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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,675
    edited August 2013
    "...Honda and Toyota are unfortunately falling into Mercedes-Itis, where they are charging extra for their image alone. And in the $20K or so segment, that's a tough pill to swallow. Especially when their cars are such a giant piece of Tupperware. Great engines, but you might as well be inside a GM rental car.

    IMO, the extra few hundred dollars for a Fusion over a Camry or Accord is a no-brainer."

    Don't agree. And this seems like a mixed message of Honda charging more and yet the Fusion costs even more than that?

    Accord has more ultra-high grade steel than the Fusion, and does better on the IIHS crash test. The Accord also gets to 60 faster, gets better mpg, has better visibility, and more standard features.

    Fusion makes you pay extra for the "good" engine, while with the Accord it's standard.

    The Fusion is a very good car, but it's far from a "no brainer."

    The interior is a matter of taste. No clear winner there.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,675
    They weren't that fond of every element of the Fusion's interior. Again, it's a very good car, but saying it's better than an Accord is a matter of opinion. Car and Driver ranked the Accord above the Fusion. But then again Car and Driver also ranked the brand-new Mazda6 above even the Accord!

    "...Packaging is the Fusion’s biggest weakness. Somehow, it has the longest wheelbase by 1.8 inches and ties with the Passat for long­est overall length, yet manages to feel like it has the smallest back seat in the group. Knees rub the front seatbacks, and forget using the middle seatbelt. The front buckets are set farther back behind thick B-pillars, and that—plus wide, plastic sill extensions—makes getting out more of a squirm job, especially if you’re short. The Fusion also has the smallest fuel tank and the narrowest trunk opening, items that can become daily annoyances.

    Our preproduction test car suffered multiple neural crises, at times flashing warning lights as if it were Christmas in Times Square. Attention Dearborn: Fix this stuff before showtime...."

    The last part sounds very like my all-new 2000 Ford Focus ZTS with more than dozen recalls and all sorts of glitches. I'm sure Fords are better now, but this reminds me why I swore off of them.

    Again, the Fusion is a very good car! One of the tops in the whole segment. In some areas it is better than the Accord (styling, perhaps, and some elements of the interior), but it's far from the only best choice in the midsize segment.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,613
    Just about all the Fusions I see are SE or Titanium models.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    Take my brand new car into a body shop and have it resprayed? I gasp at that comment...

    Actually, Honda *isn't* building what they can sell; they're still trying to sell what they build (and it's a rather old school way of doing things) - I highly doubt I'm the only guy out there who likes stick shifts but doesn't like gray cars. There's no difference between the body shell of a CVT EX and a manual EX and I'm pretty sure they both roll down the very same line. Whatever tiny amount Honda saves by eliminating color options for manual equipped cars is very likely lost by the higher marginal costs associated with selling fewer total units.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,675
    edited August 2013
    You've got it right: you should buy something else. And you're also right that it's too bad Honda lost a customer. I special ordered a 2008 Accord EXL navi with the manual trans in white. At that time you could get all colors and virtually all trim levels in a manual. That day is gone, which is too bad, but since it is gone and will almost certainly never come back you'll need to move on.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    I like the Fusion (it wouldn't be on my short list if I didn't), but I couldn't disagree with you more on the new Accord. While the Fusion is a better driver's car overall (I've driven several 2013s - even a 1.6L Ecoboost with a manual), the manual equipped Accord is a much faster ride (and in real world driving, I suspect it would also get better mileage than than Fusion regardless of their "official" EPA certifications). But there are a number of other factors to consider too.

    The Fusion SE's sound system is very poor - it has the same number speakers as an Accord EX, but the Accord's speakers are larger and their placement produces better overall sound (the rears are in the deck rather than in the rear doors like the Fusion).

    True, Honda's LaneWatch system is gimmicky, but no more so (I'd say far less so) than Ford's Buck Rogers turn signal stalk. I may never use LaneWatch, but I'd be forced to contend with BR every time I drove the Fusion.

    Furthermore, regardless of what anyone from Planet Ford tries to assure me, I don't believe the average Fusion is going to be as reliable as the average Accord. I could only hope that if I buy a 2014 Ford, it's going to be far more reliable than the piece of garbage 2010 they sold me a few years ago.

