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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    All the specific details don't change the fact. Accord 1st place vs. Sonata 4th place. That's the total comparison. Sometimes the reason you like a certain car more is not something you can point a finger at, a stat on a piece of paper, or a feature. It's the total package the Accord offers, that makes it a perennial winner. Not figures on a stat sheet, but the connected feeling it gives you while driving. You seem to think a car is all about price per feature. If that's what a car is to you, I guess the Sonata is the right car for you.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think the number of people who keep a car a long time is under estimated. I don't know any of these trade every 3 years people, but most people I know do buy new cars, when they buy.

    I guess a lot of people do lease these days and they would be getting new cars frequently, I don't seem know any of them though.

    Don't forget that the statistics for the average car will differ from those of the average buyer. Those who buy (or lease) a new car every 3 years will account for 4 new cars over a 12 year period, while someone like me will buy one car in that time.

    If I buy one car in 12 years and you buy 4, then that is 5 new cars and 24 years of ownership by the original purchaser. The average time of ownership for each new car is 4.8 years of ownership, but the average ownership time for the two people is 7.5 years. This is why people on the sales side think most people trade frequently...it is not necessarily so, they just see those people more often.

    I've never been able to find stats on what the average buyer does, I did find one article that just mentions that the average new car buyer is...buying a car every eight years.

    http://www.autoadvisor.com/information/article.php3?a=letsbefrank
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    If it would bother someone to buy a car that finished 4th in a comparo in a magazine, then I can see where a 4th-place finish could be a show-stopper. But this isn't major league sports where only 1st place and some wild cards count. It's the total evaluation that counts. Did you actually read the comparo? Did you see all the positive things the editors of C/D said about the Sonata? And not just about its features, but about the driving experience? The raves about the new interior and exterior? Its velvety ride? Its light and agreeably accurate steering, and fine tracking/self-centering? The slick manumatic that is the most flexible transmission of all the cars in the comparo? That it's an appealing long-distance cruiser?

    If you think the Accord gives you a more "connected" feeling that is worth a few thousand more dollars than a Sonata, then that's where you should spend your money. Personally, I didn't feel more "connected" when driving the 2008 Accord even compared to the old 2008 Sonata--you know, the car that today costs about $7000-9000 less than a comparable Accord. Maybe if these were sports cars that I'd be taking on the track or through winding mountain passes at breakneck speeds on a regular basis, rather than family sedans, there would be a meaningful difference worth substantial bucks. As it is, I don't see it. I more see the value of the velvety ride in quelling the ever-present potholes in the Rust Belt, the huge, airy, ergonomic interior and big trunk in carting my family and friends and our stuff around town, and the long warranty in minimizing operating expenses over the first ten years I'd own the car.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    It's funny, everyone who justifies the horrible Hyundai depreciation uses the "but I'm going to drive it for 10+ years!" excuse.

    Ownership period and upfront savings aside, I wouldn't say Sonata's depreciation/resale value is still horrible, neither are most other models in the fleet. While the Sonata's still below average, it certainly has come around and the tides are changing for the good. These kind of things take more than overnight to change, and for the perception to overcome.

    FWIW, the upper echelon of the Hyundai fleet has really been the catalyst in the improvement of the image, in my opinion. The depreciation/resale value for those models has been surprisingly good, and it's been spreading some of the love to the rest of the line.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Maybe if these were sports cars that I'd be taking on the track or through winding mountain passes at breakneck speeds on a regular basis, rather than family sedans, there would be a meaningful difference worth substantial bucks. As it is, I don't see it. I more see the value of the velvety ride in quelling the ever-present potholes in the Rust Belt, the huge, airy, ergonomic interior and big trunk in carting my family and friends and our stuff around town, and the long warranty in minimizing operating expenses over the first ten years I'd own the car.

    I don't understand why people accept that sedans have to be dull. If its a price thing, then okay they won't spring for sway bars (pardon the pun) and the car will wallow (re: Corolla) but saying handing isn't important because its a family car is kind of a weak argument. If anything, it should be more important because there are times when everything important to me in the world is in that vehicle and I want to avoid cell-phone toting soccer moms (and dads) in behemoth vehicles they shouldn't be driving.

    The times when I am alone in the car, I like it to feel responsive, not dead. I felt the '93 Accord EX (with some minor suspension work) and '96 Contour SE were both much more fun to drive then my present '07 Accord, and that new Accord was more fun to drive then the Sonata, though not as much fun as the Mazda and VW.

    I guess it comes down to what that is worth to an individual. If there is no priority based on a vehicle being fun to drive and rather a joy is found by paying the least possible amount for transportation, then that changes things considerably. Also, since the Hyundai is virtually worthless on resale market, there are opportunities to take some of the savings from initial purchase and modify undesirable characteristics of the car.

