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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408

    All these cars have somewhere from 170 to 190lb-ft at varying rpms. The Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost has it WAY DOWN at 2500rpm and all the others need 3900rpm or more to hit peak. Case closed. I don't care if the interior was straight from a 1987 Tempo. I don't care if it gets good mileage or not. It has TORQUE. Being able to select the 6-speed manual is another plus but for my wife she will stick to the automatic. Another bonus, longest wheelbase, which is key to a good smooth ride. There's a reason I drive a Suburban and not a Tahoe, and it's wheelbase. There's a reason I cherish my Gran Torino over say, a Granada, and it's wheelbase.

    I am really really glad we didn't order a new 2012 a year ago. The 2013 model is twice the car the 2010-2012 Fusion was and in my opinion surpasses any Camry/Accord/Altima. Stepdaughter has a 2010 Malibu and she loves it but my wife wasn't impressed and the 2013 seems to be smaller and less efficient so we'll pass. I'm not even discussing the 200/Avenger. The Passat would be my pick but only as a TDI and honestly I can get a Fusion Hybrid that can do better for the same money. Sonata/Optima are styled too wild. That leaves the Mazda and while I haven't driven one, I can't say anything about it excites me or shows me something all the others haven't been doing for years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    If it's low-end torque you want, the obvious choice is the Passat SE TDI... 236 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm. And you can get it with a stick. And for $1000 less list than the lowest priced Fusion Hybrid... which of course doesn't have a stick.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    Congrats to the new Accord. :)

    That's funny... speaking of Bond, I am watching 'From Russia With Love" right now.

    Also, when I saw "spoiler alert" I thought there was a recall on the aftermarket unit on my Optima. Duhhh. (It is a copy of the stock spoiler). See, it takes a hard-core car guy to think of that first!

    While I am talking about spoiler's, you can get aftermarket clones from "The Wing King", outside Detroit. I paid $109 for mine, already painted to match.
  • I just read this article and read the Motor Trend comparison where they picked the Passat. Although I am interested in the new Fusion, having to use premiun fuel is a non-seller. From want I've read, I'm looking forward to the new Mazda 6 and it's Skyactiv system. I hope it is at the Detroit show in January.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,688
    You don't have to use premium in the Fusion - 87 works just fine.

    If you want torque and don't care about fuel economy or a stick then the 2.0LEB has 270 lb/ft of torque - same or more than most 3.5L V6s.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    edited October 2012
    Well, Mazda continues to use Zoom-Zoom as their identity, and some of their cars do just that.

    Mazda has been advertising the CX-5 like crazy, so being a car guy, (and the son-in-law of a Mazda employee), I checked it out.

    155 HP? 9.5 seconds to 60??? 150 lb-ft? 3600 lb's? Another 45 Hp and 45 lb-ft please.

    That just doesn't cut it. How is that Zoom-Zoom? It's a shame to have such a great handling, quality vehicle and then handicap it with a power deficit. Kind of like forcing a marathon runner breath through his nose. :confuse:
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited October 2012
    "All these cars have somewhere from 170 to 190lb-ft at varying rpms. The Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost has it WAY DOWN at 2500rpm and all the others need 3900rpm or more to hit peak. Case closed."

    Actually, without being able to see the actual dyno graph showing torque and at what rpms, it is a bit premature to declare case closed. The reason I say this is how the specs are advertised. The opportune (but potentially allusive) word used is 'peak' torque. What these advertised specs don't tell you is that, while a 190 lb-ft peak may reveal itself at..say..3900 rpm, there may a relatively flat and very useable scale of 185lb-ft through the rev range of 2000 rpm and up to 3850 rpm. I am using these figures to make an example. It is a bit exaggerated to make my point. But with todays such advanced electronics/mechanical electronics in engine/tran management, very real world numbers and the scale of flat available torque still is not that far off the example above.

