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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    Why is it that you felt completely safe 10 years ago driving in cars that were nowhere near as safe as the worst cars today?

    Below a certain speed no serious injuries will occur. Above a certain speed and death is certain no matter how good the vehicle is made. The odds of being in an accident where you are going the exact speed where it matters and you hit the other object at the exact angle to duplicate the test results are astronomical.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 198
    Why is it that you felt completely safe 10 years ago driving in cars that were nowhere near as safe as the worst cars today?

    With age came wisdom.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Yeah, my first car, a 1966 Dodge mid-sized sedan, had no radio, no carpeting (just rubber mats), no power steering or power-anything except brakes, 4-55 A/C, bias-ply tires, no wheel covers (just little hubcaps), no airbags, no 3-point belts (only lap belts). Maybe would get 20 mpg on the slant six engine. Was pretty typical for the time. Seemed like a pretty safe ride when I drove it... but it was all I knew.

    But I like the current crop of mid-sized sedans much better... in safety and every other respect.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    edited June 2013
    I really like the way you are able to look at all the details and thoroughly review potential new cars before hitting the dealership, but the Malibu and the Altima 2.5 S you rented are bottom-of-the-line models that may not have been treated nicely. The better interior furnishings are just one small step up, and you get a lot for very little more ducat's.

    Have you considered looking at the Optima EX? It has really, really nice materials in the cabin including leather inserts in the doors, seating surfaces (8 way power drivers seat), shift knob, and the armrest. Also has very classy looking dark Zebrano wood accents, and real aluminum trim around the shift lever, more power than any other mid size, a smooth shifting 6 speed with sport shift, and lastly 17" alloy rims instead of 16" hubcaps. I got mine for $21,800! (sticker $24,260). It is refined and a gorgeous car designed by Peter Shyer who was head of design at Audi. The LX Optima starts at $20, so for 1800 more I have a much nicer, near luxury car. It would be comparable to the Altima 2.5 SL, Mazda 6i Sport, and the Accord Sport.

    What about the new 2014 Mazda 6i Sport? It is a LOT of car for $21,500.. and I think it has a passenger seat height adjustment, and a gorgeous design.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    Which model year Malibu did you have?

    I'm with Cski that some rentals are special packages with minimum interiors and radios because the renters are not going to appreciate those to the degree the rental companies would have to increase the cost--remember Hertz wants the lowest bid on these things.

    This message has been approved.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    Let me clarify - I'm all for improving safety. Offset crash testing was good. Side impact testing - great. Side and curtain airbags - fantastic. However, at some point the improvements become cost prohibitive and real world impact becomes too small to make it worthwhile. You have to draw the line somewhere and I don't think the IIHS wants to do that because then they become irrelevant.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 198
    We plan to look seriously beginning in August and probably buy in August or September, but thought we'd try different rentals as we take our trips in order to give us a feel for what the company has to offer - even if it is the bottom of the line (the Malibu was the bottom of the line and the Altima was one step up from the bottom of the line, but the drivetrains are the same as the top of the line - if sticking with a 4 cyl). I have no intention of walking into a dealership for a beating and would rather rent something to try them out.
    You only buy so many cars in a lifetime and one really bad experience can stick with you. I bought the RX-7 the first year it was out (1979) and my dealings with mazda left a very sour taste in my mouth. No love for Chrysler after two of those either. In 2010, we drove the 2009 and 2010 sonatas. We liked the 2009 more than the 2010, but bought a venza. The passenger seats in many of the sedans are just too low and that was the case with the 2010 sonata, too. I hadn't really given Kia much thought and may give it a look. We lived in a rural area without much traffic so the Honda didn't bother me. Now that we've moved to a more densely populated area and everyone seems to be distracted with their electronic gadgets while driving and better safety technology is available we have decided it's time to get rid of the accord. We mostly just use it for very short trips in town. I don't think we've put 1,500 miles on in in the past year.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 878
    If you find the passenger seats too low won't that be the case with almost all midsize sedans? Maybe you should be thinking of something different -- a small crossover like the Honda CRV or Kia Soul? Just a thought.
  • huskerfan5huskerfan5 Posts: 163
    Shoppers haven't exactly flocked to the new Malibu so it has gone through a mini-redesign after one year. Great deals on the 2013 now.

    From USA Today:
    With updated styling, General Motors hopes Malibu will sell on looks again as well. Buyers will note the change right away from its new front end. The appearance now is closer to its big sister, the redesigned 2014 Impala full-size sedan. The changes are a very quick refresh of the Malibu that was redesigned for 2013.

    The new Malibu goes on sale in the fall.
  • huskerfan5huskerfan5 Posts: 163
    Actually, I think the IIHS would like to become irrelevant. It is financed by the insurance industry and I'm sure the insurers would love cars to be designed so that there would be minimal injury claims. If the NHTSA had more robust testing, they would happily close up shop and use that money for more marketing and bonuses.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    While I don't doubt their motives it is counter-intuitive to think they would close up shop and say "we're done here". They seem to revel in creating tests where cars perform poorly so they can be perceived as Knights in shining armor forcing the big bad auto mfrs to build safer cars against their will. Note how they changed the criteria for some test (forgot which one exactly) so that a car that got a 5 star rating a few years ago now only gets 3. That's sensationalistic and wrong. They should have left the old cars as a 5 and raised the scale for newer safer cars to 6 or 7. Instead they simply changed the grading curve because it's easier to call for change when something scores "fair" or "poor" than saying they want to improve something that's already 5 star.

