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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    I actually like that more than the current one. Much classier than the sonota, and somewhat like a cleaned up, upscale Optima.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Interesting article today on msnbc.com about Hyundai's rise.

    Hyundai on the rise

    ;)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I agree. To me the Sonata styling is over-done (as is the Mazda6). I guess I like more understated styling or what some call "bland".

    I don't like the interior pictures they are showing of the passat, as I do not like wood or wood grain materials for car interiors. But from reading about it, the wood is only on the top trim level.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Good news about the interior. If the quality is comparable to others in the class, and the ride and handling are VW-ish, it could be a good car, especially at the new lower price point.

    The lower price point scares me. What did VW take out to get it that cheap? Remember, the entry level Jetta is so bare bones that it is laughable. I highly doubt the entry level Passat will be anything great. My guess is it is purely a price leading ad car for the sole purpose of generating traffic.

    I have seen a few new Jettas on the road and they look so boring and outdated. There is really nothing eye catching about the design at all. I expect more from VW.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Hyundai has come a long long way since the first junkers hit the market. If I had purchased the AWD version of the Veracruz, I would still own it, it is a really nice car, super quiet, comfortable, nice ride, plenty of power, and very well built. After owning it 2 years, and driving it in slushy snow, being it was FWD, and the tail end decided it didn't like being on the road, I had to look for an AWD version, but I couldn't find a Veracruz to replace it that was affordable. The good news is, the trade in value on the Veracruz is high, got back money on it.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    I have seen a few new Jettas on the road and they look so boring and outdated. There is really nothing eye catching about the design at all. I expect more from VW.

    So true. To me, the Jetta (and now the Passat) looks like VW just gave up. They're both similar to the last-gen Sonata and Optima in the fact that their styling is too generic.

    I also expected more from VW, but between the Jetta and Passat, they seem to have thrown in the towel.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    The lower price point scares me. What did VW take out to get it that cheap?

    I dunno. What did Ford take out of the Fusion to make it start at about the same price as the new Passat? What did Mazda take out of the Mazda6? What did Hyundai take out of the Sonata? What did Kia take out of the Optima? What did... you get the idea.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I dunno. What did Ford take out of the Fusion to make it start at about the same price as the new Passat? What did Mazda take out of the Mazda6? What did Hyundai take out of the Sonata? What did Kia take out of the Optima? What did... you get the idea.

    There is a big difference between what those manufactures do, and what VW is doing. As we saw with the Jetta, their entry level Jetta at $15,995 is virtually a tin can with absolutely no personality. VW is now taking what was a car starting at a whopping $27,900 to a car that starts under $20,000. Mazda, Ford, Honda and Hyundai have always offered an entry level mid sizer at a bargain price while not stripping them of every feature. VW has already shown us what happens when they lower the price, you get absolutely NOTHING for your money.

    So, I ask you, what did we lose by taking out nearly $8,000 worth of equipment? My guess is a hell of a lot more then just a few features. I bet the VW personality has gone with it....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    One article I read said that VW is saving a bunch on the NMS just moving manufacturing from Germany to the USA. They have also put a lower-cost engine (2.5L vs. 2.0T) in as the base engine. Two biggies right there.

    As for the new Jetta being a tin can... the reports I've read have said it is a very solid car. Less personality, yes. (Vanilla sells, vanilla sells, vanilla sells...) A laughable base engine, yes. Lower-quality interior bits than before (although most likely equal to or above most competitors). But a tin can? Hardly.

    So I'll ask again: what have Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, and all the rest taken out of their mid-sized cars that start near $20k (same as the NMS)? Or is this one of those "it only applies to VW" things?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You beat me to it...I was gonna say they left out the 2.0T and expensive German labor.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    On further reflection, here's some other things VW might have taken out of the base NMS to bring the starting price down to ~$20k. All of these are standard on the 2010 Passat sedan, which lists at $27k:

    - 6-speed Tiptronic (almost all other mid-sized family cars charge extra for an AT)
    - 17" alloy wheels (no competitors have 17" alloys standard; very few have any kind of alloys standard)
    - power moonroof (no competitors have this standard)
    - 8-way power driver's seat (do any competitors offer a standard power seat?)
    - heated front seats (not standard on any competitors I know of)
    - Height-adjustable passenger seat (some competitors don't offer this on ANY trim level)
    - Leatherette seats (competitors have cloth standard)
    - Leather trim on doors, shifter, and wheel (not standard on competitors)
    - Compass, fog lamps, 8-speaker stereo etc.

    So there's lots of cost-cutting that VW could do on the Passat to bring it down to $20k without excising the VW-ness of the car--just make the base content more comparable to competitors.
  • I don't know (and don't want to know) what Ford took out.., but Hyundai/KIA did not take out anything, to the contrary they put modern, powerful and efficient engine(s), a litany of standard features into elegant shells, not to mention quality and reliability . The same cannot be said about VW and its "dog" 2.5 in latest Passat, and ancient 2.0 in the Jetta
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    edited January 2011
    Hyundai/Kia didn't have to take anything out... the prices of their mid-sized sedans have shot up in recent years, as the quality and content have improved. So they were able to fund improvements like the Theta II and the 2.0T and their new 6AT (which VW has offered for many years, but I digress).