    Long, flat and high torque curves in a lower than average rev range are most easily acquired by either using a turbo or blower (supercharger). Of course the ('s about time) recognition that turboing is not only the most economical and clean way to extract the most HP, torque, urge and fuel economy out of an engine, being finally upon us in day-to-day-use cars (and trucks soon too I suspect), is a welcome advancement in modern vehicles hitting the market in greater numbers.

    "I don't care if the interior was straight from a 1987 Tempo. "
    Seriously? Now that is a bit too forgiving, IMO. :shades:

    "That leaves the Mazda and while I haven't driven one, I can't say anything about it excites me or shows me something all the others haven't been doing for years."

    I have never understood how someone can make such a statement without an actual test drive. If you don't like the styling, then say so, as that is valid without a drive.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,991
    Just read a drive test of the new Mazda6 and they said it goes on sale in Europe later this year and will be selling in U.S. in January. Don't know if that is the official word from Mazda or just the reviewer's estimate. Pictures look great and the article went gaga over the handling. Link below.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    edited October 2012
    I agree. The drivetrain of any vehicle needs to keep the power flowing at usable speeds and RPM, depending on the car's mission. (coupe, truck, sedan, yada yada).

    Also, I think the 1.6 Eco-Boost should be in the Mazda 3. That would be awesome.

    There is actually a red Ford Tempo parked out on the main road where I go jogging.

    Do you guys remember the ad's for "High Swirl Combustion Chamber" on the Tempo/Topaz? They were decent cars back then.

    I chose the 1987 Chevy Z24, red with the 5 speed. (just kept a 100 Amp alternator in the trunk) Loved the Digi-dash.

    Still my favorite car ever. My first automotive love, and the first car I ever got financing on my own. Oh to be 19 again. :blush:

    Oops.....rambling there a bit.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    My dad bought an '85 tempo new. It wasn't a bad car for the times I guess. It made it to about 90k miles then it started to fall apart. It was basically dead by '92 and 110k.

    Yeah, I remember the ads for the HSC 2.3. Nothing like a buzy push rod 4 banger.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    edited October 2012
    Well, don't feel bad. My Z-24 needed a new alternator every 25k, brake rotors every 7.5k, new pressure plate 3 times, and the dash shorted out at 120k. By 140k it was bleeding to death, leaking head gasket, etc.

    One other note: I had to buy a re-built gauge cluster, and it was then that I saw the car's biggest flaw.

    There was a simple, plug in chip that contained the ODO. Yep, you could buy a new chip for $20, and it would start at ZERO. :confuse: So, buyer beware on vintage digi-dash GM cars.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    Inside line on the weak spot of the Mazda6--the inside, as in lower quality and less headroom. I have a Mazda5, and while in many ways it's a fine car, the interior just feels a bit cheap. I think that's in part because Mazdas are made in Japan. The high yen has forced them to cut costs. Being made in USA has advantages for Honda and others in that sense. Although the Camry is made in USA and apparently still has a cheapish interior....

    Inside Line:
    "So it drives well, looks fantastic and returns significantly better fuel economy while being faster. So what's the rub?

    In short: the interior. After Mazda spent serious dollars on the exterior and the powertrain, there wasn't much left for the interior. At least that's our initial impression....these features and the quality of them are more in line with the outgoing Toyota Camry and Honda Accord than a sedan that's trying to blur the lines between family car and luxury car.

    This problem isn't new to Mazda. The Mazda 2, Mazda 3 and Mazda CX-5 all lag behind the competition in terms of interior styling and perceived quality. It wasn't a deal breaker to the engineers at Mazda. Is it for you?

    ...Unfortunately, the swoopy body results in a lower car with less headroom front and rear than its competitors."
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    edited October 2012
    Hey Ben! You are right about Mazda's perceived quality.

    As the former co-owner of a 2004 Mazda 6 Sportwagon and the owner of a 2003 Mazda Protege', I can tell you guys there were some quality issues.

