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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "Isn't that the same basic shape as the Cross tour?"

    Yeah, that was really the point...that the same basic shape in terms of the sloping rear, without looking awful. While a BMW is much pricier, a car does not have to cost a lot to look good (as evidenced by the prior generation of the Mazda3 and Mazda6, for example)..
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Most Likely To Succeed in Sales: Toyota Camry. Old habits are hard to break, despite considerable evidence that Hyundai actually builds better Toyotas than Toyota does.

    Best Looking: Entirely subjective, but I'll nominate the Chevy Malibu. It offers conservative good looks in the lower line models, and really attractive interior styling in the upper levels. Most midsize customers aren't looking for drama--just good taste, and here the Malibu is a very good choice.

    Smartest Value Buy: There are a lot of choices here. As tempted as I am by the big warranty and fat discounts offered by Hyundai and Kia, I'd say the Ford Fusion is my top pic in this category. Good mpg and reliability don't hurt either.

    Most Athletic: Tough call. I haven't seen any final reviews of the 2010 Legacy, whose previous editions have been strong contenders in this category. For now, it's probably the Nissan Altima, but there's a lot of action in this category.

    Most Brand Spirit: Zoom zoom. They haven't marketed it very effectively, but the Mazda 6 fits nicely in a brand image that emphasizes affordable entertainment. The Nissan Altima would be a good fit here, if Nissan's lower-level offerings had the same spirit, but they don't come close.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    Most Likely To Succeed in Sales: Kind of depends what is meant by "succeed". If it's sheer volume, I don't see the Camry being unseated anytime soon, especially since a new Camry will be coming before a new Accord. If it's increase in sales, I'd go for the Fusion, or maybe the new Legacy.

    Best Looking: Mazda6, of the currently available cars.

    Smartest Value Buy: Optima

    Most Athletic: Passat

    Most Brand Spirit: For now, the Accord. But I think the 2011 Sonata may be a defining moment for Hyundai as a brand.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    Succeed in Sales: Camry. Just too far ahead in sales now and I think they're learning some lessons and will correct a lot of the quality and interior problems.
    Best Looking: Fusion Sport
    Smartest Value Buy: Fusion. The Optima/Sonata would be first only if one holds onto for many many years and that is too big of caveat. The Fusion would be a good buy both on the shorter and long term.
    Most Athletic: Mazda6
    Most Brand Spirit: Not really sure what this means. I would lean towards the Mazda6 for this one as well.
  • Most Likely to succeed in sales: This is a very tough call. For now, I'd say Camry, but I think this previous generation may have scared away some of the Camryites that have followed it for previous years. Currently, I think the Malibu, Mazda6, and Fusion may be making some headway, but they're all far from being class leaders.

    Best Looking: Mazda6. Large but stylish, both inside and out. That being said, the latest generation of Accord has steadily grown on me as well... especially the Coupe.

    Smartest Value: Sonata. Price, price, price, and a very nice list of features for not a lot of money.

    Most Athletic: Altima. Gas 'er up and let 'er rip! Not the fastest 0-60, not the largest (probably the smallest in this class), and not the most ornate interior, but as soon as you flip it into drive, forget about everything else... just drive. This car is a ball on the twisties (for a FWD car.)

    Most Brand Spirit: Wow... that's a tough one. Either Mazda or VW. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to go with VW since Mazda still has the dreaded Tribute and B-class trucks in their recent history. That killed it for them. VW embodies class and driving dynamics rolled into a very nice package. However, you're going to pay for the "spirit."

    Hmmmmmm... I'm going to add a few categories:

    Most Disappointing: The only car that has no character at all is the Dodge twins: Avenger and Sebring. Lackluster engines, no driving dynamics (not very comfortable either), lacking interior, poor reliability record... I'm not sure these cars have anything going for them... other than price.

    Best for Long Trips: Either Sonata or Camry. If you're being totted to the beach 300 miles away, and you have to be in the back seat of one midsize sedan, I would really LOVE to have the reclining back seats and plush ride of the Camry.

    Most Upscale Interior: Accord. The interior looks like it belongs in a car that costs about $5-10k more, and the interior size is nothing short of huge. Feel like you're driving a luxury car for a midsize price.

    Most Upscale Exterior: Tough one here: Either the Accord of the Mazda 6. Both look like they should cost more than they do.

