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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,540
    It's no secret that I'm a GM fan and I really liked the 2008-2012 Malibu. Almost bought one in 2009, probably should have in retrospect.

    I had high hopes for the 2013 model but when I saw the long-lead photos I was shocked at how discordant the exterior and interior design was. Nothing seemed right. The front end looked high and blocky, the greenhouse seemed too small, and the bangle butt and Camaro taillights looked totally wrong. Inside, the tombstone-shaped center stack was just ugly, the ribbed dash applique reminded me of a 1990 Beretta, the over-use of fake woodgrain reminded me of the late 1970s, and the misshapen little hat over the Camaro-style cluster just looked ridiculous. Then came word of the overly tight rear compartment and it was game over.

    That raised in my mind the question of what I would buy if I was in the market right now. Sonata is not open for consideration. Optima might get a look just for the design, but I am wary. Saw the new Mazda 6 and was unimpressed, especially with the interior. Altima may be a decent car but I am not a fan of anything made by Nissan. Fusion may be OK but it reminds me of the Sonata from 3 years ago in terms of the excess hype by the automotive press. Camry would need to be considered just due to sheer popularity. And then there's Honda.

    I don't dislike Hondas, but I never particularly liked the Accord. Recently a co-worker bought a 2013 and I went with her on a long road trip. This is one nice car! Lots of room inside, great visibility, nicely designed inside and out, and the powertrain seemed more than capable. As a passenger I never noticed the CVT which is saying something. It pains me to say this, but if I was buying in this segment today, I would buy an Accord without a second thought.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    Go to, and post your question in the general forum or on the appearance forum. Guaranteed to get help there.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,444
    Honda uses active noise cancellation. The driver's side is is made to feel quiet, but the passenger side sends subliminal messages 'Buy and Accord, Buy an Accord, Buy an Accord over and over again'. ;)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    edited August 2013
    Thanks man. It's always fun to see a review of your own car. It is actually the EXACT same car as mine, except for the color. I am noticing a trend though. The Optima always finishes mid pack. It's never #1. That's what Kia is striving for , and I hope they continue to improve handling as well. A platform that looks so good (inside and out) in either version shouldn't be hobbled by poor steering calibrations and the lack of a few welds for added platform rigidity.

    I found it interesting that the Fusion 1.6 EcoBoost averages 28. 49 MPG during the test (must have been done on an airport runway, or in Nebraska :D ) and the Optima 2.4 non-turbo(with 22 more HP) got 29.69, over 1 mpg better FE.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    'Honda uses active noise cancellation. The driver's side is is made to feel quiet, but the passenger side sends subliminal messages 'Buy and Accord, Buy an Accord, Buy an Accord over and over again'.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    It's interesting to me that every test I've seen that compares the two rates the Optima significantly higher than the Sonata.

    As you know, the Optima also out-scored the Sonata on the IIHS small offset test.

    KIA, I think, is trying to differentiate itself from Hyundai, and seems to be succeeding.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    edited August 2013
    The Sonata interior is more style biased while the Optima is more form-follows-function.

    It's funny how that actually ties into the dreaded C-pillar blind spot, which is similarly bad in the Optima. I don't have to spend any time looking for buttons or knobs or sorting through menus, which means I spend more time looking at the road. The radio looks like a radio, the HVAC is below that, (as it should be), and both have real knobs with races that would be at home in an Audi. It is no accident, as Peter Schreyer, a former chief designer for Audi and Volkswagen, has led the transformation of Kia with such products as the Optima, 2014 Forte, and Cadenza.

    I honestly didn't have to look at the manual at all to set the whole car up the way I liked it, including pairing my Galaxy phone, adding my flash drive, using the dual-zone A/C and setting the clock.

    I aspire to own a nice new Audi one day, but for a father of three with a mortgage, the Optima is an attractive stand in for big stacks of cash less.

    If anyone would like to see my actual car, you can do so here:
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    Nice looking car!+++ Good color.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    The Hyundai and Kia power trains are basically identical, much like Ford and Lincoln.

    This article took 17 reviews and built their ratings from them, much like Rotten Tomatoes does for films.
    In it the Hyundais scored better than the Kia and Honda:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Sonata Hybrid has a conventional six-speed automatic in lieu of the CVT-type arrangement used by most other hybrids.

    There's a reason "most other hybrids" use these. :shades:

    It doesn't buzz or drone, but it thunks and lurches as power-supplies (electric or electric + gas) turn on and off. A terribly unrefined solution that is a let-down on such a technology-laden car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The powertrains are similar (both are competitive with others in the class except the hybrid - no problem there), but the interior design and suspension and handling are tuned differently in the Optima vs. the Sonata.

    The Sonata has a more flowing, feminine quality, while the Optima has a more germanic, masculine appearance inside and out.

    Nobody cares about US News and World Report when it comes to car reviews. That's like MAC World ranking dishwashers.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    but in my zeal to defend this car

    It's not like somebody is beating up your kid or insulting your's just a car. Jeeesh.