    My wife's Mazda 6 was plagued with HVAC problems. The A/C seemed to break every time hot weather arrived. Also, it had bent rims, tire blow-outs, and brake rotor problems. It seemed like it shook and shimmied the whole time we owned it.

    My Protege' LX had no ABS, and was shod in summer tires. I hydroplaned at 60 mph in light drizzle, and crashed into a wall on 95. Totaled. I bought it new. Being a modern, well optioned car; it never even occurred to me that it had no ABS. I ASSUMED that it did.

    I have seen the inside of the new CX-5 in person. It looks great inside and out. However, I have been lamenting the lack of horsepower (again).

    The irony is that I think Ford's Eco-Boost 1.6 would be perfect for the CX-5, and the Mazda 3. It also would be great as the Eco-option in the new Mazda 6. It is too bad Mazda and Ford divorced some years ago.

    I get sick of seeing Mazda's Zoom-Zoom ad's with cars that take 9.5 seconds to reach 60. Sounds more like Yawn-Yawn. :P
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Our 2007 Mazda 3 five door has been flawless after 110,000 km, and I also had a second 2007 Mazda 3 five door before that that was flawless up to 90,000 km. my partner had a 2003 protege 5 that was flawless for 110,000 km and a 98 protege that also had no problems for over 100,000 km so no I don't think that Mazdas quality is necessarily questionable. Now the 98 protege did seem to be a little loose in the rear ( it seemed to be tail happy in snowy conditions) but none of the rest have had that problem.
    Your wife A/C was a definately problem though, but was it wide spread throughout the line up or just an isolated problem with her car?
    As for you Protege not having ABS that was not uncommon even in 2003, the Corrola and Civic as I recall did not have standard ABS in all models until somewhere around 2007 or so ( may be wrong on this though, but know it was a fair late occurrence).. The problem in your case sounds like it wasn't the lack of ABS, but poor quality tires, which is the fault of the car manufactured for picking them, but is not a problem with the car itself ( though it can cause a problem with the car itself as occurred to you). Unfortunately OEM tires are generally quite bad as they are made to a price point, and even tires with a good name brand are not the same as what you can buy aftermarket. They are generally lower quality and will not last as long or grip as well as the aftermarket versions. Unfortunately for you your tires were prone to hydro planing as you found out the hard way. How old was the car when this happened and how worn were the tires, this is something you didn't mention, just blamed the manufacturer for it, but if the tires were fairly worn this would also increa the likelyhood of hydro planing ( please note not trying to shift blame or anything, just want clarity on what happened, )
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I think the CX-5 has a very nice interior. The dash reminds me of Mercedes/BMW.

    The outgoing Mazda6's interior is not too bad either. Interesting that Inside Line compared the new 6's interior to the previous Accord's. I thought the old Accord's interior quality was just fine--it was the design (too many small buttons) that I didn't like.

    Toyota has proven that you can sell a lot of mid-sized cars with a low-rent interior. But Mazda doesn't have Toyota's customer base or dealer network.

    Mazda does have time to make small tweaks to the interior before the US debut. Maybe they will do that, based on early reviews and the strong competition they face. That will include, I expect, an updated Sonata within the next few months--will be 3 years this January when the current Sonata debuted, and Hyundai tends to do mid-gen refreshes every 3 years or so.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,991
    Agreed. Our 2007 Mazda6 with about 84K miles has had no repairs other than a tailpipe hanger adjustment and a screw that fell out of a sun visor and the dealer replaced well out of warranty. Otherwise, just routine maint. Consumers reports, IIRC, has rated the 2nd gen Mazda6 pretty reliable as well.

    I don't see anything from the pictures that indicate poor quality in the dash could I really as you really have to see it in person and touch the controls etc to feel quality IMO. But design wise, I much prefer it to the spaceship designs of Hyundai and Ford.

