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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    If you've compared the Avalon with the LaCrosse and Taurus, and you like it best - buy it. Don't believe the UAW inspired conspiracies and bashing, Toyota builds a good car and there are incredibly good deals right now. Honda and Acura tend to be noisier which can conflict with large car driving experience and preference.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    I think you answered your own question. It seems that road noise is one of your very top priorities so the Avalon would have the Accord beat handily in that respect.

    However, I would only suggest one thing. The Camry. It is almost as quiet(maybe as quiet) as the Avalon and also has a very smooth ride, has a rear folding rear seat for hauling big items(Avalon doesn't) and uses the same exact V6 and auto transmission. Yes, the back seat in the Avalon is bigger but the Camry's is not undersized by any means. You would save about 4k with the Camry. I believe there are a couple of bells/whistles you can get on the Avalon that aren't offered on the Camry but you could do a comparison and see if those really make big difference to you. This comment is assuming that you've looked at other cars in the category you're looking at and don't like them. Good luck.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    The Fusion is better than either one of those two. It is quiet, handles far better than both, and is less expensive than the Avalon. I owned a 2009 Camry hybrid, it was noisy, and whiny. It was also not as well made as the Fusion I have now, the material quality was average, it had wind noise, and after 32k, the seat material was starting to show signs of wear, and the car was less than a year old.

    The Fusion sport is quiet on the highway, comfortable, and the materials are above average. I have not one single complaint after nearly a year of owning it, and 21K miles. Only service it has was due to me having too much fun with the car, and warping a front rotor from high speed stops, aside from the two oil changes and that, it has not been on a rack.

    What is the difference between a Lincoln MKZ and a Fusion Sport? About 10K and a homelink on the visor, aside from cosmetics, they are virtually the same car.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,723
    What is the difference between a Lincoln MKZ and a Fusion Sport? About 10K and a homelink on the visor, aside from cosmetics, they are virtually the same car.

    Exaggerate much?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    Yeah, and a Lexus ES350 is virtually the same as a Camry. Oh, wait, you can get Homelink on both of those so maybe they are the same.

    Dream on. You really need to work for Ford and sell Fusions....I don't know, maybe you already do. Nothing against Fusions but Geeesh!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Saw a 2011 Accord on a test drive today. The rear tail lights have no continuity what so ever. It looks horrible. I hope Honda has something big planned for this car for the next gen, because this one just got uglier.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    edited September 2010
    Here's what Healey had to say over on USA Today...

    The benchmarks Accord set have been passed. The latest Accord remains a good car, for the most part, but if you envision it as the ruler of family sedans, either you're operating on old information or you're overly biased in favor of Honda.

    •Overall: Roomy, agile, dated.

    2011 Accord review
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    That's been the worst view of the Accord since the '88 redo....the rear end. Don't tell me they made it worse.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    If your primary criteria is a quiet/comfortable interior then you'll definitely want the Avalon if only choosing between the Accord and Avalon. The Avalon is whisper silent, seriously, you can't barely hear a thing in that vehicle. Accord does have some issues with road/wind noise depending on model.
  • Honda/Acura has consistently been noisier than Toyota/Lexus - I was an Avalon owner for several years and Lexus for about 8 years - absolutely silent in comparison. Quality was substantially better - hands down, they were a better car in my opinion. Downside, they were not fun to drive. If you want real quality and fun to drive, go German - BMW, Audi. Now those are fun + extreme quality.
    Z
  • I appreciate the 3 or 4 replies that I received to my post. Thanks guys! I plan to test drive all 3 vehicles once they get some 2011 models in stock. Not sure when I can expect that to happen but I assume within the next month or so.

    I am a little curious about this comment regarding the 2011 Jetta being "cheapened". What does that mean exactly? Thanks in advance.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Note that the "cheapened" comment did not apply to the 2011 sportwagen. The 2011 wagon and sedan will now be completely different models as is the 2011 Golf.

    You should find plenty of info by searching for "2011 Jetta", here is one review from our hosts here at edmunds:

    http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/jetta/2011/testdrive.html
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I test drove the MKZ, I own the sport, other then a slightly quieter ride, they handled the same and had the same get up and go. The seat comfort in the MKZ is slightly better than the Sport, but so is the seat comfort in the SEL, The SEL and MKZ have the same seat design, but MKZ has higher quality leather. The Sport seats are different than all the other models in the Fusion/Milan/MKZ. The all had the same features, Sync, Nav, etc. the MKZ has the THX sound system, while the Fusion has the Sony, and from what others have said in other forums, the Sony sounds better than the THX. Under the hood, the MKZ and Sport use the same engine/drive train, with the Sport having a slightly better tuned suspension for handling. So, other than cosmetic changes, no, not exaggerating.

    Now if I were to be buying a used car, I would look for a 2009 and up MKZ, more for the comfort of the seats than anything else, the one thing about the Sport is the seat cushion is a bit short for my thigh so the stitching presses against a nerve if I sit a certain way, but the seat back is more supportive, so its a draw.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    Also a good review on the 2011 Jetta in October's C/D. They go into detail on how the 2011 Jetta is different than the current model, e.g. beam rear suspension, starter engine the ancient 115 hp 2.0L vs. the 2.5 I5, cheaper interior bits, no power seat. I think they said it is returning to hydraulic steering though. And much roomier inside--such that it probably is now in the EPA mid-sized class along with compacts like the Elantra and Sentra.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,723
    But the difference isn't $10K - it's closer to $7K equally equipped. And Lincoln offers more sound deadening, better materials, cooled seats, etc. I'm NOT saying the MKZ is worth the extra money. I bought an Edge instead of a MKX even though in the past we've preferred Lincolns. But to say that it's a $10K difference for just a homelink opener is exaggerating a bit.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I agree that Lexus has a higher build quality then Acura does. I have not found much difference between a Honda and an Acura. They essentially feel the same. Why would I pay premium money for a jazzed up Honda? Again, this is my opinion. I do think Hondas are built better then Toyota's, especially when it comes to interiors.

