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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I don't think anyone shops for a car going by what the EPA (or anyone else's) classification says. There are many "Compact" cars that are just as, or more comfortable than a "Midsize" car. Example: At one point I owned a 92 Nissan Sentra Coupe, and 92 Accord Sedan at the same time. Although the Accord had more interior room, the Sentra had a lot more leg room up front (basically because the front seat went all the way back to almost hitting the rear seat). How much interior room a car has, per EPA, has little to do with how comfortable it will be for a particular driver. You can't tell how a car will fit you, by looking at the size rating on the sticker. You have to sit in it, and try it out for yourself. Someone may think a car classified as a "Compact" will be too small, and be very surprised by the actual room inside. So I think shopping cars going only by size class can be very misleading.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Yes, you have to check it out for yourself. Volume measurements don't give the full picture. For example, some cars have big volume numbers because they are tall. If you're 5'10", do you really need 5" over your head? And some cars do better than others in letting rear passengers slip their feet under the front seats. That can make a big difference in rear seating comfort.

    I would hope all prospective buyers do a "sit test", not just in the driver's seat but in the rear, with someone who is as large as your largest typical passenger (for me, that was my big, tall oldest son).

    Doing a sit test can be surprising. For example, when I did that at the local auto show last March, I found that the rear seat of the Versa had more stretch-out leg room than the Altima next to it. Does the Altima have a bigger interior, in cubic feet? Sure. But the Versa had inches where it counted, plus a high driver's seat that allowed feet to slip under it comfortably.
  • How often is that? Is it any more frequent than manual windows?

    Do not have much experience with power windows on older cars...we do have a '97 windstar and have not had a problem with them. Our other cars with power windows are less than 3 years old. In shopping for older cars for a couple kids recently, I have not seen many with power window problems. I only recall one and all it needed was a new switch.

    My daughter recently got rid of a contour with non-useable manual driver window...would have cost $150 or so to fix it, IIRC. The car was 11 years old when the stub that the crank connects to broke off.


    The power windows on the Contour were fine for the 10 yrs/150k time, while the Accord went through all of its power window motors and 2 antenna motors in that time. The only car that can beat that was the Reliant, which was the reason the Caravan had crank windows (which never failed). I think the biggest issue I had with manual windows (in a 70s Nova) was the part you hold on to, the little knob kept coming off.
  • Accord EX-L and EX-L/V6 have auto-dimming mirror standard (and accessory on other trims). Between those and manually adjusting mirror, I'm actually split. I have manual in my old Accord and auto in my TL.

    Manual responds immediately, and TL's works but take a few seconds longer (after cold starts, I guess the chemicals inside the mirror casing take a little while to "warm").

    This is similar to manual seat adjustment versus powered (although in this case, I'm the only one who drives the Accord which has power seats and rarely needs adjustments, while TL has memory seats, so it adjusts itself before I get in the car).


    Our Subaru has that mirror, same one, same supplier. We have been told from other people who have that mirror that we have a 5 year life before it goes bad and permanently defaults to that green hue. I really don't mind just flipping the little lever that much.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Why would I quote EPA numbers? I may have mentioned them when I first bought the car in response to specific questions about the, then new, 2006 Civic which was rare at the time but if you mean do I bring them up in daily conversation the answer is no. If you had been paying attention to posts about other makes (aside from Honda) and other owners experiences (in addition to your own) you would have seen my rather lengthy post about our 1995 Dodge Stratus. I posted it about the time you waxed eloquintly about your Accord. Also, from time to time I bring up our less than positive experiences with the 2006 Honda Civic EX sedan I bought in the fall of 2005.
    In answer to your question: 2006 Civic EX sedan automatic...1995 Dodge Stratus ES sedan...2000 Hyundai Elantra sedan. This is titled to me but our son drives and maintains it so for all intents and purposes it is his.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Emotocons and little cartoon characters do not change the intent of a post. I read the text (tone) of a post and whatever intent the little cartoons are supposed to accomplish..soften the tone make a virtual joke..whatever.. is usually lost on me. Sorry "you" ( a general YOU not you specifically) cannot post hostile/inflamatory/provoking text then at the end post a cutsey cartoon expecting that to make it all better. "Oh, I didn't really mean it" Right!!
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    Emotocons and little cartoon characters do not change the intent of a post.

