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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    has grown to much for my taste also. My next vehicle will be more the size of a Focus/Jetta sized vehicle. I am reading more about the new 2010/11 Focus and it too is growing just a bit in size. I have to ask why? Mid-size needs to stay mid-size. My predictions are the V6 in mid-size sedans are going to go by the way side in about 10 years. The only way you are going to be able to get a V6 is to have a "special edition" or an SS badging/model/trim level.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My predictions are the V6 in mid-size sedans are going to go by the way side in about 10 years.

    I think just the opposite. If the Civic, Elantra, Corolla, etc. get much larger, they will probably have a V6 option.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't think V6 for midsize sedans is going away any time soon in the US. Not that I understand why some feel that a 175ish HP 4 cylinder is not enough.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Drive a lot on mountainous interstates while listening to the engine scream at high RPMs trying to maintain speed and you'll understand. One of my midsizers has a 3.5 Liter V6, the other has a 4.2 Liter V8 - both get decent fuel economy driving the interstates here, and, handle the hills with no problem.

    Regards:
    Oldengineer
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Drive a lot on mountainous interstates while listening to the engine scream at high RPMs trying to maintain speed and you'll understand. One of my midsizers has a 3.5 Liter V6, the other has a 4.2 Liter V8 - both get decent fuel economy driving the interstates here, and, handle the hills with no problem.

    Having grown up in a mountainous area myself, and understanding that a modern 4 cylinder engine is designed to rev higher (which can be seen from the horsepower/torque curves), I am pretty used to the engine reving a bit.
    The 1.8 l Escorts seemed fine, as did the 2.2 l Accord and the small V6 (2.5 l) Contour. The V6 in the Caravan and the Sienna had the most trouble.

    Locally hwy 154 was a pass through the mountains, and trips to Mammoth and Tahoe or Yosemite involved a lot mountain driving. Even just going to LA required traversing the Conejo grade, and Cuesta grade is just north of San Luis Obispo.

    A 4 valve/cylinder motor is more effective when its flowing more air. To flow more air, the revs need to be higher...this is what gave rise to complaints about no low end torque (and why variable valve timing is important on these vehicles to address that).
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Ford Fusion SE
    Honda Accord EX-L
    Mazda 6 i Touring

    Details and results here
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think there is an irrational fear of even modestly high rpm (like 3000-4000) amongst Americans (or at least Wisconsinites). It is understandable, if one is driving something like my old minivan with it's 3.8L push rod engine, which has lots of torque at low rpm and makes frightening noises if you floor it. But in my more modern 2.3L I-4, it does not make frightening noises or anything even at the ~6500 rpm redline and it sees that from time to time.

    Even when I pull away from a light at a modest ~3000 rpm, I seem to be maybe about 1/2 mile down the road in the time the other cars cover about 1/4 mile. When I am not first in line, I find the typical driver accelerates at a rate that I achieve at barely over 2000 rpm.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,704
    If I use even moderate throttle my wife thinks the car will blow up. I was merging onto a divided freeway (2 lanes each direction) with traffic going 70 and was about to merge doing 65 when I glanced back and saw a car just behind me in the lane I was about to merge into. I knew he was probably about to slow down, so if I had slown down that wouldn't work, so I just floored it (loaner Lincoln LS while the Aviator was in the shop) and went from 65 to 85 in a blink, then backed off to 70. My wife thought we were about to die (literally). Just because I accelerated quickly from 65 to 85 in the daytime on a straight, level dry road. Of course she has no problem cruising at 85 in the Edge. I think a lot of people are scared of the engine noise.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Thank you for being willing to accelerate, rather than forcing others to brake. I am so annoyed by people who will pull out in front of me, when there is insufficient space for their normal turtle-esque acceleration and even in that situation they will not accelerate any faster (Pulling out is fine there is plenty of room if they would just step on the #%& gas pedal.) It is amazing that they would rather risk being rear-ended, rather than to accelerate rapidly. If they want to be turtles, they should wait until they have like a mile of clear road so that they have enough time to get up to speed.

