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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,968

    I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with it from that picture, though the sea of black would not appeal to me as I hate black interiors. I understand they have a parchment version that still has a lot (perhaps too much) black in it that I might like better. With interiors I find you need to experience them in person to get a sense of the materials quality. I wonder if the criticism comes from it being a bit too conservative in design and not swoopy inside like the Fusion and others? I know that is de rigeur these days but I am not a fan of that style.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 980

    Ours is still on the road. We had no problems with it. Fuel economy not great. Only sold it because of vehicle changes with one child going abroad for a year. Every time I see the person who bought it she tells me how much she loves it. It would be good if Mazda had one kind of vehicle you couldn't get anywhere else. Like the good luck Kia has had with the Soul or Nissan with the Leaf or Honda's Fit.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722

    Accord and 6 interiors are ok for base models, but really fall short when compared to the higher end of their competition.

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 2,738
    edited January 18

    Explorer

    Accord and 6 interiors are ok for base models, but really fall short when compared to the higher end of their competition.

    So what would you consider higher end. The 2014 EXL v-6 is selling at 26 to 27 k with tax excluded. I cant think of any vehicles that have this much to offer for that price, resale, and build quality..

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722

    @brian125 said: Explorer

    So what would you consider higher end. The 2014 EXL v-6 is selling at 26 to 27 k with tax excluded. I cant think of any vehicles that have this much to offer for that price, resale, and build quality.

    I have a Titanium model Fusion. My boss has an Accord EXL. Interiors do not compare. Mid size cars don't need a V6 anymore. The 2.0 turbo is a good balance of power, more than I need, and fuel economy.

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 2,738
    edited January 18

    Explorer,

    Both cars are priced about the same. My problem with the fusion is i just cant get past that ugly front grille look. Toyota did a similar look on the new Avalon but the grille isn't as large. I remember the older fusions they had very wide window pillars that block your turning view. I rented a 2012 fusion se and hated it .. Did they make the window pillars smaller with the new redesign??.. Is it bigger inside.. What kind of mpg are you getting with the 2.0.

    My V-6 accord gets very good gas mileage if you drive sensible.. my gas mileage was between 23 to 26 mpg. in nyc area when i drove it slow.. My 2013 Accord which is now my daughters car was the best Accord i owned compared to my other 3 Accords . My only problem with this Accord is i hate the parking brake in the center console. At almost 6' 2 there are not many Cars that i find comfortable. I love my SUV's

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781

    suydam: The Mazda5 is still made, and you can even get it with a 6-speed manual. But it hasn't yet been given the Skyactiv treatment, and so mpg is, as you say, mediocre. I owned a 2010 Mazda5 for a couple of years, and I liked it in terms of the handling, the room, and the performance of the engine and transmission. But the interior felt cheap to me, and it had poor rear visibility.

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 2,738

    It would be nice to take the five best models in this class and make your own vehicle from each of the 5 different companies. Take the best each have to offer making one bad [non-permissible content removed] vehicle..

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 18

    The Fusion is a very nice car with great looks, inside and out, as well as very strong performance.

    But it seems like a draw at best for the Fusion in the engine dept. Both the V-6 Accord and 2.0 Fusion are rated by the epa at 26 combined for mpg, but according to edmunds.com the V-6 Accord will go from 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, while their test of the Fusion to 0-60 was 6.9. That's a significant difference.

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/track-tests/track-tested-2013-honda-accord-ex-l-v6-vs-2013-nissan-altima-3-5-sl.html

    http://www.edmunds.com/ford/fusion/2013/road-test-specs1.html

    Car and Driver got a V-6 Accord to go even faster than that, and in fact it tied a BMW 328i:

    With less weight to haul around—3552 pounds versus 3607 for the last V-6 sedan we tested—our Touring example sprinted to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and tripped the quarter-mile lights in 14.1 seconds at 101 mph. Those figures put it solidly ahead of all its competitors and into sports-sedan territory; the Accord ties our long-term, six-speed-manual BMW 328i to 60 and trumps that car in the quarter by 0.2 second and 1 mph.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-sedan-v-6-test-review

    Motor Trend tested the Sport Accord 2.4 6MT at just 6.8 going zero to 60. In other words, in manual form it can give a 2.0 turbo Fusion a run for its money:

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1209_2013_honda_accord_first_test/specs.html

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 18

    The new 2015 Ford F-150, out in about 6 months, apparently has lost 500-700 pounds of weight because of the use of high quality aluminum alloys. Could this work for midsize cars? What are the costs and the risks? How much weight, do you think, could be lost in this way? And what would the performance boost of this be for mpg and performance for the next generations of midsize cars due in about 4 years.

