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Midsize Sedans 2.0

patpat Posts: 10,421
We know that the midsize sedans topic has been greatly missed and we would like to try again. Let's see if we can start off with some ground rules so that it is abundantly clear what this topic is about. Well, duh, it's about midsize sedans. But here is what it is not about:

manufacturers issues
manufacturer vs. manufacturer
how stupid another member is because he/she doesn't agree with you
With that said, please park the anger, belittling, cynical, disparaging, sarcastic, and snide attitudes at the door. We're all friendly types in the real-world. (At least, I hope so!) Therefore, it shouldn't be too difficult to maintain a congenial atmosphere here, right? Of course, right.

Just keep in mind that those who cannot refrain from including personal insinuations and insults will be escorted to the door and allowed only to observe through the window.

So welcome everyone - let's go! :)
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Comments

  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Hi Pat:

    You forgot the Chrysler Sebring :)
  • exshomanexshoman Posts: 109
    I'm sure some folks would appreciate having the Malibu included as well.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    You can try to revive this topic but without being able to discuss (however heated the discussion gets..or not) manufacturer verses manufacturer or model verses model (as in making comparisons) or issues with a specific manufacturer there is little to talk about. I do agree about issues with other members/posters however in spite of being guilty of doing just that.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Model vs. model is exactly what we're here for! Manufacturer vs. manufacturer belongs elsewhere as I've noted a number of times. There were many times we were turning the previous discussion into conversations that were/are already occurring in Auto News and they were happening to the exclusion of the vehicles themselves. That's what we need to avoid this time around.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    The Altima is my favorite of the bunch. It is amongst the fastest and best handling of the group, is priced well, and has all the gadgets. The 2007 model is the best looker of the bunch, IMO.

    My second choice is the Ford Fusion. The things I don't like about it is the lack of punch, and it is gadget-free compared to the Altima. It is still fun to drive and is very nice looking inside and out, though.

    I hate the Camry's interior, and the Accord's seats. The Camry also feels a lot slower than its HP rating suggests, and the Nissan's motor wails on the Accord's whiny V6. Both Camry and Accord are kind of expensive for what you get.

    The Aura looks neat, but I've never driven one so I can't comment.

    The Mazda needs to be replaced. Not a bad car, but generationally it feels like a 2002 car and not 2007.

    I'll take the host's advice and spare any comments on the Hyundai and Kia. ;)
  • mike91326mike91326 SoCalPosts: 245
    What do you think of the CVT in the Altima? I've heard some people say that it feels slow off the line even though it's not.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Buick LaCrosse
    Passat(Audi A6 in non-lux trim)
    Volvo S40(not really a luxury car, either, and not sporty like the S60)
    Jeep Compass(hard to tell if it's a car or a SUV wanna-be)

    Plus a few others, like the RX-8 and such that are technically sedans(a few two door sedans and hatchbacks would also qualify, IMO, if it's the only way they come)

    P.S. the CVT in the Altima has to be driven like a motorcycle. You need to floor the pedal until you reach the speed you want and ease off. Very binary behavior - and the opposite of a normal transmission. If you ease into it progressively harder, like you are used to, it accelerates like your grandmother.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I have actually driven the CVT, and honestly it felt faster "seat of my pants" than any other car in this list did (of the ones I've driven). I didn't even notice the lack of shifting, I was having so much fun driving it. :)

    My daily driver is an '03 Maxima, and the '07 Altima does feel faster than the Max, though not by a ridiculous amount. It's pretty clear to me that the new Altima is the true successor to my car, and not the "redesigned" '04 and up Maximas.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I wouldn't consider the RX-8, G35 coupe, or Saturn ION coupe to be midsized, no matter how many doors they have. I don't think the S40 is midsized either, being the same size as a Mazda3 or Focus.

    I think since "sedans" is in the title, the Compass (which is too small to be midsized anyway), wagons shouldn't count, gloried as a wanna-be SUV or not.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    My daily driver is an '03 Maxima, and the '07 Altima does feel faster than the Max, though not by a ridiculous amount. It's pretty clear to me that the new Altima is the true successor to my car, and not the "redesigned" '04 and up Maximas.

