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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    I think they use an unusual hybrid system of electric and hydraulic.

    I think that is the Altima.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Yes it is the Alitma.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    "However, the laurels can’t go to both, and it’s the Accord that narrowly feels like the better total package. It’s a hair better in the value department, a tad more spacious; it’s broadly appealing and, best of all, marks something of a return-to-form for Honda driving pleasure.

    What’s more, there’s the sense that this car’s going to be a great hand-me-down for the kids one day; the automotive equivalent of a faithful Labrador retriever. Like the somewhat-staid styling, the engineering under the skin is conservative enough to stand the test of time...."
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    Hey Ben, congratulations on the new Accord EX-L. Please post details! How does it drive? How much did it cost? Does it have the dual screens?

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • With the TL lease coming to an end I began my search a couple months in advance with a budget of $30K and a mindset for used, prejudiced toward a '10 or '11 RL while maintaining an open mind on buying the TL, also looking at 5-6K over mileage. It's a great car but, not happy with the back seat or MPG. I also wanted to continue with a good AWD system.
    I explored late model E350s, GS350s but, these usually ran $35+K.
    As we all know, when searching on the 'net & making dealer inquiries, you're bombarded by new car ads and dealer/manufacturer "sales".
    Then my search led me to Altima/Maxima, CC, S60, Camry/Avalon & TL/TSX.
    In the final 10 days I reverted to the later RLs, drove a few more '10s & '11s then, out of the blue, I looked at the newest iteration of the Accord.
    I was immediately reminded of many of the attributes, particularly their feature set, of their Acura line.
    I drove a V6, was impressed and the only disappointment was the lack of AWD. I had to research & soul-search to see if this was a "deal killer".
    I quickly began researching pricing on the Touring model, visited a couple dealers and requesting quotes with an eye on "trading" the TL to avoid over mileage fees.
    Ultimately, after a week of hard searching, I found a great price and acceptable terms to relinquish the TL.
    No more leasing!
    The Accord Touring is an impressive car, even without AWD!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited March 2013
    Hi cski:

    Thanks for the congrats!

    Love the car so far. It's a 2013 EXL navi sedan in dark red. List price was $30,785 with destination, and we got it for $28,000 flat. That's a lot of money for a midsize car, but it's totally loaded—premium leather memory seats, hard drive navi and music storage, back up and side cameras, pushbutton start/smart entry (love that!), more powerful and economical engine, etc., etc. A few people have gotten a little bit lower than that on this model, but we wanted that rare color and navi combo which required a special order. Our dealer was finally able to find it with a dealer trade 200 miles away right off the truck. It was manufactured in Ohio just last month.

    First impressions: Wow. Our 2008 Accord EXL navi (which we are keeping—the car we traded in was a 2010 Mazda5) is a nice and impressive car, but this one is a significant jump up in most areas.

    The engine and transmission combo work very well together. So far (and this is our first tank) the 2013 seems to be getting 5-7 mpg more than our 08—and yet the new car has virtually the same amount of room inside while being a little smaller outside.

    One of Honda's weak spots in the Accord for decades has been road noise, but the 2013 seems very quiet to me.

    The trunk of the 2013 looks smaller outside, but open it up and voila—it's bigger than the 08 Accord by 1 cubic foot.

    I really like the CVT so far. Someone recently posted that they were worried about reliability on it. I'm not, really, although I admit I could be wrong. I read an article about a year ago (can't find the link now) that talked about how much R & D and manufacturing muscle Honda put into this new transmission. Specifically, the high tech composite material "belt" of the Honda CVT is supposed to be extremely durable. The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on to give a pleasant and natural feel to the transmission. I had an Altima CVT as a rental car once, and it wasn't that pleasant. The 2013 Accord CVT is a more sophisticated and pleasant system—and as I said the mpgs seem impressive so far, which is in large part bc of the cvt.

    Since we are keeping the 08 Accord, which has a manual transmission, I still get to shift myself, which is what I prefer. The new car is more for my better half, but I'll get to drive it too.

    Anyway, very happy with the car so far. But as I keep saying, there are lots of good choices and good cars when it comes to midsize today—Fusion, Optima, Mazda6, etc. are all very good cars.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited March 2013
    stage4 wrote: "The Accord Touring is an impressive car...."