    Sure they do. It's called sarcasm. Get over it.

    Just try to be more careful when trying to disprove someone next time is all I, and probably others, ask. Two of us were in agreement on what the EPA numbers show us because we looked it up.

    Nobody likes to be proven wrong, myself included, but it's even worse when it's done without any effort to find the facts. I've learned to laugh about it now and so should you. ;)
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    article

    I'm surprised nobody caught this yet. Overall, very positive comments from Edmunds.

    A couple items I noticed:
    With the VSA turned off, the engine electronics doesn't allow full-throttle acceleration until 20 MPH. Honda's worried about the possibility of too much torque steer? Whatever the reason, I'm sure Honda has good intentions, but to me, it's another useless electronic watchdog.

    Also, why are they STILL cursing their cars with Michelin Pilot HXMX4 tires? They are quite possibly the WORST all-season touring tires invented, and can cost over $200 PER TIRE to replace, when much-better touring tires are available for half the cost or even less.

    Other than that, a very nice-looking machine that should continue to do well for Honda.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Probably going with Michelin because it's a respected name associated with quality tires, vs. let's say Kumho which makes an excellent tire from my experience, but not as respected a name.

    I replaced the OEM Michelins on my '01 Elantra with Kumhos that cost about 1/3 of what the Michelins cost, and they were quieter, had better all-weather performance, and lasted longer.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Bridgestone Potenza G009s I have on my 1996 Accord are great tires (high-performance all-season) which I will use on my 2006 Accord when the Michelin's wear out. They were $500 or so installed (185/65 15") on my '96, much cheaper than the $880 the Michelin's would cost on my new Accord (205/60 16")
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If I ask you, what is the EPA fuel economy rating of your car, what should I expect to hear from you? Let me see it.

    And when it comes to "EPA rating", it doesn't count your opinion on what defines class. They stick to a standard definition. Or, are we to go with one's whim? Then we have a chaos, and there is no need for standards.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    With the VSA turned off, the engine electronics doesn't allow full-throttle acceleration until 20 MPH. Honda's worried about the possibility of too much torque steer? Whatever the reason, I'm sure Honda has good intentions, but to me, it's another useless electronic watchdog.

    It is not due to electronic nanny of any kind. It is part of Honda’s V6 design, or so I conclude based on my observation. Honda surprised a lot of us (I’m speaking for another board which is largely for Honda enthusiasts) by putting 3.5-liter engine in the Accord while many were expecting a revised 3.0 or 3.2. Apparently, Honda’s plan was to go with VCM version 2. With this version, there is little wiggle room in low-mid range since the engine is to operate in two additional modes (I-3 and V4). VTEC is busy doing that, trying to enhance around town/low throttle fuel economy.

    So, instead of 3.0 or 3.2, they went with 3.5 really tuned more like a 3.2 (as in my TL) up to about 3500 rpm (the "eco zone"). It is beyond this rpm that the hot cam takes over and VCM is out of the picture. The result is 3.5/V6 going full force (hence the peak numbers).

    The effect is that of a 3.2/V6 under 3500 rpm (which will coincide with about 20 mph) and 3.5/V6 above it. In non-VCM version (only Accord Coupe/6MT at this time), the engine is full force 3.5 right off idle. While with VCM, the engine now has more performance in low-mid range than the 3.0 offered before and a lot more performance on the highway.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    With the VSA turned off, the engine electronics doesn't allow full-throttle acceleration until 20 MPH. Honda's worried about the possibility of too much torque steer? Whatever the reason, I'm sure Honda has good intentions, but to me, it's another useless electronic watchdog.

    this type of 'program' is also tied into whether the 'watchdog' thinks the front wheels are straight as well, the Acura TL - and possibly tranny gear selections (the Toyota/Nissan approach). Things like this make you wonder though - what haapens when TV lawyers gets their teeth into your lawsuit contending you got into an accident because these 'watchdogs/nannies' limited your ability to avoid it?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Lawyers will always find their way. Hey they won a case where coffee was hot! They would have won, if it were cold.

