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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    $15,000 dollars for an XR fully loaded....
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    You sure are a generous sort. LOL
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Keeping the Impala FWD would also be a mistake because Chevy is GM's biggest, most recognized brand in the US with the biggest dealer network so it's cars have to be able to reach every market. So whereever the competition goes, so must Chevy go. Chevy has to be the "all around brand" for GM with a mix of crossover SUVs, Full size SUVs, midsize FWD sedans (since there are no real affordable RWD midsize family sedans today), RWD full size sedans, Trucks, and of course the RWD Camaro. They also need more competitive compacts, and subcompacts.

    Just out of curiosity, if Chevy were to make a CTS for the masses, what exactly would happen to Cadillac & Buick?

    Truth is exterior styling is not all that important to most buyers. If style was important the Mazda6 & Aura would be better sellers, probably allowing the Altima (which is already a graet seller) to outsell the Camcords. If GM can design a soild, nicely styled Malibu, soon offer a two-mode hybrid, the I4/6spd auto combo on all models (not just the LTZ) and keep the 3.6 competitive, eventually offer bluetooh, nav and dual-zone climate control and I think the car will be successful.

    Pontiac should go RWD competely, but focus mainly on Sport

    Buick should continue to appeal to the older crowd.

    Cadillac go RWD/AWD competely (which they plan to do) and focus on Luxury and performance.

    Saturn should continue to be the "Euro" brand, somewhere between mainstream Chevy and Sporty Pontiac.

    That way GM can focus it's money on marketing and improving cars like the Malibu, Aura, G6 and Lacrosse, while keeping them from competiting with each other head to head.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Chevy / GM should start building a car slightly smaller than a CTS, in RWD for the masses. No, not a CTS look alike, but another very modern, very uniquely styled car, which could be sold for under $24K for the masses. It would not effect the CTS or Buick lines all that much. Well not as much as the New Malibu being the demise of the G6 sedan and the Aura XE base, plastic hubcap models. The next Nova should be stylish, RWD and handle well. For those not interested in these qualities, you have all the rest to choose from. And that is ultimately the problem. Aura is a good car? Well yeah, but there is all the rest. If it had a different look and RWD, it would be kickin' some butt as I type this.

    So who should Saab team up with? Is it Pontiac, Saturn or the current parring with Cadillac?
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Have you driven the Aura XR yet? I would value it around $21,999 as a pretty fair value. Sure, a large hit is taken come resale time, but what can you do. I guess if you could get it for say $20K, that would be an equalizer of sort. A fear one may have of owning the XR is that the New Malibu does become wildly popular in the 3.6 model and it sells a thousand or two below the price of the XR Aura. That would hurt. Anyway, Saturn may sell you an Astra for $15,ooo, or maybe not. Anyone know the pricing of the little guy yet?
    Loren
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Aura is a good car? Well yeah, but there is all the rest. If it had a different look and RWD, it would be kickin' some butt as I type this.


    Chrysler has some RWD models, that aren't doing very well. To make a RWD car move, you need V8 power, and with that, you get low mileage. The RWD models with V6 engines are just plain slow. I don't think a RWD car can compete in this segment. Sure, they would sell a few (to people like you) but most people are not hung up on RWD. What is so great about RWD anyway? I don't see the benefit.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The RWD models with V6 engines are just plain slow.

    IIRC, the last test of a Chrysler 300 Touring (with the 3.5L V6) ran 0-60 in 7.3 seconds (in a Car and Driver 6-way comparo of full-size sedans - the 300 placed 3rd of 6). That's not plain slow to me. In fact, it's faster than my Accord, which is plenty peppy.

    What is so great about RWD anyway? I don't see the benefit.

