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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Aura appears "cheap" to me and the Malibu appears sleek and upscale in comparison. Chrome grill and chrome finisher on the trunk are the major items that ruin the Aura IMHO.
    On the Malibu, I like the black grill and do not like the chrome grill Malibu.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Fusion with the sport appearance package is my favorite Fusion.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,961
    I remember the first time I saw a Aura on the road. It was black and I was sitting at a light and it went across in front of me. I stared at it and thought to myself....Man, that is really a good looking car, what is it? At first I thought it was some kind of BMW or something. Anyway, I still really like the outside styling and it was high on my list when I was looking to buy a new car. However, after sitting in one at the Chicago Auto Show I didn't care for the interior from a roominess and quality aspect. I also didn't like the gas mileage on the base six and puny gas tank. That's one thing I do look for is some range to a tank of gas. Filling up in Jan and Feb in Chicago gets old so I like some distance/time between tanks.
  • What ticks me the most is the inside, every GM car has the same center console, that black rectangle with aircon/climate control at the bottom. Im not saying its a bad unit, very easy to use, but its just boring, ugly and looks cheap.

    I actually always thought that was a cool thing, its very consistent across brands so you don't have to figure it out every time.

    Is there something you would do to improve the look or feel? Is it too shiny or not shiny enough? Should it be a flat color? Do you like the knobs that are knurled on the ends or rubber-ized? I think the things people touch every day in their cars (steering wheel, switch-gear, door handles, radio/climate controls) are the most important. I think Honda (great door handles) gets this, Ford is trying to figure it out, GM is outsourcing figuring it out, Toyota is forgetting it, and Chrysler is...well I am sure they will do better in the future.
  • I remember the first time I saw a Aura on the road. It was black and I was sitting at a light and it went across in front of me. I stared at it and thought to myself....Man, that is really a good looking car, what is it? At first I thought it was some kind of BMW or something.

    I mistake it for the previous generation Accord all the time.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think the use of the same basic A/C and audio units does look cheap (Fusion, Malibu). When a car has an interior that was designed specifically for that car, it looks a lot more up-scale. Why doesn't the Malibu have a padded arm rest on the door? This also adds to the cheap look. Improving in this area might cost a little more, but would probably pay for itself in the long run. If a car looks more expensive, it can be more expensive. If they really want to compete with the best in class, they should spend what it takes to build them that way, IMO.
  • pengwinpengwin Posts: 74
    it looks cheap becausea $40k saab has the same center console as a $15k cobalt. If im paying 40k for a car i want it to be unique. I dont see lexus sharing center consoles or toyota sharing center consoles.
  • image

    vs

    image

    I think you might be exaggerating just a bit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,689
    Funny... I happen to have a magazine (Newsweek) in my hotel room that has a four-page foldout ad for the Malibu inside the front cover, and the photo is of the interior. I see no evidence of the "basic A/C and audio units" or the "black box" mentioned earlier. The center stack is quite tasteful IMO, with the controls enclosed in a steel-gray surround. It looks much better than any control stack I've seen on a Cobalt or Impala, and nicer even than the stacks on cars like the Camry and Accord. The two-tone dash with a hint of wood trim, and the two-tone seats with contrast piping look good also. (This is NOT the orange-tint interior, which I don't like at all, but a tan/brown combo.)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Ok, I'll show you what I mean. In the picture below you can plainly see where the audio unit begins and ends, and where the A/C unit begins and ends. They are clearly separate units, each with their own separate place (square shape) in the center console.
    image

    In the picture of my Accord's interior below. Where are the square shapes? Where does the audio and the A/C unit begin and end? It is all integrated, with one display, and looks like it was designed for this car only. Buttons and knobs are placed where you would want them, not according to where the unit is placed. It's called attention to detail, and I appreciate it. GM is getting better in this area, but the "cheap freaks" still have some control over the designs.
    image
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,689
    What is the problem with seeing where the audio controls begin and end, and where the HVAC controls begin and end, and having those kinds of controls clearly delineated? I think that's a good thing, not a problem. Personally I find the control layout on the Accord (both previous-gen and current-gen) hard to decipher. Have you seen the reviews of the 2008 Accord that mention the confusing control layout? I would not that "attention to detail." It's a styling exercise that some folks (like you) like, and others don't think is anything special. Also, the odd shape of the Accord's audio unit makes it more difficult to replace it with a 3rd-party unit, no?

    P.S. The color combo in the Malibu photo that you selected is the one I detest. :P
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    One more try. :cry: This is the Cadillac DTS interior. Reminds me of the Accord interior. I guess the cheap freaks don't get to join in on Cadillac designs. You can't tell where each unit starts and ends. No separate square shapes. INTEGRATED! Why do you think the Malibu is not designed this way? CHEAP FREAKS. That's why.

    image
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    P.S. The color combo in the Malibu photo that you selected is the one I detest.

    I don't find any of the colors appealing. :P They have some very strange colors, and combinations of them. That's all subjective though. I guess if the design doesn't bother you, maybe the colors don't either.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,689
    Hmmm... it reminds me more of the Malibu interior, with the HVAC controls at the bottom, clearly separated from the audio (and nav in the case of the DTS) interior. I don't see any special integration here compared to the Malibu except that which is reaquired due to the nav unit.

