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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    People are used to paying premium prices for Hondas. Not so much for Fords. That's why for example you see Fusion SEs advertised for $17k. You never see comparably-equipped Accords for that kind of price. People are also used to seeing Foci priced starting at $11k (sale prices). It will be quite a shock to see a stripped Festiva for $14k and Focus for much more. They will be better cars than the current Focus, but I think it will take some time for buyers to wake up to that fact. Meanwhile, Ford will need to raise prices on the Fusion or be in the tough position of trying to sell their new compact for more than their mid-sized car.
  • People are used to paying premium prices for Hondas.

    We will see I guess.

    That's why for example you see Fusion SEs advertised for $17k. You never see comparably-equipped Accords for that kind of price.

    My '07 Accord EX was cheaper then I could get a Fusion SEL at the time, about 19k.

    People are also used to seeing Foci priced starting at $11k (sale prices). It will be quite a shock to see a stripped Festiva for $14k and Focus for much more.

    I think the only companies that still offer "stripped" vehicles are Toyota and Hyundai. Can you get crank windows on a Civic? Or an Accord?

    They will be better cars than the current Focus, but I think it will take some time for buyers to wake up to that fact.

    Yup, I guess we will see how that rolls. When the Flex came out, it was too expensive for the market at the time and it seems like there were painful adjustments.

    Meanwhile, Ford will need to raise prices on the Fusion or be in the tough position of trying to sell their new compact for more than their mid-sized car.

    1. I bet the next gen Fusion (the European/American one) will be a little pricier than current.
    2. People are getting away from size = $$, a Fit and a Civic are about the same price, a Focus and a Fusion aren't too far apart now (at least at the lower end of the Fusions)

    I don't think your concerns are unfounded, but I think the "Premium" version will be expensive while the "pedestrian" version will be less-so. It just depends on if you want to see Avatar in 3D or not.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,189
    Honda and Toyota don't even get near the premium pricing they used to. Its easy to get a well equipped camry LE for under $20K and often with discounted or zero financing as well. That's probably why the imports are getting chintzier. People talk about being willing to pay a premium for features and quality, but too often its just talk. No different than the airlines. American used to have much more room and comfort in coach thanUnited or Delta, but it didn't attract much business. People said they wanted it, then booked the cheapest fare. A lot of the passengers sitting in United economy Plus ended up just getting the seat assigned rather than paying the higher fare as well.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Is the Fiesta being mistakenly called Festiva or is Ford bringing that back too?

    WRT the future, still not quite midsize?, Focus pricing:
    The new Focus, for instance, will be offered with rain-sensing wipers, a parallel-parking system, a blind-spot warning system, a backup camera, ambient lighting, push-button ignition, a stitched dashboard, and a sophisticated navigation system. Jim Hughes says that pricing will be held close to the current car’s $17,570 base price when it goes on sale. However, we can see a Focus easily creeping into the mid-to-high-$20K bracket by the time many of the desirable options are added.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q1/2012_ford_focus-auto_shows
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Sorry, it is Fiesta.

    As for rain-sensing wipers yada yada... I can sense rain and parallel park my own car pretty darn well. Push-button ignition is a useless gimmick, IMO. Stitched dashboard? I suppose for all the times I run my hands over my dashboard, that would be nice. Too bad they can't design a car these days with good sightlines so we don't need backup cameras and blind-spot warning systems. A good nav system starts around $100.

    I guess the base model will be fine for me. Maybe there'll be lots of folks who will shell out the big bucks for the loaded-up Foci with ambient lighting etc. I won't be one of them. Just make the car reasonably priced, reliable, safe, fun to drive, roomy, comfortable seats, good balance of ride and handling, excellent fuel economy... you know, all those "car" things that we sometimes forget about in search of the perfectly stitched dashboard... and I'll take a good look at it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Let me know when you find a new $17k Accord LX-P. ;)

    You can get crank windows on a Civic, also on a Focus, right? The only reason you can get crank windows on a Hyundai in the US is because they choose to sell a low-end subcompact model here, which Ford does not. Yet.

