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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    (The best) Midsize Car JD Power 2007 Vehicle Dependability Study

    drum roll please

    Buick Century

    quote robertsmx-
    The only car that is said to be better than Camry is the Accord

    Even better than the Accord as rated by JD Power is the Buick Century.
    What is Buicks midsize car now? The LaCrosse?
    Without looking this up I could not think what the midsize currently sold by Buick was. :surprise:
    GM desperately needs to provide new product to Buick.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You left out a few:

    Buick Century 5/5
    Buick Regal 5/5
    Mercury Sable 5/5

    Fusion is missing from this list and Camry gets 4 dots, not 3:

    As for the Focus (when did that become midsize :confuse: ) it was the top rated car by CR when it first came out (Sept 2000 issue). However, this apparently did not translate into buyers being willing to pay a premium price for one (as they do for the civic). I think it is a good buy, even with it's aging platform. Price-wise the Focus is more comparable to the Fit, just as cars like the Fusion are generally more comparable to the Civic in terms of actual selling prices.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,767
    Those are 2004 models. The Fusion and Milan won't appear on that survey for 2 more years (2009 survey covering 2006 models).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,767
    All I said was that Toyota's recent quality problems and especially the declaration from CR that it won't automatically recommend new models and the fact that it dropped the V6 Camry and 4x4 Tundra from it's recommended list, combined with plenty of dissatisfied owners can potentially knock Camry from the top spot.

    Toyota has lost it's bulletproof image. We'll have to wait and see what affect it has on sales down the road.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I think people, from my interaction with them everyday at work, that many Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Mazda buyers look at CR for reliability and quality before they look at JD Powers. From talking to a lot of people in the auto industry, connected to many different mfgr's, JD Powers is not really regarded as a great source for anything. They are more like a Car and Driver or Motor Trend.

    What does "overall quality" really mean when CR or JD Powers places a "quality" label on vehicles they asses. Does it encompass the grade of materials? How they are put together? How long the car is going to last? Maybe a bit of all? Hmmm... I have personally noticed that the interior quality of materials in a Toyota Camry are low rent. Now, they are put together well. So, how does that score? Overall reliability seems to have seriously slipped as well. How does the Camry receive a 3 out of 5?

    The previous generation Honda Accord also utilized numerous plastic components, as does most every mfgr, but, I noticed more plastic then some other brands (Hyundai/Mazda). Once again, these materials are put together very well. So, once again, is the build quality regarded higher then the actual materials used? The ride/comfort of the Honda Accord was nothing special either. Reliability has been top knotch for the most part, apart from the V6 tranny's.

    I have the most experience in a Mazda6 (2005 Mazda6 i 5-Door w/leather/Bose/moon roof). There are once again, plastics used in the interior, but, not as much as the current Camry or 2003-2007 Accord. The build quality is not as tight, but, so so close to Accord/Camry. The ride has not changed since day 1, and I have had no issues to date (4 cyl Mazda6's have been rated well in reliability). What makes the Mazda6 score only 2 out of 5? Is is the sup par V6? How does the same V6 get rated high in the Fusion? It's the same engine! I have no idea. Dose the fact that many Mazda6's are fleet account for a low score. Fleet cars usually get the snot beat out of them. Once again, I have visited JD Powers web site and really do not understand their rating philosophy. I guess this is why I find them useless.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,778
    Funny how the Century, Regal, and Sable got left out of the earlier listing by robertsmx: GM and Ford.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,778
    Remember that their information comes from random surveys of owners over three years.


    Overall Dependability: Taken from the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 3 years of new-vehicle ownership, this score is based on problems that have caused a complete breakdown or malfunction of any component, feature, or item (i.e., components that stop working or trim pieces that break or come loose).

    Powertrain Dependability:
    Taken from the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 3 years of new-vehicle ownership, this score is based on problems with the engine or transmission as well as problems that affect the driving experience (i.e., vehicle/brakes pull, abnormal noises or vibrations) only.

    Body & Interior Dependability: Taken from the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 3 years of new-vehicle ownership, this score is based on problems with wind noise, water leaks, poor interior fit/finish, paint imperfection, and squeaks/rattles.

    Features & Accessories Dependability: Taken from the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 3 years of new-vehicle ownership, this score is based on problems with the seats, windshield wipers, navigation system, rear-seat entertainment system, heater, air conditioner, stereo system, sunroof and trip computer.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I stand corrected. Some of the links to dependability won't respond so I clicked on "rankings by segment" and selected midsize, but didn't realize it was talking IQS.

