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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • hp6130hp6130 Posts: 49
    Had my wife take an extended drive in an 09 camry xle tonite. We plan on doing the same with the accord and altima tomorrow. I told her this would not be easy. No I haven't looked at any domestics, I have pretty much been an import buyer since 79 when I bought my first new car, a 79 Datsun 510. After buying our first camry in 94, we did not look at anything else when we replaced it 98 and then replaced that camry in 03. They have just been solid performers. So it was hard to consider anything else when replacing them. I am sure others out there would say the same about honda, nissan, ford etc. But I wanted her to drive the bigger accord, altima and sonata. This is a tough car market segment, all the manufacturers have made big strides, toyota and honda have owned this segment for years, and I just wanted her to experience other options. I have not even driven any of the cars, this is her decision, she will be driving it, but I know one thing, their are things I like and dislike about every car. I do appreciate all opinions, and I will keep everyone posted. thanks
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My father taught me not to pay someone else to do what I can do myself. Thanks Dad!

    My father taught me that money is to be used to pay others to do things that I don't want to do. Thanks dad! :P :)

    The money I save on maintenance alone, will easily pay the extra cost of the V6 over the I4.

    The money I saved by getting the I4 over the V6 (lower purchase price and gas savings) will easily pay the extra cost of having someone else do maintenance. :D
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    My father taught me that money is to be used to pay others to do things that I don't want to do. Thanks dad! :P :)

    My father taught me to use your time in such a way it earns you the most money. If I have to pay people to do things that would decrease my earning power if I did them, so be it. Thanks Dad! :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    From the prices I see people paying for regular maintenance, I'm way ahead. And I know it takes more time to drive to the shop, wait for them to perform the maintenance, then drive home, than it does to simply do it myself. If someone doesn't want to do their own maintenance, for whatever reason, I can accept that. But it will be hard to convince me you're saving time, or money that way.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Ok, I went to the NY Auto Show yesterday. I happened to look at most everything that was possible. Here are my thoughts on the mid-sizers out there that have been remodeled, or freshened up since 2007.

    Accord: Really good materials, and good build quality of the interior. Better then the previous gen. I happened to gravitate to the coupe, because it was smaller. I think the sedan is too big for me. I also did not like the arrangement of the center stack of buttons. Exterior I could care less about.

    Camry: I really like the outside style of the CE package (sport) I really think it's sharp. The interior, however, does not fit the sporty outside. It's very blah! The HVAC controls were very loose, and felt cheaply made. Overall build quality was pretty good. Not as good as the Honda Accord.

    Altima: The exterior is still growing on me, but ,I think the front end is cheesy. I like the rear fascia and tail pipes. The interior is leaps and bounds over the previous Altima as far as materials and build quality. Controls are well placed and easy to figure out. They are probably the easiest of the group. The styling of the interior, however, is not very exciting. Again, I think Nissan did the same thing Toyota did with the Camry.

    Sonata: I must say, I was impressed with the interior. Good choice of materials. I do like the center controls. They seem easy to use. I do think they copied Lexus from the RX, but, that really does not matter. I can see where Hyundai is trying to go with the Sonata, and I think it's working. I really think the exterior is boring, and very generic, circa 2003-2007 Honda Accord.

    TSX: I know there is a lot of chatter about the ugly exterior, and Saturnesqe look, however, in person, it does look a lot better, I mean a LOT! The interior is very similar to the new Accord. They had the car locked, so, I could not sit in it. I really don't think Acura did enough to "advance" (hehehe) the TSX to be considered a real player in the entry lux segment, or to separate themselves from Honda. Overall, I do believe it is a dissapointment.

    Audi A4: This car was on a giant turn table, so, once again, I could not sit in one. The exterior is down right B-E-A-UTIFUL! Probably one of the sharpest looking cars in the mid sized segment. The size seems to be the same as the out going A4, which is a bit of a problem, because the back seat is tiny.

    Malibu: Vast improvement over the 2007 Malibu. It's like night and day.I really believe GM is waking up and they are starting to build better vehicles. I think the front end is down right ugly, as well as the rear. The side profile is quite nice looking. Built quality is a major improvement. It's better then the Fusion/Milan. Very similar quality to the Toyota Camry, just a shade lower then Sonata and far behind Accord.

    Pontiac G8: Exterior styling, A+, interior design and build quality C-. Typical Pontiac interior. I just don't get it. GM is trying to improve their image, and start to do so with the Malibu, and then they go and throw a crap interior in the G8. :confuse: I really do not think the G8 will do so well.

    Just my .02, for what it's worth.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Great post! :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    And I know it takes more time to drive to the shop, wait for them to perform the maintenance, then drive home, than it does to simply do it myself.