    I would not necessarly say Audi's have extreme quality. Their interior's tend to wear away quite quickly and are a nightmare to fix when they do break, as are BMW's. In regards to driving experience, BMW's are fantastic. Unfortunately, I do not make enough money to justify owning one because of their initial price and cost of repairs. Being in the car business, I have come to loath anything that comes from Germany. I have delt several used late model German cars that are nothing but headaches for me and my customers. Plus, the RO's on them are astronomical once they are out of warranty.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    So as I wait and wait for the new Kia Optima to be available for a test drive, I figured I'd try and strike up a conversation. In a recent article by Kelly Blue Book, they commented on what the midsized sedan segment looks for in their cars and I'd like to hear what people think:

    http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/2011-kia-optima-__-first-drive

    "Hitting the right notes with the mid-sized-sedan buyer is also evident in the way the Optima rides and handles. Contrary to what the auto enthusiast press would have you believe, the mid-size sedan driver is more concerned about quiet and a comfortable ride than about crisp handling, and we discovered that Kia engineers tuned the Optima's suspension with that bias in mind. The Optima's suspension is reasonably sophisticated with Macpherson struts in the front and a multi-link rear, but as a drive on the course at Road Atlanta proved, it is not a setup designed for ultimate cornering at the expense of ride, and that's as it should be. "

    Of course, everyone wants both, but reality being what it is you have trade offs. To one degree or another. Finding that balance is very important.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The part in bold is enough to make me fairly certain I'd not want one...I do recognize that the majority of buyers don't care about handling, though.

    This is a definite improvement in the wheels:
    image
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    edited September 2010
    I do recognize that the majority of buyers don't care about handling, though.

    I think that's a little bit of an overstatement. Of course they care about handling. They just don't like it the same as you or I might. I have never met anybody that says "I don't care at all about handling". In fact, they most often say "I like how it handles". Even a Camry buyer will probably say one of the reasons they bought their car was because of "the way it handles". It all boils down to one's personal definition of what good handling means to them. Some people can't stand the way my Mazda6 rides/handles but I like it.

    Some people(not you) on here like to denigrate others that don't want sports car type handling in their vehicle. I say it's your money, get what you like.

    IMO most of these denigrators think they are born Indy drivers that have just never been discovered. ;)

    As far as the Optima goes, I'll wait and see just what they mean by a test drive myself. I agree on the wheels...they look good in that picture.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    ". In fact, they most often say "I like how it handles". Even a Camry buyer will probably say one of the reasons they bought their car was because of "the way it handles"

    When a customer says " I like the way it handles" it is not necessarily a reference to how it corners. Maybe they like how it "handles" pot holes or bumpy roads. Maybe they like how it "handles" the road and offers a cushy ride. The phrase "how it handles" is totally subjective.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    edited September 2010
    That was my point. Most of the time a car that corners flat rides a little stiffer and vice versa so they somewhat go hand-in-hand to make up "handling".
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    I think it's all about the balance. While it'd be great if it corners on rails, if the cost of that was a loud and "tin can" rattling ride I would pass. Fortunately we can have both, but I would assume there are trade offs at certain price points. I'm guessing the SX will have better handling than the car they test drove for instance.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    I read somewhere that on the Kia Sorento they have switched over on all new Sorentos the same shocks they are putting in the SX version of that vehicle. Even though it costs more, the upgrade to ride and cornering was such that they decided bite the bullet and put them in across the board. I guess they were getting complaints on the ride of the lesser model Sorentos.

    I think these may be the same design shocks they are using in the Optima SX.
  • dash5, these are much betta for the 2011 Kia Optima.

    image

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    Yep, the hot red SX with those rims will look amazing. Although, I am also very fond of this gunmetal grey (platinum graphite?) as well:

    image
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes, when I say "most buyers don't care about handling"...that really means that my balance point is in line with the former version of the Mazda6, but for most buyers the balance point is a lot closer to a Toyota Camry.

    Since I recognize where that balance point is for most americans, I certainly understand why Kia would would aim for that with the Optima.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The previous generation seemed to divide and conquer, with the Sonata aimed at the Camry crowd and the Optima headed over toward Altima/Mazda6 a bit. With the 2011 models things appear to be getting muddier, with the Sonata pointing more toward the center (Accord/Fusion).

    If the Optima SX continues to aim for the Altima/6 end of the spectrum, does that mean the rest of the Optima line will have ride/handling more in line with the existing Sonata GLS, or even softer?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    edited September 2010
    IMO the Optima will probably mirror the Sonata to a large degree. The SX will be very close in overall handling to the Sonata SE and the other version close to the GLS/Ltd. I would doubt if the Kia would be softer, if anything a little stiffer as they have positioned themselves in the past to be just a tad sportier than the Sonata.

    However, I kind of agree that this year could be where the drivetrains and handling merge and the big difference is strictly looks and content price points.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    Have you played the Vehicle Rating Game? First round prizes being awarded soon!

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • My aunt likes how the Camry handles because it is easy to drive. It's effortless steering, the easy to maneuver in the parking lot and other things that makes driving less of a chore. Whenever she drives my Mazda6 she complains about how my steering too heavy and my breaks are too touchy. She has also drive a Mustang and absolutely hated the thing.

    We are very different types of driver / buyer. The average person who buys a 22K midsize sedan probably leans more towards her side of the spectrum than my.
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