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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    So Grad, why don't Mom and Dad make like their son and get an Accord. A nice LX 4 banger with no sunroof is considered a large car by the EPA, would get better fuel economy than the Taurus, and could probably be had for around 20 large after wheeling and dealing.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    They feel the new Accord has gotten too big and too expensive. They've had many Accords in the past (90, 92, 93, 00, 01, 03, 05), but they really don't like the new one, after driving an EX-L 4-cyl. I was on that test drive, and I must admit, it doesn't feel like a step forward, just a step bigger. I love my Accord now all-the-more.

    Besides, when comparing a 177hp basic Accord with a 263hp Taurus with some options, for similar money, the Taurus is the clear winner in bang for the buck; I'm reading a lot of owner reports talking about their highway economy; most are reporting 29-31 MPG. Since this will be a trip car, comfy, powerful, and well-equipped are important factors here.

    Sure, the Accord has marginally better economy (3 MPG, according to the EPA), but it also has much less highway passing power (177hp and a 5-speed automatic versus 263hp and a 6 speed automatic).
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    All good points. The Taurus also has a $2000 rebate or low-interest financing options right now as well. Let us know what they decide.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yep, 0.9% for 36 months. I'm not sure if they will go new or used here. Depends on the numbers that the dealer runs for them.
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    Despite the bad rap Ford gets, the Taurus is a very solidly built, quiet, smooth vehicle.

    Also, Ford has recently upped the horsepower, improved the interior materials considerably, and you'd be hard pressed to find a safer car (it shares its safety cage and chassis with the Volvo S80).

    I actually think it's a classy and high end looking car, also. It reminds me of a Audi in the haunch and posture.

    I have really high hopes for the Hyundai Genesis, because I like the interior and exterior of that car very much, and respect the decision to go with a rear wheel drive format. My nagging concern is whether Hyundai has been able to eliminate untoward suspension noise (as they seemed successful at doing in the Veracruz? I say this with a question mark because Consumer Reports says it's there, while MotorTrend says it's not).
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    That is not a bad out-the-door price for an Impala. Figure if it was $23,400, and then they were getting the $2,000 rebate, the dealer was selling the car for somewhere around $20,500 (assuming an average sales tax rate of 7%).

    If they are in a State with no sales tax, then I would agree it wasn't the best deal.

    My parents have a 2007 Mercury Montego Premier and love it. My grandfather has a Ford 500 and likes it as well.
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    I have also owned cars where the OEM tires would have been very expensive to replace. However, an expensive tire does not necessarily make for a good tire. Michelins are highly overrated and almost prohibitively expensive. The Michelin tires I have experienced were not very competent in the rain and were no quieter than other tires.

    The Potenza G009 was a very popular tire. In fact, when my parents had their 2003 Impala LS, they replaced their G/Y Eagle GA's with G009's.

    Bridgestone, however, has discontinued the Potenza G009 and replaced it with the Potenza G019 Grid.
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    The Impala does have a very small backseat considering that it is a full-size car. Additionally, the rear bench is not the most comfortable for long trips.

    I am 6ft5in tall, and no one can sit behind me in my Impala since I put the seat all the way back.

    The Taurus, however, is the exact opposite. The driver's seat doesn't go back quite far enough for tall drivers, but the rear seat is extremely roomy.

    My Grandfather is actually on his second Ford 500. The first had an incurable suspension noise/squeak. He traded it for a different manufacturer vehicle altogether. Then a couple of years later traded that for another 500 and has been pleased since.

    If your parents are interested in the Taurus with the squeaky strut, I would suggest they have the dealer completely fix it before they ever sign any paperwork or hand over any money. The dealer will try much harder to properly fix it if it means a resulting sale as opposed to after the sale has taken place. That may sound preposterous, but I have seen things play out that way first hand.
  • lostwrench1lostwrench1 Ct.Posts: 432
    True, the Taurus is safer.
    The Taurus, in crash tests, gets 5 stars front, front side, and rear side.
    The four door Accord, even with side air bags, gets only 3 stars for the rear side impact. (2008 models - Taurus - Accord)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I imagine the G019 Potenza has similar characteristics to the G009 (Hope so!).

