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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    That sounds about right. The Altima is also only turning about 2,400 RPM @ 70ish. I haven't really paid attention to this detail though. I do know that it's well under 3000 RPM @ 80-85 MPH. You have to dip close to 90 MPH (possibly above) to get the revs above 3000 RPM.

    Cruise Control is where the '07-'08 Altima has the advantage here (sorry graduate). It's quite uncanny with the CVT. I've gotten to the point that I don't even look @ the tach anymore, because the car doesn't "downshift" when trying to maintain speed on a hill. It simply revs up and maintains speed. Then when the terrain levels out, the revs just die down, and you're back to cruising. There's no drama at all. I don't know if that idea was in the original conception of Nissan's CVT, but you just can't beat it at highway speeds.

    I'll do some research on my car and post back what the actual MPH per 1000 RPM is, but if I had to guess, I'd say its right around 30 mph per 1000 RPM. However, the CVT acts dynamically based on power needs. I've noticed that when cruising @ 30mph the engine stays around 1200-1500 RPM to maintain power, but when you get closer to 60 mph, its right around 2000 RPM. It's quite interesting to watch actually. It's not like any automatic I've ever driven. :P
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738

    A base Altima 6MT weighs 3,112 according to Nissan's own website.


    2002-2004 3049Lbs
    2005 3075Lbs
    2006 3090Lbs
    2007 3055Lbs
    2008 3112Lbs(!)(sedan)/3052(coupe)

    60lbs in one year...

    But at 3055Lbs for a 2007 - less if you swap in some alloy wheels... It's awfully close to 3000 lbs. (I get ~3020 with alloys - about 10lbs per tire saved)

    2009 Buick LaCrosse - 3495Lbs
    2008 IS250 - 3455Lbs
    2008 CTS - 3861 Lbs(where my 800lbs figure came from). Sure, it as a V6 instead of a 4 cylinder car, but it's about the same size.

    2001 Buick Park Avenue - 3778
    Yes, that's no typo - the CTS is 75lbsheavier, and almost 150lbs with the automatic! And my dad's Park Ave is a behemoth rolling down the road.

    Something is badly wrong with the way they make cars lately. Way way way too much bloat and power. I'd gladly have them de-tune the 250+HP in most cars to a more reasonable 160 or so, drop 500lbs or more in weight, and give us back 10mpg.

    2008 Civic DX - 2586 Lbs. This is why it gets 40mpg highway.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Considering the car in your personal comparison was a mainstream midsizer, and your actual comparison car was a base Altima, I don't think using a Cadillac Sports Sedan available with only a 3.6L V6 and an Automatic is anywhere close to an actual comparison. You should use cars of similar equipment, especially when trying to make a statement about how much better the Altima is than its competition.

    Also, saying car A only weighs X when you use aftermarket equipment isn't a fair comparison either, when you don't let the other vehicles in your comparison have the same advantage. Picking and choosing model years doesn't fly for a fair comparison either.

    All that being said, I do get your point; cars today weigh a LOT compared to those of 10 or so years ago. My '96 Accord has a 2.2L engine with 130 hp, and weighs approximately 2,855 lbs. BUT, it shares the about the same interior space as a new Civic (which is similar in weight).

    If you care to look at it differently, my 2006 Accord in comparison with my 1996 Accord has several inches more usable interior space, 5-star safety with ABS, 6 Airbags, EBD, is 2 seconds quicker to 60 miles per hour, is much more insulated from noise, and gets noticeably BETTER fuel mileage. :) To top it off, it doesn't cost any more than the old 1996 model.

    It's not that the cars are getting too heavy for their size; their size is simply growing.
    The 2008 Accord crossed the line into "too-big" for me.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It seems people have not wanted to buy cars that are the size of the 1996 Accord, though. The 2008 and earlier Mazda6 would appear to be similar in size to a '96 Accord and they have made it bigger in an attempt to increase sales.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Cars get bigger with each generation, as a general rule. As the Accords have gotten bigger, the hole it created has been filled by the Civic. The hole it created, filled by a new subcompact entry, the Fit. It's a trend that seems to be continuous.

