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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Now you are talking RWD w/traction control. However, TCS on RWD or FWD is truly a waste in the snow!"

    Why? I know for a fact that during a hill climb in the deep stuff; both of my BMWs would have been undriveable with the TCS shut off. That said, since I never once got stuck, I cannot comment on the efficacy of the TCS system for helping you get a car unstuck.

    "Never heard of a FWD car having to be backed up a hill. You're starting to make me question your driving skill! LOL"

    Yeah, I'm such a bad driver that I can get RWD cars up those hills but not FWD cars. ;-)

    Think about it this way, if the hill is steep enough, weight transfer is going to be rather significant and the front wheels will unload to the point where they can no longer transfer enough power to the road surface. I'm thinking of two different driveways here in my neighborhood as well as a certain hill up in Boyne City, MI, which was the first hill where I employed the "backwards up the hill" thing.

    At the time I was driving a 1981 Audi 4000 4M 5-Speed, and was heading to a fireside assignation with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine and... Well, you get the idea. :blush: Anyway, I came around this curve and headed up the hill that separated me from my destination and... I got maybe a third of the way up. I backed down to the bottom and around the curve, picked up much more speed than I had the first time around and... I got maybe half of the way up. I tried a couple of more times until I got to the point where I dared not carry any more speed through the curve and still only managed just over half of the way up. Not to be deterred (some would say in desperation), I reasoned that by turning the car around I would have the whole weight transfer thing working in my favor. Sure enough, once the car was heading up in reverse I was able to back right on up the hill. It couldn't have been easier. I've since had to employ that little trick virtually every time I climb one of my neighbor's driveways when they are even marginally covered with something slippery. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Performance is a relative issue. Performance on a 1/4 mile asphalt strip would certainly favor a RWD V8 with slicks mounted in the rear. Perfomance in the snow would favor a front wheel drive vehicle or a four wheel drive would perform even better. It all depends on where one resides and what kind of performance they are interested in IMHO. If I want to go down a quarter mile give me a nitro fuel dragster or more realistically a production RWD V8. However, I'm not involved in organized racing or even unorganized racing. I do like to mash the pedal every once in awhile and for that my Azera limited is impressive. If I want to smoke the tires it doesn't work so well. Overall driving in the midwest where we get our fair share of rain and snow as well as hot and cold means I also own a 99 Jeep Cherokee with four wheel drive and anti-lock brakes equipped with all terrain tires. When I go off road in the high mountains of Colorado I rent a Jeep from someone else because I don't want to tear mine up.
    For most of us driving is getting from point A to B and not on the quarter mile.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while I'll concede a probable price increase if Toyota had decided to make the Avalon RWD, keep in mind the hardware to do it was already available (the IS) even back in the winter of 05 when the Av came out. In terms of features there is not that much differentiation between the LS430 (at the time) and the top of line Limited other than about $25k, of course. The Avalon was quicker, even slightly larger, every bit as comfortable with Lexus-like fit/finish, and does better at the gas pump. Keep in mind also that the Avalon was the first Toyota product with the great drivetrain that it has, it is the Camry/RAV/ES that share what was developed for the Avalon, not the other way around (the way it has historically been). A small point, but it illustrates that Toyota could have done almost anything it wanted with a totally new platform. Had the Avalon been RWD it sure could have been an LS competitor as I'm sure some Ltd. owners out there will contend it already is (even with the FWD). Is it really, probably not - but that extra money should buy something other than a 'badge'. I guess Toyota decided that folks spending $60k+ for a car expect a V8 even though some of those similarily priced German cars seem to do fine without one.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    No doubt you are right about the drivetrain. When my 03 Avalon lease was up I really thought about an 06 ES330, but when I drove the Avalon with the new 3.5 and then the Lexus with the 3.3 there was no comparison. Actually, I seem to remember us all debating in this forum about the Avalon being a new design.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually, if you check the physical numnbers, the Avalon remains a distinct vehicle, unlike the previous versions (04 and earlier) that really were gussied up Camrys/ESs all 3 of which shared the same chassis dimensions. Today it is only the ES which borrows from the Camry (or vice versa)- the Avalon (since 05) a bigger car. Assume by your comments, you chose the Avalon?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Yes, I have an '06 XLS. Really set out to buy the Touring but here in New Jersey there wasn't one available within a reasonable distance the way I wanted it. My must haves were the JBL stereo and Blizzard Pearl. I really wanted the HID headlights though, they should at least be an option on the XLS.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    mine a Touring bought in 04-05 - really is a little 'tighter' and a little more road noise, more so than even the XL a dealer gave me as a loaner- and yep don't know how I ever survived without those lights. Expensive little puppies though - as a part available only as an assembly at over a grand each - a ripoff at best! Both 'a sport suspension' and the HIDS ought to be an option for all trims, IMO, maybe for 500 bucks or so - think it would sell well and give Toyota yet another way to increase its profit margins (not that they need any real help).
    I'm down in Texas where distances are measured in 'six packs' and the major cities are about 200 miles apart - it has gotten to the point that I actually prefer the 3-4 hour drives to wasting time in the airports. Perhaps has something to do with the cars we drive?
  • What is the stone age aspect of the chassis - is it the 4 channel ABS, or the 4 wheel dual piston disc brakes? Perhaps the traction control, or the ABS?

