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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,537
    I'd go for an Audi A5 long before a '4-door coupe'
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    I love the looks of the Mercedes CLS , it has to be one of the best looking 4 door sedans available. Taking away one seat in the Passat CC killed it for me, I need to carry 5 pretty often.

    Did they have to lower the floor to make headroom for the rear passangers ?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,850
    That's a great reply! Yes... I was just thinking of which one of my children I'd most like to sell :)

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,692
    The youngest, obviously--he or she will have the highest TCO. :)

    Personally I have a problem buying any car that costs more than my house. Some of those Mercedes get pretty close.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    So true, especially if you live in an area where a 1,500 sq. ft. house DOESN'T cost half a mil, like I do.

    I guess on the West Coast, buying a $50k car is no big deal if you have a mortgage for more than 10 times that.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,692
    Assuming you have any money left over for a $50k car after paying that big mortgage... notice how "foreclosure" is prominent in the news lately? :sick:
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,621
    in my case, the highest TCO started after high school graduation. :surprise:
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    Many of the people driving very expensive cars are two to three paychecks away from being homeless should they lose their job.

    The Finance Manager who serviced my loan for my 09 Sonata told me as soon as the lease was up on his car he was going to get an 09 Sonata Limited as well. Loves the car. I asked him what he's leasing and he said a fully loaded 2006 Infiniti M45. He told me it's $1,100 a month payment on a two year lease. Said he almost had the car repossed when he lost his job six months ago as Finance Manager at an Infiniti dealership. He told me if it wasn't for relatives helping him with the car payment for a couple of months (some relatives huh) it would have been gone. I think he told me he had three months left on his lease and couldn't wait to get out of it. Plus the M45 is a gas guzzler which he said was killing him too.

    So when you see people driving very expensive premium automobiles know that they are also paying a premium price for that privilege. Me, I'm more than happy with my $400 a month car payment thank you. Those people can keep their $1,000 a month plus car payments. I just don't understand how someone can be okay with driving around a car that costs more than most people's mortgage. America, the land of excess!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    A big car payment to one person, is a small payment to someone else. Some people think $400/month is too much. We all have a different perspective.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    So my experience with car shopping was puzzling. I had 2 cars in mind: Either an '08 Camry SE (my favorite), or the '08 Accord EX (a close second) What I thought at the beginning and experienced in test driving were COMPLETELY different.

    So I thought I'd fall in love with the new Camry SE 4-cyl... I hated it. It had an awful ride, the interior was shoddy, and the price for what you were getting was crap. it was 3rd on my list.

    Then I went to test drive an '08 Accord EX 4-cyl sedan. I wasn't to crazy about the looks, but I thought I'd give it a try. The car was a complete 180 compared to the Camry: smooth ride, responsive handling, and nice wheel feel... it was quite powerful too.

    So for giggles, I went to see if the '08 Altima 2.5 SL was any good. Amazingly enough, I bought the Altima, and here's why. The ride was IMO better than the Accord, the wheel response was absolutely brilliant, and the options and price came out to be just plain better than either of the other cars. Nissan's incentives were great as well. I just got more car for less than either Honda or Toyota. BTW, I hated the way the Altima looked on the outside... I still bought it, and I don't regret it one bit.

    I looked at the Fusion and Malibu, but was so unimpressed with sales teams at their respective dealers that I didn't even give them a second chance. The Fusion rode great, but I hated the interior, and the Malibu was wonderful as well, but based on Chevy's track record on reliability (from what I've heard), I passed on that as well. If Chevy proves that they can build a reliable car this generation, I'll bring them back into the mix next time I purchase a car.

    Here's how I ranked them:

    '08 Camry: favorite before test drive -> least favorite after test drive.
    '08 Accord: 2nd before test drive -> favorite after test drive (compared to Camry)
    '08 Altima: least favorite before test drive -> favorite after test drive (compared to Accord)

    ALL of this information is subjective and based on my opinions/experiences and opinions I've heard from other people. It's NOT absolute in any way. There are a lot of people that would buy the Fusion in a heartbeat because it's a ton of car for the money. The same goes for the Malibu. I didn't because there were quirks about each of the vehicles/companies that I didn't like at all. Does that mean they're bad cars? Absolutely not! They just wern't right for me.

    Just remember to examine ALL of your options before buying a car, not just some of them. Your opinions about the cars may change drastically after you've been behind the wheel of each of them.
  • yjbeachyjbeach Posts: 5
    "The Finance Manager who serviced my loan for my 09 Sonata told me as soon as the lease was up on his car he was going to get an 09 Sonata Limited as well. Loves the car. I asked him what he's leasing and he said a fully loaded 2006 Infiniti M45. He told me it's $1,100 a month payment on a two year lease. Said he almost had the car repossed when he lost his job six months ago as Finance Manager at an Infiniti dealership."