    For example, I am sure shocks, springs and a good set of sway bars would do wonders for the handing, and a plus 1 tire/wheel package would help as well, but that puts you at $2k in modifications you will never get back out of the car, although it would make the ownership experience more enjoyable.
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    Really, ?? When it comes to buying new, I think that every automobile sold today loses pretty close to that amount as soon as it goes off the lot. IMO
    van
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Did I say family cars have to be dull? Did I say handling wasn't important? I was talking about how where I drive my cars. They are driven mostly on city and suburban streets and freeways in the Midwest, with a very occasional trip of a few hundred miles. I don't want a car that wallows. My current car, a '04 Elantra GT, has sport-tuned suspension and steering and handles just fine, thank you. I haven't read a review that says the 2009 Sonata wallows. The 2006-8 Sonatas I've driven (over a dozen of them) didn't wallow. They weren't sports cars, but they had perfectly fine steering and handling for how and where I drive a car.

    If you value who is in your car, then I would think you would appreciate a car like the Sonata, which was the first car in this class to offer stability control standard on all trim levels. That was nearly 3 years ago. Today there's still only two mid-sizers with that safety advantage: the 2008 Accord, and the 2006+ Sonata. Even today, in 2008, there's still some mid-sized sedans where you can't even get ESC on some trim levels, e.g. Altima I4, Mazda6i, base Malibu, and base Aura. And the Fusion and Milan don't offer it at all. :mad:

    Have you driven the 2009 Sonata, which has suspension improvements from the 2006-8 cars? Or how about the 2009 Sonata SE with its sport-tuned suspension and steering (also the B&M short-throw shifter, on the I4)? As soon as I can find one, I am going to give it a try. It already has upgrades to the suspension, including the rollbars, and larger wheels compared to the base Sonata. Who needs to spend $2000 more for that kind of stuff. :)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Did I say family cars have to be dull? Did I say handling wasn't important? I was talking about how where I drive my cars. They are driven mostly on city and suburban streets and freeways in the Midwest, with a very occasional trip of a few hundred miles. I don't want a car that wallows.

    I have had 4 Sonata rental cars and one Kia Optima rental. I felt the steering lacked precision and feel, and the suspension was tuned on the wallowing domestic car of yore more than the best European cars of today. It went everywhere I needed it to go but in no way did it make me feel the journey was part of the fun.

    If you value who is in your car, then I would think you would appreciate a car like the Sonata, which was the first car in this class to offer stability control standard on all trim levels.

    I know I am in the minority, but I don't really like a system that lowers the handling limits of a vehicle to be dumbed down to the level of the driver. If it standard and mandatory (as it will be soon) so be it, but I am not so excited to pay to have driving control taken from me.

    Have you driven the 2009 Sonata, which has suspension improvements from the 2006-8 cars?

    I am trying to get past the mid-90s Acura styling right now. Its not any more bland than anything else, and its certainly not worse than the Peugeot meets 5-series styling of the new Accord.

    Or how about the 2009 Sonata SE with its sport-tuned suspension and steering (also the B&M short-throw shifter, on the I4)? As soon as I can find one, I am going to give it a try. It already has upgrades to the suspension, including the rollbars, and larger wheels compared to the base Sonata. Who needs to spend $2000 more for that kind of stuff.

    I would be curious about their "sport" model and what suspension tuning was done. My guess is that they are still using very generic (even if name branded) tires (which is probably appropriate for this market segment) that I personally will not be willing to pay extra for over the base tire/wheel combo.

    Things that would impress me about the package would be if it had a lower vehicle hight than the other packages (like my Contour SE) and if it had the option of a dedicated summer tire, since all seasons are a compromise tire in any performance sense.

    Since the MazdaSpeed6 is gone along with the Legacy wagon, there really isn't a vehicle in the "midsized" category I would want to own. Maybe the Legacy GT sedan but Legacys are pretty pricey and not the value they have been in the past.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    I felt the steering lacked precision and feel, and the suspension was tuned on the wallowing domestic car of yore more than the best European cars of today.

    I'm not surprised the Sonata and Optima are not tuned like the best European cars of today. Those cost, what, $40k+? Maybe Genesis will be closer to what you expect, if you want to compare suspension tuning to the best European cars of today. Maybe the Sonata SE is closer to what you want, but I doubt it will meet that standard. Did you notice any difference at all between the Sonata and Optima? The Optima is known for having crisper handling than the Sonata, at least the 2006-8 Sonata.

    I am trying to get past the mid-90s Acura styling right now.

    So you haven't seen the 2009 Sonata yet, have you? The car got a front-end restyle along with the new interior. I don't think you'll find it looks like anything like a mid-'90s Acura. C/D said it's "Lexus-like." I don't know about that, but it doesn't look like any mid-'90s Acura I can think of.