    Most Improved: Malibu. Much larger, better driving dynamics, more competent engines, etc. Nearly everything on the Malibu now competes with the best in the class. The few short comings that this car has are just enough to keep it out of the big Japanese 3, but it's a very welcome improvement from GM.

    Best All Around: This is another very tough one. I have to say its either the Accord or the Altima. Here's what I think.

    Accord: Spacious, lively, high feature content, comfortable, and easy to live with. Unfortunately, a few shortcomings (below average gas mileage on 4-cyl, solid folding back seat, no automatic w/ manual mode, small trunk) keep it from being perfect in this class.

    Altima: Smaller in dimensions but very usable space inside. Large trunk for its size, well tuned CVT transmission w/ manual mode, Powerful 4-cyl, etc. This car has a lot to offer. Still, it's on the smaller size in this class, and the interior is a little austere (but well layed out.) This is a fun little car that has lots of practical value as well.

    :)
  • is this new 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero considered a midsize rig? This will come with a couple of different V6 diesel variants (a V6 turbo diesel 300 hp) and a 4-cyl. offering, but last time I looked we were not a very diesel friendly environment, even allowing their import here in the States.

    image

    2010 Saab 9-5 Aero

    Saab is teetering on bankruptcy, too, and now one of the Chinese companies has taken them on, BAIC. For another shot or two at solvency.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    Maybe mid-sized, but not mid-priced which is the focus of this discussion. The 9-5 is more in the luxury sedan class.
  • is mid-priced the reason for the 2.0 label on this discussion? Or does that stand for "this is the 2nd go-around for this discussion, if you guys screw up this time and tank this thing, we're not gonna re-visit it!"

    This new Saab 9-5 Aero is an attractive design, if you look at some of the other angles it almost has an Audi look it, not surprisingly with the European connection being there.

    It's at Frankfurt, I'll be watching for any updates on it. It very well may cost in the upper midsize echelons of pricing, though, if Saab history plays on through normally.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    The latter. :)

    But it's understood from the other cars in the discussion that this is about the "family sedans", not luxury sedans.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    It's funny. I consider Infiniti G37 and Acura TL to be mid-size luxury cars but most "auto writers" usually refer to them as "near luxury"(don't really know what they consider luxury). I personally would consider the Saab 9-3 to be at the upper end of the mid-sized family sedans, kind of like the Passat. It's street price is around the mid to upper twenties which is what a decked out Camry V6 XLE or similar Accord or Mazda6 would be at street prices. It is almost impossible to get an Acura, BMW or Infiniti for below $33-35k street price which is definitely luxury prices compared to what we talk about here.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I tend to think of VW as the only European manufacturer with a significant presence in the US "midsize sedan" market. And with the Passat heading toward $40k. . .

    I also think of this particular discussion as focusing on "mid-price" or "mass market" midsize sedans. Not to say that I'm uninterested in Saab, Audi, Volvo, MB C-class, BMW 3-series, etc.--just that I don't think most people cross-shop those against the Accord, Camry, Sonata, or Malibu. I'm sure someone will post here to say that they seriously considered one of those before buying their Altima 3.5SE, or something, but I think that most buyers of the Camcord class prioritize interior room, reliability, comfort, and value, where buyers of the Saab/Audi/Volvo/MB/BMW class tend to be more interested in performance, high-end features, brand image, and similar matters. Infiniti and Acura could conceivably compete with both, though.

    This gets back to one of the longtime favorite topics for this discussion--what do we really mean by "midsize"? Are we talking strictly about physical size and interior space? Or are we describing a kind of "middle of the road" car? If the latter is the case, "midsize" might not be quite the correct term.
  • image

    this Midsize Sedans 2.0 was about all of them, but, it is true, the luxury end has not been served on here and it's by design. I am out of touch with what a Saab 9-5 Aero for 2010 might cost, and found it being discussed elsewhere, and found the new design quite appealing. Hence it's introduction here. But I'll cut this one off at the pass under the current rules.

    I do think that the 9-5 Aero's 2010 price would fly right over my wife and I's price range like a Gary Payton lead pass to Shawn Kemp for the dunk over Scottie Pippen though. :shades:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    The rear end (in front of the C pillar) reminds me a lot of the Azera's. But that car too is a notch up from this group--in between these cars and higher-end cars like the 9-5.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    When we bought our Infiniti QX4 we were originally looking at a Nissan Pathfinder. Couldn't deal with the Nissan people on both the price of the new vehicle or what they wanted to give in trade. Thought hey, the QX4 is just a more luxurious Pathfinder, ended up getting the nicer vehicle at less price than what we could have gotten the Pathfinder for.

