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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    You can count on it. Anyone know if mid-size sedans cost less to insure?

    My insurance went up $48 per year when I traded my Mazda6 S in for the Mustang GT. Howver, I'm not 20 years old like jeffyscott's son either. ;)
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The New Malibu is the most promising of all the cars built off that chassis. What GM needs though is more NEW - UNIQUE cars again. Move ahead of the bunch of other stuff in the market place and get that old we are Body by Fisher top notch in style thing going again. I am thinking a good platform for this is the Aussie cars coming to Pontiac, then Chevy. The New Malibu is a good enough entry, but a bit like an " oh yeah, we can do that too " car. The Aura XE was a mistake, they all should have been the upscale XR and price at $21,999 in the beginning.
    Malibu should be the price leader with the i4, then have the 3.6 V6 for say that $21,999 price tag, at the very most.
    Loren
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    I thought it would be interesting to post a video of my Accord accelerating from 5 to 80 MPH. This way everyone can hear what it sounds like when it sings its song, sort of share in the experience. We've certainly done enough talking about acceleration, engine noise, etc... now watch the video.

    This was filmed at a rest stop. I started rolling at 5 MPH in the truck lane which merges with the car lane that becomes the onramp. You can see a white Expedition pass by in the car lane a few seconds before I begin my run. Before even reaching the end of the ramp, I've caught the Expedition and have to merge all the way over into the fast lane on the freeway, coming up on a car which is going 80 MPH. There was plenty of lane left. It certainly was fun.

    LINK TO VIDEO ON CARSPACE

    The car feels much faster than the spec sheet suggests. For all the people who say you need a V6 to make merging/passing "safe" or that 4-cylinders can't perform, you've got to try a Honda!

    Anybody else want to post a video of what their car sounds like at full throttle? Mazda6, Altima, Aura... what is the merging experience like?
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    There are two V6s available in the Aura. One is a new design, I believe, and one is an older engine. Which is which?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Just wonder if anyone bought or is planning to buy model X instead of model Y specifically because of a long warranty.

    No. I can't drive a warranty. ;) But if multiple cars met my needs in every other respect, then I'd use factors like warranty along with price, dealer convenience etc. to make the final choice. Besides, one can always buy an extended warranty if it's important. So in a way the warranty question becomes a price question.

    Besides the Galant, Optima, and Sonata with long warranties, the Verona has a 7-year, 100k transferrable powertrain warranty. And the Elantra (and I think the Spectra also?) has mid-sized room and the long warranty also.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Easy to remember: the cheapest Aura model has the older design engine.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Sales IN TOTAL up 41% and the RETAIL sales are up 27%, so the rest is made up of additional sales to fleet. Trust me, 53.9% or almost 54% going to fleet explains a good portion of the increase and how the overall sales numbers look good when compared to other cars. That is way high, not a good portion for fleet. They gotta do what they gotta do, but I hope the resale values maintain or go up so they do not effect the RWD Aussie Impala when it is up for sale.
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    XE has the 3.5 OHV and a four speed transmission.
    XR has the 3.6 DOHC and a six speed transmission. Aluminum alloy 18" wheels, stability control, and let's just say at the end of the day, a better buy than is the XE with the plastic hub caps and cheaper wheels, and old tranny and well, just plain cheaper version of the XR. The XE is not bad, it just is not a great deal. The XR, if found for that $1,750 off discount and if they give you a good trade-in, is not so bad a deal when compared to all the competition. Every car has one or two things better or worse than the next when you start doing all the research and test drives. As a whole the Aura is good - the Accord is good IMHO. The Fusion / Milan is pretty good. Your values may vary.
    I would expect resale on the Aura to be lower than an Accord. And while they thought the hot seller to be the XE, more people seem to like the XR than GM had planned. Considering the components in total and performance as a whole, the XR beats out the XE. Not sure why they have this car, since a less expensive New Malibu with an i4 is on the way.
    Loren
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I'm definitely worried about Nissan
    Nissan has purportedly the PROFITABLE car lines of all the manufactuerers (they do a real good job with platform/drivetrain sharing), the Altima is a solid no. 3 in this class in terms of sales (almost matching the Accord), and also rates very very well in terms of residual values, besting the Accord. And they have perhaps the guy running the outfit available. CR has the Altima as its top rated midsize (tied with the Accord) What's to worry?
    While I'll agree that earlier Altimas did not have interiors up to the same quality as Camcords, the new model is much much better. I believe they may have some difficulty however with public acceptance of the fuel efficient CVT - it should either be a big hit or a big flop.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I find it puzzling to be " definitely worried about Nissan" based on the new Altima.

    Although I can't think of a truly scientific way to judge the success or appeal of a vehicle based on knowledge that is available in the public arena, here's my best attempt:

    -CYTD sales of the Altima are up 18.4%
    -Fleet sales (most recent available, 6 mo. 09/06 - 02/07) of the NEW Altima are 16.5%
    -According to the July 9 Auto News, Factory to Dealer and Factory to Consumer incentives were minimal, and much lower than those for the ’06 Altima at this time last year

    So, even assuming that every single one of the 2006 went to a consumer and not fleet (obviously not the case), sales are STILL up vs. the '06, and consumers are paying HIGHER prices.

