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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Legacy GT with a mtx is the quickest, and smallest of the bunch. I have spent a lot of time in all Legacy's, since we have a Subaru store in addition to our Mazda store. The atx Legacy GT has an excess of turbo lag that is just too much to over look. The handling of the Legacy GT is also undesirable. It has a very soft suspension, and the steering is not all that great, and the braking is terrible. You would think with AWD it would be the best handler of the group too, but, it is not. My 05 Mazda6 handles better then the Legacy GT. Now, Subaru offers the GT Spec-B, but also at a premium price tag, and still does not handle as well as it should. Then add in sub par fuel economy and premium fuel and that totally takes it out of the market for most people. If you notice, most Legacy GT's on the road are 2005-2006's. Ever since gas went crazy, Gt sales have taken a hit.

    I almost traded our 2002 Impreza for a Legacy 2.5i, but, my wife did not like it that much. She prefers an Outback. I'm glad she did not go with the Legacy because the rear is no bigger then the Impreza, and the trunk is very small. With a new born baby in the house, the Legacy sedan just does not suit our needs. We are holding out until I can rob a pre-owned Outback at the auction!
  • Yes,
    I also feel Camry's suspension too soft, but it's not right if you take it out of consideration. It's been #1 seller for years for some reason. You should try testing all and read all the bad reviews to find out what you like and dislike. Yes, I found bad reviews are more useful to avoid a car that you won't like. I have owned many different cars and currently have bmw and toyota for their best value in different way.
  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    Suspension in Camry LE soft for a simple reason - it's buyers want cushy and quiet ride for a car that is not as heavy as a Cadillac. For firmer and sportier ride try Camry SE trim.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    No offense, but putting a sport suspension on a car doesn't make it a "sport sedan" by any means. The Camry was tuned to be a midsize land yacht. Therefore, it handles with the agility and feedback equivilant to that of a cruise liner. Instead, the Camry SE sticks out even more because the SE trim is a "land yacht with a sport suspension". That just doesn't make sense. When I drove it, I noticed that I didn't get any feedback through the wheel on the SE model, but I felt everything through the body of the car. It was awful! You can't put a sport suspension on a car and expect it to be called a sport sedan. There's more to it then that. The Camry SE is NOT a sport sedan... not by a mile.

    If you want a sportier sedan, buy an Accord, Altima, Mazda6, etc. If you want a car that soaks up road imperfections and transmits nothing to the driver, get a Sonata or a Camry. Unfortunately, the Camry SE doesn't belong in either of these categories.
  • That's correct. I have Camry LE and Solara SE. The LE is comfy and the SE is a bit sportier. If it's possible, go try BMW............. What you pay is what you get.... I never drove Mazda, but have owned Honda and Nissan before.
  • No offense, but putting a sport suspension on a car doesn't make it a "sport sedan" by any means. The Camry was tuned to be a midsize land yacht. Therefore, it handles with the agility and feedback equivilant to that of a cruise liner. Instead, the Camry SE sticks out even more because the SE trim is a "land yacht with a sport suspension". That just doesn't make sense.

    I think what you are trying to say is that there is more than just shocks and springs to make a sport sedan. I agree with that, but I do think its a good start. Having a suspension that makes the car feel responsive (in addition to good steering feedback and tires that communicate road feel to the driver) are a big part of a "sport sedan."

    I think for most, the Legacy would be considered "too" sporty (the ride is very responsive, but you do feel more of the road), but I enjoy that car. I think my '07 Accord still has pretty masked steering, sorry tires, and is higher than the Subaru, so I don't see a whole lot of sport in that. I am hoping that shocks/springs/bars will change that a bit.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I would disagree with you about the sportiness of the Legacy. While it does have a "sporty" nature about it, the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima are far sportier then it. The Legacy has heavy steering, lots of body roll and average braking. AWD, in this case, does not translate into great handling. The Legacy GT Spec B does have better handling, however, it carries a price tag of low to mid $30's, limited availability, premium fuel and sub par fuel economy.