    Total guess here, but it's remotely possible that someone like Honda might follow the road that Ford is blazing here. If aluminum is strong enough for a truck, and works in terms of manufacturing, performance, and commercial acceptance, why not do it for a car? It might make the car costs $500-$1000 more, which is perhaps the biggest challenge. You'd save more than that in gas in probably 5 years, and maybe less, but....

    My guess is you could potentially shed 300 pounds of weight in this way, which might not sound big but is in fact almost 10% of the weight of the car. With 10% less weight you could have an engine that was 10% smaller and have the same acceleration and significantly better mpg.

    The next generation of Accord, for instance, due in just a little more than 3.5 years, needs to get mpg as high as the current Civic, which gets 30 in the city and 39 on the highway. And yet the next Accord still needs to have about the same interior room as the current Accord. It needs to shrink on the outside, and get lighter, without shrinking much on the inside.

    I do think the V-6 is probably doomed in the long run for the Accord. Even though I feel lukewarm at best about turbos, I think Honda will probably go with a c. 2.0 turbo as the next high performance Accord. This would allow them to shrink the engine compartment by a few inches without shrinking the passenger compartment. The standard engine could potentially be a 2.2 normally aspirated ice, which, with the next generation earth dreams cvt might be able to get the mpg of today's civic. Or close, anyway.

    You can bet the Honda engineers, as well as the engineers of every other player in the midsize market, is gaming out scenarios for how to get to 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway without a hybrid.

    VW has already tested a 1.4 turbo 4 that can deactivate 2 cylinders at highway speed and get as much as 42 mpg, and so this is possible.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722
    edited January 18

    @brian125 In about 11 months and 11k miles, I've averaged just over 28 mpg. Low 23.8 and high 34.5, a couple of times. I only measure tank to tank using actual fill numbers. I love my SUV, too. It's been through a lot in 12 years and is still ticking.

    @benjaminh A lot of bench racing numbers there. In my experience, none of these cars are what I would call fast or quick. More than adequate, though.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 18

    But this quote by C & D re: the V-6 Accord seems significant to me:

    "Those figures put it solidly ahead of all its competitors and into sports-sedan territory; the Accord ties our long-term, six-speed-manual BMW 328i to 60 and trumps that car in the quarter by 0.2 second and 1 mph."

    If you can equal or even beat a BMW, I'd call that fast and quick.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 18

    Competitors are almost in awe of Ford's upcoming use of aluminum on the F-150. From Auto News:

    ....competitors gave Ford considerable respect for creating an aluminum body for the F-150, the automaker's top-selling crown jewel.

    "That took some guts," said Mark Bacchus, a Toyota r&d engineer who works at the company's Ann Arbor, Mich., technical center. "It's an aggressive maneuver...

    "At Toyota, a proposal like this would prompt the question 'What are you doing to offset cost?'" he said. "But we are tiptoeing in that direction. We are already doing aluminum hoods."

    An engineer for ThyssenKrupp Steel said as he examined part of the roof rail, "We knew it was coming. I'm kind of intrigued by it. I don't know of any other way to get that much weight out." The engineer declined to give his name.

    A Chrysler Group engineer, who also declined to give his name, was skeptical of Ford's claim that the 2015 pickup will be 700 pounds lighter than the 2014 F-150. "I want to see how Ford did the math," he said. "The 700 pounds is baffling...."

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140118/OEM04/301209908/rivals-eye-f-150-with-respect-questions#ixzz2qnFg1LG7

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 2,738

    I'm hoping to get a peek at the 2015 Ford 150 at the NY auto show.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 18

    Curb weight of some 2014 midsize cars in standard trim with auto trans....

    2014 Altima S: 3108; 2014 Camry LE: 3190; 2014 Mazda6 Sport: 3232; 2014 Accord LX: 3254; 2014 Fusion S: 3427

    With the use of aluminum, I think it might be possible to get a midsize car down to c. 2950 lbs. What do you folks think?