    Its interesting how that happens. There is no real successor to the Contour, and I think the Mazda6 (V6/MTX) is the closest thing available from Ford.

    I personally found the Altima to be great looking but a bit pricey.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    P.S. the CVT in the Altima has to be driven like a motorcycle. You need to floor the pedal until you reach the speed you want and ease off. Very binary behavior - and the opposite of a normal transmission. If you ease into it progressively harder, like you are used to, it accelerates like your grandmother.

    Heh, maybe that's why I didn't notice a problem with the CVT. Typically, in rush hour traffic you don't really notice it, but when I'm going up an entrance ramp, for example, I will point the Maxima in the direction it needs to go, give it just a bit of gas so I don't spin the tires, and ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. It's a lot like an airplane turning onto a runway for takeoff. That's how I drove the Altima, and the CVT must be a pretty good match for my driving style.

    I see people driving Maximas and Altimas like Buicks, and just shake my head. It's like, why didn't you just save $10k and buy an Impala?? They're four door sports cars, and I have the insurance tab to prove it (despite having zero accidents or tickets in my 15 years of driving).
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Its interesting how that happens. There is no real successor to the Contour, and I think the Mazda6 (V6/MTX) is the closest thing available from Ford.

    I personally found the Altima to be great looking but a bit pricey.


    I really, really like the Fusion. More than the Contour, that's for sure! I just couldn't get over the Fusion's lack of power compared to what I was used to, and could Ford put any more basic of a stereo into that car?? The car drove VERY well, and I really liked the interior/exterior of the thing.

    I suspect that when I go to replace my Maxima in a few years, I will get sticker shock. I got a tremendous deal on it since the redesigned '04s were like 2 weeks out, and the dealer wanted to get rid of the '03s BADLY. The Altimas are much more popular cars, and I'm sure my discount won't be nearly as nice. Then again, maybe I will be able to swing a G35 by the time my Maxima needs replacing. :shades:
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    What do you think of the CVT in the Altima? I've heard some people say that it feels slow off the line even though it's not.

    depends how you drive it. Its computer controlled with 300 or so algorithms progamed into it. It kind of adapts to you. Personaly, I think it's incredible. But, you don't need to "stomp" on the gas to get it to go. durring the break-in period, I found myself having to watch the RPM's so as not to go over the 4000 the owners manual says to stay under. If you were to give it full acceleration, you'd go over 5000 rpm's and hit 60 mph in about 6 or 7 seconds. But, because it's so damn smooth and quiet, it doesn't feel like its moving that fast. But a quick look in the rear view, will show you how fast it's actually going.

    But in addition to that, you get much better acceleration at higher speeds, and it will employ engine braking on it's own when going down a steep incline. It deffinitly takes a couple hundred miles to get used too, but the CVT is undoubtly the future of transmissions. look for everybody to swithch to them in the next 5 years or so. The cvt will do to automatic transmissions what fuel injection did to carburators.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,694
    The LaCrosse is a step up from the mid-sized sedans in this group. The Passat should qualify. The S40 is a compact car, on the Mazda3 platform. The Jeep Compass is a cross-over SUV. You would probably get laughed out of the Jeep dealership if you called it a "mid-sized sedan."

    I agree with other posters that the Malibu should certainly be mentioned in the banner of this discussion, and DC should be represented by the Sebring at least, if not by its Dodge cousin (even though I personally think they are woeful vehicles).
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    Our 2 person business jsut bought it's second Sonata. The '05 is GLS "special value" (an LX without leather or power seat). The '07 is an SE w/XM and floor mats. A couple less features, but a lot more safety features and some additonal goodies.

    My brother drives the '07 and almost everyday remarks about this feature or that, the power, the comfort, gas milage, etc. He says, "Beats the (stuff) out of the '94 Olds 98 all around." Better everything. His nose was down on Sonata unti I made him take one for a test drive.