    By the way, I didn't intend to point out that the '96 Accord was a "good size" or not (personally it lacks legroom to me yet I've been driving it since 2002 ;)). I was just showing how far we've come since the '96, and how much quicker, roomier, and more fuel efficient the newer vehicles are than the compact '96 Accord. In a way, we're having our cake and eating it too thanks to new and continuously improving technology.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    Seems like a lot of people complain about cars getting bigger as if it is simply fat Americans driving this trend but average heights and weights the world over have grown a lot over the last 30-40 years. I look at the size of my old high schools current basketball and football teams and it absolutely amazes me. These kids are huge compared to "back when" and they are not fat! The safety advances we demand also add weight and some size to new vehilces.

    I'm not saying we risk adverse and heavier(US citizens) shouldn't shoulder some weight(pun intended) but the average car buyer has grown and wants more safety and the manufacturers are simply responding.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Wow, My sonata gets around 2150rpm at 70mph. I love the tall gearing because I think it's a nice factor in the good mpg on her.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I checked today to get the correct figure, I was right on 2250 @ 60 mph, so at the 70 mph that was being compared before, it would be 2625 rpm. This is for a 2007 Mazda6i with the 5 speed automatic.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thanks... that's about identical to the 1998-2002 Accord 4-cyl with the 4-speed auto.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    I also did some checks on the Altima's 2.5L RPM's (2008 model w/ CVT). It's as follows:

    60mph ~ 2000 RPM
    65mph = 2050 RPM
    70mph = 2200 RPM
    75mph = 2350 RPM
    80mph = 2500 RPM

    The funny thing about those results is that until you get to around 65mph, the revs don't rise in a normal fashion. In fact, they're modulated based on speed; at around 25-30mph, the revs range from around 1000-1200 RPM, but around 60mph, the engine revs to almost exactly 2000 RPM. It would make sense on a normal automatic, but since the CVT modulates power differently, it's not exactly 28-29 mph per 1000 RPM.

    Weird huh? :sick:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    No more weird than flooring it and watch the tach stay at 4000 RPM while your speed increases. At least that's how Ford's CVT operated - not sure about Nissan's.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    agree with you on this one. My wife's 03 Altima has a 20 gallon fuel tank and depending on the gas pump idiosyncrasies (your word) and my own patience the tank can take anywhere from 16 to 19 gallons to fill it up all from the same reported '0' distance to empty. Higher speed gas pumps aggravate the error, slowing down the fill rate lends itself to a bit more consistency. Until someone comes up with a way to minimize fill up variances like this - old fashioned hand mileage calcs. are pretty much worthless. Have found that computer FE numbers, OTH tend to be closer and certainly not subject to a 20-30% fillup volume (and therefore FE calculation) variance.
    That said, I definitely will pay attention to fuel consumption increases reported by the trip computer and more likely dismiss the 'calculated' method - if I'm looking to further evaluate how well my car is running at any given time.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Apparently the Mazda6 manual transmission (in the outgoing model) just about drops the top gear compared to the automatic. I believe that someone had posted that their manual Mazda6 runs at 3400 rpm at 70 mph. Today I noted that at a steady 35 mph, I was at about 1800 rpm in 4th gear, so the auto would be at 3600 rpm in 4th at 70 mph. That is nearly the same rpm as the manual in 5th.

    Regarding filling gas tanks, I think some cars have better "fillability" than others. This is one of those little things you find out after owning a car for a while. I have to say Mazda seems to have done a great job on this with the 6. Every time the pump clicks off, it is pretty close to as full as you can get it.