    You can read about the suspension tweaks in the 2009 Sonata SE here:
    http://www.hyundainews.com/Media_Kits/2009_Models/Sonata/Press_Release.asp
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Posts: 749
    Really, ?? When it comes to buying new, I think that every automobile sold today loses pretty close to that amount as soon as it goes off the lot. IMO

    I lost about 5K on a 3 years old Altima.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I liked that press release, I will with hold further judgement until I can see it in person and try it out. I still don't really care for the styling on the front, the back is just plain but not anything bad. The interior reminds me a lot of my Accord now, except it has a stereo that can actually do something besides take up space in the '07 Accord.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Got an internet quote from a midsize Birmingham area dealer on this vehicle, here's the meat of the e-mail:

    Thank you for your interest in our 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ!

    I can offer you this vehicle for $28,159.73 plus tax, title and fees. If you can prove ownership of OR have someone at your residence with a 1999 or newer Non-GM product, there is an additional $750.00 rebate that can be applied to your purchase.


    That price is silly-high.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Wow...$28K for a Malibu! Of course I'd have the same response to a $28K Camry, Accord, or whatever...never having spent close to that amount on any vehicle.

    The MSRP for that Malibu with every possible option (which adds about $1500) is $28,960. Depending on what is on it that price is about $1000-2500 over invoice. There is no general rebate on it. They do have as low as 5.9% financing, but that is not much, if any, discount from market rates.
  • sparklandsparkland Posts: 108
    I want to get a Polished Metal EX-L 4 cyl Accord with a black leather interior. My dealer has quite a few of this model with gray leather interior.

    The reason I want the black is because it won't show dirt quite so much. Does anyone who has the black leather have any comments for or against. I know heat is an issue, but that is why the car has AC.

    Thanks, Brad
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 393
    And how much are an Accord and Camry with the same equipment ? Are they thousands more or about the same? (I honestly don't know at the moment and am not going onto the US sites to find out right now (still busy shoveling out of the latest snow storm). I am just wondering if that fully loaded malibu is still cheaper than the big two competition or not (I know they prices aren't as far apart as they used to be though)
    Scott
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    And how much are an Accord and Camry with the same equipment?

    I'm not sure if equipment is the same, but it appears Camry tops out at MSRP = $31,520 and invoice = $27,938 and Accord at MSRP = $30,260 and invoice = $27,404. The Malibu maxes out at MSRP = $28,960, invoice = $27,229.

    The difference in MSRP is much greater than that for invoice, the three are within $700 of each other on invoice, while MSRP range is about $2600.
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    With the current $2000 worth of rebates, you can get a loaded 2008 Saturn Aura XR (practically the same car as the Malibu LTZ) for about $26,000. This includes leather interior, sunroof, 3.6 liter V6, adjustable pedals, and other such features. I actually bought my 07 XR, similarly equipped, for a smidge less than $25,000 with the rebates available at that time. This also buys you into the friendly Saturn dealer service network.

    I have to agree that $28,000 is a bit high for these cars, they make more sense in the low-to-mid twenties, depending on the trim level.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    One reason my folks weren't looking at the Accord was that it had gotten too expensive. Dad thought a Chevy would be a good value purchase. At this price, he'd just get an Accord since it can probably be had cheaper than this quote.

    I think they're test driving one of the best bargains on the market this weekend, the 2008 Ford Taurus. Less than $21k OTD for an SEL with power pedals, 263hp V6, giant interior/trunk, although ho-hum styling, etc. This will be mom's car, and she liked the Taurus she looked at (never got in).

    They are interested in a comfy highway cruiser for traveling, including V6 power. Their other car is a 2007 Civic which they love, but don't like particularly well for trips (sits a little low, and isn't the most comfortable car in the world, although they like the 30+ mpg they get in it). That car is a hoot to drive!

    My folks looked at a Hyundai VeraCruz Limited and were VERY impressed, but didn't want to spend over $30k. Dad sad the Sonata felt like it was trying to be an Accord and failed. They haven't had seat time in an Azera yet, but I suggested they take it for a test drive.

    So, anyone with suggestions on what my folks should drive next (excluding Chrysler, which they will never purchase again)? The goal is $25k or less, comfortable, powerful for the highway, doesn't have to be a "fun" car.

    I've suggested Azera and Taurus, as they are both available under $25k (their target price) and both have good highway power and comfortable rides.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Dad sad the Sonata felt like it was trying to be an Accord and failed

    Was the Sonata they looked at a 2008 or a 2009 model? If it was a 2008, they might want to revisit the Sonata after the 2009s are available in their area. Just a thought.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I suggested that idea to them, because I'd bet money it was an 08. I doubt they go for it though. My dad had a 2003 and a 2005 Accord, cars that he just got bored with because he put so many miles on them, which is why he really changed up with this atomic blue Civic.

    "Whatever your mom decides she likes, we're getting." - Dad

    Maybe SHE needs to see the 2009 Sonata. :)
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