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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • The Camry continue to dominate, which is a slight surprise given that Camry was just rated Poor in the IIHS crash test:

    The average consumer is incredibly ignorant and probably has no clue that the Camry performed poorly in this test. I think most Camry purchasers must blindly buy that car without any comparison testing. I don't think too many people in their right mind would actually choose a Camry over some of the newer offerings from competitors.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    Huge surge by Fusion in January. Honda may have to start protecting Accord's number 2 spot soon. So far Honda hasn't offered any financing on the 2013 Accord, but maybe that will change soon. The Altima is selling well, but seems to be faltering a little given that it's an all-new design. Passat is selling well too, but I think the VW factory in TN can make c. 12,000 Passats a month, and so they aren't selling them quite as fast as they're making them.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    edited February 2013
    tundradweller:

    Thanks for your observations. Can you clarify a little what you mean about that the "sight lines are not great" on the Mazda6? I thought visibility would be pretty good in that car.

    Several midsize cars have poor rear visibility, including, I think, Fusion, Optima, Sonata, Passat, Malibu, and Altima.

    The best visibility is found in the Accord, and that's one of the hallmarks of Honda's designs: Form follows function. Some people say it's not exciting enough, but it works better than some competing designs for providing rear headroom and good visibility. You also can roll down your rear windows on an Accord almost all the way. Try that on the others. Can't do that on any of these others, I don't think, except the Camry and Mazda6.

    My guess is that all of these cars will have very long lasting engines and transmissions. Probably all of them are designed to make it to 200k as long as all maintenance is done as scheduled and they are not used roughly. Will they all make it to 200k? Hard to say. Hyundai, Kia, and Honda now have direct injected engines, and I don't think many have yet gone more than 100k to test whether long term they have issues. In durability tests Ford's turbo DI engines seem to do very well. Ford engineers have strengthened several parts to make these engines pretty tough, and I'm sure all the others have too. Honda's CVT is new, but they've been building these for a while, and have apparently done a lot of engineering to design in long term durability. But with any new design there can be question marks. Anyway, I think we are all probably fairly safe for durability of engines and transmissions with all of these.

    I'm sure you've thought of this already, but if you want fewer gadgets buy a base model—you'll save money now, and potentially trouble in the years ahead.

    Even the base models of all of these cars are pretty lavishly equipped compared to midsize cars of 10 years ago.

    Hope you'll let us know what you pick!
  • Granted the Mazda 6 has a smaller blind spot then the Sonata and yes the Accord so far has the best visibility. Chalk it up to the higher waist line, swooping roof designs of late.
    Considering I'm driving a 2004 Taurus SE that's approaching 200,000 miles, maybe color my opinions old school :shades:
    The Gadgets I don't mind and in fact embrace them (I'm rather digital for my age) I really like the touch screen on the 6. My comment was geared more toward manufacturers than my preferences. The safety features on the horizon look promising, some may even save the increasingly distracted from impending doom.
    I didn't mention Toyota because I just am not interested in the most recalled brand in spite of their huge sales numbers. I agree that some people just buy them because they are so popular. Ironic as they rarely make the top 10 in various car magazine reviews.
    These are heady times for car buyers. More competition, more options for the same money, better performance while returning improved mileage and safer vehicles. This is going to be fun!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,063
    Thanks Ben. The mid size sedan racket has got to keep corporate sales managers up at night. Particularly the VW man.

    I think the Passat looks fine; but you really have to lux-it-up to match the levels of equipment in some competitors. Why would I buy a 5 cyl engine with 30 horsepower and 15 torque's less than a four? MPG of 22/32 is ok, but that 5th cylinder is costing you at least 4 mpg hwy and 2-4 city based on competition. Also, it costs 26,800 for the Automatic. vs 20-24 for competitors. a 5 speed manual is std on the SE. (where is the other gear?? all competitors who offer a manual trans have 6 speeds).

    Again though, it depends on priorities I guess. It has a huge back seat and trunk. Fit and finish are excellent.

    You guys should know that I owned a 96 TDI so be nice! :D
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,063
    I just saw a review of the 2014 Mazda 6. I really like the 2.2 liter TD with 310 torques!!! 310!!! From a 2.2!!

    Now that's more like it Mazda. Also, the new interior is awesome looking. The flat screen is integrated nicely and Automobile magazine raved about the seats. They look comfy in the pictures. YES I AM SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT THE 6 BACKY!!! :P

    Lastly, I can't get with the silly grin front end. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,063
    "Several midsize cars have poor rear visibility, including, I think, Fusion, Optima, Sonata, Passat, Malibu, and Altima"

    So pretty much all mid-size sedans have poor rear visibility! :D
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,899
    Doesn't have the "silly grin" anymore. It was the Mazda3 that got all the hate for the grin as the 2 gen 6 didn't really have it as much. The new 2014 doesn't have the grin at all. Below is a quote from Augo Guide review which most other reviewers have agreed with.

    NEW BODY STYLE SWAPS SMILE FOR SERIOUS FACE

    It wears the second production application of Mazda’s new KODO design language, losing the smiling front end and exclamatory headlights for a more pronounced grille and sharper body style.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,063
    edited February 2013
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    cski wrote:

    "...I think the Passat looks fine; but you really have to lux-it-up to match the levels of equipment in some competitors. Why would I buy a 5 cyl engine with 30 horsepower and 15 torque's less than a four? MPG of 22/32 is ok, but that 5th cylinder is costing you at least 4 mpg hwy and 2-4 city based on competition. Also, it costs 26,800 for the Automatic. vs 20-24 for competitors. a 5 speed manual is std on the SE. (where is the other gear?? all competitors who offer a manual trans have 6 speeds)..."