    At the Accord web page

    www.driveaccord.net

    there are few stories of people going from BMW and MB to Accord Touring to save tens of thousands of dollars.

    Hope you'll give us more of a report on your Touring when you get the chance. How is the adaptive cruise control? That's the one feature of the Touring that I wouldn't mind having....
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,250
    >The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on

    Would you explain what you mean by this?
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    Yeah. I agree. Stage4survivor is obviously a Honda guy, and is posting in mid size sedans so I would think EX-L V6, six speed auto, and all options would be reassuringly familiar and rewarding to drive. Alternative? Passat 3.6 is my second choice. Big, well built, fast.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited March 2013
    ">The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on

    Would you explain what you mean by this?"

    You'd probably have to drive the Altima CVT and Accord CVT back to back to hear and feel this, but the Altima has kind of a droning whine to it. It feels and sounds somewhat unpleasant. It's not terrible. I think the Altima is a good enough car, actually, but....rather rental, if that makes sense.

    Honda has been refining the sounds of their engines and transmissions for a long time. Partly it's just the sound of quality imho. When I drive my Accords I often think, if I think about it at all, "that's just what a car sounds like." But when I'm on a trip and get a rental car, it's often a bucket of cold water and unpleasant sounds.

    In 2010 I had a rental Fusion. Yikes. the sound of that engine when pushed was unpleasant and unrefined.

    Honda engines purr and sound happy at work. Even when pushed hard they growl in a more refined and happy tiger-like way, rather than sounding like a tortured mechanical animal that's being hurt.

    I think the new Ford Ecoboost engines probably sound very good too. I just don't know bc I haven't driven one yet.

    Here's an article from The Car Connection that explains some of what Honda has done:

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1079054_2013-honda-accord-attention-to-g-fo- - - - - - - - - rces-yields-a-better-cvt

    "....While that itself impressed us, what's the most noteworthy in the Accord's CVT is how quickly it can respond and bring revs up when needed. For instance, a number of CVTs (including the one in the 2013 Nissan Altima, surprisingly) will feel completely flat-footed and off their game if you roll around a corner at 15 mph with your foot off the gas and then accelerate at full throttle. The time to tap into full thrust is delayed for a surprising time. But in the Accord, it very quickly raises revs all the way up to the Accord's 6,600-rpm redline. Pull off the same test, dipping into half throttle out of the corner, and it very quickly finds the right ratio for the throttle opening—feeling a lot like downshifting and with no slow, muddled ramp-up.

    How did Honda achieve this far better (we think) CVT calibration when rivals like Nissan have been working at it for so long? According to the project leader, Honda's CVT isn't much different in the mechanical design, but Honda put a lot of time into oil pressure control and electrical systems, along with the control software....."
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    edited March 2013
    Sweet man. My car is dark red too. $28k loaded is about as expected with all the tech your new ride has. I wish I had camera's on mine.... It is really hard to get used to the Optima's external dimensions in the rear. I use my driver's side mirror to verify I am leaving enough space while backing in to my spot.

    So, if you are looking for a new sporty mid size... definitely check into the cars safety /camera system before deciding. New Accords have them standard!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • Not to stir the pot but here are some current owner issues with the 2013 from this site:

    kkuhns, "Honda Accord 2013+ Maintenance and Repair" #1, 14 Nov 2012 6:50 pm
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    That's why none of us are "Altima guys" Ben. We fight tooth & nail for our cars here, but none for the Altima. I think that says it all about Nissan offering.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • yoshupyoshup Posts: 1
    Have a 2005 i with auto - the trans does shift hard from 1st to 2nd in cold weather. Aside from that and a poor drivers seat (uncomfortable) the car is fine. I wish they kept the hatchback,I guess I'll keep the one I have now.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    edited March 2013
    Fresh off the Twin Cities Auto Show, I took a [much deserved] half day off today to drive my three finalists back to back: the Fusion SE, the Mazda 6 and the Honda Accord. Unfortunately, the dealer I visited for the Mazda didn't have a manual in stock (again, there isn't one in dealer inventory in the entire state of Minnesota right now...), so I was forced to drive an auto, but I still felt it was worthwhile for comparison purposes.

