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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Zero MPH?

    Yep, must be a Lexus ES... :P
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    IMO, test loop mileage figures can not be exactly duplicated. Maybe the traffic was a little heavier on a particular day, a tester may have accelerated more briskly, or caught more lights, etc. Temperature pays a large part, too - on colder days, bearing grease is thicker, the tire pressure may be a bit less; I could go on and on.
    Fact is, the only test that really compares apples to apples is the the EPA test, although I would assume that manufacturers tune/gear their vehicles to optimize mileage in that particular format.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The only fuel economy numbers I take seriously anymore are the New EPA ratings. Many people have seen their real world numbers come very close to the EPA's New City/Hwy numbers
    I perceive the problem with even the 'new and improved' EPA test that the manufacturers knowing what the test is, can rather easily optimize a car to perform well. It was certainly worse with the 70s vintage test that was done in a laboratory and really had zero real world applicability. GM has been doing this for years with the 3.8, a 'tall' highway gear that the poor ancient engine doesn't have a prayer of holding. On the other end of the spectrum , are some of the V8s, with these 'trick' DOD systems designed to shutoff some cylinders at lower 'highway' speeds that it too has no prayer of holding. Hence the reason why things like the 300C were the most overated FE wise (under the old system). It is so variable among different drivers and conditions - to me the only thing you can really trust is what you do yourself.
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    hybrids were also overrated as they lost most under new epa test
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    Looks like sales of Buick are significantly down they are even lower than Oldsmobile before it was sold. Like many people on this forum will agree unfortunately Lucerne doesn't offer any advantages over Japanese and even Korean brands. Opel was used to improve sales of Saturn, Holden of Pontiac. If we follow this thinking Daewoo or some other brand should be used to improve Buick. I personally hope that it will be a western European brand. Opel was used and GM cannot use Saab since it competes for the same market as GM. My opinion get rid of Saab and use it to make Buicks even in Sweden.
    Place 3.6 with DI into Lucerne and detune it to produce around 290 hp and better FE. Also Make longer wheelbase version of Lucerne as well as use 3.6 without DI on entry level Lucernes
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    yep there seems to be a correlation between the amount of technology in a vehicle (fancy dan 'thinking' trannies/hybrids/variable displacement systems etc) and the differences between actual and EPA FE test performance. Toyota, which has long been a FE 'leader' for example, seems to want to 'program' their trannies to hold onto the highest gear possible even on coastdown from a higher speed, thereby reducing engine speed and increasing FE, these manufacturers that use the variable displacement can shutoff some cylinders (also increasing FE) in lower load situations (let's say a 55mph level 'cruise') but then the systems become ineffective when speeds get up to more realisitic numbers. The EPA may 'think' that 55-60 mph is how fast we all drive on the highway (and it may, indeed, be the speed limit) but who out there is not driving along at 70 or 75 just to (safely) keep up with everybody else?
    These type of things are why I don't really like the EPA numbers and prefer real driving numbers from real people even though it is true that such things do introduce a number of variables in the results as one poster pointed out. EPA numbers are good only as they are relative to each other and not any indication necessarily of what any given driver can expect because some cars will do better in the 'real world' than others- and it's been this way for almost 40 years.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    How can these people keep a straight face and say that buying a Ford Taurus (ie 500) is good decision??!!?

    The real question is how can we read the rest of your post with a straight face? Why wouldn't I recommend a car with best-in-class interior and cargo space, an engine with power and fuel economy competitive with others in the class, but at a price that, in the real world, is thousands less than the competition? For those looking for a big-car bargain, the Taurus is it.

    I just recommended someone test drive a Taurus because of its Command Seating position (the shopper is a woman under 5' tall). Guess what? I didn't even crack a smile.

    Here's one just for you, though.
    :)
    The mainstream "junk" Ford Fusion has higher reliability ratings than the number 1 and 2 sedans in the country, the Camry and Accord.

    If you haven't looked at Ford lately, look again. :D
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Heck, Buick doesn't even offer advantages over its own domestic competitors, Charger/300 and Taurus/Sable.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Agreed, that 500/Taurus is a good buy and fits a nice niche as a big (commodious, in fact) family car. Wife and I looked at a 500 before we bought, and liked everything except the 3.0. I think with the new engine, this car should be on shoppers' lists.

    Bias against a certain maker can cause one to miss out on a good thing. :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Bias against a certain maker can cause one to miss out on a good thing.

