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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It reminds me of the "dark" Bangle days of BMW. Look at them now. Naysayers doomed them into oblivion and now their style is much copied and they have taken the performance lead back from the competitors. But I digress.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    FJ cruiser, Rav4, Sequoia, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and Hylander. That's six, for Honda's 3, Element, Pilot, and CRV.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    Probably so. Unless... they keep seeing reports about the uptick in recalls of Toyotas... and the decline of Toyota's legendary fit and finish (cf. Camry)... and the decline in reliability of the Camry... and they think to themselves, "Hmmm, that new Malibu (or fill in the blank) looks pretty sweet, and the price is nice, maybe I should go check it out."
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Remember, at this point the only challenge to the reputation is with the V6. Even though Camry floods the streets, I can't recall seeing a V6 in recent memory. Most that sell are four bangers.

    That said, reliability is not the only reason these cars sell.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    There's so many contradictions. Many say Camry and Accord sell because of their "reliability."

    If "realibility" is failing Camry, why would one spend thousands of dollars more than they would for similar vehicles, some of which offer more standard equipment and better warranties?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    You mean the Camry four-bangers that can't win a comparo even against the likes of a five-year-old Accord, a stripped Altima, and... an Optima? The four-bangers that have worse interior quality than a Kia? The four-bangers that have less power than almost anything else in the class? The four-bangers that don't offer safety features like ESC standard, such as competitors like Accord and Sonata? Those four-bangers? Sounds like something I'd pay thousands of dollars more for than the competition. NOT.

    Without the V6, or the HSD powertrain, the Camry is Just Another Family Car. And an expensive one at that.
  • I'm a Honda fan, but would have considered a Toyota in the past. What I'm noticing now is that Toyota cars seem to be getting noticibly cheaper looking, and Toyota seems to be doing a less than stellar job of restyling their bread and butter. The new Camrys paint and exteriors look cheaper than previous years, and apparently the design isn't up to snuff. The Corolla hasn't been redesigned in years (yes, I know there is a new one coming) and hasn't even had basic technology added to it to keep it competitive with other cars in the segment.

    I'm not knocking Toyota, but they need to realize that becoming the number one car maker is harder than losing that distinction.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    For example, Honda Ridgeline (a brand new model) may have been recommended if Pilot already was. In fact, Ridgeline is Pilot with a bed (and a few chassis tweaks).

    What?! Look at the interior. Look at the bed. Look at the towing ratings. They may share some components, but they are not the same vehicle. Why did the Ridgeline have some windshield problems where faulty seals were causing whisteling sounds and the Pilot was not? Or for that matter, since the Fusion is based on the Mazda6, using your logic, they should both have the same ratings... well they don't.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    In essence, yes. I "expect" the next 6 to be just as fun to drive as the current model, this would make me biased toward the 6.

    Are you saying that because you're biased, or because you know how the car is oriented and expect it to carry on the tradition? Because, I'm far from being biased when it comes to Mazda6, but I can predict its personality. So, to me, bias doesn't play a role.


    Nice selective quote robersmx... Here is what was written in full: "In essence, yes. I "expect" the next 6 to be just as fun to drive as the current model, this would make me biased toward the 6. However, for all I know, it could handle like a yacht and I'd hate every second of it. That's why I'll test-drive it as well as the competition to see what I'd prefer, previous experience be damned.

    I wouldn't make ANY decision about any NEW car until I have a chance to test it out for myself, just as CR shouldn't make the decision to "recommend" a vehicle until the evidence has piled in."

    That is nothing like how you portray it in your post. If you're going to quote someone at least try to keep it similar to what they write in the complete post.

    Or else I'll start quoting you as saying...(see only words in bold)

    Are you saying that because you're biased, or because you know how the car is oriented and expect it to carry on the tradition? Because, I'm far from being biased when it comes to Mazda6, but I can predict its personality. So, to me, bias doesn't play a role.