    From the pricing I see at Edmunds.com, there's about a $3000-4000 price difference between the Focus and Fusion, at least at the lower end i.e. S and SE levels. About a $2000 price difference between comparably-equipped Fit and Civic.
  • :surprise: I saw the LaCrosse at the local Buick showroom. Boy was I disappointed. It is not bad looking on the outside. It looks like La Crosse between my Mazda6 and the Lexus ES350. But wait till you get in the inside. Yikes !!! It is the Most claustrophobic car that I have sat inside of. The front A pillars are Over 6 inches wide, only the A pillars on a Toyota, FJ Cruiser are thicker. You can miss a whole pedestrian in a crosswalk with that Huge blind spot. The front windshield is a small slit that you are looking through and the side windows are at you neck level , the back view is not much better. And I was surprised that they offer step rails as an option like a SUV, that is the first time I have seen that offered on a sedan.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    You want worse, shoot, look at the new Honda that just came out. It's like driving a van there's such poor visibility out the rear. It's unfortunately the trend now - to make cars that are like this.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    I have the same concern about the 2011 Sonata. The 2006-10 model has a big greenhouse and good visibility. The 2011 has much narrower windows. I am wondering how claustrophobic it will feel, and what the sightlines will be be like.

    Swoopy styling is fun, but I hope car designers don't forget we have to DRIVE the darn things.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Maybe there'll be lots of folks who will shell out the big bucks for the loaded-up Foci with ambient lighting etc. I won't be one of them.

    Yes, same here. The base models of most midsize cars are "loaded" by my standards (A/C, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, some kind of radio with a few speakers, tilt/telescoping wheel, adjustable seat height). Though I did go for the $500 higher "sport value" Mazda6 a few years ago, mostly to get some appearance things that I liked, but then I found that really liked having the steering wheel audio controls and I don't think I'll want to give up that luxury in the future.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Those price levels sound like euro-levels. I seriously doubt that Ford will attempt that. It'll kill the Focus dead in its tracks at launch.

    Like all the rest Ford will have to decontent the Focus to bring the price into the $20K or lower range. $17750 for a base model sounds a lot more reasonable. This is prolly where the volume will be. It depends a lot on Ford's marketing expertise now. Can they drive buyers to want a $22000 - $25000 compact car?

    Nobody else here has been able to do that.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    BMW, MB et. al. have been pretty successful selling $40k+ compact cars, but that of course is another league from the Fords of the world. There are actually quite a few compacts in the $22-25k range today, from "ordinary" manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and VW. So it's not out of the question that Ford could sell the new Focus at that price. But it would have to be really good.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,691
    The Focus will be priced to compete with the Civic according to Jim Farley.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Just make the car reasonably priced, reliable, safe, fun to drive, roomy, comfortable seats, good balance of ride and handling, excellent fuel economy... you know, all those "car" things that we sometimes forget about in search of the perfectly stitched dashboard... and I'll take a good look at it.

    Well put!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    The front windshield is a small slit that you are looking through and the side windows are at you neck level

    I know the above is referring to the LaCrosse you just sat in but I failed to mention previously that I noticed something similar in the Kizashi I sat in recently. The windowsill, for lack of better term, on the door was very high. I like to rest my elbow there sometimes and when I tried to do it my arm was bent up at an uncomfortable angle. Maybe raising the seat all the way up may help but then I would have other issues. I don't like the way they enclosing people now. I know it's probabably to protect occupants but if they make it so hard to see out they are defeating the purpose to some extent.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    I personally like the new tech on the new cars and like to have the ability to get them if I want them. I had probably 10 cars before I finally got power windows. Back then I used to say that I don't want power windows because it's just something else to break and repair. Times have changed....who doesn't want power windows now. Are they necessary? Of course not. Same as power door locks but they sure are handy. Who would give them up now.

    I think it's possible to do a thorough job of evaluating a car both from driving, safety and fancy doodads aspect at the same time. The problem comes when someone becomes so enamored with the bells and whistles they forget about the important things. Of course, those people should not chew gum and walk at the same time either.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Believe it or not, there are some folks who don't want power windows. Some think they are a safety hazard, e.g. how do you open a window if the car is submerged? Personally, I wouldn't want a 4-door car w/o power windows and locks. I could live with a 2-door w/o them (and have done that in most 2-doors I've owned). But I don't think there's any current mid-sized family sedans w/o power windows/locks/mirrors, so it's kind of a moot point.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Those who think power windows wouldn't work under water would be extremely surprised when they find that crank windows don't either! At least not until the pressure equalizes on both sides.

