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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,708
    It depends. My 1975 Volvo had 4 wheel disc drakes and ~160HP in a ~3000lb package. Safe, reliable, and handled almost as well as a BMW of the era.

    There were some great cars even back then. But just like today, tons and tons of forgettable mediocrity as well. If your car back then sucked, well, it's perhaps because you chose poorly.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Considering how the latest Jetta has been lambasted by critics because of it's lower-rent interior, as well as it's inferior driving experience (both compared to the last-gen Jetta), I have a feeling that VW has indeed created another Camry.

    I'll wait to see one in person, but after seeing what they did to the Jetta, I'm not looking forward to it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    I read some positive comments on the new Jetta, e.g. good handling despite the beam rear suspension, and a solid structure. And it's roomy. So maybe if VW has created another Camry, at least it will be a good-handling Camry. The most laughable thing about the new Jetta is the 115 hp base engine. I would hope VW would be smart enough not to underpower the NMS compared to the competition. I'd expect the 5 cylinder as a base engine, to offer a low starting price, which would be competitive with most other base engines in the class. And the 2.0T and the V6 could be options. And maybe toss in a turbodiesel, which as of now would be a first in the class for the USA. That would help differentiate the NMS from others.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    My 1975 Volvo had 4 wheel disc drakes and ~160HP in a ~3000lb package. Safe, reliable, and handled almost as well as a BMW of the era.

    If your Volvo was reliable, then you were lucky - very, very lucky. (Are you sure that your Volvo wasn't a '65?) My in-laws bought a '76 Volvo - on my recommendation, I regret to say - that caused them no end of trouble & left them stranded several times. Luckily for me, they're good Christians & good sports, & they forgave me a long time ago.

    Let's face facts: if you bought a Euro in the 70s or the early 80s, you were rolling the dice. My '78 VW Rabbit & '80 Audi 5000 were the stuff of really bad jokes, but my parents bought 2 Audis - a '79 5000 & an '82 5000S - & got 15+ years from each of them.

    As I said in a previous post, the less said about the 70s, the better. The Japanese were building the most mechanically reliable cars, but if you lived in a snowbelt municipality where the roads were salted in the winter, you could watch your car's body melt away in a month. The Europeans were the worst; they didn't learn quality control until sometime after 1990, so buying one was like buying a lottery ticket. We Yanks were somewhere in between.

    Again, the 70s marked the low point of the automotive arts, with slow, ugly (remember 5 mph bumpers?) cars of dicey durability. I don't think that anyone who was old enough to drive & buy cars then will argue that point.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    The 5 cylinder is a gas hog. 23 mpg in a car of that size is really not acceptable. VW is in a bind here; they do make world-class, fuel-efficient engines, but they are increasingly complex. The turbocharged & supercharged direct-injection gas engines won't sell here, at least not at the premium in price over the competition.

    That's a big part of the issue; VW does not have purpose-built powertrains for the NA market the way Honda and Toyota do.

    I don't think 115 hp is "laughable" at all, that's OK power in a Corolla-sized car. What's laughable is that this mill has 8 valves and hasn't been updated since the first Clinton administration. It can't compete with the Japanese competition in refinement or fuel economy, which is why it's only offered in the absolute bottom-rung model.

    Maybe the 2.0 turbo will work for mass-market appeal in the new larger sedan, but I've got my doubts. It's a world-class engine in its own right, but once-a-year oil changes and forgetting about the timing belt, the way people do with Toyotas, is not going to work.

    Should be interesting to watch.
    Cheers -Mathias
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    edited January 2011
    I do think 115 hp is laughable when competitors have ~150 hp with highway fuel economy of 35-40 mpg. My 1997 Sentra had 115 hp--and despite light weight and a stick, it was underpowered. That wasn't too bad for 14 years ago, but there have been a few improvements in engine technology since then.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,708
    Yep, Volvos were great back then if you got one with the I-4 or I-6 engine that they used in their military or commercial vehicles(V6 was junk, though). And, of course, there was BMW and Mercedes, which were perfectly fine as well. They did handle and drive as well - and still do by today's standards.

    U.S./Domestic cars generally did suck. Big, heavy, 1940s technology being made to work 30 years past its prime.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Gas hog? The 2.5 in the Jetta gets 27 mpg combined, this is equal to the Mazda3 with a 2.0, 2 mpg better than the Mazda3 with a 2.5 and 2 mpg less than a Civic with 1.8L.