    Everyone in he mid-sized market should consider Sonata. Sonata has come a long way since it was first introduced, how ever many years ago?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    what started this HP war in family sedans?? and where its going to stop. The Fusion which has the lowest HP/torque ratings in this class still does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds. Not bad for what is supposed to be a "family sedan"?? Bragging rights is what manufacturers are after. My family sedan can do 0-60 in 4.8 seconds.. for me, so what? I would be willing to bet most of us are stuck in traffic that doesn't go much more than 60mph.. I look for value/content when looking at a vehicle. I want more safety, more comfort, more substance for my $$.. Nice to see this room finally open by the way.. ;)
  • I have read one or two comments here about the Aura and they were that the writer hadn't driven one.
    I have had my Aura XR for about a month now. My first GM car since 1972 (Vega Kahmback :cry: )
    I am very impressed with the car in every aspect I buy a car for. I can only compare it here to the Chevy Impala and Malibu. I was within a day or two of buying a Chevy when I read about the 2007 Car of the Year. When I read about the Cadillac 3.6 L V6 producing 252 H-P and 252 Ft/lb of torque I was interested. Then I read it was connected to a 6 speed auto with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. I knew I had to drive one before I bought a chevy.
    One drive and I knew this was a way better car than the Malibu or Impala with either of the Chevy V6's 3.5 or 3.9 L engines. The Chevy's don't have Traction control, Stability control or half as many air bags as the Aura.
    So I was most impressed with the ride, handling, and the Oh My God acceleration. (hold on tight when you punch the 3.6 as the torque-steer will just about yank the steering wheel out of your hands.

    Ok! I lied, this was a nickels worth :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Is the horsepower of todays cars that different than the massive V8 horsepower wars of 30-45 years ago, really? I mean, if cars can have 260+ horsepower and have 2008 revised fuel economy estimates in the mid 20s combined like the Camry does, where is the problem? Bring on the power if the economy comes with it, I say. Apparently, power matters to some people, or they wouldn't get the V6 models. Personally, I drive the I4, since economy matters to me.

    It has more safety content than the Ford you chose, interestingly. You value different things however, so the Ford was right for you obviously.

    Here is a rundown of 2007 model vehicles with the new 2008 EPA estimates, for everyone's reference (all automatics):

    Chevy Malibu 2.2L I4 - 21/31
    Chevy Malibu 3.5L V6 - 19/30
    Chevy Malibu 3.9L V6 - 16/23

    Ford Fusion 2.3L I4 - 20/29
    Ford Fusion 3.0L V6 - 18/26

    Honda Accord 2.4L I4 - 21/31
    Honda Accord 3.0L V6 - 18/26

    Hyundai Sonata 2.4L I4 - 21/30
    Hyundai Sonata 3.3L V6 - 18/27

    Kia Optima 2.4L I4 - 21/31
    Kia Optima 2.7L V6 - 20/28

    Mazda 6 2.3L I4 - 21/28
    Mazda 6 3.0L V6 - 17/25

    Mitsubishi Galant 2.4L I4 - 20/27
    Mitsubishi Galant 3.8L V6 - 16/25

    Nissan Altima 2.5L I4 - 23/31
    Nissan Altima 3.5L V6 - 20/26

    Toyota Camry 2.4L I4 - 21/30
    Toyota Camry 3.5L V6 - 19/28

    I left out some models (this took awhile!) but for more info, check out fueleconomy.gov
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    SO cool, Post number 20 in room 2.0!! The last room had soo many posts and problems!! GREAT JOB PAT!

    But back on topic, Y is it that the ford fusion and mazda 6 use many of the same parts and the same engine blocks but their MPG isn't the same? Maybe aerodynamics?

    I hope the next 6(26) gets the 3.5lv6, 6speed auto, and AWD across the line. I also hope the fusion gets these changes. Hopefully, Ford is working on better 4cyl engines so the Fusion can be higer in the MPG ranks! or Diesels... ;)

    While somewhat on the subject of MPG, i cant wait until VW puts the new 2l diesel engine in the passat!! I'm really getting into this diesel thing!

    -Cj :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Y is it that the ford fusion and mazda 6 use many of the same parts and the same engine blocks but their MPG isn't the same? Maybe aerodynamics?

    It could be that (though it would seem to me the Mazda6 would then get the better rating).

    Rounding may exaggerate differences. If two cars are measured at 29.4 and 29.6 mpg, one gets a rating of 29 and the other 30.

