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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • Ford Fusion Hybrid.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Assuming gas goes back up to $4 or so a gallon in the next year or two, I think the hottest midsized sedans then will be the Fusion/Milan hybrids and the upcoming Sonata hybrid--which is supposed to be the first hybrid to use lithium polymer batteries. Nothing else is due for a redesign in the next year or two, unless GM brings the new Opel sedan over here as the next Aura, as has been rumored. That car looked great, in photos at least.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    A very interesting question, cannon3.

    I'll go out on a limb and say that as long as the economy remains in the doldrums, gas prices won't go back to the $4 levels we saw last year. In the next few years, customers who are actually able to buy a new car will be value-shoppers, not mpg shoppers. Therefore, the car to buy will be the four-cylinder Fusion S or SE.

    Unless, of course, the Detroit 3 crash and burn, in which case the Sonata will experience more sales growth than any other midsize sedan.

    Let the games begin. . .
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Backy, I don't think there will be a next Aura. Rumor has it that GM will shut down the Saturn brand within a few weeks.
  • Backy, I don't think there will be a next Aura. Rumor has it that GM will shut down the Saturn brand within a few weeks.

    I think something like that has to be part of a bankruptcy, remembering how much they got sued over Oldsmobile.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    I realize it's no sure thing, which is why I said "...unless GM brings the new Opel sedan over here as the next Aura". That was reported in the car mags a few months ago. Of course, a lot has happened in the past few months.

    But I left out one mid-sized car that is due for re-design soon--and none too soon: the Legacy.
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    on a limb too.. I feel the Fusion/Milan in its 4cyl version will become popular. The new 2.5 sounds promising. With the Fusion/Milan showing good reliability/quality since its 2006 intro this will help also.
    I read an article about Subaru in my Motor Trend that was kind of interesting. Subaru is owned by Toyota. Sounds as if Subaru doesn't have the cash needed to keep its own line of engines going. Subaru is knows for the flat boxster engines. Sounded like Toyota will swallow Subaru and start using much of its own engines/drivetrains ect in the coming years. I guess it will be interesting how this one plays out.
    Saturn. Too bad if they go under. I like the Aura styling. Love the 2 seater Sky also. But GM needs to cut brands if they are going to survive. With China coming down the track and wanting to send cars here to the U.S. GM needs to look into getting lean and VERY mean.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Subaru is owned by Toyota.

    Not quite correct. Toyota owns a small stake in Subaru. For details of the business relationship and its likely implications for their product line, see the following article in Car and Driver.

    If the Legacy is ever built on a Camry platform, or worse still, the Impreza and Corolla start to share major components, I will weep without ceasing.
  • Toyota's interest in Subaru was 2-fold...
    1. They wanted access to more manufacturing capability (might be a mute point now)
    2. They wanted some technical help in making something fun to drive, because in the 20 years since the MR2 Turbo, Toyota forgot.

    I think this happens a lot, BMW bought Land Rover for just long enough to develop the X5 and then Ford bought them and they shared a lot of off road knowledge.

    I think there are rumors about an AWD turbo sport coupe from Toy that Subie is going to help develop. Even Toyota should be aware of Subie's DNA enough to not mess with it.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    They wanted access to more manufacturing capability (might be a mute point now)

    Apparently not, but it might be moot...sorry, couldn't resist.
  • They wanted access to more manufacturing capability (might be a mute point now)

    Apparently not, but it might be moot...sorry, couldn't resist.

    Maybe I should be muted for using mute instead of moot. I hate it when I demonstrate my illiteracy.
  • I am trying to decide between Camry/Sonata/Accord. I seek your views regarding the good n bad of each of these.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,741
    Just curious - why not consider a Fusion?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Sonata is a lot like a bargain-priced Camry with a better interior. Quiet and smooth, but not particularly sporty. It has the best warranty of the three.

    The Camry is quiet and smooth, but for some, too isolated from the road and definitely lacks driving fun.

    The Accord is the most fun to drive of the three, and offers lots of interior space. It also has a firmer ride and offers less isolation and noise insulation.

