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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Honda also builds high(er) quality vehicles than much of its competition, and people are willing to pay more for it (and when the higher sale price outweighs the higher build price due to better quality, more profit is had).

    This is the perception at this point, anyway.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think it's not really quality that sells the Camry (remember, we are only discussing mid-size cars here :) ), instead I beleive it is more about "reliability". The perception of many is that if you buy a Camry, it will require very few or no repairs.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Take a look at the Car and Driver comparison. 2x not just once the Fusion beat out the Camry and Accord. Once on the East Coast and once on the West Coast. READ the comparison. These are everyday people NOT Ford employees like some like to spread misinformation. Also, some say, the Fusion has AWD, not fair.. So is the Camry/Accord having stability control fair? Read the article these are Like Vehicles, and are all V6's too before that excuses pops up.. Word is spreading folks, consumers are taking notice of other brands of vehicles. Frankly, I won't spend the extra $$ for a perceived reliability/quality advantage.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    It's not just perception. Fords (and GM for that matter) ALWAYS finish at or near last in reliability surveys. US automakers nearly abandoned their passenger cars back in the 90's and focused all their money, research, and time on SUV's. They let top selling cars like the taurus rot on the vine never thinking or caring that the SUV craze would someday come to an end. And now, they find themselves 10yrs behind japan in automotive technology and design.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm going to tackle several replies in one post, so bear with me...

    In automotive technology they are somewhat behind the curve (less efficency and less power from the engine in the Fusion vs. that in the Accord). They are not so behind as to be ridiculed too harshly, however (Ok, the 4.0L in the Explorer and Mustang is a rough old dog compared with the sixes of THIS century) but the Fusion is perfectly adequate and is competitive.

    In reliability, Ford's Fusion is doing quite well. Unfortunately that doesn't translate across the line, however (my parents are shopping for a second car, possibly a convertible, or maybe an SUV - the Explorer and the Mustang were both unable to be recommended by CR because of poor relibaility). The Fusion however, is well above average according to CR.

    For some in this forum, it seems that you are more defensive of your choice than you have to be. Nothing in here has to get personal, and because one person drives a Nissan and another drives a Toyota, it doesn't mean that the driver of one thinks the buyer of the other is stupid, so quit implying that.

    Quality IS perception, scape. I "perceive" the knobs, buttons, materials, and design to all be of higher quality, with better motion to things like blinker stalks, HVAC, and stereo, in my Accord than in the Fusion. You perceive it differently.

    If it's not perception, I'd love to see the quantitative facts proving different. Otherwise, it is subjective perception.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Fords (and GM for that matter) ALWAYS finish at or near last in reliability surveys.

    Actually, the Euro brands are typically in that spot, but thanks for proving the case. ;)
  • Fusion is a good car, however in my opinion the Accord is still better, for the following reasons:

    Reliability: not a landslide, Fusion appears to be "above average" according to most sources so far, however Accord is tops. This isn't perception, Accord reliability and longevity is well documented, and although Fusion is being received well, it is an unknown, and Fords of the past have been so-so (I won't buy another one after my 2004).

    Resale value: I know many people intend to keep their cars longer than the early (1-5) years where depreciation matters most, but cars can be stolen or totaled, and value counts. I suspect the difference between values of used Accords and used Fusions will typically be more than the difference in purchase prices when new. Even really old Accords command serious money; I sold a 10-year old Accord with 140,000 miles for $4,000. Try that with a Ford.

    Interior: Accord interior is more attractive and comfortable (to me). All of the controls feel much more sophisticated and pleasing to operate.

    Refinement (especially engine and trasmission): big advantage for the Accord.

    I drive a 2007 Accord 4-cylinder with a manual, and have been very impressed so far at 3,000 miles total. I don't miss having a V6 at all, it is a quick car at about 7.5 seconds to 60. That's not far off from a Fusion V6 (and I have tested this myself by driving both cars, plus last weekend when a Mazda6 V6 Auto tried to beat me from a red light to get into my lane). Great mileage too, just got back from a business trip and pulled 34mpg at 80mph with the AC on.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Yeah leave it to me, I got a sub-par Accord :lemon: and the greatest Ford Contour ever made lol :D
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    LOL

    :)

    It happens! Not every car will hold up to its reputation, and you proved it!

