Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Midsize Sedans 2.0

17807817837857861064

Comments

  • Nearly fell over backwards when a friend of mine who sells F--ds called me to tell me that they'd picked up a 2009 Optima LX with 1,875 miles. He knows I've been watching for an Optima for some time now.

    Will check this one out next week after the Holiday fracas is behind me.

    The price is high, as expected. A fast visual lookover showed no blemishes on the finish and the Carfax is clean. They're asking $14,800 for it, which I think is well above KBB and NADA retail for a clean one.

    Also came across another low miler 2008 with 16K on the clock. This one is not too far away so it's on the list to be checked out as well. This one is at a F---d dealer as well.

    Just missed an '09 with 13K, clean Carfax, private owner trade to a Cadillac/Chevy dealer. That was priced at $12,700.

    Since I live in the middle of autoland, these unusual cars do pop up from time to time. The only problem is that they usually sell quickly.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Sounds like the Ford dealers are doing well if they have nearly new used cars on the lots. Good news for Ford!
    When I hear Mike Roe tell the lady after asking if its wrong to bring a camry to a Ford dealer, and he says not if you leave it behind, I LOL. Thats exactly what we did, and haven't looked back since getting our 2010 Fusion Sport, that now has 29K troublefree miles on it. Its a keeper, sorry Toyota, your cars just didn't cut it for us!
  • maryshmarysh Posts: 6
    I am trying to help my sister to buy a new family sedan and have had a really hard time to decide which one to buy. What she needs is a reliable car with good gas mileage and rides smoothly and can accommodate 2 adults and 2 little kids (with two car seats). She does not care about top performance or luxury accessories.
    We have been buying Toyota Camry for years. However, recent Camry owner experiences have not been very satisfactory. Both 2007 Camry LE I have and 2010 Camry LE she has was having this hesitation problem. The problem was more pronounced when the car was new and seems getting better with aging. So we are reluctant to buy another Camry. I read through the consumer report and Edmonds reviews. It seems to me that the top rated family sedans with good reliability are Nissan Altima and Honda Accord. However, Owner of these two cars also seem having various problem from reading the poster here. So I am not sure what the best car is for our intended purpose. Since we have never own these two cars before and don’t know how they compared to Camry in terms of driving experience and reliability. Any of your input on these two cars would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much for your help!
  • You should also have her look at the Fusion, Sonata, Optima, and Malibu.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    edited January 2011
    I second that suggestion. As recently as five years ago it would have made sense to narrow it down to the Accord, Altima, and Camry based on the reputations of their manufacturers alone. But Ford, GM, and Hyundai/Kia have made enormous improvements in both the reliability and the assembly quality of their midsize sedans.

    Some folks here would go so far as to say that none of the three you have listed belong in the "top three" today. Honda, Toyota and Nissan have stood still while the rest of the major manufacturers have not.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,154
    sounds like you were talking about me. I would not consider the Accord at all (and I have a 2005), don't like the Altima with the CVT, and would only give the Camry SE a look.

    Fusion, Sonata and potentially the Optima (have not seen it yet) are the new top IMO. Malibu is OK if cheap overrides all else.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    Fusion, Sonata and potentially the Optima (have not seen it yet) are the new top IMO. Malibu is OK if cheap overrides all else.

    I agree - also as a previous Accord owner - amazing how Honda has gotten big and flabby and Toyota has slipped badly, while Hyundai and Ford are coming on really strong.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Since "rides smoothly" is one of the top criteria, I think the Camry is a good bet--perhaps the smoothest ride in the class. Also reliable with good fuel economy (with the I4). But also be sure to check out the Ford Fusion, which also has a smooth ride but better handling than the Camry, and it is also reliable and has good fuel economy.

    The other sedans mentioned by others are good as well, but IMO do not have as smooth a ride as the Camry, or Fusion. The Legacy also has a smooth ride, and the advantage of all wheel drive--rare in this class.