    My takeaways:

    All three seem like excellent choices. I don't think anyone is going to get that Chrysler 200 buyer's "God, what was I thinking?" feeling a week after driving one of these home.

    That said, none of them is perfect either.

    The Accord Sport 6spd manual
    There is a reason for Honda's reputation in the world of manual transmissions. This is one easy to drive car. The take-up on the clutch was silky smooth and the linkage had direct, short throws. Unfortunately, this Accord is a bit nautical in the steering and suspension dept. - rather surprising considering it's Honda's Sport model, rolling on 18" donuts.

    The car is definitely an improvement over older Accords in terms of quietness though - all the better environment in which to enjoy the low fidelity 4 speaker sound system... Really, Honda? On your "Sport" model? I could understand the garbage stereo on the "liver spot special" LX trim, but on the line that's intended for the slightly less aged buyer it makes no sense.

    The other thing the really surprised me about the Accord was the quality of some of the interior finish. The plastic storage door under the AC controls, for instance, felt like something that could've fallen out of a '05 Cobalt. The upper portion of the front seatbacks felt rinky dink too (they look substantial but grab onto them with your hand and they feel as though they're made with some type of cheap, uncompressed foam). That said, I expect the things that matter for reliability/longevity (mechanicals, suspension, electrical system, etc.) have probably been well-engineered. The Accord, in my mind, seems like the smart, sensible choice.

    The Mazda 6 Touring Automatron
    Oh my, is this a sweet ride. I think Mazda should steal the Maxima's old 4DSC moniker for this one. Even with the slushbox, I felt I was driving something special behind the wheel of the 6. It's obvious Mazda stayed up late designing this car. All the controls fall perfectly into place. A quick study of the center stack and I didn't have to look at it for the remainder of the test drive - the radio tuner, fan speed dial, etc. are right where they should be (and operate exactly the way you'd expect). And despite some journalist opinions I've read about this car, I felt the interior materials quality was clearly a cut above the Accord and Fusion. Perhaps that made Mazda's notable omission of a coolant temp gauge all the more glaring.

    Not too many times does a person run across a car nowadays that combines seriousness with style, but Mazda pulled it off here. Color me disappointed that its North American product planners decided that buyers opting manual transmissions will be banished from the option spec sheet. Okay, I understand that the Touring trim will become available with the manual this summer (which is great for those with an affinity for vinyl seating or that require a cross traffic alert system due to early onset myopic peripheral degeneration), but again why is the sunroof only available on the Grand Touring? Sunroofs aren't aspirational features anymore; that's why you can get one on a Cruze LT or Focus SE (the plebeian trim levels on plebeian models). And the same thing goes for satellite radio...

    Ford Fusion SE Automatron/SE 6spd Manual
    I got lucky tonight. After coming in from a notably unspectacular test drive in an SE 1.6 Ecoboost w/auto (the only thing that feels boosted about Ford's small turbo mated to a slushbox in this car is the engine volume - I can't believe how LOUD these things are), an SE w/a manual fell from the sky - literally, these things are harder to find than 5 leaf clovers (it apparently didn't even show in the dealer's online inventory). Thanks only to an extremely hard working sales consultant (who managed to consult with enough people at the dealership that he was able to locate this mystery ride) did I find out how nice this car can really be.

    I now see why Ford was quick to serve up the 6 speed manual Fusion to the automotive press corp. for their first drive reviews. Comparing the auto and manual versions of the 1.6 turbo is like comparing a winter's night in South Dakota to the 4th of July in Las Vegas. In all candor, unless a person is a left leg amputee who's not creditworthy enough to swing the financing on a 2.0, there is absolutely no reason to get the Fusion with the 1.6/auto combo.

    The manual Fusion, much like the Honda, is super easy to drive. And did I mention fun? The steering in this car is so quick and communicative, I forgot it was a midsize family car half way through the test drive. Throw in the best front seats of the group (it's about time Ford came up with a headrest design that doesn't seem intended to pummel your cranium into submission - I guess they did pick up a few pointers from Volvo before selling them off to the Chinese), Ford's always awesome keyless entry "touchpad" (why hasn't anyone else copied this?) and standard SiriusXM and this car started floating around the sexy 6 at the top of my shopping list.

