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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • Thank you, exactly what I'm talking about, with many of the other cars in this group, you don't have the time to "want to lift off the throttle"

    Now, I certainly don't think the Fusion is slow when you get the V6. The DT30 may not like to rev high, but that 6-speed automatic is pretty good for a slushbox, and it makes up for it (I've always like Aisin-built trannys, had one in a Cherokee that was bulletproof). Once out of first gear, the transmission kept the motor on the boil. As I mentioned, it just didn't seem very "refined" (see previous definition) when doing so. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd prefer that it be smoother as opposed to more eager to rev, because overall not that slow of a car. 7.2 seconds?

    Most V6's these days are quicker. The Mazda6 with the same motor and equipped with a manual isn't quicker because it only has 5 speeds versus 6 in the Auto. Some of the faster four cylinders in this class (Accord, Altima) can keep up when equipped with manuals. Decent performance.

    Can't really use much more than that around here. My wife wants a new Mustang GT. I drove one for a couple of days last year. This was the drill: gas it in first to get going good, short-shift, give it some gas in second. You're now going 10-15 mph over the speed limit. Shift to 5th. ;) Otherwise, I'd get in a lot of trouble. Insurance was too high on it to begin with.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    The parallel you draw to reground cams with lumpy idles is a pretty good analogy to the high end cam profiles. It basically improves high end breathing, but does so without affect the low end torque and drivablilty.
    The original VTEC of the early 90s was variable cam timing, while later versions also affected lift (there is a component on the roller). I believe they can now do duration as well (i-vtec). Toyota skipped the early versions and showed up late with timing, duration and lift.
    Remarkably, the next leap might be GM with getting rid of the cam altogether.
    Again, the parallel to the lumpy cams is also seen in the aftermarket as a number of companies make "vtec controllers" that vary the rpms where they activate, etc.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    The Mazda6 with the same motor and equipped with a manual isn't quicker because it only has 5 speeds versus 6 in the Auto.

    Have any 0-60 times to back that up?

    I've driven the manual (my personal ride) and auto-equipped (test drives) V6-model 6's, and I can tell you firsthand, the manual will beat it out of the gate every time, as long as the person behind the wheel knows how to properly operate three-pedaled cars. The auto is a 6-speed simply for better fuel economy (actually better than the manual on the highway, IIRC, according to the EPA.)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Most V6's these days are quicker. The Mazda6 with the same motor and equipped with a manual isn't quicker because it only has 5 speeds versus 6 in the Auto.

    The number of gears isn't the issue, its the final drive ratio and the individual gear ratios, as well as top speed in gears. Manual transmission cars that are geared super short are slower because they have to be in 3rd to hit 60, while some of the taller cars can do 60 in 2nd.
    The time to shift is a factor here (I know don't get started on DSGs and what not, take it to the manual trans forum).
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I didn't say the Fusion or the 6 were slow, acceleration is a function of HP and at 200+ HP they both will be reasonably quick although slower than most of the other V6 cars in this group. If the Fusion, for example, is going to get to 60 in 7 seconds, it's more about how it feels and sounds when you ask it to really do it. Manuals will almost always be quicker and more economical than autos simply because there are less mechanical losses. More speeds in the tranny is fashionable right now but is more likely to improve FE than improve acceleration, it kinda depends on how the gear ratios are matched to the operating characteristics of the engine and how wide the engine's torque curve is. The bigger Avalon 5 speed is every bit as quick as the 6 speed Camry and the FE ratings are also the same, somewhat a testimony to the flexibility of the engine they now share.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    how about -
    refined = a car that is a pleasure to push a little
    or
    unrefined = a car that 'screams' in protest when you do.

    Yes, the better V6s are generally found with those labels on it you don't like or maybe you would consider taking a new Aura XR out on a test drive. :)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    how about -
    refined = a car that is a pleasure to push a little
    or
    unrefined = a car that 'screams' in protest when you do.


    By push do you mean push the gas? Or is there some element of how it corners in there too? Does interior accommodations play any role in that?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    yes that's exactly what I mean, and certainly 'refinement' issues extend beyond the engine compartment and into places like vehicle balance, braking systems and suspension designs - that last one being a place where the Fusion and the 6 both do very well.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Refined = Improvement of form or function, through redesigning, retooling, or reconfigureing.

    Unrefined = Crude, rough, unsatisfying, not pleasing.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Unrefined = Crude, rough, unsatisfying, not pleasing.

