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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Statistically viable surveys would have a large enough sample size to cancel out individual variations like that. But then, we really don't know the sample size per vehicle, do we?

    Note that the sample sizes on the right are pretty small, the largest being for the Accord with only 331 responses as of this posting. And in a way, those are like the IQS because the reviews tend to be written early on in the car's life.
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 384
    Back in the 80's I was on the JD Power survey list for my newly purchased 1985 Ford F-250, so I do give credence to the JD Power results.

    Also as a former subscriber and responder to CR and its surveys, I used to believe their stats. But ever since James Guest, formerly of Handgun Control Inc. became CR's President-CEO, I haven't believed a lying word CR has to offer. I immediately noticed a difference of opinion of products CR reviewed versus what the owners of those products I knew had to say. Then CR made public its rubber stamping of quality reviews, particularly Toyota's, and the rest is history. The reviews were also slanted toward anything 'green', despite no history to back it up. This never occurred before James Guest.

    So if JD Power initial surveys report Honda quality below a Ford, I believe it. Long term surveys may yield a different result, but until JD Power gets caught stuffing the ballot box of public opinion, I'll believe it. OTOH I'll probably never own another Ford as mine saw a lot of shop time, and JD Power got that in their surveys too.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Back in the 80's I was on the JD Power survey list for my newly purchased 1985 Ford F-250, so I do give credence to the JD Power results.

    Also as a former subscriber and responder to CR and its surveys, I used to believe their stats.


    We got a JD Power IQS survey in 2005, threw it out as it was way to long and involved, I can't imagine who would bother with all their inanane questions, so I give litte creedance to that survey. I also was a CR subscriber long ago and after getting their survey, I began discounting the results as too subjective.

    I've not yet experienced a JD Power 3 year dependability survey, but I take that one with a grain of salt as well.
  • stbarnstbarn Posts: 2
    I noticed a while back that there is something fishy woth J.D. Power ratings. In my estimation the initial quality of their rankings is worthy of about 1 dot, and not worth the time (wasted) it takes to bother looking at them. :lemon: :sick:
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,296
    I noticed a while back that there is something fishy woth J.D. Power ratings. In my estimation the initial quality of their rankings is worthy of about 1 dot, and not worth the time (wasted) it takes to bother looking at them.

    I think this is an offensive and unfair statement that borders on defamation of the organization’s integrity and character. Perhaps you have not perused the J.D. Power questionnaire. If you did you would not have made this malicious remark. It is a well constructed and nuanced instrument that captures almost every aspect of the ownership experience.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    JD Powers 3 year reliability survey. Does this survey take into account who the owner is (age, driving habits)? My uncle owns a Buick, and in three years he might put 5k miles on it. Some drivers go that far in 6 months. You will not find much fault with your car, if it sits in the garage most of the time. I wonder if the type of driver who typically owns a Buick, has something to do with it's high rating. If his 20 year old grandson drove the car for a year, things might change a bit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Swell idea.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I had a chance to test-drive two cars near the top of my "consider" list today, the Optima LX and Sonata GLS, so that's what I did. Guess which one I liked better? (I was surprised, you may be too.)

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef16b02/202
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    I had a chance to test-drive two cars near the top of my "consider" list today, the Optima LX and Sonata GLS, so that's what I did. Guess which one I liked better? (I was surprised, you may be too.)

    Very insightful (and helpful) review Backy. Thanks. Boz
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I agree, very good review backy, but I've got a question.

    Given that you like the Optima more, would you be willing to hunt down an Optima LX with the ABS/SAB and Appearance pkg over the Sonata GLS or would you just upgrade to the Optima EX (if ABS is easier to find on that model?)

    Seems you like the Optima more...and from your post safety features seem to be very important, so what would you do?

    Regi G
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    The first thing I'd do is look for a carbon grey Elantra SE, or an Elantra Touring if they are out when I need to buy the car. They have ESC standard.

    If that doesn't work out (SEs are pretty rare right now), or if Elantra SEs/Tourings are going for premium prices this fall, then I go in search for the Optima LX with ABS/ESC and Appearence packages. At least one local dealer near me is willing to do a regional search-and-get if needed. And I am willing to travel a reasonable distance if necessary, e.g. Chicago. The EX would be a possibility as long as it's the I4 and I can stay within my budget, which is under $15k + T&L.

