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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Boy, I'm not a fan of the Lincolns. I wanted to like the MKZ, but as you suggest in your pro/con list, it just exudes cheapness inside. The Avalon is not only nicer and more spacious by a mile, its V6 also offers the best compromise of power and economy in the industry. Add in its high owner satisfaction despite some niggling problems, and it's a combination that's tough to beat.

    By the way, I dislike sunroofs too. I don't want to pay for them, they eat up headroom I need, and they introduce another chance for problems. That said, the Azera Limited (sunroof standard) has so much headroom that I find I can still sit in it comfortably. In all other regards, the car seems to fit your requirements precisely -- except for your insistence on paying over $30,000. ;)
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Hey Louiswei...you can also throw the Genesis V-6 in there as well. Not sure if you can get it without the sunroof though, however...it would seem to foot the bill nicely as well.

    Genesis Review
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Agreed.

    I would probably take the Genesis over all those three.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Hi all. My folks purchased their new Ford Taurus SEL today. It is equipped with leather, the convenience package (Auto Headlamps, Power Driver's Seat, Dual Climate Control, 6CD/MP3), SYNC, and Sirius Radio. MSRP - $26,615. See it here.

    First, the pricing.

    Was given an initial offer of $22,000 Out the Door, and after passing it on to my folks, they were happy with that. No negotiating necessary. The breakdown on pricing looks like this:

    2008 Ford Taurus SEL, Silver Birch over Stone, 21 miles on the vehicle.

    MSRP : $26,615
    Dealer Price : $24,844
    Customer Cash : - $2,000
    Manufacturer to Dealer Cash : -$2,000
    Doc Fee - $199
    TTL - $957

    APR - 4.54% (Fantastic Credit)

    Final Price - $22,000 OTD

    As far as how the car drives, today was my first chance to drive it. A few short thoughts (as it was a short drive, after all)...

    Powertrain: More than enough power. I felt like I just "wafted" to 50 mph. Shifts are incredibly smooth; smoother than the 2008 LE-V6 Camry I drove recently; probably the smoothest transmission I've ever experienced, actually. I "got on it" from a light, and it didn't make a fuss, it just "went." Quietly. Engine noise is very muted; most of what you do hear is the exhaust note, which is quiet, and has a nice husky sound to it. Very smooth-sounding; as smooth as our 3.5L Honda we had. Throttle tip-in is gentle; appropriate for a car this size. Interestingly, when accelerating on an on-ramp onto I-59 (70mph limit) I didn't "nail" the throttle, but instead accelerated like I normally would. The car stayed below 3,000 RPM, but had my dad (who at the time was sitting behind me) saying "easy there, cowboy - we want to buy it, you don't have to force us too by driving fast and wrecking. My mother actually told him "he's not gunning it; it is just a quick car!"

    Handling/Ride: Steering is much too light for my tastes, but for a large highway car it should be just fine. I'm used to sportier Honda tuning. It felt accurate, linear, and quite easy to drive. It handled bumpy I-59 with only muted "thumps" from the suspension. No real floatiness, although the nose does pitch-up more than I'm used to upon hard acceleration (probably because it accelerates harder than my 4-cyl Accord!). Something that stood out to me was its tight turning radius. Surprising, really, in a car this size. I didn't do any "cornering" but in my test drive I felt more secure than in the Camry I drove not long ago, and rode as well.

    Braking: A pleasant surprise. I was expecting the mushy pedal I experienced in the Toyota; wrong. While not as grabby as my 2006 Honda Accord, the brakes were firm enough, with feel that was well-modulated. I felt instantly comfortable driving this car in traffic, unlike the Toyota, or even my Honda (my Accord has very touchy brakes, and take some getting used to).

    Features/Interior: Sync is a pleasure. The dealer even set up my folks' cell-phones, and showed them how to use it, having each of them execute commands from the driver's seat until they fully understood how it worked. Interior room is obviously unmatched by many others. The rear seat of the SEL model does not have adjustable rear headrests, so neck support is lacking for me in the back (I'm 6'5"). My mom was just fine (5'5") however. The rear bench sits well-off the ground at chair height, as do the front buckets. Those front buckets have little lateral support, but make for easy ingress and egress, and should suit this car just fine. The lack of a telescoping wheel was no big deal (sure, it should have it at this price, but it's placement was great). Materials such as the wood-grain aren't going to make anyone think this is a Lexus, but there was enough soft-touch plastic and well-damped buttons to make this car feel more expensive than it's $22,000 price; especially given the features. The leather is soft and perforated; interior color: stone. Stereo sound quality from the more basic 6CD system (not the Audiophile one) is better than adequate; at least as good as that in my Honda if not better.

    I'll have more chances to drive this car as time goes on, but wanted to share my experience with it today. I already thought this car had a lot going for it on paper, but as a Honda guy I thought it might feel like an 80% effort. I was wrong. It is an 80% price for 100% good car. Give it a look.

    Thanks,

    TheGraduate
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Is there an oil life monitor in the new Taurus? My folks just bought their car, but won't pick it up until Monday, and are curious about the oil change intervals. Our Hondas have a monitor that counts engine RPM and monitors engine conditions to determine when oil changes should be done. Does the Taurus have anything like this? If not, what are the recommended intervals?

    Also, is there a timing belt, or timing chain?

