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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,907
    Maybe you know someone (certainly no one here would have a car in such condition) who could enter:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+edmunds/posts/CMK35ZmphMB

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,018
    Only midsize car discussed here that made the cut is the 2014 Mazda6. I know, it means nothing to some but it counts for marketing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,758
    It's the ONLY mid-sized car in this discussion that could qualify for the NA COTY. It would need to be a 2014 model, or at least introduced since the last COTY; the Mazda6 is the only new mid-sized design for 2014.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,018
    Yeah, you're right. I guess the only way it would really help marketing is if it happened to win. It does have a lot going for it with huge mpg and looks but it would be a long shot. Who would have thought just a couple of years ago that one of these midsizers would be able to hit 39-40mpg hwy and not be a hybrid or diesel.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    "Accord Sport does have power driver seat and power lumbar adjustment.

    I got the manual, so can't comment on the paddle shifters.

    I didn't drive an LX or EX, so can't compare the performance of the upsized wheels and tires, but I will say they have plenty of grip even in the rain, and they are not noisy at all. The OE tires are rated 400 A A, I'm anxious to see how they hold up over the long run. There is plenty of sidewall, so they are not what I'd call "low profile", the ride is not harsh. And there is a nice rubber "lip" built in to protect the wheels from minor scuffs. Also, the sport wheels' gray painted finish hides brake dust nicely.

    I'll be honest, the thing I like most about them is they just look cool. The Sport has a nice "stance" compared to the LX/EX. LX 16"s in particular look fairly wimpy, although it's a lot better than the plastic wheel covers on base Accords up through last year. The 17"s, which are the same wheels from EX all the way up to Touring, are a bit bland as well. Sport wheels combined with the dual exhaust, lip spoiler, and moderate chrome trim front, rear, and door handles, and tinted windows, it's a rather upscale look. I've had several comment that it looks much more expensive than it really is (FB photo taken from side had one friend convinced I'd bought a new BMW... haha. Not quite. Although I do see a faint resemblance to the new Lexus GS, if you'll permit the fantasy...)"

    Yeah, I find this new Sport model really tempting. Awesome sneakers. And you're right, nicer looking alloys than the nice enough but somewhat bland EX and above, dual exhaust, power seat and lumbar . All for a list price of $23,390 for the 6 speed manual. And Honda's manuals are the best. (Although probably the manual in the new Mazda6 is just as good.)

    What kind of mpg are you getting so far? I've driven a few 6 speed manuals, but my daily driver is a 2008 Accord EXL navi with 5 mt. Might take me a little while to get used to it. But I would like the greater power of the Earth Dreams powerplant. My car gets to 60 in maybe 8 seconds if I really push it, but it seems that some are cutting a second off of that with the 2013 even with shifting into 3rd. How does the power feel to you?

    The only thing that's slightly worrying to me about the Sport model is that I think the turning circle is a little bigger because of those big wheels and tires. But I imagine you get used to it.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    As you say, the mpg of the Mazda6 is awesome. In fact the whole car is quite impressive. They probably have a shot at this award.

    The only thing I find slightly strange about the new 6 is the "stripper" Sport manual model. It allows them to have a base price of just $22,085, but it doesn't have bluetooth, backup camera, pandora, etc. It's otherwise very well equipped for a base model, but the lack of bluetooth esp. seems weird for an all-new 2014 midsize car.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    edited July 2013
    Perhaps it's just me, but I think the new Corolla is a very weird looking car. What's with the giant frown? And the whole thing looks bulked up, as if it had ground effects or was an angry robot or something.

    A few years ago I felt like Honda was putting out one ugly car after another:
    Acura "power plenum beak"??, Crosstour whatever (Yuck), Odyssey lightning bolt styling (somehow this one has actually grown on me).

    But finally Honda has started putting out some nice looking form follows function designs, like for the 2013 Accord and 2013 Civic.