    Speaking of Buick, I think it benefits from the segment it caters to. I would also be interested to see average age of the buyers taking the surveys as well as miles driven to draw proper conclusions from any of these surveys. I have known folks who drive 5K miles or less/year. I drive that distance in two months.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Yeah, while "defending" a car that I can't see myself buying.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I mentioned Focus after Civic, and neither was to talk about size but to discuss approach automakers take. Obviously, you missed the point completely.

    But in the process, you did mention something that relates to the topic. I have seen several people complain about Camry being favored by CR as they recommend even the new model by default. That doesn’t seem to be an issue with Focus being recommended when it first came out. So I say, let recommendation be what it is. CR has as much a crystal ball as did Ms Cleo.

    We could discuss pricing elsewhere, but since you brought it up, Focus is really priced above Fit and comparable to Civic. Equip base with ABS, automatic transmission, and you’re into $16.5K mark (Fit is about $2K cheaper). But market isn’t willing to pay the price for it, and incentives/rebates are almost warranted. Could have been better, if Ford actually took care of its business properly when it was launched (which was quite a splash, actually). If they didn’t learn from it, Fusion’s future won’t be any different. As of now, it does look promising.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    While I quoted JD power and do look at CR ratings, I only take them for what they are. New buyers may not buy into Camry's reputation based on that, but for repeat buyers (or buyers with history based on experiencence from friends and family) those numbers don't tell the story.

    I started with a used 1982 Supra-Celica. It held up well, virtually guaranteeing my next purchased to be a Toyota. I bought used 1988 Corolla GT-S coupe. It held up extremely well, sold at 138K miles and was still running around 168K miles with the guy who bought from me. And it was not only reliable, it was also a fun car to drive and a lot more stable at speed than the sedan.

    This led to yet another used Toyota, 1992 Camry which I had until I decided to go Honda. Major reason for my switch was my driving experience, not ownership experience. The ownership experience led to me picking a Honda over VW (Passat), however. From one brand with reputation to another. Since then, I've been a Honda guy, not just based on reputation of the company but based in experience.

    This is how companies begin to garner respect, build a customer base, and repeat buyers. My cars over last ten years:
    1998 Accord (current, 183K miles)
    1999 Prelude (sold for Civic)
    2000 Civic (replaced by TL)
    2006 TL (current, 30K miles)

    Under consideration (to replace the Accord if there is a need):
    2008/2009 Accord
    2009 Fit

    It doesn't matter what JD Power or CR put on the survey. Those are simply fun numbers for me to look at. I don't put greater value on them over my ownership experience.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    It doesn't matter what JD Power or CR put on the survey. Those are simply fun numbers for me to look at. I don't put greater value on them over my ownership experience

    That is the way I think of it too.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    JD Power ratings are such a weak way to assess a car.

    What is a better source of reliability information than JD Power?

    Consumer Reports only survey's subscribers and is certainly not preferred to JD Power.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "What is a better source of reliability information than JD Power?"

    While I'm sure the JD Power bible is the final purchase arbiter of a car decision for posters in the glass house, I've actually to meet anybody in real life who consulted with JD Power before buying a vehicle. What people do in this glass house vs the real world are two different things.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Consumer Reports only survey's subscribers and is certainly not preferred to JD Power.

    I have found long term reliability ratings from CR to be more accurate. JD only goes three years out, and are a random surveys. I have never received a JD survey.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    CR or JD Powers' usability goes only as far as TV commercials, and hold as much value as NHTSA's safety star rating (which don't hold much meaning until one actually digs deeper into the claims).

    For that matter, if you look at dependability survey, Mercury Sable has 5/5 overall dependability rating but its virtual twin has only 3/5. Why does this happen? You can see something similar in compact car segment too. Cavalier and Sunfire were virtual twins, yet the Chevrolet is deemed more dependable.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    My problem with vague symbols like stars or colored circles is that it overstates what are really pretty close values. When JD Power released long term reliability data, the # of probs over a multi year period for the best rated vehicles was around 3 and around 4 for the below average vehicles. Consumer reports showed similar data as well... the difference between their top rating and below average rating was often just a few percent over a five year period. I would suggest that it's in consumer reports and JD powers interest to make the differences seem more than what they really are so that the data is more dramatic which would compell more people to look at their conclusions thus buying more of their product/subscriptions.
  • ronin5ronin5 Posts: 14
    They just admitted that they have been letting Camry skate based on past experience. They think now that the Camry no longer rates an automatic pass.