    This is one reason that we have over-powered engines in mid-size sedans. I think many buy a ~250 HP (at say 6000 rpm) V6, but never run it over 3000...which means, at most, they are using 125 HP.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    I hate people that get high-horsepower cars and don't use them. I mean, if you're going to get a V6, use the throttle when passing, don't baby the thing. If you don't use all of that V6 power EVER, do all of us a favor; get rid of that V6 and join everyone else in a I4 sedan. Then you'll appreciate the full power of that V6 a little bit more.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My old 92 Accord 4 cylinder had 140hp, and the power was adequate most of the time (it would out accelerate my brother's V8 Bonneville). Only when merging on the interstate, and passing on rural roads, that I found the power lacking. The V6 in the 03 makes these maneuvers so much easier. I also like the smooth quiet operation around town, and the total lack of vibration at stop signs, the V6 provides. It's nice not to have to floor it, to get good acceleration. To me, a car can never have too much power, and considering many luxury midsize sedans have over 300hp, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    A midsize sedan without a V6 may be adequate to some of you, but it's out of the question for me. Not only are they quieter at cruising speed and when driving around town, but the power is all but instant when you hit the gas, unlike having to wait for the revs to build up on most 4-cylinders.

    And yes, I do rev my car past 4K RPM (quite frequently, I may add) when passing or accelerating on an on-ramp, so I'm not "afraid" to drive it. Gas mileage? Well, I get about 10-20% BETTER gas mileage with my V6 Mazda6 compared to my previous DD, a 4-cylinder Grand Am, because I'm not constantly gunning it just to keep up with traffic.

    Sorry, but a V6 in a midsize sedan isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    There are also the I4 turbos in cars like the Passat that provide more than enough get-up-and-go.

    I've never owned a V6 in any vehicle other than a minivan, and there I think it's a necessity due to the weight of those vehicles (although my 1991 Caravan had a 100 hp I4, in which I got my first speeding ticket). My 2000 626 has 125 hp and 2004 Elantra has 138. (And my 2005 Jetta only 115, and is a heavy little car but not mid-sized). Although the extra power of a V6 is fun, I don't miss it in daily driving. But I'm not going 85 mph or running on mountainous roads, either.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738

    This is one reason that we have over-powered engines in mid-size sedans. I think many buy a ~250 HP (at say 6000 rpm) V6, but never run it over 3000...which means, at most, they are using 125 HP.


    Which is why my 125HP 4 cylinder with a manual transmission is just as quick in traffic. :P I keep my engine wound up and it jumps into spaces very quickly.(and the thing weighs about the same as a typical midsize sedan)

    You can do this same "trick" with a 4 cylinder Accord or Civic with manual as well. 150-160HP and 4-5000rpm in 3rd makes for lightning fast merges.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    A midsize sedan without a V6 may be adequate to some of you, but it's out of the question for me. Not only are they quieter at cruising speed and when driving around town, but the power is all but instant when you hit the gas, unlike having to wait for the revs to build up on most 4-cylinders.

    And yes, I do rev my car past 4K RPM (quite frequently, I may add) when passing or accelerating on an on-ramp, so I'm not "afraid" to drive it. Gas mileage? Well, I get about 10-20% BETTER gas mileage with my V6 Mazda6 compared to my previous DD, a 4-cylinder Grand Am, because I'm not constantly gunning it just to keep up with traffic.


    Its too bad you are a Mazda man, it sounds like a 3.8 pushrod motor from the General would be right up your alley. Great low end torque, and it all but goes to sleep on the highway loafing at 75-85 mph. Drop it in a large or midsize sedan and get fine highway fuel economy numbers as well.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    You can do this same "trick" with a 4 cylinder Accord or Civic with manual as well. 150-160HP and 4-5000rpm in 3rd makes for lightning fast merges.

    I have found it to be a safety feature that both the '93 Accord EX and the '07 Accord EX can run in 3rd gear at highway speeds for evasive maneuvers, quick passing, or anything along those lines. Eh and sometimes its actually, dare I say it, fun.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Indeed it can be fun. The thing I like (that others may not) is that full throttle isn't required to get to 3rd gear in the automatic, from 5th, when at highway speeds. You want to pass that eighteen wheeler but don't want to wake grandma? Give it a good 70% throttle and you don't get the neck-snapping power/shift that you do at full throttle, but you are almost instantly in the 5k RPM range and accelerating swiftly.

    Something I dislike about GM vehicles I've driven is that I can't, for the life of me, get much of a downshift without giving it full boot. I should tell you, I've never driven the new 6-speeds from GM though; just 4-speed trucks and cars.