    The Michelins on my Accord are expensive because they are rated for high-speed (V-Rated). My Accord has a top speed of 130mph (a 4-cylinder!) according to Car and Driver and the tire is rated for that. My next tires will likely be H-rated (108 mph) and several hundred cheaper.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If the Impala and Taurus were on equal footing vehicle-wise, the price would be ok. Considering what a Taurus goes for though, and how much better of a vehicle it is, the Impala is overpriced.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If your parents are interested in the Taurus with the squeaky strut, I would suggest they have the dealer completely fix it before they ever sign any paperwork or hand over any money. The dealer will try much harder to properly fix it if it means a resulting sale as opposed to after the sale has taken place. That may sound preposterous, but I have seen things play out that way first hand.

    The dealer was going to go ahead and have the car fixed, period. That particular car isn't necessarily the one they were interested in purchasing, it just happened to be handy for a test-drive. Don't worry, my father is nit-picky about rattles and noises, and he wouldn't buy a car that made noise like that. ;)
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    The G019 looks to be an improvement over the original G009. It is still directional, however the tread pattern looks a bit more "refined".

    Actually, H-rated is 130mph. V-rated is 149mph. You should be fine with an H-rated tire. Some tire dealers, however, are reluctant to install tires that have a speed rating less than what was originally installed on the car. It is a liability issue for them that they would rather just avoid.

    My Impala came with S-rated (112mph), but I upgraded to T-rated (118mph) when I put the new tires on it. The V6 Impala is electronically limited to just over 100mph, so anything more than T-rated would be overkill.
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    If the Impala and Taurus were on equal footing vehicle-wise, the price would be ok. Considering what a Taurus goes for though, and how much better of a vehicle it is, the Impala is overpriced.

    When you put the Taurus SEL up against the Impala 2LT, they compare favorably. The Impala gives you standard some features that either are not available on the Taurus (OnStar), and others that are optional on Taurus (remote start and electronic stability/traction control). Add the remote start and the stability control to the Taurus, and the Taurus SEL stickers for $25.5K. The Impala 2LT stickers for $25K. The Taurus and the Impala have $2K rebates. Both cars have an invoice price around $23.5K. Most dealers will sell Impalas right around invoice, which puts you at $21.5K for the Impala. If the Ford dealer will sell around invoice, the price will also be $21.5K.

    Both cars offer similar performance, similar options, similar safety, and similar fuel economy. The Taurus has the edge in rear seat room, the Impala has the edge in hip and shoulder room. Impala is flex fuel, so if you wanted to you could run E85. Between the two cars, it comes down to a virtual toss-up.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Between the two cars, it comes down to a virtual toss-up.

    Not even close... the Taurus is so much more car.. More advanced and powerful engine/trans, roomier interior and trunk, better fit and finish. The list goes on. Doesn't say much that the "flagship" sedan of both Ford and Chevy need to have 2K rebates to move them out the door does it?

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

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Impala has compact-car back-seat space, a lower-rent interior (the cupholders are a joke!), old-school 4-speed automatic, and only the gas-guzzling V8 engine matches the Taurus for acceleration. Try revving that Impala up? It's not pretty.

    Coming from a Honda, my folks value a smooth engine and top-notch interior, and in this instance were looking for a car with decent economy an plenty of highway power. The Taurus beats the Impala on these aspects; the extra roominess and top safety ratings are a bonus.
  • I am interested on thoughts on replacement tires. I replaced Michelins with Bridgestone Potenzas and found they were worn out in no time. Tires were rated 50k plus, and after two years and about 20,000 they needed to be replaced. Not really driven hard, although 9k was on two trips to Florida from Boston. Steady driving at 70 mph. Where are people finding success? Thanks
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, car dealers are struggling to sell anything other than small econoboxes.