    I haven't ruled out the Sonata GLS, especially since there's a history of big rebates on the Sonata and if there's a loyalty rebate, I'd qualify for it. But I prefer the Elantra and Optima ahead of it, for what I'm looking for in my next car.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    is gonna run somewhere around $17,000 for a lightly-loaded model. backy, does this ring a bell with you? Because I haven't read up very much on the '09 Touring. Looks like a nice body design, for sure.

    BTW-Chicago is not a bad idea to look for good prices on new rigs. My wife's family is from Chicago, and I have gone there several times on vacation. Whilst watching TV there on vacation I have paid generous attention to their car ads(pick a brand, doesn't matter)and each time I heard these prices my ears perked up. Great deals can be had there. Each time my wife and I were set with the vehicle we wanted, so we were not in the market at that time for a new car. But I remember those good prices, and if it might work out for you that is a great idea to nip and tuck and dicker there and get the right car at the right price for you.

    Besides, right in the Minneapolis/St.Paul to Chicago flying hub thing, so even your flight shouldn't cost very much.

    Plus, those Chicago Vienna Beef hot dogs and sandwiches! ;) If I lived in Chicago I would pop from all of that cheap, but fattening food!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I haven't seen any pricing on the Touring yet, although I and others have conjectured what it might go for. I figure it will start at a bit over $17k with a stick, since it has similar equipment (actually a little more) as the SE and the SE starts at around $17k.

    Since I frequently travel to Chicago on business, getting a car from there may not cost me anything at all, except a few hours of my time. :)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    yeah, I can't wait to see the new Touring. The body design is fresh and should appeal to many. I like the regular '08 Elantra's bodystyle already. Someone at a grocery store near where I work and live owns one, in a greyish hue that looks awesome.

    Isn't that the color you're looking for, too? It looks great! Earthtones are still fairly hot.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I'll bite on this one-
    At least CR, for what 'green' biases they do have is NOT on Toyota's (or anybody else's) payroll??? The same can not be said for JDP which has a history of magically championing those vehicles that need it the most - you think that's coincidence? Or maybe we should invent another JDP award for the best 4 door sedan costing the most Americans jobs and that will further display such an award in advertising campaigns - for a fee, of course?????
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    one of the car mags just did a 10 vehicle mid size comparison? i think they were all 4 bangers.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I saw that on the Motor Trend website.

    PLEASE don't spoil the ending! My magazine hasn't arrived yet!
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    I'll tell you this much - most would be surprised by some of the results, both at the top of the list and the bottom, though some placing were very deserving, again those guys at the top and other not-so-good guys.

    :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Maybe he could use a titlte that starts "SPOILER ALERT!!" so he could post the results for those of us who want to see them. I can't find the top 5 on MT's web site yet--it appears that info will be published later.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd be good with that, ;) and most appreciative.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I thought they were leaning very heavily toward the Passat, for 1st place. But I think with the turbo 4cylinder, it competes more with V6 versions of the other cars. In terms of price, performance, and fuel economy.
    It seems the Malibu has lost it's appeal to MT.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Yes, they seemed to like the Passat. It should be good for $26k, a $4k or more price bump over some of the other cars. That would have gotten a well-equipped V6 on some of the other cars. But it wasn't clear to me just what their top five rankings are. The Malibu has fallen fast, hasn't it? I thought the 6AT would help it; apparently not enough.

