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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The powertrains are similar (both are competitive with others in the class except the hybrid - no problem there), but the interior design and suspension and handling are tuned differently in the Optima vs. the Sonata.

    The Sonata has a more flowing, feminine quality, while the Optima has a more germanic, masculine appearance inside and out.

    Nobody cares about US News and World Report when it comes to car reviews. That's like MAC World ranking dishwashers.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    but in my zeal to defend this car

    It's not like somebody is beating up your kid or insulting your wife.....it's just a car. Jeeesh.


    Correct. If you like it - great! Don't insist that it's the best just because you bought it though. I have a Sonata. I like it! It's not the best driving, most powerful, best looking vehicle I could've bought (as a 2009 model). In fact, it's blandly styled and rather uncoordinated in handling, but it fit my needs/wants and met the budget; at the time I wanted lots of front-seat room, plenty of V6-power with good economy (249hp and 19/29 was great for the class in '09), and USB/iPod input for the audio system. I picked a good car, perhaps the best at the price point, but not the "best in segment."

    There isn't one "best car" in the segment, because everyone purchasing needs a car that will suit different needs and wants.

    One person may want sporty, another want the most features per dollar, another want a cushy ride and lots of room. These all equate to different "bests."

    Quit cramming the Sonata down our throats please.

    Sincerely,

    A Sonata OWNER
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's interesting to me that every test I've seen that compares the two rates the Optima significantly higher than the Sonata.

    Most car mags tend to vote for the "Driver's Car" above the "Cushy Car."

    The Optima is tuned more sporty/stiffly than the Sonata in my experience. For the same reason, Accords often beat out Camrys in those tests. If you read the articles, they'll usually identify traits like "sharper steering" or a "more controlled suspension" in the cars that place higher.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    Wow, such hyperbolic animosity.

    Last time I checked this discussion was about all midsized sedans.

    I'm following forum guidelines and I post more links than several other members combined.

    US News is a pretty well respected source.
    Their ratings for hospitals, insurance companies, and colleges/university are respected and objective so why try to diss on their compilation of auto reviews?

    Probably whining because you dislike what they said.
    They simply aggregated the data and using a formula ranked the results.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,627
    Are you saying they didn't actually test any cars reviewed? I find that a bit strange.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    RT doesn't review movies either.
    They aggregate the reviews.
    Great reference for choosing a film/DVD.

    Same principal with US News/World Reports.
    Well respected (by most rational folks) publication.
    Maybe check out the link below to help you understand what's going on.

    Our new car rankings are based on a consensus of America's top automotive experts, as well as safety and reliability data. The rankings do not rely on our own tests or U.S. News editors' preferences.

    We combine two types of information: published reviews from respected automotive critics and safety and reliability data from third-party sources.


    http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/methodology/

    Currently Ford Fusion Hybrid is #1, the 4 cyl. Sonata is #2, and the Sonata Hybrid is #3; Accord sits in seventh place.

    "The Accord's new staple drivetrain, a direct-injection four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission, provides enough oomph around town. … The Nissan Altima's CVT responds faster to accelerator nudges, but Honda's gets the job done, kicking engine revs sky-high when you need passing power."
    That's what known as motoboarding as we discussed earlier.
    That buzzy, quirky 'instant on' sensation common to all CVTs.

    These rankings are periodically updated, too.

    My point is that its not based on just one source.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 227
    edited August 2013
    OUCH!!!!!! Someone who not only knows what he is talking about but documents it THOROUGHLY!

    Also, thank you for the information on the motorboarding. I didn't know what it was called. I had driven an Altima and that is exactly what I experienced in it. I wondered if Honda had taken care of that in the new accord, but according to the experts they have not. A friend of mine recently bought a 2013 4 cyl EXL (for his wife) and I asked him a few questions about it. He told me he experienced the shuttering at about 1500 rpms or so (I also experienced this in the Altima I drove) and he mentioned that he has wind noise coming in directly behind his ear on the driver's side. When I googled those two items it seems the shuttering at low rpm is a common thing as is the wind noise from the driver's door. I am so thankful I opted not to buy a first year model. But I also think I've opted to avoid the new accord. I had wind noise for 13 years in my 2000 accord and couldn't get rid of it no matter what I did. I don't think I care to repeat that. I didn't enjoy my cvt experience in the rental Altima and I think I'm going to pass on Honda's attempt with the cvt as well.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,209
    edited August 2013
    Like C/D rating microwaves:

