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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison



  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Not interested in the Upscale sedans priced over $30,000 like Acura, Lexus, or Audi. Too much money for a car just to get from point A to B.

    I agree that the Avalon is the most refined sedan in this forum but like you said you'd pay a premium price for it. I also think that Toyota is being a little greedy not to give rebates or incentives for a soon to be one year old model. One reason why the Azera will give it a run for its money.

    I don't believe that the 'Detroit' cars are on their way out though. There are many people who are fans of American cars. I think as long as the 'Detroit' cars will be competitive as long as they keep their prices down. The Five Hundred will be getting a better engine in 2008. I think it's the Duratech 3.5 with hp of 250.
  • buzz123buzz123 Posts: 35
    I know what you mean about styling. Critics say the same thing about the Avalon, but I like the styling of the Avalon and the Five Hundred much better than the Chrysler 300. It's pretty cool that a VW designer helped with the Five Hundred and that it shares its platform with the Volvo S80. I think your idea of Ford "Down sizing and taking the best parts from each make and create one super sedan..." is just what they need to turn things around. All the specs and everything about the Five Hundred look great. It's definitely a lot of car for the money. I can definitely see why you'd be considering it. If I hadn't had so many problems with American cars in the past, I probably would have given it a test drive and considered it myself. Hopefully, Ford and other American companies continue this trend so I can add them to my list again when it comes time to trade in my Avalon. That's interesting about the Sonata doing better than the Azera in the IIHS test scores. I can definitely see why you'd be considering the Sonata. Looks like it has a lot of pluses as well. Good time of year to be buying with all the rebates they have now.
  • buzz123buzz123 Posts: 35
    I definitely agree with you about Toyota being a bit greedy. It would have been nice to get some kind of rebate on the Avalon. I also agree that sedans over $30K are too much money for a car just to get from point A to B. I paid $26K for my Avalon XL. It doesn't have leather seats or a moonroof, but it has the same great engine and ride quality as the more expensive models not to mention Toyota reliability. To me the reliability was worth the extra premium. My previous car was a Chevy Malibu and I had to spend thousands and thousands of dollars keeping it running over the years. The last straw was when they said my transmission was shot and it would cost $2.5K to rebuild it! My wife has a Toyota Corolla that is one year older than my Malibu and she only had to do routine maintenance like replacing the brakes and tires. Since we keep our cars for 10 years or so, that difference adds up over the life of the car. To me, piece of mind is more important than extra options that I will probably never miss because I've never had them before. Of course, that's just my personal preference based on my own experience. Each person has to make a prioritized list of what's important to them and base their decision on that.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    One thing I find funny about the Malibu is JD Power named it "Highest Ranked Entry Midsize Car in Initial Quality". Consumer Reports 'New Car Prediction' was 'Worse than Average'. IQS by JD Power is for the first 3 months of ownership only. This could be misleading if you don't really look at it for what it is, especially if you own a car for 10 years.

    I don't believe in buying a car fully loaded, either. I'm not one to spend most of my time in one, although I appreciate dependability and comfort as would anybody. Example, what are you buying exactly when you buy a higher trim? Unless the engine is an upgrade, I think it's a waste of money. It's the same :mad: :mad: car! :)

    Let's take the Avalon as an example.

    Avalon XL Invoice: $23,921; Avalon Limited Invoice: $29,888 (with no options added)

    Fully loaded XL Invoice: $28,294; Fully loaded Limited (w/out Nav.): $33,431

    I'm sure you get a lot more for nick nacks for the money but I think a person could survive with out them. It's also the same ENGINE!