    Bury your right foot in a 2006 Altima 3.5 and you'll suddenly see why FWD has its limits, and RWD has its pluses in the handling department (which is why most sport-sedans are RWD).
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well the Chrysler took off well, but I suppose all those in need of the chop top look, with slab sides have already bought this car. Oh wait, the new Camaro has much the same properties. A V6 with a RWD is not going to be slow. Where did you get that notion from? The Ultimate Driving Machines are all RWD with those inline 6 engines. There are many benifits to RWD. There are some drawbacks too. If New Malibu is to be a FWD on the same platform, then what is the need for yet another car as the Aura? It is the very same car. And it is close to being say a Japan make car. Guess it is hard to explain, but I see a need for some NEW cars if GM is going to get an edge. I applaude Chrysler over the years for trying new ideas on designs. Of course they have to be practical at the same time. I think the new 300 and Charger have too smallish of windows, and perhaps a bit too much bulk look to satisfy enough customers. It did well, but now it may not in the end be well enough. Actually, shape wise, those previous 300M cars were hot looking to me. I little funny in the snout, but mostly a wonderful sporty line. Where is the sporty lines on the new stuff from GM, other than the Solstice and Sky?

    And there may come a day when ANY design without that chop top and high belt line, flat sided car would be welcomed. My goodness, even the old Nova would be more easy to live with. Nowadays one may dislocate an arm simply trying to hand an elbow out the window. And who loves this claustrophobic feel anyway. Raise the roof and lower the doors, please!

    As for how many people prefer the RWD to FWD, it is hard to say. I do think the knowledge about driving, the love of driving and cars, seems to be on the wane. Perhaps a plain old boxy SUV is more than enough style, and FWD vs RWD means nothing. Many can not drive RWD vehicles, which would explain many roll over accidents in my area. These are said to be rare, yet in my area I can listen to the scanner or read off the Net all the accidents as they occur in my CHP area. A LOT of roll over accidents. And on those rare days of rain, a lot of accidents. Maybe to nanny the new generation of drivers, they do need to say with FWD or should I say make more cars FWD or put all the electronic devices on all those RWD cars to keep them upright. Trust me, RWD drives well when the driver drives well.
    Loren about RWD L I N K and L I N K 2
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    As I stated earlier, it won't happen because Chevy does not need a RWD Midsize family car for the "masses" in it's lineup...it needs a FWD family sedan like everyone else is offering. What if Chevy were to produce the particular vehicle that you speak of in VOLUME and it just happened to be a poor seller?

    GM ends up back at Square One.

    In a perfect world, perhaps we'd still have RWD Nova's, BelAir's etc...but the world ain't perfect. And by way of sales, it seems pretty clear that in the midsize sedan world, the majority prefer FWD, especially up north where the notion is that FWD and AWD are better for wintry traction (Whether true or not)

    GM simply cannot afford to take big risks with the Malibu. The Impala is diffentl the 300/Magnum/Charger revived a market that saw a need for RWD Big family sedans.

    Yet after all this time, no company so far has offerd a midsize RWD family sedan in this country? Why? Probably because the perception of the Accord and Camry have pushed people away from that idea. Many of today's buyers have a lack of trust for GM's products, what makes you think buidling a RWD Sporty Nova would make them more inclined to buy it over say the FWD, already established Chevy Malibu? Sure GM would be the only car in that market, but let's face it, GM hasn't built up enough new recognition to be reviving market segments (exception the Camaro) I don't see it happening. You want a RWD family sedan? Go to Aussie or wait on the G8 or next G6.

    And as far as the Malibu hurting G6 and Aura sales, the G6 should be up for redesign a year or so after the Malibu is released, making it RWD (since all Pontiacs will be) and the Aura is hurting mainly because GM didn't have the guts to give the car a 4 cylinder engine and allow it to be the true Opel that it should have been. The Aura is obviously "competive" seeing as it has beaten the Camry in two comparison tests and came close behind the Altima in one as well

    The Malibu will be that much better.

    GM can have two capable FWD midsize sedans (maybe a third one in the LaCrosse) if they design and market them right. One can be mainstream, one Euro-sporty and one Ultra-Luxury.

    And for what it's worth few "Uniquely styled" cars are sold in high numbers to the masses...exception Civic.
    Flops include the Maxima, Quest, Aztec, etc. etc.

    Saab shouldn't team up with anybody, the cars should stick to their fundalmental quirky roots and stay true to their heritage. Plain and simple.