    Actually, I never heard of the Contour being particularly good OR bad, to be honest.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    there is an interesting graphic in this year's CR 07 automotive issue, a line chart comparing the reliability (problems per 100 vehicles) of all brands over longer periods of time - out to 10 years. Ford, while middle of the pack, does do better than GM/Chrysler. The top 3? Toyota/Honda/Nissan in that order - by substantial margins. While it does appear that Ford can build better cars in Mexico than they can in this country, the jury is still out on things like the Fusion, it just hasn't been around long enough yet and unlike those 'Japanese 3' Ford doesn't have the same sort of history producing quality vehicles that those mfgrs. do. Agree with you on the technology 'lag', slow sales and lack of sophistication perhaps 2 reasons why some of these American branded cars are doing better.
  • Now I can't speak for a Contour, but I did have a 1998 Mazda 626 ES-V6 for a number of years. I don't think the Contour and the 626 were as similiar as the Fusion and Mazda6 are, but they had a lot in common.

    The 626 was an great car, in performance (V6/manual), comfort (leather, moonroof) and long-term reliability (over 100k miles no problems).

    I'd have bought a stick-shift V6 Mazda6, if only I wasn't so scared of reliability and resale.

    Question for discussion: Why is the Fusion consistently ranked as substantially more reliable than its Mazda6 counterpart?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I've come to the conclusion (after reading this forum for a while) that each person's idea of a "Great Car" can be as different as his/her favorite food. For some, an automatic transmission car, can have no "Soul". Others believe that if a car does not handle like a sports car, it's boring. I would submit to you that even Buick owners can feel as passionate about their car, as you do. I enjoy driving as much (or more than) the next guy, and I don't have to be shifting it manually, or going around corners with my hair (what little there is) on fire. Constantly shifting in heavy traffic, and being pounded by a stiff suspension, is not my idea of enjoying the ride. BMW did not corner the market on "Soul". Many Accord owners feel as (or more) passionate about their cars, as BMW owners do, believe it or not. Luckily different car makers make different cars, so we can all find the one we like best. :)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I don't think the Contour and the 626 were as similiar as the Fusion and Mazda6 are, but they had a lot in common.

    Mechanically you are totally correct, the Contour and the current get Fusion/Mazda6 have very few if any shared parts. I just meant the Mazda6 is Ford's "sporty" midsized sedan.

    I'd have bought a stick-shift V6 Mazda6, if only I wasn't so scared of reliability and resale.

    Everyone has concerns that are very real to them that affect buying decisions. It sounds like you are very happy with your current ride, so who cares, right? I have yet to have a horrible experience with any vehicle, but I maintain them to a very high level of service. I typically own a car from about its 2nd or 3rd to 10th bday, so I actually like cars with poor resale value :P
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I didn't mean to make it sound like I was attacking other decisions on what makes something great for them. My buddy has a Geo Prism that he thinks is the greatest car ever because it was such a good deal. That makes the car great to him. Also, I definitely realize, like I've said, I'm not a typical consumer. Its all about what meets the wants and needs of the buyer.
    People feeling pasionate about cars, any car, is why we are here. That doesn't necessarly imply or mandate that the car has a soul of its own, it is, as you say, about enjoying the ride. :)
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    The fusion is deffinitly a step forward for ford, and was designed to try and recapture some of the lost market share. We'll have to wait a couple years to see if it pans out. But the reason, as I said before, is simple. Ford simply neglected the passenger car market in favor of trucks and SUV's And it worked great. Back when SUV/truck sales exceeded car sales, Ford made a killing. And, they still dominate in those categories. The problem for them the last couple years is gas. with the price staying consistently above $2.00, people are returning to cars. And Ford has some catching up to do. And while ford was letting their best selling cars like the taurus and escort die a slow painful death, the big three asian manufactures were making their cars better and better. Ford was content to let them have that and focus on the much more profitable SUV/truck market. Ditto for GM.

    and another part of the problem is Hundai and Kia. Even when toyota/honda/nissan began to pass ford/gm in quality and reliability, the US automakers always had them in price. You could always save several thousand buying domestic. But with hundai/kia, the pricing advantage dissapeared. I doubt hundai/kia sales cut into toyota/honda/nissan much. Most of their sales probably came from the domestic three.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The product speaks for itself.
    -Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The product speaks for itself.
    -Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The product speaks for itself.
    -Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Prizm is a good quality / reliable cars, as it is a Corolla. :shades:
    Sure, the little guy has its shortcomings, but it has great gas mileage and is easy to wheel around town. They stay new looking for years. I owned a Corolla, and it was so easy on pocketbook. The car bobbles on windy days on the freeway, and is a bit awkward on the ergonomics, but it is friendly in other ways.
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The product speaks for itself.
    -Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Prizm is a good quality / reliable cars, as it is a Corolla. :shades:
    Sure, the little guy has its shortcomings, but it has great gas mileage and is easy to wheel around town. They stay new looking for years. I owned a Corolla, and it was so easy on pocketbook. The car bobbles on windy days on the freeway, and is a bit awkward on the ergonomics, but it is friendly in other ways.
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So true indeed!