    That said, I used to think the TL had some kind of nanny via DBW to limit power around corners. My car has debunked my belief since. You can get on the throttle around a turn and it will take off, and in the direction you point it at.

    OTOH, Accord's V6 (as I explained above) is due to VCM design. Now if Honda were limiting power in non-VCM V6 (Accord 6MT), that would debunk my theory. I haven't heard about it yet.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    So is there an Accord V6 sedan offered with a manual tranny? If so, is that limiter still in place? That would be terrible if it were IMO. The V6 coupe elimnates the VCM IIRC which would make it the only true sporty option if the limiter is there on a V6 MTX sedan.

    The new Mazda6 V6 is going to blow this thing away performance wise I'm guessing. It is bigger than the outgoing model but reportedly lighter IIRC. Plus the D37 engine will add roughly 50 HP and 50-60 ft-lbs of torque. Gas mileage will surely suffer though if that's your bag.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    No. 6MT is currently available only with coupe. Honda may add it to sedan lineup eventually (like they did with 2003-2007 generation, 6MT w/V6 was added in 2006). I was speaking of engine technology and why 3.5/VCM would feel different from 3.5/non-VCM. The 6MT mated V6 goes all out right from the get go (delivering at least 90% of its peak torque from 2000 rpm). The non-VCM version is actually very similar in design to Acura TL-S's V6, except for using lower compression and being rated with regular grade gasoline.

    As for performance, Honda has rarely sought benchmarking performance with Accord in the American market. They have stuck with the middle ground to deliver "almost" the best of both worlds. It has been the winning formula for Honda, for a long time.

    I do wish that Honda would offer Accord with a sport trim (from the factory as opposed to offering dealer installed HFP package) to address the "concerns" of naysayers, but I guess they won't do it unless sales (or lack of) demand it, and from the fear of seriously stepping on Acura's toes (which is a sad fact that Honda has opted to live with).

    And we know, just performance doesn't sell. The current Mazda6 is a prime example of it, even with about half of its sales going to fleet. It appeals to a small niche of buyers. Instead, Honda focused on what might help them in the longer term (again)... fuel economy. With a little road time, Accord V6 is unlikely to scare buyers away with its real world fuel economy, as some others might face when the prices go up (again) and they will.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    So is there an Accord V6 sedan offered with a manual tranny?

    No. Not at this time.

    The new Mazda6 V6 is going to blow this thing away performance wise I'm guessing. It is bigger than the outgoing model but reportedly lighter IIRC.

    Well, that's the global car anyway. We'll see with the US-spec bumpers and other "necessary" safety equipment if this holds true.

    Gas mileage will surely suffer though if that's your bag.

    That depends. Toyota does okay with a 6-speed auto with their V6 (only 1 MPG less on the highway compared to the Accord V6 w/5-speed auto and cylinder deactivation, IIRC). Since Mazda already uses a 6-speed auto, I don't see why they can't get similar results if they get the ratios correct.

    Then of course, Mazda always gears toward the performance crowd, buyers that don't mind 1-2 MPG for better performance.

    We shall see. :)
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    If Mazda can soften the suspension in the 6 while not hurting performance, kind of like BMW does, then they should sell a lot more of them. Having owned one I can see how people would be turned off by the ride of one with the 17" wheels/low profile tires. It was a bit harsh but a lot of fun at the same time. If you're not looking for the latter you'll walk the other way most likely.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Speaking of Edmunds' road test, while they compared Accord V6's performance to Camry V6's (from a previous comparison test), they didn't compare observed fuel economy. I'm not sold on EPA ratings (although most buyers are going to be fixated on it). In the same test that Edmunds' quoted numbers from, Camry V6 got them 20.4 mpg. 2007 Accord V6, while having worse EPA rating, returned 21.4 mpg. The new Accord got 24.4 mpg.

