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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,043
    Strangely this comparo is at odds with other reviews of the same vehicles, where they couldn't praise the Accord high enough and found the Altima rather mushy. See da-accord-ex-2013-nissan-altima-25-sv-2012-volkswagen-passat-25-se-comparison-te- st
    '14 Buick Encore
  • tundradweller1tundradweller1 Posts: 74
    edited April 2013
    Agreed, with the advent of direct injection, variable valve timing and multiple ratio drive trains the V-6 will eventually go the way of the V-8.
    I find it humorous that detractors lambaste Mazda for not providing a V-6 or turbo option yet have not driven the car or other similar four cylinder equipped cars.
    As for the comparison I test drove all 3 and put the Altima at the bottom. To each his own.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    Not cubic inches necessarily, just a 2.0T instead of a base 2.4 or 2.5. My car stickered at $24,260, and negotiated $21,880 for the Optima EX. There is't a feature in the world that is going to make me pay $31,000 without a performance bump...or even a Hybrid. I just would personally feel ripped off if that 10 grand got me only a 5.8 touchscreen and a few more electric nannies.

    I am not making this a personal thing. I drove the Mazda too...and I really liked it. I just don't like it for $31,000 without a turbo or a Hybrid mill.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    "Admit it. For those of us of a certain age, cars were just bad until about the last 20 years."

    I grew up with my parents and grandparents all driving domestic cars and trucks typical of the era. I was born in 1975, so typical translates into mediocre at best....and at worst, bursting into flames, engines and electronics rushed to market without bothering with any testing..."we'll just let the idiots who buy it do the testing and help us work out the bugs".

    But my cousin went to work for a Honda dealer as an apprentice mecchanic in 1982 and by 1984 was the best mechanic they had. I went to work with him any time school was out or when he worked on Saturdays. The more I learned about Hondas, the more confused I became about cars in general.

    How could Honda build a 4-cylinder Accord that was quicker than a GM sedan with a V8? How could Honda and GM make cars with the same amount of interior room, but the GM car weighed 1000 mores? Why did GM put the cruise control buttons on a stupid stalk where you couldn't see them and they were hard to operate, yet Honda made them into two buttons on the steering wheel you could press with your thumb? Why didn't American cars have a place to put coins? How come 4-year old Hondas still feel tight as a drum and domestic cars squeak and rattle long before that?

    Finally, I realized that domestic cars absolutely sucked! But I didn't really know why they sucked and how it went on for so long during college when I spent some time studying the auto industry. I learned all about corporate politics and, even more fun, corporate corruption. Complacency and arrogance also played major roles in the drama. Many of the people that held executive level position at the Big Three in the 70s and 80s would be in prison if they acted the same way in the present day! A prime example, could you imagine what would happen if a car was exploding upon rear impact and the company knew about the flaw? And they did an analysis that determined it would be cheaper to pay off the lawsuits of the people that died in the fires than to recall and fix the cars??? It happened at Ford with the Pinto....

    I'm fairly certain that you had to be a sociopath or psychopath to be a Big Three Exec back in those days! Anyone with a conscience could never do the job!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • Yeah, I got the Sport with AT and find it more than acquit and for far less outlay. We also have a Sonata SE 2.0T. Really like the twin scroll turbine with very little lag. Still find it hunts and pecks around 35 mph. Not sure if it's the trans. or the motor. Also have had some issues with it. Really just needed something big enough to be comfortable, engaging to drive (tough in this segment), easy on the eyes and great mileage. So far so good.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    Yeah, I like the Accord Sport with the 18" rims. Almost like a 4 door Prelude! I like my Hyundai/Kia product too, but I was scared of the long term turbo reliability. The 2.4 in mine is more than adequate for me as well. I do wish I had 18" rims for the look, but with 3 kids in grade/middle school my 17" will have to do!!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • serenity185serenity185 Posts: 22
    Yeah, the results of Edmund's comparison test of the Accord, Altima, and 6 surprised me as well. The Altima hasn't fared very well in most other comparison tests, so I expected it to be a distant third here.