    "We like how the radar-range transitions smoothly from low to high and then from high to defrost, always letting you know where the power is but never vibrating the chassis"...

    or

    "While the Carousel II leads the pack in styling, it starts and stops abruptly, the motor coarse at the limit, with significant NVH. The engineers still have work to do on it's chassis as well as fit and finish".

    and

    " The G.E's all white interior appointments aren't up to par with the Sharp, as if easy clean-up dictated it's entire design".

    Ok, I am done now. :blush:
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 932
    Interesting how only you, not any review, mention wind noise. In fact review after review praise the New Accord's quietness. Many, many reviews also single out the smoothness of the Accord's CVT, specifically contrasting it to other CVTs currently being offered. But your mind is made up without even driving one. My Accord has no stuttering or jerking, is smooth and very quiet. It's hardly the exception. I also drove the Altima CVT and did find the noise upon acceleration annoying, but it isn't deafening. In fact, my neighbor has an earlier model Altima and loves it. I just thought the Accord had the total package. After 5 months and two road trips I'm loving it more and more.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 472
    Very nice! I almost got a red Optima (EX), it was a very close second place to my Accord, and I still deliberate again every time I see a red one. It was definitely the punchiest engine and tranny of all the automatics I test drove.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    As I posted earlier " US News is a well respected (by most rational folks) publication.

    I subscribed to C & D and their bias toward Toyota-Lexus products was easy to see - for example they chided the T100 as being "7/8's of a real pickup."
    They later subtly dissed the first Tundras. I owned one of each and bought back the T100 from a friend. Solid truck after almost 20 years.

    And the fact that C & D have included the Accord on their 10 best list for over 20 years in a row is nonsense as that vehicle has had some ups-and-downs. The Camry has been conspicuously absent from it due to C & D's subjective "fun to drive" factor.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 227
    edited August 2013
    Google it and you'll find it's got lots of complaints for wind noise and stuttering at low rpm for the 2013. (I believe it was C&D or Road and Track that tested and early 2013 accord and noted the stuttering at low rpm and hoped they fix it before going to market, but I'm not concerned about reviewers so much as I am about real owners.) Go to the Honda forums and you'll see no shortage of wind noise or transmission stutter complaints, either. Perhaps you are fortunate. I didn't drive one because I didn't want a first year model, but my two primary concerns were wind noise (had it for 13 years and couldn't get rid of it) and the transmission (had 3 rebuilt transmissions in my accord in 75k miles and know of Honda's reputation for transmission problems - google Honda transmission problems and you'll see what I mean). My friend's 2010 Honda pilot has wind noise from the a pillar and the 2007 accord he traded for the 2013 had wind noise from the a pillar - it just never bothered him. Perhaps people are too picky or perhaps some are less picky, but as for me I'd rather learn from someone else's decisions than invest $25k in a car and have the same problems many of them are. I wish you the absolute best with your accord and hope you have many trouble-free miles in it, but as for me I have decided to stay away.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    >Like C/D rating microwaves:

    Great!

    May I add some of the sharp criticisms of the brands that just don't appeal to the "sporting" abilities of the "expert" writers (in their own minds, just like the couch potatoes who are experts at every sport)...

    "However the visibility of the potato baking inside the US made Exacto XL model was blocked by the extra small grids chosen for the door. As in all their older models, the company just doesn't get it like the Das Dershlager 1235 ixx, the Hiroshimo EX-L, and the Tsunamia GT-I models.

    "We found the sound of the door opening and closing was not up to the standards on the Exacto XL. We can hear the latch, unlike on the 3 other models tests where the latch sound is perfect.

    "Also we found the lack of cupholders on the top of the Exacto model a big deficiency whereas all the other models had a cupholder there--it was too small to be useful for larger cups, but we liked their thought. Of course the Exacto model had cupholders on the sides, but we think all new microwaves should have cupholders on top, even though few would use them for the smaller coffee cups."
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Good points but you must understand that for some, opinions and nonsensical comparisons are all they have.

