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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    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: 5,278
    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: 18,618
    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: 7,621
    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: 18,618
    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.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    In the V6 group, the Accord was over $4000 less than each of the other two top-ranked cars.

    It's reassuring to know the car I bought 4 years ago, is still at the top of the heap. I'm so proud. :D What are the chances my next car will be an Accord also? Pretty high, so far.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    Those minor issues you had at purchase with your Accord are caused by the Ohioans..... I'm assuming. Was your Accord assembled in Ohio, I'd bet 3 to 1 it was; judging from the assembly issues you describe.

    But even the Ohioans can't screw up superior engineering and parts quality all that much; so the major issues are still rare.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    VW also noted for sludging issues as well as consumption, and it should be noted that Nissan also had an oil consumption issue (on its 4 banger) that led to a recall, something I believe Nissan handled properly. The VW V6 is every bit as high tech and almost as efficient as the Toyota 2GR IMO, don't have any idea why the 'old fashioned' break-in period requirements or FTM why the 4 banger should be showing a poor track record unless, of course, its related to the turbocharged versions. The Passat V6 is one sweet driving car (great power/reasonable FE) combined with some 'tight' handling - high relative price and lower relative resale seem to hurt it. Perhaps it should be included in this group.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Those minor issues you had at purchase with your Accord are caused by the Ohioans..... I'm assuming. Was your Accord assembled in Ohio, I'd bet 3 to 1 it was; judging from the assembly issues you describe.


    Those same Ohioans assembled my 03, and it has "NO" issues in 4 years and 47k miles. So give the Ohioans credit for this one too.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    that's been my point backy...Altima is highly rated now but with a new Accord and more competition I worry.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    WRONG...sales overall are UP 27 PERCENT..Retails sales are UP 41 PERCENT.

    High fleet sales or not, the article still makes the point clear..and makes mine clear too. If the Impala can OUTSELL the Altima (regardless of how high it's fleet sales and rerbates are) what makes one think an Improved Malibu that is much better than the Impala, offers the high volume I4 engine and has a bigger dealer network than Nissan, can't fundalmentally catch up with the Altima?

    Go back and re-read the article. :P

    "Sales of the midsize sedan were up 27% to 144,541 in the first five months of the year, compared with 114,014 a year ago. And while the roomy sedan long has been a staple of commercial, government and rental fleets -- analysts say fleet sales generate about half its sales -- GM said retail sales have provided the largest bump this year, with a 41% increase in year-over-year sales"

    More sales go to fleet overall, but those sales are going down as sales retail sales overall increase.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    No need to worry. The Altima won't get worse because other cars get better. More competition will force Nissan to make continuous improvements on the Altima, e.g. for 2008 ABS is becoming standard. And maybe more competition will result in a bit lower prices for the Altima. :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    > I am going by what you hear off the chat rooms, complaints issued listed on the Net,

    You know you can't go by what's on the discussion groups. People here say the problems get overemphasized by a few disgruntled posters.

    This message has been approved.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually, my Ohio built '06 was much less problematic than my dad's Japanese-built Accord (that car had to have the whole headliner replaced to get to an awful rattle).

    My Ohio-made 1996 Accord has less rattles NOW (174k mi) than his Japanese made Accord was.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment: "(insert your manufacturer) reluctance to acknowledge the problem is one reason why I would not buy one of this company's cars".

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I wholeheartedly agree. This is why two of the manufacturers who manufacture cars in this segment are off my list. Not Toyota and not Honda. I would think when you have a bad experience with a manufacturer you might shy away. Toyota IMO has more satisfied customers than any other manufacturer in this segment, even with the sludge problem. Satisified customers, lead to repeat sales.
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