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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Also once upon a time, I felt power of 4 cylinders was always inadequate with an automatic.

    What changed your opinion?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    What changed your opinion?

    More power, more efficient automatic trannys?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If one goes by EPA rating, probably. But fundamentally, a typical manual transmission can be expected to have 5% lower drive train loss over a typical automatic, which by itself will contribute towards better fuel economy.

    But, 5% on EPA mode is barely 1 mpg on a car getting 20 mpg, so it seems negligible. This is besides the fact that EPA mode is a bit too standardized to see the impact of power, and driving style. The latter will largely dictate real world fuel economy but can’t be standardized in any other way. However, a driver has better chance to improve fuel economy with manual transmission (beyond that 5% increased efficiency) than with automatic.

    Some newer automatics are closing the gap, however. For example, by getting rid of torque converter as in Antonov design, efficiency is improved, and as a result, fuel economy (Honda Civic’s i-Shift 6-speed automatic in Europe is designed around this premise).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    What changed your opinion?

    More power, more efficient automatic trannys?


    Yep.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    However, a driver has better chance to improve fuel economy with manual transmission (beyond that 5% increased efficiency) than with automatic.

    Perhaps, but there is also a chance that instead one will drive in a way that gets worse mileage. I know that is likely the case with me, I can't see the point in a manual if I'm gonna baby the trottle and shift at 2000 rpm.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Yes. I have seen some terrible shift stick guys. But they go for manual to take control of their car as much as they want. I would too, although when one has to share a car with the significant other, who is completely opposed to manual transmission, it isn't always possible. That would explain why I couldn't hold onto my Prelude/MT for too long (even though there was another car in the household with AT).
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    MTs must be, of course, more efficient than ATs simply because there is a lot less in mechanical drivetrain losses - but this (efficiency) is simply not the case considering the way most folkls drive MTs in relation to the optimal (efficiency) operating parameters of the engines themselves. Things like overevving in a specific gear (boy doesn't that sound and feel good) and even more often 'lugging' an engine (boy I am just too lazy to shift) will both promote less than the best fuel economies available and may also damage an engine. An AT, however makes these selections for you and will also keep any engine in peak efficiency ranges more often - generally the more speeds available the better. For a majority of our drivers out there, I submit that a good multi speed AT will do better FE wise in those condtions where a driver would normally 'need' to shift a bunch - a constant highway speed drive a different story, however. My contention here is not that the MT isn't naturally more economical, it is more along the lines that very few of us drive them in such a manner that 'allows' them to be more economical.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Exactly...plus even in the case of constant highway speed don't the automatics lock up.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Nah, it doesn't take highway speed to do that. I can get my car's 4AT to lock up at around 35 mph when cruising, at which point it's doing about 1400 RPM. Not bad for a 2.0L 4-banger. :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Sure...should have said at steady speeds it will lock-up and should be just as efficient as a manual (if my understanding is correct).

    In addition, these days the top gear in a 5 (or more) speed automatic usually has a higher ratio than the manual...which should mean the auto should be more efficient when in locked up mode. That was another reason for my switch...I believe Mazda6 manual runs at about 25% higher rpm than the auto in top gear.

    When I had a manual, I sure was never driving around at 1500-2000 rpm, like the auto is at steady lower speeds.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Being more efficient by nature, MT is naturally more economical. But that doesn't mean everybody is capable of taking advantage of that fact. Ask hypermilers.

    They don't necessarily show their advantage on EPA cycle (which goes largely by set acceleration pace for ALL cars and regardless of gearbox type).

    I believe Mazda6 manual runs at about 25% higher rpm than the auto in top gear.

    That is usually the case with most cars. But the reason generally is that MTs are typically designed with performance in mind, and have shorter low gears. And with limited gear span, they end up having shorter top gear too. OTOH, check out BMW's SMG. It has 7-speeds, and one of the shortest geared transmission you can find in the market with a top gear overall drive ratio of ~3.00:1 (and that, while being mated to a V10).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    It depends on how the tranny is geared. For example, I've found that some 4ATs have some pretty high ratios, so the engine is turning a lot less than with a MT even with only four forward speeds. Likewise, I've found that some cars with a 6MT really don't have any taller of a top gear than do 5MTs, why I don't know.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    So far so good...

    The 2009 Sonata will be available around March for Sale.

    Some of the highlights include.
    *Azera lookin front end
    *Horsepower increase for both 4cyl and V6
    *Improved fuel economy for both engines
    *5 speed auto trans for 4cyl
    *Blue background dashboard lights
    *Improved handling and ride
    *Specific sport handling for SE model
    *Redone interior featuring, more storage,better finish,less plastic looking
    *USB port and i-pod jack
    *Exhaust tuned for performance sound


    image
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I get about the same mpg in my Mazda6, 5 speed automatic as I used to get in my 5 speed manual Contour. This despite the Mazda'a weighing several hundred pounds more.