    P.S. The Mercury Milan is a twin of the Fusion, and you may be able to find a good deal on one since it has been discontinued.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 417
    edited January 2011
    The Camry seems to be almost in it's own class in terms of how it drives. Personally, I'd suggest your sister try at a minimum the Ford Fusion and the Hyundai Sonata in addition to the Camry. Personally, I still think the Honda Accord is a very good car and should be on your list as well. It's just not as good as it once was due to a combination of the competition getting better and the Accord being a bit complacent and making odd styling choices.

    For my money, the Honda interior is miles ahead of the Camry, but the ride is not as floaty or isolating and your sister might put more of a premium there.

    So: Camry - Ford Fusion - Hyundai Sonata - Honda Accord

    Try them and see what she prefers.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    edited January 2011
    My sister faced a similar problem a couple of years ago. She chose a Honda, which is fine, but the fact is that all of these basic sedans are pretty much interchangeable at this point. It leads to the following list:

    Accord/Camry/Altima/Mazda 5/Fusion/Sonata/Malibu

    All work very well but all are pretty much bland, soulless jellybeans. I'd really recommend something else that is designed for four people and is a bit sportier. Or perhaps a small mini-SUV like a RAV4.(trade a bit of comfort for bad weather performance)

    I was going to recommend a CPO LaCrosse CXS because it's about $15K, reliable, and is far better than a basic 4 cylinder car(any of the above on that list), but there's an even better option, IMO. A 2009 Pontiac G8. It is quite honestly the 2nd best car that GM makes worldwide(it's still made in Australia, where it out-sells everything else including imports) after the CTS. Great handling, good styling that doesn't look like every other car out there, and very nice inside - it's designed for four adults, pretty much. It's a real shame that GM decided to stop importing it, because it gave us a taste of what the rest of the world drives. But that means the used prices are really absurdly low as most people think that it' a "Pontiac" instead of a re-badged Holden (ie - truly dead vs still made today)

    Note - they are getting hard to find lately, as people are buying them up and not reselling them. I'd rather drive one of these 1-2 years old vs a new Accord. No contest.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    My sister faced a similar problem a couple of years ago. She chose a Honda, which is fine, but the fact is that all of these basic sedans are pretty much interchangeable at this point. It leads to the following list:

    Accord/Camry/Altima/Mazda 5/Fusion/Sonata/Malibu


    I think you mean the Mazda 6, not the Mazda 5, which is a micro-minivan.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Yeah - my bad. Basically everyone makes a midsize sedan. And they all are like flavors of grocery store generic ice cream. Decent enough, but bland and unsatisfying compared to the real name brands.

    Nobody that I have ever run across has regretted buying a CPO upscale sedan over a budget new one. Why *not* get leather, a better engine, maybe a sunroof, and so on for the price of a base model car?

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=c&car_id=290626271
    This is typical - and a good deal. It even has the bench seat, which makes the interior feel much larger up front (and seats 6 in a pinch)

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=c&car_id=292126446
    Another example. Mid-trim model.

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=c&car_id=290692960
    Or get this - $20K for a fully loaded TSX. It's technically a "midsize sedan"(though a very very nice one :) ) It's got a few miles on it, but that's no issue, really. 50K isn't much for a Honda.
  • As a former Camry and present Accord owner (only used as an infrequently driven 2nd car) I totally agree with Plekto. The Japanese designers played it safe and designed white bread sedans since 2002. So, in 2004, after realizing that a fully loaded Toyota Camry would require a kidney donation, I switched out and purchased a new 2004 Optima EX V6. Standard features included leather, sunroof, etc for $17,500, $10k less than the Camry. The Optima was not cool looking, but the ride, reliability and features made it stand out.

    I NEVER thought I would purchase another KIA—I was on point to purchase a CPO 2008/09 Lexus ES 350. Recently, I purchased a 2011 Optima EX with the Premium package. Which features do I love the most? The Blue tooth, panoramic sunroof, cooled/heated seats, red driver angled display, super smooth ride, lumbar support and the crazy, mean looking black grill.