    Bottomline..the FWD Malibu ain't going nowhere...but it would be a much better car if GM would outfit it with optional bluetooth, navigation, dual-zone climate control and more options.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    What is so great about RWD anyway?
    advantages with some disadvatages - the 2 main advantages have to do with vehicle weight distribution which can get close to 50-50 on a well thought out (see BMW) RWD sedan (the reason why none of the cars in this group can ever be a true sports sedan is because 60% (or more) of the weight is over the front wheels), the elimination of torque steer (the inevitable consequence of alot of torque channeled thru the same wheels that are doing the steering). On the other side of the coin is the benefits (traction) of having that extra wieght over the drive wheels in a FWD car, and generally better FE simply becsuse FWD cars tend to weigh less overall.
    It has been so long that RWD sedans have been available to us in the 'mass market' classes that I really think that the consumer would have a tough time readjusting to them particulary those drivers that do have to drive on bad roads. Can you say 'sandbags in the trunk'? And, since FE is becoming such an influence on buying decisions these days, I can't imagine the FWD is going anywhere despite the better natural balance (and corresponding handling benefits) of RWD, although in those areas that aren't afflicted too much with snow covered roads (most of the country) buying a RWD car, if available, seems like a good decision to me.
    IMO, Detroit's future is in 'traditional' V8/RWD layouts much like the 300C and gas prices will largely determine how successful they are. Also IMO, Ford/GM/Chrysler's inabilities to build truly competitive and efficient smaller engines (going all the way back to the 'K' cars and the GM 'X' cars) will doom them to second tier status in this particular vehicle type if for no other reason than FE (with power) sells.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So basically the G6 as RWD is OK, but not for the New Malibu. Now we have the best offerings under $25K coming from Pontiac. So this may be the decade for Pontiac? New Malibu, while a good car, is head to head with some stiff competition. Aura, so far is a low selling car.

    I do see your points, however.

    For those in need or prefering FWD in the larger car will have to move up to Buick. Wonder if that is going to work out OK?

    As for uniquely styled, I did not mean ugly. ;)
    Loren
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Bury your right foot in a 2006 Altima 3.5 and you'll suddenly see why FWD has its limits...

    Yes, but the problem is not FWD it is putting these excessively powerful V6 engines in these type of cars.

    But, HP numbers sell so overpowered FWD sedans are built and then most who buy them never even get the engine to 3000 RPM.

    Perhaps the solution is to bury your right foot in the 2.5 and realize that this will accelerate fast enought to meet your needs or, if not, buy something else with RWD or AWD.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Yes, but the problem is not FWD it is putting these excessively powerful V6 engines in these type of cars.
    Excessive being a judgement call? I'll contend to you that a V6 Altima is 'safer' than the same car with a 175hp 4 banger, the Accord V6 safer, the torque steering XR vs. the XE etc. etc. by simply having that extra power to cope with a multitude of real life traffic situations. A number of FWD V8s (Impala SS for example) have the same 'problem' or maybe these cars have too much power (in your judgement), as well?
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    I'll contend to you that a V6 Altima is 'safer' than the same car with a 175hp 4 banger, the Accord V6 safer, the torque steering XR vs. the XE etc. etc. by simply having that extra power to cope with a multitude of real life traffic situations.

    That's got to be "Stop the presses!" front page news: V6s are safer than I4s. I seriously doubt it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    In the case of the Accord, it may well be true. The V6 has ESC standard, and it's not available on the I4s.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    V6s are safer than I4s. I seriously doubt it.
    Perhaps you are thinking about safety in a passive sense, things like #of airbags, crash test results, electronic safety 'control' systems etc. AS OPPOSED to safety in an active sense - the ability of any car to avoid difficult situations. That extra HP let's say to pass that semi on a 2 lane highway comfortably or merging onto an interstate off a short on ramp. In short there is more to a safe car than how well it crashes or how much a computer will alow you to do before IT takes 'control'., and those 'active' safety features (things that the driver does control) and the resources with which he/she has to work with I am talking about. Those things that can help you avoid an accident(acceleration, braking, and handling) are what in my mind make a truly 'safe' car. If we are going to accept the contention that the Mazda6 is the best handling car of this group than it is also likely the safest car in this group - at least in that regard. And conversely if we know that the Fusion V6 (or 4) is the least powerful, it therefore must be considered the least safe in that regard as well.
    I am not labelling the 4 cylinder versions of these cars necessarily unsafe, heaven knows that even that 4 banger Fusion is much much safer in almost all respects than even cars made a short 10-15 years ago or so - the early to mid 90s - some really bad examples of 'wheezmobiles' - and we certainly all lived through it, didn't we?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I guess by that measure, those 500 hp luxury sedans that can go 0-60 in under 5 seconds are really safe.