    So, while Accord may be a few ticks slower in a 0-60 run, it got 20% better fuel economy. And speaking of acceleration numbers, I would love to see how these cars stack up in 30-50, 40-60 etc runs. They are far more useful measures in the real world (outside of drag racing).
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    Well, that's the global car anyway. We'll see with the US-spec bumpers and other "necessary" safety equipment if this holds true.


    Aren't the bumpers larger across the pond due to their stricter pedestrian crash laws though?

    That depends. Toyota does okay with a 6-speed auto with their V6 (only 1 MPG less on the highway compared to the Accord V6 w/5-speed auto and cylinder deactivation, IIRC). Since Mazda already uses a 6-speed auto, I don't see why they can't get similar results if they get the ratios correct.

    I was only comparing it to the Accord because it is different, but you're right, it shouldn't be any worse than the Camry or others with similar drivetrains.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If Mazda can soften the suspension in the 6 while not hurting performance, kind of like BMW does, then they should sell a lot more of them.

    Honda does that. But it won't put performance brakes/tires on cars. Although, 17" rims are standard in Accord V6 (I think they have been for last generation too). Drive an Acura TL-S and that cars rides way better than one can expect it to be. I have a 2006 TL, and Honda softened the 2007 TL (base), but it actually handles just as well now with better ride.

    The downside to these refinements seems to show up in curb weight since most of it is probably achieved via stronger chassis.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Drop by this link to discuss the full test!
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Aren't the bumpers larger across the pond due to their stricter pedestrian crash laws though?

    IIRC, the pedestrian standards affect the hood height (in order to allow space between the bottom of the hood and the engine/chassis, so it can "give" and soften the blow to a pedestrian.)

    The larger bumpers are for the 5-MPH crash tests in the US.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    Although, 17" rims are standard in Accord V6 (I think they have been for last generation too).

    I don't belive the rubber wrapped around them was as low profile or aggressive as the OEM rubber on the 6 though.

    Honda does that. But it won't put performance brakes/tires on cars.

    Hopefully you were referring to the Acura models when you stated that. The Accord does ride softer than the 6 but it in no way handles the same as or better than it. Thus the tradeoff between handling and comfort. I don't see Mazda moving away from an excellent handling car with the new 6 so it's either going to be rough riding like the current model or they'll have found a way to soften the ride without taking handling away. The latter should sell much better IMO.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That's like arguing seatbelts kill people by preventing them from going through the windshield to safety.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    What we have here is a communication breakdown...my posts, all of them, were regarding the pre-2008 EPA sticker where to be sure the range WAS meant provide consumers the range of fuel economy ALL cars within the same class could possibly be expected (per the EPA tests) to get. You, on the other hand, have been talking about 2008 EPA stickers. Yes, I didn't closely read the new stickers and prior to the post that showed that new version didn't know the range NOW shows a specific vehicle. The facts are..we have been talking about different things.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    With 25.86 inch diameter wheel (17" rim), the difference in thickness of rubber is just 0.2" between Accord V6 and Mazda6/V6 Sport. It can't make a huge difference in ride quality. Besides, Accord Coupe V6/6MT is equipped with even lower profile stock tires on 18" rim, and it is said to ride very well (P235/45/R18).

    As far as handling goes, I have said it before, Honda hasn't sold "sport tuned" Accord in America, and should. But for now, what we do get is one that has the balance to appeal to a wider audience. It is one of the reasons Honda sells as many Accords in a month as Mazda does selling 6 in six months.

    For sportier performance, Honda prefers to send buyers to Acura dealership (TSX), and while I don't like the idea (I would rather see the formula applied to mainstream car) it is how the company has chosen to go about its business.