    If Fusion does well in the first generation, would it be unfair/ridiculous for CR to assume that the same can be predicted for the next generation? Perhaps, you could avoid getting into "predicted reliability" thing, and just wait for observed results to come out.
  • I had a quick business trip with the 07 Accord EX this week. It was the first time I drove it for more than 50 miles in a sitting. I logged ~550 miles in 18 hrs.

    1. 332 miles required 9.87 gallons a dead dinosaurs for 33.6 mpg. Given the types of roads I was on (rural highway w/curves and hills and occasional super-slab), and the extra-legal speeds I was traveling, I was very satisfied.

    2. The car has plenty of power w/manual trans. Passing on that rural 2 lane highway was pretty easy with just a drop into 3rd. I wish it gave a little more feedback.

    3. The tires are a weak link. The body rolling around doesn't help. That said, the car handles reasonably well, it just feels really unsteady while its doing it. It might be the lack of feedback.

    4. Not so much on the 4 hr drive there, but on the 4 hr drive back I got very figity and couldn't get comfortable in the seat. I played with the position and the lumbar and just kept figiting.

    5. If I ever need more trunk space than that car for a one person trip, just shoot me.

    6. Features all worked well, FM radio reception was good even in the boonies (although its ridiculous that there is no aux in or MP3 capability, I glad that got correct in the '08), the cruise control worked great, and tilting the sunroof and dropping the rear windows 2" got this great eddy effect in the back seat.

    7. Wind/road/tire noise was an issue depending on conditions.

    8. Headlight pattern was good, with good high beams. It doesn't have as sharp a cut off as the Legacy, which sometimes gives me a headache in certain conditions. I am sure I was overdriving the headlights even with the high beams on, but the light provided was about as good as one could ask for.

    All in all, it was a reasonably comfortable place to spend 8hrs. I think having suspension that felt a little more planted, a seat that was a little more supportive, and an iPod connection would make things about as good as one could want.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    What I'm noticing now is that Toyota cars seem to be getting noticibly cheaper looking, and Toyota seems to be doing a less than stellar job of restyling their bread and butter.

    I agree with you. Maybe that is why I don't have a Camry in my garage. However, there are a lot of buyers who for their own reasons look deeper than the sheet metal and decide the car is the one for them.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    So 20 years of reliability means nothing more than 0 years of reliability? I think as long as CR puts the word "PREDICTED" in front of reliability, the company who has consistantly produced reliable cars can get that assumption. Again, as long as they use the word "PREDICTED".

    The problem is, the lemmings out there don't catch the word "predicted". All they catch is "Consumer Reports" and "recommended". And of course, the ad agencies will emphasize this "fact" to no avail, while the fine print gets ignored.

    Sorry, but I'll take the words of JD Power and TrueDelta over CR terms of vehicle reliability.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    The people who have not had a problem, imo, won't care. They will get another Camry or Accord.

    Maybe. But reports like this may convince others to look around besides the Camry and Accord, and they may find something else they like, with the lower price and better warranty being the icing on the cake.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "But reports like this may convince others to look around besides the Camry and Accord, and they may find something else they like, with the lower price and better warranty being the icing on the cake."

    I don't think so, and most people don't give a hoot about JD Powers either. (As an aside ask if people alter their buying decisions based on CR or JD Powers, I have found the answer to be no in general) But this is a point we can argue until to the cows come home. I can see why people buy the Camry. For $21K asnd probably less, I can get a basic no frills, no headache Camry, why wouldn't I want it? While *you* may not want it, I would pick this over the competition including the Accord. At the higher end though, I would pick the Accord.

    In my mind, what they offer at this price point is the reason there are so many on the road.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    As an aside ask if people alter their buying decisions based on CR or JD Powers, I have found the answer to be no in general

    Instead of phrasing it the way you do, try asking if their buying decision was influenced by (their perception of) the vehicle's reliability.

    For example ask...do you think your Camry will be reliable? (assuming answer is yes) Did this have any influence on your decision to buy it?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "For example ask...do you think your Camry will be reliable? (assuming answer is yes) Did this have any influence on your decision to buy it?"

