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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I saw one ad for $16995 for 4I auto VE tied in with the auto show in Chicago. Nothing like the low $16000s that I saw last year though.

    In Milwaukee, they advertised the 4I auto VE for $15,995 last year during our auto show (which was also my price). I did not see any ads with prices during this year's, instead I only recall seeing leases.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I would not exactly equate the Accord to the iPod in terms of innovation. Apple as a company basically come out with the best computers, and are always leading the way in innovation. However, I don't see anything in an Accord that Honda did not copy from another manufacturer. I would say they are more along the lines of trying to perfect existing technology, such as valve timing and cylinder management systems (which the VCM has not done too well so far. A lot of unhappy owners there). I would place Mazda over Honda in terms of innovation. Look at the MX-5, RX-8 and countless other vehicles from their history.

    Honda has earned the reputation of building dependable, long lasting vehicles, so they can get away with charging more money, and using the sales pitch "It's a Honda". Many other, such as Hyundai have not earned that yet. I will agree with you there. Personally, I think Hondas are over priced. I don't think they are worth the thousands more then say my Mazda6, or the Sonata. Some people, however, will disagree, which is perfectly fine with me.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    Our Honda has been nowhere as reliable as our iPods.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    Yes, they had that same price in Chicago for a couple of months last year, Jan/Feb timeframe and I missed the bottom so to speak. Since I bought the Mazda6 last year, I may just lean towards a Sonata this year. I had a hard time deciding last year but the finish of the interior and the handling swayed me to buy the Mazda6. I did like the roominess inside of the Sonata, the spaciousness of the trunk and the tilt-steering. The tilt steering unit reminded me of the older GM models that I think was made in Saginaw, MI. Most of the tilt wheels today simply move up and down in a straight lines versus an authentic tilt which I do like.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I just bought an '08 Altima 3.5SE. Lots of fun, very nice car.

    You guys have really got to stop comparing a Sonata and an Accord, though. Before I chose an Altima I've driven pretty much every midsize sedan on the market, and the Sonata just isn't playing in the same league yet.

    What doesn't make sense to me is people calling the Sonata a "value", when they depreciate like the moldy chinese food in my fridge. What you don't pay on the front end you'll lose on the back end when you go to sell the car. So why not buy the (much, IMO) nicer car to live with for the next 5-10 years?

    That said, I hated the Accord when I drove it. It was quick, but didn't have the Altima's soul, and the interior was an ergonomic nightmare. The Sonata is much more logically laid out, but that car was also kinda dull (no offense to the Hyundai fans here, it's still a nice car!). :)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I looked at them all, and the Sonata LTD is as nice as any mid sized car out there...regardless of price. As far as value...it depends if you plan to keep it for a long time,but I have noticed that the used Sonata prices have gone up. You have to factor in the initial price too,dont you? From your comments it's pretty clear that you have a prejudice against Korean cars. Too bad,it's hard to be objective when you have already decided something.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    So why not buy the (much, IMO) nicer car to live with for the next 5-10 years?

    Sometimes it is a matter of how much money one wants(or has) to spend up front among other things. If one keeps any of these mid-sizd cars for 10 yrs the resale value will be of neglible difference. Many people feel secure knowing that the drivetrain warranty is there if kept for the 10 yrs. I don't own one but I AM looking at them because of these factors.

    And while I agree with you that the Altima 3.5SE is surely a nice fun car, I want better gas mileage and no premium gas which the Altima's 3.5 needs(I used to own a Maxima). So the Altima I drove was the 4cyl and it didn't seem to have the soul you mention.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Too bad,it's hard to be objective when you have already decided something.

    I'm interested in where you think perna already decided something. Seems to me he drove the cars and he made the choice.

    My only comment is I think of the Altima what he thinks of the Accord.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Are you going to tell the automotive press to stop comparing the Accord and Sonata, too? Like C/D did recently--2008 Accord EX I4 vs. 2009 Sonata Limited I4. Guess what? The Sonata that you think shouldn't even be compared to the Accord tied the Accord--and beat the Altima 2.5S--in the Vehicle category. The Accord and Altima were a bit quicker in the 1/4 mile than the Sonata, but w/o that the Sonata tied the Accord in Powertrain and beat the Altima. In Chassis, the Accord and Altima did top the Sonata, and that was the main complaint C/D had with the Sonata--they said it needed to quicken its reflexes about 10% (too much body roll). Which leaves me wondering what C/D would have thought of the Sonata SE with its sport-tuned (stiffer) suspension and steering.