    I know - it must be the 56% front/44% rear weight distribution, since that is not 53/47 like the Dodge Charger.

    Of course, it is the fact the Crown Vic has a real frame. I'm waiting for the first time my local police tries to push a car out of traffic using a Dodge Charger (wait, none of my local police have yet to buy a Charger - they must enjoy getting stuck in the snow with the Crown Vic.) My township police just ordered their fleet for 2007 - bought 4 more Crown Vics.

    I've driven a Grand Marquis for years in the snow - never much of a problem. On especially bad days (once or twice a year), I put about 300 lbs of sand in the trunk, and take it out when it's not needed. Or one could go with winter tires - tons of used steel wheels available if that is your thing.

    The real issue is women (such as my wife) are intimidated by driving in the snow, so they think front wheel drive is better. Even with her Toyota, I've lost count how many times she's gotten stuck trying to pull into and up the driveway in the snow. I have to get the little fella up the drive for her.
  • What kind of gas mileage are you getting on that Grand Marquis? I owned a Grand Marquis for about 18 months and I'm glad I don't own it with today's gas prices. Add 300 pounds of concrete blocks and it would be even worse. I was not at all impressed with the car. The interior was very sad. I'm glad you enjoy yours.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    it's a car that rightfully belongs back in the 70s where it came from - would further suggest to you that if it wasn't for the muncipalities and corporations, it would have been gone long ago. Ford had announced closing of the Town Car plant (in Cleveland, if I remember right) only so that they could move that production to where the CVs and GMs are made - in Canada. The thing is not even an American car anymore, despite still possessing all those questionable attributes that made "Detroit" what they have become - non-competitive in the car business. The Crowne Vic is the problem not the solution.
    All that said, however, still do see a lot of them (without sirens) attached, so there must still be those out there that will buy 30 year old cars new. Do I hate CVs, no - just think they are slow and ponderous, space inefficient, lacking of any current technologies/safety features, and gas guzzlers.
  • Well - at least you have reasons for your opinion.

    In every car I've driven, I've always come in at right about 90% of the average of the EPA city and highway mileage. After my 1994 Grand Marquis, I had a 2000 Dodge Intrepid rated 18/26 that got about 20 mpg - my current 2002 Grand Marquis rated at 17/25 gets around 19 mpg - mostly commuting in rush hour traffic 36 miles round trip from the suburbs to the middle of downtown. If that is gas guzzling, than my Intrepid was a gas guzzler as well. The Corolla gets around 28 mpg in the same driving (I've driven it for a tank of gas to compare), so I don't think it does that badly.

    Some of the attributes you might dislike are what I like about the car - ponderous to you might be smooth, quiet, with good road isolation to me, lack of technology means long, dependable, inexpensive operation to me. I'm assuming by technologies you mean no head curtain airbags or stability control - it has the others that I can think of, whether I wanted them or not.

    Heck, I'd like to dump the ABS, autodim mirror, and the autotemp climate control on my next one - all kind of gimmicky to me. I'm on the fence about traction control.

    It could use some updates, but if an example of updating is the Mercury Montego - I'd rather not that Ford ruins the car by trying to improve it.

    We just have different tastes, which luckily can both be filled in the current marketplace. :shades: If Ford drops the platform, I guess I'll have to buy used, as they do last a very long time, which is why you see them everywhere.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    As for the safety aspect of the car, I know someone who rearended a bus in a 98 Marquis at over 40 MPH and walked away with only slight burns from the airbags. The car of course is in the big junkyard in the sky!