    That's my short synopsis. There's not a "bad" choice here. Drive them thoroughly and go with what you like best. :)
  • I would say Sonata.More bang for your buck plus a great warranty.Only shortcoming....definately much lower resale value.
    You might consider the KIA Optima too,if you like a firmer ride,but stick with the 2.4 because the 2.7 V6 requires a new timing belt at 60,000 miles. :blush:
  • The Accord is the most fun to drive of the three, and offers lots of interior space. It also has a firmer ride and offers less isolation and noise insulation.

    I think the Accord FTD element peaked in the 86-89 versions and has been on a downhill trend since, ending up with the current version which is slightly less rolling-couch like than the Camry (so there is truth in 'grad's statements).

    If FTD is important, I would look at the Mazda6 and Fusion.

    If interior volume is important, I would keep the Accord on the list.

    If purchase price is very important, I would look at the Sonota.

    If isolation from the driving experience is very important, I would look at the Camry.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    If FTD is important, I would look at the Mazda6 and Fusion.

    And the Altima.
  • Yeah, you are right, I didn't mean to leave that one out. If you are interested in an automatic transmission, the CVT in the Altima is the best CVT in the business, although the 6 speed auto that is in the Fusion (and a lot of GM cars) is a nice unit as well.
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    This market for family sedans has become so competitive, test drive them all. Don't leave out the Altima, Fusion/Milan, Malibu/Aura, Legacy, Jetta to name a few. Camry/Accord no longer have the reliability/quality advantage they used to. You also will pay more for the Camry/Accord. Test drive! its free.. ;)
  • Once again, check out the Mazda6. You might want to skip the Malibu/Aura, as GM is rumored to be possibly declaring bankruptcy next week.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/gm-say-more-aid-bankruptcy/story.aspx?guid- =%7BD2483F8A-638A-4A2B-9EC2-428EE920D5E5%7D&dist=msr_1
  • If you don't care about resale value, Sonata is hands down the winner and go for it. If you are looking for the all around vehicle sportiness, space, reliability, resalability etc. IMHO the accord is the best. I have a 2008 lx automatic and I am coming up on a year. Its been the best car I have owned. Not a single problem, flawless.

    With the Sonata you get the best bang for the buck. The camry has a smooth ride and quiet. You can get a stellar deal on a 2009 since the 2010 comes out next month. No matter which car you pick, all are good in their own ways.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    After paring down the list based on features (i.e. if some of the cars don't have features you want, strike them off the list), drive the rest of them, decide which of them you like based on the test drives (be sure they are on roads of the kind you typically drive on), and then start negotiating pricing on the ones that you would like to own for a number of years. You could also look at things like resale value and warranty depending on how long you plan to own the car, and trim your list that way.

    One correction to some posts re interior volume, re the Accord having the advantage there. Actually it doesn't, in this class. The Sonata is tops in interior volume, with the LX/LX-P Accords (w/o moonroof) having a 0.6 cubic foot advantage in passenger space, but the Sonata having a 4.5 cubic feet edge with moonroof and a 2.3 cubic feet edge in trunk space (all trims). The Mazda6 is also quite roomy, 102 cubic feet of passenger space and 16.6 cubic feet of trunk space. But more important than the raw numbers is to check out how the interiors fit the people who will frequently ride in the car. The numbers alone don't tell the story of how much toe space is under the front seats, how high the rear seat is (very important for roominess back there), whether heads will brush the headliner in back, etc.
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    If it had to come down to the Camry/Accord/Sonata. Sonata will cost you thousands less up front for a comparable model/trim level. Resale, really depends on your region and what you can sell the car for and if anyone is willing to pay the premium price for the Camry/Accord. Another point is Hyundai offers a better warranty and usually better financing which again could save you thousands over the time you own the car.
    Fact is the only thing the Accord/Camry has over the Hyundai is resale value. Remember, you will pay more up front for a like optioned Accord/Camry. If you plan on owning the Sonata for 5+ years, resale will become pointless.
    Sonata wins in my book.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Fact is the only thing the Accord/Camry has over the Hyundai is resale value.

    Pretty strong opinion there, which is good; but it's not a "fact" as you call it.