    Ford bet big on touch screen infotainment and miniature turbochargers a few years ago and their once improving quality got put on the back burner. Unfortunately, neither of those bets has turned out well for them. Their turbos are developing a reputation for getting the same or worse real world mileage than their competitors' more powerful regularly aspirated motors and I have concerns that the driveability problems being reported by many 3.5L Ecoboost owners may not be unique.

    The icing on the proverbial cake is that if you do get a problematic Fusion, you're going to get hit again if you try to ditch it because Ford's fleet sales are so much higher than that of Honda.

    Again, I don't hate the Fusion - I very much enjoyed the Ecoboost manual I drove a few months ago. If I had more faith in Ford products, I probably wouldn't be as weighing the sacrifices (SiriusXM; color choices with the Accord and sunroof; SiriusXM with the Mazda 6 Sport) I'd have to make by choosing one of its competitors.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,675
    edited August 2013
    "Furthermore, regardless of what anyone from Planet Ford tries to assure me, I don't believe the average Fusion is going to be as reliable as the average Accord. I could only hope that if I buy a 2014 Ford, it's going to be far more reliable than the piece of garbage 2010 they sold me a few years ago."


    One thing I came to realize as I faced recall after recall on my new Ford Focus a dozen years ago, is that a car is an astonishingly complex piece of machinery today. There are thousands of parts, each of which must work perfectly with all the others. And when it comes down to it you are betting your life and the life of some other people on those parts being well made and working together. Suddenly the slight extra cost of a Honda seemed worth it to me. Honda sometimes makes mistakes too, and they've had their failures with transmissions, airbags, and other things, but overall their reputation for quality is more or less deserved.

    Ford has improved in the last ten years, but as you experienced, and as the experience of Car and Driver shows, it hasn't always been consistent.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    edited August 2013
    I agree that Honda manuals are among the best, but I honestly had no clear preference in the linkage or clutch take-up between the Fusion SE 1.6 Ecoboost, Honda Accord Sport and Mazda 6 Sport when I drove them a few months ago - they were all fine.

    Were I able to get the Mazda 6 manual with a sunroof and SiriusXM, it would be the clear winner over the others (and I love the steel blue color available on the 6...) - it has the most serious, driver oriented interior and it just feels more "me" than the other two. Alas, I cannot.

    Interestingly, Mazda has made the Touring trim (like the Sport, it's also not available with a sunroof) available now with a stick but not the Grand Touring - whoop dee doo, I say. If I wanted a $25K new car with a vinyl (ahem, leatherette) interior and no sunroof, I'd be looking at Passats.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,613
    I went to Tirerack to check out the my OEM 19" Continental tires on my Fusion.
    They are rated for 40k miles and are listed at $245 each.
    A comparable Michelin is $20 cheaper per tire and are rated for 55k.
    This may change by the time i need tires, but I'm glad I started my tire replacement account. ;)
  • I am looking at the Sonata as a replacement for our 2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD. It's too bad Nissan won't stand behind THIER product. They did replace the CVT (now that they extended the factory warranty to 10yr/120K) but our transfer case was leaking too (as so many of them have) and we were told it couldn't be rebuilt since it was one that had been made with a bad part! What floored me was we got NO help from Nissan at all with the cost of the replacement part. I even contacted the executive offices in TN. $3K later, I still have a metallic rattle when the CVT is trying to kick out of the first "gear" and after reading about how many others had the same issue, I am VERY worried I will have to replace both drive train components again if we hang on to the car. An '09 with under 100K and 2/3 of the drive train failed, ridiculous. NEVER BUY NISSAN!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,177
    She ran fantastically. My only gripe was the TPMS system is too sensitive. On the way down I got a warning about 200 miles into the trip, and stopped to make sure all was ok. The tire was two pounds over due to heat. No warning light was necessary. Also, if the car can sense an inflation problem, why can't it tell me which tire????

    Same thing happened on the way back, but went off on its own after I slowed to 60 for 25 miles through Goldsboro NC. The trip was 400 miles each way to Oak Island, NC, and I put 400 miles on it while in the area with several trips to Myrtle beach that were 60 miles each way.

    The ride was great on the superslab. That's all.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,738
    I like the design of the Optima, but remain convinced that Hyundai/Kia engineering is not up to the standard of other major players. The phrase "you get what you pay for" exists for a reason. All the attention paid to trick features and geegaws means corners get cut somewhere.