    By the way, regarding Camry, I think the interior in the new models are substantially better than the previous gen. This is just from sitting in them at the auto show but the difference is substantial. So all that assume the Camry interior is still cheap based on what they see in pictures should at least touch and feel before assuming that they are still subpar. Not a big fan but I think some people would bash Camry if they substituted a Mercedes interior. These same people would still say it has a "cheap" interior.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited October 2012


    But actually the next gen Mazda6 should be competitive 0-60, what with a 2.5 engine and a loss of something like 200 pounds. It should be pretty darn quick for a 4 cylinder. Did they have acceleration numbers in that test? I forget.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Does anyone know the steps Mazda has taken, and in what year, to address their premature rusting of the early to mid 2000's? With such enjoyable driver's cars, it would be good to have some reassurance that a new or repeat purchaser may enjoy that drive for more than a few years before it ventures into not just blisters, but complete disintegration of panel integrity. Aside from the aesthetic ramifications of such premature issues, there is a safety expectation in future derived from present day claims and tests, and premature corrosion is a significant factor in maintaining that safety expectation.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Well I can only speak from experience with the ones we have had, there has been no additional rustproofing, and the cars were/have not been washed and waxed as much as I would like ( the current one gets washed two or three times a year). The roads around here are heavily salted, and brined ( apparently worse than salt in terms of corrosion potential). And the only rust that was noticeable was in the stone chips that I touched up for the first time this summer, so that is 5 years, 114,000 km with no rust ( oops I just recalled that the car was recalled to get additional rust proofing in the doors, so there was some extra rustproofing applied just to the interior of the doors). Of course none of the other Mazdas we owned had any rust on them either, so maybe we have just been lucky ( five total in the family, with a combined totally of aprox 600,000 km, and a minimum of three years old ( the protege 5) but most 5 years, and the latest 5 and counting.) but I don't think that there was a problem with rust from at the latest 2007 on, but maybe earlier than that. I don't see too many Mazda 3's around here with major rust, though I have seen some early ones with some rust.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    This morning I hopped in the car for work and was greeted by a TPMS warning. I grabbed my flashlight, inspected the tires, gave each one a kick for good measure. They seemed fine.

    Well, TPMS took over my trip computer and outside temp area on my gauge cluster so it could continue to warn me all the way in to work.

    I stopped at the Shell that had a cool LED air pump and both front tires read 26 PSI. So, I believe that the sudden change in air temperature in my area may have been the cause of the low tire pressure(s). The light and warning are now off. I can't help but wonder though how long my front tires have been low, and how it has affected my fuel economy.

    Both front tires now have 36 PSI, and (WOW!) what a difference in steering feel.

    So, my goal this morning is to research my TPMS system and see exactly how low (or high) the pressure has to be in order for the system to issue a warning.

    Will get back to you guys on this.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,688
    I thought the law required a warning at 75% of recommended psi.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    I have no idea kirby...just that 26 psi is awful low, kills fuel economy and tire wear, and I feel like an idiot because for months now that front drivers-side tire has looked low and I rationalized the car being new and a having a TPMS so it should be "fine"...and never bothered to check it out.

    This plus the fact that I have complained of advanced tire wear on another site (Optima forums)

    has taught me a lesson. Trust my eyes, not the cars computer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,688
    Under the first compliance option, a vehicle''s TPMS must warn the driver when the pressure in any single tire or in each tire in any combination of tires, up to a total of four tires, has fallen to 25 percent or more below the vehicle manufacturer''s recommended cold inflation pressure for the tires, or a minimum level of pressure specified in the standard, whichever pressure is higher.

    It's not intended to warn you until it's dangerously low. I think you should be able to set a higher warning point but it's not a substitute for checking your tire pressure regularly.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    I know on my expedition the TPM doesn't give an alert until tire pressure is down to around 26 psi as well.

    Honestly, I prefer it the way it is. I have always checked my tire pressures every month or so. I certainly wouldn't want the TPM light going off every time there was a 2lb pressure drop.

