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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Correct.

    "zoom-zoom" is a philosophy of a total driving experience. The Mazda6 is the LAST vehicle in it's segment to get overhauled. It it's debut, it received numerous awards for it's driving dynamics, and driving spirit of which the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima lacked.

    Currently, all have gone complete overhauls, and the Mazda6 still remains the same. When the new 6 debuts, I'm sure it will go right back to the top of the best overall performing vehicle in it's class. That is "zoom-zoom"

    Capitan-Will Mazda ever be BMW? No They don't need to be, no do they want to be. right now, they have a growing image, and the brand is appealing to record setting customers world wide.

    If Mazda knew nothing about making true performance vehicles, then why are there "more Mazda, or Mazda powered vehicles raced on the roads of America then any other brand"*?

    *sourced directly from the SCCA.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I think the problem is more of perception than reality. Take Acura TL for example. 2004-2006 Acura TL were firm riding cars, so imagine the ride quality in a performance tuned version when Acura did launch the Type-S.

    They did in 2007. However, something worth noting is the first thing I read about the 2007 TL and TL-S. The new TL (now base) received chassis tweaks to have a smoother ride. Based on a few reviews, interestingly enough, the new TL Type-S rode more like the 2004-2006 TL with much improved handling performance. In fact, from a R&T comparison test: “What’s impressive about the TL Type-S is that it also has a smooth ride quality. We all agreed that for a cross-country trip, the TL would be our choice”

    The base TL now rode smoother, but it handles as well as the 2004-2006. In other words, ride quality doesn’t tell the whole story. I’m willing to bet that the new Accord has received similar chassis tweaks that TL did, improving the ride quality while retaining or improving handling qualities. Since I haven’t driven the new Accord, I can’t really claim that the handling is better or not, but virtually all reviews have suggested that it is the flattest and best handling Accord. If it comes with improved ride quality, why not?

    Besides, my idea of a good handling car isn't in how much g's a car pulls, or steering responses at slow-mid range speeds (no matter how isolated or connected). It is how confidently and nicely a car tracks, and goes in the direction it is pointed at, with confidence, over bumps. And that is actually where Accord's chassis shows up.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    no FWD (OR FWD BIASED awd) will ever do the 25mph curvies in the same way that things like a 3 series ( or 1 series) can and do. 60%+ forward weight distribution along with the driven wheels also doing the steering has that effect.

    Usually yes, but things aren’t as straight forward. Chassis tuning has a lot to do with it. I have a favorite circular ramp on my way to work, where the speed drops from 60 mph to 20 mph. I let my front driver slow down to about 40-45 mph at the entry (if not following another vehicle that is braking, virtually everybody does). I enter tangentially, and then accelerate while turning the steering inwards. The rear suspension shows up, and provides passive steering, allowing the car to rotate under throttle. The car easily handles 50 mph on the ramp on “grand touring” all-season rubber.

    The feedback from the steering wheel about things happening in the powered wheels takes away the complete reliance on stability control (which my “that” car doesn’t have). The 5-link rear suspension takes over and responds to throttle input. It is more fun because of the stealth factor. Tackling curves like that isn’t expected in a family sedan not tuned at all for race track.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Probe used the Vulcan V6 I believe and was not the engine of choice in that car (originally intended to be the new Mustang), the Contour OTH did have an OHC V6, (2.5 liter?) and I believe the first 'Duratech'. And yes I owned a 89 Probe 4 banger, and thought it was a reasonable effort by Ford only in that in really was a Mazda. But at the same time a beginning of the demise of Mazda (Mx6) as a viable alternative to the Japan 3. And why on earth, is simply pointing out Ford's histories of broken promises and/or late deliveries 'bashing'? To this day I'm not sure anybody knows what Ford is really going to do about replacing that wheezy 3.0DT in the Fusion, or even if they'll be around long enough to do it.