    Between Consumer Reports and US News, potential owners can get objective information about new cars.

    All CVTs have quirky moments no matter how much auto makers try to mimic conventional transmissions.

    So far, the 2013 Sonata Hybrid has done the best job of melding a 6 spd. to a gasoline-electric drive train.

    When I test drove a 2013 HSH in city traffic - ice cold with 11 miles on it - I could immediately tell how much improvement Hyundai had made.

    I traded for it 2 days later - got $2,900 off msrp, 60 months @ 0% interest and an $18,000 for my 2011 base Sonata Hybrid.
    In almost 4,000 miles with constant AC, we have never gotten lower than 41 mpg in mixed driving.

    And with the 17 gallon tank we can drive 700 miles between fill ups
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,810
    I tend to question all published reviews as it seems many of them suffer from the "it's new and it's spectacular" syndrome. Just look at the collective swoon the automotive press did at the 2010 Sonata. They all heralded it as unlike anything else on the road, a new benchmark, destined to blow the competition out of the water, etc. They all pretty much failed at describing the poor quality interior trim, the structural problems with the platform, the nervous ride, the twitchy, numb steering, the overstated HP ratings, the overall lack of quality, and the plethora of issues that have emerged since the hype machine got turned off. The number of people who got taken in and bought first-year Sonatas only to be extremely disappointed was evidenced by the large number to be found on used lots still within the 2010 model year as early buyers ditched them in droves. While Honda isn't as bad as Hyundai in that respect, they do tend to get good treatment in the press for the most part, unlike some other manufacturers, so it's possible some early issues might be given a pass.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    I assume you meant overstated MPG ratings.
    Hyundai voluntarily compensated owners of some models - I got almost $175 before I traded our 2011 hybrid - and the new hybrids are getting stellar mileage. Just browse Fuely for proof.

    The Sonata hybrid is also a true second generation hybrid with increasing sales each month:

    http://www.hybridcars.com/july-2013-dashboard/
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 932
    I read reviews but I'm not going to comment on a car I haven't driven. I do pay attention to reliability ratings. I won't say anything about the Optima because I know nothing about them. I did drive a rental Sonata a few weeks ago and found it pleasant but it wasn't the new one so didn't have features like backup camera or push start. I have found that reviews are helpful as a start, but driving a car yourself is often quite a different story. I thought I would wind up with an Altima and was quite surprised by the Accord. I find others' posts here very interesting whether I agree with them or not, as long as they have actual experience with the cars they are talking about.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I subscribed to C & D and their bias toward Toyota-Lexus products was easy to see - for example they chided the T100 as being "7/8's of a real pickup."

    At 209" long and with only a 3.4L V6, it WAS 7/8 of the big boys which it claimed to compete with, but that's not the point. US News is well-respected as far as old-school media is concerned (these mags are a dying breed, see Newsweek), but not necessarily in the automotive world. It's not their focus, but you don't care because it makes your point. You seem awfully defensive of a cars you didn't engineer yourself. It's ok to disagree. :)

    And the fact that C & D have included the Accord on their 10 best list for over 20 years in a row is nonsense as that vehicle has had some ups-and-downs.

    It hasn't. I owned a 1996 Accord that was not on the 10Best list.

    The Camry has been conspicuously absent from it due to C & D's subjective "fun to drive" factor.

    Well, the magazine is called Car and Driver, not Auto Passengers Monthly. It's for driving enthusiasts. They explain in detail why they choose the cars they do. If you care to read the articles, you'll know that. If you have different judgment criteria, you'll have different outcomes in your own personal comparisons. It's pretty simple.
  • gee22gee22 Posts: 82
    When doing my research for the 2014 Mazda6, I came across a review from some local paper in CA. He praised the technology to no end but said that no one will bother to test drive the car because of its "blah" styling. Now, you may not find it attractive, but you can't call it "blah". The reviewer obviously never saw the car and probably googled 2013 Mazda6.

    btw, I would never think of microwaving my popcorn in anything but a Tsunamia GT-I.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My point is that its not based on just one source.

    But you don't care about anybody else's point but your own in this conversation. If we post links, you're dismissive stating how they are wrong, when in fact they are all opinions. They're like noses, everybody has one.

    That buzzy, quirky 'instant on' sensation common to all CVTs.

