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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,157
    Yeah, its all a local thing I guess. But I haven't been all that impressed with the two Honda's I bought. They didn't seem put together all that tight and needed several initial dealer visits. One was made in Alabama and one in Britain, so maybe that is part of it! The Alabama van has been a real rattle trap. I understand they make Accords there now too, but I think I'd avoid one made there.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    Hope you have better luck with your VW than you had with your BMW.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Since they are much different cars from different manufacturers, and the VW is seven years newer with 4 years of warranty, like-new condition, and half the miles of the BMW, not to mention a lot fewer "gadgets" to go wrong, I expect I will have better luck. Thanks for the thought.

    But... neither car is a mid-sized sedan. So... :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Wait, what happened? You just got the car. What'd I miss with the 2000 Bimmer?
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    I think the quality has gotten better from what I've read but has a long ways to go to overcome the perception of low quality (Ford is fighting same battle).

    Not the same situation as Ford.

    People want a combination of style, interior quality, refinement, performance, and reliability, economy, cost. They will sacrifice factors for others.

    VW's strong points are style, interior quality, refinement, and performance to a lesser degree. They are relatively poor on reliability, lousy on customer service, and fairly high cost.

    Ford has typically been low style, low interior quality, moderate refinement, low to moderate performance, decent reliability, and good cost. Their reliability has been improving and now so is their performance.

    If you want low performance and style but high reliability and refinement you buy a Toyota.
    :P
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Every Honda I've had ('89 Civic, '93 Civic, '93 Accord, '07 Accord) has squeaked and rattled a bit, especially at change of seasons. I always just assumed it was the car's way of talking with me and being social while cruising the highways.

    I didn't find the reliability of the '93 Accord to be particularly stellar, so far the '07 has just had silly issues but nothing major. I don't plan on having it nearly as long as the other Accord (in fact, I am surprised I still have it now!), so I am not as worried about long term reliability as I am about resale, which was black booked at 13k for a car that MSRPd at 23.5k in '07. I consider that to be less than stellar. Had I paid full pop, I would've been really ticked.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,157
    I think all of the brands are starting to get similar. Heck, Honda has had well publicized tranny and A/C problems, both very expensive. The Ford Fusion has been stellar, but that's not true of all their vehicles. I also think many have similar depreciation when you compare out the door price with trade. The publications have to go by list price because price out the door varies. A Ford or Chevy will get you a few grand less than a Honda or Toyota on trade, but it also tends to cost a few grand less out the door. That said, the Honda's are sweet drivers though!
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    The oil change on my 4-cyl Accord is cheaper than that on my parents' V6 3.5L Taurus, so the prices are fairly similar here. $34.95 compared to $37.

    I'm not sure how your local dealers charge for the amount of oil they have to add back after the drain, but it's not uncommon around here for an oil change on a larger engine to cost more than one on a smaller engine. Your parent's V6 probably holds at least a quart more oil than your Accord. Oil is about $2 a quart right now so that might explain the price difference you are seeing. Those dealer advertised prices typically state "up to 4 quarts" and the D35 in the Taurus holds 5.5 quarts. YMMV of course. ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    The Ford Fusion has been stellar, but that's not true of all their vehicles.

    Yeah, I think its interesting with this "new Ford" emerging, the newer stuff (Fusion, Focus, MKS, etc) is proving to be more reliable, and the old stuff is fading away. Most of the complaints I hear now are from vehicles made in the 90s.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    Anything that was new or significantly redesigned after 2005 has been pretty much bulletproof - or at least above average. This will continue to improve as the older models are replaced or redesigned.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    I was referring to the perception of quality only and not to all the other factors you mention....so, yes it is the same situation that they are both fighting a perception of low quality/reliability. I haven't had personal exerience with either for quite some time. Last Ford product owned was a 1968 Mustang(great experience) and last VW was a 1965 Karmann Ghia(very poor experience) so I can't even offer a personal opinion on their modern offerings. However, everything I've read lately is that both(especially Ford) have raised their quality/reliability rankings. But like I said, it will take more time for peoples perceptions to catch up with reality.