    PS - other Mazdas I owned over the years include an 808, RX2, GLC and 626, and yes my recent defections (2002) to Nissan and Toyota products has a lot to do with Ford's influence on Mazda. Mazda used to be truly innovative (things like the multiple renditions of the Wankel - the Cosmo, RX7 comes to mind, and of course the Millenia which might just be the most underrated sedan of its day). I believe Mazda could do this again (without Dearborn calling the shots).
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    Simply tightening up a suspension, and making a car ride (and feel) like a go cart, does not change the laws of physics and the ultimate terminal understeer that all cars of this genre must suffer from. In summary, if Mazda really wanted to compete on these 25 mph curvies you reference they also need to get out of the FWD car business (as do many other mfgrs.).

    I would love to see a rear wheel drive mazda6, but I know pricing would be an issue. I'm sure there are more things about a BMW that is better than the Mazda, but since they are way out of my price range, I don't need to know. Of the choices of cars that offered fun and safe driving dynamics that could haul lots of cargo with a comfortable ride and cost less than 25k, the Mazda6 was the perfect mix for me. In the 2 years I've owned it, it has been a pleasure to drive. Although not the fastest in a straight line, it is still plenty fast especially in cornering where this car is a real standout in this class. Recently, consumer's digest listed the mazda6 among the most sporty cars for 2007, and the editors of Edmunds chose the Mazda6 the most desireable for 2007.

    In fact, the Mazda6 is still highly praised for it's combination of zoom-zoom, comfort, and practicality. Here are some of the reviews of the Mazda6:

    From Edmonds:
    On an open road, the 6 shines with its communicative steering and poised chassis. It's while unraveling a twisty road that the 6 distances itself from its less involving and less athletic peers. Yet it's no less affable on the highway, where it delivers as smooth and quiet a ride as anything in its class.

    Like most other Mazdas, the 6 is a thrill behind the wheel. Neither engine is exceptionally powerful, especially off the line, though the V6's smooth, quiet power delivery offsets this….Communicative steering goes a long way toward making the 6 fun to drive, whether it's on the highway or from corner to corner on back roads. The well-sorted suspension achieves a superb balance between comfortable ride quality and athletic handling.

    From automotive.com:
    The Mazda6 is sportier than other mid-size sedans, both in its appearance and in its handling and driving dynamics. It's more agile and holds the road better than the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Nissan Altima. It's lighter on its feet and stops quicker, too. In short, it's a better driver's car. It's also the best sedan for the money that Mazda has ever built.

    When it comes to sporty handling, the Mazda6 is among the best in the class. It offers better road holding than the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima, and it offers better transient response in quick lane-change maneuvers. The Camry feels genuinely lethargic by comparison and the Altima feels like a bigger car. The Mazda's handling is even sharper than the Honda's.
  • Besides, my idea of a good handling car isn't in how much g's a car pulls, or steering responses at slow-mid range speeds (no matter how isolated or connected). It is how confidently and nicely a car tracks, and goes in the direction it is pointed at, with confidence, over bumps. And that is actually where Accord's chassis shows up.

    This is why there are so many different vehicles available. Steering response AND feel are 2 metrics that are very important to me. Straight line tracking should not be affected. Turn in (a function of the tires and front suspension geometry) is very important to me as well.

    My Accord's turn in is pretty sorry (more a function of the tires) and it never really takes a set in a turn, and it definitely doesn't do anything to inspire confidence. In contrast, the '93 Accord had great turn-in response (especially on the Kumhos) and was very communicative about what the tires were doing. Even dips in mid-turn didn't upset the balance that much, as opposed to the oscillation the '07 goes into.

    I think if straight line tracking and bump absorption was what I was after, I would probably look at the GM offerings.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Sans the MS6, Mazda plays very poorly in the HP wars these days almost making 'zoom-zoom' a joke.