    It sure can. Three Hondas park in my driveway, and many in the immediate family have them too (3 Accords - '96, '02, '06; 2 Civics - '97 and '07; and an Odyssey - '05, between all of us). It doesn't mean I don't look at competitors' offerings. Sure, I feel like the car I drive now was a winner from the competition, back in '05 when I got my '06 Accord, but how can I be sure it will be next time I buy a car unless I drive some of the competition?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Actually Grad...yours is more a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I can't blame you if you've had great experiences with Honda and the cars still appeal to you...stick with it. However, like you said...you can't ignore the competition as much as you could a few years back.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Bias against a certain maker can cause one to miss out on a good thing
    agrred - however, many of us (and possibly even this poster) will have such a bias - for a good reason - past experience. In my case, I'll never ever touch a Chrysler product ever again - even if they start selling everything they make at half price.
    All reflective of some tranny problems I had (with a truck) and their refusal to stand behind their badly designed (IMO) product.
    I have no doubt that the 'American' products are improving and although this may really be a function of older technologies they might use, or FTM that they simply spend more time building a car (more time for QC) - it should make no difference to the car buyer. He/She is entitled to the 'best' car possible for the least actual cost possible - if that happens to be a Ford product (or whoever) so be it. Just don't ever ask me to spend any of my money on a Chrysler! ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    It takes dozens of miles, at least, before the ECU can update the Avg fuel economy and display it on the LED.
    actually no - I checked, the Average FE displayed updates every 8 seconds, so that at the beginning of a tank it will change very rapidly (almost like an 'instanteous' display and then obviously slow down substantially later in the tank. The Av also resets its FE display EVERY tank - something I rather it didn't but also a reason for low mileage displays (something also true for the ES?). If your contention here that CR is fibbing about the way they test for FE and are instead basing their 'results' on a 3 mile test drive as opposed to the 195 mile one they claim, what could possibly be their motivation? And BTW under the conditions of acceleration & slalom testing any of these cars including a Taurus/Avalon/ES would do very well to be getting 15.7 mpg as would a Honda Civic!
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I just got back from a business trip in which I was pleasantly surprised to be handed the key (fob actually) to a brand new Maxima (SE model). I am used to getting a base Impala or something equally as dull. Anyway, I haven't driven a Maxima since '06 before I bought my Avalon. First off the interior though improved is no where near the Avalons. Its smaller and the overall feel just isn't there for me. Not that it is awful, I just feel the Avalon is nicer. As for the drive I immediately noticed that it is significantly stiffer than my Avalon. The car is much flatter in curves and the steering is great. The trans was a CVT which is just ok for me. Much better than the CVT in the Ford 500 because the VQ engine has enough power to make it work. I still would prefer a traditional 5/6 speed. One thing Nissan has improved through the tranny and computer programming (I would guess) is the torque steer issues. This car had some but not nearly as bad as prior years.

    So... the verdict? I still would pick my Avalon over the Max by a slim margin. Although the Max is a better handler it still is a big heavy FWD car that suffers from the same set of problems as my Avalon. My Avalon feels faster (probably is by a few tenths) and is quieter on the road. The CVT is just plain weird, especially went stomping on it at around 55 and the engine hits redline and just stays there. The car continues to pull strong, but you are just waiting for a shift that never happens. However, there was a manual mode and I guess I could get used to it.

    Having said all that, I am now anxiously awaiting the '09 Maxima. With more power and a much better interior it could serve as a replacement for my Av. Currently its a nice ride, built well, and there is nothing bad I can say about the VQ. Its a tick noiser than the 2 GR in my Av but at least it sounds good. Overall, MPG was a tad over 21 (per the computer) and included a mix of city/hwy driving and quite a few full throttle excursions.

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

  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Thanks, TJC. Always interested in seeing actual test drive impressions. Anyone else out there who has one, know you'll have at least one reader.

    Especially interesting to hear they've quelled the torque steer. That was always said to be the bane of that entire generation of Alt/Max's.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I found the SE Max trims to be substantially 'tighter/firmer' than any Avalon. The softer SL while adding a bit more std. bling produces a ride closer to the Av Touring but still well short of the isolation you get in the XLS/Ltd. A different demographic those 2 cars I would bet, the Maxima selling to a younger buyer?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    No doubt the Avalon still draws an older crowd. I am not sure if its just because its a big car or the price or what. The Maxima probably grabs a lot of younger people that can afford a "G" but want the extra room the Max offers.