    As for depreciation, personally I'd rather take the extra money up front and use it to pay other bills or invest it, rather than waiting 10+ years to maybe get that money back--and at current prices for the 2008 Sonata, there's no way you will ever recoup the up-front price difference including interest when it comes time to sell that Accord.

    Glad you like your new Altima.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    As for depreciation, personally I'd rather take the extra money up front and use it to pay other bills or invest it,

    I don't worry about depreciation either, I have to have a car I can live with.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    It's funny, everyone who justifies the horrible Hyundai depreciation uses the "but I'm going to drive it for 10+ years!" excuse.

    Which, if true, does make sense. I haven't checked recently, but the percentage of people who buy a *new* car and then use it as their primary vehicle for 10+ years is infinitesimal. The reason for this is that people who buy new cars aren't the most frugal people on the planet (else, they'd buy used), and these are the types who flip cars the most often.

    I'm not throwing stones (the longest I've ever kept a car is 5 years), just tellin' it like it is. A used Hyundai would be an incredible value, BTW. A quick scan of ebaymotors shows me loaded 2006 Sonatas with ~30k miles for around 9 grand.

    When I traded my '03 Maxima in on the Altima, the dealer gave me 10k in trade. I'm sure I could have gotten a couple grand more if I wasn't so lazy. And there ends today's depreciation lesson on Korean cars. ;)
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    And while I agree with you that the Altima 3.5SE is surely a nice fun car, I want better gas mileage and no premium gas which the Altima's 3.5 needs(I used to own a Maxima). So the Altima I drove was the 4cyl and it didn't seem to have the soul you mention.

    I never did drive the 4 cyl Altima, but I would imagine the "reflexes" of the car are still intact, although I have the SE with the 17" rims so maybe that has something to do with it as well. The Nissan 3.5L engine is currently, IMO, the best engine in its class.

    The premium gas bothers a lot of people, but it doesn't add up to much for the amount of fun you have behind the wheel. YMMV and all that jazz. :shades:

    One thing I can tell you, is I think the CVT makes a difference in gas mileage. My '03 Max has the same engine as the Altima, and I'm getting a *lot* better mileage on the Altima on just my first tank of gas. Around 4-5 MPG!
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    From your comments it's pretty clear that you have a prejudice against Korean cars. Too bad,it's hard to be objective when you have already decided something.

    On the contrary, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with Korean cars except the depreciation. I just couldn't buy something new that would lose >$5,000 in value the second I drove it off the dealer's lot.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    My only comment is I think of the Altima what he thinks of the Accord.

    Fair enough. :P

    Since this is actually on-topic, here's why I took the Altima over the Accord:

    1. The Altima's controls were much more logically laid out and easy to use. I live in Michigan so I often wear gloves when I drive, and the way the buttons are all tiny and in weird places it would make life a lot harder.

    2. The Accord's stereo, sorry to be blunt, is a piece of crap. OEM stereos is one area Nissan has always done well with. Even the stereo in my mom's Quest is pretty good.

    3. The Accord handled pretty well, but didn't take bumps quite as well as the Altima. On our potholed junky roads, this is a huge issue. :D I also preferred the way the Altima (this is the SE/sport edition with 17s) took corners and had the telepathic steering that I learned to love from the German cars I've owned.

    4. The engine, engine, engine. That Nissan 3.5L pulls hard all the way from a
    standing stop to way past legal speeds. The Honda's motor just doesn't have nearly the same amount of low end torque (seat of the pants, I have no idea what the actual numbers are), but is otherwise a very fun V6 in its own right.

    5. I hate Accord styling, although obviously this is a HUGE personal preference and much less objective than my other points. The new Accord in particular I don't like at all, it has the Sonata's front end grafted onto a Camry's rear end. It really has no personality of its own. My favorite Accord from the last ten years is the one with the reviled "flat 1980s" looking taillights. I think they only made them for two years, maybe '04 and '05? So that really goes to show you where my tastes are.

    6. I think the upmarket Altima's interior bests the Accord's. If you'd asked me which one I thought was nicer before the '07 Altima, my opinion would have been reversed. From the padded leather armrests to the seats, the Altima gives the impression of a richer interior. Again though, this is largely a personal preference thing. It's not like the Accord's interior is far downmarket or anything, it is competitive.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    I checked ebaymotors and found completely different information than you reported. The first two Sonatas listed were the GLS trim. The one with 33K miles was at a bid level of $9420, plus a winning bidder has to go to Iowa to pick it up or pay for it to be shipped.