    It's not without its virtues, though. In contrast to a lot of recently redesigned cars, the Altima seems to be veering more toward comfort than handling. The outdated 4 cylinder and CVT issues I've read with the 2013s is enough to keep me away from one, though.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    "Outdated" as it is, it's still quick and got the best fuel economy of the bunch in the test. 182hp and 27/38 isn't bad at all. I like that they've made strides in making the Altima lighter than its competitors. Save weight, and a whole host of problems can be alleviated.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,043
    I don't think it's outdated. I just found the Accord engine to be much quieter. The Altima is a great car and we had a hard time choosing between it and the Accord. Oddly, though the Altima is lighter, it felt like the bigger, less agile car when we drove it. Both of them light years better than the Camry hybrid though, which truly felt like a boat in comparison. I was really disappointed in the Camry; because of the fuel economy I wanted to like it.
    '14 Buick Encore
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I agree. Furthermore, DI has more expensive components to service and repair. I remember back when individual fuel injectors were starting to replace throttle body fuel injection. It took years and years before the IFI surpassed the fuel economy of TBI. Personally, I'm not all that enamored with DI as long as we are forced to make it burn 10% ethanol. Plus, it may offer impressive hp and torque but if you tap too heavily into that, it throws any fuel economy potential out the window. I see this theme all the time and most recently by cski right here on this board.

    I am a bit amazed that Nissan has managed to make their 2.5 as strong a performer as it is and get the better FE. Certainly less car weight helps, but it takes more than 150 lbs or whatever the difference is.

    One drawback to reduced weight though...depending on how they managed it, is crash protection measures. Some of Accord's extra weight could be attributed to that very thing, since apparently it has performed well in that regard.

    I still can't quite comprehend how the Altima does as well as it does if the transmission is so quick to allow the engine to spool to 5000 rpm on such a regular basis. That seems to be the most common theme when reading about it no matter the source. I can't help but think that if someone's usual style is not being light-footed, and if they liked all three cars relatively equally, they'd be best to go with the Mazda and its conventional 6 speed auto in order to extract the best FE potential.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,161
    edited May 2013
    Regarding the CVT in the Altima. I rented an 2012 Altima(not rated as high mpg as the 2013) to make a trip from Chicago to Texas and back last year. It got about 34mpg with 97% expressway driving between 70-75mph. While I didn't really care all that much for the CVT, I think it was more of being "used to" a standard auto tran versus the CVT which performed fine. I did appreciate the low RPM at cruising from a noise/vibration viewpoint. I drive fairly aggressively but very rarely race others at stoplights etc and am usually pretty soft on the pedal unless I'm in a hurry. The only time I had an issue with this 5000k rpm thing was when I really floored it once. It actually shocked me in thinking that I had it in neutral or something as I immediately let off on the gas. The car really hadn't even took off yet to any degree before I let off on it.

    So my point is, I think if you drive it easy or even with a slightly heavy foot you don't experience this. But if you floor it a lot it would be something that you would really have to get used to and I'm sure would affect MPG greatly.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Interesting. Good to get some first hand input. I had gotten the impression that it has been too easy to see the high revs when just being a bit aggressive in day to day city life. My impression was derived both by everything I have read in the past year or so, and the 09 I demo'd (and a 2010 Outback). I have a feeling that with my driving style it would probably get pretty good mpg, because I was impressed with how it would work with you at managing a cruise with very low revs, but only on very level ground and only if you were content to be quite passive with it. If you weren't, it was quick to spool up and you could see the onboard computer showing a lot of fuel used during those transitions.

    I had the same opinion with a new 2011 Outback Wagon (with CVT) only it sniffed out grades even easier :( doubt due in part to the extra parasitic drivetrain losses that AWD imposes. Plus I drove it in the winter vs a summer drive in the Altima.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    "The Altima is a great car and we had a hard time choosing between it and the Accord. Oddly, though the Altima is lighter, it felt like the bigger, less agile car when we drove it."