    Most cars I have had would click off, then I set the pump on a lower rate and a fairly significant additional amount of gas goes in before it clicks off again. With my Mazda6 after it clicks off on the high settng, if I try it on a lower setting it clicks off again immediately and not much can be added by manually topping off either.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually what happens with a CVT is that the tranny is relying quite heavily on the computer's interpretation of driver intent - meaning how hard and how far you press the accelerator. The engine speed may 'set' at any level the computer deems necessary to provide what IT is estimating you want. The old Ford/Volvo CVT/DT 3.0 application (like in the 500) a really really poor application of this technology and one reason why Ford so quickly discontinued it. A DT 3.0 screaming at 4-5000 rpm or so trying to pull 2 tons around not a pleasant experience. The Nissan CVT OTH as well as the engines they are attached to - quite a different story. And yes it is 'weird' but is also extremely smooth because there are jerky upshifts or downshifts - I could well imagine, however, that the CVT could become objectionable especially when coupled to an unrefined engine.
    The CVT is I would guess the tranny of the future in this (and other) classes, simply because it is mechanically simpler and offers less mechanical losses (better FE) than the conventional auto tranny. The driving experience may never be quite the same...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    That was me!

    I own a 2005 Mazda5 4 cyl mtx and I spin 3,200 rpm's going 70 mph in 5th
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    There was nothing objectionable about the 3.0L Duratec/CVT in the Freestyle loaner that I drove, even at 4000 RPM. Just the fact that the speed was changing while the engine RPM stayed constant.

    Ford is going with dual clutch Powershift in their new small cars claiming 10% better economy over a 6 speed auto.

    Other than Nissan - who is committing to CVTs?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Other than Nissan - who is committing to CVTs?

    Maybe Mitsubishi??? Not that they are of much significance in the US. When is Ford planning to go to the DSG style automatics in the US? The interweb tells me it is already availble on European Fords.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    who is committing to CVTs?
    Nissan certainly with the biggest - using the tranny essentially line wide - Toyota and Honda using them in their economy champions like the Prius/Civic. It's not like the CVT is new by any means, but something that has been improved/perfected primarily by Nissan. Would not expect a financially and developmentally strapped Co. like Ford to pioneer or even lead the way in the development of any new technologies. I think you'll find that Ford could not use the Volvo sourced chain driven CVT in the Taurus because it couldn't handle the HP increase that came with the bigger DT and was further problematical from a reliability perspective - something that hasn't been a problem in the Nissans since the Murano of several years back.
    Pooh, pooh the CVT if you will - it does present the driver with a different kind of driving experience - but it is a solid choice in all our FE challenged futures given that there are significantly less mechanical losses vs. the traditonal auto.. If Ford is going to claim the efficiencies of an automatically shifted manual tranny - would suggest they look to VW as well as the Italians for advice in how to do it.....
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If Ford is going to claim the efficiencies of an automatically shifted manual tranny - would suggest they look to VW as well as the Italians for advice in how to do it.....

    Yes, because we know VW builds high-quality and long-lasting pieces of equipment! :lemon: ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    point taken, grad but I think you'll find that VWs problems are not really related too much to the DSG but more towards the engine and electonic side of things and even those have improved recently. Haven't driven a DSG equipped VW or Audi yet but by all reports these things will shift ''better" than you or I could do it ourselves.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Still, if I'm having to choose between a Ford and a VW, I'd actually take the Ford. I could afford to keep it 150k a lot better than I could the VW, based on how well the new Ford sedans have been doing.

    I'm a worrier, and no matter how much more fun the VW would be, the Ford wouldn't make me nervous on a long trip. After seeing two different friends of the family with VWs (2001, 2004) and how they both have POOR reliability, I wouldn't touch one for many years; not with my checkbook, anyway.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I will second that.

    Many reports have shown Ford making a drastic improvement in dependability. Even CR recommends all of their sedans now. For has also taken a huge step in the interior quality of their vehicles. I drove a Flex today at my Ford store, and while I did not care for the vehicle its self (style or ride), the build quality and materials used were very very good.