    That may be true for you, but not everyone. For example, here's what it costs me in time and money for an oil change:

    Time to drive to shop (dealer): 2 minutes (assuming I'm coming from the health club that I go to that is 1 mile away from the dealer, which normally is the case).

    Time to check car in at dealer: About 5 minutes.

    Time spent at dealer doing work (checking email using their free Wi-Fi, etc.): 15-20 minutes. Unproductive time: 0.

    Time spent picking up car: 5 minutes.

    Time spent driving home (differential from a normal trip): 0.

    Total unproductive time spent: 12 minutes.

    Cost of oil change: $0. (free oil changes for life on 2 of my 3 cars; on the other, my son pays for the twice-yearly oil changes, about $50 total, and it's his time taken. Two of these are mid-sized cars, the other is a minivan.)

    For the bigger services, e.g. 30k or 60k maintenance, which occur roughly every 3 years, I drop the car off at the shop and they either drive me home or give me a free rental for the day.

    And I don't need to mess with disposing of waste oil and used filters (for oil changes), or cleanup. Plus I never really enjoyed changing the oil on my cars in a cold garage in the middle of winter, back when I did it myself as I had more time on my hands (Before Kids).

    This doesn't reflect everyone's experiences with their mid-sized car maintenance of course, but shows what is possible for those of us who decide to let others do the maintenance. Which I think helps when a car is under warranty (two of my cars are still under warranty): if there's any problem, we all know that the maintenance was done, and who did it. ;)
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Just read an article in today's paper about the new Pontiac G8 GT. Overall it was favorable, with great front seating, but I was surprised to find that no NAV system is available, and no satellite radio will be available unlate late in the year.

    For a $30 K automobile, it would appear that GM is attempting to target a specific section of the market, although it beats me as to what it might be.

    Also, the article quoted Bob Lutz, saying "As good as a BMW 5 Series for $20, 000 less". While I am sure it is $20 K less, this car is nothing like a BMW 5 series. I think Bob needs to get out a little bit more and see the competition.

    I am not specifically anti-GM (although I have have some bad experiences with GM vehicles, as well as other manufacturer's cars), but I must say that I really don't understand their logic. If you want to see an example of what I mean, check out the Edmunds forums on the new 08 Saturn Sky Red Line model. A fellow in my neighborhood recently bought one and told me about the following scenario...

    Seems that you need to let the car run for 1-2 minutes before driving (if the car has not been running for 2 or more hours), so that the brakes will engage....assuming you wish to have brakes. GM says that this is normal for this model and no modifications are required.

    I found this difficult to believe, so I went to the NHTSA web site and confirmed that several complaints have been posted on this issue.

    Why would GM think folks spending high $30's to low $40's on a vehicle would accept this?

    To me, it defies explanation. Reminds me of Ford and the Pinto gas tank issues in the 1960's.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    For the bigger services, e.g. 30k or 60k maintenance, which occur roughly every 3 years, I drop the car off at the shop and they either drive me home or give me a free rental for the day.

    Is this service free too? When they decide it's time to change the brake fluid, does it only cost you a bottle of fluid? How much will it cost to change the coolant, or the brake pads, belts and hoses? I think you are paying plenty for that so called free rental. :surprise: I enjoy working on my own car, and teaching my son how to do the same. I also know the job was done right, and not by some rookie tech who's only been working at the dealership for a month, and couldn't care less about my car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    No, changing the brake fluid etc. are not free services. I didn't say or imply they were free. I do pay for the major services, e.g. 30k and 60k, about once every 3 years per car as I said. These include some simple things like new spark plugs (actually, that's not so simple on my minivan, as I found out), and not so simple things like tranny flushes and timing belt replacements.

    That's great that you enjoy working on your car and have the time to do it. I used to do all the basic maintenance on my cars for many years, but then found that I'd rather spend my Saturdays at my kid's ballgames or camping with the Scout Troop or helping my elderly mother or doing yard work or any of the other things I don't get a chance to do during the workweek. So I "outsourced" the maintenance of my cars to others. There is a certain value I place on the time I would spend on car maintenance, and I found I'd rather "spend" that time doing other things, things I couldn't outsource to others (well, yard work I could, but I like spending time outdoors). That was my choice, and it works for me. Your choice works for you. I was just trying to offer another perspective on the subject.
  • hp6130hp6130 Posts: 49
    Man are you on the money, one hell of a post.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    backy, you left out some things...some of us (me especially) are not mechanically inclined. It's far less expensive for me to pay someone else to "do it right" than mess up the job and make it more expensive to fix.

    Some people may make more per hour than they pay per hour to have an trained person do the work for them.

    And, of course, I'd rather spend my free time on the golf course, playing with my grandkids or even having a beer with friends (lol) than crawling under a car scraping my knuckles & cussing my head off.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Thanks!

