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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    The EPA has adjusted their numbers downwards twice. Once in the 80's and once a few years ago. The unadjusted numbers are a challenge to obtain (you need to drive real slow - average speed on test is 48 mph), but the adjusted ones should be a piece of cake.

    Here are a few unadjusted numbers - all highway.
    Accord I4 CVT 51 mpg.
    Sonata I4 auto 49 mpg
    Altima I4 CVT 56.1

    BTW when the government says that EPA standards are being raised to 50 mpg by year 20xx, they are talking about the unadjusted numbers.

    Link below has all the numbers - download the excel data files.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/download.shtml
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited April 2013
    --Then why don't car makers make the ECO or ECON button light up when you are meeting or exceeding the EPA's parameters to obtain the mileage the car is rated for?
    I know that is a mouthful, but for instance my mom's 2010 Forte' has an ECO button that lights up when driving 'economically". Does it mean it is EPA economical? It lights up fairly easily, and my mother IS a granny (74), and I assure you she is trying her best to get the best MPG, but she can't get there either.
    I just went out to my car and found that my average speed is 29 mph since I filled her up on Friday.I have been driving in mixed city/highway, so it should be getting between 24 and 28, but my car insists that it is getting 21.8.

    Well, whatever the case may be I still love the car and that makes up for it quite a bit.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Your car has an instantaneous mpg meter that you can use to determine if you're meeting or exceeding the EPA rating, right? My wife's Sonata does.

    I have been driving in mixed city/highway, so it should be getting between 24 and 28, but my car insists that it is getting 21.8.

    You admit you drive in "congested" conditions. I've found FE sucks in such conditions. I only get the good FE I do because I usually don't have to drive on congested roads. I avoid them like the plague whenever possible. One thing the EPA tests are poor at is allowing for a lot of stops/starts, as you will get on congested roads. They also don't allow enough time for stoplights.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited April 2013
    It's the reality thing that is bugging me. Their ratings seem to be based on a commute in magic land where upon leaving my driveway there is a flat level road that is completely straight past fields of flowers and fairies with no stoplights, other cars, and god forbid a gentle rise. After 20 miles at exactly 50 mph at 2000 ft above sea level with an ambient temperature of 67 degrees I park directly in front of my cube farm and am deposited at my desk.
    Please EPA tell me where I can get the 35 mpg I was promised? No? Well, I would sue but because I don't have a flat level commute at 50 mph, 2000 ft above sea level at 65 degrees ambient temperature then the auto makers and the government are not liable. Because the reality is that even in EPA magic land the government is still 16 Trillion in debt and "good luck with that lawsuit dude".
    ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! :cry:

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    I look at it this way, I had an AWD Fusion that average just over 22 mpg for the time I had it, so I'm really happy with the mileage the new Fusion is getting.
    It's a 2.0 ecoboost and the combined rating is 26 mpg.
    I think I've driven it over 20 miles one way once.
    If I go by myself this weekend, I'll probably take the Fiesta, otherwise the Fusion.
    Last year I took half the trip in the Fiesta, 40 mpg on the way out and 44 mpg on the return.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited April 2013
    "I think I've driven it over 20 miles one way once. "

    Was it on magic road? Did you see a red Optima at the end? LMAOOOOOO

    Just kidding. Take the Fusion. The Fiesta is more of a city car with a shorter wheelbase so the ride will not be as comfortable or as quiet.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Please EPA tell me where I can get the 35 mpg I was promised?

    I know one place you can get it: Minneapolis to Rochester, MN on US-52. Set the cruise to 65-66 (limit is 65) and unless it's really cold or you have a very strong headwind, you'll get your 35 mpg, likely better than that. I did. :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    We took the Fiesta to Manhattan last Sunday. Easy to park, but I thought a couple of the potholes were going to eat it. ;)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    I have seen the Passat styling compared to the Impala several times. Yes, the resemblance is there. However, comparing the Passat to the Impala is like comparing the Audi A6 to the Ford Five Hundred/Taurus. The resemblance is there, but the Germans have a way of putting a bit more taste and stateliness in a conservative but tasteful design. The Passat always looks expensive on the street, whereas the Impala with similar side view looks rental. The Passat design will still look good in 12 years, as 12 year old A6s do. The Five Hundred just looks dowdy. The Camry will not look good in 12 years. The Fusion may not either, although it looks rather snazzy now.