    Ford has done its best keeping the car as modern as possible, especially considering a chassis that I believe dates back to 1980. The newer versions handle OK with the rack and pinion steering and updated suspension. However, they just can't compete with the newer designs. Now, if ford dumped in the 5.4 V8 from the Navigator, independent rear suspension, 18" Rims, and some bucket seats, we could have competition for the HEMI, LOL.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    jsylvester- actually drove CVs, back in the 80s, company cars, of course, each to about 100k - both got me about about 15 mpg overall (about half what I get on my Avalon), and did walk away from a broadsider when an idiot ran a light. Neither car had any major mechanical issues either. My real issue with cars like the CV is that it perpetuates the "American" automakers problems, falling back on 50 year old designs and not building anything really competitive or innovative in the segment. Despite how much I like my Avalon, and respect Toyota for using about as much American parts/labor in it as possible, I still wish it could have a truly American brand nameplate. Don't like the idea of buying things like CVs etc. and effectively putting Americans out of work.
    And I don't think you need to worry about the CV disappearing anytime soon, if 100,000 unit sales is a benchmark of sorts for a 'successful' model then Ford will continue to beat the bejeepers out of that just with police car sales. And even it they do take it off the market, there is still the 300 - a traditional RWD design with many of those features that should be in the CV, had Ford wanted to. There should always be a market for the traditional American V8 big sedan, they do have some advantages and well as disadvantages.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    U.S. cannot compete with some other nations in carmaking because it is way too expensive to design and manufacture a car in the U.S.
    The government here has taxed and regulated businesses and citizens so much here that carmaking is not a profitable business any longer. The only way car companies make money in the U.S. these days is in their finance divisions.
    It's a shame. But not a surprise.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    And this is why the foreign car makers have all established plants that manufacture imports here in the U.S.???

    I think the problem lies in global sales. I really don't think that the Big 3 U.S. makers sell that well in the global market...compared to the foreign auto makers.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Yes, foreign carmkers, but not all of them. Not U.S. carmakers. U.S. carmakers are busy shutting down plants here and building them in China.
    Foreigners have plants here because the U.S. makes credit so easy almost anyone can buy a new car. But it is all with borrowed $.
    So the cars are made here close to the customers who will "buy" them.
    The profits go back to Japan.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    The major ones do...Toyota & Honda and even Hyundai has a plant here in the U.S. Doesn't seem to affect them!

    The profits may go back to Japan, but they are still subject to the same taxes as the doemestic plants.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Maybe, maybe not. I'm not a tax expert. Are you?
    I think I read that foreign factories were lured here by making tax concessions, kinda like towns do with big stores or auto dealerships or sports franchises.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I'm not tax expert cause if I was, I'd find away to not have to pay mine any more! LOL

    I'm sure there are lots of variables playing in to the domestic car makers faltering in the industry. Maybe in Ford's case, they are just spread so thin. They seemed fine when they only had Mazda under the umbrella, but then they had to jump out there and get Land Rover and Jaguar too.

    Who knows. :confuse:
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    What else is comparable?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    What you're likely to get...Buick Lucerne, Chevy Impala or an Avalon minus a bunch of goodies. Then, you'll get a yahoo up in here that'll bring up the Crown Vic/Marquis just because it's been around since Jesus' days in pre-school. Other than that...don't really see too much out there that really compares as a full sized sedan for under $30K!
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    How about Nissan Maxima?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Eh...if you want, if that's the case, throw the Altima in there while you're at it since they are both about the same size.

    I really don't know what Nissan is thinking with the Maxima at this point. They've made upgrades to the Altima bring it darn near close to being the same size as the Maxima, as well as giving it more power with a 270 hp Altima available.

    However, for the sake of an argument...lump the Maxima in there. Not sure what kinda goodies you'll get in one for under $30K though. I do know one thing you'll get...a rough ride!!! It's a sports sedan!!!
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    I just read that Peugot or something is getting 425 HP out of a variation of the Nissan 3.5 liter motor. Maybe the Maxima will get that along with all wheel drive soon. That would move it away from Altima.
  • xtecxtec Posts: 354
    Since when is the Azera considered a large sedan,I could put that glorified Sonata in my Chargers trunk.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I truly would NOT believe a 425 hp Maxima, however...I can see it toned down to be maybe 300-350 hp so it can play ball with the 300 C, Magnum/Charger R/T's. I don't know if all wheel drive would make it on the Altima, then they would be stepping on the toes of their Infiniti line.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    The Azera is around 108 cubic feet for passengers, right? And the Charger is what, 110 maybe? Not much difference. Does the Charger have about 500 cubic feet of space in its trunk?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    LOL The trunks on both cars are rather cavernous to be honest. I loaded my Azera with luggage for 5 for a week down in Florida and it all fit, along with a few other odds & ends.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Seems to me a "sports sedan" should at least have a manual transmission as an option. The Maxima no longer does. The last sports sedan Maxima was made in 1994. The Altima SER is a sports sedan. Too bad its not around for 2007.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    They've compensated by offering the shiftable automatic. No, it's not exactly like having a manual, but it's better than being just a plain ol automatic!!! In manual mode, you should be able to run the revs up to redline which is good for some go when you're on the pedal!!!
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