    On a somewhat related topic... can someone enlighten me on the similarities or differences (if any of either) between the 6-speed auto in the Malibu, et. al. and the 6-speed in Ford's Taurus? I know its not a midsizer, but the other forums are all but dead, and this one has a lot of knowledgeable folks.

    Thanks!!

    TheGraduate
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    You can do this same "trick" with a 4 cylinder Accord or Civic with manual as well.

    Bingo. The manual makes a huge difference with the 4.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    4th gear is gone so I cruise the interstates in 3rd gear at over 2200 rpm. This isn't too bad at $1.79 a gallon. I think I hit 4000 rpm once when I hit 90 merging from the on-ramp. 3800SC. Have no Idea what over 4000 is like.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Hi,I would rank the midsize sedans in this order:

    1.Toyota Camry- perfect,flawless car.Luxurious ride,quiet cabin,good fit and finish with quality materials.Infact the ride is much much better than expensive luxury sedans like BMW,Mercedes.
    That people say it is a boring car is an absolute statement of how good it is.Very few complaints.If you want a peppier ride,you have the V6 or the sporty SE version.
    Just how u can`t like a Camry is beyond me.You just can`t go wrong here.If perfect is boring then less than perfect is disastrous.

    2.H.Sonata- trying to copy Camry in comfort,ride,fit and finish.Good warranty.Superb effort by Hyundai to come up to this level after their initial dismal cars.Got to give it to them[makes me wonder if Hyundai can do it,,why can`t GM,Dodge? On a side note,check out or drive the Genesis]
    Sadly,poor resale value- people`s perception-takes time to change.Tremendous used car bargain.

    3.N.Altima- i think Nissan is dropping in quality.The fit and finish are subpar with lots of plastics and cost cutting evident.Resale value average.lots of emission and electrical problems.The 02 Altima was a home run but the redesigned one is just not up to average.Nissan is living oou of previous success.Also average ride , comfort and reliability.

    4.F.Fusion- Very much improved with good ride quality and average fit and finish.Still,long term reliability unknown.But a lot better than the previous model.Cannot even compare to the previous Taurus..Poor resale value.

    5.H.Accord- Lot of people will be surprised by this but the ride on the Accord is horrible.Noisy cabin,can feel every bump,squeaky and rattling cabin.All these defects are masked as a sportier ride.Please,u are spending 20k and u should get a decent comfortable car.Too much hype.All hype and no substance.Good reliability ,also,very good resale value due to the hype.The first test drive is good ,wherein most people make the mistake.Drive it regularly and it is such a pain.It is like driving a rattle box with rough seats and bouncy ride.At the end of the drive ,u get really tired from all of it.They do a good PR job-- marketing all these unacceptable deficiencies as a sporty ride.
    The problem is,,a lot of the reviews it gets are based on the first drive.Rarely,do u see reviews on it for long drives or at say,30k miles.Hence,skewed reviews.

    So,for me the best new car-- absolutely-- Camry---just drive it-- u can feel the quality.
    Sonata,Altima ,Fusion-- great used car bargains.Not at all worth buying new.
    Accord- worst new and used car bargain.It`s like paying more for a torture ride.Avoid at all costs.

    I have owned a Toyota,Honda,Nissan,Dodge,saturn and Ford.So my perspective is from all sides.Just MHO.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Funny, I'd put my list in opposite order. I don't like the Mushiness of the Camry LE/XLE or Sonata GLS/Limited, and much prefer the sportier Accord.

    Just because a car costs $20k + it doesn't have to be dull.

    You call them "deficiencies" which are marketed to call it "sporty." You don't think Honda could put out a mushy/soft/isolated car like the Camry LE/XLE? Trust me friend, if Buick could, Honda could. And I'm so thankful that they don't. :) That's why we have options, but remember that an option you don't like isn't necessarily under-engineered, as you imply. :D :blush:

    Best,

    TheGrad
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    How about Mazda6, the newest design in the class? Or Malibu? Or Optima?
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Just how u can`t like a Camry is beyond me.You just can`t go wrong here.If perfect is boring then less than perfect is disastrous.

    I think a lot of people feel the way you do, they just want to go to work and back, not think about it, not worry about it, just go. They have somewhere to be.