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722

    @benjaminh said: If you can equal or even beat a BMW, I'd call that fast and quick.

    A 328i is a base BMW. Ok, the 320i is the new base BMW. BMW M series, now you start talking fast.

    About the F150, Ford started mass producing aluminum vehicles in 1989. It's called a Jaguar.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781

    For comparision, a 2014 Civic cvt rings in at 2811 lbs. A 2014 Elantra weighs 2818. A 2014 Corolla weighs 2820. A 2014 Mazda3 weighs 2848. And a 2014 Cruze weighs a whopping 3118.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727

    There's something a lot cheaper and easier than using lots of aluminum in mid-sized cars: make 'em a little smaller. "Compacts" like the Jetta, Corolla, and Sentra already have interiors that would have been considered roomy in the mid-sized class just a few years ago. So, shave about a foot off the mid-sized cars of today, to around 180 inches or so, and that itself will save a few hundred pounds. Then use lighter powertrains, e.g. 1.4 turbos with aluminum blocks, and save more weight.

    At the same time, automakers can make "compacts"... well, COMPACT again.

    If folks need more room than a trimmed-down mid-size, or they just like more metal around them, they can go for the likes of the Avalon, Azera, Impala, Taurus etc.

    @benjaminh said: Curb weight of some 2014 midsize cars in standard trim with auto trans....

    2014 Altima S: 3108; 2014 Camry LE: 3190; 2014 Mazda6 Sport: 3232; 2014 Accord LX: 3254; 2014 Fusion S: 3427

    With the use of aluminum, I think it might be possible to get a midsize car down to c. 2950 lbs. What do you folks think?

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 19

    backy: You're right that midsize cars need to downsize, but what you're suggesting is a bit radical. The Accord hasn't been c. 180 inches long since the third generation, introduced way back in 1986....

    Length of the Accord sedan: 1986=179 inches, 1990=185, 1994=184, 1998=189, 2004=189.5, 2008=195, 2013=191

    As you know, back in the 80s and 90s, Honda and others often had basically a two car lineup: Civic, Corolla, etc for the small car and Accord, Camry, etc for the midsize car. Now Honda and most others have three cars, and so we have Fit, Civic, and Accord.

    And so the Accord can and will get a little bit smaller, and so will the Civic, but not by a lot. These days if you want a car about the size of a 1986 Accord you should buy a Civic instead.

    But the next generation Accord, due for model year 2018, will probably shrink a little, but just down to the size that the Accord was from 1998-2007, to about 189 inches in length, or maybe even an inch less than that. But they need to do it without sacrificing much in the way of interior room or trunk space. When people buy a midsize car today they are expecting a car that can carry 4-5 people and lots of luggage in comfort. Going down to a length of 180 for the Accord would be suicide in terms of sales.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 19

    As we know, high gas prices mean that most people think about mpg when shopping for a new car. But the corporate average economy rules also set mpg guidelines for each class of vehicle all the way up to the year 2025. The confusing thing about cafe is that the "54 mpg" standard that many people have read about is pure fiction. 54 would be the epa number on your car's window sticker back in the late 70s and early 80s, but because that number was so much higher than real world mpg, the epa has twice adjusted the window sticker mpg numbers (in 1985 and 2008) to get closer to real world results.

    Bottom line: The epa standard of 54 mpg for 2025 translates into a window sticker combined mpg of about 38 or even less once "credits" of various kinds are taken into acount. And so some people reading the headlines about 54 mpg probably think the gov't is crazy, but if you see a number like 38 it seems a lot more reasonable.

    The standards for midsize cars look about like this: for 2017 the raw standard is "38" mpg, but that translates into a window sticker of c. 27 mpg combined. My 2013 Accord cvt already gets 30 mpg, and so already easily beats this goal, as do many other midsize cars. The goal for midsize cars for 2021 is "45" mpg, but that translates into a window sticker of c. 32 mpg combined.

    That number right there is what most players are going to be aiming at for their next generation of midsize car, and some will try to get beyond that.