    Maybe try comparing apples to apples, e.g. a Caddy w/o nav to the Malibu?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Maybe try comparing apples to apples, e.g. a Caddy w/o nav to the Malibu?

    Is there such a thing (Caddy w/o nav). It would probably take forever to find a pic of that.

    Anyway, If you can't see that the Accord and Caddy interiors look more sophisticated, and more cohesive than the Malibu interior, I give up. :( You see what you choose to see.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,689
    I see that the DTS center console controls are more integrated because of the nav unit. That forces integration of many controls into a single space, whether it's a DTS or Accord or Corolla. Sorry. :sick:
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Integrated control units (combination climate and audio) are usually used to save money on manufacturing costs or to utilize a single screen for complex controls (vehicles with NAV).

    Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable pre-2008 models are examples of using integrated climate & audio unit to reduce cost.

    Integrated = cheap

    Integrated NAV/audio/climate are not cheap, however, they are not as simple to use as traditional 3 dial climate and two dial audio systems.

    Complex is not necessarily better.

    IMO the Accord has taken two steps backward regarding design of controls for audio and climate. Same with the current Civic.

    Like the exterior of the new Accord and I'm a fan of Honda, however, very disappointed with all the darn buttons.

    Two piece design for audio and climate has no correlation at all to lack of attention to detail.

    One more point, replacing an integrated unit is more expensive than replacing a radio or climate control module when they are separate units.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Integrated = cheap

    Really? That's a new one

    Like the exterior of the new Accord and I'm a fan of Honda, however, very disappointed with all the darn buttons.


    More buttons can be a good thing. A car can have one button for all the climate control vent positions (windshield, floor, dash + combinations), but you have to cycle through the selections. Although this eliminates 5 buttons, it is actually more difficult than having 6 different buttons. You may have to push that one button 5 times, to get to the selection you want, whereas with 6 individual buttons, one push is all it takes. This translates into less eyes off the road time, so give me more buttons. If I can push a button once, instead of 4-5 times, I'll take more buttons.
  • Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable pre-2008 models are examples of using integrated climate & audio unit to reduce cost.

    And since those were mostly fleet sales, they didn't care about the lack of features or ability to upgrade the audio system. There are aftermarket faceplates for those applications now though.

    IMO the Accord has taken two steps backward regarding design of controls for audio and climate. Same with the current Civic.

    Actually, in my seating position, I think the controls in the '07 Accord to control where the air is coming out and the defroster and so forth are very low and hard for me to read/see. I didn't find this issue in the Civic.

    One more point, replacing an integrated unit is more expensive than replacing a radio or climate control module when they are separate units.

    In the case of the Accord, its pretty much impossible. Most of the audio people add a second system and put it in the pocket in front of the shifter. My '05 Subaru has the same issue, which is ashame since both vehicles have pretty poor stock systems.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I agree with you 1000 percent Elroy. This is why I don't buy into the notion that the Malibu has a better interior than the Accord does.

    I've had a lot of time to really sit down and look into the Malibu, Aura and Accord for the last couple of weeks. From an interior standpoint, the Aura is "acceptable" the Malibu is "better than Average" but the Accord is "excellent" as far as materials are concerened, especially compared to the other two.

    The Malibu and Aura's door panels feel about as cheap and hollow as the door panels used on the 2002-04 Altimas. Yet its because of the bright trim work, and unique color combinations that are used on the Malibu's interior that gives the car this "upscale" appearance.

    Those materials are still cheap feeling IMO, especially the lower dash materials and the secondary controls. It's almost as if GM is doing a half and half process.

    The top half of the dash board is the "NEW" Gm, while the lower half and the secondary controls are still "OLD" GM. From the Power window swtiches, power seat controls, secondary buttons on the dash and even the unpadded, hollow feeling door panels and armest, the interior gives me a half baked feel. And the fact that everything from steering wheels to audio controls are shared between the Aura and the Malibu doesnt help it's case with me either.

    I think most of these automotive journalist are going Gaga over the new Malibu because it is indeed a much much better effort than the previous malibu and a cut above the Aura. But when I hear folks say it has the "BEST" interior in this class, I have to disagree, and I happen to be a true fan of these two new Sedans (Malibu and Aura.)

    As far as styling. The Aura just looks more daring to me. Even in base form, the Aura XE looks way more expensive than the Malibu LS with those ugly wheel covers or "Fasica Covers" as GM calls them. Plus as good as the Malibu looks, it's like GM cut the back end of the car off because the tail lights look funny to me.

    But styling is subjective and to each his own.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sorry, but if you are going to display a pic in your post, you must ensure that it fits between the left and the right sidebars. If it pushes up under the right sidebar, it distorts all the messages on the page.

    If you can't make it fit, just post the link instead of displaying it.

    Thanks.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    To each his own style, right!

