have a pretty good grip on sales here. I do note more GM cars on the sales lots, so they are selling some cars other than the SUV and trucks now. Cadillac is still pretty popular, and you see some GM cars like the G6. Not sure how many are rentals though, as we get tourist our way.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Drive around my city and you see way more GMs than anything else
    well, not if you discount all the pickups and SUVs - at least down here in Texas - all kinds of sedans from T,H and N and an increasing number of Hyundais. Rarely a US brand, and a significant portion of them have rental co. stickers on them, or look 'fleet'. I think 'Detroit' effectively gave the car market to the Japanese starting in the 80s because of some really crappy products and an inability to build smaller engines - and may never be able to recover.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think 'Detroit' effectively gave the car market to the Japanese starting in the 80s because of some really crappy products and an inability to build smaller engines - and may never be able to recover.

    Don't look now, but I'm not sure that they aren't in the recovery phase. Vehicles like the Fusion (with early statistics looking very promising for reliability - very important) that are fun to drive and nice to look at, Ford may at least stay in the game and strengthen moderately rather than dropping out altogether like so many predicted not too long ago. If they'd do the same with their compacts and full-sizers Ford could make more than a meager comeback like they are attempting right now (Focus is older than Moses, and will continue to be for years - Europe is about to be on design number three, while we are getting a facelifted version 1.0 Focus next year - the power increase will help the Five Hundred/Montego greatly in the game). With more all-around good vehicles like the Fusion, Ford will do just fine.

    For GM, the revised Imapala sure looks nice, with much-improved interiors and several engine choices. The Aura, the Lambda Crossovers (Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, etc..) are all strong if not bar-raising vehicles. Reliability is still not necessarily a strong suit of GM vehicles according to several record-keepers like CR, but it doesn't seem to be in the basement with many vehicles like they once were, either(exceptions according to CR being the Midsize Pickup Twins Colorado/Canyon and the Cobalt Compact Car).

    Chrysler...what an enigma. In the late 90s, it was absolutely pitiful. Some pitiful excuses for quality came from that company (transmission troubles anyone?) Then, along comes the Chrysler 300 sedan (Car and Driver COTY). Reliability inches upwards in some models (importantly in the minivan market which Chrysler DOMINATES in sales). Then they release some real cheapo-feeling cars... Caliber, Jeep Compass/Patriot, and the styling-riddle Sebring Sedan. I think Chrysler can't win because of shooting itself in the foot. Hopefully that will change.

    In the end, I'm of the opinion that domestic vehicle manufacturers (i.e. the Big Three) will not be THE dominating force ever again, although I also believe there won't be a single dominating force(s) like the "3" to take their place. Carmakers have gotten good folks, really good.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    The Camry 3.0 v6 was known for oil sludge in the early 2000's. Instead of redesigning the engine, Toyota slapped undersized head gaskets on it to raise the head temperature for a more efficient burn, trying to gain fuel efficiency and a ULEV rating, causing the problem and then denied it was their fault. GM re-engineered the 3.8 in 1996 and it was voted one of the ten best engines in the world. Smoothness, refinement and willingness to rev were necessary to get that award from Ward's. Torque is what you feel when you slam the gas pedal and that is the force that rotates the tire in that engine. You sound like your talking about engines you haven't driven. I have a 3.8, test drove a 3.9 last week and rode 800 miles in a 3.5 in October. They are all very smooth, economical, powerful, and they will be very reliable as is the 3.8. It took well over a hundred thousand miles before you could even hear my 3.8 idling from inside the car. At 156k, you still can't tell if it's running or not without a tach peek. Get with the program? You make it sound like you would buy GM if only they had OHC. "The 3.9 is part of an all-new family of advanced overhead valve, 60-degree V-6 engines. The engine is designed new from the block up and in addition to variable valve timing, incorporates a host of advanced, premium features, including a variable intake manifold, piston-cooling oil squirters, and an advanced 32-bit engine controller. The variable valve timing system incorporates a vane-type camshaft phaser that changes the angular orientation of the camshaft, thereby adjusting the timing of the intake and exhaust valves to optimize performance and economy, and helping lower emissions. Within its range of operation, it offers infinitely variable valve timing in relation to the crankshaft. The cam phasing creates "dual equal" valve timing adjustments. In other words, the intake valves and exhaust valves are varied at the same time and at the same rate." (Popular Mechanics) It is also Displacement on Demand.

    The biggest impediment to GM not turning around their market share erosion is misperception that Japan is offering something better. Many people buying a new car judge the engine by a test drive. The 2005 numbers on this 3.9 DoD engine are 240 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 245 pound-feet of torque at just 2,800 rpm, which are commendable. What really makes the engine satisfying is that 90 percent of that peak torque is available from 1,800 to 5,800 rpm, since torque is what you need in the daily duels of urban driving. The 265 HP 3.9 I test drove didn't have an instantaneous mileage readout but the 5.3 liter did. The 5.3 gave about 35 mpg criusing at 50-60 mph and gave 31 mpg at 70 mph. In the 2005 trucks, the all-aluminum V8 will be rated at an estimated 290 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The 2007 Impala I drove had 303 HP as well as Hwy mileage possible in the 30's. With leather and sunroof and lots of other options, sticker was 30,200 for the SS. Rebate and a little haggling bring that down to 27,300 USD, which is even with the Accord V6 with auto and leather after a little haggling. GM needs no Japanese 'program'.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    GM re-engineered the 3.8 in 1996 and it was voted one of the ten best engines in the world.