    The mpg champ in the midsize market is the Nissan Altima, with a combined mpg of 31. And so Nissan is only 1 mpg away with this generation. In c. 4 years, when their next generation is introduced, we can assume they'll want to improve more than 1 mpg, and instead will target something closer to 10% or more, which would mean a window sticker of c. 33-34. Doesn't sound that impressive, but when you realize it's basically asking for an Altima to get the mpg of today's Sentra, or the Accord to get the mpg of today's Civic, it sounds much more impressive.

    But it's not all the big bad gov't. The real standard for 2021 is just 32, and so what the automakers are doing already is responding to market pressure, and challenging their engineering teams, to jump the gun and beat the cafe standards by huge margins. The cafe rules allow them to "bank" credits for future years if they need them.

    Anyway, to meet the standard of 32 mpg combined for a midsize car by 2021 it doesn't seem like aluminum is needed.

    And yes, I feel like wasting time today! lol

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 19

    More time wasting...

    The epa mpg standards for midsize cars are really quite weak for the next 7 years. But for the last 4 years of the rules, from 2022 to 2025, the goals increase sharply.

    In 2025, a midsize car is supposed to somehow get c. 38 mpg combined on its window sticker, which would probably be something like 32 in the city and 46 on the highway. If a midsize car of 2025 is going to get there without hybrid technology, it probably would have to use aluminum or other lightweight materials. A midsize car also might need to use what Honda has done for years with it's 6 cylinder engine--use variable cylinder management. If you had a c. 1.6 liter turbo 4 that could shut down 2 cylinders on the highway, you could probably get to 46 mpg hwy or maybe even higher in a midsize car. And so as tough as the standard is for 2025, it does seem like there might be ways to get there.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727

    @benjaminh said: ... When people buy a midsize car today they are expecting a car that can carry 4-5 people and lots of luggage in comfort. Going down to a length of 180 for the Accord would be suicide in terms of sales.

    I don't think so. For example, the Jetta is 182 inches and has exactly the same cargo capacity as the Accord EX-L and Touring. Those Accords do have about 6 cubic feet more interior room than the Jetta, but the Accord is nearly 3 inches wider than the Jetta plus the Accord has 5 inches more wheelbase. So just shrink the length, keep the width and wheelbase (i.e. push the wheels more into the corners), and the interior volume can be maintained along with cargo volume, in a shorter and lighter car. Space efficiency in cars is a lot better than it was in the '80s. And that would be less costly in terms of price to the buyer than adding a lot of aluminum. Have you checked prices on F-150s lately? Easily go to $40k+. There's more pricing room there to add expensive aluminum than there is on mid-sized family sedans.

    What you might lose in the shrinking is the ability to carry 3 adults in the back seat for long distances. I wonder how many Accord owners do that today? If I were carrying 3 adults in back for a long distance, I'd use a full sized sedan or a minivan, not a mid-sized sedan.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited January 19

    Backy: You make some good points, but as you know the Accord is Honda's "full sized sedan," or close to it. Honda sells something like 3-4 Accords for every Odyssey. Most people (me included) don't want to own a huge minivan, but sometimes we need our Accord (or whatever midsize car) to hold 5 people.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't think that 182 inches will happen in the foreseeable future for the length of an Accord, not even in 2025. But c. 186 inches? I can see that happening by 2022, which is when the Accord that needs to meet the 2025 38 mpg standard will come out.

    My guess is that the 2018 Accord will shed about 2-3 inches compared to the current model, and so would be c. 188-189 inches in length, and maybe c. 150 pounds lighter even without the use of aluminum

    When I first saw the 2013 Accord up close, I could tell right away that it was smaller than my 2008. I was slightly concerned about that, because we have two kids and a dog, and so we do have a lot in our car when we go on a trip. But the magic is that the 2013 Accord actually has 1 inch more rear legroom than the 2008 Accord, plus the trunk is a full 1 cubic foot larger. We definitely enjoyed that extra room on our last trip. The new Accord has slightly less headroom, but it's not significant unless you are really, really tall.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781

    Ford is considering "other aluminum-bodied vehicles" beyond the new F-150, according to the WSJ. Could the next Fusion use aluminum? Maybe....

