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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669

    I get a kick out of everyone talking like their a race car driver.

    Fusion handles well, but you need to plan a box lunch while getting from 0-60.


    Why is 0-60 time important for a midsize sedan? Do you drag race Camrys and Accords from stoplight to stoplight?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    the Fusion handles well, but you need to plan a box lunch while getting from 0-60.

    That makes me wonder about your diet. ;)
  • I checked out a 2005 Toyota Camry with 10,000 miles, called dealerships untill I found out where it was serviced. It had 72,000 miles in september. It is listed on Edmunds.com. The guy says it was his grandmothers car. Car fax reports 53,000 miles. Glad I paid the money for unlimited carfax reports. vin # 4T1BF32K55U605280 . I was told the car was in Savannah, Ga.

    Be very cautious2
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    The comparo Edmunds conducted with six drivers drawn from the public is posted on the main page. A big surprise to me was that Edmunds chose low-end, I4 versions of the Accord, Camry, and Malibu to test. The results didn't surprise me too much:

    Car / 1st Place Votes / 2nd Place Votes / 3rd Place Votes
    Accord / 3 / 3 / 0
    Malibu / 3 / 2 / 1
    Camry / 0 / 1 / 5

    The numbers don't tell the whole story, however. While it's clear the Camry was the "loser" of the bunch, I thought it was kind of funny that the only person who rated the Camry higher than 3rd owns... guess what? A Camry! The comments on the Camry were overall really negative (except for the Camry owner of course). Some wondered out loud how the Camry could be the best-selling car.

    The other thing that is sort of evident in the rankings is how close the Accord and Malibu were rated. But reading the reviews, in which the Accord just edged out the Malibu in some cases, the Malibu's strong showing was even more clear. Even the guy who rated the Camry 1st (and the Accord 2nd; btw he owns an Odyssey too) said he really wanted to vote for the Malibu over the Accord, but he couldn't because the long-term quality of the Malibu is unknown. I guess he was confused--he must have thought the comparo, on a test track in SoCal, was sponsored not by Edmunds.com but by Consumer Reports. ;)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    he really wanted to vote for the Malibu over the Accord, but he couldn't because the long-term quality of the Malibu is unknown. I guess he was confused--he must have thought the comparo, on a test track in SoCal, was sponsored not by Edmunds.com but by Consumer Reports.

    More than one of the testers commented on the reputation of the manufacturers being a reason to doubt the Malibu. Don't you think reputation matters? History means nothing? Consumer Reports are not the only ones who care about "Will it hold up"? Consumers do too.
  • I did test drive the Fusion and the Milan as well. The cars handled very well. Very comfortable seating. The downside was the interior feel was not nearly as good as Nissan Altima or Honda or Aura. I did test drive the Aura as well. The Aura felt very good. Though I did not drive the Malibu knowing it is built on the same platform as the Aura I am pretty sure it will handle very well. When I initially looked at Aura the only engine choices were the old 3.5 or the 3.6. Gas mileage on both were not nearly as good as the fours from other manufacturers.

    Why rear seat comfort is important to me is with two grown up kids I am pretty sure I am going to take the 'back seat' in long driving situations. I think the Altima's rear seat is bit lower to the ground hence my knee knocking against the door problem - I think. I will go back to the dealer with a tape measure next time to get the seat height.

    Our cars do close to 20 ~ 25K miles every year. So gas mileage is important. This is why we whittled the list down to peppy 4 cylinder cars. I kind of like the Malibu but will have to wait for the 6 Spd to get the mileage that the Accord/Camry/Altima get today. I am planning on test driving the Camry SE soon, maybe do the same with Malibu.

    I also liked the Legacy of the past for driving dynamics. But the rear seat is a joke and only good for small kids. I couldn't get into the car without knocking my head. The front is very nice and roomy.

    By the way thanks for all the posts.
  • While your'e test driving,why dont you look at the KIA Optima and the Hyundai Sonata...you will be pleasantly surprised.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    More than one of the testers commented on the reputation of the manufacturers being a reason to doubt the Malibu. Don't you think reputation matters? History means nothing? Consumer Reports are not the only ones who care about "Will it hold up"? Consumers do too.

    Even CR separates ratings of cars based on how they drive, functionality, quality (and this does not mean reliability), etc. from their recomendations which include reliability considerations. I assume the point of the comparison test was to compare the cars not to rate them based on one's expectations of reliability.

    It would be pointless to test and examine the cars, if no matter what the results of that are you are one who will pick the Camry because you just know it will be reliable and reliabilty trumps all other considerations for you.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Camry because you just know it will be reliable and reliabilty trumps all other considerations for you.

    There are people whose sole consideration is just that. It's not my consideration. I don't worry about reliability because in the end it's a crap shoot. There are people however, who worry about the number of projected times the car will be in the shop.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    Yes, reliability is a key buying criterion for most people. But as was noted above, the purpose of a head-to-head test drive is to compare how the cars do on the road. If it were simply a matter of comparing predicted reliability, or picking the car from a particular brand because we happen to like that brand or know that the brand has a strong history of reliability, we wouldn't need a road test for that, would we? And it's unfair IMO to knock a completely redesigned, and clearly improved, car for lack of reliability when its reliability is unknown.

    BTW, there is no reason to doubt the reliability of the new Malibu based on history. Even the previous-generation Malibu, a much inferior car to the new one, was Recommended by CR, meaning it is a reliable car based on their owner survey (or they wouldn't recommend it). What I see here is obvious bias on the part of the lone Camry owner in the comparo. He owns a Camry and a Honda, and he rated the Camry 1st and the Accord 2nd, even though he admits he would have liked to rate the Malibu ahead of the Accord (as if there were some unknown force preventing him from doing so--a force such as brand bias perhaps).
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I didn't drive the Malibu, but from spending some time in the car, I didn't like it at all. I don't recall what trim level it was, but it was about $20K. The same priced Camry imo looks and feels better and would get my dollars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    Based on the comparo, that opinion would put you in the minority, as 5 out of 6 of the drivers rated the Camry last, with many negative comments about how it looks and feels, especially inside (which is what you are talking about here, since you haven't driven the Malibu).

