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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    They are probably all gearing up to go to the Chicago Auto Show next month, before they head off to spring training. I might be able to get to the Chicago show because of a business trip. Been a few years since I was there. I'm looking forward to seeing the all-new 2011 Sonata and the Kizashi and Legacy, as well as actually being able to sit in the 2010 Fusion and Milan (last year at the Twin Cities Auto Show they were locked up tight). There's a few other new vehicles I want to see, but they're not mid-sized sedans. I am wondering if Kia will have the all-new 2011 Optima there, at least on a turntable.

    If I miss the Chicago show, I'll have to wait for the smaller Twin Cities show in March. :(
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    I go to the Chicago show just about every year. Have been getting in free for the past 30 years(when I've been home) with my military ID but now that I've retired I have to pay but it's no big deal...I think it's 11 bucks this year. I've got a list of both midsize cars and others that I'm particularly interested in checking out.

    '11 Sonata
    '10 Kizashi
    '11 Regal
    '10 CC
    '10 Legacy
    '11 Cruze
    '11 Sorento
    `11 Mustang
    '11 Optima if displayed
    '11 Tucson

    There are others but I actually take a list with me now because in the past I would come home and realize that I completely missed a vehicle that I really wanted to see because I was going to double back to it or something.

    Side note. I had my 07 Mazda6 I4 in for an oil change last week and next door is a Suzuki dealer, actually it's owned by the same dealer. I sat in a Kizashi in the showroom. Everything was as expected from what I've read as to interior quality being pretty good but a couple of things I didn't like. 1. The Suzuki "S" on the front grill is enormous(some might say gaudy). 2. The center armrest sits too far back(for me) to rest on it and reach the wheel which I like to do on longer drives. Yes, I had the wheel telescoped back as far as it would go for those wondering. 3. I like big side outside mirrors but these are even bigger than I would prefer but they do swivel which is a good thing. Overall, pretty good looking vehicle and sized nicely. Love the little raised edge on the rear trunk lid and stance of the car looks good. Hope they have an uplevel version at the auto show with leather/nav setup so can see what that's like. I'm still torn on CVTs though.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    I forgot about the Regal, I'll have to check that out to see how the General is progressing. Gotta see the Cruze and Focus and Fiesta and Golf and Forte and other small cars too, and the Tucson and Equinox.

    Re the mirrors on the Kizashi... the review I read in Automobile Magazine noted those also, but said something like, better get used to mirrors like that. Apparently there are some new regs re mirrors that will force them to be larger from now on.

    One advantage of the Twin Cities' auto show is, it's so small it's pretty hard to miss anything, even w/o a list. I can circumnavigate the whole showfloor in about 2 hours, depending on how many vehicles I linger at.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    The Focus is on my list too, an oversight. Not too interested in the Fiesta as an actual consideration but will certainly look at it. It's just too small for me. The interior of the Forte just doesn't do it for me.

    Those Kizashi mirrors. The actual glass mirror part was not really too big but it seemed like the housing was huge....like they could have made it a little smaller fit to the mirror. Take a look, let us know what you think.

    I usually take the train downtown from my burb and spend about 6-7 hours at the show which includes lunch(love paying $20 for a burger, fries, Coke don't ya know).
    Even though I spend that much time I can still miss something. The show is so huge with all the extraneous stuff that I find myself wondering through......almost broke down for a Vegimatic but regained my senses.
  • I forgot about the Regal, I'll have to check that out to see how the General is progressing. Gotta see the Cruze and Focus and Fiesta and Golf and Forte and other small cars too, and the Tucson and Equinox.

    The Regal looked nice in "GS" trim in Detroit. I think its getting really hard to stand out in the midsize sedan category; you basically need something reliable with a lot of amenities to come to the party, and then if you have a high horsepower version or high MPG version, that differentiates you a little. The Regal looks credible but not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    The Cruze (which is already on sale elsewhere) didn't seem too exciting in terms of styling or interior. It was more like a "this is the new Cobalt which was the new Cavalier" kind of thing. I don't think the current Focus is much to write home about either, but the Corolla is also boredom on wheels, so I don't know what to expect from the segment. I think the Civic walks away there (especially the SI). I think the next generation Focus (which was on display in the D) looks fantastic (although it reminds me a lot of the pre-grinning Mazda3 alot).