    Let's get real. The powerful I4s in today's mid-sized cars--more powerful in some cases than the V8s of not long ago-- have more than enough power for safe driving. OTOH, the power waiting in those V6s can be an enticement to drive faster, for less safety for the driver and those around him/her.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while most medical experts might tell you that a glass of wine a day is good for you - they will most assuredly tell you that a whole bottle/day is not!
    I would also be willing to bet you that, as you drive home tonight, and witness anybody driving in an unsafe manner that there is likely little correleration between what he/she is doing and how much HP their car has, meaning you will certainly find as many 'bad' drivers 'squeezing' their 4 bangers, as you will other drivers 'enjoying' their V8 300C SRT8s....
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    IMO, Detroit's future is in 'traditional' V8/RWD layouts much like the 300C and gas prices will largely determine how successful they are.

    I don't think gas prices will ever get low enough (in the near future) to make V8/RWD cars big sellers. The "Big 3" will have to develop competitive small engines/cars, or they will simply cease to exist, IMO. I don't think these companies can survive selling only trucks.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually I believe that GM/Ford/Chrysler CAN survive selling things like only trucks, SUVs and minivans. Total F150/Silverado sales make Camcord sales look minor league and Chrysler has owned the minivan market since they invented the thing. The problem as I see it, is the 'fat' infrastructure that those particular mfgrs. have cultivated that makes it impossible for them to do just that! 'Detroit' does make some nice (and class defining) trucks, much as 'Japan' does the same thing in the car markets.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    But accidents and unsafe driving are not caused by speed, or excessive speed, but by inattention and unskilled driving. Mainly inattention.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Inattention at 90 mph is more likely to bite you than inattention at 60 mph. That's why we have speed limits.

    You could use your viewpoint, though, to show how there is no benefit to having an I4 vs. a V6, because accidents are not caused by lack of speed, or acceleration, but by inattention and unskilled driving.
  • noles200noles200 Posts: 30
    on October 15th. I spoke with Chad in their customer service center and he informed me that once production begins on October 15th we can expect to see the new Malibu in showrooms within the next 4 to 8 weeks (I guess it depends on how far you are from the plant in Kansas).

    That's not really the news I was looking for, as I was hoping the car would be in showrooms by September or so. I am thinking of the Malibu or the Saturn Aura but I like the styling of the Malibu a bit better, not to mention I'm thinking it will be better equipped in the LTZ model (as compared to the Aura XR model) but I don't know that for sure.

    How do others feel about not being able to test drive this car until November or December of this year?
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    The "best offerings" is purely subjective, especially if the G6 going RWD equals "better" also, I hope you aren't equating the succcess of the Aura with the new Malibu because if that is the case you are ignoring some MAJOR differences between the position of the new 'Bu and new Aura.

    -Aura has no I4=Malibu will have the class leading I4/V6 on LTZ.
    -Chevy's dealer network is HUGE compared to Saturn
    -The Malibu is a more established name than the Aura and Chevy has played in this market more heavily than Saturn.

    The Aura is a slow seller b/c it doesn't have a I4 and it's saddled with No Haggle Pricing. Mailbu without a doubt will sell better.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Captain2,

    You hypothesized that the Mazda6 might be the best-handling mid-size car and that the Fusion, both the V6 and I4, having the least powerful engine, might therefore be the least safe in the mid-size segment.

    That logic totally ignores the fact that Mazdas and Fusions have exactly the same engines and the Fusions (Milans, MKZs) are based on a slightly modified Mazda chassis.

    When it comes to safety, it is helpful to examine some raw data. From the Internet:

    Nationally, in 2005, there were 43,443 fatalities. Of these, 25,347 were a result of road departure, 9,188 intersection-related, and 4,881 were pedestrians.

    Does a more powerful engine prevent a driver from running off of the road? I doubt it.