    Then there are enthusiasts. Its about the trip, the journey there, the experience, those who want a vehicle to experience a drive as opposed to being totally isolated from it. My rankings would be much more driven by sport.

    1. Legacy - AWD, competitive fuel economy, very sporty feel, good equipment pkg even on the base. The back seat is a lil tight and the manual trans is snarky when its cold.

    2. Mazda6 - The steering feels great, the car feels alive, almost VW like. 6 forward gears on the manual transmission. No up-level manual transmission model.

    2. Fulan - Apparently the new one is mushier than the old one, I have to wait and see...I am going to drive it before I whine about it. It also gets a 6 speed manual (elbow...Honda), SYNC, and is supposedly the class leader for F/E. If it has responsive steering, it keeps its spot. "Sport Sedans" should have rear disk brakes.

    3. VW - I can't decide if the Passat or the Jetta should go here, the Passat with the 2.0t has great low end torque (tiny turbo) and a 6 speed manual. The handling is good, even on the base model with cheezy tires. The Jetta TDI is great in America, but I think the only reason it seems so great is because we don't get any of the other diesels in Europe.

    4. Accord - I don't care for the styling inside or out. Not a contender right now. Down a gear in both auto and manual to competition. Still can't make a decent iPod interface. Nice ride, my mom liked it. Steering is very good, the manual transmission is a pleasure to use.

    5. Altima - sporty ride, feels snug, V6 w/manual (6 speed...elbow Honda), dunno about DSC as part of the "sport package" though. Either do it or don't but not too much is sporty about a nanny.

    6. Sonata/Camry/Malibu
    All very nice cars. All do their expected jobs very well. All are cars that are not for me.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    You are contradicting yourself- calling the Camry/Sonata mushy ,dull.I have driven all makes and no,it is not dull or mushy.Their engines are as powerful as Honda/Nissan.
    My point is, it is much more difficult and costly to make a so called``dull`` car-- to make a car with good power,ride,comfort,low noise and excellent reliability is very tough.
    You can make an Accord with tight steering,sporty ride but these features are way too inexpensive to create.
    Making a comfortable car with so much attention to detail in every aspect is hard.
    Just drive the Camry and Accord back to back.The Camry is as powerful as the Accord.The Camry`s engine is smoother and quicker.
    These are all family sedans- that`s what they are built for.
    If I really needed a sports car--there are plenty of other options-Mazda,Civic,Mustang,Saturn Sky,Nissan 350.But that`s not the function of these cars.And sports cars need not mean-- hard plastics,,cheap fabric etc..
    Have u driven a Honda with 30k miles or more?it really is noisy,bumpy,your back and arms hurt..It is like a tin rattle box.To insulate the noise,,padding etc is needed which is again more complex and expensive.

    All in all,a nice healthy debate.Good to hear different views and opinions.Keep going.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You are contradicting yourself- calling the Camry/Sonata mushy ,dull.I have driven all makes and no,it is not dull or mushy.Their engines are as powerful as Honda/Nissan.

    What does mushy have to do with how the engine performs? I am referring to car handling, which in the Camry especially, is languid compared to the likes of Honda and Mazda. I said nothing of engine power, which is more than adequate in every vehicle mentioned here.

    My point is, it is much more difficult and costly to make a so called``dull`` car-- to make a car with good power,ride,comfort,low noise and excellent reliability is very tough. You can make an Accord with tight steering,sporty ride but these features are way too inexpensive to create.


    I disagree here. You tune one way, or you tune another. You choose to add weight (sound insulation) or save it. You choose to tune your car for an isolated ride or for good handling. Yes, these aren't cut and dry measures, as each manufacturer probably thinks they have the best "balance" while they are all somewhat, if not drastically, different. Reliability wasn't part of what I was talking about, especially since most of the cars here all do quite well in that regard. But difficult to do? Nope. Buick's been making comfy/cushy cars for a long time. Doesn't make them "better engineered" vehicles than sportier offerings from Honda, Mazda, or Nissan, but instead, different.

    Just drive the Camry and Accord back to back.The Camry is as powerful as the Accord.

    I have. My second cousin has a 2008 LE-V6:) And yes, the cars are quite similarly powered. I never contested that. The brakes in that car made me feel like I was going to rear-end someone at every stop, they were so unresponsive. You had to push through a few inches of dead travel to actually "hit the brakes." Had no steering feel whatsoever, either.