    Imho it looks like it's Toyota's turn to be infected by a bad styling virus. I thought the 2012 Camry was bad, but this seems even worse to me. It has more character than the last Corolla, or maybe any Corolla, but I'm not sure people who drive economical compact cars want a bulky robotic car with with a giant scowl out front. Oh, they'll sell a million of em, I'm sure, but it's one of those what were they smoking cars for me....Perhaps it's just me, as I said.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,064
    every time my wife sees a new Odyssey, she makes a face and says it looks like a hearse.

    good thing she did not want a new van last year when we replaced her old Odyssey, because no way she would have gotten a new one!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,758
    If the Elantra can win the NA COTY, so could the Mazda6. It's certainly a much better car than the 2011 Elantra was.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    edited July 2013
    my wife said the same thing! Lol. I hadn't noticed it, but as soon as she said it I had to say she seemed a little bit right.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,018
    Of course it could but it's still a long shot. As I look over the list though there are four that stand out to me.
    Mazda6

    Mazda3. Although only prototypes have been tested so far and loved but to me the MPG is not that impressive especially when you compare it to the Mazda6. Course that has always been the case between the two. They gear the 3 up for sport I think.

    Chevy Impala --finally a very impressive Impala harking back to "good ole days".

    Kia Cadenza - I wouldn't want one but it's a pretty impressive offering from Kia.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,235
    every time my wife sees a new Odyssey, she makes a face and says it looks like a hearse.

    Funny, but take a look at a dark colored Mopar van - same thing. Personally, I still think the new Ody looks disjointed, like the back third was tacked on in a body shop. Worse, that open gash for the sliding door mechanism looks like it got cut badly in a bar fight. Gonna need a plastic surgeon or ENT to sew up that baby without serious scar damage!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    from an interview with Derek Jenkins in Motor Trend:

    MT: Current design fashion seems to limit the size of vehicle greenhouses. Do you think it's one that will continue? Isn't more visibility better/safer? DJ: That's definitely a styling trend. I think we've already tested the [styling] limits with respect to outward visibility. But pillar sizes have gotten huge for safety, rollover and side impact. Like anything, I think you'll see a reversal of that trend. At a certain point when you slim the glass down and pull the beltline up too high, the cars get visually heavy. They start to take on that armored vehicle look. That's something that we've been quite conscious of. We're trying to get a lighter feeling and a sleek profile. One of the tricks in car design is playing with that side window graphic, making sure it has a slim profile is an important part of getting a coupe-like feeling. The tradeoff is visibility.

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/1307_interview_with_derek_jenkins_on- _the_news_mazda3/#ixzz2ZvcpTdLP
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    edited July 2013
    And yet the Accord has thin pillars and excellent visibility, and get the highest safety ratings of any midsize car. He's blowing some smoke there....

    The Mazda6 looks like it has pretty good rear visibility.

    But the new Mazda3 hatch looks bad in back from the inside pix.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,758
    Which would you rather own... and drive every day? A Mazda6, a Cadenza, or an Impala?

    The Cadenza and Impala are nice large cars, but how are they special?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    Is that a real question?

    Of course, the Mazda6! That is probably the best looking midsize car out there. And the engineering is pretty impressive. Skyactiv is more than just a silly name. There's some real juice behind it.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,018
    edited July 2013
    What I want to own has nothing to do with which vehicle is chosen. I often don't agree with the choice. I remember some real dogs that have been picked over the years like the Saturn Aura and the Chrysler Cirrus. Motor Trend COTY is even worse when you look back over time. Remember the Vega? So even though I personally really like the Mazda6, my choice often doesn't win.

    As far as the Impala and Cadenza goes, no I wouldn't want either one but the judges are looking for breakthroughs I think and both of these cars are on the list for different reasons. One because it is somewhat of a resurrection of a very famous name and seems to be hitting the target to make it desirable again. The other because of the luxury appointments from such a value brand. Not that that hasn't been done before but they seem to have checked a lot of boxes with the Cadenza if one is looking for that kind of car.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 503
    It's doing about 29 mpg, only about 1100 miles on the clock though. First tank was 28, then 29.2, now reading 29.6 (trip computer seems to be reasonably accurate, within 1 mpg compared to manual calculations). I'm using gastracker, you can look them up online and see others' real world mpg. Not a lot of manuals out there, but they do seem to be returning a bit less than the CVT. Maybe the CVT is that good, maybe the stick lovers just have more fun.