    Of course you'll never get any Avalon at invoice but I doubt anyone would buy at MSRP.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    interesting perspective - think that Toyota is being a little greedy not to give rebates or incentives!
    The Avalon is currently being sold for a few hundred over invoice and, as you note, without rebates and incentives. Is this a function of Toyota being 'greedy' or is it really the market dictating a perceived value? The new Ford Mustang continues to sell well with very minimal rebates/incentives - is Ford being greedy or have they finally stumbled on a marketable car? The Morris just a few years back was sold at prices well over sticker, and don't go into a BMW dealership and ask about rebates on that 530 - never has there been any such thing. As Buick is prone to do - the overpriced (and poorly rated) Lucerne CXL can be stickered well above $35k intentionally, factoring the inevitable discounts in initially - I guess so that Buick might convince the public that it really is a $35k car that 'happens' to be available at prices several thousand below that. The market dictates exactly what a car is worth, rebates or not - and if any car manufacturer makes a car that is in such high demand that they don't have to float obscene discounts, they won't. 'Greed' has nothing to do with it. If the new Impala or 500 were truly superior cars and the buying public agrred with that - I assure you that they wouldn't be selling for the prices they are today and that GM/Ford (USA) wouldn't be losing nearly as much money as they do.
    An unfortunate result of all these employee pricing programs/rebates/incentives/financing deals that the 'American' mfgrs. themselves trapped into - the mfgrs. continue lose their butt and furthermore do not have the money to develop or manufacture better cars. The 500 should never have been put on the market without an improved drivetrain. A primary reason why the Japanese 3 will continue to manufacture better cars. People that go into a jewelry store and buy because of 50% off sale need to understand the concept of inflated prices and crappy diamonds!
    Do agree, however, that a large percentage of the American car buyer, would prefer to buy that American branded car (even if it isn't actually built here) - if only apples were apples.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Can't agree more. I gave the Lucerne a drive before I bought my Avalon. There was really no comparison. The Av's V6 was quicker than the V8 in the Buick and the overall car just isn't as "polished" as the Toyota. The 500 is a really nice car, but outclassed in terms of the engine. There is most definately a reason Toyota doesn't have to discount as heavy as GM and Ford. It is a shame, I would go American again, if they could make a car that can honestly compete, not just on paper in terms of specs.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    this is one of the ways the successful mfgrs. can make some money - take the same basic engine and platform and offer it in as many upscaled forms as you can:
    - the 3.5 in your Avalon that also appears in multiple Lexus models for tens of thousands more
    - the 3.6 or the V8 in the LaCrosse/Lucerne that appears in the Caddy CTS/DTS again for significant premiums
    - Nissan/Infiniti which has pretty much based their entire lines on the VQ V6 and the $23k Altima V6 platform - also revitalizing the entire company in the process.

    Is a Lincoln Zephyr, for example. 'worth' the extra 10 grand or so more than an optioned out Fusion? Well, it is for the folks that need or want the extra 'bling' or the label. If all a car is is an appliance we would all be driving around in Kia econoboxes. Most folks out there put more value in a car than simply getting from A to B, an attitude that the mfgrs. will happily cater to.

    Hope you are enjoying your XL, mine an 05 Touring that I paid $30k for with some minor options - it is such a wonderful car at your $26k or even $40k some folks are paying for an optioned to the gills Limited.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Besides me, is there anyone else besides Avalon owners reading this forum?
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Captian2 and Buzz123, say if you couldn't afford an Avalon, which would be the other car of choice in this forum and also any other sedan? Don't tell me a Camry or Accord, right?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Azera/Sonata, especially if you plan on keeping it a long time (warranty should take care of expensive problems and resale value becomes insignificant), possibly the Maxima/Altima if you can stretch a few grand because you would likely get that money back at trade-in time, if you normally change cars more often.
  • Yes this discussion is posted on all of the Large Sedan Forums at Edmunds. I read it at the Buick Lucerne Forum.

    Each owner seems to understandably defend their personal choice as the best car.

    However in what order are that person's preferences?

    Mine must be it this order.
    Smooth Quiet Ride, Trouble-Free, Dependable, Cloth Seating, LuxuryOptions, Smooth Engine Performance, MPG, Cost, Warranty, Resale Value.

    Now mix up that list in 5 ways and you may get 5 "best " cars.

  • I was just reading the post by TJC78 and I find it hard to believe he actually test drove a V8 Lucerne and compared it against an Avalon. I will not claim to be an expert on the Avalon I only know what I have read. The Avalon may have more power or feel like it has more power I won't deny that as I have not driven one.

    In the Lucerne forums however I have heard Avalon owners complain about vibrations, engine noise, transmission trouble, bad suspension.

    I'll tell you what I challenge any car out there to give as smooth and quiet a ride as the V8 Lucerne. I have one and I absolutely love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has plenty of power for me it will light the tires anytie you ask.

    I am not bashing you and don't mean this to be a slam but please to bash the Lucerne because 'you feel' the Avalon has more power is absurd. It is a great car and if people can get over their Buick Prejudice they would see how great.