    As for reliability, VW has stepped up to the plate lately. For years, their TDI models have been more reliable than their gassers. If you want a Passat but are hesitant, get a TDI.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    The Passat always looks expensive on the street, whereas the Impala with similar side view looks rental.

    If your handle were gregg_chevy, would you think differently? ;)

    The Passat is inoffensive now, and it will be inoffensive in 12 years. So will the Camry and Accord. The Fusion and Mazda6 are gorgeous now, and I think they'll hold up over time styling-wise. (Consider, how well do Aston-Martins hold up, styling wise, over time? Pretty darn well.) Probably the Optima will hold up also. The Sonata might be considered boring in 12 years, who knows?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    Speaking of the Passat, who is buying these things?
    I live about 5 miles from a VW dealer and I've only seen 3 or 4 of the current model.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited April 2013
    "Speaking of the Passat, who is buying these things?
    I live about 5 miles from a VW dealer and I've only seen 3 or 4 of the current model."

    I do see them around Louisville here and there, but not a whole lot compared to Fusions, Sonatas, etc., let alone Accord, Camry, and Altima.

    VW can make c. 170,000 Passats a year at its TN factory, which is a bit more than 14,000 a month. That seems like a reasonable sales goal, and even 6 months ago it seemed like they were heading toward it. But competition is intense, and VW's lackluster base engine and transmission have hurt it. Passat sales, based on last month, are probably going to be closer to 120,000 for the year. That might mean that 50,000 Passats that VW had planned to have in US driveways are not going to be there.

    Even though Accord came in 3rd, the monthly sales rate is probably *above* what the Honda factory in Ohio can make. Flat out, I think I read that they can make about 400,000 Accords a year, which comes to about 33,000 a month. When Honda dealers sold 36,504 last month, they were drawing down their inventories. I was shopping for an Accord around then, and I have seen this happen. A couple of months ago one of the dealers I was considering buying from had about 100 Accords in stock of various models, and now they are down to about 40.

    Ford has the same problem with the Fusion—they can't make enough of them. The 30,284 Fusions they sold last month is more than they can make in that factory in Mexico a month. And so when this month's sales figures come out Fusion and Accord sales might even decline slightly—just because there aren't quite enough to go around.

    The Altima and Camry are not constrained in that way. Nissan and Toyota could probably make half a million of their model if they really tried. But demand is not at that level even if they give them away, which is almost what they've been doing.

    In about 6 months Ford will be in the almost same boat, because the Flat Rock MI plant will be able to make the Fusion too, raising their total Fusion production capacity to about 450,000 during calendar year 2014. Could they really make and sell that many? Maybe. And if they did that might make a Ford midsize #1 in sales for the first time since about 1992. There was an epic battle that year that some may recall between the Taurus and the Accord. The Taurus actually won iirc.

    March midsize sales
    Altima 37,763 -8%
    Camry 37,663 -8.2%
    Accord 36,504 +41.4%
    Fusion 30,284 +6%
    Malibu 18,539 -22.4%
    Sonata 18,031
    200 16,593 +11%
    Optima 14,366
    Avenger 12,439 +33%
    Passat 9,521 -5.1%
    6 6,102 -22.3%
    Legacy 4,400 -18.3%
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    VW is trying to move the metal. They are offering 0% for 66 months on the Passat (excluding diesels), and $199/mo leases.
  • I have heard this from a couple owners. The better half gets 32-35 mpg. with her 2011 Sonata 2.0 turbo in winter temps and she's a lead foot (!)
    Big plus is it runs fine on regular (87) gas.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,677
    Please EPA tell me where I can get the 35 mpg I was promised?

    Not being an EPA mileage expert...they don't promise anything. They don't really insinuate that you could get that mileage...they even give a wide variance.

    From what I recall...they (usually the manufacturer) performs the mileage test on a dyno "simulating" a driving experience (city, highway, AC, etc). They analyze the emissions and calculate how much fuel must have been used. Then they fudge the numbers a bit to make it more real-world :)

    But the number isn't supposed to be attainable in all circumstances. It's supposed to be used to compare against other vehicles. So if your vehicle (vehicle A) achieves 10% better mileage than an Accord V6...if you then drove an accord the mileage percentage should a little worse than you are receiving...and it too should be below their 'estimate'.