    I think you were "sold" on the car. That sounds like a sob story to me, to make you feel bad for him. Start playing the violin. I have been searching for a sedan for the past 3 weeks and lately I have been hearing these:

    "My house is going to be forclosed on so I need to make a sale, asap."
    "With less people buying cars, I will give you a great deal because I need to keep my job"
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    Can I assume that the '09 Sonata wasn't on your list? It wasn't on mine, but I looked at it on the request of my dad. To me, it rode better than the Camry and fit me better than the Accord. There were a few other quirks that I had small issues with, but those were the main ones. The real deal maker was the $5k cost reduction vs. the other two.
  • john178john178 Posts: 48
    "The Malibu was wonderful as well, but based on Chevy's track record on reliability ( from what I've heard), I passed on that as well."

    From virtually every automobile magazine and rating I have read, the Malibu measures up to the Camry, Accord, and Altima- including and certainly very importantly- reliability. I certainly agree that you have every right to choose any sedan you are going to purchase, and it sounds like you did what more people should do- a thorough comparison/contrasting of makes and models. The problem I have with your rationale for discounting the Malibu is what you have heard from others- Chevy has a reliability problem. Twenty years ago I would have agreed with some of your reasoning- but this misperception that domestics aren't as reliable as imports - this bothers me and is just not true. Maybe its because I've had 5 close relatives work in GM facilities- both in the office and on the line, and feel sick about the Moraine Facility announcing it will be closing their Mid size SUV plant by 2010- by all standards, the plant was excellent in terms of quality, and the 2007 Envoy I own has been nothing but excellent quality.

    More people need to give the domestics a chance to compete on equal footing with imports, without the biased opinions based on "what you've heard', rather than facts.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    all standards, the plant was excellent in terms of quality, and the 2007 Envoy I own has been nothing but excellent quality.

    And was consistently rated poor in reliability by magazines such as Consumer Reports.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    It's funny actually. I didn't even consider the Sonata because it didn't cross my mind to look at it until after I bought the Altima. I looked at it, and loved the interior and stuff that it gave you, but the ride was cushy, and I wanted something sporty. I liked the car, but I'm still glad I bought the Altima. The '07-'08 Altima is a truly fun sedan to drive.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Excellent choice on the Altima. My wife's '07 2.5S is very fun-to-drive and sporty, second only to the Mazda6, but with updated features, interior and styling that really shows the age of the current 6.

    Two things to be aware of:

    1. Be sure that all the current recalls and TSBs are completed,

    2. The power driver's seat has a tendency to develop a squirm, or shift, when taking corners or braking hard. It's a problem that's been around since the '07 re-design, and it's a common occurrence with about 75% of owners with the power drivers seat (based on other forums and owner reviews). It's happened on mine, and despite the seat rails being replaced (under warranty) a few months ago, the problem has returned. Many other owners have had their rails (and other parts) replaced, only for it to return for them as well. According to Nissan, they are well aware of the problem, and are currently working on a permanent fix.

    Could you have waited and tried out the '09 Mazda6 when it hits dealers this summer? Would that have been a possibility?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,692
    Definitely a difference between the Altima and Sonata GLS/Limited on ride/handling. Sonata SE may be closer to the Altima there, as the SE has sport-tuned suspension and steering.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    Nicely done, straight-forward review. Thanks.

    I'd take issue with your ascribing reputation for reliability to the Malibu as less than good. There are flaws with the Camry and Accord that have acrued through the years but it doesn't seem to affect the cumulative reputation of relibility. People have been very forgiving of shortcomings in those cars. Malibu is considered as equals now in ratings for reliability.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    And was consistently rated poor in reliability by magazines such as Consumer Reports.

    Since CR is another name for the Import Buyer's Guide I'm not surprised.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You mean the magazine which has shown the Ford Fusion to have excellent reliability, better than the Accord or Camry?

    Ok...
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    I will agree with you. The rating of the Malibu is very good. People that buy the Malibu have nearly nothing but good things to say about it. Heck, if you look at the consumer reviews on here, it ranks even higher than how people see the Altima. 9.6... that's pretty close to perfect in my book.

    I still stand by my purchase though. In terms of a sporty and fun car to drive, the Altima is still king in my book. I really liked the way the Malibu drove, but it felt a little heavier than the Altima (the Malibu is a bigger car) None the less, for the price listed on the Altima 2.5 SL I got, I could have gotten a V6 LTZ Malibu... and even though the Altima only came with a 4-cyl, the CVT and handling of the Altima more than make up for the loss of power. I also think the Altima's interior is more on the sporty side rather than the side of luxury exhibited by the Malibu. I'm absolutely in love with the orange LCD displays and the white & orange guages seen on the Altima. It reminds me more of an upscale modern German car at night.

    I really liked the Malibu, but I liked the Altima more.
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    Wrong! The last thing I am is a fool who would fall for an amateur sales technique like that.

