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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    edited May 2013
    My max sidewall is 51. ;)

    My car also handles better at 40 psi, gets better mpg and the tires last longer ( less flex = less heat and longer life.)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,447
    A recent case to demonstration how sensitive cars are to adjustments is the Honda Fit recall.
    The stability control had to be reprogrammed due to a different tire being spec'ed on the car when new.
    The door sticker on my Fusion specifies 37 psi front and rear.
  • redgatredgat Posts: 2
    edited May 2013
    So I've been looking to get a car recently and I'm stuck at somewhat of an impasse. I test drove the Legacy, Accord, Altima, and the Sonata, and I feel like I liked them all equally. I also test drove the Fusion and Mazda6 but something about them didn't impress me too much.

    The main problem for me choosing between these cars is that I'm not much of a discriminatory driver. All I really want out of a car is safety, something that's comfortable to drive, and fuel efficiency. I've been leaning less towards the Legacy of late but it's the only car with four wheel drive in the list and where I live (Cleveland), the winters can get pretty bad.

    Does anyone have any tips for narrowing it down or other information that I should consider? I might also be moving away from the Altima because of the CVT which I don't feel entirely comfortable with. I've heard some mixed messages about its reliability and whatnot.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Get the Accord (best crash tests of the 4 finalists) and put winter tires on it in the winter. Except the Accord has a new CVT too (unless you can drive a stick). Supposed to drive better than the Altima's CVT though. Hard to get away from those CVTs now. Of your top 4, only the Sonata doesn't have a CVT.

    I assume an AWD car like the Impreza (better FE than the Legacy) will be too small for you. Oh, and the Impreza has a CVT too.

    If you're looking for a comfortable car with real good FE, the Camry LE hybrid might be worth a look. Crash tests (and a few other things) not as good as the Accord, though. The Passat SE TDi might be worth a test drive also.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,051
    edited May 2013
    My tire wall says 45 and I have it set at 42. In the manual it says within spec. I checked the rears and they are at 36/36. Because there is less weight back there I didn't increase as ride will suffer.

    I don't have the tires set to max pressure and I am very much enjoying the way it drives/steers better now. I am looking forward to replacing them with better handling tires anyway, and I already have 18 k on my OEM Nexen Korean made units. I want Michelin's!!!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,051
    edited May 2013
    No...I think you should go with the Mazda 6 or maybe the Sonata for two reasons.

    1) The Mazda will tell you a lot about traction (or lack there of) as it has been proven as having the best steering feel and chassis feedback. When you are driving in winter it is IMPERATIVE to know if the car has traction or not. (my family are from Buffalo).

    2) Get a 6 speed automatic, not a CVT; as you can still select 2 or 1 for winter situations, and it might be better for rocking out from being stuck.

    Also, keep in mind the the Hyundai (and the Kia Optima of course which has identical drivetrain) has an IN HOUSE BUILT 6 Speed. Why? Because their powertrain warranty is far longer than most competitors, therefore it had to be built right. Not saying others are built wrong...just know that Hyundai's 6 speed has a high reliability rating.
  • redgatredgat Posts: 2
    Thank you both. I'll keep that in mind.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,051
    edited May 2013
    Actually the Optima EX has the quietest idle and second quietest @70mph out of 6 mid size sedans! (May 2012 Car & Driver), The 2012 Accord was loudest at full throttle, and the Malibu quietest at 70 mph. The Camry was quietest at full throttle. The Optima was not the loudest in any category.

    Now, what is really surprising is the the new Accord and the Mazda are both way louder than any car tested in May 2012. (C/D June 2013)

    The 2013 Accord: 43, 68, 81 (idle/70mph/full throttle)
    The 2014 Mazda 6 : 42, 69, 80

    This means that the Accord and the Mazda are the loudest mid size sedans on the market!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited May 2013
    Honda Accord "what?" Sport? That may be louder due to the louder tires.
    Decibel readings don't tell the whole story. Camry, Malibu and the Fusion and Altima without ultra low profile tires are usually rated as quiet. The new Accord other than Sport has been mostly rated as quiet enough and very quiet compared to previews years.
    Mazda 6 has been blasted for road noise in most reviews (even though the reviews generally overlook that in the end and recommend the car anyway for style and handling) and the Optima has a lot of complaints from owners about road noise regardless of decibel readings from one C/D test.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Honda Accord "what?" Sport? That may be louder due to the louder tires.