    Agree with all of this. The Passat is a nice looking car. And I think VW has significantly improved quality and reliability. But to cut costs they cut some things that are now making them less competitive. I read somewhere that for the 2014 model year the Passat is going to have a more advanced engine, and maybe they'll get a 6 speed manual with that.

    For now, however, VW is blowing them out the door with 0% financing for 66 (!) months. Good deal on a good car!

    http://www.vw.com/en/models/passat/gallery.html
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    edited February 2013
    KIA has some great deals on the Optima too.... 0.9% for 36 months, or $199 lease, or $2000 bonus rebate if you own a competing car!

    http://www.kia.com/#/optima/offers
  • Not to correct you but the new Mazda 6 has a 2.5 liter. If you can find a dealership with one test, drive it. The gal that went with me encouraged me to stuff it into corners and rocket out of them. I was pleasently surprised. Being a Motorcycle nut I am ready for a fun car to drive. Now just waiting for some current magazine road tests. If the new 6 truly returns near 38 mpg it's a lock.
    Also regarding the 2.5 - 5 cyl. Passat, they have been making that motor since 2005. No wonder it does not measure up in performance and economy.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    edited February 2013
    Yes, it is not the as fuel efficient as some of its so-called 4 cyl competitors, but they do not have the smoothness (perhaps Honda's effort is close) and I doubt any of those higher hp/torque 4 cyl efforts from....Korea..as an example, feel as strong off the line. And I absolutely assure you NONE of the 4 cyl ones have as rewarding an exhaust note. And let's get some miles on those DI 4's before we further condemn that 5 cyl and its longevity/$ investment potential.
    As for FE being your primary beef..ya gotta pay to play/enjoy..
  • tundradweller1tundradweller1 Posts: 74
    edited February 2013
    VW 2.5 - 170HP 177 ft. lb. torque - 0 to 60 9 seconds - fuel economy 22/31

    Mazda 2.5 - 189 HP 189 ft. lb. torque - 0 to 60 7.6 seconds - fuel economy 26/38

    It may "feel stong" off the line but the numbers tell a different story. Already reading about VW dumping the 5cyl. for 4cyl. for next year.
    Cheers
  • pegasus17pegasus17 Posts: 536
    edited February 2013
    Not a bad engine, just outdated and outperformed by newer higher tech engines. Sort of like Windows Vista (i used it for many years without any major problems) compared to Win 7.
    If they were changing the engine this year, the Passat would still be on my shopping list. Can't wait for the 2014 model this fall; my lease is up in 2 months
  • VW isn't exactly known for quality and reliability...I personally wouldn't buy one. Not to mention the Passat is a pretty boring looking car, both inside and out, when you stack it up next to most of the competition. Probably the only cars more boring in that class are the Camry, Malibu, and Legacy.
  • mf15mf15 Posts: 158
    Accord december sales 29,428,jan sales 23,924 ,while camry sales are up
    accord drops. Must be all about the buck, no honda finance deals,no cash poor lease support. December had for a short time 500 cash if financed.
    Seems that crash test results have little effect on camry sales,if the general public knows about them.
    I suspect honda will have to lay out some form of support soon.'
    Old Mike
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 198
    Seems that crash test results have little effect on camry sales,if the general public knows about them.
    I suspect honda will have to lay out some form of support soon.'


    Perhaps many people don't worry so much about a new crash test as they do the new technologies in honda. Honda has a long history of transmission problems (well known to most, but denied by isellhondas) and coming out with a new CVT transmission (i.e. a first year effort) for the 4 cylinder probably isn't very soothing to many consumers. And the 6 cyl honda with its VCM leaves a lot to be desired, too. There seem to be no shortage of complaints over the 6 to 3 / 3 to 6 cyl changeover AND it also got a new transmission (a 6 speed). And if you want to have homelink (i.e. if you don't want to have a garage door opener on your sunvisor) you have to buy a 6 cyl accord as it's not an option on the 4 cyl. IF I were looking for a car I would forego the accord this year myself.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    The Passat, like any car, is perceived differently depending on the observer. To some, the design is stately and classy, looking more expensive than it is. There is almost an Audi look to it. In any event, it doesn't tread into "dowdy," like the old Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Sable that preceded the 2010 makeover of the Taurus.

    VW's quality had been in place for a long time (with some exceptions) and reliablilty has improved. The TDI models have had great reliability at least since the early 2000's. The TDI Passat is a gem: quiet, powerful, economical. It is more expensive, but you will get that back on trade-in, even if you keep it 10 years.

    To my eye, the new Accord, though an excellent all around choice, is a more boring looking car. The only standouts really are the Mazda6, Optima, and Fusion. The Sonata was on introduction, but no one much looks at them for their looks anymore.

    None of the current crop is awful, although the 200 styling certainly borders on it. The Malibu actually has reasonably good styling. The 2014 will address the rear legroom complaint a bit. The Malibu is certainly is more attractive than, say, the Legacy, although that may be damning with faint praise. I note Consumer Reports rates the Malibu just a hair higher than the Fusion, although that could flip flop soon, as Ford sorts out some of the complaints with what is otherwise a nicely styled, great handling car.

    It will be interesting to see if the new 200 coming will be a game changer. It is supposed to take Chrysler styling in a completely different direction.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,602
    I still think in this class, most people are more interested (or at least fine) with a simpler design (call it classy, understated, vanilla, or what not). Comfort, room, reliability, economy all are top items.

    sure, a flashy design gets a lot of attention, but it can get old fast, and will turn some people off. Especially if the style cuts into function.

    I personally think the Passat and Optima are 2 of the best looking in the class. And the new Accord also looks sharp now the Fusion is sharp, but I find the Sonota to be too overdone and awkward.

    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!)

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