    Which I interpret to mean that up until recently they have been giving high ratings to a model that they now admit does not deserve it. Which means they have misled their leadership for the past few years.

    What they need to do now is fess up and say which other models they are predicting high, or for that matter, low, ratings based on past glory, but have no empirical evidence either way.

    It's nice that CR admits its error in misleading its subscribers; it's funnier that people still accept CR as gospel.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I've been price shopping the new Taurus for my grandmother... Out the door prices come to $22k. I dare ya to find that on a V6 Accord or Camry right now!

    Just something to keep in mind; there are other value leaders besides Hyundai.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,793
    Yes, I saw a new Lucerne advertised for $21k the other day, and Azera SEs can be had for that also. Fusion V6s start at around $20k (discounted), and of course there's the Optima. Several good choices for value in this class if the Camcordma is too pricey and something else meets your needs.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,778
    >It's nice that CR admits its error in misleading its subscribers;

    CR should have admitted its bias much earlier.

    >it's funnier that people still accept CR as gospel

    And they did just that and some always will. There's even a topic here about CR.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I agree. There may (or may not) be big difference between a 4-star versus 5, or above average versus good. In fact, in some cases (as I pointed out about NHTSA's star rating system, a few days ago) that it could be the opposite. But I would pay closer attention to difference between 3-star and 5-star (or colors, if they apply).
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    One could choose to ignore predicted reliability and simply look for reliability from the past. In case of Camry, the prediction is based on the car's and the company's past. I don't see an issue with it. Predicted reliability will always be... prediction, not a guarantee. See what happened with Focus. It had a high predicted reliability when it first arrived, right? So, it is not something that Toyota gets.

    One could argue that predicted reliability should be simply taken off the print. What is the point anyway? In fact, why even bother with reliability of "new" cars? It only makes sense in used car market, because for new cars, even based on same design, prediction is just that, looking at the crystal ball with the past behind it. It doesn't guarantee replication or improvement.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    That's the key; her needs are obviously very different than mine (I enjoy the driving process, being 20 I don't go in search of the quietest smoothest ride). I also don't have a predetermined good repoire with Ford vehicles like she does (she likes Fords as a whole).

    My grandmother drove Ford most of her life (starting with a Fairlane, had a Torino, Granada, and an '84 LTD (the Fairmont-based one). After that, she bought a '91 Civic which she loved, and replaced it with a '96 Accord (now my car), and followed that one up with her current 2002 Accord). Now that Honda is getting expensive yet cheaper with the Accord, I'm trying to guide her back to Ford. Her last two Accords have been LX 4-cyl Auto models. She doesn't care for frills; she won't learn how to use them! An LX 4-cylinder Accord is now the same price as a Taurus, which supposedly a better riding car, with 80+ more power, and a much smoother ride. She's not a driving enthusiast (she's 72) so the whole Honda "handling" premise doesn't matter to her.
  • She's not a driving enthusiast (she's 72) so the whole Honda "handling" premise doesn't matter to her.

    She might find a smaller car easier to maneuver and/or see. My grandma went from the biggest Pontiac I'd ever seen to a Camry in the 80s and my other grandma went from a huge Buick to an early 90s Century. Even my grandpa went from a RWD Impala to a FWD Bonneville.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I agree with that too. The only thing is it is easier for her to get in a car that's higher up. My aunt (who has an Odyssey and is pining for a CR-V - she thinks they are "the cutest thing!")wants her to test a CR-V. That may be a good idea.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I've been price shopping the new Taurus for my grandmother

    Is she looking for FWD or AWD?

    I will say, you do get a lot of car for the money in the Taurus/Sable
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "She's not a driving enthusiast (she's 72) so the whole Honda "handling" premise doesn't matter to her."

    Riding around in retirement communities one can't help but notice the number of Accords and Camrys. One has to wonder why?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, if its anything like my grandmother's case, she keeps buying what she's always had because they've been nothing but good. She told me "they've never given me a reason to go anywhere else" talking about buying cars at the Honda dealer that is literally walking distance from her house. Her first Honda was bought when she was in her early 50s.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Is she looking for FWD or AWD?

    FWD. We haven't had measurable snow in Birmingham in 7 years (although that IS a record!). All her cars for the last 20+ years have been FWD
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