    I have a 2005 Mazda6 i 5-door manual, and I got 30.5 mpg's going 80mph. I just had a trip to upstate NY, and got 470 miles on 15.4 gallons of gas. A/C was on for the majority too. I'm quite happy, I must say, considering the sticker said 31 mpg's.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I got to sit in the new Accord today, an EX V6 with nav, $30,895 list price, black on black. The dealer will have an open house next week, so I hope to drive some then. Here's initial impressions:

    * Nice side profile. The big grille doesn't look so bad on a black car, but I still haven't warmed up to it. Alloys are a little elaborate for my taste, but are not bad looking.
    * Very comfortable driver's seat, nice fat leather steering wheel, Civic-like spoke design. Gauges light up on entry--looks OK (even with plain white backlighting), but I'm wondering... why?
    * Center stack is a maze of small dark buttons, set close together, and one big dial. Not my preference for controls, but maybe other folks love all the buttons. The buttons have a solid feel--not sure why others have reported they feel cheap.
    * Fat leather-covered armrest, slides fore and aft.
    * The silver-colored plastic trim doesn't look worthy of a $31,000 car. Looks more like something I'd expect in a Chevy or Dodge. At least it breaks up the otherwise all-black interior. I know some people like black interiors, but it seemed too tomb-like to me.
    * The back seat didn't seem any roomier than the 2007 model, but I wasn't able to take advantage of the extra width. Knee room is fine (I'm 5'10"), but there's a big problem in the back: toe room is very tight under the front seats, to the point where I couldn't stretch out my legs to take advantage of the knee space and thus my thighs were not well supported. That makes the back seat OK only for kids and short adults. There's a center armrest in the back, with a cheap-looking one-piece plastic cupholder--no lid, no grippers, just two holes.
    * Overall the interior quality seems pretty good, except for sharp flashing on the tops of the door bins. Also, the black leather is stiff; it seemed more "buttery" on older Accords. Maybe it will wear well.
    * The trunk is fairly small for the class and is hampered by hinges that take up trunk space (odd that there aren't struts on a $31k car) and a floor that isn't flat--it bulges up around the wheel housings. It's nicely lined, though.

    Just based on sitting in the car, I was not impressed. For a car that list for over $30k, I expected more. Maybe it was the black interior; perhaps the tan leather would look richer. I also expected better rear-seat accomodations given the size of the car, and its price.
  • I have always liked Mazda's, ever since I drove their first Wankle powered sedan. But it sound like they have gone more for the econo/green mode than the Zoom Zoom they advertise.

    So other than great mileage, how did you like the car?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually owned an RX2, about 1972 or so, if I remember right. A very unusual drive in its day - would seemingly rev forever, crappy FE, but decent power. Overheated once and that was that - threw away the engine. Overall I think I liked the Wankel, but to this day Mazda has not solved the FE issues, the current RX8 nothing to write home about.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    they have gone more for the econo/green mode than the Zoom Zoom they advertise
    ahh, the power of advertising - while it is true that Mazdas 'feel' (and to some look) sportier than the other cars in this group, they are very behind, FE and power wise. Part of being 'Fordified' I guess because the leaders in the 'green' dept come from elsewhere as well. IMO, Mazda would and could build a more competitive car without Dearborn bringing them down.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    because the leaders in the 'green' dept come from elsewhere as well.

    Ford has consistently been the leader in emissions thanks to Bill Ford. Ford has more PZEV vehicles in California than any other mfr. There are different definitions for being "green" - it's not just FE.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's a shame more people don't pay attention to those numbers - FE gets all the glory, and in that department, Ford hasn't really been all that great (although the new 260 hp Taurus has very good numbers at 18/28MPG, right on the Avalon's and Accord's heels.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    nice fat leather steering wheel, Civic-like spoke design.

    Accord and Civic have very different spoke design on the steering wheel, unless you're comparing coupe to coupe (even they are different).

    odd that there aren't struts on a $31k car

    It was odd for me to see hinges (as opposed to struts) in some luxury cars, and I gave it some thought. I can see two reasons:
    - Hinges last forever (struts can go bad)
    - Hinges are easier to operate (struts make the trunk lid operation stiffer), and perhaps also a reason I saw its use in some luxury cars with power trunk option.

    For a car that list for over $30k, I expected more. Maybe it was the black interior; perhaps the tan leather would look richer.

    Let me guess... you were expecting a boat load of wood trim. :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    The silvery trim on the wheel reminds me of the Civic's wheel.

    One reason you didn't mention is that a couple of pieces of metal (hinges) are cheaper to make than two hydraulic struts (decontenting). I can't imagine any part "going bad" on an Accord, can you? ;)

    Actually I think the wood trim on the new Accord is overdone, i.e. too much on the doors. But IMO tan leather and some color variation in a cabin can look richer than all-black.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The silvery trim on the wheel reminds me of the Civic's wheel.