    I don't know, I didn't see anything that made me want to run out and mortgage the kids to get, which might just be a sign of the times. Oh well, its cheaper not to make changes anyway I suppose.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Does anybody know when car show in Chicago starts/ends?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,734
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    I was referring to the new Focus. There was a big story on Ford's new small cars in my local paper today. The question is, will the American car buying public go for them? They look like good small cars, but here's the catch: according to this article, the new Focus will top out at about $30k in US-spec, and the Festiva will start at about $14k and top out at about $20k. I don't know about others, but I see BIG problems for Ford if these prices are accurate. This would mean the new Focus will actually cost MORE than the Fusion, which is a fine car with really good fuel economy, and much roomier than the Focus (and Americans like room in their cars for their big bu...uh.... families!). Consider also there's all kinds of good small cars out there that cost a LOT less than $20-30k. Will the Focus be THAT much better?

    Anyway, looks like these new small cars will be a major test of Ford's "global car" strategy. I wonder if the next-gen Fusion will be a "global car" also... and cost, what, $35k???
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    I just have to believe your local paper got it wrong. I can't see the Focus approaching 30k. That may be what the cost would be if you took the European prices and switched to dollars but Ford would be crazy to try to price them that high IMO.
  • They look like good small cars, but here's the catch: according to this article, the new Focus will top out at about $30k in US-spec, and the Festiva will start at about $14k and top out at about $20k. I don't know about others, but I see BIG problems for Ford if these prices are accurate.

    I heard they were talking about a technology pkg and a driver's pkg, so if you want things like navigation, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and the stuff you usually find on premium vehicles and typically isn't even offered in this segment, than yeah, that is a pretty pricey Focus (similar to the Prius with and without those features).

    For the model and features comparable with other vehicles in the segment, pricing will be inline.

    The Fiesta starts about where the Fit does and tops out about where the Fit does, well below the Mini, and considerably above the Yaris and Accent. Are you buying the car because its the cheapest new one available, or because you want a small fuel efficient vehicle that doesn't make you feel like you're in a penalty box?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    People are used to paying premium prices for Hondas. Not so much for Fords. That's why for example you see Fusion SEs advertised for $17k. You never see comparably-equipped Accords for that kind of price. People are also used to seeing Foci priced starting at $11k (sale prices). It will be quite a shock to see a stripped Festiva for $14k and Focus for much more. They will be better cars than the current Focus, but I think it will take some time for buyers to wake up to that fact. Meanwhile, Ford will need to raise prices on the Fusion or be in the tough position of trying to sell their new compact for more than their mid-sized car.
  • People are used to paying premium prices for Hondas.

    We will see I guess.

    That's why for example you see Fusion SEs advertised for $17k. You never see comparably-equipped Accords for that kind of price.

    My '07 Accord EX was cheaper then I could get a Fusion SEL at the time, about 19k.

    People are also used to seeing Foci priced starting at $11k (sale prices). It will be quite a shock to see a stripped Festiva for $14k and Focus for much more.

    I think the only companies that still offer "stripped" vehicles are Toyota and Hyundai. Can you get crank windows on a Civic? Or an Accord?

    They will be better cars than the current Focus, but I think it will take some time for buyers to wake up to that fact.

    Yup, I guess we will see how that rolls. When the Flex came out, it was too expensive for the market at the time and it seems like there were painful adjustments.

    Meanwhile, Ford will need to raise prices on the Fusion or be in the tough position of trying to sell their new compact for more than their mid-sized car.