    I think I have read that there are some differences in the tuning of the engines and maybe in the heads, also.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I hope the next 6(26) gets the 3.5lv6, 6speed auto, and AWD across the line.

    Oh I definitely hope not. The bigger V6 is great, but its one of the few midsizers with a manual transmission (although a 6 speed manual like the MazdaSpeed6 would be fine with me) and not everyone wants or needs the weight and fuel economy penalty associated with AWD.

    If you are looking for a powerful AWD midsized sedan, I would look at a Legacy GT.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,694
    I saw a report in my local paper yesterday that noted a Motor Trend story (not yet on their web site) about the new Mazda6. It said the styling would be daring, with the roof swept back behind the driver for a sleek look even if it takes away rear head room. Looking around the web, there is general consensus that tne new 6 will be considerably bigger (for more rear leg room) and more powerful than the current model, with the Ford 3.5L V6. I would like to see it get an economical I4 with decent power and a 6-speed stick in the low-end trim line.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    It said the styling would be daring, with the roof swept back behind the driver for a sleek look even if it takes away rear head room. Looking around the web, there is general consensus that tne new 6 will be considerably bigger (for more rear leg room)

    Maybe I am not understanding this, but it doesn't sound right. Tall people sitting in the back seat will have more leg room, and less head room. I guess they will have to slouch a lot huh? :confuse:
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I am struggling with the trend to make everything bigger. The Civic is about the same size as my old Accord (although heavier), the Accord is bigger than the 80s Crown Vics. I don't need a mile between the front and back seat, I just need room for a carseat or 2, and that is only occasionally.
    Even BMW did it, now they are talking about a 1-series that will be about as big as an E30.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I have been driving Accords for 16 years now. 12 years with the first one, and 4 years (with many more to come) on the second. The Accord, despite being a 5 year old design, competes or beats cars that are completely new designs. Some competitors have more hp, and some even have better fuel economy, but the Accord's total package is hard to beat. The attention to detail, keeps the Accord at the top of the heap. Tight build quality, great ergonomics, smooth ride, confident handling, smooth drivetrains, and good power in I4 or V6 versions add up to a car that does everything very well. If you are looking to buy a midsize sedan, I highly recommend the Accord. I have to warn you that this car could spoil you, and you will not be able to consider another brand again. :D
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    the Accord is bigger than the 80s Crown Vics.

    Maybe inside, yeah. At 6'4", my 2006 Accord is the smallest/most efficient new car I could comfortably drive. I hope they keep the efficiency and grow the interior room, personally. The Civic does have similar room inside with my 1996 Accord. Weighs about the same too (2,800 lbs or so).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,694
    I guess we'll have to see the new Mazda6 to see what the rear seat accomodations are like, but what I'd expect is that, if they use a swept-back roofline but a longer wheelbase, they could mount the rear seat low (ala Civic or Prius) and still have enough head room--albeit maybe not class-leading headroom.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    the Accord is bigger than the 80s Crown Vics.

    In what way?

    Not in Passenger Volume:

    2007 Accord = 103 ft3
    1985 Crown Vic = 111 ft3

    But, yes these mid size cars are big enough, already.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I am struggling with the trend to make everything bigger.

    I think this is an American thing. We seem to be living longer, and growing larger. I am a few inches taller, and a few pounds heavier than my father. Most of my friends seem to be larger than their parents too. If you are one of us, you appreciate the interior space. If you don't feel the need for more space, I still don't see the problem. If you would be content will the space of say a 96 Accord, you can get that from the current Civic. The 96 Altima is probably about the same size as the current Sentra. As we Americans get larger and larger, our cars are growing with us.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    not always. the 07 altima is a few inches smaller than the 06. But, it's just a simple matter of affluence. bigger, in some cases, is better. a larger car offers more room and hence, more comfort. especially for people with a family. As people become wealthier, the larger and more expensive cars become affordable for them. Most people tend to buy as much car as they can afford.
    It was one of the primary reasons I bought my altima. The wife and kids fit in it better than the 4 door civic she drives. I still drive my 2 door coupe to and from work because of the better MPG, but for the family car, I wanted bigger.
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