    Displeasing or unsatisfying is a subjective connotation. I think the Accord felt more "refined" than the Legacy but wasn't as fun to drive. The Subie shakes when you turn it on (not like a vibration but you can feel the torque of the starter as the car kicks over) and it makes engine noises when you floor it or rev it.
    The Honda's handling is also "more refined" in that it pretty much understeers no matter what. The Subie will under or oversteer depending on where your foot is.
  • I left the BMW/MB/Audi/Opel/etc. off because of availability or price. No point in comparing the power train in a $45-75K cart with those in the $20K arena.
    I have been watching the American LeMans Series and am stunned by the performance and dominance of the Audi TDI. A turbo-diesel is blowing the rest of the field off the courses.
    Maybe next decade we will all be driving Diesel/Hybrids.
  • Have any 0-60 times to back that up? ...I can tell you firsthand, the manual will beat it out of the gate every time"

    mz6greyghost and lilengineerboy,

    Fusion V6 6A is just over 7 seconds to 60, correct? I'd assume the Mazda6 V6 6A would be pretty much the same (basically same chassis, motor and transmission, roughly the same weight). Now the Mazda6 V6 5M doesn't break into the 6's does it? I've always read they are in the low 7's.

    I found this on Consumer Guide, regarding the 2006 models: "The i versions are acceptably peppy with manual transmission, sluggish with automatic. V6s lively, but need high rpm for maximum punch. Test manual s sedan did 7.5 sec 0-60 mph." Even if you can flog one barely under 7, that's still not really much faster than the 6A at just over 7. We're talking 10ths of a second.

    I could be wrong. My 1998 626 ES-V6 was good for 7.2 0-60. It only had 170hp (by the old standards) but was light by todays standards and geared very, very low (5th gear at 80mph was 4,000 RPM!). I miss that car... The Mazda6 added horsepower, but also several hundred pounds, and isn't geared that low.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    Now the Mazda6 V6 5M doesn't break into the 6's does it? I've always read they are in the low 7's.


    It used to when the V6 produced 220 HP. C&D clocked their long term V6 MTX at 6.4 seconds. The latest iteration of the 6 with V6 has fewer horses than those of the first year or two though. I don't know what the current time is to 60 with the slightly de-powered engine.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    I've heard that it's not so much "de-powered" as just using different metrics to measure power - specifically using SAE standards.

    To those who keep calling the Mazda 6 engine "antiquated", "rough", and "thrashy", perhaps the less-exagerated way of putting it is "not as smooth" or "not as quiet" or "not as efficient" as some other engines in this class. Remember, this engine/car continues to garner awards like most desired by editors of Edmunds in 2007, sportiest car by consumers digest in 2007, and one of the most desireable cars in Esquire magazine for 2006. Given these awards, it can't be as bad as you describe... As an analogy, since the Accord is slightly behind the Sonata in JD Powers reliablity reports, perhaps you'd say the Accord is junk? I'd say that this is also an exageration that doesn't stand to reason. Ok, the 6's engine isn't the best, the newest, the quietest, the most efficient, or even the most desireable... but it's still a good enough engine that propels the Mazda 6 to garner a great deal of respect by many auto journalists (who arguably are some of the most passionate people when it comes to cars...after all they have dedicated their livelihoods to that passion!).

    As a sidenote, I've spent quite a bit of time with the Subaru boxter engine. With a turbo, that thing makes the legacy exhilarating. But since it's relatively quiet on the inside, it hides how clackity that engine is. Perhaps because the older 6's (I think the 06's and newer are a bit quieter than my 05) didn't have as much sound deadening material as the legacy, it makes the duratec sound less refined than others because you can hear more of it. Personally, I find reving the 6's engine up quite rewarding and not at all objectionable... so to each, their own.

    As to the 2.3 engine that the 6 has, Motor trend described that engine as follows: "Mazda's four-cylinder version of the 6--the i--is a willing partner on these curvy roads: a free-revving 2.3-liter, 160-horsepower inline-four joined to a snicky five-speed manual and a driver-focused cockpit, all wrapped in far-spicier-than-vanilla bodywork.... Like its Camry and Accord competitors, the 6i is no rocket off the line, but once the tach tops 3000 rpm, the DOHC powerplant comes on strong, delivering an enthusiastic pull. The standard five-speed manual is one of the most positive shifters around, though we long for another cog. And, yes, you can heel/toe downshift in this family car.

    The 6 is a joy on curvy roads, quickly taking a set with minimal understeer and negligible bump steer--not something you expect to find in the four-cylinder midsize-sedan category. Mazda thoughtfully includes grippy and supportive bucket seats in the open-feeling interior, which is designed with large, strategically placed knobs, dials, and switches."