    OTOH, the TPM has saved me a few times from driving with a dangerously low tire due to a puncture.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,434
    I just got a new Acura (2013 RDX) and the TPMS shows the exact pressure in each tire. You do have to scroll through to that screen on the message board (there is a warning of course that will pop up if a tire gets low), but it is a nice way to do it.

    I assumed all cars now would have gone to that style TPMS, but I guess not!

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

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    Yes..I agree that an over-active TPMS would be very, very annoying. I can imagine this because my wife's old 2001 Windstar had a system that would alert you every 3 psi, so we just ignored it if the tires looked ok.

    I would love to know what the actual pressures are via the dash display, but alas I ask too much of my Optima.

    Today; I got in to go to work and there was no warning, so I think it was the sudden temperature drop from high's in the 80's to mid 40's at night.

    problem solved.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    edited October 2012
    The Passat is well-done. Understated but elegant styling, room, and handling. Sales have gone from almost nothing to quite respectable, and deservedly so.

    It's a great time to shop for a mid-sized car. Everything has recently been renewed, or will be shortly. None of them are duds, with the possible exception of the Chrysler 200, which should be entirely new in 2014.

    I like the Fusion a lot, but its looks have been over-hyped. Yes, the grill has Aston overtones, but the rest of the car is right within the current styling themes for intermediates. It is less flashy than the Sonata and the Optima, but takes on more of a world style than Malibu--a car that looks like a proper Chevrolet. the new Fusion is another of Ford's products where the styling makes it look smaller in the metal than it actually is, even though it is actually larger than the previous Fusion. The 1.6 Ecoboost will probably meet the needs of most people, and is more of a competitive "base" engine than the 2.5.

    The new Mazda6 will be the best looking of all of them. The Accord certainly looks better than it did, and is now quieter too. The Altima looks more expensive than it is. The Camry is probably one of the least appealing of the lot, given its nothing interior styling and trim, and the un-integrated front and rear styling. Camry sells on reputation, deserved or not. It's 4 cylinder engine is hardly state of the art. Creative advertising could really shake things up for any of the new entries.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,248
    edited October 2012
    Gregg, I totally agree. The new Passat is beautiful, inside and out. I screams AUDI!!I am an AUDI!!!, but

    The Chrysler 200 is the oldest platform in the midsize market. Yes, the 3.6 Pentastar engine added some much needed grunt and allowed the 200 to be removed from life support, but in the end.....the 200 is outdated. It is nothing more than a gussied up Sebring.

    The Fusion looks great, and I suspect it will take a large chunk of sales away from other mid-size offerings. My Korean friends are still sticking it to Toyota, and I can't believe the low quality looking cockpit materials on the Camry. Why could they not have added just a little more ES/GS 350 dash materials to the interior? Whyyyyyy? Also, the Toyota engine offerings are 25 HP short than some of it's competitors. So is it's warranty.

    I hate to beat this horse again, but my 2012 Optima EX (Spicy Red) blows them all away except the Passat. However, the Passat is $10k more!!! That is $1,000,000,000,000,000.012 more than my car. (my car's sticker was $24,360. After negotiation it was dropped to 20,260)

    So, who has the combination of style, features, and quality as my Optima EX 2.4?
    Please....lets talk about it. I think my deal was pretty much unbeatable. So was the warranty. :shades:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Optimas still draw the eye like no other mid-sizer, even though they are no longer the newest thing. Camrys don't.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,434
    I am not in the market for something in this class (different needs than when I bought my 2005 Accord, which has since moved on), but man, there are some nice choices here now.

    I actually don't care for the Sonata styling (overdone) but did like the Kia. The Accord seems to be a vast improvement over the last generation (which I did not care for). The Camry has plusses, the Fusion looks interesting, the passat and Altima are strong options. Even the malibu is light years ahead of the old one. The Legacy is a great option too.

    Tough class to be playing in, but good for the consumer.

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

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