    Thanks!
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    EDMUNDS HAS MAINTENANCE INTERVAL YOU CAN LOOK THERE
  • auld_dawgauld_dawg Posts: 40
    The Duratecs have had timing chains since 1996.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thanks!

    We take delivery of the Taurus tomorrow morning.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Got the car - and we really like it. A lot! The fact that it runs at only 1,600 RPM in 6th at 60 MPH makes for a nice relaxed cruise and should really help mileage. That has to be the tallest top-gear I've ever seen in any vehicle except the Vette.

    For the record, the person who I expected not to get into Sync that much, my mother, absolutely LOVES it. She thinks making calls while her phone is still in the back seat in her purse is the best thing since power steering.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The fact that it runs at only 1,600 RPM in 6th at 60 MPH
    now that is low - almost V8 territory, and enough to make one wonder if 'lugging' the engine to that degree won't effect highway drivability in an OHC engine that peaks it torque at engine speeds more than triple that. The Avalon is fully 10% higher in its engine speeds in top gear and I would suggest that even it would spend a lot of time downshifting to hold speed if it wasn't for the CVVT that effectively widens the engine's torque curve. Would be interested in a report on the car's behavior with the cruise set at 70 on moderately hilly terrain?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    After driving it yesterday on the hilly Birmingham-metro interstates, there was no problem whatsoever. It never needed to downshift. In the NC mountiains it might at least unlock the torque converter, or downshift, but there was plenty of torque at the prod of my foot to accelerate from 60 to 70 without needing to downshift. My Honda downshifts at the drop of a hat, but the Ford uses its torque rather than dropping a gear. When it does drop, the extra power is noticeable, however, the shift itself is not.
  • cdmuilecdmuile Posts: 152
    Anything currently made by Ford in the 3door hatchback sports like with manual tranny with the Taurus running gear?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    When it does drop, the extra power is noticeable, however, the shift itself is not

    I would think that the 6 - 5 shift should be very soft. How much does the RPM increase? I'm thinking maybe 700. Even if its fairly often it wouldn't be as noticable as say the 4 - 3 shift in a Lucerne or Impala.

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

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Honestly, I don't remember. I do know that when I punched it at 70, the RPMs went to a little over 4k RPM (I didn't floor it) and the car shot off like a rocket. I'm guessing there was a drop from 6-4th, or would it be 3rd?

    Whatever it was, it did just fine.
  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    ...which I've never driven:

    Completely disregarding
    •gas mileage
    •reliability
    •and price,

    where does the loaded Lucerne with Northstar rate subjectively as a daily driving experience against the Avalon, Azera or Lexus ES? (Note: if you haven't driven a V8 Lucerne AND one of the others, disqualify yourself from replying.)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    They are all fairly similar. Soft riding comfortable cruisers. The Buick is a fine car, just a little older technology than you'll find in the Av/ES/Azera. When I drove the V8 it wasn't quite as quick and refined as the V6 in the Avalon. The interior is also a bit old school for me. It wasn't bad, just not as nice as the others. I don't believe you could go wrong with the car if you are willing to deal with the FE penalty. That was the deal breaker to me (Av and Azera make roughly the same power with V6s and significantly better FE)....If you read back through the forum we have discussed at length that basically if the Lucerne had GMs 3.6 6 speed it would be a serious contender in this segment.

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

  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Thanks, tjc. I do recall the discussion about the 3.6.

    The reason I ask is that the Lucerne is big and stylish, but it does labor under disadvantages in size, turning circle, reliability history and fuel economy. So, for those of us who aren't simply American-only loyalists, it has to win decisively in some area to rate serious consideration, even if its price is discounted down to parity.

    I'd think if there's any such area, it would be highway cruising comfort. Of course its V6 rivals aren't exactly slackers in that regard, either.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    how can you disregard the Lucerne V8's FE, reliability (which ain't bad supposedly), AND those inflated Buick price tags. Would suggest to you that even the Avalon's general superiority (power, FE, 3rd party ratings etc.) in this class is still tempered by its price tag. Many buyers quite naturally disqualify it simply because they don't believe it to be worth several thousands more. How can we not do the same for a Buick that can actually cost more?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The Lucerne CXS is nearly identical to a late 90s Mercedes S420. Same power, same decent suspension on a very heavy car feel(a first for Buick, IMO), and the same solid feel.

    The non CXS versions are nasty. In this case, it's all about the suspension. The Magnetic Ride suspension turns the car from just another Buick into a proper luxury sedan in how it rides. It's not as fast in a straight line, but honestly, do you see middle-aged and elderly people really needing to smoke the tires on any of these large barges? Go drive a CXS. It's not an old man's car any more.

    The Azera feels a notch down. A lot like the old Park Avenue, in fact. Good, but not the real deal(like a E class, DTS, or similar)

    The Avalon is nice, but lacking the suspension... yeah, it's just another bland Toyota. The ES is a nice notch above(there is no "Lexus" in Japan - all models are "Toyota" there), but the price is a bit silly. Doubly so if you are looking for used values. Buick and Cadillac are probably the top two makes to look at for a used full size luxury/semi-luxury sedan.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    there is no "Lexus" in Japan - all models are "Toyota" there

    Two years ago you'd be right but now you couldn't be anymore wrong...

    http://lexus.jp/

    Lexus has been selling cars in Japan for more than 2 years now.

    There is also Lexus in Europe, Russia, Korea, China and Taiwan. As matter of fact Lexus is also the number 1 selling luxury brand in Taiwan.
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