    So yeah, the 6's engines aren't class leaders. But they don't deserve to be dogged either. In the end, they are solid components that don't detract from those who value a vehicle that is both comfortable and fun.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 211
    I have often read about how the MZ6 has "only" 220 hp. My how times have changed. When the Taurus SHO came out in 1989 it had 220 hp and was lauded as an extremely fast sedan; 140 mph top speed. Now almost any sedan can be had with more than 220 hp. Where are we using all this extra horsepower? With gas prices being where they are, it would seem that increased gas mileage would be more important than winning the hp wars.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Yes, they apparently have. The version used in the Fusion and the Mazda 6 makes more horses and torque than the earlier 3.0 liter version of the engine used in the Ford Escape when it initially hit the market. My daughter had one. I've also ridden in one of the new ford vehicles with the 3.5 Duratec. Performance seemed quite good, and, I noticed no undue NHV when the owner got on it a bit. Do you honestly think that Ford's Premier Automotive Group, Mazda, and domestic Ford aren't sharing engineering info on ways to improve their offerings to the marketplace?

    Regards:
    OldCEM
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The thing is, many of the high-horsepower cars are getting some of the best mileage estimates (compare the Altima 4-cylinder to the rest of the 4-cylinder class, it has best economy AND acceleration.) The Camry V6 is the same way.

    Awkwardly however, the vehicles that are lower on power also seem to offer less fuel economy, with the exception of the GM 3.5L pushrod, which does quite well for an engine of its size economywise, although power is only modest.
  • exshomanexshoman Posts: 109
    Very well said. Although we ended up buying an '06 5 speed accord, we thought the Mazda was a really nice car, and would have been happy to own one.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    There are other exceptions as well. Chrysler's 2.7 and 3.5 V6 engines get exceptional fuel economy as well. I've owned both sizes and used them for business travel. My last two, both Sebring 2.7 sedans, consistently got 30 - 32 MPG running 75 on interstates. I also have owned a Dodge intrepid 2.7 and a Chrysler LHS with the 3.5 - both got exceptional mileage for as big as they were. I've also owned 2 Accords, both 4 bangers with manuals, and, neither of them delivered the fuel economy that the Chryslers do. My all - time fuel economy champ remains a 1975 Oldsmobile Starfire with a 3.8 V6 with a two barrel and a 3 speed automatic. The car consistently gave me 38+ MPG. Think [non-permissible content removed] cars are reliable - the Olds went over 250K, and, didn't die until a guy ran a red light and totaled it.

    Regards:
    OldCEM
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Do you honestly think that Ford's Premier Automotive Group, Mazda, and domestic Ford aren't sharing engineering info on ways to improve their offerings to the marketplace?

    When will these improvements be realized in the Fusion? When the competition is yet another two or three steps ahead of them.

    I've also ridden in one of the new ford vehicles with the 3.5 Duratec. Performance seemed quite good, and, I noticed no undue NHV when the owner got on it a bit.

    How does the performance of the 3.5 Duratec make the 3.0 Duratec better?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Odd that you got poor mileage in your Accords. I get 38-40 MPG on strictly highway in my 2006 Accord, and that's with an automatic at 70 MPH. The old one, a 1996, will return 31 MPG at that speed, with A/C. Not bad for a 4-speed that turns 2,800 RPM at 70 MPH.

    We have had to Chryslers, one with a 2.4L 4-cyl (Sebring) and one with the 2.7L. Both cars had transmission issues (refusing to back up on many occasions), and the second one (2.4L) had suspension issues that confused the dealer for 4 months. A horrible creaking/groaning that they heard but could never find. My family traded the car with 35k miles, since the warrany was about to expire and we knew we'd be upside down in repair bills soon after that occurred. I remember the 2.4L was pathetically powered for that car, with something between 11 and 12 seconds to 60 MPH. The Sebring convertible is a HEAVY car. I can't say I remember the mileage they returned (these were some years ago).

    And yes, I think "[non-permissible content removed] cars" as you call them are reliable as a whole. My other daily driver is a 1996 Accord LX with 172,000 miles on it. Hasn't left me stranded a day in its life (which started in my family in November of 1995). Pretty reliable to me. So was my granddad's 260k mile Civic which he sold for $1,000. Not saying other cars aren't reliable though, just that our "[non-permissible content removed] cars" have been the epitomy of reliable transportation, and that I've seen no evidence that tells me my Accord should be any different.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    My other daily driver is a 1996 Accord LX with 172,000 miles on it. Hasn't left me stranded a day in its life (which started in my family in November of 1995)

    Yeah we got a raw deal. The Accord displaced the previous record holder ('83 Reliant) for most times on a hook, and it still doesn't have the miles yours does.

