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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,179
    *****off topic**** Oak Island

    Almost everyone there I met had the same story. They visited Oak Island (OKI) and decided to stay.

    The island has modernized. There is now a Food Lion on the island in a new plaza. Across the street from it is an Eagles beachwear store, and a similar Pacific store further up. There is a zoo oriented putt-put golf, and a new police station. There are tons of newer, beautiful homes all over. It is nice.
    Off the island at Southport there is a new Walmart Superstore. At the 133/211 intersection it looks like any other suburban strip mall in the country.

    The big news is a new 4 lane bridge connection 211 to 1st street on the island, so if we wanted to go to Myrtle from our house we took that instead of the old bridge.

    Myrtle is still Myrtle. I stopped at State Line fireworks (the one with the giant bear and gorilla statues holding a stick of dynamite).

    In N. Myrtle The Crazy Horse and the Dollhouse were busted for narcotics (no surprise there), but a new Dollhouse rose from the ashes, or asses as you might say. I have not been to the area in 15 years, and since it was a family vacation I did not go, but my best friend stayed with us and he did. He got home at 4 AM with stories. Stories not to be shared in this forum.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,179
    I followed a white Accord V6 in the last body style (08-12), and it was loaded to the gills. Very nice car. I love the dual exhaust. It's expensive looking, and that's nice to see in mid size. Glad they kept them pretty much the same in the new '13 line.

    I am a little jealous of the new Accord. It looks like it is made from a solid block of alloy. Seriously well made looking. I think it's a nice little reminder to the Koreans who is boss still. It takes a lot for me to admit that.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    I drove identically equipped white Accords (EXL, and EXL V6) at a local Honda dealer on Saturday. I like the 4, but the V6 was incredibly fun. I liked it, but wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be. Previously, I'd tested the LX and EX 4-cyl models.

    For comparison's sake, I have a 3.3L Sonata GLS (2009). It's the fastest car I've ever owned; and at 6.6 seconds or so to 60mph, it's certainly as fast as I could ever need.

    In comparison with the Sonata I own, I'll make a pros-cons list about why I have reached the conclusion I have reached about the Accord.

    Pros:
    Styling - I like understated designs; they don't age poorly like some more radical ones can.

    Fuel Economy - I am impressed at the numbers offered on these vehicles, especially considering their available power.

    Interior Space - They have huge interior spaces, especially the rear seat. However, my Sonata feels more "airy" to me, partly because the dashboard is less invasive.

    Driving Dynamics - The Accord is a sports car in comparison to my Sonata, although the steering is lighter than I'd prefer.

    Cons:
    Features per Dollar - I was driving cars with sticker prices near or above $30,000, (and transaction prices are high - more on that later), and it lacked a cohesive infotainment system like UVO or UConnect, Cooled/Ventilated seats (I live in the south and really want this feature), panaramic roof, or a great-sounding audio system. For the "upgraded unit" in the Accord, I couldn't tell it was notably better/clearer when playing the same CD as in my Sonata.

    A touch of Cheapness - The sunroof cover was by far the flimsiest I've felt on a 20k-30k car. The one in my Hyundai (a "cheap" car in 2009) feels far more sturdy. The back seat of the Accord V6 we drove also had a rattle neither me nor my fiance could find. The trunk and rear seat was empty.

    Not built for the tall guy - The seatbelt adjuster didn't go high enough to go over my shoulder, even with it in the highest position, and the seat in the lowest, the belt hit me right at the top of my left arm. This alone will prevent me from ever buying this generation Accord. The telescoping wheel was nice (my GLS Sonata lacks the feature, but it was available on SE and Limited in 2009). The driver's seat lacked about an inch in rear travel from fitting my legs comfortably. I'm 6'4", and had the same issue in my 2006 Accord. I wouldn't buy a car with the same issue this time, knowing how well I have fit in some competitors.

    All of those things don't make the Accord a bad car, just not the car for me.

    My fiance liked the Accord however, and we were willing to let the salesman try and meet us at a price point we were happy with on an EX-L V6 that was in stock. I told him I'd shopped around using Edmunds, Truecar, and other tools, and thought 27,500 + tax was a fair price on the car, especially considering that there would be $15,000 down on the car.

    He returned from the sales manager's office with the following:

    $33,190 (including $2300 in dealer add-ons (mudguards, trunk tray, sealant and nitrogen in tires, that's it!).
    -$1500 dealer discount
    $31690 price of car
    $1300 (approx, I forget the exact amount, but it was 13xx.xx) in taxes, title
    $699.10 doc fee

    $33,689.10 out the door, approximately, depending on what taxes were.

    Keep in mind, this was not a car equipped with NAVI, or the Touring.

    We left, because the deal was pretty insulting, and I liked, not loved, the car.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    graduate: Thanks for the good report. You're right that is not a good price for that model. Here's what carsdirect says they think they can get it for in my neck of the woods:

    2013 Honda Accord Price
    EX-L V-6 4dr Sedan w/6-Spd Automatic
    MSRP PRICING:$30,860
    Target Price: $27,642

    As you know, that's just about what you were offering.