    Now consider:
    -CYTD through June, Accord sales are up
    -CYID through June, Camry sales are up

    This shows that while these models still dominate, it’s not like – in particular re: the Accord – this is a momentary spike in Altima sales due to the lack of appeal from other models. If anything, the fact that the Altima can grow share while the Honda piles on factory to dealer Accord incentives to move inventory, is a sign of strength, in my opinion.

    Finally:
    - Consumer Reports recently put the Altima (4 and V6) at or near the top of their class. While *I know* that everyone on this board is a far better consumer (so spare me the flaming) and considers a million and one things before purchase, other, less enthusiast-like consumers will see that report, and that’s all they need to know.
    - The Altima has introduced a coupe for 2008, broadening the appeal to consumers by offering more model variations
    - The Altima now offers a hybrid, vs. last generation
    - For those who care about safety, ABS is now standard, which I think was one of the most detrimental aspects of the more basic Altimas.

    So, based on all of this, where does the "worry" come from?

    Certainly while I’m not against the continual improving of product, I simply think that the new Altima, to date, is quite successful, and shrewdly positioned for the future – including the new Accord, Malibu, 6, et al.

    [If any model launch should give Nissan pause, it’s the Sentra, and potentially the Versa’s role in that dramatic sales plummet]
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    less enthusiast-like consumers will see that report, and that’s all they need to know.
    right on the mark here - CR likely the single most influential opinion on any car - whether it deserves to be, or whether we 'enthusiasts' happen to agree with their particular priorities is not the point, it remains a Bible of sorts for many.
    The strange part of this - CR was not all that excited about the new Camry except for the Hybrid (of course) but it hasn't seemed to hurt sales - the majority of which are 4 banger LEs.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't see this as strange at all. Toyota produces a reliable sedan that appeals to the masses, they understand their target market very well. I applaud them for that.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    Jeez - I hope not. I put 15,300 miles on a car in 9 months easy, and would expect zero issues in that time frame also, be it a Honda or a Ford.

    Unfortunately, I've owned a Chrysler conceived Dodge vehicle built in 1994 (95 model) and it required serveral visits in the first 15,000 miles for warranty issues.

    I'd expect zero to one issues as well, but we can't always get what we expect (unless your buying Toyota's and Honda's :) )
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    kd- the question was why - if CRs opinion means so much to the 'average Joe' carbuyer - are more buyers not looking past the Camry? Half a million Camrys is a bunch of cars even relative to Honda and Nissan volumes, never mind all the 'also rans'. Not denying Camry's well justified reputation and/or the position it has developed in the midsize sedan market at all.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    FWIW, the Camry still finishes VERY highly in CR's rating scheme. It's just that the Altima is at the TOP.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,688
    And we all know that absolutely nothing has changed in the american automotive industry since 1994. :confuse:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    As does, of course, the Accord, despite being 4 years young. But it does seem that the American carbuyer seems to value that Toyota trademark smooth/quiet/soft ride more than what CR does.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    "And we all know that absolutely nothing has changed in the american automotive industry since 1994. :confuse: "

    Yeah, in 2004 it was my Ford...
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    If the Ford Fusion -- or any other mid-size sedan for that matter -- received the highest awards for all categories from all testers and went from 0-60 in 6 seconds flat, delivered 40 mpg in city driving, etc., etc. it still wouldn't create much of a dent in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sales, IMHO.

    Why? Because Camry and Accord have such a fine track record that they get an enormous amount of repeat business from satisfied owners.

    At this point, FoMoCo, GM, Chrysler would have to build the best mid-size sedan for 10 years running before pulling even with the Camry and Accord. Their lead is almost insurmountable. Of course, Toyota and Honda know this and continue to improve their products as well.

    I believe our 2007 SEL AWD Fusion is every bit as good as a Camry or Accord (better in some respects) but obviously the car-buying public sees things differently.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    Well, if you call declining sales volume a change, then yes, the American Automotive industry has changed since 1994. Far less market share.

    :P
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    If the Ford Fusion -- or any other mid-size sedan for that matter -- received the highest awards for all categories from all testers and went from 0-60 in 6 seconds flat, delivered 40 mpg in city driving, etc., etc. it still wouldn't create much of a dent in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sales, IMHO.

    However, it would make a dent, or more than a dent, more like a 360, if they backed the new "improved and better car" with a superb warranty, but not only that, a graduated penalty payment plan for when your car does (if it does) break down.

    See..... people buy Camry's and Accord's because they know they won't break down. Reliability is one of the main selling points of the Camcords. If you put in a warranty for 10 years and 100K, plus you say we'll pay you if you need to use it, and even more if you have to use it a lot, then you'll steal sales away from Toyota and Honda immediately.