    The new "world" 2.4 seems pretty cool, the Hyundai/Mitsu/DC motor looks cool. I would hardly consider that domestic though, being a Japanese company, a Korean company, and a German company.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Thanks for your impressions of the 2.3, benderofbows. I did not really drive the Mazda6 with Ford's V6 enough to form much of an impression of it. If you had put the 2.3 in the "unrefined" category, then I'd have had to discount your impression of the V6, since I am happy with the 4 (I would not mind more torque off the line, of course).

    The ford V6 I have driven is the old 3.8L, in our Windstar. Now that engine really makes you worry when it revs. OTOH, these "antiquated" pushrod engines seem to generate lots of low end torque...225 ft-lbs at only 3000 rpm in that 3.8L, which is also satisfying in its own way.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    had the experience to drive a new ML320 CDI recently, close to 5000 lbs of SUV. No diesel clatter or other associated ill behavior and the thing 'felt' quick, and indeed is considering the vehicle weight. A rather unusual amount of compression braking though when you let off the gas. Owner was reporting high 20s mpg in strictly big city driving.
    Remarkable drivetrain that is now available in a mid size 'E', expensive as it may be. Honda is reportedly also working on a 'clean' diesel, but I agree the diesel and/or the diesel hybrid may be where we are heading.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    as being illustrated by many of these new V6s - with the increased efficiencies (HP) also comes the increased FE. The two seem to go together. The Toyota 2GR-FS, which I have argued is the most advanced in this group, was originally rated at 280HP (pre the 06 SAE changes) - added 500cc of displacement, some torque, about 80 HP, and a coupla three mpg. From Toyota's standpoint, if they can produce something that wins both the HP and FE 'wars' they would be foolish not to - because both SELL. Besides which, for those folks that put a high priority on FE, the 4 bangers and the hybrids are available. A can't lose situation for the auto buyer?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    but was light by todays standards and geared very, very low (5th gear at 80mph was 4,000 RPM!).
    the weight would be the thing - but 4000 rpm for 80? 4 banger territory these days and would be actually be high for any of the V6s in this group. My 2GR Toyota with a 5 speed auto is at 2700 for 80 mph and would suggest to you that some of those 'old' 3.8s are turning even less than that.
  • altestaltest Posts: 79
    " I get 38-40 MPG on strictly highway in my 2006 Accord, and that's with an automatic at 70 MPH."

    Wow... that's more than what I get. What's the key? Weather? Tires? The way you drive?

    Enjoy the great mileage :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The key word there is "Strictly" highway. That means, I fill up at a gas station along the interstate (my usual trips put me on I-65), and fill up within a couple of miles of getting off the interstate. Once I hit my steady speed (70-75 MPG typically), I usually go the ENTIRE trip without ever summoning a downshift, so revs stay at a constant 2,400 or so. These trips were in cooler months with no A/C as well, and never more than two of us in the car. A/C seems to knock 1 MPG off of my regular numbers.

    So, conditions were very conducive to excellent mileage. My typical mileage on my regular route is 29-30 MPG, with 14 miles of interstate, 12 miles of two-lane/four-lane streets. Conservative acceleration is common (rarely topping 3,500 RPM except when I want a grin :)). My dad had a car similar to mine (a 2005 version of the same car), and drove much more aggressively, and in return, averaged about 5 MPG less than I would get on trips. He is constantly summoning a downshift to pass or accelerate, though. Driving style is HUGE in mileage.

    I'm planning a trip to Oklahoma again soon, and will report on the mileage I get on that 1,500 mile trip. It'll be hot (May) and the car will be loaded.
  • "The ford V6 I have driven is the old 3.8L, in our Windstar. Now that engine really makes you worry when it revs. OTOH, these "antiquated" pushrod engines seem to generate lots of low end torque...225 ft-lbs at only 3000 rpm in that 3.8L, which is also satisfying in its own way."

    That's the same engine I had in my '93 Sable two cars before my '07 3.5 SE--had traded it in on an '04 VW NB TDI. It had 140 HP, same as the 3.slow as someone called it, but its torque was wonderful--it never sounded or felt strained, simply jumped ahead whenever I needed the extra go. Just proves that because time goes by, things don't automatically improve. Ford dropped its availability in the redesigned '96-forward Taurus and made do with two 3.slows--they both had to scream and rev for even the least increase in speed because they had no torque available. No wonder Taurus became the King of Rentals from then on...
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    I've heard that it's not so much "de-powered" as just using different metrics to measure power - specifically using SAE standards.

    That could very well be the case too. It would certainly explain why C&D has not done a performance test on the 6 since 2004 IMO. Why re-test if nothing really changed?
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