    I think Ford is really about to take off once their Euro designs go on sale here in the U.S.. They wont be in dire straights for too much longer.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    They'd be my first choice of American sedan. Not trucks or economy car, but for me (21 years old [read: cheap] yet 6'5") a midsize sedan is about as small as I will go, and a truck just costs too much to fill up. If the Fusion steps up in FE and power like expected, they could be near the top of my list!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    if I'm having to choose between a Ford and a VW, I'd actually take the Ford.
    this - I find interesting given your age - so young to be so practical! The VW (assume we're talking the Passat here,) while certainly more expensive does offer a much better driving dynamic as well as 'better' engine choices than any Ford. The 3.6 V6 is an engine that rivals the Toyota and Nissan V6s in many respects while the only car in this group that could even pretend to 'feel' like a Passat is probably the Mazda6- another car that is geared toward the younger buyer. Not that many years ago VW had a rep for making reliable cars - how things can change.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I think I remember a time when the Volkswagen really meant "the peoples car" and was geared towards the young buyer. With the way they have gone up in price and cost of ownership, it's very tough to afford one if you are young. The Passat for all intents and purposes is a rebadged A4. The 3.6 Passat cost's just as much as an Audi too. The Golf (Rabbit) and Jetta are really the only cars that the young people still look at.

    As in regards to the Mazda6 as being a young persons cars, Mazda has changed the target audience. Mazda has targeted the 40-55 yr old crowd with the new 6. A lot of current owners are not too happy about this. I on the other hand happen to really like it, even though I'm 28. I really think it's a much superior product then the 1st gen, and I also think it handles just as well. I'm still getting used to the overall size. It is much much bigger.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Mazda has changed the target audience
    going to be very tough sell - this is where the big boys play
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    A lot of car manufacturers are starting to realize that the real money is coming from the 30-50+ group. Thus, they are rethinking the way they make their cars to make them standout among that crowd. Unfortunately, the younger crowd is left with bland choices or smaller, sportier cars that cost less. The problem is that the power given off by those cars is not inline with the current midsize sedan offerings, especially in the V6 department. The younger audience gets screwed, but that's the way it is. It's sort of funny though because the people at college that seem to get the most respect among their peers are those who drive sensible compact/midsize sedans.

    To each their own. I prepared for the future by getting a sensible, midsize sedan. Thank goodness I didn't buy a Mustang. :P
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The new Mazda6 is a "big boys" car. The vehicle itself is a more then capable alternative to the Altima / Accord / Camry. The build quality is simply fantastic, and choice materials are simply better then the Camry and Altima. The interior is far more user friendly then the Accord. The Mazda6 is also far more refined then the previous model. With more power and better FE, there is not a single doubt that the Mazda6 is many ways can be observed as better then the competition. Not to mention, it still drives like a Mazda. I believe a member here, mz6greyghost, owns a 2007 Altima and has checked out the 09 6 and he claimed it's better.

    Now, the kicker is marketing and repeat Mazda6 gen-1 buyers. Look for the first advertisements in early September. Accord to Mazda, they have spent $$$$$ on the ad campaign. If they sell the target numbers of 100K, the car is a total success, and Mazda did it's job.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    And you can expect the 2010 Fusion (due out in 5 months) to be more of the same. The field is getting tighter and tighter.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The new Mazda6 is a "big boys" car
    and on a spec sheet etc. it may be - but market perception and acceptance are something else entirely. 100k units isn't 300k,400k, or 500k .The Camcordimas sell a million+ copies a year, Mazda volume has never been anything more than a blip on the radar. Not that it can't be done, the Altima wasn't viewed as a viable Camcord alternate until the 02 redesign. However, it would seem more likely that the new Malibu or even the continually evolving Sonata would have the best chances at this kind of 'significance' - well before the Fusion and/or the 6.
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