    I was already sold on the car long before I stepped in the finance office. I was an easy customer for all involved at the dealership that day actually since I fell in love with car the moment I test drove it. No selling involved, the car sold itself. The Finance Manager had zero reason to share that story with me to get my business because the paperwork was all signed and I was getting ready to leave. It was genuine, and don't think he's the only one. Lots of people driving more car than they can afford in image conscious America. He showed me the car before I drove off, and it was great looking, no doubt. But he learned a hard lesson about keeping up with the Joneses. He's lucky too, because lots of people in situation don't ever get help from their relatives to bail them out of trouble.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    I was commenting about someone else's using historical opinions of Malibu's reliability rather than more current info. I was not questioning your logic or statements.

    A lot of opinions in Edmunds are based on old info on GM cars, for example. And that's what I was pointing out.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    JD Power just released rankings for initial dependability of 2008 models. The Accord did not rank in the top 3 for the midsize sedan category. The top 3 cars were the Chevy Malibu, Mitsubishi Galant, and Ford Fusion. The Accord only received "2 dots" for the Powertrain quality - design category. Hmmmm.....

    The #1 rated car in the subcompact category was the Honda Fit
    The #1 rated car in the compact category was the Honda Civic
    The #1 rated car in the compact SUV category was the Honda CRV

    Overall, as a brand, Honda ranked "about average" or "better than most" for most of the categories.

    http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/quality-ratings-by-category/midsize-car

    http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/quality-ratings-by-brand

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/autos/0806/gallery.jd_power_iqs/2.html
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    I'm a little disappointed in the numbers on this little baby. Was hoping more for 35/45 or something similar. Not that I'd buy a VW as of yet, but I'm really interested in the turbodiesels for a future car buy in 8-10 years. Hopefully they'll actually be in the 35/45 or higher range by then and available from a lot more car makers. Anyways I still think it's an interesting option for people out there to avoid having to buy a silly prius or similar. 31/40 is still better than most including all the small gas cars out there.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,692
    Here is something rather fishy: the Fusion and Milan are virtually identical, except for trim differences. They are built in the same factory, side by side. Yet the Fusion scored 5 on Overall Quality in the IQS, while Milan scored only 3. What is more, the two cars had the same score in two subcategories, the Fusion outscored the Milan 4 to 3 in Body and Interior Quality, Mechanical, and the Milan outscored the Fusion 3 to 2 in Features and Accessory Quality, Mechanical. So pretty even in the subcategories. Yet a huge difference in the overall score.

    Why is that? I also noticed the Avenger and Sebring, which share a platform and assembly line but have major interior and exterior differences (moreso than the Fusion and Milan), have identical scores.

    And while I'm at it... don't the Aura and Malibu share the same powertrains? Yet the Malibu scored 5 on Powertrain Quality and the Aura only 3.

    OK, one more... there were some differences in scoring between the Legacy and Outback. One was on overall quality. Yet they are just different versions of the same car, built on the same assembly line.

    Strange.
  • karsickkarsick Posts: 312
    ... good observation.

    .... and also why I don't put much faith in JD Power rankings.

    It all has to do with the persective & opinions of the car owners.

    Hypothetical: What if a bigger % of Fusion owners were conquest sales from former Accord/Camry/Altima owners, and if typical Milan owners were elderly folks whose past car experiences were a series of older Detroit iron.

    (just a hypothetical, mind you ;) )

    Would that cloud their opinions about their current (mechanically identical) cars?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,692
    Or maybe the Milan owners paid a little more than the Fusion owners, so they expected more from Ford's upscale brand. OTOH, maybe the Malibu owners didn't expect much and their expectations were exceeded. I dunno... that could explain, though, why Acura got the same brand ratings across the board as Hyundai. Acura owners might expect perfection, and when they don't get it, they put low marks on surveys?

    But notice the ratings at the right somewhat track the JD Power IQS ratings. Malibu on top, Accord and Mazda6 down the list, and Altima, Aura, Camry, Sonata in between.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    I have to agree with backy on this one. The fact that this car exceeded most peoples' expectations makes this car a personal victory for GM and its subsidiaries.The previous Malibus weren't up to the task of tackling the Accord, Camry, and Altima, even though it was always touted by Chevy to do so. However, this time, Chevy touted that it would compete with the Accord, Camry, and Altima, and it DOES this time around. This is a great achievement by Chevy. They've created a sedan that is on the same playing field as the big Japanese companies, and that is commendable. Let's hope that their future cars also follow this example. If it does, I will more than likely switch back to domestic sooner rather than later... No use spending extra $$$ when you can get something just as good for less.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Let's say an Aura owner's car failed to start one fine day. The owner had to have the car towed to the dealership (two miles), and everything was fixed early the next day.

    Then a Malibu owner has the exact same thing happen, except he was on vacation two states away from home. He spends two or three days of his vacation trying to get his car back on the road.

    Ok, the Aura owner had this happen to him 6 months before the survey, and the (exact same) problem happened to the Malibu owner only 2 weeks before the survey. Which vehicle do you think would get the least favorable marks?

    One man's small problem, can be another man's nightmare. Both cars had the same problem, but the survey will likely not show it that way. I only find survey results reliable, if they show consistent results over many years. And still, they are questionable.
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