    Me too. In fact, the shift-knob and the steering-wheel instantly reminded me of my dad's 2007 Civic Sedan.

    One reason you didn't mention is that a couple of pieces of metal (hinges) are cheaper to make than two hydraulic struts (decontenting)

    Ha, wouldn't they have to have the content (struts) in the first place in order to DEcontent? :) :P Our Accords have never had struts for the trunk.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    FE gets all the glory, and in that department, Ford hasn't really been all that great

    Exactly. Not only did Ford ignore FE to focus on emissions (pun intended) - they never advertised their emissions leadership. I think old Billy just did it to make himself feel good. At one time a 4.0L Explorer had lower emissions than a Prius. But nobody outside of a few Ford enthusiasts know about it.

    That's all changed now as evidenced with the Taurus. I expect similar gains as the new engines are rolled out across the board and tuned.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The silvery trim on the wheel reminds me of the Civic's wheel.

    You were claiming the spoke design was similar. Now I guess it is about use of silver trim which probably serves a purpose against the "stark" black trimmings something you complained about earlier. But if you want to talk about silvery trim, Civic wasn't the first to have it. In fact, Accord sedan's steering wheel (design and trimming) resembles this more...

    image

    And that is from 2003 Pilot. So, when should we expect the Civic-like silvery trim to make it into Sonata? ;)

    As for hinges versus struts, the idea is to minimize "breaking points". Keeping it simple works better, at least in my opinion. If you haven't figured it out, don't worry, it ain't the end of the world.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have always liked Mazda's, ever since I drove their first Wankle powered sedan. But it sound like they have gone more for the econo/green mode than the Zoom Zoom they advertise

    I love the car. It handles better then most mid-sized sedans. Reliability has been great, no repairs of any kind. I currently have 35K on it.

    I do think Mazda's could be more fuel effeciant, although, I will not complain about the gas mileage. The reason why the 2.3L Mazda6 is only rated at 31 highway is because of the way it is geared. At 70mph, the engine is turning about 3,200 RPM's, and at 80mph, it is turning 3,500 RPM's. I suspect with a higher top end gear ratio, the highway fuel economy would be better. However, Mazda chose a lower gearing because even in top gear, the engine is right in the power band, and can easily gain speed. That is the Zoom-Zoom way. Mazda engineers their vehicles to perform. They do not advertise fuel economy as their main attraction, like Honda does. Mazda promotes how much fun their vehicles are to drive. I would disagree that Mazda's are more econo/green then Zoom-Zoom.

    My Mazda6 is also a PZEV. Totally green? No, but darn close. Mazda's are not bad for the environment.

    Ford is not holding Mazda down in terms of what they are building. Take a look at what they offer, and then take a look at what Ford offers. No comparison.

    Is the Mazda6 more fuel efficant then Accord or Camry? No. Do Accord and Camry have driving dynamics like the Mazda6. No. I chose fun over a few MPG's. Bottom line, I love my Mazda6.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Quite right! Better example: changing out the 60/40 split rear seat for a one-piece folding rear seat.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    while it is true that Mazdas 'feel' (and to some look) sportier than the other cars in this group, they are very behind, FE and power wise.

    Yeah, that usually happens when a car that's essentially been out for SIX years is compared to models re-designed and re-engineered since then.

    IMO, Mazda would and could build a more competitive car without Dearborn bringing them down.

    If it wasn't for Ford buying the 33.4% share in Mazda, I doubt Mazda would EXIST (let alone thrive) in 2007. Mazda has set personal sales records with both the 3 and 6 since being "Fordified", and there wouldn't be ANY V6 for the NA-market 6 without Ford.

    Mazda may not be selling in CamCord territory, but they are quite possibly the ONLY division making $$$ for Ford.

    And in terms of them being "competitive", that essentially means "dumbing-down" their product in order to appeal to the mass-market, and not the sporty crowd. I believe this move was tried in the mid-late '90s with the deceased 626, and that's what led them to a lack of sales (and Ford eventually bailing them out) in the first place.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually, I've understood this to be for rigidity, but I don't really know. If I needed a car for cargo more often than my limited use, I'd get a CR-V. Similar driving experience to an Accord, just a little slower.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    OK, if you want to nit-pick, let me be really clear: the silvery trim on the spokes reminds me of the Civic's wheel. Looks like I'm not the only one who sees a resemblence. But why be so sensitive about a comment like that? Why is a family resemblence an issue?

    Thanks for explaining Honda's strategy re minimizing breaking points, simple is better etc. That would explain why they made the 2-piece folding rear seat one piece for 2008. Also I guess it would explain why they went to a 5-speed automatic for 2003 rather than the 4-speed, because the 5-speed would be less likely to br... oh. Never mind. :blush:
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