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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    If Toyota can get away with a 4 speed automatic on its redesigned 2014 Corolla base model, maybe Chrysler figures it can get away with a standard 4AT on the base trim of the old 200, with the 6AT available as an option (and standard on all other trims). I'll bet both of those low-end trims are destined only for rental car lots, or at least most of them are.

    Chrysler really does need a new mid-sized sedan. They did a pretty good job on the Dart, so that gives hope for the successor to the 200.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    edited July 2013
    wayne wrote: "In fact, I think the accord is probably worth $2500 to $3000 more than the comparable camry...."

    I think you're probably right. And the Accord probably costs Honda maybe something like $1000-2000 more to make than a Camry.

    Back in 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis, the President of Honda told the Civic team to take something like $1000 off the cost of the 2012 Civic. They did, but then the 2012 Civic was justly criticized for being cheap in some obvious ways. The President himself took the blame, and told the Civic team to go back to the drawing board and see how to put c. $1000 back into each car to make it better. This involved better plastics, more sound insulation, better steering, better suspension components, thicker glass, nicer styling, etc. But they only raised the price something like $100 bucks, which doesn't seem like it would make financial sense. But the 2012 Civic was only selling with big rebates, while the 2013 Civic is selling with much smaller rebates. I'm not sure the profit level per car changed, but Honda effectively moved the Civic upmarket.

    The 2013 Accord was also an attempt by Honda to move upmarket, because the KIA Optima and Hyundai Sonata and some other cars had already moved upmarket a few years earlier. The Optima looks amazingly classy for a midsize car, inside and out, and has great engineering and standard equipment. Plus they are selling with only small rebates.

    Normally a "halo" car is something like a Corvette, which may be profitable in an of itself, but more importantly gives prestige to the brand. I can't find the link, but there was some Honda executive that described the 2013 Accord as their "halo" car. At first, I thought he might be misusing that word, but then as I saw the whines and complaints from Acura fans at places like vtec.net, and I saw what he meant. Normally, the best and newest tech for halo cars starts at the high end cars and brands and moves down to the high volume models in a few years. But Honda, to the anger of some Acura fans, has put some of the best stuff they have on the Accord first, before Acura, like the direct injected engines, the lane watch, etc. Plus, they moved down a fair amount of stuff that used set Acura apart, like chrome door handles, etc. So a base Honda Accord not only gets from 0-60 faster than an Acura TSX, but it gets better mpg, has more high tech stuff, and costs a lot less. No wonder Acura is only doing so-so right now.

    But this also means that Honda probably can't really offer the rebates that Toyota has right now for the Camry. If they did, they'd might lose money. Toyota can sell the Camry for less and still make a profit.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,004
    I'm not sure Honda would meet Toyota rebates even if they could financially. Part of their image is high resale. I think that's why even with miniscule (regardless whether they are Bernanke artificial) interest rates, Honda never went below 0.9% while many of it's competitors offer 0% differing from each other only in terms of loan duration at that rate.
  • ahightowerahightower DFWPosts: 429
    edited July 2013
    Accord Sport does have power driver seat and power lumbar adjustment.

    I got the manual, so can't comment on the paddle shifters.

    I didn't drive an LX or EX, so can't compare the performance of the upsized wheels and tires, but I will say they have plenty of grip even in the rain, and they are not noisy at all. The OE tires are rated 400 A A, I'm anxious to see how they hold up over the long run. There is plenty of sidewall, so they are not what I'd call "low profile", the ride is not harsh. And there is a nice rubber "lip" built in to protect the wheels from minor scuffs. Also, the sport wheels' gray painted finish hides brake dust nicely.