    And once you have that power it's not easy to give it up. If we see yet another slight variation on an existing test where the current vehicles all score poorly then that should tell you something.
  • huskerfan5huskerfan5 Posts: 163
    The NHTSA revised their tests in 2011, not IIHS. Go to safercar.gov. The IIHS is a pure expense for the insurance industry. They have no need to be considered knights in shining armor. The IIHS earns no revenue. Is anyone going to go out and buy more insurance to thank the insurance industry for funding the IIHS. Besides, considering it has existed for decades, it has virtually no name recognition. Most people assume the govt is performing these tests. They are in it for one reason - money - safer cars mean lower payouts. Trust me, the companies who fund the IIHS would gladly subcontract with the NHTSA to do these tests and disband the IIHS if the NHTSA would do it for less than the cost to fund the IIHS.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    I didn't say it was the insurance companies - I'm talking about the IIHS itself and it's simply human nature.

    I could be wrong but this strikes me as the same situation with union contract negotiators. If the negotiators (on both sides) said they were happy with the contract they just negotiated 3 years ago then they wouldn't be needed. So every 3 years they come up with new demands thus guaranteeing themselves a job for the next 3 years even is the current contract was really really good.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    Drove from central CT to about 25 miles north of Detroit and back over the weekend.
    3 people and a pretty full trunk, although nothing too heavy.
    Overall, averaged 30.8 mpg. Worst tank, really a little more than 1/2 was the first one 26.2.
    It was cool, raining and uphill.
    Best tank was the last one, also a little more than 1/2 a tank, warm and downhill, average 34.8.
    Ran the A/C the whole way back.
    The PA hills didn't bother the car at all, other than the ride being kind of abrupt at times on the worst roads. After the first 15-20 miles or so after crossing over from New York, they go a lot better. Michigan also has some roads in need of repair.
    There must have been a bit of tail wind on the way home, because the trucks didn't slow dramatically on the uphills.
  • huskerfan5huskerfan5 Posts: 163
    I understand your point. They do publish a monthly newsletter and want to be relevant. Obviously, if you work for the IIHS, you have a stake in it's continued existence but the point I was trying to make is it is similar to a subsidiary of a corporation that would not hesitate to shut it down if it wasn't contributing to the bottomline in some way at an appropriate level. For example, if the insurance industry thought that investing the money in driver training would be more beneficial, they could consider cutting funding to the IIHS. In your example, it's the union itself that is trying to validate it's existence, not a non-necessary component as the IIHS is to the insurance industry.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 386
    Except the insurance company want tests to show a car is " unsafe" or sustains " excessive damage" in an accident so they can justify raising their rates so they can make more profit. The NHTSA may not give them enough ammo for that.
  • huskerfan5huskerfan5 Posts: 163
    I'm not aware that the IIHS test results are factored in when establishing rates. The Highway Loss Data Institute, a sister organization to the IIHS, compiles statistics regarding medical and property claims which is used to calculate premiums.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 386
    Do you really think the insurance industry is financing the IIHS tests and not using them in some way to increase profits? Yes they are saving a bit on injury/death claims, but they could probably use the money as effectively ( if not more so) to lobby for stricter safety measures ( which I am sure they are doing as well, all in the name of being " concerned corporate citizens". Big industry doesn't do anything unless it helps their bottom line, as was pointed out above most people think the IIHS tests are government tests so they aren't helping improve the image of the insurance companies, and I doubt the returns on injury and death claims alone can justify the institute's costs, so you really think if the insurance industry has data saying that they Camry has a higher risk of injury or death from a certain type of accident than its other midsized competition that they aren't going to raise the rates on it?
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    I actually like the tail end of the previous Malibu better than the Camaro-copy style units in the 2013. Chevy is trying to tie all of their models together with the four square taillight theme, even putting them on the new Corvette, which traditionally has had four round units, making some Corvette traditionalists a little upset. The new Impala is a looker inside and out (especially in blue w/ tan interior), and in the July C/D it is put up against 5 other large sedans in a comparo. These would represent the next step up from the mid-sizer's discussed here. Avalon won, and Chevy came in 2nd. Good job there GM. All the Malibu really needs is more room in the back seat, and an IP redesign with the same high quality materials that are in the Impala.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    Good point. I forgot about the 5' 3" wife of Wayne21. The passenger seat of the base Optima EX has no height adjustment. I did not realize that until after I bought it. My last vehicle was an SUV with an 8 way power passenger seat , so the thought never occurred to me that it would be a problem.

    Fellow owners of the Optima EX have added washers and installed taller bolts to raise the seat an 1 1/2 inches, but I am afraid that would not be safe in an accident.
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