    And even TSX is far from being as sporty as some Accord models sold in Japan.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    When I took my A3 to it's 25K mile service at the dealership on a nice afternoon, I was given a 2005 Mazda 6 (what they called an MX-6 on the key chain) sedan with the anemic V6 engine and dual tailpipes. It had about 35,000 miles, and was seemingly fully loaded (6 CD changer, V6, 6 speed auto; which surprised me!, and leather seating that seemed to me to be pleather more than leather.

    I wasn't feeling the leather seats, felt a lot like vinyl to me.... .is it?

    I wasn't feeling the little V6, I thought perhaps it was a really great 4 cylinder. I honestly wasn't sure if it was a V6 model until I looked under the hood. However, if it had been a 4 banger, I'd of said it was ever so slightly superior to Nissan's 2.5 or Honda's 4 banger. As a V6, it wasn't that good; however, it's midrange 3K to 5K power was quite good. It seemed to have less low end torque than a VTEC V6 though (which isn't all that good to begin with).

    The car was floatier and softer than I expected; it actually rode very comfortably to me. Even though it bounced and floated when hitting expansion joints on the freeway exchange ramps, it held the ground like it was on rails despite all the soft slow movement in the cabin. I did take a ramp at a high rate of speed to test this. So it definitely handled as well as my Accord Coupe; would have to drive more to declare it a clear winner rather than a tie. I went through 3/8 of a gas tank in about 120 miles; not so good (though I don't know what kind of mileage that is since I don't know the tank size). I was exercising the engine to red line occassionally.

    The interior materials feel and look cheap to me. The car showed its wear (you Mazda lovers can blame that it's a loaner/rental car, but I won't accept that excuse entirely). The lighter gray plastics in the middle of the dash are the worst, including the matching trim on the sides and doors. The seats were comfy and sporty at the same time.

    The hatchback trunk was strange.... are all Mazda sedans equipped with the lifting rear window/trunk combo? That could be useful. I like that feature; provided it doesn't cause more noise or other issues. I noticed the finish/fabric on the lid behind the rear seats covering the trunk was "low rent."

    one note: the front tires were a bit low; probably around 25 psi.

    Overall grade B- bordering on straight B.

    Improve the interior materials and improve the engine, and Mazda may have something! Oh, what the heck is Mazda thinking with not having a trunk release button either on the remote or in the car? That was idiotic. Even a 2006 Civic has the buttons.
  • If Mazda can soften the suspension in the 6 while not hurting performance, kind of like BMW does, then they should sell a lot more of them.

    Honda does that.

    They forgot to do it on my '07 Accord EX then. It seems to be very effective at showing me expansion joints and pavement irregularities, yet still handles like a wet sponge.

    But it won't put performance brakes/tires on cars.

    The brakes are okay, but its like they go out of their way to buy tires with low performance limits. I think its because they chose tires based on rolling resistance, which improves MPG at the cost of actually sticking to the road.

    The downside to these refinements seems to show up in curb weight since most of it is probably achieved via stronger chassis.

    I would hope so, since the carpet, floor mats, and other interior components seem to be of lower quality than my '93, so its definitely not materials or sound reduction components.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Ride: Are you saying Accord rides harsher than Mazda6? Then we need to go for a ride together. :)

    And while we're at it, we might as well test the real road handling skills (instead of arm chair racing with printed spec sheet on hand).

    Tires: I haven't noticed any decline in mileage since I replaced the OEM Michelins 132K miles ago. In fact, it went up. I'm thankful that Michelins that came with the car were overly expensive to replace. It gave me a good excuse to explore other options.

    Quality/Features: At one point, you had to buy floor mats (they are included now, or at least were a few years ago). My 98 actually has better quality to the controls than your 93. And back then, Hondas were well known for being ridiculously underfeatured and undertired (now I'm complaining about them going overboard with features and rim size). Heck, even the mainstream Civic now has bigger wheels than my 1998 Accord.
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