    I like the Sonata and Optima a lot. But I prefer the ride/drive VW offers to what Hyundai/Kia offer. That is the one thing I would miss most in the NMS if that characteristic did not survive.
  • We'll see how long they'll be able to justify the prices. They being Kia and hyundai. I like the new kia optima but the sonata's front looks like the face of an angry Korean. :mad:

    Some TSB's, complaints or a recall will lower the prices fast.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    Midsized sedan wins Cars.com best of 2011: Kia Optima

    Mostly I'm surprised it didnt go to one of the electrics, either the Leaf or Volt. They say the Cruze came in second in the voting in fact.

    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/01/platinum-awards.html

    “The Optima delivers outstanding fuel efficiency and a good driving experience – better on both fronts than the [Hyundai] Sonata. The smaller Chevrolet Cruze was the strongest runner-up in our voting on this award, but the Cruze’s impressive gas mileage comes with only one of its five trim levels. The fact is, the Optima’s mass-market drivetrain — a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic — renders 27 mpg in combined EPA city/highway ratings, and you can get that in the mainline LX and EX trims. That matches the most efficient four-cylinder competitors; you’d have to get a hybrid family sedan to beat it.”

    The Optima edged out these five other outstanding nominees:

    * BMW 5 Series
    * Chevrolet Cruze
    * Chevrolet Volt
    * Honda Odyssey
    * Nissan Leaf
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I did not realize all that was standard on the current Passat.

    It appears that the old Passat was recently really only available it what is probably equivalent or close to what will be the SEL in the new one. Also a few years back, when there was a more normal base level Passat it started at, I think, about $22-23K...and that still had "leatherette" and the 2.0T and was built with expensive German labor.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    edited January 2011
    The Passat (much like the Hyundai Sonata) looks infinitely better in particular colors and at certain angles:

    In Blue

    This message board is bonkers, here is the other link to cut and paste:

    http://www.vwvortex.com/albums//Volkswagen/Passat/Passat%20VII%20(US)/Detroit%20Auto%20Show%20Photos/2012-volkswagen-passat-028.jpg
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    So I'll ask again: what have Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, and all the rest taken out of their mid-sized cars that start near $20k

    Again...they never took out anything...they have offered base models from the get-go. When compared dollar for dollar, VW usually comes up short. Maybe be moving the Passat production to the States will save a few bucks, but, time will tell.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I guess you didn't see the long list of features that VW has on the 2010 Passat that don't appear on the base models of competitors. So one could say that long list of features is what the other automakers "took out" to sell their mid-sized sedans starting at $20k. (Also consider what the it costs for a turbo Sonata or Optima--they charge a premium for that engine over the base engine.) Looks like VW is starting to play the same game as the others--including moving manufacturing to NA.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    The Passat (much like the Hyundai Sonata) looks infinitely better in particular colors and at certain angles:

    Translation: it's not inherently a very attractive car. :shades:
  • So I got a chance to go check out the vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) yesterday. Based on floor traffic, Ford was rockin' but based on engineers measuring and benchmarking, Hyundai/Kia were pretty busy. There was a lot of activity in the GM booth around the Volt and the Sonic. Toyota's booth seemed almost empty except for a couple of Siennas. The Scion area was more about the booth then the vehicles, and the Lexus area was full of clipboards and measuring equipment.
    As far as the mid-sizers go, the Hyundai seems to offer styling while the Kia is more driver oriented. I am curious to see how the Optima does with a Fusion in terms of driving feel and handling. Mazda had a very pedestrian looking Mazda6 on display. There were 3 Passats in the VW display...I think the color choices have a lot to do with how fancy it feels; the white/beige-yellow Passat GL felt very plain even though it was comfortable and had the power package. They over all package seemed plain but inoffensive. There were a few Legacys (Legacies?) there at various trim levels...that car got a lot bigger than our Legacy wagon. It does look like the rear seat would do better with child seats than our '05 wagon does. I didn't get to see the new Regal at the show although I've driven the base 4 cylinder a bit already. I am sure it was at the show, I just managed to miss it.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Latest commercial on TV for a Kia, could be the Optima, didn't listen, just caught glimpses as the DVR skipped through it, but I thought it was a Ford commercial for the Taurus, until I saw the Hyundai logo.