    The HP wars are a joke. I would be extremely pleased if Mazda would offer only 4 cylinders in the new Mazda6. North America is the only market where V6 is required for market acceptance.
    Shame on us.
    Of course, if Mazda wanted to win the power wars, they could offer a turbine option for the Mazda6.
    Turbine Beetle

    Zoom Zoom to me is fun to drive. Fun to drive is great handling without being harsh. Lighter is better. Mazda is making it's new models lighter than previous models. Kudos to Mazda for making the new 6 and 2 lighter than the old ones. Adequate power is mandatory.
    Mazda6 i fulfills this mission and is fun to drive. I concede it would be no fun at all to drag race.

    Mazda describes Zoom Zoom as-
    Mazda’s creativity, passion, and innovation are dedicated to delivering fun and exhilarating driving experiences to customers who remember the “emotion of motion” first felt as a child. It’s the “wind-in-your-hair” feeling you get from horseback riding on a crisp fall day, the sense of freedom from cruising down a wooded country lane in a sleek convertible, or the exhilaration that comes from a roller coaster ride.
    Zoom-Zoom starts with a visual promise. Mazda vehicles are designed to not only catch the eye; they convey an immediate image of youthful exuberance, style and driving fun. Spirited performance is an essential element of Zoom-Zoom. With that goal always in mind, every Mazda vehicle is designed to offer features that continually surprise and delight our customers.
    -end

    The only competition for Mazda Zoom Zoom in Mazda's price range IMHO is Subaru. And I suspect Subaru may be losing or changing it's path.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    yes, there are certainly ways to minimize the negative impacts of FWD and the correspondent weight imbalances, something that a number of mfgrs. have been attempting for years and to varying degrees of success. Just don't confuse one of these 'attempts' with what are truly 'sports sedans' and probably made over in Germany someplace.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes, the Mazda6 is designed to compete in the FWD moderately priced family sedan category, while having "sportier" ride and handling than others do. I don't think BMW has an entry in this category, so it is not really a competitor.

    I think the idea is Mazda is trying to be the zoomiest in each category in which it competes, not in an absolute sense.

    It is not really a sedan or midsize, but if one wants a RWD car, that handles even better than the 6, there is the Mazda RX-8. It would not appeal to me, but perhaps someday they will do a RWD sports sedan. They are a pretty small player in the US though, so can not really expect them to be everything to everyone.

    For myself, I can go faster than I want to around any corner and curve, without any of this supposed understeer, even in my (according to some) under-powered automatic mazda6...which I believe is zoomier than the other FWD 4cyl automatic familiy sedans :) .
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Subaru? like Mazda and not in the HP wars? 250hp Legacys and 300hp Wrxs don't count? Heck, it was Subaru (and Mitsu)that invented the 'factory' rice rocket did they not? Yes, the WRX/Evo are all about 'zoom-zoom', because they do have the power to match some handling abilities.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Subaru? like Mazda and not in the HP wars? :confuse: :sick:

    You STILL don't understand that Zoom Zoom is NOT about HP only, do you?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I'm wondering if you would take that turn in that German car at above 50 mph. I would like to see that. :)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    read #6492 - this is why your 'zoom-zoom' is a joke - IMO you need HP as well as athleticism - otherwise it is very very difficult to take seriously, especially when you discontinue the model that largely delivered on that promise.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    How much HP?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731

    re 6447 and others
    Grad, I have found on my 2006 Sonata LX that when I have been going at a normal speed, then slow by taking my foot off the gas, the car seems to have a "slight drag" that by tapping the gas releases that drag. This may be the same type thing you are addressing. I don't know/understand it either, but think it is the transmission holding the gear while decelerating,and the "tap" releases the gear. It is consistent and obvious when it happens. Obviously it is detectable by looking at the tachometer. I haven't noted the actual amounts however.


    Lightfoot, what you are describing is exactly right. What little engine braking had existed is released by tapping the gas just-so.

    Thanks for your input, and letting me know I'm not a complete nut for looking at that!
  • the Probe used the Vulcan V6 I believe and was not the engine of choice in that car

    The '89-92(?) used the 3.0l Vulcan when the V6 was available, the 93-96 used Mazda's 2.5l V6.