    Cars are so different from one to another, yet most offer at the very least one or two good qualities. I enjoyed the stick shift little Miata I once owned, as much as I enjoy my Accord V6 I have now. They share good cornering abilities, yet differ in comfort, and driving an automatic is not the same as the stick, but rewarding in other ways. The 1977 Cadillac DeVille is the total flip side of the BMW driving experience, yet it was a great freeway cruiser and made one heck of a fine limo, chrome and all!

    I guess one could argue however, some cars may not be seen as having any quality which stands out. No personality; if I dare say a car is a person. Perhaps a Malibu is just a square little car, which drive one from point a to b without doing anything which stands out as being notable. In other words, it works, but has nothing noteworthy to hang on for a so called "soul." Alas, some may find something soulful with that car too. Who knows, its all good. The best car is the one you drive while maintaining a smile. I take it some people get excited about the FWD Impalas. To each his or her own!
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So true indeed!

    Cars are so different from one to another, yet most offer at the very least one or two good qualities. I enjoyed the stick shift little Miata I once owned, as much as I enjoy my Accord V6 I have now. They share good cornering abilities, yet differ in comfort, and driving an automatic is not the same as the stick, but rewarding in other ways. The 1977 Cadillac DeVille is the total flip side of the BMW driving experience, yet it was a great freeway cruiser and made one heck of a fine limo, chrome and all!

    I guess one could argue however, some cars may not be seen as having any quality which stands out. No personality; if I dare say a car is a person. Perhaps a Malibu is just a square little car, which drive one from point a to b without doing anything which stands out as being notable. In other words, it works, but has nothing noteworthy to hang on for a so called "soul." Alas, some may find something soulful with that car too. Who knows, its all good. The best car is the one you drive while maintaining a smile. I take it some people get excited about the FWD Impalas. To each his or her own!
    Loren
  • prosource1prosource1 Posts: 234
    The Ford Fusion was rated the most reliable mid-size for 2006.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    By who? prosource1

    Reliability is important, but there are other qualities to consider (ride, quality, ergonomics, and power, just to name a few). My truck is reliable (for the most part), but I still don't like driving it that much.
  • What the best car choice is for any individual varies depending upon what that person finds important.

    For instance, I've always liked how a Honda Accord drives but have never included an Accord in my final list when sedan shopping? Why? The back seat room just doesn't compare well against competitors. This back seat deficit spans several generations of Accords. The Accord is the perfect car for lots of people. It's just not the right choice for me.

    I think the lack of back seat room was also the biggest problem for Ford's Contour. It didn't have Honda's reputation for reliability or quality to make-up for the lack of rear seat legroom.

    There are a lot of other preferences or priorities that can influence an individual's choice. The local dealer matters. Toyota manufacturing may be great, but if the local Toyota dealer is terrible (like mine), a great Toyota is a bad choice. No car is good enough to make up for a bad dealer experience.

    I wish people would be more nuanced in their critiques. Resale value and reliability are not the only priorities that people balance when spending money. Repeating ad nauseum well-known strengths and never exploring other vices or virtues is a disservice to people looking for reasons to differentiate between the spectrum of choices available in the marketplace.

    Further, the statistical variations in "quality" or "reliability" are often far smaller than the perceptions. A market that failures to acknowledge real improvements sends very inconsistent messages to manufacturers.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'll agree, the "compact" Accords of 1997 and previous (I have a 1996, and the back seat is about like today's Civic) had a small back seat. Have you tried a recent Accord? I think you'll find it very competitive to other cars in its class (Altima, Camry, 6).

    I have a 2006 as well as a 1996 Accord, so I can compare both. I'll agree that back seat room isn't plentiful in the older models, but in 1998 it gained 3 inches of rear legroom, and more with the 2003 redesign. In 1997 and before, it was a "compact" car, but it moved up into "midsize" in 1998.

    Just something you may consider if you haven't looked at Accord lately, look again.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Me too, my 2000 Accord wasn't that great, it had it issues... ;)
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Visit this site. Camry owners around the net are starting to question the V6 auto MPG posted by Toyota.. And here is a site that did some research..
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectEngine.jsp?year=2007&make=Toyota&- model=Camry
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