    So, I do think(unless I'm a total aberration) that sometimes people crossshop similar vehicles like that. I am presently looking at the TL and comparing it to a decked out Accord EX-L with Nav. Price difference is only 3-4k.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,758
    Stephen,

    Excellent analysis. I agree with almost all of your choices.

    Regarding ugly Hondas and Acuras, I agree with recent models being ugly. However, I actually don't think the Crosstour looks that bad in pictures. But we all know how you really have to see a car to tel.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    I actually don't think the Crosstour looks that bad in pictures

    I think you're in a vast minority on that one.
  • As a fan of wagons, I really want to like it but I just can't. That thing is ulgy. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's Aztec-ugly, but it's dangerously close - in my opinion, of course ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    I don't think it looks that bad either. But I like that fastback styling. Not everyone's cup of tea.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "Fastback" styling done right can look good (to me) as it does in the BMW. I've never been a fan of the "crossover" look, they pretty all look bad to me. Trying to make what is basically a cross between a minivan, SUV, and wagon look "sporty" just fails, IMO.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The only part of the Cross tour I really don't like is the wheels. I am more a fan of sporty looking wheels, than heavy looking cruiser type wheels. I'm not all that caught up in how a car looks, it's more about what's under the skin. In my younger days, I once bought a car based mostly on how cool it looked, and was burned, so I don't go that route anymore. If the car has everything I want, and I enjoy driving it, looks don't really matter much. I can't see what it looks like, when I'm driving it anyway. :)
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,680
    Sure wish the alloys were nicer also...current one's leave me cold & the wheels make or break a car for me...they have to just "fit" the car's wheel well opening and have looks that will make folks take a 2nd look. Come on Acura/Honda...look in the ole' parts bin & come up with a better wheel design...and soon. It'll make or break this car!! Not a good sign for a car if many folks swap out the alloys from the start...and I think most will swap 'em out for something that has that "wow factor".

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • And the Tucson is not too shabby either...
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The roofline of the new Tucson looks too much like that of the Nissan Rogue. Rearward visibility may be a problem.

    But the upcoming Sonata is very dramatic--I'll give Hyundai points for that one, even though I like the conservative, restrained look of the current model.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    Very impressive pictures! Didn't understand the two different center stacks??? I see one in the video but there are two different ones in the pictures.

    Also, not having followed Hyundai's history closely, have the U.S. versions pretty much mirrored the Korean version or is there usually substantial differences?? This Korean version looks like they took it up a notch compared to what we have been getting in the current Sonata here in the U.S.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    Basic cars are the same (grille could wind up being different, it has been before) but the home market options will be different, also probably different engines e.g. maybe a diesel offered in ROK and maybe not the V6, or lesser emphasis on that.
  • Here's some more info on the 2011 Sonata. Most of the info pertains to the Korean model but there is some info on the US model, particularly engine info.

    2011 Sonata unveiling

    ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,732
    Thanks. Too bad we won't see the 2.0L here. With the 200 hp 2.4L, who needs a V6? (well, I'm sure some folks do) I do wonder if all the options listed will make it here, if so the car will be class-leading for content.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    Ford has announced a 1.6L Ecoboost engine (direct injection turbocharged) that puts out the same power as the current 2.5L NA engine. Speculation is this could end up in the next gen Fusion as the base engine. According to Ford it would get 20% better fuel economy than the NA 2.5L. That could be interesting.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I think it's a bad idea, frankly.

    Turbo engines are more complex than their non-turbo counterparts--so it takes a lot of engineering time and money to make the turbo as reliable as the non-turbo. Plus--most American drivers tend to expect very linear power delivery, and that's tricky to do with a turbo. Sure, BMW and VW/Audi have figured it out, but again, there's a lot of time and money that has to go into finding the balance.

    A 1.6 EcoBoost would be the ideal top engine in a Focus, and a bigger EcoBoost engine (maybe a 2.5 L4, or even a V6) would also make sense at the top of the line in a revised Fusion Sport (or maybe SVT or SHO), but a turbo mill doesn't make sense as a base engine for run-of-the-mill (or run-of-the-fleet) Fusion sedans.
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