    With regard to the 2.0, while the HP is not competitive, I think the underlying problem is the ancientness of the engine. The reason the HP is low is due to the lower rpm at peak HP, torque is about the same as the competition. I assume the ancient 8 valve engine design is the reason that it is not capable of operating at the higher rpm levels. They need an update.

    That said, an engine that gets 150 HP at, say, 7000 rpm is not necessarily any better in every day driving than one that gets, say, 110 HP at 5000 rpm.

    Unlike my feeling when they first announced plans to build a midsize car in the US, I'm now not too hopeful that the new VW NMS is going to be something that might be of interest someday.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    edited January 2011
    Nearly free gas and big engines got Americans used to powerful engines... which they largely don't use to more than half their potential. You could place an egg under most minivan's accelerator pedals, and there'd be few omelettes.

    Take a look at:

    And then click on "Trendline" to pick a model.
    That's the bottom rung, admittedly.

    The next page shows you the available engines for the German market.
    The lowest is a 1.4 liter with, ahem, 59 kW. That's in the 80-85 hp range. And considered quite driveable in autobahn land.

    The next choices up have 63 and 77 kW -- not a one of them is higher than 115 hp, which is ~ 85 kW. But the gas mileage is fantastic. These are 1.2 l turbo/supercharged marvels that I'd be a little concerned to own anywhere, but certainly in North America. Between the climate and the dealerships, I'd be concerned about longevity.

    So the US market gets the dregs of the parts bin.

    As backy said:
    "That wasn't too bad for 14 years ago, but there have been a few improvements in engine technology since then."

    There have been, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the gasoline engines offered by VW. It's not clear how they're going to get out of this.

    They don't have the variable valve timing, naturally aspirated, torquey 4 cyl engines that the Japanese have perfected. And until gas goes way up, people won't pay for high tech.

    Cheers -Mathias
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,708
    To be honest, the engines develop nice torque figures but only if you have manual. Why? Because you have to rev them to nearly redline to get the listed numbers. The automatic just won't allow for anything over about 1/3 that unless you operate the throttle like an on/off switch. Lift for even a fraction of a second and it'll shift out from under you. VVT helps some, but it won't create decent torque at low rpms out of thin air - you need a turbo or similar to do that.

    In normal operation, you're getting maybe half the listed power. I personally can't stand engines like that. My favorite cars in the past have all had small 6s. (the smallest being a 2.3(awesome engine, btw), but most have been a 3.0 I-6)
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Interesting couple posts you have done. I have a comment though about 8 valve vs 16 valve engines. Fewer valves are actually a torque booster if the engine is designed that way. Maybe i shouldn't say torque booster or someone will take my comment out of context and run with it, (being internet and all) but what I mean, is that in the real world speeds (and even on-ramps) 8 valve heads still do a respectable job at the lower rpms of real world driving. Let's face it, while engine tech has changed a fair bit in 14 years, our roads and speed limits have not. In fact, they are more congested now, and if anything, speeds are down. Torque is what moves the car. Torque is what gets you up that hill, against that head-wind, tows that trailer, carries that load full of Big Mac eaters. And granted, cars are heavier now than 14 years ago, but torque at real world rpms, is what still moves that weight. If you don't have VVT and intake track lengths, then 2 and 3 valve per cylinder heads is the cheapest way to torque. Of course that 2.0 won't have the long legs of 16 valvers, but it does have what it takes on on-ramps and real world speeds in a world were ridiculous stunt laws, pulls your licence at only 20 to 30 over.

    Chat of 70's era Euro cars and VWdubs reminds me of 2 VW's i had in the 70's. I bought a brand new Dasher in 76. (Basically a Rabbit). That car was quick up to about 65 mph. It would absolutely blow away anything the domestics had in the same class. AAMOF, I fondly remember a race I had with a co-worker. We were welders at a GM van plant and our shift had gotten out. He had a 75 Trans Am, 400 4 speed std tranny, and i had the new Dasher. Well we knew we were going to drag at the lights, and i literally left him in smoke. I think he caught me around 50 mph or so.
    I recall the Rabbit ads to this day. 0-50 in 10 sec. Or was it 8.5? I guess my memory is failing. But whatever it was, it was 2 to 3 seconds faster than anything else similar. Vega's and Pinto's were a laughing stock in a race.

    The reason I am relating this here is because I think this 115 hp cast iron block slug that VW is using in the new Jetta, is basically that same old engine. Just bored and stroked, but not spectacularly dif I don't think. It certainly owes them nothing.