    Driving dynamics, powerplants, and the overall driving experience is pretty different from car to car, so to say the Sonata is just "better" really doesn't fly. To me, the Sonata was a little boring to drive, but had a more compliant highway ride than my car. To me, the Sonata didn't drive as well, but to you, it might be better.

    That's why the best advice here, I'd say, is to drive them yourself, form your own opinions and take everything you read here, including my posts, with a grain of salt.

    EDIT: Cannon3, you mention in your post that resale beyond 5 years is pointless; I beg to differ.

    I compared a 2004 Sonata LX V6 Automatic (the most expensive, in order to find competetive prices with a lower-model Accord) with a 2004 Accord LX I4 Automatic (the next up from the base model). Both with 75,000 miles, and standard equipment per Kelley Blue Book. The results might surprise you:

    Sonata LX V6 - $5,750 in Good condition, $5,125 in fair condition
    Accord LX I4 - $8,175 in Good condition, $7,325 in fair condition (Worth ~43% or $2,200 - $2,425 more)

    To show that it isn't just with the Sonata, but with the brand, let's compare Elantra and Civic. I chose an Elantra GT (the top model, including leather seating) to compare to the Civic LX (the mid-range model), both with automatics. That way starting prices are competitive.

    Elantra GT - $5,940 in Good condition, $5,340 in fair condition
    Civic LX - $8,210 in Good condition, $7,410 in fair condition (Worth ~39% more, or $2,070-$2,270 more)

    If the 5 year resale value is pointless, can I have $2300 please? You won't miss it. :shades:

    Best regards,

    TheGrad
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Price-wise, the Fusion/Milan and even the Malibu are pretty close to the Sonata. I frequently see Fulans and Malibus equipped comparably to the Sonata GLS for around $15-16k + T&L, which is about the going price for a Sonata GLS. And some other cars are pretty close, e.g. I saw a big ad in this weekend's paper from a local dealer offering a minimum of $4000 off any Altima, and a well-equipped 2.5S for about $18k. Big discounts are available on Camrys, Accords, Optimas, Mazda6's, Legacys etc. too. A great time to buy a new mid-sized sedan for those in the market! Good deals on slightly used ones, too, but that is another story.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,248
    Grad, you're only telling half the tale. To understand if the higher resale was indeed a better value you need to also look at the price difference when the vehicles were bought new. The Accord's higher resale is only a benefit if the purchase price difference is less than the trade-in price difference. So if the Accord was under $2200-2425 more than the Sonata when purchased new then the higher resale paid off, but if the Accord cost more, then you've simply paid more for the Accord.

    For instance, my car has a trade-in value about $2K less than a Camry of equal vintage (when equipped as similar as possible, same mileage & condition rating). But based on sale prices of the time I know I paid at least $3000 less than an equivalent new Camry. So in my case the higher Camry resale price is more than negated by the higher initial price; it indicates an approximate $1000 "Camry tax".
  • I think it comes down to two things.Which car do you like better and when do you want to save the money.When you buy,or when you sell.After owning both a Sonata and an Optima,I would like to add that the Accord does handle the bumps better,but on the interstate it's hard to choose between any of the mid sizes.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Exactly. It's not like we're comparing a RX8 to a Buick here. All of these things are plain vanilla commuter-sedans and that's really all they're good for. Pick one you like and drive it until the wheels fall off or you get sick of it. Because there's very little difference between any of them.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I beg to differ with ya; I was upfront with the vehicles I chose. Lower model Accords compete with upper level Sonatas on price. Same with Elantra/Civic.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 327
    I agree that most midsized cars are pretty good these days. If I was buying a 4 cyl. car with just the basic options I would probably buy a Fusion or a Sonota, or maybe a Malibu if it was priced the same as those two. The reason for this is that they are a pretty good deal if ordered in base form. However, I probably wouldn't buy a loaded Fusion, Sonota or Malibu and would instead look at the Camry, Accords and Altima and even the new Mazda6. I guess I am reluctant to pull the trigger and spend 25-27k on a loaded Chevy or Ford. For what its worth I drive a Subaru Legacy which I love in spite of its relatively modest size. I view it as a funky alternative to a Honda Accord.
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