    As most of you know, I own a 2005 Mazda6. The current Mazda6 is not due out until late this year, and I really do believe Mazda has their work cut out for them. The 2009 Mazda6 is already done, and we have seen it, but, I just hope it is enough to keep me as a customer. Every mfgr is really stepping up their game.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Why wasn't it at the New York Auto Show?

    Is it going to ever debut?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    As a KIA Optima owner I was surprised that you neglected to mention my brand. It is a worthy automobile.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    ...some of us (me especially) are not mechanically inclined.

    Ditto on that. I always laugh at the claim that "the only way you know it is done right is to do it yourself". Instead for me that would pretty much ensure that it was done wrong :) .

    In addition, I have to believe that in some cases the do-it-yourselfer may convince him or herself that they did it right, when they actually did it wrong :surprise:.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    In addition, I have to believe that in some cases the do-it-yourselfer may convince him or herself that they did it right, when they actually did it wrong .

    There are plenty of people who do their own maintenance, and don't do it right. They think changing the coolant is as simple as drain the old coolant out, and pour new coolant in. It's far from that simple. There is a procedure to follow (bleeding the air from the system, and circulating the coolant through the heating system). With a factory service manual, some basic tools, and a little know-how, an owner with common sense can save loads of cash on basic maintenance.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    To be honest, I did not check out the Kia section. I tried to hit every mfgr in detail, but, it just didn't happen
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    No, it was not. It is debuting at the north american dealer meetings for Mazda in Denver, CO in late April.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    The Optima facelift was a nice touch. The show-stopper from Kia had to be the Koup concept - fantastic looking, and, even more impressive specs - 2.0t w/ DI 290hp/289 lbs-tq.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Any specific reason as to why Mazda chose to skip the whole North American Auto Show 2007-2008 circuit?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    That, my friend, is the $1,000,000 question that no one seems to know the answer to.
  • hackdhackd Posts: 65
    Last time I checked this was a forum which basically means I am allowed to express my opinions to any post...I wasn't speaking for hp6130...I was speaking for myself and that is my argument. Same way I guess you are speaking on targettunning's posts.

    Also, as I previously mentioned I thought the Sonata was a decent car so why would it miff me that he likes the Sonata? Like I said previously in this mid size price segment it is really hard to make a bad choice as most of the cars bring a lot to the table. I am not sure how that comment is stirring the pot...to me it is just the opposite.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    If you wish to spar verbally, please exchange e-mails and leave the rest of us out of it. First, it's really boring; second, it's off-topic, and personally-directed comments aren't appropriate per our Membership Agreement.

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  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Has ANYONE driven this car lately?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    Mitsubishi is a car company whose existence I forget about until I happen to see a commercial. Last time I was in a Galant was about 8 years ago, and I actually liked it. So I'd also be interested in impressions of the current version.

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  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, I saw one today and thought I'd bring it up as a fresh topic on a stale car.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    A couple in my neighborhood here just got an 09 with the facelifted front and rear. The new rear looks WAY better this year...and the front grile loses the "tooth" section in the middle of the grille (anyone every notice Nissan and Mitsubishi picked that trait up around the same time here in the states and both are kinda dropping it now too) Interior has some smoky gray wood trim that is nice on an otherwise poorly built, cheapy material lookin interior.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I haven't driven the current gen but rode in one not long ago. Seemed solid enough, ride was OK, but nothing special. The thing I remember most was how cheap the interior materials seemed. Very plasticky. And this was the uplevel trim--had leather. Since Mitsubishi is basically an afterthought in the U.S. car market, and I always wonder how long they'll be around here, I don't see any compelling reason to get a Galant vs. any number of other alternatives in this class.

    I did own a 1992 Galant (bought used) and it was fine. I recall around that time that the Galant was one of the top-rated cars in its class. I don't think that has been the case for some time. I rented a previous-gen Galant a couple of years ago and thought it was actually quite a pleasant-driving car, albeit with a tight back seat for a mid-sizer. But again, no compelling reason to get one over many others in this ultra-competitive class.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I had quite a bit of experience with Mitsubishi in the DSM era. When the Galant became a fleet car and they added body side cladding to the Eclipse to appeal to young women/old men (its creepy how similar that demographic is) and dropped any type of powerful drivetrain, I stopped following them.
    I had great experience with them up to that point though, they kinda pulled a Subaru and just stopped making anything of interest to me.
    I did get to play with the top of the line Galant at the NAIAS this year. IIRC, it had paddle shifters for its slushbox, and a moderately sized touch screen in the center stack (mounted high and visible) with a functional but dull menu structure. I remember liking the steering wheel and the seats, but that was only sitting in it while taking measurements at the show.
    It felt comfortable enough to sit in, I am not sure about driving dynamics, and not being a manual its not of interest to me personally, but it seemed like it had a reasonable amount of gadgetry for the price.
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