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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let us know how it goes. Regardless of the needless and detrimental sarcasm in here, there are people posting and plenty more reading who are interested.

    I don't expect you will find yourself wishing that anyone changed your mind.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Well...I won't be one to bash your decision. Personally, I did give the 500 some consideration. If I had waited a year and a half, maybe the Taurus would have gotten more consideration than the 500 did. However, the interior of the 500 just didn't win me over at all. It seemed to clinical, not inviting at all to me.

    I do like the way they shaped it and kept it clean with a Euro look to it. Still on the fence about the grille too. However, I was impressed with the goo-goo gobs of room inside (not to mention the trunk space). Didn't bother taking it for a test drive because it just didn't appeal to my senses enough to want to. What I'm trying to say, and this is my own thing here, is that the car lacked static excitement. That means, sitting there on the show room floor, it didn't evoke any type of emotion that made me want to get in it and see what it could do. That is just my take on this, so please folks...don't be offended for explanation as to why the 500/Taurus didn't make it's way into my garage.

    I will, for one, be quick to say that Ford is coming along...finally!!!
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Yeah it doesn't throw off much emotion, but at my point in my life I'm looking for practicality having to haul 3 young kids around. The Taurus has gobs of that. Vision is great out of the car unlike the Impala I thought I was going to buy. Also has stability control and has great crash test ratings. I ordered it today and will be at least a month before it will be in, but will try to give a road report maybe Christmas time after I've driven for a while.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Let's talk about the Taurus. Great new engine and transmission, just all around incredible car
    not so sure about this one - the 'new' DT 3.5 not a whole lot more than a bored/stroked 3.0 with reportedly similar smoothness/refinement problems. The HP is better, of course but tests indicate mid 7 acceleration times in awd form - should be a coupla tenths below that fwd, lagging well behind the class leaders here. Always has been a well designed (and very 'soft') space ship thanks largely to its S80 ancestary. A more competitive entry, sure, but 'incredible' - leave that to the Avalon a few years back or the Azera a year later...
  • "Great new engine and transmission" . . .

    Has Ford ever got around to fixing their lack of control on their trannies? i e: 'Tiptronic' or something similar?

    I would think that the only reason to get one of the Ford/Mercury
    twins might be if a person simply had to have all-wheel drive.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while there seems to be a great deal of support for the 'more is better' side of things IMO there is liitle doubt that there are drivability sacrifices we all make in pursuit of this holy grail called FE. Many of these new trannies will hold onto too high a gear resulting in multiple gears downshifts ande some degree of hesitation. Even the Avalon 5 speed (now 6) will exhibit such behavior as well as something I've observed on several other cars with these sophisticated trannies. If you wanr something that behaves more traditionally, is cheaper to fix, costs a little at the pumps buy one of those 'old' Detroit 4 speeds.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Aside from occasional gear hunting at 30 - 40 MPH I really can't say the 5 speed in my Avalon acts that much differently than many other vehicles I have driven. Many transmissions are reluctant to downshift when called upon. My buddies Explorer takes a good 1 - 2 secs to give a full throttle downshift, and a Subaru Forester we have at the office is the same way (both longer than my Av). Like it or not, these transmissions are here to stay, and I have no problem with it because they help the powertrain to acheive good FE while still having a quick vehicle.

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

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "I would think that the only reason to get one of the Ford/Mercury
    twins might be if a person simply had to have all-wheel drive"

    No.. there is another reason. Once they catch up on production and they are backing up on the lots there will be the inevitable rebates that will make the car a nice value. I've said it all along the TaurHundred is a great car destroyed not by its capabilities but Ford's haste in getting the original to market (should have had the 3.5 all along). They are doing the same thing with Fusion/Milan those vehicles should have never been introduced with less than 250HP to compete with the CamCordTimas.

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

  • gwsgws Posts: 67
    I wonder whether - in assessing vehicles - there is some merit in considering the possibility that Ford and perhaps Chrysler could wind up their operations in the foreseeable future...
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    as a fellow Av owner, I'm sure you have noticed the car's tendency to hold onto higher gear selections as well as the car 'anticipating' what you are going to do next. This can create that hesitant behavior that is subject of many negative comments on Av and Camry forums. This type of thing is NOT uncommon these days and perhaps is one of the reasons why our wonderful Avs can have both class leading power and FE. For my part, I'm like you and really enjoy my 27 mpg and, of course, the HP- and have no real problem with it - although I can understand those folks that find this new technology difficult to adjust to. You are right, of course, tranny operation complaints are becoming more and more commonplace probably in direct correlation to the sophistication (and how aggressive a mfgr is)
    of the vehicle in question.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    It holds the gears, but since I have been driving Toyotas for almost 8 years now I am used to it. My other 2 were the 4 speeds but had the "intelligence" or lack of depending how you look at it. The funniest thing is whenever I have driven my mother's '05 Highlander it feels so sluggish, after a few miles adjusting to my foot it starts to shift more like my Avalon.