    "....Ford began thinking about steps to substantially improve the F-series fuel efficiency in 2009 as the industry was reeling from the financial crisis and a surge in gasoline prices that pummeled sales of large trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

    Engineers analyzed 100,000 combinations of materials, engines and transmissions to build an F-150 that could deliver more power and towing while substantial increasing fuel economy over the 17 mpg rating for the truck's most popular version. The team considered hybrid powertrains, diesel engines, high-strength steel and shrinking the truck.

    "When we put it all together, to have the truck do what we wanted it to do, there was only one answer: aluminum," says Mr. Nair, who was the vice president of engineering at the time.

    The truck would also have to endure the punishment dished out by the miners, contractors and farmers who are the F-150's core buyers. Advancements in high-strength alloys, some used by the military, quelled some of those fears....

    Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields says he remembers when Ford reached the "point of safe return" and had to lock in aluminum contracts. "I went around the room and said, 'We will all remember this day,' " he recalls. "We had a lot of confidence."

    ....Ford won't say what it spent developing the aluminum pickup, but one insider says it was a multibillion-dollar investment, among the largest ever for a single model. Ford last month lowered its profit forecast for this year, in part because of heavy investments on product spending.

    If Ford can make the aluminum F-150 without a long-term dent to profit, the move could lead a shift to aluminum from steel as the dominant material for vehicle construction. Ford already has begun development on other aluminum-bodied vehicles....

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303754404579312821939870480?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303754404579312821939870480.html

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699

    I think it will show up on Lincolns first at lower volume with more profit per vehicle, but it could eventually show up in more mainstream vehicles. It took an entire Alcoa plant just to supply the F150. The interesting thing to me is how durable it is. This is not "beer can" aluminum to quote the negatards - the military uses this for blast shields.

    They also snuck a 2015 truck into the Baja 1000 disguised as a 2014 model with aluminum and the new 2.7L ecoboost engine. It wasn't fast but it finished the 800+ mile course with no breakdowns or problems. Ford also put the 2014 aluminum panels on work trucks in the real world and it performed as good if not better than steel.

    This technology is here to stay - just depends on how fast and how economically they can roll it out. I think Ford has at least a 5 year head start.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    edited January 20

    @explorerx4 said: Accord and 6 interiors are ok for base models, but really fall short when compared to the higher end of their competition.

    That's why I still love the Optima interior. The simple design with nice materials, just the right amount of sheen, A/C controls that have properly weighted knurled knobs and snick-snick accurate races that wouldn't be out of place in any Audi, perforated leather seats, push button start, rear vents, chilled glove-box, and a decent stereo with USB/AUX/Bluetooth, and SAT radio. No matter how many times I look at the competition, thinking the grass is greener on the other side, there is still so much to like my car that honestly I am years away from replacing her, and when I do, it will remain in the family.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    edited January 20

    Here is the 2014 EX interior with the base Infotainment. $24,400 sticker. I know of no other car in this class, at this price that offers so much in a quality interior. SO the steering is rubbery and the handling falls short of sporty, but they get a lot right at the is price point...heck at any price point south of $30,000.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,284
    edited January 20

    @akirby said:

    They also snuck a 2015 truck into the Baja 1000 disguised as a 2014 model with aluminum and the new 2.7L ecoboost engine. It wasn't fast but it finished the 800+ mile course with no breakdowns or problems. Ford also put the 2014 aluminum panels on work trucks in the real world and it performed as good if not better than steel.

    This technology is here to stay - just depends on how fast and how economically they can roll it out. I think Ford has at least a 5 year head start.

    Sounds like I should invest in Aluminum, or Alcoa! Another future prediction is that cars will be printed from carbon fiber and plastic.

    I can't find any hard figures on the 2.7 liter ecoboost, except that it has been extrapolated at 310 HP and (probably) 325 lb ft. Any more would infringe on the carryover 3.5 ecoboost.

    Here is my source, and no I have never heard of "torque news" either. lol. http://www.torquenews.com/106/new-27l-ecoboost-v6-will-make-2015-ford-f150-most-efficient-truck-us

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699

    My guess is we'll see the 2.3L EB in a Fusion Sport while the MKZ gets the 2.3L EB and 2.7L EB.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722

    @akirby said: My guess is we'll see the 2.3L EB in a Fusion Sport while the MKZ gets the 2.3L EB and 2.7L EB.

    2.7 sounds like it could be a good fit in the Explorer.

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