    Peter S. and the KIA design team dialed up the heat and produced the best looking sedan on the road. Hands down. Accord/Camry/Altima/Mazda 6/Fusion/Sonata/Malibu – all these losers should come hard or go home.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    Hmm, which cars sell more -- Kia or all those other "losers"? Guess not everyone agrees with you. The Altima by the way is a very nice car. I borrowed one while my Maxima was in the shop and was surprised at how nice it is. Drove it on both freeways and in the country roads. I have two or three friends who have them and love them. Great on gas mileage too -- how does that G8 do? And a Toyota Camry hardly costs "a kidney donation" (which by the way would be FREE since it's illegal to sell them).
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The G8 does quite well, actually. GM builds some of the best cars on the planet. Just not in the U.S. Occasionally we get one from overseas, which is a joy to drive.

    It gets 17/25mpg, which is commendable considering it drives almost exactly the same as 5 series. It's the right size, has great handling (RWD), and has zero jellybean DNA in it. I drove one and it felt great. The manual equipped version is almost as good as a Corvette. Just with 4 doors.

    http://www.holden.com.au/latestoffers/commodore-offers/new-series-ii-sv6-commodo- re?region=National

    It's the #1 selling car in Australia. And something that GM really needs to bring back as a Chevrolet. (note - prices are in AUD and include VAT)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My guess is the Sonata would be the most Camry-like ride, so if that is what you are looking for that would seem to be worth considering. On the reliability issue, I think it is supposed to be pretty good, but just in case, it does have a longer warranty.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I would give the Altima a look as well. Many people here bad mouth the CVT without even having one and while the 1st Gen Nissan introduced did have some problems, the current 2nd Gen CVT has had very few issues plus, if driven correctly you'll be able to get decent mpg out of it, not if you live in the City of course. Plus, if God forbid something was to happen with the CVT, your covered by Nissan now for 10yrs/120k miles.

    I have 10 Max and two family members with Nissan CVTs none of us who have had problems and the mpg I have gotten is really good for the power under the hood.

    Definitely worth a look. Nissan has not stagnated like Honda and Toyota have with their products. As other's have mentioned I would look at the Fusion and Sonata as well. In my opinion, the Altima, Sonata, and Fusion are your best midsize sedans right now.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    17/25 is not my idea of great. the Altima is more in the 30s which is what I'm looking for. And RWD -- no thanks! I live in snow country.

    Sounds like the poster is looking for something Camry like -- which would be soft ride, good gas mileage, and FWD. It may not be your cup of tea but for a large majority that would fit the bill nicely. I think most of the cars people have suggested would be fine.
  • cincyhoyacincyhoya Posts: 10
    edited January 2011
    I drive a 2011 Sonata SE with a 2 year old and 7 month old - at 6'5", I can drive comfortably with a kid behind me which was rare when shopping in this class. Obviously, I'm biased to my choice, but paddle shifters, leather trim, firmer suspension (probably not your sister's choice) and 18" wheels (again, not what you're looking for, but you'll see my point) and experienced 30mpg for $22k was too good to pass up. I'd suspect she'd like the Limited model for around $25k or a nicely trimmed GLS for $21k. Both have softer suspensions and higher profile tire and offer a lot for the $$ (bluetooth, Ipod integration).

    That said, my favorite other car in test drives was the Fusion. I came thisclose to a Sport, but in the end couldn't justify the extra $5-$6k (the 4 cyl. felt under-powered to me - the V6 was outstanding). Depending on how dead set on new vs. used she is, she could pick up a Fusion for a steal and it's a really comfortable and enjoyable ride.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    5mpg difference is not much. A few hundred dollars more in gas per year. But not having to deal with a slushy transmission, mediocre bland interior, handling that rivals a Buick, and styling that screams "rental car" isn't my idea of something worth spending $20K on, new or used.

    I suspect that the vast majority of readers here would agree. The Camry and most of these entry-level mid-size sedans are what you *settle* for when you have no other reasonable choice and just need a car(tm) to get from point A to B.

    Considering it has the same engine as a CTS in it, that's worth a few mpg in my book. For the price of a basic 4 cylinder Camry? Yeah, I can sacrifice a few mpg. :P
Sign In or Register to comment.