    It's too bad the first unit I drove (the all bark/no bite slushbox) had an incredibly annoying, buzzy rattle going on in the headliner all the time - 3 inches away from my noggin (with 7 miles on the odometer, no less). And with or without SiriusXM, all 6 speakers of the stereo sounded dreadful. Note to Ford: get going on a good, old fashioned Moon and Tunes package (with a higher quality set of speakers and an extra pair for the rear deck) for the SE - it needs it, badly. Also, think about making Ice Storm an optional color for the non-hybrid models while you're at it. I very much doubt I'm the only one who'd be more than happy to pay a little extra for it.

    One final item about the Fusion [deserving of special attention] - that center stack is an unmitigated disaster. Fifty lashes twice to whomever or whatever came up with the design(s): it goes from bad (in the button happy base models) to worst (with MFT). Seriously Ford, do you think it's safe to force a driver to stare at the center stack just so he can determine where to place his finger to adjust something as simple as the fan speed when a vehicle is travelling 88 feet per second? I guess a person could memorize the voice commands if he wished, but not all of us desire such a Hasselhoffian driving experience.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    edited March 2013
    .....especially if you wake up in your driveway in a 200, with a signed contract in your lap, and a rag nearby that clearly smells of chloroform. LMAO.

    Also, I have a thing about cars with the muffler installed sideways. It looks cheap. I cant stand the way they look.... both the 200 and the Camry have them mounted like that, and so does a bunch of economy cars. It is like designers run out of space and just tack them on.

    When I look at the back of a sedan, I like to see the symmetry in the IRS(Independent Rear Suspension) module, and the (dual preferably) exhaust system cleverly routed with dual chrome tips. Things that only "car guys" notice. You know!! :shades:

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    Ford's always awesome keyless entry "touchpad" (why hasn't anyone else copied this?)

    I agree. We currently have two Fords and the keypad is awesome for a variety of reasons.

    When we go out on our boat, I leave the keys locked in my Expedition. A buddy of mine with a Silverado was parked next to me last summer and he said he could do the same thing. He locked his keys in his truck and planned on using his iphone and onstar to unlock.

    Well when it was time to leave he didn't realize that the cell service was bad where we were and we waited 20 nearly minutes before his phone app unlocked his doors (we couldn't get a call out to onstar). I was in my expedition in two seconds.

    I think Nissan was one of the first to use keypad access back in the 80's IIRC. I think Ford is the only one that still offers it. The keypad alone won't keep me as a Ford customer, but when/if I buy another brand (likely), I'll definitely miss the keypad.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    Also, I have a thing about cars with the muffler installed sideways. It looks cheap. I cant stand the way they look....

    Funny, I though I was only one who dislikes that as well. I noticed on a Volvo S60 the other day that the muffler is placed sideways just behind the rear bumper.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699

    Well when it was time to leave he didn't realize that the cell service was bad where we were and we waited 20 nearly minutes before his phone app unlocked his doors (we couldn't get a call out to onstar). I was in my expedition in two seconds.


    I always thought that would make a great Ford commercial - GM owner trying to contact OnStar while Ford owner punches in keycode and drives away.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    In a test they call "Midsize Madness" they evaluate the Fusion, Accord, Sonata, Optima, Mazda6, Altima, Passat, and Camry.

    They had high words of praise for the Fusion and Mazda6, but in a close contest chose the Accord by a slight margin. It was very close, and they emphasize that all of these cars are good and have their virtues.

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1303_midsize_madness_day_one/

    "As much as anything, our choice has been determined by the way that the Honda Accord drives. You wouldn't necessarily describe the Accord as a driver's car, yet it is remarkably easy and natural to drive in a way that anyone will notice.

    It begins with the rigorously ergonomic approach that Honda takes to formatting the driving position of its cars. You notice the great visibility from the driver's seat, the thoughtful layout of the light-effort controls, and then the predictable responses of the steering, throttle, and brakes. The Accord is maneuverable in the big parking structure downtown, comfortable on the long freeway ride to work, and energetic enough to make every drive effortless. This is a car that helps almost everybody drive very well, and the result is not just a feeling of safety but also an experience of driving enjoyment....