    Contour OTH did have an OHC V6, (2.5 liter?) and I believe the first 'Duratech'

    Man was that car fun. 2.5l 170hp V6. It sounded good, and the breathing was aided by the secondary intake runners.

    Just wanted to keep things up to date.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    competitive in this class would put that number at something around 13-14lbs vehicle weight per hp.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    competitive in this class would put that number at something around 13-14lbs vehicle weight per hp.

    Wait, it's not in the same class, but weren't you just holding up BMW as the gold standard :confuse: .

    Lets see, BMW 328i 3340 pounds and 230 HP...that comes to 14.5 pounds per HP...non-competive, I guess :surprise: .
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Lets see, BMW 328i 3340 pounds and 230 HP...that comes to 14.5 pounds per HP...non-competive, I guess :surprise:

    Or the 335 which is 10 lbs per hp, which comes online at 1400 rpm. Non-competitive :surprise
  • mz3smz3s Posts: 17
    Can we stop all this mess? HP wars and comparing 55k BMWs to family sedans driven primarily by fat [non-permissible content removed] parents of 2.5 kids and the dog somewhere in the picture. Why is all this about a race?

    I say all that to say...

    OK for speed but not overkill (Hear me Camry/Accord/Altima?)
    Well, I'm lying. OK for overkill but be able to handle it around a curve.

    Oh yeah, no more BMWs.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Are you sure you won't complain if the class moves on to 12-13 lb/HP, and that it won't lose the zoom-zoom factor, again? Interesting thing about this is that the Miata symbolizes zoom-zoom better than any other Mazda. It lead the slogan.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Or the 335 which is 10 lbs per hp, which comes online at 1400 rpm. Non-competitive :surprise

    Actually, 335i has 45 lb to carry for each HP at 1400 rpm. :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We're losing sight of the topic.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    I think the 2008 Accord is much improved over how it absorbs small bumps. As was noted by someone else, with the previous generation Accord, you really could feel every little bump. But those are smoothed out in the 2008 model. Maybe not as isolated as, say, a Buick or Sonata, but to the extent where it's no longer an issue for me. The new Accord also corners flat around curves, no problem there. Seemed to track straight also. The only problem I found with the chassis, and this was with the 16" tires, was some side-stepping when going around a sharp curve over small bumps (e.g. a cloverleaf). This isn't a major problem, especially for a family sedan, but it just shows the Accord is a fine family sedan but not a sport sedan.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    haha, I think past posts have shown some people to have blinders and cherry-pick certain parts of other's posts. Apparently reacting to a complete idea is too difficult so creating a "strawman" argument is all that they have left...

    The idea that HP is all there is to Zoom-Zoom just misses the point. I've had bicycles that had more zoom-zoom than many of these midsize cars! For people who like to drive but want enough room for business, family or friends, the Mazda6 is a great option that is priced thousands less than competitors in this class.
  • I think the 2008 Accord is much improved over how it absorbs small bumps. As was noted by someone else, with the previous generation Accord, you really could feel every little bump. But those are smoothed out in the 2008 model.

    I would definitely expect that of a car with the size and girth of the '08.

    The only problem I found with the chassis, and this was with the 16" tires, was some side-stepping when going around a sharp curve over small bumps (e.g. a cloverleaf). This isn't a major problem, especially for a family sedan, but it just shows the Accord is a fine family sedan but not a sport sedan.

    It should be fine at meeting the needs of most people hauling children and going to the grocery store.
  • I've had bicycles that had more zoom-zoom than many of these midsize cars!

    My Cannondale is definitely more zoom-zoomy than the Accord :P
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Do we really need flat cornering, and ability to do 0-60 in 7.0 or less to haul children and grocery shopping? "Family" sedans have come a long way indeed!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    You haven't been at the school drop-off or the grocery store parking lot lately, have you? ;)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Heh. Well, they ALL go my speed, thankyouverymuch...

    Of course, I have an old 4Runner that looks like and probably COULD drive over their yuppie toys.(lifted a bit, big knobby tires, bars, sliders, etc)
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