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

  • Am I correct that the Av's have an adaptive transmission like the Azzy's?? If so, maybe it has just adjusted to your driving style and when you change, it's out of the norm till it relearns your new driving habits.

    I know my Azzy now downshifts much quicker than it did new.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    It definately adjusts, I tend to have a heavy foot so mine shifts almost instantly all the time. However, after sitting in traffic (quite common here in Jersey) the first part or full throttle downshift could be slightly delayed. Just the computer trying to be smarter than you. Like I mentioned earlier, driving someone elses car who has a lighter foot the vehicle felt very "lazy". However that may be exactly what that driver wants.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    to some degree this is kinda like saying that the 50 year old GM V6 is in any way similar to these new high tech engines. 'learning' trannies have been around for a number of years but how they effect how a car drives and, to some extent how safe it is (torque steer and engine braking minimization)seems to be entirely dependent on how many 'decisions' the mfgr. is willing to allow a silly computer to make as well as a means to achieve those mpgs which play such a large part in many buying decisions.
    It seems that in the case of my Av that it seems to 'anticipate and learn' those behaviors which myself and likely most of us exhibit most often - slow and docile, so therefore it will 'want' to be in higher gears and doesn't adjust well when and if I tell it to suddenly leave a little rubber on the road which eventually it will do. IMPO, 'adaptive and learning' trannies are a joke because, in fact, it is the drivers that need to adapt and learn. As tjc notes, Toyota/Lexus have had this 'problem' for years now as it seems they take a more aggressive approach.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Ford has had the sluggish transmission issue since the first Taurus, and it certainly was there in the 500. Comments here indicate it's also on the Avalon and Azera. Does the Lucerne have the problem (the 1990's GM 4-speed didn't so maybe this one doesn't since the transmission is basically the same)? Or Nissan? I'd have to disagree that it's an unfortunate but "natural" result of trying to blend performance and fuel economy. My 300C responds instantly and it has to both re-activate 4 cylinders AND pick a gear when accelerating above 35mph. And it gets 18-19 mpg in the city and 26-28 on the highway (as long as you keep it below 75 when the MDS is still active).
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I'd have to disagree that it's an unfortunate but "natural" result of trying to blend performance and fuel economy
    your comments on your 300C only support my contention - your hemi hardly designed for any semblance of FE and at least according to CR (14 mpg city) its FE is the most overrated of ALL cars. You must have a different idea of what 'city' driving really is if you claim 18-19 - heck I can think of 'city' conditions where even my Avalon might not be able to achieve 18 mpg, and it IS easily 5 or 6 mpg better than any 300C ever thought of being (overall FE) despite almost being able to keep up with you.
    All that said, however, the 300C is a good example of what Detroit should do- big ole V8s on a decent German engineered chassis - the 300C is a hoot to drive!
    PS - the ole GM 4 speed is a good example of what I'm talking about - much simpler, cheaper to repair, and more responsive (in a traditional sense) than these new 5 and 6 speed electronic 'wonders'. Soon to be a thing of the past though, as the carbuyers somehow think that more is better. Torque steer has long been a 'condition' of V6 Nissans largely because of those 'more responsive trannies ' (and HP/torque, while Toyotas/Lexus as well as Honda/Acura tend to exhibit less simply due to gear selection 'control'. The CVTs now in the Altima/Maxima of course use even more computer control, apparently eliminate the TS all at the expense of that rev up/shift driving experience that many of us appreciate...
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I don't know about the others here, but I just do not like CVTs. I drove a 500 with it and it just feels unatural. Any car using a CVT will immediately be off my shopping list. This is purely my opinion, but I will deal with our over computerized 5,6 speed trannys before going to CVT. Ford dropped theirs, so either the consumers are saying they don't want them or they are too expensive to produce.

    "heck I can think of 'city' conditions where even my Avalon might not be able to achieve 18 mpg"

    My Avalon gets an overall of 21 MPG. Very low compared to others here, however, my nightly ride home is almost all gridlock and the car sees very little open highway except for 8 miles in the morning. On my last tank with two 100 mile all highway round trips I am at 23.8. It was over 27 until I started back into my routine. So, the 18 all city is probably "real world" accurate. Still happy with these #'s because they beat my '03 Avalon by at least 2MPG with 70 more HP.

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

  • I agree with your thoughts on CVTs, but I'd bet that the new Taurus doesn't have one because the new , more powerful motor puts out too much torque for the CVT.
    Nissan seems to be the only manufacturer that is able to combine high torque with a CVT - and I'll bet a lot of their potential customers will shop elsewhere just because of that CVT.
  • Horsepower for the 'new' 3.5 Ford is 260 @6250 rpm; Torque is only 245 ft/lb @4500 rpm

    Horsepower for the 3.5 Nissan is 255 @6000 rpm; Torque is 252 ft/lb at 4000 rpm.

    Could it be that Nissan knows how to built a better moosetrap?