    From its introduction clear back in 1976, the Accord has combined European styling, American comfort, and Japanese reliability. It might be said that the best thing about the 2013 Accord is the way it embraces this formula with renewed enthusiasm...And the overall level of quality is high, even though the labor - not to mention 65 percent of the parts and pieces - come from North America, not Japan.

    We enjoyed being in this car, and while its interior dimensions aren't much different from those of its competition, it feels especially open and spacious. The soft-touch detailing has added a worthwhile dimension of luxury, and even the cloth seat upholstery seems particularly nice. And just as important, we found it easy to climb in and out, while the ride was quieter than we remember from past Accords as well as more supple and composed on the road...This has become a very nice car, an automobile that projects a premium image and seems like something to which we should aspire. And, ironically enough, there are not so many cars that deliver these things at this price point...."
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I always thought that would make a great Ford commercial - GM owner trying to contact OnStar while Ford owner punches in keycode and drives away.

    Split screen - both people get to their car and realize they're locked the keys inside. One starts to call GM (timer starts running). The other gets into their Ford.

    Second part of the ad - the first person is just getting their car unlocked via OnStar while the other person returns with the kids from school.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    It is kind of surprising Ford doesn't market the "keypad" access.

    Like I mentioned earlier, Onstar certainly has nice features, but if you lock your phone and keys in your car (which I've done), it won't do you much good until you find another phone.

    What I like about the keypad is it's a fairly low tech simple way to gain access to your vehicle. No phone, no keys, no problem;) Just enter your code and you're in.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,598
    this is a good point. as much as everyone here likes to argue for their favorites, this class is extremely competitive, and there are a ton of fine choices. You can pretty much buy any of the 6-to players and get a fine automobile.

    so, like in this test, try them all and buy whatever floats your boat the highest.

    one thing that bothers me is they seem to always leave the Legacy out of the tests. I drove one last year when we were looking at outbacks (to try out the new powertrain), and it is a really, really nice car. if I was looking in this class, it would certainly be on my short list.

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

  • I haven't driven the Accord much since it's for my "main squeeze". She likes and appreciates a spirited car(hence the V6) so, I haven't tested the ACC.
    We both prefer the "European" road handling although I have some misgivings about the OEM Michelin tires.
    It's a very solid, quiet, spunky handler.
    Honda/Acura simply makes a product that appeals to my driving taste with most of what I want in a car, at a reasonable price.
    MB is the only brand that competes BUT, at a 20% markup.
    This is my personal view and I'm simply an enthusiast.
    Keep in mind, I still love my 8 yo V70 5cylinder 6MT, bought my first "brick" in 1972!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    My 94 SHO had the keypad.... it's comforting for leaving the key in it for a spouse/family member to pic up later too.

    There is no ignition key hole for my keys to be left in though in the first place. I just walk up to my car and it automatically unlocks as long as the key-fob is in my pocket. Then I hop in and hit start. The Optima is the lowest priced car with keyless entry w/ start button. Since the fob never leaves my pocket, then I never leave it in the car. (I am just sayin') :blush:

    It also has a trunk pressure pad so I can open the trunk w/o a key or digging for the fob. It just opens and I dump whatever in it and go.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    Oh yeah...those early Volvo turbos...like the 1984 240 sedan with the rims is like an O.G. sport sedan. They were cool looking bricks!!. Then in the mid 90's the 850 R wagon was awesome. Then the V-70 of which you are acquainted.

    Right on man! On your Honda allegiance, the 6 speed auto V6 Accord sedan is a rocket. I like the quality and cool looking dash with the dual screens. If it was my money, today; that is what would be in my garage.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    The Optima is the lowest priced car with keyless entry w/ start button

    No, it is not. The Mazda3 i Touring has it and costs thousands less than the Optima. The Optima doesn't get it until you hit the EX model. The Nissan Altima has it standard in the base Altima which costs thousands less than the Optima EX. There are probably others.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    New Mazda6 has it as well for just over 20k in the sport model. 25.5k for the Accord so a little more than the Kia.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    Wrong. 2013 Kia Optima LX has keyless entry on all doors. Mazda3 sedan, all variants, are not mid size sedans. 2013 Optima LX $19,990.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

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