    Anyone else noticed how similar they look at a glance? So Hyundai is copying Ford now, says a lot about Ford! :)
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    Why would a Kia commercial have a Hyundai logo? Are you saying the Optima looks like the Taurus? Other than the fender vent, I dont see it.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Hahahahahahah...now that was funny...and probably just what we need to get this forum moving along. Akirby, thanks so much for the belly laugh you just gave me...priceless!!! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

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

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Can we please get back to the topic at hand, Mid sized sedans & stop the "tranny talk". Please ignore this post if we've already moved on...I'm still a few days back & it's getting a bit "tedious" already. T I A all.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

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

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Marketing can only go so far, the Camry sells so well is because it gives folks what they want in a daily driver...it's not a "great car", but it must be doing something right. True, it does a lot of fleet sales but for the majority of folks, it just gets the job done in a comfortable way...who could ask for more?



    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

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

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Maybe it's me...I just don't see it. :confuse:


    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

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

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    edited January 2011
    It's interesting to see what different people think is "stylish" and good looking in a sedan, and what others think is "boring" ugly. IMO there is not much difference between the two.

    Case in point: 2011 Optima vs. 2012 Passat. First, the Optima:

    image
    image

    Now the Passat:

    image
    image

    What are the differences? Here's what I see that jumps out:

    * Different C-pillar: Optima has a 2nd window built into the rear door with a thicker C-pillar, and Passat has the 2nd window behind the rear door. Both have a Hofmesiter Kink style C-pillar, however.

    * Rear lamps: Optima's are cut further into the body, but otherwise they are pretty similar.

    * Front air dam: The ends on the Optima cant upwards more than the Passat's.

    * Moonroof: Optima has the optional panoramic moonroof.

    Oh, and the Optima has the little Taurus-like vents in the front fenders (known in the Rust Belt as "just another place for road salt to accumulate").

    That's about it. I don't see huge differences between the styling of the two cars. Yet the Optima has been called by some the best-looking mid-sized sedan, while the Passat has been generally blasted as being "boring".

    Why is that??
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    I think there is a huge difference, the Optima is clearly a head turner while the best you can say about the Passat is that it is conservative and not offensive.

    Taken from the side:

    image

    image

    The Optima gives a look of constant motion by it's rising lines in the greenhouse and the way the rear windows sweep up. It looks athletic, with clean lines and a sporty vibe to it. The Passat also has the clean lines, but you would not look at it and say sporty, or in any way distinguishable from any other sedan out there. It's fairly non descript, in that color anyway.

    Looking at the optima from yet another angle you see the blackened roof which I really feel lends itself to standing out amongst the crowd in the midsized segment. Seeing an Optima in person you can really appreciate how good it looks.

    image

    To me it's no contest. The Passat might look ok, and granted I havent seen it in person, but it's hardly a head turner. The Kia on the other hand is rightly praised for it's looks and classic styling. In fact these two were the subject of an article in the Washington Post today:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/14/AR2011011403197.- html

    "In short, Volkswagen's strategy is to assuage consumer price sensitivity by removing content from its vehicles, which can be viewed as a common-sense approach in economically hard times. At Volkswagen, you pay for what you get, and what you get meets consumer expectations.

    Kia may have a better idea. You pay a bit more. But what you get vastly exceeds consumer expectations. It is a favorable shock, one that elicited joy and surprise from nearly everyone who got behind the wheel of the Optima SX.

    Ria Manglapus, who works with me on vehicle evaluations, was so happy that I was going to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and leaving the Optima SX in her hands, she drove me to the airport.

    "Wow!" she said. "What a car! I can't believe this is a Kia. Wow! Wow!"

    No one expressed that kind of joy over the 2011 Jetta. People were just happy that Volkswagen had reduced the car's price. But that happiness was tempered by the realization of the "de-contenting" that Volkswagen employed in getting to that price.

    At the media preview of the auto show here, the Kia stand was swarming with journalists excitedly examining the new Optima. But over at the Volkswagen display, they were puzzling over VW's introduction of a new midsize Passat family sedan. Their consensus: The new Passat is going to have to be priced just right and offer much more than consumers expect to top the Optima and its sibling Hyundai Sonata sedan in the marketplace. "
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    On the side view, the only significant differences are the styling of the C-pillar, and the bigger tail lamps on the Optima (more visible from the side). Amazing that a different C-pillar can make the difference between athletic and boring.

    I have a feeling VW was not going for "sporty" when they penned the new Passat. I think their target was more "luxury European sedan", even though the car is not priced in luxury territory. Maybe trying to get people to think they got something higher-end than what they paid for. Conservative styling is de rigueur at VW and has been for some time. So I really didn't expect a far-out styling exercise from VW on the new Passat.

    IMO, the styling of the Optima and Passat have more in common than they have differences. Maybe because Kia's styling meister came from Audi, which is also known for sedans with simple, clean lines.

    I read an article the other day about how Toyota's execs are now thinking they need to be more avant garde with styling, to stand out more in the ever-crowded and ever more competitive car market. VW must think there's still a lot of buyers who like conservatively-styled sedans. Sales numbers will tell us if they guessed right.
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