    Turning radius has not been a problem. Easy to park, easy to U-turn. Our other car is a Suburban, so...

    Power is fine. To me, it feels comparable to the Altima and Optima, stronger than the Mazda6. Blows the doors off my old Mazda3 2.0. Decidedly "average" below 3,000 rpm, which is where I've intentionally spent most of the first 1K. But I'm opening it up occasionally now. It revs quick, and sounds nice doing it. It's a manual, you're in charge. She will move when you want to. 80 feels like 50. Low end is fine for creeping in traffic in 2nd.

    Gearing on the 6-speed has required some getting used to. I don't have the technical term for it, but 5th feels a little too close to 4th. It may just be my driving style. I'm coming out of a five speed and muscle memory has me letting the revs fall a bit farther going into 5th than what the Accord likes. I keep forgetting that there is a 6th gear.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,018
    The last stick I owned was a 4spd. On calm drives I can remember jumping from 2nd to 4th once in awhile. Do you find yourself jumping gears on purpose to cut down on the number of shifts? If so, which ones do you omit?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    I can omit all but 6th and 1st. It is no problem to go 1-2-6 if you accelerate hard you are over 60 in 2nd so just slide into 6th. Downshifting you can go from 6-2 if you are entering a really tight turn and want some power coming out. Or if you just need a burst of power when starting you can go 1-3 or 1-4.

    Lots of combinations and they don't have to be sequential - beauty of a manual.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 503
    Agreed. I skip 5th a lot (when I remember to) because I'm often up to 60-65 in 4th and ready to settle into the flow of traffic. (Or like you said, even skip all the way from 2 or 3 to 6 if I was really leaning on it.) Also skip a lot downshifting because I'll let it coast down to 30-35 mph in 6th and then jump all the way down to 3 when it's time to accelerate.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    http://www.autoguide.com/car-comparisons/2013-ford-fusion-vs-2014-mazda6-2611.ht- ml

    "So exactly how fuel efficient are they? The Mazda6 is officially rated at 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. This bests the Ford Fusion’s 23/36 mpg rating.

    But that’s just on paper. In the real world, after a week of testing, the gap widened further. The Mazda6 returned an average of 30.4 mpg of mixed driving while the Fusion could only muster 25.0 mpg, which continues a recent trend of Ford test vehicles lately not living up to their fuel efficiency ratings....

    On the road, vehicle dynamics tip slightly in favour of the Mazda6. It feels more tossable in the corners and agility is better than average. At the same time, despite weighing less than the Fusion, the 6’s ride feels more refined. The suspension is set up with a nice balance between sport and comfort. Not only is it one of the more engaging vehicles in the segment, but it features a ride comfort on par with the likes of the Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat. In fact, only the squishy soft-riding Malibu can beat it in this department.

    The Fusion was in tough during this comparison test. Not only is the Mazda6 cheaper to purchase, but also cheaper to fill up at the pumps. Add in a more attractive, easier to operate interior as well as a more rewarding driving experience, and the 6 is the clear winner of this comparison.

    That’s no knock on the Ford either as the Mazda may just be the new benchmark for mid-size sedans. Yes, the Mazda6 is just that good."
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,316
    You guys HAVE to look at this picture.

    "Once you see the clown-face, you will always see the clown-face"

    http://media.caranddriver.com/images/13q2/514953/2014-mercedes-benz-s400-hybrid-- interior-photo-516412-s-520x318.jpg

    This was in July car and driver, and has kind of gone viral in the automotive community.

    The MB S class has long been THE innovation front runner, with much of it's hardware trickling down to cars like ours. In a sense, we owe a debt of gratitude to the S class, IMHO. To me, it is the patriarch of the sedan family.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,316
    Honestly, the Ford's interior in the video was much more upscale and expensive looking, and a lot more airy looking.

    However, I have briefly driven the Mazda, and know it is very well put together. It's just that in the video the Mazda looks more plain. What is the interior called? Quantum Singularity?