    Correct. If you like it - great! Don't insist that it's the best just because you bought it though. I have a Sonata. I like it! It's not the best driving, most powerful, best looking vehicle I could've bought (as a 2009 model). In fact, it's blandly styled and rather uncoordinated in handling, but it fit my needs/wants and met the budget; at the time I wanted lots of front-seat room, plenty of V6-power with good economy (249hp and 19/29 was great for the class in '09), and USB/iPod input for the audio system. I picked a good car, perhaps the best at the price point, but not the "best in segment."

    There isn't one "best car" in the segment, because everyone purchasing needs a car that will suit different needs and wants.

    One person may want sporty, another want the most features per dollar, another want a cushy ride and lots of room. These all equate to different "bests."

    Quit cramming the Sonata down our throats please.


    A Sonata OWNER
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's interesting to me that every test I've seen that compares the two rates the Optima significantly higher than the Sonata.

    Most car mags tend to vote for the "Driver's Car" above the "Cushy Car."

    The Optima is tuned more sporty/stiffly than the Sonata in my experience. For the same reason, Accords often beat out Camrys in those tests. If you read the articles, they'll usually identify traits like "sharper steering" or a "more controlled suspension" in the cars that place higher.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    Wow, such hyperbolic animosity.

    Last time I checked this discussion was about all midsized sedans.

    I'm following forum guidelines and I post more links than several other members combined.

    US News is a pretty well respected source.
    Their ratings for hospitals, insurance companies, and colleges/university are respected and objective so why try to diss on their compilation of auto reviews?

    Probably whining because you dislike what they said.
    They simply aggregated the data and using a formula ranked the results.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,444
    Are you saying they didn't actually test any cars reviewed? I find that a bit strange.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    edited August 2013
    RT doesn't review movies either.
    They aggregate the reviews.
    Great reference for choosing a film/DVD.

    Same principal with US News/World Reports.
    Well respected (by most rational folks) publication.
    Maybe check out the link below to help you understand what's going on.

    Our new car rankings are based on a consensus of America's top automotive experts, as well as safety and reliability data. The rankings do not rely on our own tests or U.S. News editors' preferences.

    We combine two types of information: published reviews from respected automotive critics and safety and reliability data from third-party sources.

    Currently Ford Fusion Hybrid is #1, the 4 cyl. Sonata is #2, and the Sonata Hybrid is #3; Accord sits in seventh place.

    "The Accord's new staple drivetrain, a direct-injection four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission, provides enough oomph around town. … The Nissan Altima's CVT responds faster to accelerator nudges, but Honda's gets the job done, kicking engine revs sky-high when you need passing power."
    That's what known as motoboarding as we discussed earlier.
    That buzzy, quirky 'instant on' sensation common to all CVTs.

    These rankings are periodically updated, too.

    My point is that its not based on just one source.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 198
    edited August 2013
    OUCH!!!!!! Someone who not only knows what he is talking about but documents it THOROUGHLY!

    Also, thank you for the information on the motorboarding. I didn't know what it was called. I had driven an Altima and that is exactly what I experienced in it. I wondered if Honda had taken care of that in the new accord, but according to the experts they have not. A friend of mine recently bought a 2013 4 cyl EXL (for his wife) and I asked him a few questions about it. He told me he experienced the shuttering at about 1500 rpms or so (I also experienced this in the Altima I drove) and he mentioned that he has wind noise coming in directly behind his ear on the driver's side. When I googled those two items it seems the shuttering at low rpm is a common thing as is the wind noise from the driver's door. I am so thankful I opted not to buy a first year model. But I also think I've opted to avoid the new accord. I had wind noise for 13 years in my 2000 accord and couldn't get rid of it no matter what I did. I don't think I care to repeat that. I didn't enjoy my cvt experience in the rental Altima and I think I'm going to pass on Honda's attempt with the cvt as well.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,043
    edited August 2013
    Like C/D rating microwaves:

    "We like how the radar-range transitions smoothly from low to high and then from high to defrost, always letting you know where the power is but never vibrating the chassis"...


    "While the Carousel II leads the pack in styling, it starts and stops abruptly, the motor coarse at the limit, with significant NVH. The engineers still have work to do on it's chassis as well as fit and finish".


    " The G.E's all white interior appointments aren't up to par with the Sharp, as if easy clean-up dictated it's entire design".

    Ok, I am done now. :blush:
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 878
    Interesting how only you, not any review, mention wind noise. In fact review after review praise the New Accord's quietness. Many, many reviews also single out the smoothness of the Accord's CVT, specifically contrasting it to other CVTs currently being offered. But your mind is made up without even driving one. My Accord has no stuttering or jerking, is smooth and very quiet. It's hardly the exception. I also drove the Altima CVT and did find the noise upon acceleration annoying, but it isn't deafening. In fact, my neighbor has an earlier model Altima and loves it. I just thought the Accord had the total package. After 5 months and two road trips I'm loving it more and more.
  • ahightowerahightower DFWPosts: 429
    Very nice! I almost got a red Optima (EX), it was a very close second place to my Accord, and I still deliberate again every time I see a red one. It was definitely the punchiest engine and tranny of all the automatics I test drove.
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