    The Legacy was considered by my wife as a replacement for her Impreza, however, the rear seat room is not much bigger and the trunk room is nearly the same as the Impreza. She really wants an Outback, so, when I can find a good deal at the auction, I will grab one.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    What is the point of "sportiness" anyway.Unless you plan to make high speed turns(dangerous) or race it at LeMans(unlikely) what is the point. I would think that economy,comfort and value would override sportiness to most reasonable drivers.
    I have a relatively new (2006.5) KIa Optima EX and it is not considered "sporty" yet it makes turns well, brakes well and is reasonably comfortable.At the same times it retails well under $25K with leather and with all the options that are available(except for a spoiler). It has a 4 cyl engine, and is easy to drive.What more could a person want?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What is the point of "sportiness" anyway.

    It has a 4 cyl engine, and is easy to drive.What more could a person want?


    It sounds like you'd enjoy a car made by Toyota... or Broyhill. :) Kidding (well, sort-of).

    How about a little bit of fun? The ability to take a twisty road and not have wishy-washy body motions to squelch the fun. Having steering that is well-weighted with some road feel to get an idea of what the car is actually doing.

    Some people just want to get where they're going comfortably. Others want to get there comfortably, but actually enjoy the driving experience. I'm not knocking people who don't care about sportiness, because obviously, the Camry sells in droves and its mainstream models (LE, XLE) don't have a sporty bone in their unibody. That works for a lot of people; it's like driving... only decaf.

    As for me, I like comfort and practicality, while at least having the ability to zip around town or down the river-road (twisty, 40-50 MPH with a speed limit that is probably set a little high at 45 MPH; lots of tight turns with 25MPH yellow "caution" signs on the curves. When I take that road, I know I can take the corner and the suspension and steering won't play dead. :)

    I'm not a dangerous driver, as my spotless driving record and high gas mileage speaks for itself. I do appreciate a car with some athleticism though, even if it doubles as a carpool vehicle during the week. :D
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    "sportiness" is not defined by high speed driving dynamics. The fact is, many us us (hopefully) don't drive our cars like they are a race car. The point is that many of us want out car to respond with virtually no effort for it makes us feel more connected with the road. I, for one, like to get a little excitement out of my drive. Many cars have spongy brakes, floaty suspension, squeal tires in turns, have lots of body roll, and have a soft steering feel. I don't like that. It makes me feel unsafe.

    You can get economy, value AND sportiness in a few vehicles out there. Altima and Mazda6 come to mind. For many, a car that drives like my grandmothers Buick is a waste of money.

    I have a 2005 Mazda6 4cyl mtx with 45,000 miles. It has handling compared to a BMW 3 series, best in class brake performance, reliable, good fuel economy (not class leading, but good enough for me), classic styling (IMO) and still turns heads when I'm driving. I bought it with a Bose Audio system, leather/heated seats, moon roof. I bought is for just over $20,000. That is tremendous value. For me, that is what I want. In my case, this is far superior to a Kia Optima. I'm not saying the Kia Optima is not a bad car, it's just the wrong car for me.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    "sportiness" is not defined by high speed driving dynamics. . . The point is that many of us want out car to respond with virtually no effort for it makes us feel more connected with the road. I, for one, like to get a little excitement out of my drive. Many cars have spongy brakes, floaty suspension, squeal tires in turns, have lots of body roll, and have a soft steering feel. I don't like that. It makes me feel unsafe.

    Exactly. This is why I find a base Fusion sportier than a base Mustang. It responds better to the touch, it communicates better with me, so I know in advance what the car will do when I apply brakes and steering simultaneously. Plus, I can see out of it, which means I can drive more alertly and can extract the car's best from it (either recreationally or in an emergency) without having to wonder where the corners are.
  • I would disagree with you about the sportiness of the Legacy. While it does have a "sporty" nature about it, the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima are far sportier then it. The Legacy has heavy steering, lots of body roll and average braking. AWD, in this case, does not translate into great handling.

    Excepting that the Subaru Legacy wagon beat the Mazda6 in the slalom...so perhaps its not that bad handling of a wagon. Are you talking about the Outback or perhaps individual differences?

    With a price tag of 20k for the 2.5i wagon and the bevy of safety, comfort and convenience items, the Subaru made a lot of sense for us. I also have liked the 2700 lbs of towing capacity when I have needed to bring home furniture or got carried away with a home improvement project.