    I agree. IMHO the new design of the Sebring is hard to beat. The Inferno Red with the chrome trim is my favorite. Add aftermarket tinted glass and...wow! :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yeah, I know its pointless to argue it, so I'll just say the Sebring looks like a very confused car to me. Too many swoops with a Saturn Ion flair to the rear door/pillar treatment. The old Sebring looked much better to me.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    Here's my ounce of speculation on the 2009 Fusion's engine choices.

    Given that the 2009 Escape is now getting a 3.0L 230 HP V6, which is most likely the PIP D30 once discussed here, I'm guessing the Fusion is still in the running to get the same motor. However, it has been written that the Escape's engine bay will not accept the slightly larger D35 and this was the only viable option for it at this point. So I guess that doesn't rule the D35 out for the Fusion either because its bay can accept the D35.

    V6s aside, at least the standard I4 option seems clear now. The Escape, along with other Ford and Mazda products, are getting the new 2.5L I4 which in Escape form makes 170 HP. It looks like the 2.3L I4 is dead so it seems to me the Fusion getting this one as its base engine is a no-brainer. The Escape Hybrid is also being upgraded to an Atkinson Cycle version of the 2.5L I4. Since the Fusion has long been promised a hybrid powertrain, it looks like this will be it in 2009. If they give us the hybrid in 2009, that is.

    My money goes on the D35, the 2.5L I4, AND a hybrid for 2009. I know the EcoBoost, formerly the TwinForce, engines are making all the news these days. But it seems like they are not ready to offer them up on all models yet. I could be completely wrong about that and maybe we'll see the 2.5L I4 as the base engine and a EB I4 in place of the V6. Either way the 2009 Fusion will have more power and better fuel economy no matter which engine you choose. It seems we'll find out what the specs are and the new duds look like at the NY auto show. But that is someone else's speculation, not mine. ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    The 2.5L I4 is a given and looks impressive with better mileage and power. The 2.5L I4 Atkinson cycle hybrid will be out before the end of this year. I think the PIP D3.0 was killed in the Fusion and only used in the Escape because the 3.5 didn't fit, although it is possible they'll offer both for a short period if the 3.5L supply is an issue. The EcoBoost 2.0 is also planned but not sure it will be ready by the end of this year. Then again, Ford has been pulling things ahead and keeping things close to the vest lately so it's possible. The end result, either late this year or early next year, will be all new engines, new front, slightly modified rear and a new interior plus AWD, Sync, and stability control.

    Not bad for a 3rd year refresh.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    speculation is well - speculation and sorely needed if you are going to spend any time guessing what Ford is going to be able to do. New engines are definitely needed to make the Fusion competitive as it has since Day 1. The overall FE for the current (and wimpy) 4 banger is the same as it is for the Toyota and Nissan V6s - leaving 100 hp+ and a whole lot of engine refinement lacking in the Ford products. Not to mention, of course, getting blown away by the other 4 bangers in FE, power, and refinement.
    The 3.5 DT (unfortunately) is reviewed to have the same sort of refinement issues as the old DT3.0 and is also not setting any sort of FE records in the Taurus/Edge/MK etc. Maybe Ford will learn to build a smaller engine - sometime this century - or maybe they could strike a deal with Hyundai for the 3.3 and the "World engine' I4, starting yet another unsubstantiated rumor. It's really too bad - a Ford automobile that has demonstrated some quality related attributes but also not having a 'heart'.
    Don't know what it is that has you Ford guys so consumed in wishful thinking - whatever the company does manage to do will be several years late and still short of what the competition has been doing for some time now.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    Since we don't have any mid size sedan specs yet, let's compare the new Escape 2.5L I4 w/6 speed auto to the competition:

    09 Escape: FWD 170hp I4 21/27
    08 CR-V FWD 166hp I4 20/27
    08 Rav-4 FWD 166hp I4 21/27
    08 Vue FWD 169hp I4 19/26
    08 Rogue FWD 170hp I4 22/27

    Looks like best in class power AND fuel economy. Just because you don't WANT to believe it doesn't mean it isn't true. Ford has made a dramatic turnaround from just 3 years ago and it will take a few more years for them to get fully back on track throughout the lineup. But anyone who writes them off or ignores them now will be sorely disappointed.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Going by 2007's numbers, here are the EPA's estimates for the following for 4 bangers.

    Honda Accord : 24-34
    Nissan Altima: 26-34
    Toyota Camry: 24-33
    Ford Fusion: 23-31
    Mazda6 : 24-31

    I believe that the oldest engine design in this segment is the Fords, because they are using Mazdas 2.3L design that debuted in 2002 for the 2003 Mazda6. All of the other 4 cyl's are newer, aside from Hondas 2.4. Fuel economy seems to be pretty darn close.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Here is a link from Mazda, showing their improved engine technology. Although they don't mention it, I wonder if any of it will be in the new 2009 Mazda6. Perhaps a 2.5L DI engine with their upgraded S-VT system?

    http://media.ford.com/mazda/article_display.cfm?article_id=27485&make_id=227
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Sorely disappointed in what - the fact that both the supposed new I4 and certainly the 'new' DT3.5 are unremarkable and still, to a large degree, not competitive even though the mfgr. has had a few extra years to develop them.The subjects at hand here I thought were 'mid-size' sedans not SUVS.
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