    I will say that my nephew is a VW technician at a dealership and he recommended I buy a Mazda6 over a VW Jetta. I bought the Mazda6 and have had absolutely no problems in 28,000 miles.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    VW's strong points are style, interior quality, refinement, and performance to a lesser degree. They are relatively poor on reliability, lousy on customer service, and fairly high cost.

    Ford has typically been low style, low interior quality, moderate refinement, low to moderate performance, decent reliability, and good cost. Their reliability has been improving and now so is their performance.

    If you want low performance and style but high reliability and refinement you buy a Toyota.
    ******
    VWs are fine if you don't get a turbo-equipped model. The rest of the reliability issues are pretty much the same as all of the German industry. Their suppliers for electrical and mechanical sub-systems(knobs/switches/sensors/etc) are barely D grade rubbish. Toyota, OTOH, has top marks here. The cars are utter toads but the interior and accessory parts just don't break and the stuff keeps working year after year. So if you *do* buy a vehicle form a German company, get it with literally as little electronics and accessories as humanly possible.

    Both Toyota and VW have lousy transmission parts suppliers, though. GM is the only make I'd trust an automatic in. But that said, the VW, Honda, Toyota, and Mazda/Ford manuals are very very good - far far better than anything GM makes.

    I'm soon to be looking for a newer vehicle myself. A lot of small European cars are on the list. 4 cylinder, no turbo, and manual, of course. ;)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Some of us make a distinction between quality and reliability. Reliability means mechanical parts work and do not break. Quality is things like the materials that VW uses in it's interiors (eg. feel the headliner compared to some other makes) and heavier guage steel with, perhaps, better rust prevention.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    I can understand that to a degree. Kind of like "fit and finish" may equate more to a feeling or look of quality. I feel a quality part (wherever it may be in the vehicle) will be a reliable part and vice versa, if a part is reliable I consider it to be a quality part.

    If (to steal a phrase) "quality is job 1", quality engineering, parts and construction go in, a reliable car should come out IMO. However, I also realize that quality/reliablity can be measured in so many ways and by so many agencies that it is hard to put your money on any one of them to make an argument.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The Consumer Reports approach is to say that something is "unreliable" if it requires repair or replacement. Thus a lot of vehicles are labeled "unreliable" because of trim problems, rattles, paint issues, and the like. I would call that a "quality problem" rather than a "reliability problem." IMO a "reliability problem" is one that prevents the vehicle from functioning as designed--either the car won't run properly, or won't stop properly, or electrical components don't work, or things of that sort.

    By that measure my '82 300SD had terrific quality, but poor reliability. My '85 Monte Carlo had lousy quality, but excellent reliability. Both of my current Hondas have both excellent reliability and excellent quality.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's a listed price for all car models (except full-size trucks) at our dealer (Town and Country in Birmingham). Honda has a one-price fits-all price since the biggest engine is the J35.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,681
    V-Dub was rising so fast in the worldwide automotive race. Believe that one when I actually see it. What do they offer for a Warranty, 5 years and 60,000 miles? And dealer experiences can differ from area to area. I don't like their styles enough to seriously consider one, except lately I have become somewhat interested in looking at one of those camper bus VW's, with the huge steering wheel in your lap.

    You bunk right above the driver and passenger seat. Also the roof lifts up for an additional bunking-spot, most of y'all have seen the old VW bus layouts. But supposedly they're not hard to work on, and one would have to give anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000 for one that is still running. Never liked 'em before, but they interest me now because they might make a good traveling mode/companion. For midsize rigs I'd look at the Kia Optima, Mitsubishi Galant and Ford Fusion...test drive 'em all and let the chips fall where they may. Ford's new Fusion Hybrid would be worth a longer look, is it eligible for the $7,500 Obama "green" car rebate?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    Copied from autoblog.com.

    "....Toyota – currently the undisputed leader in automotive sales volume – is expected to post about 1.23 million sales in the first quarter of '09, down an amazing 47% from the previous year. Volkswagen's 1.39 million sales represent a much smaller drop of about 11%."

    See it to believe it?

    Never liked 'em before, but they interest me now because they might make a good traveling mode/companion

    With the way the economy is going we might have to buy them to live in!
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    I agree with you on the Fusion, but the Hyundai Sonata would rank higher on my prospect list than the Kia Optima (especially if we're talking about the V6 models). The Galant is a good value, but it's a bit long-in-the-tooth and out-classed by several competitors.

