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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • Having a hard time selecting between 2 used cars.

    2004 Accord EX, cloth, 69K miles, one owner and well maintained

    2007 Elantra GLS with good options, 30K miles, prior rental car

    Close in price. Accord is a bit "more car" that we need, but think we will be getting a more reliable car. We are car keepers. This one will be the second car, and used mainly for short distance commuting.

    Like the newer safety features on the Elantra, and see that initial quality has improved. Stats on long term reliability (from CR) are not impressive.

    Clearly not apples to apples..and that is what makes it tricky!
  • "Rental" for the Elantra is what scares me, for you. The Elantra is a good car, but with a different driver every week, it would scare me a little; as rentals take a good deal of abuse.

    I'll go ahead and say I'm biased since I own a 2006 Accord EX cloth (4-cylinder) and love it; great mileage for the power it has, and it handles beautifully. That said, the Elantra has benefits too, as you've noted!

    If it were me, I'd do a carfax on the Honda and make sure it hasn't been wrecked; have a mechanic look it over, and go with that one. That's just personal perspective, of course.

    Does the Honda have service records?
  • Yeah, here you on the rental. That is why I'm not sold on the Elantra. Though, we've got a 94 Mitsh LR-V still in the extended family that was a rental and has held up well. I suppose we are thinking that the warranty will offer some protection. Is that a good way to think about it?

    Carfax on the Honda is clean. Service records available..though doesn't mean major repairs have been pulled out. Serviced at dealer and at private mechanic.

    We have a young child...so the side curtain air bags in the Elantra are appealing. Also, the Elantra seems to ride "higher". Our other car is an 07 CR-V, so the Accord would take some getting used to.

    Seems minor..but the Accord is ~2 feet longer than the CR-V. We do lots of parralel parking, so those 24 inches will be noticed!

    Better half is biased to a Honda..quality perspective..though some of the talk on the Honda forums have me feeling a bit cautious about relying on the Honda reputation.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,737
    So do you know where I can get a 2008 Aura in excellent condition with low miles for around $12k? That's the price range the other cars are in that I am looking at.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,737
    As far as Hyundais go, if the car was originally a rental and not owned by anyone else yet (I have been told auctioneers and dealers don't count), then the remainder of the 5/60k bumper-to-bumper warranty transfers to the 2nd owner.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Of the cars that are generally perceived as belonging to the "compact" class (Civic, Mazda3, Corolla, Elantra, et al), my impression (based on what I've read) is that the Elantra comes closest to mimicking the feel of a larger car. If that's good, then this comparison is particularly apt, because that generation of Accord was one of the more nimble members of the midsize class (though not quite up to Mazda6 levels). Also, I think the fuel economy will be comparable.

    As I understand it, the Hyundai warranty only runs to 5 years/60k miles for secondhand purchasers, and there are some tales out there that suggests Hyundai has a pretty broad interpretation of "normal wear and tear," so the warranty might not provide as much protection as desired. On the other hand, the only "warranty" you get on the Honda is the name itself, and that's not 100% bankable either.

    My biggest problem with Hyundai isn't the cars--on the whole, they seem to be very competitive in their respective classes. It's the dealer network--while there are improvements afoot, too many Hyundai dealers are still peddling the cars as a sideline to a used-car business. Moreover, here in central Georgia we've gone from having one Hyundai dealer to having four, to having two, to having three, all within the last two years. The franchise moves around so much it might as well have a prepaid cell as its only phone line. So service is somewhat questionable, even though you have the factory warranty.

    So I'd be inclined to go with the Accord, despite wanting Hyundai to succeed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,737
    ...there are some tales out there that suggests Hyundai has a pretty broad interpretation of "normal wear and tear,"...

    Could you please elaborate, with some examples? I've never had a problem having a reasonable warranty claim (and even some that were a bit of a stretch) honored by Hyundai with the two cars I've owned over the past 8 years.
  • Better half is biased to a Honda..quality perspective..though some of the talk on the Honda forums have me feeling a bit cautious about relying on the Honda reputation.