    I find I usually get a little bit worse mileage in a turbo...I find the 'surge' tempting and eventually tap into it. Other cars that are more lethargic are worse for me too; I get frustrated and end up driving the snot out of them...wrecking the mileage.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    If your handle were gregg_chevy, would you think differently?
    I get your point, but I don't think so. The Impala was designed to be rental/fleet fodder, as well as appeal to older people who want something simple, GM and relatively cheap. The details, the things that delight people, are not there. The new Impala (2014) is light years better.

    I put the vw behind my name years ago, when I owned a very faithful and frugal TDI. I am more a Volvo or Jaguar type customer now, but I continue to marvel at how long it has taken other manufacturers to install the type of quality interior materials that VW marketed since at least the late 90s. I also was disappointed to see VW cheapen its interior ambiance with the latest Jetta...though running changes have considerably improved it, just as Honda has done with the 2012 hard plastic Civic interior.

    That said, I don't understand the criticism of Passat sales numbers. If you look at the previous Passat, it wasn't even a player, selling in very small numbers. The huge jump in sales with the latest Passat is remarkable, but to expect those numbers to begin to be comparable to Camry/Accord or Fusion is not realistic.

    Look how many years it has taken Fusion to nudge up against some of the heavyweights. Look at the remarkable job Kia has done with the Optima in boosting sales. Still, Optima's big leap is not enough to threaten the top dogs. In order for Optima or Passat or Mazda6 to become true heavyweights, Altima or Camry or Accord or Fusion would have to be knocked way down...it is a limited market after all. That is unlikely, given they are all good machines with good reputations and customer satisfaction.

    It is great to have so many choices, especially when each choice is so good by itself. The new Chrysler 200 is supposed to be a nice machine. A new Legacy is probably not that far away.

    Competition improves the lot. The Malibu will be significantly improved later this year. It's all good.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    I had a green 96 Passat TDI. It had a paltry 90 HP, but the gas mileage was phenomenal for a full size sedan. It shifted great, had good torque, and didn't have any problems until 133k. After I spent $2k to repair it; I donated it to my niece for college. She still drives it today.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • Personally did not even consider a VW when comparing. The 2.5 gas engine is from 2005 hence the poor mileage/performance. I hear there is a new model for 2014. A friend had a TDI last year, fun car to drive but high initial cost and a diesel which currently runs about $.75 more per gallon. He got rid of it because the ground effects were being ruined by low clearance/ ice chunks etc. Also the long term repair costs with VW are a consideration. The torque is enticing but I'm sticking with petrol motors.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The 2.5 has never been a class-leading engine in any of its iterations, even when the 2005 Jetta debuted with it. Quoting Motor Trend:

    "The five suffices to move the Jetta around, but it's relentlessly grumpy about doing so. Our test car was sticky on throttle tip-in, causing pause-then-jerk-away starts however velvetly the right foot probed, and, once wound to its early-to-bed 5800-rpm redline, you'll be tempted to put a bullet through the firewall to still the racket. At redline, the five sings an unearthly moan, sounding like a duet of hoarse-throated ghosts."
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    The 2.5 is not state of the art, but really, the 2005 version was even weaker and noisier than that engine is today. The present iteration is right in the ballpark when compared to the Camry 4. The others, not so much.

    But look at how Camry sells like hotcakes anyway, even though it has one of the weakest and uninteresting 4's out there right now. Most people who buy midsize sedans don't care, as long as it motivates the thing better than a smart car, and doesn't moan too loud at each throttle stab. Camry drivers are not car people, but they do recognize that their car is still light years better than 4 cylinder mid-sizers of 20 years ago.
  • I would hope a Germanic car manufacturer would have raised the bar above a Camry but who am I to judge. Being a Motorcycle nut cars are rather utilitarian to me. Still, I prefer something enticing to drive like the Mazda 6.

    I rode in a new Ford Escape this week for half a day with a rep that rented it. It was loaded, had a weird powered window shade type cover for the sun roof that seemed it would fail in no time. The "touch" ford controls on the dash were a absolute cluster F. We could not even figure out how to turn the heat down and drove with the windows cracked. Passenger side floor plan caused me to point my feet inward. Weak, moaning motor. What a P.O.S.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    How long did you spend trying to figure out the hvac controls? 30 seconds? Most people can figure it out in just a few minutes. It's not rocket science.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    If you own a car, and drive it every day, learning all those buttons isn't an issue. Where it's a problem is for people who rent cars a lot, business travelers like me. I appreciate simple controls, e.g. the 3 rotary HVAC controls used in some cars like the new Mazda6, and on Nissans like my Sentra. Not very sexy, but intuitive. IMO there's way too many clever control layouts on cars these days. I think Ford is perhaps the worst offender there, but GM isn't far behind. Hyundai has backtracked in that respect, from a very simple control layout on the previous Sonata, for example, to lots more buttons today.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    I agree it takes longer to learn it in a new car - especially a rental. But it's still only 5 minutes, not hours.