    Sure that wasn't "ten oldest engines in the world?" :P Just messin with ya.

    You say $27,300 for an EX V6 Accord after you haggle and get rebates on the impala. How come you don't give Honda the same benefit in your post? I saw just today an internet quote of $23k and change for an Accord EX-V6 on the Accord prices paid forum. The Accord has factory incentives going on right now. You may not have known all of this, which is why I'm filling in your holes. :)
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    But they did not change the intake manifold in 1996 on those 3.8 engines which can fail at just past 70,ooo miles. Pity. Other than that, the old boy is not a bad work horse engine. Not the equal of the Honda or other top line V6 engines however. GM has the 3.6 DOHC V6, so give it a try. Try it - you'll like it! Same for the new 3.5 OHV V6 from GM, which is good enough, but not all that great.

    Unless you have a serious need for torque steer excitement, there is little need for the Impala V8; certainly not for over $27K = ouch!
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    That depends on which country's dollar you are both speaking of ;)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    When I drive my 03 Accord V6, I can feel the refinement. From the way the doors close, to the solid feel of the controls. When I drive down the road I feel the way the suspension soaks up the bumps without complaint, handles curves with precision, and stays steady as a rock at speed. The engine is quiet and effortless as it propels you with smooth power. Unfortunately, my wife was rear-ended, and I had to drive an 06 Impala for two weeks. The doors and controls are not nearly as solid feeling, and some controls are hard to see, much less operate while driving. While the Impala soaks up bumps very well, there is significant body roll when cornering. The highway ride is giggly, like the car is nervous, or cold (brrr). The interior feels much smaller than a large car should. I keep hearing that the quality of GM products has improved, but I did not see, or feel, the big improvements.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Get with the program? You make it sound like you would buy GM if only they had OHC.
    the Toyota 2GR is easily the best engine available in this class - and is wonderful - great FE, extremely powerful, smooth and willing, it is very easy to get it up to 6000 rpm without even knowing it (or feeling it), and further, thanks to its advanced intelligent continuously variable valves on both intake and exhaust it does a pretty fair job providing that flat torque curve you are talking about. Comparable engines at this point the VW 3.6, the Nissan VQ, and that great Honda V6 - although only SOHC. Does the GM 3.6 or the Ford 3.5 come close, on the spec sheets yes - in terms of refinement - have a sneaking suspicion they are both short on those refinement issues that I value so highly. Would I buy a pushrod V6 specifically, not a chance, because look at those alternatives available - I submit to you that there never has been or will be a refined pleasant pushrod V6 or I could challenge you to name even just one? And BTW those gimmicky 'instanteous' FE readouts are about the most worthless info you can find - that old Aerostar I was talking about could show 100 mpg! The truck actually did about 15 and was, of course, slow as molasses with that fine pushrod V6.
    Detroit pushrod V8s, OTH, I have no problem with and is representative of that 'Detroit' approach, attack the problem with displacement - been going on ever since they slapped a small block V8 in a Ford Falcon back in 1964 and called it a 'sports car'.
    And those V8s have no business in FWD cars - too much weight, torque steer, and understeer. GM may have an alternative if they can properly build that Impala in Australia and still manage to put a trunk in the car. If GM (or the other two) are ever going to build a competitive (and pleasant) sedan I'm afraid its 'back to the future' with RWD and torquey V8s (ala the Chrysler 300/Charger), and then all they need to worry about is if the market for them still exists when gas hits $4 or $5/gallon. Or they could learn to build proper smaller engines, that indeed, don't have those precious pushrods, or DOD either - you wouldn't perchance remember Cadillac's flirtation with this back in the early 90s, lead to a recall (and forced warranty extensions) on every car so equipped.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    misperception that Japan is offering something better.
    IMO, don't believe there is any question about this today or for the last 20 years or so. I think the real question is whether those 'expensive' Japanese makes can justify those extra $ over a defineable period - something that, at least, to this point, they can. And you should also consider the financial efficacy and engineering acumen of the cos. involved - areas in which the Toyotas/Hondas/Nissans have it all over the US brands. As long as GM/Ford continue to lose money faster than they can print it or borrow it, they will have a helluva time developing anything innovative or competitive and will continue to sell what amounts to 20 year old+ cars. Maybe what GM 'needs' is to learn that 'Japanese program' called making money - done by developing products they can make money on instead of selling everything to the lowest bidder...
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    My Indy Honda dealer sent me this along with internet quotes of about 1100 off of the 25,895 LX. (USA dollars)
    The LX is not leather and you can't just add it as an option. You have to bump up to 28,095 for leather and automatic trans. Take off 4% for internet price and you are at 26,901 for the Accord in the US. That is with the same amount of haggling as the Impala SS at 27,300. Looks like more haggling could be done on both prices. The difference here is $400 more for a monster engine that is conservatively rated at 27 mpg hwy -vs- a much lower 'real driving Torque' Honda. There would have to be $5000 in incentives on the Honda EX for $23,000. It may not have been a V6? It may be Canadian $?

    LX V6 $25,895.00
    EX V6 6-SPEED $28,095.00
    EX V6 $28,095.00
    EX V6 6-SPEED NAVI $30,095.00
    EX V6 w/ NAVI $30,095.00
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    They should be able to offer more than 1,100 off. Should be more around 1,600 off in US dollars. Some people are doing better than that. Depends on the area you live. Don't know your area in Canada. In USA they sell the SE model, which is a really good deal.
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