    Just remember, only the people who actually have problems will report. Those that have nothing to report don't typically say "no problems here" and move on. For every problem report there will be lots more people who don't have them to report. This will be true for all makes on the boards.

    Also, I'm not sure how long you've been around, but oddly, Honda boards seem to get more hits than those from Toyota, Hyundai, Ford etc... or so it seems to me anyway.

    We have a young child...so the side curtain air bags in the Elantra are appealing. Also, the Elantra seems to ride "higher". Our other car is an 07 CR-V, so the Accord would take some getting used to.

    Seems minor..but the Accord is ~2 feet longer than the CR-V. We do lots of parralel parking, so those 24 inches will be noticed!


    That is important to consider; depending on the area you parallel in, the Elantra may actually be the better choice. Don't forget to consider outward visibility, too.

    Carfax on the Honda is clean. Service records available..though doesn't mean major repairs have been pulled out. Serviced at dealer and at private mechanic.

    I raised the question to ask how it was maintained. If you can see that it received the proper maintenance items (fluid changes in a timely manner, etc) that'd be a little more comforting. The Elantra being a rental, I think it is safe to assume this was done on the Hyundai, also. Both cars should be relatively low maintenance, however. And, if there WAS a major repair, a mechanic's inspection should be able to point that out.

    I'm just trying to think out loud with you... hope it helps a little. :shades:

    TheGrad
  • Thanks, TheGrad. Very helpful. As for the maintenance records..thanks for the further explanation. I talked over maintenance with the owner, but didn't do a detailed review of the records. His version is yes, maintenance done on schedule, with the caveat that not all oil changes were done strictly every 3500 miles.

    Need to go deeper on the maintenance records, for sure. :surprise:
  • tyvm thegraduate for info. I did as you requested...in both forums. Hopefully, you can give me some expert info. :shades:
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,248
    Kbb rated the best selling midsize sedans and posted the results in a sleek 14-minute video to its website. http://www.kbb.com/kbb/NewsAndReviews/VideoLibrary.aspx?WebAssetId=2000000061&Pl- - - aySlideShow=true

    Their rating and analysis are pretty much on target except that I would have rated the bloated and apathetic Accord as #3. Here is Kbb’s final rating:
    #6. Ford Fusion
    #5. Toyota Camry
    #4. Hyundai Sonata
    #3. Nissan Altima
    #2. Honda Accord
    #1. Chevy Malibu
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I would still get an Accord over all of those others. My perception is the Accord is still best in class.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I would still get an Accord over all of those others. My perception is the Accord is still best in class.
  • The all new Mazda6 is going to win a lot of awards you all, just wait and see!!! :shades:
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    not all oil changes were done strictly every 3500 miles.

    Changing oil every 3500 miles is excessive, is that actually the Honda's recomended oil change interval?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    If money talks and used car prices are any indication, I'm finding often that the I4 sedans cost more than comparable V6 versions now.

    For my Mazda6, if KBB is to be believed, the difference in price (private party value) is now only $100 between the V6 and the I4. I believe at the time of purchase it was about $2000 more for the V6.

    Edmunds still shows a $1300 difference...but that is down from the nearly $2000 that they were showing just about 3 weeks ago. (See post #10685)

    Clearly the trend is toward higher prices for I4's and lower for V6's.
  • For 2004 4-cyl models, it is 5,000 miles for "severe conditions" and 10,000 miles for "normal conditions."

    My maintenance minder on my 2006 4-cylinder Accord sends me in around 7,000 miles or so.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,752
    good video.
    here is my ranking:
    1. ford fusion

    6. everything else (no awd) :P
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Changing oil every 3500 miles is excessive, is that actually the Honda's recomended oil change interval?