    1. I bet the next gen Fusion (the European/American one) will be a little pricier than current.
    2. People are getting away from size = $$, a Fit and a Civic are about the same price, a Focus and a Fusion aren't too far apart now (at least at the lower end of the Fusions)

    I don't think your concerns are unfounded, but I think the "Premium" version will be expensive while the "pedestrian" version will be less-so. It just depends on if you want to see Avatar in 3D or not.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,013
    Honda and Toyota don't even get near the premium pricing they used to. Its easy to get a well equipped camry LE for under $20K and often with discounted or zero financing as well. That's probably why the imports are getting chintzier. People talk about being willing to pay a premium for features and quality, but too often its just talk. No different than the airlines. American used to have much more room and comfort in coach thanUnited or Delta, but it didn't attract much business. People said they wanted it, then booked the cheapest fare. A lot of the passengers sitting in United economy Plus ended up just getting the seat assigned rather than paying the higher fare as well.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Is the Fiesta being mistakenly called Festiva or is Ford bringing that back too?

    WRT the future, still not quite midsize?, Focus pricing:
    The new Focus, for instance, will be offered with rain-sensing wipers, a parallel-parking system, a blind-spot warning system, a backup camera, ambient lighting, push-button ignition, a stitched dashboard, and a sophisticated navigation system. Jim Hughes says that pricing will be held close to the current car’s $17,570 base price when it goes on sale. However, we can see a Focus easily creeping into the mid-to-high-$20K bracket by the time many of the desirable options are added.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q1/2012_ford_focus-auto_shows
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    Sorry, it is Fiesta.

    As for rain-sensing wipers yada yada... I can sense rain and parallel park my own car pretty darn well. Push-button ignition is a useless gimmick, IMO. Stitched dashboard? I suppose for all the times I run my hands over my dashboard, that would be nice. Too bad they can't design a car these days with good sightlines so we don't need backup cameras and blind-spot warning systems. A good nav system starts around $100.

    I guess the base model will be fine for me. Maybe there'll be lots of folks who will shell out the big bucks for the loaded-up Foci with ambient lighting etc. I won't be one of them. Just make the car reasonably priced, reliable, safe, fun to drive, roomy, comfortable seats, good balance of ride and handling, excellent fuel economy... you know, all those "car" things that we sometimes forget about in search of the perfectly stitched dashboard... and I'll take a good look at it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    Let me know when you find a new $17k Accord LX-P. ;)

    You can get crank windows on a Civic, also on a Focus, right? The only reason you can get crank windows on a Hyundai in the US is because they choose to sell a low-end subcompact model here, which Ford does not. Yet.

    From the pricing I see at Edmunds.com, there's about a $3000-4000 price difference between the Focus and Fusion, at least at the lower end i.e. S and SE levels. About a $2000 price difference between comparably-equipped Fit and Civic.
  • :surprise: I saw the LaCrosse at the local Buick showroom. Boy was I disappointed. It is not bad looking on the outside. It looks like La Crosse between my Mazda6 and the Lexus ES350. But wait till you get in the inside. Yikes !!! It is the Most claustrophobic car that I have sat inside of. The front A pillars are Over 6 inches wide, only the A pillars on a Toyota, FJ Cruiser are thicker. You can miss a whole pedestrian in a crosswalk with that Huge blind spot. The front windshield is a small slit that you are looking through and the side windows are at you neck level , the back view is not much better. And I was surprised that they offer step rails as an option like a SUV, that is the first time I have seen that offered on a sedan.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,708
    You want worse, shoot, look at the new Honda that just came out. It's like driving a van there's such poor visibility out the rear. It's unfortunately the trend now - to make cars that are like this.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    I have the same concern about the 2011 Sonata. The 2006-10 model has a big greenhouse and good visibility. The 2011 has much narrower windows. I am wondering how claustrophobic it will feel, and what the sightlines will be be like.

    Swoopy styling is fun, but I hope car designers don't forget we have to DRIVE the darn things.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Maybe there'll be lots of folks who will shell out the big bucks for the loaded-up Foci with ambient lighting etc. I won't be one of them.

    Yes, same here. The base models of most midsize cars are "loaded" by my standards (A/C, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, some kind of radio with a few speakers, tilt/telescoping wheel, adjustable seat height). Though I did go for the $500 higher "sport value" Mazda6 a few years ago, mostly to get some appearance things that I liked, but then I found that really liked having the steering wheel audio controls and I don't think I'll want to give up that luxury in the future.
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