    I'll be honest, the thing I like most about them is they just look cool. The Sport has a nice "stance" compared to the LX/EX. LX 16"s in particular look fairly wimpy, although it's a lot better than the plastic wheel covers on base Accords up through last year. The 17"s, which are the same wheels from EX all the way up to Touring, are a bit bland as well. Sport wheels combined with the dual exhaust, lip spoiler, and moderate chrome trim front, rear, and door handles, and tinted windows, it's a rather upscale look. I've had several comment that it looks much more expensive than it really is (FB photo taken from side had one friend convinced I'd bought a new BMW... haha. Not quite. Although I do see a faint resemblance to the new Lexus GS, if you'll permit the fantasy...)
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    Automotive News cites R.L. Polk data in noting that many of the family sedan segment's heavyweights are running above 30-percent fleet sales, including the Altima, Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, while the Camry is expected to finish the year under 15 percent. Even so, Camry sales to fleets are ahead of this time last year (despite 2012's numbers having sizable catch-up sales after 2011's tsunami-tightened supplies). Honda has long touted its low fleet sale percentage, and the new Accord is no different – its fleet sales sit at 1 percent.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/01/toyota-camry-incentives-and-fleet-sales-crank- ed-to-keep-sales-cr/
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Resale is only a potential problem if you keep a car less than 5 years or if it is totaled in that time. But Camry still has very good resale, even with fleet sales of about 12%. And if you look at a Camry vs. Accord, used the Accord is about $900 more for comparable 2010s, but the Accord was about $800 more new, so I am not seeing any real big decrease in resale value in my quick look at Edmunds pricing for the two. And that is just one element of the total cost to own. Factor in insurance cost, maintenance costs, part costs, ease of DIY maintenance, etc, etc.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    Resale is only a potential problem if you keep a car less than 5 years or if it is totaled in that time.

    I think that statement is correct 30 years ago, but nowadays you have to change that 5 year figure to more like 7 years. Cars are getting very expensive and used car values have been higher lately.
  • ahightowerahightower DFWPosts: 429
    I'd say the longer you keep a car, the MORE it matters. Honda and Toyota may be about the same, but compare either of those to anything American or Korean after 3, 6, 10 years...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    I have done that. Have you? I own a 9-1/2 year old Elantra. It's still worth about half of its original purchase price after all that time. Not bad at all for a nearly 10 year old car!

    Take a look at used car prices for late model Hyundais, including 2006+ Sonatas. They're up there with the best of them. Probably because they've improved a lot in the past 8-10 years.

    I also see resale values of the better American mid-sized cars like the Fusion holding up well too.

    Where I see the big dropoff in value is on higher end cars. Luxury cars in particular really take a hit in resale value the first few years.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,053
    edited July 2013
    You know, I find the IP on the 2014 Crayola much more cohesive than the hodge-podge, IP-by-committee "style" on the Camry.

    See it here: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1306_2014_toyota_corolla_first_look/p- hoto_02.html

    I had to laugh when the author said "whats with the giant circles on the steering wheel? I feel like I should be firing missiles". Awesome! :D

    Also, thank you Toyota for not putting any fake wood trim in the new Corolla dash.

    So, Toyota, if you are listening, fix the Camry dash layout. Focus on good materials, and dump the wood if you can't do it tastefully. Sell out the current stock at a discount. Maybe as the "Honey Boo-Boo edition". Or whatever. Just call up Clem in fleet sales. He'll know what to do.
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    Maybe you know someone (certainly no one here would have a car in such condition) who could enter:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+edmunds/posts/CMK35ZmphMB

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    Only midsize car discussed here that made the cut is the 2014 Mazda6. I know, it means nothing to some but it counts for marketing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    It's the ONLY mid-sized car in this discussion that could qualify for the NA COTY. It would need to be a 2014 model, or at least introduced since the last COTY; the Mazda6 is the only new mid-sized design for 2014.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    Yeah, you're right. I guess the only way it would really help marketing is if it happened to win. It does have a lot going for it with huge mpg and looks but it would be a long shot. Who would have thought just a couple of years ago that one of these midsizers would be able to hit 39-40mpg hwy and not be a hybrid or diesel.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    "Accord Sport does have power driver seat and power lumbar adjustment.