    One really odd thing though about the comparo. MT appears to have tested a car that does not exist in normal space: the 2009 Sonata SE with a 4-cylinder engine. :confuse: Awhile back someone here (I won't name names...) opined that rather than testing a 2009 Sonata Limited, C/D should have tested an SE in their recent mid-sized comparo, and maybe the sportier handling would have given it a few more points in the scoring. Somehow MT snagged such a car (which apparently didn't exist earlier this year) and named it... oops, sorry thegraduate. Almost slipped there! ;)
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Heh loving the rave reviews for the Sonata. It well deserves it for such a well done vehicle. I am also weirded out that the malibu scored so low. It seems there's vehicles that would generally be worse, but MT is a strange magazine for sure.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The biggest surprise to me was the low ranking of the Altima, not that I like the car myself, but surprised that the magazine editors did not. The least surprising is the Dodge Avenger being the lowest ranked.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I believe that in CR the 2008 Altima was rated best in class.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    By a close margin I think that is correct. (Note that CR hasn't reported on some of these cars yet, e.g. the 2009 Sonata.) I think one of the reasons the Altima didn't fare well in this group is the as-tested price was very high, over $29k. Just why MT loaded it up like that I don't know (C/D tested a bare-bones 2.5S I recall), unless that's the only Altima Nissan had available to give them from their test fleet.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Not sure how Motortrend ended up with a fully loaded Altima 2.5SL but they are right on the pricing. Altima's especially 2.5Sl models can get down right expensive when optioned out. The Altima tested by motortrend included the Technology pkg (Navigation, XM Nav Traffic, Rear View Camera along with the Connection pkg which includes the XM radio, Bluetooth and Speed sensitive volume)

    To get that Technology pkg you are required to get a rear spoiler (which is like $350) and Fog Lights (About $200) on top of the price of the Technology pkg ($2000) for a grand total of $29160 and that's without Floor Mats!

    Altimas pack a lot of technological gadgetry (bluetooth, push button start, rearview camera and what not) but they get really really expensive fast. The 2.5SL, espeically isn't a great value. For that kind of money you might as well move on up to the 3.5SL and 3.5SE, which at $32.5K, fully loaded aren't exactly good values either.

    As backy put it, a simiply optioned Altima 2.5S with maybe the Conv. pkg would have done better in the test...but a loaded Altima, especially with the gruff 2.5L isn't a good value pushing $30 grand.

    Another thing I'm not understanding is why the Passat is rated so highly? I take issue with magazine articles sometimes when the give certain cars "points' for meeting low price points when in reality most cars with similar equipment end up being about the same price.

    For example, in the Comparison test they make note of the Accord's value against the competiton saying its a good value compared to the Altima and some others but not such a good one verses the Optima, Sonata and Camry.

    I'll agree all day long that the Accord EX isn't such a great value next to a kia Optima EX or Sonata SE similarily equipped...and did anybody notice that the Sonata SE was not only a 4 cylinder but an Automatic as well? :confuse:

    But when you equipt the Camry LE or SE similarly to the Accord EX, it's not such a great value, since the said Camry doesn't have the Sunoof, CD6 changer and Alloy wheels (LE models) that come standard on the Accord.

    It's the opposite situation for the Passat. At $26K for a basic Passat Turbo model with no sunroof, no leather (leatherette) and a significant amout of equipment missing off of this car tha comes standard or optional on the Accord, Optima and Sonata, the Passat loses big time on the value equation...but you'd never know that reading the Motortrend comparison test...because no mention of it is made.

    I just wish the automakers and these car magazines could align options and test pricing better. And for a comparison test that's supposed to be about frugality, it's funny the Passat requires premium and does not get the best gas mileage....so much for the frugality equation.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    I think hyundai is a little sneaky there. Not sure if/when a Sonata SE I4 with automatic will actually be on the market. I'm sure they did this because the SE is tuned more for performance/handling, which of course, is what most car magazines have a love for. I think if an I4 SE does come out, it'll be a great pick for most people. The SE has almost every feature I would want except for the silly navigation Anyways I'd say the Sonata is definitely one of the best buys if price is important...
    I'm still wondering which car came in first, but assuming the Sonata was 1st or 2nd, it would definitely be the winner in my eyes.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I think the Sonata has got to be at least in the top 3. They seem to like the Camry a lot (for whatever reason) so I expect it to be high up there too.

    I'm willing to bet it's
    Passat
    Sonata
    Camry
    Accord
    Fusion

    In that Order...maybe switch Camry and Sonata.

    It's funny how Motortrend's comparison usually go against everything every other magazine says. Motortrend rates the camry very highly yet most other magazines rate it midpack. I'm really surprised by the Malibu's ranking though
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