    Have you driven any of their products with that CVT tranny? :confuse:

    :)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    yes I have and found it somewhat disconcerting - depending on how hard you step on the gas, the engine just stays at some relatively high rpm level and the car seems to 'catch up' in terms of road speed. there are no discernable 'shifts'. How this could be more efficient (which it apparently is) defies logic, and I would imagine it would be more bothersome with engines that are rougher at those higher rpm. Good thing the Nissan VQ is that better mousetrap - something that those 'Detroit' mfgrs. have yet to do (the GM 3.6 is close) but Toytota, Honda, and even Hyundai have managed to do.
  • I finally was able to drive an AWD Taurus. In fact, I drove an SEL followed by a Limited. Both were AWD. I was surprised at the difference between the two vehicles - the steering of the SEL was almost too light while the Limited steering had a much more substantial feel to it. I wonder if this is a car to car difference or if the larger wheels and tires on the Limited make that much difference?

    The Limited seemed quieter than the SEL. Other than that they were similar. I had an MKZ rental earlier this year and was impressed with the responsiveness of the engine/transmission combination. I believe this is the same package in the Taurus and it was nicely responsive. The SEL only had 26 miles on it while the Limited had nearly 2600 so the later felt quicker. I was greatly disappointed that Ford has chosen to not offer any greater manual control over the transmission. I had heard there was an OD lock out button but I couldn't find one and the sales person was of no help either. He did say all you had to do to manually downshift was to pull the selector back into low and the transmission would downshift one gear. When I did it the transmission went all the way to LOW. The tach certainly works okay:)!

    The sales person also said that when you turn off the stability control it basically sends equal torque to all four wheels. Is this true?

    Any feedback on the navigation system? The two dealers that I visited didn't have any vehicles so equipped.

    We have been driving a series of AWD vehicles to replace our 2000 Park Avenue. Lots of nice vehicles but the Taurus seems to be the best compromise for our requirements. It is comfortable, handles decently, appears to get decent mileage and has AWD. I am not a FORD person but am leaning that way right now.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    true - CVTs have always been limited to low HP/torque econoboxes ever since they first appeared in the DAFs a long time ago - that tranny (if I'm not mistaken) literally used rubber bands moving up and down cones to effect gear ratios. Nissan metal/belt technology is different than anybody had tried and apparently also solves problems CVTs have had in low temperatures. Been around for awhile now in the heavier Murano successfully and beginning to appear in other models as well - but maybe still a little early to declare it a 'solution'. RemeMber that the CVTs are by nature much simpler (and lighter) thanj these new 5 6 7 and 8 speeds and therefore cheaper and easier to fix.

    The Ford/Volvo CVT TMK used chains much more like a 10 (or 15) speed bike, and therefore would logically handle the 250 lb./ft.+ better - don't know why it was discontinued - perhaps reliability concerns, although I have heard of no such problems. A reliable CVT offered in a std FWD Taurus would seemingly allow for an extra mpg or two in the FE wars, much like it is now doing in the Maxima....
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The sales person also said that when you turn off the stability control it basically sends equal torque to all four wheels. Is this true?
    doubt this very seriously - if anything turning traction control off might send a bit more aft (not 50%). SC has alot to do with selective brake application, dethrottling, and in some cases even tranny gear selections, but TMK nothing to do with power delivery - if anything ultimate stability would be improved with equal torque to all wheels, turning the system off to improve stability would be contradictory. Sounds like a typical salesperson to me?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    The Taurus is a FWD based car. As long as the front and rear wheels are spinning at the the same speed the rear wheels see no power. When the front wheels slip the computer will direct power to the rear wheels via a pump and clutch system. What I don't know is how much power the system is capable of directing to the rear. This is the same system Volvo uses with different computer controls for the FWD layout of the Taurus/500.

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

  • "I was surprised at the difference between the two vehicles - the steering of the SEL was almost too light while the Limited steering had a much more substantial feel to it."

    "The SEL only had 26 miles on it while the Limited had nearly 2600..."


    Possibly the tires in the SEL were still overinflated? Dealers are notoriously negligent about reducing tire pressure from 50-60 lb set at factory for transport, to spec value. With two cars that I bought new the steering felt way too light, and it was because tire pressures had been left way too high when delivered.
  • According to edmunds, Nissan will introduce diesel into Maxima. I can guess that our future FE discussions will be based on who is getting 40+ mpg
  • scbobscbob Posts: 167
    Remember it well, the 70's and early 80's when American car companies offered diesels and engines that cut off some of the cylinders at crusiing speed.
    Most had tremendous mechanical problems and were near worthless two years later. All eventually disappered.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    "..... All eventually disappeared."

    They're baaaack.......
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "They're baaaack....... "

    Great... why not combine it with a CVT and a have really sterile driving experience.

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

  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Well, maybe the one I think Honda has that works with a V6 would be a bit, ah, muted. But the one in my hemi 300C is not at all. And you definitely see the difference in fuel burn when you're on 4 cylinders.
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