    If you've spent time in a Honda with an I-4, you can't honestly say that compared to others in the class it is "buzzy." It is quite smooth.

    And, since when is "instant acceleration/response" a bad thing? If I prod the pedal, I don't want the car waiting around to make up it's mind. I want it to GO.

    But, US News and World Report doesn't, and that must mean that quick response to throttle is bad, Sonata Hybrid is good, and kyrpto is right. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I subscribed to C & D and their bias toward Toyota-Lexus products was easy to see - for example they chided the T100 as being "7/8's of a real pickup."

    Well... that's because it WAS 7/8s of a real pickup. :D

    Every car mag has a bias. EVERY one. For C/D, the bias is towards sharp handling. They are very clear and open about their bias. When a car fits into their sweet spot, even a Toyota like the Scion FR-S or the new Lexus IS, they'll sing its praises. So I don't see a bias towards Toyota and Lexus just because they're Toyota and Lexus... the bias is because of the kinds of cars they make.

    FWIW, here's some Toyotas and Lexii that C/D has named to their 10Best list over the years (many of these were multi-time winners):

    Toyota Supra
    Toyota MR2
    Lexus LS
    Toyota Previa
    Toyota Camry (3-time winner!)
    Lexus SC
    Lexus GS
    Toyota Highlander
    Toyota Prius
    Toyota Sienna
    Toyota RAV4
    Scion FR-S
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Where are they?
    Not dismissing anything.
    I lived with a CVT for years, one of my friends owns a new Prius and I had one for a loaner for several days. Not demonizing them but why are many auto makers currently touting improved CVTs that mimic a conventional tranny?

    However, others sure seem to want to discredit US News.
    I certainly put more stock in what their publication than subjective comments by some on here
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    Why do we have to have a link? This is a forum for car guys discussing midsize cars, not a book report. If you need a link to have an opinion (or insist on one from me to back up mine) then please skip my posts, we have nothing to discuss, you and me. I'll move on from now on as well.

    Not demonizing them but why are many auto makers currently touting improved CVTs that mimic a conventional tranny?

    Because the american public as a whole doesn't understand how CVTs work, and complain that it doesn't feel "normal" with shift points like a typical automatic.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    The biases in car mag and others' reviews are usually based on what _they_ like. As for the C&D, R&T type reviews, I rarely drive a car at 95% of its abilities... grin. So their likes are meaningless.

    However, the historical dislikes that many such writers and "evaluators," like Newsweek, use are irritatingly misleading. I can cite the Accord's noise on the road and its sensitivity to every little crack. Now the driviing that _I_ want to feel: others may like that. When I said in 2003 after driving an Accord and finding several things that didn't work for me, I was told the road noise was not there. Now this year, _2014_, Accord and the supporters have announced that the excessive road noise is gone. Huh? I thought they said there wasn't any excessive road noise all these years.

    I was considering driving an Accord, but the CVT problem for the 4-cylinder I would want keeps me away. Can't trust the reporting on transmission problems from Honda because that too is glossed over by the media et al. And the AC problems in certain models that go on and on without redesign.

    A neighbor finally quit buy Acuras and bought a 2013 Accord, but it's a V6.

    That's the kind of bias that is strange. I notice there are no posts for the Malibu, a midsize car, here in the reviews. A diferent kind of buyer. A different kind of driver?

    I'm reading here because I'm in the market for a midsize or small size car. I like reading what others thing about their cars, or their rental cars, or their friends cars where they have experience in them.

    But everyone has their own thinking.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    and discontinued my subscription years ago when I realized Consumer Reports was way better and virtually unbiased publication. Their online information is as good as the print version but most dedicated car mags aren't as comprehensive.

    Perhaps Honda can solve their nagging issues with the CVT quickly as I see the V6 buyers only make up less than a quarter of Accord sales.

    If they are smart Honda Corp will shed the V6s sooner rather than later as Hyundai and now Ford have done with their mid sized offerings.
    Unfortunately the non-hybrid 4 cylinders Ford offers are rather anemic and do not get that great mpg, especially when compared to the top Asian sedans like the Camry and Sonata.