    Yep, that would definitely come into play on the idle noise level. ;)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited May 2013
    Few people complain about idle noise levels on any modern family sedan. The measurement is pretty meaningless.
    Pointing to decibel levels and saying a sound meter says it's quiet, so that overrules human perception of the sound levels is not a good argument.
    I don't care what a sound meter from Car and Driver reads if it sounds loud to me.
    Generally, people who complain about noise complain about either noise on full throttle or cruising down the highway.
    It's certainly possible that the Sport has less sound insulation or is missing ANC anyway. It also has a dual exhaust that may not be as quiet as other Accords to give it a sportier exhaust note. Tires are not always the sole source of noise.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,051
    It was the Accord EX-L. It has 17" rims/tires. The Mazda was the GT with 19"s.

    Also, if you want 16" base model wheels I am certain that someone would swap you for your 18 " alloys for free. Certain.

    Also, I provided both references from two different tests. :)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,447
    edited May 2013
    My Fusion has a laminated windshield which helps cut down on wind noise.
    Over the weekend, I was cleaning my sisters Prius V and one thing that stuck me was how unsubstantial the outside mirrors are although they do have power and I believe they are heated.
    Of course a Prius is about lightness, so I'm sure that plays into it.
    The Fusion has some really nice side mirrors that include turn signals, puddle lamps and a wide angle sub mirror built in, along with the power adjustment and heat.
    I see that next year Intelligent Access is going to be available on the SE model.
    Wanted to try a tank of premium gas, but won't be able to go through the whole tank before my trip to Michigan, about 1600 miles, mid next month.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,051
    Sorry to be "Mr reply" but....I had my windows tinted 2 months ago, and the very first thing I noticed (other than it being dark) was how quiet the car became. I was totally surprised and wondered why that fact isn't advertised by the shop who installed it.

    Laminated windows in the Fusion are a good, low weight way to quell the outside noise, and since we have all been talking about road noise, I would be remiss in not mentioning to potential buyers and current owners that a quieter and more private cabin is only $200 away!
  • serenity185serenity185 Posts: 22
    Road noise is pretty low on my criteria when looking at cars, but I'm sure pretty just about all of the cars in this class are sufficiently quiet. It's all relative, too- for example, people keep talking about how loud Hondas are, but I find my 2007 Accord to be fairly quiet in areas I care about (e.g. the engine noise is low and the road noise is moderate- I find engine noise more offensive than road noise if it's an unrefined engine). Of course, I came from a Dodge Neon.

    If the new Mazda 6 does in fact have the noisiest interior in its class, it's not really a surprise since they could think the noise keeps the driver more connected (they are the "Zoom, zoom" company). I actually prefer Mazda's approach of keeping the car lighter and more efficient, even if it's not Fusion or Malibu quiet. Not to say that they can't add more sound deadening, but I don't think any car in this class is without flaws.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    If you swap to 16s or 17s on a car that was setup from the factory to run on 19's, there may be issues with various systems in the car (suspension, stability control etc.).
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited May 2013
    Every car I looked at does have some flaws.
    Honda Accord, ridiculous 1 piece folding rear seat. Afterthought-looking center touch screen on EX-L models that has already needed a service campaign to fix issues. Minor CVT issues on 4 cylinder. Minor automatic transmission issues on V6.
    Altima has some quality control issues and drivability complaints on 4 cylinder models.
    Mazda 6 noisy, undersized nav screen and uses second rate TomTom maps and routing. Have to get nav if you want push start. No rear cam without nav.
    Chevy Malibu very uncompetitive mpg for what it is even with e-Assist, small back seat, bad styling, no push start available. Quietness is all it seems to have going for it. Pricing not low enough to overlook shortcomings.
    2013 Ford Fusion requires overpriced Titanium edition to get push start.
    Camry super bland exterior, cluttered truck-like dashboard, cheap seats, hellish small overlap crash test results.
    Subarus require top trim levels and even then you still have to spend thousands more on mandatory option packages to get push start.
  • Every 2014 Mazda 6 has push button start.
    Back up cam is on every model with AT.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 882
    You are correct that each car has pluses and minuses. But different people perceive them differently as well. The 1-fold rear seat on the Accord is a non-issue for me as my second car is a hatchback. The EX-L touch screen is one of the car's biggest pluses for me! So easy to use and so intuitive! On the other hand, you can't get Homelink garage transmitter on any 4 cylinder Accord. Some people dont like that you can't get remote start either. Minus on the Altima for me was no power passenger seat, but it does have remote start.Road noise would be an issue on the Mazda although I really like them.

    What isn't an issue is that these are all great cars that are well-made and reliable. They do drive somewhat differently. So it's really a matter of how each car appeals to your driving style and the combination of features that matter most.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I mean push start with smart entry. Push start without smart entry is kind of pointless to me since you still have to take the key out to open the door.
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