    The second one, with 40K miles, has an opening bid of $9500 (and a reserve). "Buy it now price" is $13,000.

    The GLS was nicely equipped and included more standard features than many other brands, but the GLS was not a "loaded" Sonata.

    Next comes an LX (the loaded trim). High bid right now is $1025, but the reserve, of course, hasn't been met. "Buy it now price is $18,955." Mileage = 15K.

    As for your trade-in, we know how dealers can play around with trade-in allowances. But what did you pay when you bought that '03 Maxima new?

    We bought a new '07 Sonata SE a year ago and paid $16651. The '07 SE is the comparable trim to the '06 GLS. The car listed for $22,080. I assume the '06's were somewhat lower in price than the '07's--in fact I know they were lower because the '07's with XM listed for about $300 higher than the earlier '07's without XM.

    At the 30K mile mark for an '06 Edmunds lists a deduction for "high mileage."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I said 10+ years because that's where I'm at with my car ownership now. Buy a car, drive it for 4-5 years, then hand it down to a child for late HS and college. Repeat 3 times. (Use up all the 10-year powertrain warranty along the way.) If someone tends to keep a car for only 5 years or so, you still won't make up the initial price advantage of a Sonata (or other mid-sizers available at big discounts like the Fulan, Mazda6, and Optima) compared to cars like the Accord. Consider that it's not just the cash difference--it's additional financing costs, or the loss of interest savings or investment income if you pay cash.

    Certainly if you don't like the car, the savings don't really matter. But if two cars meet your needs about equally and one costs several thousand less up front, plus offers other perks like a longer warranty, that's a compelling reason to consider the less expensive alternative, IMO.

    P.S. Per Edmunds.com, my '04 Elantra has lost about $5000 in value over its first four years, for private-party sale. I'll take $5000 depreciation in four years any day. The other Hyundai I owned, a '01 Elantra, lost about $6000 in value over 5-1/2 years, when I sold it (private-party sale). I don't think that's too shabby. How much in dollars did you lose on your Maxima, even if you could have gotten $2000 more for it in a private-party sale?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Yeah. I know there aren't any loaded 2006 Sonatas with 30k miles available for anywhere near $9k in my area, unless maybe they have a salvage title.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,232
    9+ years & 138K miles on my purchased-new '99 Galant. Frugal is not about buying cheap; it's about value & efficiency. Since my car has been near perfect I've gotten full value out of the price paid. Part of that value includes the peace of mind of a full manufacturer warranty, which a used car would not necessarily provide. Did it depreciate more than a same-year Camcord? Perhaps, but I never checked. It simply isn't an issue that matters to me.

    FE matters to me, though, and I find the FE of newer V6 mid-sized sedans to be a disappointment. After 9 years I still get 24-25MPG city from my Galant and it seems most of the current sedans don't do much better. Only a 10-15% improvement in drivetrain efficiency in nearly a decade is a big disappointment to me.

    That there's little to be gained buy buying a new car points to the value I continue to receive from my current car.

    My wife bought an '01 Elantra new and wouldn't dream of parting with it. She's stated she wouldn't want a different car even if we won the lottery. It seems she, too, will keep her car for 10, perhaps more, years.

    So you're not tellin' it like it is. Seems like you're tellin' it like you think it is.

    And BTW, this thread is about cars, not brands. There are different sections of the forum for brands to be discussed.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Are you going to tell the automotive press to stop comparing the Accord and Sonata, too? Like C/D did recently--2008 Accord EX I4 vs. 2009 Sonata Limited I4. Guess what? The Sonata that you think shouldn't even be compared to the Accord tied the Accord--and beat the Altima 2.5S--in the Vehicle category.

    The Accord was 1st Place. The Sonata was 4th. But I guess in Backy's world, that's a tie. So the best the Sonata could do is a tie, in 1 category? Doesn't take much to impress you, does it?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Impress? I don't know about that. But thinking about the possibility, in a few months, of being able to buy a car that ties the "best in class" Accord in C/D's "Vehicle" category, ties the Accord in C/D's "Powertrain" category except for 1/4-mile time (190 hp vs. 175 hp will tend to be quicker, yes), for which the major fault according to C/D's editors is that it should have 10% better handling, and has a much nicer and more ergonomic interior, a longer warranty, and comparable reliability and fuel economy, for several thousand dollars less, does put a smile on my face. :)
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