    If the Malibu you sat in was $20k, it must have been the base model, which lists for $20k. The same-priced Camry would be the base model, CE. The Edmunds comparo tested cars one trim level up from those.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Actually not the minority if one looks at sales figures. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Camry for what it is. It does it's mission excellently, not pretending to be something it's not.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    It is hard to avoid brand bias. You quote the guy driving a Toyota and being the only one ranking it higher than third, but don't mention the lady who drives a Chevy and ranked the Malibu higher. You talk about how a person ranked Accord higher on reputation around reliability but you didn't missed the person who ranked Malibu higher based on longer warranty. See... people will buy what automakers can sell. And Honda can sell reliability, just like GM is trying to sell longer warranty.

    Besides, it is also easier to root for the underdog/underachiever and be overcritical of someone successful. I'm thinking NE Patriots right now. I've watched couple of their games at Sports Bars and it seems that it is the lesser teams that you can't ignore! Most people seem to WANT Pats to lose. I do too. ;)
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Consumer Comparison Test: 2008 Family Sedans

    Pat,
    Thanks for posting that link. It was very informative, a good read. Interestingly, most of the novice reviewers deemed the Camry to be "mushy" when it came to the ride and handling departments. The Malibu did really well, equaling or surpassing Camry and Accord in most areas.

    Maybe the results go to show that GM (and Ford and Chrysler by extension) is serious about building competitive cars, regaining market share. I still think the Ford Fusion is the best mid-size sedan on the market, but that's just me and yes I do own one so I am naturally biased.

    However, if I were in the market today to buy a new mid-sizer I would definitely give the 'Bu a long hard look before deciding. Still, after one year of ownership and 6,000 miles, I give our 2007 SEL AWD V6 ($27,105 MSRP) extremely high marks in every category except in-city mileage.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Why are they testing the mainstream family sedans on a race track?? Why not let the testers take the cars for a day in LA's rush hour traffic, another day on the Malibu twisty roads and open highway such the I-15 between LA and Las Vegas? I really think those will be more meaningful tests for a mainstream 4-banger family hauler. However, if you are testing cars like Corvette, 350Z, Boxster/Cayman then that's another story...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Why are they testing the mainstream family sedans on a race track??

    Because it tests the limit of the vehicles under extreme driving conditions. Also, a track is a controlled environment. Driving on the streets of LA is not.

    Testing on tracks also help to determine how it will handle accident avoidance, without actually having to avoid one. Acceleration on a track can simulate merging on a highway, passing vehicles, etc.. without actually having to do so..once again, safety comes to mind because it is a controlled environment.

    p.s.....testing on the streets of LA or Malibu don't really translate the same over here in the NY area. Quite different.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "testing on the streets of LA or Malibu don't really translate the same over here in the NY area. Quite different."

    Case in point, In NY, or more specifically NYC, a comfy, mushy ride is a good thing. Interesting how this gets turned into a negative.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Case in point, In NY, or more specifically NYC, a comfy, mushy ride is a good thing. Interesting how this gets turned into a negative.

    Exactly me point, a day in the race track with these 4-banger family hauler can't generate the real-world driving experience. I doubt when driving home from school, the mom is thinking about how fast can I corner the next turn with junior in the back...
  • You make a good point. That's why Camry is #1 selling car. A comfy ride is great in the real-world driving.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    Why are they testing the mainstream family sedans on a race track??

    If you read the article, you'll see that they didn't just test the cars on a race track.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    To me, seeing that the only person who really liked the Camry and rated it above last place owns a Camry is different from someone who owns an older Chevy and ranks the Malibu at the top, where several other drivers ranked it. That one positive vote for the Camry is known as an "outlier". Also, if you re-read the article you'll note that the person who mentioned the Malibu's longer warranty states that he would have rated the car the same w/o the longer warranty.

    Do you think that the drivers who rated the Malibu highly and the Camry down-low did so because they wanted to see the "top dog" lose? If that is the case, how does it explain that the Accord, which is considered the top mid-sized car by many people, including most professional reviewers, did so well in the comparo?

    I have no problem with an automaker "selling" reliability. But I don't think reliability should be a factor in a head-to-head road test.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Do you think only 2-3 of those folks are "biased"?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Do you think only 2-3 of those folks are "biased"?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    Everyone is biased in one way or another. Some do a better job than others in controlling their biases when comparing cars, or at minimum making it clear what their biases are, e.g. C/D is clear that their #1 bias with cars is handling.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I thought we were talking brand bias, not qualities we look for in cars (and handling would be that).
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I have no problem with an automaker "selling" reliability. But I don't think reliability should be a factor in a head-to-head road test.

    Why can't there be a combination of road test and reliability evaluation? If two cars finished very close to each other on the road test, why can't reliability be the deciding factor. Sounds logical to me.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    why can't reliability be the deciding factor

    I think (perceived) reliability can be and very often is the "deciding factor" in a purchase decision. I don't see how "reliability" can be a factor at all in a comparison test because it cannot be actually tested unless this comparison test goes on for years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    You asked about "bias" in general. Biases come in many forms. (And forums!) A bias towards sharp handling would manifest itself, for example, when it overrules qualities that would also be desirable, e.g. a smooth ride or fuel economy. A brand bias would tend to make someone favor one car over another even if the other car performs better overall.
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