    There is only a 30hp difference between the Taurus (263hp) and the Impala 2LT (3.9L V6, 233hp). The Taurus does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, the Impala does 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. 0.5 seconds is not noticeable in day-to-day driving. The 4-speed auto in the Impala may be old school, but it has been around a long time and is a very smooth and reliable piece. The GM 3.9L V6 is no less advanced than Ford's 3.5L V6, unless you believe that a DOHC engine is better than OHV. I have owned cars with DOHC and OHV engines and personally do not consider one any better than the other.

    Neither car will win any fit and finish awards. The nod would probably go to the Taurus, but the Impala is also well built. We have both an '06 Impala and an '07 Montego (now the Sable) in the driveway, so I have been able to observe the cars long term. Both are holding up well.

    From an interior room standpoint, the Taurus has more overall passenger volume 108 cubic inches versus 104.5 cubic inches, but much of that comes from the fact that the Taurus is 1.5 inches longer and has a wheelbase that is almost 2.5 inches longer. It is physically a bigger car than the Impala. The Impala is 1.50 inches narrower, but has more hip and shoulder room than the Taurus.

    Taurus SEL Impala 2LT

    Front Headroom (in.) 39.60 39.40
    Rear Headroom (in.) 38.80 37.80
    Front Legroom (in.) 43.10 42.30
    Rear Legroom (in.) 41.20 37.60
    Front Shoulder Room (in.) 57.80 58.70
    Rear Shoulder Room (in.) 57.60 58.60
    Front Hip Room (in.) 53.70 56.40
    Rear Hip Room (in.) 53.60 57.20
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The car is 1.5" longer, but with that inch or so of length comes an extra 4.4" of legroom, which is a HUGE deal to me and my family (I'm 6'5", dad is 6'3"ish). It also has a more voluminous trunk. Simply put, the Taurus makes a better use of space than the Impala does, as far as I'm concerned.

    That extra room between the seats and the outside of the car in the Taurus probably helps it get 5 Stars all around, if I had to guess.
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    The Impala has compact-car back-seat space
    True

    , a lower-rent interior (the cupholders are a joke!)
    The interior is not that bad. It is attractive and durable. The Impala has an adjustable cupholder in the center console (on bucket seat models). You can swivel the cupholder center piece all the way into the console to make 1 large cubby. When you swivel the center piece back out, you can create two equal sized cupholders, or vary the sizes. In the back, on models with the fold down seat, the fold-out center armrest contains two cupholders.

    , old-school 4-speed automatic
    The old-school 4-speed is tried and true, and the Impala will get 30mpg on the highway even with 2 less gears than the Taurus.

    , and only the gas-guzzling V8 engine matches the Taurus for acceleration.
    The Taurus does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds. The Impala 2LT with the 3.9L V6 will do 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Not a significant difference in real world driving. The Impala SS does 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, and is not as much of a gas guzzler as people think. Owners are regularly reporting 27-28mpg highway with their SS's when driven "sanely".

    Try revving that Impala up? It's not pretty.
    My Impala has the 3.5L V6 and has more than enough power to light up the front tires at will. It is an eager and willing companion. It also sounds pretty good in the process. It's no V8, but it is certainly no slouch either.

    Coming from a Honda, my folks value a smooth engine and top-notch interior, and in this instance were looking for a car with decent economy an plenty of highway power. The Taurus beats the Impala on these aspects; the extra roominess and top safety ratings are a bonus.
    Both the Taurus and the Impala are great highway cruisers and have more power than anyone will ever need. I wouldn't classify either of them as having a top-notch interior. Serviceable and attractive, yes. Durable, sure. Tons of hard plastic, oh yeah! The IIHS rates the Taurus "good" for front and side, they rate the Impala "acceptable" for front and "good" for side.

    At the end of the day, it all boils down to which is more comfortable and which vehicle serves your needs better. There will always be people that will choose one vehicle over another for certain reasons. It could be price, comfort, features, or maybe even the style of the wheels or the color choices. :)
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