    I have also found the AWD to be particularly helpful in inclement weather. Experience in snow, mud and rain has been very favorable. I have also found the fuel economy to be reasonable; I have been tracking my FE on "gas buddy" for the last 8k or so.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    putting a sport suspension on a car doesn't make it a "sport sedan" by any means.

    Yeah!...putting a wing on the back (especially for cars that have FWD) is what does it ;)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    What test did the Legacy out handle the Mazda6 or Altima? My Mazda6 runs circles around my wife's Impreza. My wife and I drove a 2007 2.5i sedan, and it did not handle as well as her Impreza. It was smother, quieter and had a much nicer interior. However, interior room is very lacking. It's really no bigger then her Impreza in terms of leg room, hip room or shoulder room, especially the rear. I actually like the exterior design, and interior appointments, a lot! The car is just too small.

    The only thing I like about her car is the winter driving ability. Other then that, it sucks. It has had so many problems (head gasket blown at 50K, replaced faulty fuel lines at 58K, hard shifting 2nd gear that is still not rectified, replaced heat shield, cracked intake manifold, 3 O2 sensors) interior trim pieces broken (cup holder above radio, arm rest). It gets an average of 20-22mpg. Currently, it has just over 70K on it.

    If you look at Consumer Reports, any Subaru's 2004 and older are a disaster. Black circles for engine major, engine minor, transmission major and transmission minor. I know there are many that absolutely love their Subi's, but for as many great stories, I have heard many horror stories of which I add mine too and my Subaru service department attests too. The newer ones seem to be much better.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    And stickers....... :blush:
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    The Mazda6 and Altima are the definition of "economy sport sedans" They both have powerful V6's available, come standard with a sporty suspension, and they can each be equipped with all sorts of gadgets and luxuries that up until recently were only found on luxury brands like Lexus and BMW. And even though they are sporty, they are still comfortable for long trips.

    I like the Altima because it communicates to me what I'm driving on and tells me very clearly what the limits of the car are. It gives you a since of confidence on the road so that you're alert and able to keep your mind on the drive. It also means that you can throw the car into corners fairly easily as well, and you never lose confidence of what the car's limits are. I remember driving an '05 Camry a couple years ago, and I really liked it. However, I also remember that I didn't feel a connection to the road, so I found myself slowing down more at the turns because I was never quite sure when the car was going to lose grip and slide.

    The Camry has its niche. It's for people that don't want to know what they're driving on. They would prefer to feel like they're riding on a cloud than to know what they're riding on. People that would purchase a Camry LE usually believe that hearing and feeling the road is a sign of "imperfection" in the car, where as people that would purchase an Altima or Mazda6 believe that if they don't know what they're driving on, they are not fully in control of the car.

    The Accord and Malibu seem to strike a good balance between "sportiness" and "comfortable", which is great. But after experiencing "comfortable" in my Toyota Solara for several years, I can honestly say that I'd rather feel more in control of a car than just along for the ride. It makes life more exciting. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Could we this transmission find duty in American Honda vehicles soon? I'd love to find out...

    From Temple of Vtec's Report on the Paris Auto Show:

    As well as a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4-litre engine can be teamed up with Honda's latest i-SHIFT transmission, first introduced in the Civic range. The first time a 6-speed automated manual transmission has been offered in this vehicle class, the gearbox offers better fuel economy than is possible with either a true automatic or a CVT (continuously variable transmission). The unit is a development of the system first fitted to the Civic, with improvements made including; reduced gear change times, smoother shifts and more intelligent automatic mode shift logic.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 211
    My wife and I have been looking at midsize AWD sedans. In the mountains of Colorado, AWD is extremely useful. We looked at the Infiniti G35x, BMW 328xi, Audi A4 quattro, Lincoln MKZ awd, and Mercedes C300 4matic. The Infiniti seemed to be a good value for the money, but the back seat doesn't fold down: a requirement for us. The BMW, Merc, and Audi are nice cars but pricey; not enough of a thrill for me to be worth the money they are asking. Not having an autobahn nearby, you are paying for the label on them. The MKZ is an excellent value with current incentives, but the interior has a dated appearance and the big chrome grill is a turn off to us. If we were to pursue this further, the Ford Fusion would be a consideration; nice exterior appearance, but I'm guessing the interior is rather generic. A used MazdaSpeed6 would be a good choice, but my wife wants an automatic. Conclusion: With the economy the way it is, we are going to wait until January and re-assess the market.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Take a look at the 2010 MKZ - it will be unveiled at the L.A. Auto show next month. It gets a new interior very similar to the MKS plus some nice exterior updates as well.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    The MKZ is an excellent value with current incentives, but the interior has a dated appearance and the big chrome grill is a turn off to us. If we were to pursue this further, the Ford Fusion would be a consideration; nice exterior appearance, but I'm guessing the interior is rather generic.