    I got the manual, so can't comment on the paddle shifters.

    I didn't drive an LX or EX, so can't compare the performance of the upsized wheels and tires, but I will say they have plenty of grip even in the rain, and they are not noisy at all. The OE tires are rated 400 A A, I'm anxious to see how they hold up over the long run. There is plenty of sidewall, so they are not what I'd call "low profile", the ride is not harsh. And there is a nice rubber "lip" built in to protect the wheels from minor scuffs. Also, the sport wheels' gray painted finish hides brake dust nicely.

    I'll be honest, the thing I like most about them is they just look cool. The Sport has a nice "stance" compared to the LX/EX. LX 16"s in particular look fairly wimpy, although it's a lot better than the plastic wheel covers on base Accords up through last year. The 17"s, which are the same wheels from EX all the way up to Touring, are a bit bland as well. Sport wheels combined with the dual exhaust, lip spoiler, and moderate chrome trim front, rear, and door handles, and tinted windows, it's a rather upscale look. I've had several comment that it looks much more expensive than it really is (FB photo taken from side had one friend convinced I'd bought a new BMW... haha. Not quite. Although I do see a faint resemblance to the new Lexus GS, if you'll permit the fantasy...)"

    Yeah, I find this new Sport model really tempting. Awesome sneakers. And you're right, nicer looking alloys than the nice enough but somewhat bland EX and above, dual exhaust, power seat and lumbar . All for a list price of $23,390 for the 6 speed manual. And Honda's manuals are the best. (Although probably the manual in the new Mazda6 is just as good.)

    What kind of mpg are you getting so far? I've driven a few 6 speed manuals, but my daily driver is a 2008 Accord EXL navi with 5 mt. Might take me a little while to get used to it. But I would like the greater power of the Earth Dreams powerplant. My car gets to 60 in maybe 8 seconds if I really push it, but it seems that some are cutting a second off of that with the 2013 even with shifting into 3rd. How does the power feel to you?

    The only thing that's slightly worrying to me about the Sport model is that I think the turning circle is a little bigger because of those big wheels and tires. But I imagine you get used to it.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    As you say, the mpg of the Mazda6 is awesome. In fact the whole car is quite impressive. They probably have a shot at this award.

    The only thing I find slightly strange about the new 6 is the "stripper" Sport manual model. It allows them to have a base price of just $22,085, but it doesn't have bluetooth, backup camera, pandora, etc. It's otherwise very well equipped for a base model, but the lack of bluetooth esp. seems weird for an all-new 2014 midsize car.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    edited July 2013
    Perhaps it's just me, but I think the new Corolla is a very weird looking car. What's with the giant frown? And the whole thing looks bulked up, as if it had ground effects or was an angry robot or something.

    A few years ago I felt like Honda was putting out one ugly car after another:
    Acura "power plenum beak"??, Crosstour whatever (Yuck), Odyssey lightning bolt styling (somehow this one has actually grown on me).

    But finally Honda has started putting out some nice looking form follows function designs, like for the 2013 Accord and 2013 Civic.

    Imho it looks like it's Toyota's turn to be infected by a bad styling virus. I thought the 2012 Camry was bad, but this seems even worse to me. It has more character than the last Corolla, or maybe any Corolla, but I'm not sure people who drive economical compact cars want a bulky robotic car with with a giant scowl out front. Oh, they'll sell a million of em, I'm sure, but it's one of those what were they smoking cars for me....Perhaps it's just me, as I said.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,585
    every time my wife sees a new Odyssey, she makes a face and says it looks like a hearse.

    good thing she did not want a new van last year when we replaced her old Odyssey, because no way she would have gotten a new one!

    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!)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    If the Elantra can win the NA COTY, so could the Mazda6. It's certainly a much better car than the 2011 Elantra was.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,623
    edited July 2013
    my wife said the same thing! Lol. I hadn't noticed it, but as soon as she said it I had to say she seemed a little bit right.
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