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    "Toyota Not Worried About Camry Sales Drop, Despite Increased Incentives
    Jul. 26, 2013 Christie Schweinsberg | WardsAuto

    FARMINGTON, PA – The Toyota Camry continues to hold onto its title of best-selling midsize sedan in the U.S., delivering 207,626 units in the year’s first half, despite falling 2% from year-ago.

    While executives are not worried, they are taking notice of the increased competition attracting midsize-sedan buyers.

    Bill Fay, general manager-Toyota Div. in the U.S., is not concerned by the Camry's mild decline and the higher-than-usual incentives needed to sell the car.

    "We've increased incentives over the last year, but it's not out of line with where the segment is,” Fay tells WardsAuto at a Tundra pickup media event here. “We're still below where the industry is” on incentive spending.

    Fay notes the much-lauded, redesigned ’13 Ford Fusion that debuted in third-quarter 2012 is offering higher incentives than the current Camry, which hit the market a year earlier. However, Edmunds.com reports Camry incentives through June averaged the same as the Fusion's: $2,064.

    However, the Camry’s first-half spiffs were 254.5% higher than those of its biggest rival, the Honda Accord. The average Accord incentive was $583 in the year's first six months...."

    http://wardsauto.com/sales-amp-marketing/toyota-not-worried-about-camry-sales-dr- op-despite-increased-incentives
  • vt6vt6 Posts: 5
    is anyone surprised that the Fusion is getting significantly worse mileage than the Mazda 6? Domestic car companies still can't make s decent midsize sedan. The whole ecoboost is over inflated bullcrap. It does not work, but guess what, Ford will give you a whole lot of trubo lag and reliability problem of a turbo engine in addition to abysmal mileage. Great!

    The only reason the previous Ford Fusions and Escapes were so great is because they were designed by Mazda. Ford and Mazda split, and look at the results of Ford's solo effort. The new fusion and the escape are not that great. Yeah they sell well cause the American public is generally dumb, but that doesn't mean the product is great. Ford should just make full size trucks. Oh, and I haven't even talked about myFord touch yet.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,316
    Of course that is what Toyota is going to say. They are not going to come out in public and say "man we screwed the pooch on this one", and "that guy in charge of offset crash safety was dragged out of his office and shot at high noon on Toyota Blvd"; but that is pretty much what is really happening.

    I just don't get how Toyota has this reputation of great, bulletproof cars when for the past 5 years they seem to be behind on everything. Style, technology, interior design, safety, all behind the mark. I think they have become too big for their britches, and have become the GM of Japan, and the Camry is fast becoming Japans Grand AM.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 230
    I just don't get how Toyota has this reputation of great, bulletproof cars when for the past 5 years they seem to be behind on everything. Style, technology, interior design, safety, all behind the mark. I think they have become too big for their britches, and have become the GM of Japan, and the Camry is fast becoming Japans Grand AM.

    Funny you should say that. I have said the same thing, but I suggested the camry is fast becoming the Taurus. The cheap interiors compounded by the poor crash tests and the "not keeping up with the Joneses" in technology will likely come to hurt Toyota. I am afraid they are becoming the GM of Japan and it's just a matter of time before it hits.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,316
    edited July 2013
    I think the Impala looks great, inside and out, and the 3.6 is a perfect fit for the cars size. 305 horsepower and 264 lb ft are respectable numbers and are in line for its class. The Impala is built on GM's Epsilon 2 platform along with the well received Cadillac XTS and the Buick La Cross.

    It is in a different class with an older customer base though, and I honestly believe that very few people would shop Impala against a Mazda 6.

    The Cadenza (and the Azera) are both built on the Optima/Sonata platform, and with the added weight of the 3.3 V6 and size-altered frame, it has hurt the ride and driving dynamics, causing them to come in dead last in a recent C/D comparo. On a personal note...the Cadenza has an ugly face. Not digging it at all.

    My money would be on the Impala....and believe me it takes a lot for me to even consider a GM. The Impala is also available with the 2.4 liter mild hybrid and the 2.5 i-4 from the Malibu (182 HP 172 lb ft and 195 HP 184 lb ft respectively).
    The 3.6 is expected to be the sales leader with the hybrid next and the 2.5 left to mostly fleet sales.

    Source - MotorTrend

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

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