    I think part of the problem is people try to manually control the automatic climate control instead of just changing the temp up or down like you would control your home hvac.
  • True it takes time to acclimate. Still I believe taking this trendy, starship enterprise, approach honestly borders on being unsafe considering the visual time required to locate and run the controls. Granted I really do like the more simplistic touch screen on the 6 but at least they separated the HVAC controls.
    Maybe I'm just cantankerous with yet another 8" snowfall here on May 19th :)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    I have to say that the Optima has one of the most intuitive and high quality dash layouts as compared to many other modern designs. I feel it is comparable to the Mazda 6, especially the intuitive "hop in and go" layout.

    I have dual-zone climate controls, a step up from the base Mazda 6's classic 3 knob design, and I have never once needed the manual to operate it. The is a knob for the driver, and another for the passenger. Just press "Auto" and turn the knob to desired temp. The same goes for the radio. Even with Bluetooth, Satellite, 2 different Aux inputs, USB, I pod, and a phone menu, I have never needed to consult the manual.

    Car and Driver has confirmed my thoughts on this. In a 5 car comparo, even against the Sonata SE, they said "We prefer our Sonata in Optima clothing" they meant inside and out. As a result, the Optima beat the Sonata in that comparo.

    My car was deigned by Peter Shreyer, who was a senior designer for Audi. It is no mistake that the car can be easily mistaken for an entry level luxury sport sedan. Just another reason that sealed the deal when I said "I'll take it".

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Well nobody is holding a gun to the rental car companies and forcing them to purchase rental cars with complicated controls. They can always buy the cheaper models which is usually what they do anyway.

    OTOH if you are a MyFordTouch owner you will appreciate having a familiar interface with the automation.

    Can't please everyone. I always take time to figure out all the necessary controls before I pull out of the space.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    After 8 weeks, I finally hit 1,000 miles and I tried out the paddle shifters for the first time.
    They work just the way I want them to.
    I have a mile+ long hill about a mile from my house.
    The car doesn't like to downshift when going about 50 mph up the hill, but I don't like lugging the engine.
    Dropped it into 5th and it held it until I up shifted it near the top. Didn't have to use Sport Mode to do it.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    edited April 2013
    I couldn't agree more. As much as I like how the new Fusion looks and drives, I have major issues with Ford's new center stack designs. What could they possibly be thinking? The last two Ford products I drove had temp. read-outs in both the tiny display in the instrument binnacle as well as the screen on the dash. And why? I'm sure the incremental cost for throwing in an extra read-out nowadays (since you've already got a screen in both places) is quite low, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Ford needs to reign in its dash/infotainment design teams. Some of their control panel designs look more like what you'd expect to see on a kitchen appliance than in an automobile.

    Not to wax too nostalgic about the '80s, but does anyone recall the GM HVAC controls from the decade? What genius: an easy to use finger slide for each of the temperature and air direction controls and one simple knob for blower speed. When I was just starting to drive, I never had to take my eyes off the road to adjust the controls in either of my parents' vehicles. Their 85 Chevrolet and 88 Oldsmobile had identical control panels. On top of that, the Delco head units were a near perfect match as well (I recall the Olds having an additional search button for the cassette player - totally awesome).

    Can you imagine operating MFT without taking your eyes off the road at all [even if you've owned the car for an extended period of time]? I guess you can talk to the thing if you wanted to (my current Ford's voice recognition software works... kind of).

    While I'm no Luddite (I do not miss cassette players; carrying a collection of tapes into and out of the car everywhere you went to avoid the inevitable heat damage to your music collection was a hassle and a half) and enjoy many of the modern entertainment features available on newer cars (e.g., satellite radio, USB and media inputs, etc.), I'm very irritated by needless complexity - especially when it comes to HVAC controls.

    Somehow someway Mazda has figured out how to add content without creating a buttonpalooza on the dash. At least on the 6 Sport, it's entirely possible to operate the HVAC and radio controls w/out the driver ever taking his eyes off the road. Brilliant.
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