    This has been my point for years. It's not about the statistics, it's about "my" vehicle. Do I think "my" vehicle will be reliable? My answer always is: "I hope so."

    There actually isn't any modern vehicle I'm overly concerned about. Years ago it was a different story.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I agree. I rarely see a V6 Camry on the streets. Also, those that have been buying Camry's for years are not going to stop because CR said their quality has slipped, especially if they have yet to have an issue with them.

    The only real affect in sales would be felt by potential new Camry buyers looking at the V6.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    What about the people that were affected by the recent problems? They might be more inclined to stick with Toyota if their vehicle was still recommended by CR.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    For $21K asnd probably less, I can get a basic no frills, no headache Camry, why wouldn't I want it?

    Well, here's a few reasons why I would pass. As you said, it's basic and no frills, compared to a loaded competitor. At this price, the Camry will be a basic LE with plastic wheel covers, I4 engine, perhaps no VSC or traction control, basic stereo system, cloth interior, probably a manual driver's seat. OTOH, at the same price one could get a competitor with V6, or an I4 with 17" alloys, ESC with traction, uplevel sound system, leather interior, power driver's seat, and other niceties such as a longer warranty. Plus a better handling car, and (subjective) a better looking car with a higher-quality interior.

    As for no headaches... other competitors are reliable also--Accord, Fusion, Milan, Mazda6i, Sonata etc. "No headaches" is not worth much when it's not a differentiator.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Well, here's a few reasons why I would pass. As you said, it's basic and no frills, compared to a loaded competitor"

    I understand you are pickier than the average Joe and you might pass. But to many customers this car fits the bill. Producing mass market appliances is one of Toyotas strengths.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    Yes, I agree Toyota is a master appliance maker. But tell me... if the average buyer could buy a basic but reliable white refrigerator, or a reliable stainless steel fridge with icemaker, in-door water and ice, spillproof glass shelves, meat and veggie containers with separate climate controls, and a few other doo-dads including a longer warranty, for the same price--which would they tend to buy? I bought (literally) the stainless steel model. :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I bought (literally) the stainless steel model.

    You bought a DeLorean? ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    No, the refrigerator. I said "literally"--I meant it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Both of my Accords do something similar when coasting down a hill. If I'm coasting at 50MPH in my 1996, the RPMs stay at 2,000RPM or so, but if I barely touch the gas a moment, the revs drop to about 1,500 or so and stay there even after I let off the gas, making it feel like it's freewheeling. I have a video of that I intend to put on youtube to show you if you want to know what I mean. Any ideas what causes this?

    You can see what I mean by the video link below. It happens after about 00:25.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=uUJwOYR_lqY
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    There actually isn't any modern vehicle I'm overly concerned about. Years ago it was a different story.

    We had some significant concerns, in this regard, about the jaguar X-type, when my wife was considering one in 2005. Aside from that, similarly to you, we hoped and expected that whatever we bought then would be reasonably "reliable" and so far the VW Jetta she ended up choosing has been. Now, our standard is not perfection, there have been a couple things that needed fixing under warranty.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    Your bump on the throttle at that speed may be enough to kick in the torque converter lock-up.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The thing is, on the interstate at 60, with it locked up, it runs 2350RPMs. 1500 is a LOT lower at 50MPH. At 50, it is already locked up at about 1950RPM I think.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If I was buying a car I would go with what my intuition says to me. Which means I might go for less warranty in exchange for a perception of better ownership experience.

    the difference between a refrigerator and car is about $19,200. enough to give me pause.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    OK. I tend to buy based more on logic, research, financials and other boring stuff like that vs. intuition. To each his own.

    If you are buying a Camry, the difference to a refrigerator is $19,200. If it's something like a Fusion, Mazda6i, Optima, or Sonata, it's more like $14,000-15,000 :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm willing to spend the extra money to get a car I'm comfortable with in the long haul. Check my carspace pictures.
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