    Car & Driver said the same thing. They said the Accord felt like it was made of "Lightweightium", and that was part of the Honda magic. It feels bigger inside and smaller outside. (Like the TARDIS) Lol.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,411
    Thanks to TSX69 at for these numbers:

    Accord 33,538
    Camry 31,710
    Fusion 26,722
    Altima 21,991
    Malibu 21,734
    Sonata 16,077
    Optima 14,678
    Legacy 3,286
    6 2,933
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,411
    edited May 2013
    For the second month in a row the Camry was #2. Is the mediocre Camry finally crumbling? Fusion has fallen a bit because the Ford factory in Mexico where they are made can't put em together fast enough. The Altima's plunge seems puzzling (it was #1 just last month!), but might possibly be because Nissan had a huge sale to rental car companies in March?? Sonata and Optima seem solid, and the Malibu is also holding its own. In terms of the race for #1, it does seem possible that either the Altima or Accord might get the crown. I'll believe it when I see it, however, as I think Toyota is going to put cash on the hood in a huge way any day now. The Camry may be so-so as a car, but for many people if it costs $2000+ less than most of its competitors it's a good enough to buy like hotcakes. Still, the race is on, and Camry is facing real competition for the first time in years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    So, Passat didn't even make the top 9??

    Sonata + Optima almost matching Camry in sales... whodathunkit.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,411
    Maybe VW reported their numbers late? The Passat is in their somewhere, probably at about the 10,000 a month level.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    Here are some pics of the 2014 Sonata. Hyundai really did good work on the new interior...though it's a bit too grey. The exterior looks great too, especially the new front end. The car is shown in top level trim, complete with 20" rims, LED headlights and fogs, dual exhaust, and blackout roof with an electro-chromatic self darkening sunroof.

    I can only wonder how the bread and butter GLS will look as the "$199 a month" volume sales leader.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,411
    Not much change at all to my eyes, but maybe I'm missing something and/or the pix are too small.

    The 2013 Accord seems like a radical redo compared to this warmed over "new" model.

    I imagine it will sell fine, but....Surely that can't be an all-new car.

    Maybe it's just a refresh of the current model?
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    edited May 2013
    Sorry, thought I put refresh in there. It is not an all new car.

    The fog light design is new, the interior has upgraded materials, the taillights are now wrap-around LED's, and dual exhaust is added to more models, rims are new design. Subtle changes, but changes indeed.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    I agree. The photo car is the same color as my wife's 2013 Sonata, and without looking VERY carefully I can't see any change from the 2013 model (except her car is a GLS, so there's slight exterior diffs just because of that). And the interior of the photo car is a bit different, but again it's a loaded model so I can't tell how it will translate to the GLS.

    I expected more of an upgrade for a mid-gen refresh. But frankly, the styling wasn't any issue for me. It would be great if in the mid-gen refresh Hyundai addresses all the little glitches that some folks have had with their Sonatas, e.g. steering and smartphone pairing. Maybe add a power passenger seat (and maybe a standard manual height adjuster) option too, as some folks think the passenger seat is too low. My wife's Sonata has been flawless, but it's a tough market so some improvements are needed to keep pace.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    edited May 2013
    Hey backy....I see you have 10+ inches of snow up there. How does your wife's Sonata GLS hold up with all the harsh weather in Minnesota? I mean with all the salt and scraping and corrosion. My folks were Buffalo natives and I was shocked at how bad cars rust there. Sorry you are still getting snow here in May!!!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    On my Optima:

    1) Steering wheel controls. I can do almost everything without my hand leaving the wheel, or taking my eyes off the road.

    2) Comfortable seats

    3) Smooth powertrain operation.