    If it's a V6 model, the intervals (before Maintenance Minder) were 3,750=severe, and 7,500 for normal. You can call it excessive, but I call it cheap insurance against sludge. The oil in the V6 gets pretty dirty at 3,000 miles. Of course, I'm not paying someone else to change it, so I can easily afford to change it more often.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,752
    where i bought my fusion, the dealer has free oil changes for life. the sticker they put in the window adds 3k to the mileage at the oil change. :confuse:
    i plan on bringing it in every 5k. i get the tires rotated at the same time.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I also rotate my own tires, so I can clean the back side of the wheels/tires, and check the brake pads at the same time. Do they do this free too? What is the (severe conditions) interval for oil changes on a Fusion?
  • where i bought my fusion, the dealer has free oil changes for life

    Same thing with my Sebring - free lifetime oil changes and tire rotation. I just have to purchase the filter. They originally were changing it every 3,000 miles (the heavy duty service interval in the owner's manual).

    However, some bean counter must have thought of a way to save the dealership money and now they will only change it every 6,000 miles, which is the regular duty interval in my manual. I'll change it myself every other oil change.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    They made the car in 07 as well. Check with the dealers around you. I bought mine brand new in March this year for $19K with 0% financing to boot. These guys are hungry - go play "Let's make a deal with them." You might get lucky.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    OK Backy - Auto trader found a 2007 Aura XE v6 with 33880 miles for $12,498 and a pot full of them in the $13K range. How does that compare with the other stuff you've looked at??

    Regards:
    OldCEM
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,737
    In my area, per AutoTrader and cars.com, the cheapest Aura XE within 50 miles of me is $12.8 with 61k miles (and black--yuk), a private-party sale. The next cheapest is $13.9k (dealer) with 35k miles. There is one more at $14k, all the others are $14.7k or more. None of the 3 at or under $14k have ESC. Since I can get a loaded Sonata GLS with moonroof and ESC for around $12k with under 35k miles, and still with a lot of bumper-to-bumper warranty left, I'd prefer to go that route.
  • good video.
    here is my ranking:
    1. ford fusion

    6. everything else (no awd)


    The Subaru Legacy has AWD standard, and is available with a manual transmission, and has better MPG.
  • where i bought my fusion, the dealer has free oil changes for life


    Same thing with my Sebring - free lifetime oil changes and tire rotation. I just have to purchase the filter. They originally were changing it every 3,000 miles (the heavy duty service interval in the owner's manual).


    The place I got the Accord has free oil changes for life too, so long as you pay $20 for a tire rotation, etc. At least they don't make me buy the oil and filter though, that is just silly. The light seems to come on about every 7000-7500 miles, just like the silly little thing that was tied to the odometer on my '93.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't know what Honda considers "severe". Some manufacturers (Mazda) are vague and put just about everyone in that category, others (Ford) are very specific and put almost no one in severe.

    The oil in the V6 gets pretty dirty at 3,000 miles.

    Are you going by it's appearance?

    http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm#The%20Dark%20Oil%20Myth

    Of course, I'm not paying someone else to change it, so I can easily afford to change it more often.

    The cost is not really the point, the extra $10-15 per oil change to have someone else do it is not significant.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    The Subaru Legacy has AWD standard, and is available with a manual transmission, and has better MPG.

    I think we all realize that. However the Legacy was not on the list of 6. Also, the AWD Fusion is only available with a V6. Get the Legacy with its V6 and you not only get worse fuel economy than the AWD Fusion, but you also have to fill it with premium gas. Same goes for the blown I4 in the Subie. Requires premium and the AWD Fusion gets better gas mileage.

    But yes, the Plain Jane I4 in the Legacy does get better gas mileage than the AWD Fusion with a V6. Auto or manual tranny for the former.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Get the Legacy with its V6 and you not only get worse fuel economy than the AWD Fusion, but you also have to fill it with premium gas

    That is true, you trade in some fuel economy for sub 6 second performance and handling.
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