    As akirby mentioned the MKZ will be freshened inside and out for 2010 and it's supposed to hit showrooms in December or January last I heard. Same goes for the Fusion and Milan. All 3 will have interiors very similar to the Flex, at least the center stack anyway, and what I would call sportier looking exteriors.

    I agree with you on all of your other points except for the used Speed6. I did look at those a couple of years ago when I bought my Mustang and I don't see how the Summer tires it came with would work at all in the snow even with AWD. A lot of Speed6 forum members felt the same way and recommend snow tires for those in the winter. You could put all seasons on it I guess, but then you lose some of the handling.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 211
    Thanks, I'll be looking for the LA Auto Show write up and pictures to see what changes will be made. If Ford doesn't support Lincoln/Mercury better it will soon be extinct.

    Baggs32: Yes, the Speed6 would need a winter tire combination. The original tires are summer treads.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The new Acura TL-S will have SH-AWD, and is due to come out in November.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Didn't edmunds say it was $42K? A bit above the average mid-size sedan.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My wife and I have been looking at midsize AWD sedans. In the mountains of Colorado, AWD is extremely useful. We looked at the Infiniti G35x, BMW 328xi, Audi A4 quattro, Lincoln MKZ awd, and Mercedes C300 4matic.

    I think these cars are above the average mid-size sedan too. :confuse: And from what I've read, the TL-S sounds better than all of them.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If I were in the moutains of Colorado the 335xi would be for me.
  • I'm thinking of buying my 16 y/o son a 2009 Ford Fusion, primarily because it seems to be the least expensive mid-size sedan to receive a top safety rating from IIHS, with the optional ESC. I don't see a lot of posts on the Fusion, anyone have an opinion? I'd rather not buy him a brand new car, but the ESC seems to be an important accident avoidance feature, based on the fatality rates for teen drivers, and it's hard to find older cars with that feature, unless you go to an older luxury model, then you have premium gas and high maintenance costs to worry about. I'd welcome any other opinions, just trying to explore all my options.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you're interested in ESC, check out a one or two year old Hyundai Sonata. It has excellent safety ratings, offers ESC, and should be available for well under $15,000 depending on how many miles and how it is equipped. They're a great value.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    grad-

    you beat me to it!. The Sonata is a great buy, especially for what mary236 is looking for.
  • thekingtheking Posts: 107
    If I was you I would not spend that kind of money on a 16 year old kid. Contact your ins agent first what would be the cheapest car to ins because the ins rates for inexperienced teen drivers is crazy ;) . My first car when I was 16 in 1967 was a 1963 Dodge Dart. Do not spend more than $7500 for a first car !!!!!!!!!!!
  • Well, I'd rather spend $7500, but for that price, I can't get side impact air bags and electronic stability control, and good crash ratings, at least, not that I've been able to find. The fact that it's likely he will have an accident, based on statistics, is why I want these safety features. The leading cause of death for boys between 16 and 25 is car accidents. I'd like to keep him alive, and whole, at least until he's 18 (little humor there), for the least amount of money. We live across town from his HS, so he has about a 30 mile round trip on the interstate to get to school and back, he needs something safe and reliable.

    I thought about a 2006 or 2007 Sonata, it does not have the best IIHS ratings in side impact crashes (only average, instead of good, like the Fusion), but it would cost less.

    How accurate are the IIHS ratings, does anyone know? Are cars with higher ratings really a lot safer?
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