    Will a powerful engine (who decides the definition of powerful?) help a driver get out of a tight bind? Sure, sometimes. But avoiding the bind in the first place is a better remedy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Our 221-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 Ford engine is quite adequate for our AWD Fusion, thank you. At no time during our seven months of ownership have I said to myself, "Gee, I wish this car had 270 horsepower."

    As a safety matter, I just don't see horsepower to be a significant factor. I once totaled a 1958 VW Beetle (32 horsepower). But the reason was driver error: I fell asleep at the wheel and took out a guardrail.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    the reason was driver error: I fell asleep at the wheel and took out a guardrail.

    Yikes, glad you didn't take yourself out in the process! :surprise:

    A '58 Beetle? Cool!!!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thegraduate (me) said: Bury your right foot in a 2006 Altima 3.5 and you'll suddenly see why FWD has its limits...

    jeffyscott said: Yes, but the problem is not FWD it is putting these excessively powerful V6 engines in these type of cars.

    But, then we're returning to elroy's statement that said the Chrysler RWD V6 cars were slow (which isn't true if you consider sub-8 second 60 MPH runs very slow - it's similar to a Fusion V6).

    Heck, the V6 RWD sedans (Charger/300) from Chrysler are faster than the V8 RWD sedans from Ford (Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Town Car), which make the 0-60 run in something like 7.9 seconds (according to C&D).
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    "As a safety matter, I just don't see horsepower to be a significant factor. I once totaled a 1958 VW Beetle (32 horsepower). But the reason was driver error: I fell asleep at the wheel and took out a guardrail. "

    Good statistics on the road departures. I think the whole "more powerful = safer" argument has little merit.

    Plus one for driver error. I totaled my first car, road departure / driver error. It had 110 horsepower, in a midsize sedan.

    While I admit I've been in situations before where I want more power, I can't say I've ever needed more power.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    That logic totally ignores the fact that Mazdas and Fusions have exactly the same engines and the Fusions (Milans, MKZs) are based on a slightly modified Mazda chassis.
    urnws- I think you are missing my point. In the sentences before I am contending that vehicle dynamics (power, handling, braking) are largely what makes a car safe and given that contention that a beeter handling car (the 6 in this case) is a safer car than the others in this group simply by accepting the generally held view that the 6 handles better. And likewise, if any car is down on power (like the Fusion (or the 6), for example) the opposite must also be true. Of your quoted 25347 road departure accidents, would be willing to bet that many of those were just like the one you had in your VW, not necessarily falling asleep at the wheel but probably inattention, cell phones, and/or 'playing' with the stereo - all the kind of things that are very unrelated to the task and responsibilities at hand.
    I never said anything like that 221hp (or even the 150-175hp in the 4 bangers) wasn't enough in any particular car (although you can go back in any number of my posts and find a number of times that I have said it just isn't competitive these days) - HP and relative FE numbers don't lie. What I did say though, is that I think the 270 is safer than the 221, not because it is anything that any of us that have it use even occassionally, but because it is there, in reserve, on those very rare occassions that we HAVE to use it - having that extra 50hp gives you the option of 'aggressively' (bad choice of words, perhaps) avoid a number of real life traffic situations similar to those I specifically mentioned.

    Not a whole lot different than having a car with a great set of brakes, the same sort of very rare times that a 10 or 15 feet shorter stopping distance can make a helluva difference. When was the last time that any of us can remember 'locking them up' (or getting the the ABS to engage)? If anybody out there can honestly answer 'it happens even semi-regularly' - well, then they are driving too 'aggressively' (good choice of words), their ABS is malfunctioning, and their insurance rates are justifably stratospheric.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Sorry. I love having more power from a V6 than a 4-cylinder, but a V6 being "safer" due to it's power reserve is simply ludicrous! For all the power "in reserve" that a V6 has, a 4-cylinder car, in general, handles better than a nose-heavy V6, due to it's lower front-end weight and better weight distribution.

    Great acceleration can help you avoid an accident, but so can an emergency lane change.

    Do I think a 4-cylinder model is safer than a similar V6 model? No way. Having both passive and active elements help to avoid/survive an accident, as well as defensive driving, paying FULL attention to the road ahead, around, and behind you, driving appropriately for road and weather conditions, and properly maintaining your vehicle.
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