    My wife's carpool includes a new Fusion hybrid and she thinks it almost as nice as her Sonata Hybrid. Its a base version, no back up camera, NAV, etc. which quickly drive the cost into the mid to high $30Ks. I'm thinking Honda will follow suit and price their upcoming 'loaded' accord Hybrid similarly high and I'm sure they will drop their problematic CVT in it to keep build costs down.

    Hyundai wisely spent big bucks to design their hybrid from scratch and a fully loaded Sonata Hybrid Limited tops out at $32,000 but sale price is usually thousands less.
    Almost three-thousand less in my case.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    a fully loaded Sonata Hybrid Limited tops out at $32,000 but sale price is usually thousands less.
    Almost three-thousand less in my case.


    Apparently then the market doesn't support the pricing Hyundai asks for their Hybrid Sonata, so they have to reduce the price to make the sale. It's a very competitive market. Trust me, they aren't discounting out of the goodness of their hearts.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Sorry but your opinion is again incorrect.
    Instead of periodically offering discounts, Hyundai seems to use msrp as a marketing tool because in nearly three years of following their products it seems to be understood that buyers always get discounts.

    I'm friends with a veteran sales manager at a Hyundai dealership in NOVA - sorry Northern Virginia - that sells 300 units a month.
    Do you a better source?
    I don't think so as you seem to detest the Korean sedans without really knowing squat about them.

    Perhaps you should read carefully the ‘Prices Paid and Buying Experience’ discussion on the Sonata which goes back several years.

    And they routinely offer 0% on the hybrid version, something Toyota almost never does.
    Honda will most assuredly follow the midsized sedan leader Camry in trying to max out profits by doing the same whenever their hybrid hit’s the lots.

    Toyota now build its hybrids in the states while the second generation Korean hybrids are built only in Korea.

    I understand with the recent surge in sales of the basically identical -drive train wise - hybrids, Hyundai-Kia will soon begin production of them here.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 227
    Interesting how only you, not any review, mention wind noise. In fact review after review praise the New Accord's quietness. Many, many reviews also single out the smoothness of the Accord's CVT, specifically contrasting it to other CVTs currently being offered. But your mind is made up without even driving one.

    I went to lunch today with my friend who has the 2013 accord. We drove by the Honda dealer (about 30 min from my house and I rarely go by there) and I remembered I did in fact drive one. Same color as my friend's, but I think it was an EX, not an EX-L. I only drove it a few miles and just returned to the dealership. I now remembered the stuttering when taking off and by 50 mph or so I could hear the wind noise. I guess I had enough by then as the wind noise and the transmission were the two things that were most important to me as I'd had those problems with my 2000 accord. I guess I had just written it off and even forgotten about driving it. Not sure why I even test drove a first year model - must have been a boring day or something. I drove my friend's 2013 accord to the DQ after lunch - about 10 miles. I noticed the stuttering and asked him about it. He told me they'd taken it to the dealership and was told it was a normal characteristic of the cvt and that it even states that in the owners' manual. I didn't notice the wind noise because there was a lot of road construction and we didn't get up to speed.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    I'm friends with a veteran sales manager at a Hyundai dealership in NOVA - sorry Northern Virginia - that sells 300 units a month.

    By offering deep discounts, as you've said. Money talks to car buyers.

    Perhaps you should read carefully the ‘Prices Paid and Buying Experience’ discussion on the Sonata which goes back several years.

    In spite of the fact that you continue talking down to me, I'll be glad to inform you that the "Sonata Prices Paid Forum" is on my watch list, and has been for years.

    I don't think so as you seem to detest the Korean sedans without really knowing squat about them.

    Again with the assumptions. I'm convinced you don't read the posts before replying; I own and enjoy a KOREAN sedan built right here in my home state of Alabama. My 2009 Sonata GLS V6 has about 109k miles on it now. But, why let facts get in the way of a good story, right?
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    I'll be glad to inform you that the "Sonata Prices Paid Forum" is on my watch list, and has been for years.

    So you should know the 'under msrp' purchases go back over 10 years so why post this misinformation?

    Apparently then the market doesn't support the pricing Hyundai asks for their Hybrid Sonata, so they have to reduce the price to make the sale.

    If it began recently - it didn't - you might be able to make a case for the above.

    You sure don't come across as a loyal Hyundai owner.
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