    I myself don't ever plan to take my car swimming, so moot point for me. ;)
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    I could live with a 2-door w/o them (and have done that in most 2-doors I've owned).

    Could is the operative word above. As far as opening the window-- I heard a news report a few days ago about a security guard on his way to work that drove off the road into a river. He had his gun in the car and shot out his window. That proves that we should all carry guns in our car if we have power windows. ;) Of course it's possible the reason that he drove off the road was because he was loading it so on second thought maybe we shouldn't. :D
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    Are you absolutely sure about that? I know you can't open a door unless the pressure is equalized but rolling down a window? I thought that was possible.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Are you absolutely sure about that? I know you can't open a door unless the pressure is equalized but rolling down a window? I thought that was possible.

    Mythbusters did an episode a few years ago that demonstrated that it was not likely you could roll down manual windows until the pressure was equalized. Most crank arms and mechanisms aren't strong enough and just can't stand up to the stress from the external water pressure without breaking gears/cables. :cry:
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    Interesting. Thanks. I knew there was a reason why I didn't want manual windows. Actually I was convinced when I started driving the Chicago area toll roads and fumbling change, rolling down the window and driving all at once. It actually became a safety factor to have power windows in those situations in my opinion.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    i'm thinking ford could come out with a focus to compete with the wrx, so turbo, awd, etc. they already sell these in europe.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    i saw this posted somewhere recently, but it seems like it fits the discussion. :)
    maybe you could just open the door? (about 7 minutes long)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Maybe so. But the last time Ford tried the "global car" approach, it was with the Mondeo--called the Tempo and Mystique here. Not that bad as cars--really nice blend of ride and handling for its time. But not the right car for the US mid-sized market, and plagued with recalls and other problems (I know, I leased a Mystique for a couple of years). Ford never brought later Mondeos over here even though they are very good cars--probably because of the experience with the Contique, but also because the Mondeo would have to be priced too high to be competitive in the US.

    So that is what I am thinking about with Ford's new "global cars". Will it be another Mondeo/Contour/Mystique escapade, or will it turn out better for Ford this time?

  • I guess the base model will be fine for me. Maybe there'll be lots of folks who will shell out the big bucks for the loaded-up Foci with ambient lighting etc. I won't be one of them.


    So you resent the options being available so you can load up the car to be premium? It seems like more people want more features, not stripped down penalty boxes (re:Aveo, Accent).

    Prices will start where everything else does, and then if you want nav and a branded audio system, heated leather seats, a sunroof, etc you might actually have to pony up for it. My guess is more will be like that then the 14" steel wheel hubcap municipal fleet model.
  • Maybe so. But the last time Ford tried the "global car" approach, it was with the Mondeo--called the Tempo and Mystique here.

    Contour and Mystique, if we are going for accuracy.

    Actually, the Ford Cortina was first in the 60s I believe, Skipping to the 70s we have the last Fiesta, then the 80s Escort, Merkur XR4Ti and Scorpio, Then we have the Contour/Mystique (and related models like the Mercury Cougar). I think this has been going on a long time (even the "kent" engine in the Pinto has Euro roots. "The market" always said "its too different then the Euro version" so we will see how they feel after this.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Yep, slip of the brain--I noted Contour later in my post.

    Was the '80s Escort the same car in the US as in Europe?

    Using the same exact car for US and European markets hasn't been too successful from any automaker. VW does it with some of its cars ala Golf/Jetta, but is not a big seller in the US in recent years. The Camry is aimed at the US market. There's a specific Accord for the US market. The Sonata was designed in the US but will be sold around the world, but how about the Altima? The Mazda6 is different for the US than Europe. Ford, we know, has the Mondeo for Europe and the Fulan for the US. Does Chevy even sell the Malibu in Europe?

    It seems hard to design one car that has mass appeal across the world.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,691
    The Focus was designed as a global car from the beginning, with local market tweaks wherever necessary.

    Up until 2 years ago, Americans looked at most small cars as cheap transportation. But that's no longer the case. Offering premium features on small fuel efficient, fun to drive vehicles (while still offering less expensive models) should prove successful.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I was convinced when I started driving the Chicago area toll roads and fumbling change, rolling down the window...

    Not that I would want manual windows, but now-a-days you can just get an I-pass and eliminate all that, plus cut your toll charges in half.
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