    In fact, you'll take an insurmountable lead against their seemingly insurmountable lead. Of course, this requires you to put out a better car, at the same or less cost, will all the warranty and penalty payment plan perks.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Actually, the Passat tops CR's family car ratings for 4 cylinder cars and the Accord, Passat, and Altima are tied for 1st for V6s. Interestingly, for the 4s the Camry Hybrid, at $30,667 the most expensive 4 cylinder car on CR's list, is ranked 3rd, but the Optima tied the non-hybrid Camry. And on both lists, the five-year-old Accord topped the non-hybrid Camry. So it'll be interesting to see how the new Accord rates.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,688
    No, people buy Camcords because they have a history of satisfied ownership which includes much better than average reliability. Boz is right - a satisfied Camcord owner isn't likely to look elsewhere unless they have a bad experience. It will take years, maybe decades to win over any significant percentage of those buyers unless the Camcords continue to have problems like the engine sludge and transmission problems or the styling, features or pricing get way out of line.

    Ford's best hope is to continue to keep quality high and to continue to make improvements every 3-4 years so that a Fusion owner looking for something new has a new model to consider. If the 2010 model looks just like the 2006 model then current customers will look elsewhere for something new. This is where the Camcords have succeeded the last 20 years. And that's why the 2009 Fusion refresh is so critical.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The answer is simple, most buyers use CR as reference rather than gospel. At least it's that way for me. You also can never really assume you know how the average "JOE" thinks. If the "Average Joe" thought CR was gospel, than sales in this category would be relative to CRs ranking, which we know it's not.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Passat tops the rankings for 4 cylinders by one point, indeed, but IMO is out of contention because of its abysmal reliability rating (reference the black dot). Pending a strong showing by the Altima (and it has never in its history fallen below 'Average' by CR), it will be the highest rated 4 cyl. recommended model..... until the likes of the new Accord, Malibu, et al. are tested. And even if the Altima V6 is TIED at the top (which it is), it is still at the TOP....

    FWIW, the Camry Hybrid is now also available for $25,800, if you can forgo alloys, JBL/6CD, electrochromatic rearview, and the leather, moonroof, and NAV options of the CR test vehicle.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    This is where the Camcords have succeeded the last 20 years. And that's why the 2009 Fusion refresh is so critical.

    I couldn't agree more Allen. The Fusion is a terrific mid-size car but it must continue to be just that in order for Ford to make any headway in this market segment.

    Even if someone other than Toyota or Honda could build the "perfect" car it would probably require a decade or more to overcome the lead now held by Camry and Accord.

    It took years for the Toyota engine sludge problem to surface and even longer for it to be resolved. To be sure, those owners who suffered through this ordeal would never buy another Toyota product. Toyota's reluctance to acknowledge the problem is one reason why I would not buy one of this company's cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Weird how the 4-cylinder Passat has an "abysmal" reliability score from CR but the V6 is fine and is Recommended by CR.

    I have a feeling CR will test and report on the new Accord ASAP, since it is so popular, maybe the Malibu also. So the Altima's position as "top-ranked Recommended 4 cylinder family car" could be very short.

    Nearly all (or maybe all?) of the family cars CR tested are available for less than the tested price--almost all for thousands less than the Camry Hybrid's starting price. But an Altima costing $8000 less than the Camry Hybrid out-pointed it. In the V6 group, the Accord was over $4000 less than each of the other two top-ranked cars.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well I had heard of VW's with oil consumption problems, so before considering a Rabbit or Jetta, I thought to ask the salesman what they considered oil consumption under warranty issues. He referred me to the service dept, which confirmed what I had heard that the 8/10 qt. per 1,ooo miles is the limit acceptable. And you break in a VW engine, as in a rather slow break in period, as in these must be old technology engines, IMHO. Too each his own, but I am not interested in these four banger or now five banger engines if they may start consuming oil. Now it is very well possible that broken in correctly, few if any will consume oil. Anyone out there which owned several of these VW's over the years care to chime in? I am going by what you hear off the chat rooms, complaints issued listed on the Net, and just what the warranty considers as excessive. Japan engines use less than a quarter per 5,ooo miles. Not 8/10 qt. every 1,ooo miles.
    Loren
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd expect zero to one issues as well, but we can't always get what we expect (unless your buying Toyota's and Honda's )

    Eh, not true for me. Before my first tank of gas was gone, I had to have my rear-view mirror (the interior one) replaced in my brand new Accord because the mirror glass wasn't attached to the plastic housing properly (causing a very bad vibration in the mirror). Also, the gas flap fit so tightly, it wouldn't always open on the first push of the lever when it was new, and required adjustment. All within 1,000 miles.

    Brand new Honda. Two (very minor) issues. Honda and Toyota are businesses, not heavenly bodies.

    By the way, I absolutely love my 2006 Accord 4 cylinder. I've got 22,800 miles on it now.
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