    The Fusion and Mazda6 would be at the top of my list, though!
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    Yesterday, I got to test drive one of the 2010 Camry LE's, and while it was a welcome improvement over the 2007-2009 model, I still wasn't terribly impressed with it.

    First thing you notice about it is that Satellite radio is now standard on LE trims and above. ESC is also now standard across the board. The other improvement is the 2.5L 4-cyl and 6-speed auto. It provides a nice bump in power, but Toyota is still definitely going for refinement > power delivery. It is definitely quicker than the dated 2.4L engine, but the Camry still feels incredibly lethargic under WOT. I expected it to be a tick quicker than it was.

    Still, the Camry is once again competitive in the market, provided the price stays the same. There were no squeaks or rattles in the cabin, the ride was velvety smooth, and the engine was refined and quiet. I'm still waiting to test drive an SE model since it's supposed to get a 179HP engine vs. the LE's 169. I'm glad Toyota noticed the holes in their mass production car and fixed them.

    The car is most definitely a step in the right direction now, but I believe the 2012 reincarnation of the Camry will address even more issues. Until then, the 2010 Camry is competitive, but not desirable.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    "....Toyota – currently the undisputed leader in automotive sales volume – is expected to post about 1.23 million sales in the first quarter of '09, down an amazing 47% from the previous year. Volkswagen's 1.39 million sales represent a much smaller drop of about 11%."

    But those are global figures. Does anyone have US figures? I would bet that Toyota outsells VW in the US about ten to one.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Another example of the reliability - quality difference might be GM's old V6 engine (3.8L?), I've heard that referred to as "bullet-proof" but I think it is also considered to be "unrefined". So that might be considered to be a reliable engine, but not a high quality engine.
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    I test drove a new 2010 Fusion SEL 2.5 4cyl 6speed automatic. Ford is listening to consumers and it is showing. The new 2.5 4cyl is smooth and responsive. The new dash is leaps and bounds better looking, than in my 06. I like the nice accents that are put in the 06 interior. The days of Toyota/Honda dominating the 4cyl market in mid size sedans is coming to an end.
    Also test drove a v6 SE version. The "re tuned" V6 does have more power. But when pushed does growl. I like the sound myself, others may call it "unrefined". Frankly, I really liked the new 2.5 4cyl. When spun up the engine just sounds like it was made for it. Fit/finish of both cars was excellent.
    As far as VW. In 06 my choice came down to a Fusion and a Jetta. The interior quality/fit/finish was not any better or worse in the Jetta than in the Fusion. What swayed me was the endless stories of Jetta's in the shop. However, if you now look at the 06 Jetta reliability data it has improved.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Yeah, I'd go along with that. Same for the old 3.0 Vulcan V6 from the '90s-vintage Taurus.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The days of Toyota/Honda dominating the 4cyl market in mid size sedans is coming to an end.

    I think that is a bit of a stretch. The Accord and Camry are still much stronger sellers then the Altima, and the Fusion lags quite far behind the Altima in sales. While Fusion v2.0 is much improved and is much better then its predesesor, I'm not so sure Ford will dominate this crowded class.

    The 2009 Mazda6 uses a lot of the technology found in the 2010 Fusion including the same 2.5L I-4. The Mazda6 sales are off to a very slow start. Partly due to the massive content available and the little steeper price then the Big 3 from Japan. For 2010, Mazda has brought the car more inline to be more competitive. Anyway, my point is there are many very good cars in this class, 2010 Fusion included, but, I do not see Toyota or Honda stumbling anytime soon.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Same for the old 3.0 Vulcan V6 from the '90s-vintage Taurus.

    That was the one made by Yamaha, right?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    No, Yamaha made the engine for the original SHO Taurus. The Vulcan was Ford. (Live long, and prosper.)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Vulcan needs not live long. Bring on the Duratec.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Sorry my attempt at humor was lost on you. Anyway, the Vulcan is dead... Jim.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    But I heard the Hyundai Genesis may bring the Vulcan back to life........... :P
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