    FF quite a few years, I happen to end up with a hi-miler 77 Rabbit NA diesel. It was not rich in creature comforts but it got me to my big truck day in and night out no matter the weather (I plugged it in at home and at work in the winter).
    A VW tech twisted off one of the glow plugs while I was away in the truck. He never got it out, tried this and that and finally after trying to warp my head with his trusty blow torch, i said let me out of here. I ended up dealing that car on new GM S10 diesel in 85.

    So my experiences differed than with some of you with VW during that time era. Although to be fair I ended up having to sell the Dasher (while still only 2 years old, i had not one spec of trouble in any way with that car. It was a highway car and just loved getting out on a lone 2 lane and stretch its legs) cuz I was forced to leave my super economical basement apt i had for many years, when the couple upstairs decided to separate and one of them was moving downstairs.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Gas hog? The 2.5 in the Jetta gets 27 mpg combined, this is equal to the Mazda3 with a 2.0, 2 mpg better than the Mazda3 with a 2.5 and 2 mpg less than a Civic with 1.8L.

    Is that all? I get near that, 26 MPG, in a 268 HP V6 in daily driving in a Fusion. I get 32 MPG highway in it. My Flex gets 25 MPG highway, 21 MPG daily, and its an Ecoboost 350 HP V6. Seems the 4 banger should be getting better than that.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You are comparing apples (EPA ratings) to oranges (your personal actual mpg).

    The apple figure for a FWD V6 fusion is 21 mpg (EPA combined rating), for FWD Flex it is 19 mpg.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It depends on how the automatic trans is programmed. In the case of my Mazda6, I have been very happy with the choices the transmission has made over the last nearly 4 years and I had mostly driven manuals for ~30 years before getting it.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Is it a 4 5 or 6 spd?

    How does it do when your situation in traffic makes like you are trying to fool the tranny? i.e. go to accelerate a bit aggressively, change your mind, hit brakes, then,,ya...decide that you do want to do that aggressive move? Many/most new autos in that situation have to sit there and process just what the driver was really expecting of it. Often for anywhere from .5 to almost 2 whole seconds. That can seem like an eternity when sitting in middle of a busy aggressive intersection while you waited for that last car to clear who blew the red light it had when you are trying to make your left.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    If you can change gears on a stick shift in a half second, (including reaching for the shifter), you are an exceptional driver!
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    I don't think that's a problem at all. There's a lot of time in a second; we don't normally think about it much. The "yellow" on a traffic light typically lasts about two seconds... that can be a pretty long time while you're waiting for the other guy to decide whether to stop or go... you could shift a few times in that.

    Plus, with a manual, you know what's going to happen when and can plan accordingly.

    A befuddled electronically controlled auto transmission is a very unpleasant situation.

    Cheers -Mathias
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,899
    I would guess that the "two seconds" the auto was trying to figure out what the driver wanted to do was probably not that long. As you say, two seconds can be a long time. I think most yellows are more like three to four seconds...they just seem shorter when you're trying to make them.

    I've driven a lot of sticks(probably owned about 10 of them) and have made mistakes like dropping in the wrong gear(fourth instead of second for example) that made things a little scary a few times. I realize that was operator error but still made possible because I had to shift. Probably about the same amount of time that an automatic might take to adjust.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    edited January 2011
    You are comparing once in a blue moon tho, to every single time you fool an auto.

    As has been said (read my example of sitting in the middle of an can't envision that very scenario EXACTLY as i described it? It only happens umpteen times a day in busy city traffic)
    And in that case an auto could be confused from .5 to 2 seconds. A manual owner will be sitting there IN GEAR, clutch in, just waiting for his chance for the ignorant red light runner to clear the fr of his car so he can get his butt right outtta there. With a manual he can be be CLEAR of the intersection in about 1.5 seconds. The guy with the confused auto at that point might STILL be .5 seconds away from deciding that ya...get me to blazes out of this intersection 'you not so smart tranny'..

    If only we could set it up, I could prove this over an over right before your eyes.

    Admittedly, the vast majority of the population won't/don't/lack the ability to realize how long .5 sec is when you are waiting for it....let alone 1.5 seconds or more. If you were on a racetrack, or followed a form of racing motorsports as a hobby, that would give u a head start to realizing just how long .5 sec is.

    But to put it in another way, a way in which the masses can get their head around, there are numerous You Tubes that show a train slicing vehicles in half. Well .5 seconds is plenty enough to make that difference of a hit vs no hit at all.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    Most people don't put themselves in that situation to begin with.
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