    91 LeSabre - Donated at 212,000 miles still running strong
    97 LeSabre Limited - Still own with 165,00 miles still running strong.
    06 Lucerne CXL V8 - 10,000 Miles no issues yet runs as great as the day we drove it off the lot.
  • I could not agree more.

    I am finally replacing my 1994 Park Ave. (bought new),156,000 miles and it still runs great! I will take delivery of my specially ordered New Lucerne in 3 weeks.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    I drove them back to back within 15 minutes and on the exact same course. The dealers are across the street from one another. The Av is quicker, had a better ride, the enigne was quieter, and I preferred almost everything about the car. I had someone with me who felt the same way too. Not to start a war here, but the Buick is not a new car. The Engine and trans are ancient. The Av gets way better mileage (23/31 compared to 17/25) because of the 5 speed tranny. My Avalon has not one rattle, no trans issues, vibrations, anything. The only thing I can say bad about the car is the Bridgestone tires are a little noisy. I should have gotten one with the Michelins. The Avalon forum has its share of complaints, but also a lot of praise for the car. Don't get me wrong the Lucerne is a nice car, probably one of the nicest GM's I have ever driven, but has a little way to go yet. Also, the Avalon came in with a much lower monthly payment on a three year lease for almost indentical MSRP. The residual was better and when I was looking there weren't any incentives on the Buick, (not that there was on the Av either)

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    to be fair here - you are comparing FE figures of a V8 versus a state of the art V6 although the HP figures are very close - the reason why the Avalon is so much quicker and so much more economical is that it weighs substantially less and not so much to do with the number of gears in the tranny.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Forgot about the weight difference, the Av is 400 lbs less. However, your point kind of proves mine. The V8 Lucerne is just a new design with an old powertrain, whereas the Toyota design is much more modern and efficient.

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

  • buzz123buzz123 Posts: 35
    You're right, that is an interesting difference between what JD Powers and Consumer Reports say. I guess they're both right. My Malibu was fine for the first 3 months. Actually I think it was fine for the first couple of years, but after that it was one thing after another, after another, after another...........
  • buzz123buzz123 Posts: 35
    Yes, I am enjoying my XL! Glad you're enjoying your Touring! You're right, it is a wonderful car!
  • buzz123buzz123 Posts: 35
    That's a really good question. I actually looked at the Accord and Camry first. However, I have a bad back and the seats in those cars just weren't comfortable enough for me. That's what sold me on the Avalon. The seats are very comfortable and just right for my back. Based on my bad experience with GM and my Malibu, I just couldn't bring myself to consider any of their products. Personally, I don't like the looks of the Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger so that eliminates those choices. I guess for me, it would come down to the Five Hundred, Azera, Sonata or Maxima. If you're taking the Avalon off the list because of price then the Maxima would probably have to come off the list for the same reason. That leaves either the Five Hundred, Azera or Sonata. Each car has its pluses and minuses so it's hard to say for sure. I think a final decision has to be based on which of the pluses and minuses are most important to each person. Since I have a bad back, the most important thing to me is comfortable seats, so that would probably be the tie breaker for me. If IIHS test scores or trunk size are most important go with the Five Hundred. If Consumer Reports ranking or the engine is most important go with the Azera/Sonata. There's really no right or wrong answer. Just what suits each person best given their particular set of circumstances.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    'Detroit' in general has always been very good with V8 engines and not so good with the technology that allows my Avalon the 27 mpg overall that I get and the low 6 second 0-60 times that is supposedly possible. Can't remember any smaller displacement 4 or 6 cylinder engine that could hold a candle to engines available from Europe and Japan - the 'Detroit' approach - attack the problem with displacement.
    The Lucerne V8 is only marginally slower (7 second), the 300 hp V8 Impala SS marginally quicker (high 5s), but both with a substantial FE penalty.
    Can't imagine, however, that for whatever faults the Lucerne may or may not have, it should be every bit as quiet as any Avalon - this is precisely what a Buick is all about - isolation. If you remember it was the Avalon that made a reputation as a 'better Buick' and both cars were sold heavily to an older demographic. While the Buick has not changed much, the Avalon has. And there are a number of folks that prefer a V8 'rumble' to that exhilirating V6 'growl' the Avalon has at anything over 4000 rpm or so. If a soft/quiet ride is paramount, the Lucerne is a logical choice.
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