    If I really needed a sports car--there are plenty of other options-Mazda,Civiv,Mustang,Saturn Sky.But that`s not the function of these cars

    Some of us that like "sporty" can't afford a purchase for just a "fun" car, so we make the best compromise we can. I am 6'5" and needed midsize or larger. I wanted good economy (I have a 4-cylinder) with good power (8 seconds to 60 MPH according to Car and Driver is fast enough for me!). I wanted some convenience features, but don't like leather. I drive an Accord EX 4-cylinder (2006).

    Have u driven a Honda with 30k miles or more?it really is noisy,bumpy,your back and arms hurt..It is like a tin rattle box.To insulate the noise,,padding etc is needed which is again more complex and expensive.

    I drive three regularly. Two are mine, and another is an immediate family member's.
    My newest is my 2006 Accord I4 EX which I mentioned earlier. I've driven it with two of my friends on an 1,800 mile road trip from Birmingham, Alabama to Oklahoma. Perfectly comfortable. It has 45,000 miles on it right now.

    As a courier, I drive my oldest car to work. A 1996 Accord LX (4-cylinder, 130 hp) with 189,000 miles on it. Before I took ownership of the car, my now-73 year old grandmother drove it up and down the interstate for 6 years and 120,000 +/- miles. She replaced it with another Accord, not a Camry. Her current Accord (the third Honda which I drive regularly) is a 2002 Accord LX (4-cylinder, 150 hp) with 94,000 miles on it, and went on a trip to Arkansas in the summer of 2008, she and her sister (age 68) had a blowout on the way, but no problems with "hurting."

    Just thought I'd share! :)
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Have u driven a Honda with 30k miles or more?it really is noisy,bumpy,your back and arms hurt..It is like a tin rattle box

    Sir:

    My experience with Hondas is as follows:
    1982 Accord from 1982 to 1995 (155k miles)
    1997 Civic from 1997 to 2000 (56k miles)
    1999 Civic from 1999 to the present (140k miles)
    2002 Accord from 2005 to the present (82k miles)

    Not once in twenty-seven years have I heard a single rattle from any of these four Hondas.

    I have driven from Atlanta to Houston, TX in a single day in our Accord with no fatigue whatsoever, despite having suffered a spinal injury in an auto accident when I was in my late 20s.

    I have to conclude that your lack of experience with Honda has led you to the belief that a car that isolates you from the road is superior. But I can assure you that the bit of extra "feedback" I receive through the steering wheel, the shifter, and the brake pedal allow me to be a better and safer driver in an emergency situation.

    You not only presume that number and softer is better, but you go further and personally insult those of us who choose cars that provide us with more road feel. If you don't wish to know what's going on underneath you, I respectfully suggest that perhaps you should let someone else do the driving. I am happy to volunteer, as I believe we will both be safer.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Thanks for sharing your opinion.
    And yes,i guessed it,right after your 1st post that u have an Accord. ;)
    But,never would have guessed 3.
    Enjoy your Accord,,keep driving it till the wheels fall off,,which according to a honda lover would be never !!! ;) ;) ;
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Stephen987, not my intention to insult anyone.If u are offended,I apologize.We are just having a healthy debate.
    And,I guess, u did not read my 1st post.I have owned a Toyota ,honda ,nissan , saturn, dodge.So I do know how each make drives or feels .
    I just feel more comfortable in a Toyota than a Honda.
    And,I wish someone could drive me everyday.Doesn`t matter if it`s a Honda,Toyota or Yugo.Your offer accepted!!!! :shades: ;)
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    And,I wish someone could drive me everyday

    That, in a nutshell, is the difference between us. And it doesn't make me a less informed or less discerning customer, as your post seemed strongly to imply. Indeed, those who view driving as an active endeavor are probably more likely to notice small differences in handling, braking, and feel.

    I enjoy driving, feeling in control and involved. That's why I tend to prefer Honda or Mazda over Toyota or Chevrolet, and why I would rather drive 1000 miles in a BMW than 200 in a Buick.

    Interestingly, I think we'd both feel pretty good in a Fusion or Milan. There's a "sweet spot" in there somewhere.
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