    Least favorite:

    1) Passenger seat too Low and has no height adjustment
    2) Hard to see out of. Needs rear view camera as standard equipment.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Too early to tell how the Sonata will hold up through many winters. Really appreciated the seat heaters this winter, though! But my 10-year-old Elantra has been through 10 Minnesota winters and has held up great, just a dime-sized paint bubbling near the rear license plate. The important thing is to get the salt off the car. So I use the card I got from the dealer which provides $5 "works" touch-free washes at a place a mile away. And I can use that on all my cars. :)

    Fortunately, we didn't get the 10+ inches of snow some other parts of Minnesota got yesterday, everything we got melted on contact.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    edited May 2013
    My neighbor has a 2003 Elanra GLS. With 170k it has needed only tires, brake rotors & pads, and oil. A good little car.

    When you said your Elanra has been holding up well after 10 Minnesota winters, I looked up the Edmunds review, and found ANOTHER HYUNDAI "MISSTATEMENT". It seems that they rated the 2.0 liter engine at 140 hp, when it really only makes 135.

    Not good. How do I trust a car's integrity, MPG, and Specs when the manufacturer is caught lying about them?

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    OMG, that was eons ago. It affected my 2001 Elantra (not my 2004, which I still own and is rated at 138 hp), and I got a prepaid debit card from Hyundai as compensation. Frankly, it was not an issue for me, as I didn't buy the car thinking, "If it doesn't have 140 hp, forget it!" At the time, even 135 hp was more than most everything else in the class.

    Other automakers have misstated hp ratings also. Might want to keep track on a spreadsheet or something like that so you know which cars not to buy in the future. ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    How do I trust a car's integrity, MPG, and Specs when the manufacturer is caught lying about them?

    I guess Honda and Toyota aren't to be trusted either, if you use that logic.

    My aunt bought a 2005 Odyssey with 255hp, only to have it re-rated at 244. The 2005 Avalon with 280hp? How about 268.
    That 3.3L 225hp Camry SE? It was re-rated at 210.
    The $50,000 Acura RL had 300hp, right? No, re-rated to 290.

    The SAE changed guidelines for rating in 2005. It affected most every manufacturer.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,445
    edited May 2013
    I meant no offense. I drive a Hyundai/Kia product too. I just want to get what I paid for, and I am aware that other manufacturers fudge the numbers as well, and not just car companies. The Hyundai MPG scandal left a lot of owners with a bad taste in their mouth, including me...makes you wonder how many other features and specs are overstated.

    I tried to get over 30 mpg highway yesterday, ECO button on, A/C off, and I mustered up all the patience of a Buddhist monk and kept the speed at 60 mph.

    What did I get? 26.9 MPG. No traffic, no stops, no passing, no sudden throttle inputs, and I coasted in neutral on all downhill grades.
    I am going on vacation next month with an 850 mile round trip, so maybe longer, flatter roads will make a difference.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Wow 26.9 stinks for 60 mpg steady speed (my Sienna minivan does better). Should be higher than that. Consumer Reports got it at 39 mpg going a steady 65 mph. It is behind the Accord, Camry, Altima and Mazda6 (which get between 40 and 44 on the same test), but it should still get mid to upper 30's with no problem.

    Was there a headwind? Tires inflated properly? Was the road surface coarse? Was the road wet? Looks like you were in a hilly area - try it on level ground. You should be over 40 mpg at 60 mph.

    If nothing works, I would try renting a Sonata and seeing how that one does. If it does much better you will know there is something wrong with your car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Do you have the 2.4L or the turbo? Recently on a 180 mile round trip with some city driving, but most at 65-67 mph on cruise, I got 36.5 mpg with my wife's 2013 Sonata. And got 38.5 mpg on the all-highway trip to the destination. That was at mid-30s for temps, so not ideal weather but not too bad.

    I have no idea how you could get only 26.9 mpg on a new Optima at a steady 60 mph with no stops. My only conclusion is there must be something terribly wrong with your car. I can get mid-20s mpg IN TOWN, in winter, on my wife's Sonata.
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