    When I drove the Max in '06 I drove the SL model and I think you are spot on it saying that the ride compares to the Av Touring. The SE model may be a tad too firm for my tastes. However, the ride was far from jarring or harsh. I wonder if the new Max will offer two suspension options like the current model? Who knows, with Nissan going back to the "4DSC" theme they may even offer something more sporty and tightened up than the current SE.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I, for one, would hate to see a personality change on the 09 Maxima, it is not a car that can likely compete with something like an Avalon - not that it is especially good or bad - just different.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I don't think you will. Nissan will always tend to be a little on the sportier side of things while Toyota and Honda build the more conservative vehicles. The Maxima does compete with the Avalon, but instead of saying which one might be better I think the ultimate decision will come down to driver preference.

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

  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    I totally agree with you. As I wrote before, I had both Maxima and Avalon on my shopping list. Even though I still believe overall that Avalon is the best/ one of the best (if we include G8) car on this forum, Maxima met my needs in all aspects. Azera was not available at that time, but after driving / riding in one, even if it was available it did not offer me ( except for safety ), what I wanted in my car. Plus I never buy any car in its first year. Let some guys who like to pay more, spend time at the dealers fixing bugs.
  • carolinabobcarolinabob Posts: 537
    Thank goodness Hyundai did not buy Jaguar. Jag is pretty and runs fast, but has very low reliability and very high repair costs. It would not help Hyundai become a really big player to saddle itself with an expensive, low volume, unreliable car.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while it is difficult to defend any British car in terms or reliability, I believe that you can point to the degree of sophistication in Jaguars (just like BMWs and MBs) as the real culprit for that checkered reliability. If there is one thing that Ford did help Jaguar do it probably is improving that reliability. Hyundai (as well as any of the other Korean mfgrs.) does not have a presence in the luxury end of things. Now they are seemingly wanting to get in that market - what better way then to call that car a Jaguar mark it up another $10 grand, and further try to insulate it from consumer reliability concerns with that infamous warranty of theirs? Win-win?
  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    my thought was that they'd mostly buy the brand and its image more than the cars. For instance, the Genesis in some guise would become a Jaguar, much as the unseen parts of the VW Phaeton are now the guts of a "Bentley." It's the upmarket image of the name Hyundai needs -- not, as you aptly point out, the engineering.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    is the glass half full or half empty? The newest Ford commercials that have thrown the guantlet down and said that Ford products are equal to Toyota products in quality. Of course, that's a boost for Ford, but one heck of a knock against Toyota.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    On one of the commercials they said Honda too....No doubt Ford's quality is much better lately. I really am surprised that I am not seeing more of the new Taurus/Sable on the road. For the $$ its hard to beat.

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

  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I would agree that FoMoCo's quality is better, but equal to Toyota & Honda...that would seem a stretch. Unless they are saying that Toyota/Honda's quality is slipping a bit. I'm not sure what part of the country you're in, but here in the DC Metro area...you see plenty of Taurus cars on the road.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I live in Southern NJ right outside Philly. I really don't see that many. More so than a few months ago, but I guess I expected more. Think early/mid 90s, they were everywhere. Heck I even had one... (or should I say I shared ownership the service department at Echelon Ford :( )

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Beauty, in some cases, in the eye of the beholder and whoever is doing the research. If FoMoCo for example is using JDP (and its variety of changeable 'made to fit' award definitions) then sure you can get me to NOT believe anything. OTH although the Fusion in particular has been doing very well and certainly the equal of the current Camry in regards to reliability - the balance of the Ford line (including the 500/Taurus) is unremarkable. Hyundai has much the same situation with the Sonata doing relatively well while the rest of the line has its worts. The problem for the Toyotas of the world is more likely that the buyer of a Toyota/Honda (and even Nissan to a lesser degree) EXPECT that superior reliability comes with the nameplate (and indeed spend more for it) , and it becomes headlines when one doesn't (like when CR makes the news for removing the Camry from its 'automatically' recommended list)- as opposed to some other manufacturers in this group that it becomes headlines when one does!
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I can understand if Ford as a whole was doing that much better, but to base it on the success of t he Fusion and the Edge...that seems crazy! I can further understand if the commercial were about one vehicle, like the Fusion and they said that it equalled the quality of the Camry, but they way they are making it seem...that Ford, as a whole, rivals Toyota...as a whole. While I can say that Ford has greatly improved their products, it would be a stretch for me to cast them in the same quality "pool" with Toyota.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    just like 'comparos' that might 'hint' that a Sonata is comparable to a BMW 5 series - Ford can also make whatever claims it might want based on whatever it wants even if it is ONLY considering the Fusion - it is things like this that advertising campaigns feed on.
    I, for one, will believe Ford's claims once it shows me the same sort of reliabilties etc. LINE wide and probably as confirmed by some organization that is not in it for the money...
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