    How is Oak Island doing these days? I spent a week there many years ago and often thought it would be a neat place to live. The condo on the beach we rented was fabulous. Wouldn't want to be there in a hurricane though.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    edited August 2013
    Different TPMS's do show which tire. My 05 Nissan Quest shows each individual tire pressure...but you still have to determine what tire each reading is for. My (now sold) 06 Lexus would only show a tire warning indicator without giving an individual reading; I suppose they figure if one tire has an issue you should check them all while you're at it.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    So you never mentioned if your car got to redeem its rather poor FE thus far, on a more averaged out highway run?
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,177
    Sorry Gimmee. I was exhausted after 10 days with 3 preteen kids and my elderly mother, who broke (hairline) and twisted her hip in the ocean. Also, my A/C at home died the day before I left, so I just got a new blower motor in at 4pm today.

    The 6 hour trip took 10 hours because of a non stop traffic jam from Fairfax to Richmond. That is 80 miles folks. Fredricksburg, VA is at the epicenter, where route 17 and 95 merge. It has been voted the worst traffic area on 95...period. Avoid at all costs. Long haul travelers take 301. The rest of us just need to bring Xanax. Awful.

    Alright. The FE ! It redeemed itself. Even after 2.5 hours in stop and go traffic I ended up with 31.8 down, and 34.1 on the way back. This is on 70 mph (legal) roads, so the real speeds were more like 80, until the aforementioned Fredricksburg nightmare.

    What also redeemed itself was the seats. The lumbar support and the tilt on the drivers seat cushion allowed me to be comfortable during 90% of the trip, and I believe the other 10% was due to my size. I need to drop a few.

    The drivers seat has one caveat. If it was an inch longer my thighs would have been better supported, but I am 6'3". Nuff said there.

    The best part of the beachhouse was the covered parking under the house, and the completely leak free high power hose contained within. I was able to wash and fully detail for nights out to downtown Myrtle Beach.

    The ride. It was great, and even better when the car was loaded. Very smooth, dependable car with good pickup, and no trouble passing slow traffic, even at 80 mph. It felt like it could reach its top speed of 130, but precious cargo and seasoning have capped my speed at 85...never more.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Ya, I agree..those are not bad numbers at all considering the car load and the speeds. It sure does put a period behind how city really pulls the averages down. Altho I have known that for a long time with every vehicle I have owned since last having a diesel. Your comment about the seat bottom doesn't surprise me and I'm a few inches shorter than you. Seat bottoms seem to be universally a bit too short for all but the shortest of drivers who drive with the seat well forward.

    Re the dropping a few..a good number of us can concur there..

    Pretty sure Mom appreciated you not seeing the top-end I'm sure it is probably quite capable of, lol...altho the fuel readout once north of about 110 might give you heart palpitations, haha that speed, like mother like son, haha. The kids OTOH would probably remember that as the highlight of the Oh time..
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,040
    >The 6 hour trip took 10 hours because of a non stop traffic jam from Fairfax to Richmond. That is 80 miles folks

    Do you mean stop and go? Explain more what it was, please.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 221
    edited August 2013
    LOL. I'm sure cski doesn't need an interpreter, but I believe he means the traffic was HORRIBLE! When I was stationed at the Pentagon I lived in Old Towne. I road the metro to work and it was an easy commute. When I first started work there and coworkers showed up I thought they had issues with me so I confronted a couple of them and asked them point blank if there was something we needed to talk about. They explained that the reason they seemed angry was that they drove to work and it was horrible. The entire DC area has horrible traffic.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,177
    edited August 2013
    My mom took her own car, a 2010 Kia Forte' EX. I forgot to mention the Bluetooth integration with the audio system. It worked GREAT. I was able to keep in touch with my mother's car (and my 8 year old with her) at all times, and update her when we neared an exit on my GPS. I lost her a couple times, but with the phone integration it was just a non-issue.

    Also, being able to do 70 to 80 mph w/o worry of being pulled over took almost all the stress out of driving. I saw several cars pulled over who raced by me at 90 mph, and they were dealt with promptly by local police.

    With a 2.0 liter and 4 speed automatic (with "eco" setting) she got 32 down following me, sitting in that same traffic and exactly the same speeds.

    You guys should know that I stopped 4 times for bathroom breaks due to the kids, and idled for several minutes at each, while still getting 31.4.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,177
    Yes, stop and go. Never getting over 45 mph. There were several two mile stretches between exits where I was able to maintain 40 to 45, but as soon as another exit approached, it was stop and go. Frustrating.
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