    Sounds like you're moving on to other cars, but if for some reason you decide to come back to the Accord a site like cars direct or carwoo would probably be able to get you a price near your target.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    Arguably the KIA Optima was ahead of the last generation Accord in several areas just a year ago. And they're still tied in most ways. And an all-new Optima is due in a year or so, and so who knows what things will look like then?

    It's a the most competitive it's ever been for the midsize cars, and the winners are all the people buying one, no matter what the brand....
  • gmanusmcgmanusmc SoCalPosts: 436
    This is why I am not a proponent of talking numbers at the dealership - it is mostly a waste of time. You did well on the test drive and sounds like you accomplished what you set out to do - get a feel for the car.

    Serious negotiation can be done via email working exclusively with the Internet Sales Dept folks. A good dealer will have a good Internet Dept and those folks will be motivated to offer the best pricing. That way once you've settled on what you want, the numbers are finalized before going to the dealer.

    Bill G
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    His offer also depends on including the dealer add on's or not.
    27500 + 2300 or not.
    Either way, 1500 vs 3000+ discount doesn't work.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    The Camry seems all but certain to win the midsize sales race for 2013. Here's where things stand for the first seven months of this year:

    Camry: 242,406
    Accord: 218,367
    Altima: 197,321
    Fusion: 181,668

    But Ford is ramping up Fusion production in Flat Rock, and next year will have the capacity to make 100,000 Fusions there to add to the 350,000 already made in Mexico. Nissan also has the capacity to build 450,000 Altimas, although demand is not hitting that pace at this point. Honda can make at least 400,000 Accords in Ohio, and perhaps make more at another factory in the US or import some from Japan. In other words, they can make 450,000 too, but they've said they won't cut prices to do it.

    Last year, Camry won the sales race with annual sales of 404,886. And this year the Camry is slightly beating that pace. Toyota has the capacity to build as many as 475,000 Camrys. Toyota has said they'll do whatever it takes to stay #1, which means big money on the hood. But the competition is breathing down their neck. Looks like 2014 is going to be very close.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-25/ford-fusion-output-boost-tests-2-300-pr- emium-over-camry.html

    "....Sales Fight
    “We have an automobile market unlike any other in the last 40 years, where everybody is equal in that they all have terrific cars,” said Maryann Keller, principal at auto-industry consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates in Stamford, Connecticut. “Now, everybody is fighting for every sale.”

    The Fusion has prompted Toyota to acknowledge the challenge it faces to maintain leadership for its Camry sedan, which has reigned as the top-selling U.S. passenger car for 11 years and 15 of the last 16.

    “It is true that rival carmakers have come out with very competitive models in the segment, and that competition in the U.S. mid-size sedan segment is becoming fiercer,” Nobuyori Kodaira, a Toyota executive vice president, said last week in Tokyo. “What we need to do is to come out with even more competitive models.”

    The additional production from Flat Rock could allow Ford to stretch for as much as 450,000 units of combined annual Fusion output from the Michigan factory and its Hermosillo plant in Mexico, said Jeff Schuster, an analyst for LMC Automotive. The researcher estimates that Toyota has capacity in North America to build about 475,000 Camrys per year, while Honda can assemble about 450,000 Accords...."
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    edited August 2013
    Even at 450K, Fusion will not be even close to Ford's best selling vehicle.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Fusion capacity is only about 250K right now due to MKZ production. Ford will not give up profit just to be #1. Fusion transaction prices are about $2500 higher than Camry (give or take).

    I saw a new Camry prototype in a focus group a couple of weeks ago. The competition has nothing to be worried about.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    (((This is why I am not a proponent of talking numbers at the dealership - it is mostly a waste of time. You did well on the test drive and sounds like you accomplished what you set out to do - get a feel for the car.

    Serious negotiation can be done via email working exclusively with the Internet Sales Dept folks. A good dealer will have a good Internet Dept and those folks will be motivated to offer the best pricing. That way once you've settled on what you want, the numbers are finalized before going to the dealer. )))

    I agree; however I've noticed dealers in my area don't respond well via internet. They just want to call you. And call...and call...and call. I don't respond to those dealers normally, but writing them off has quickly shut down most dealers I'd prefer to use based on reputation. The easiest to work with dealer has been Hendrick in Hoover, AL. They sell Chrysler products (including a Ram I'm very interested in). Their sales people approach you without the pressure or cheesy schtick of most car salespeople. As a result, they may end up with my business.

    In the past, I have bought cars via e-mail. My parents' Taurus was negotiated via E-Mail, my Sonata was as well.

    A note: the dealer whom I visited Saturday have of-course called me and asked me to return their call in a voicemail.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, the salesman was very quick to blow off TrueCar. When I told him that there were dealers that would match the TrueCar price that day, he said "well they will have add-ons and doc fees also."

    Wrong answer. Don't talk down to me when trying to earn my business, and don't tell me what another dealer will do.

    I responded back, letting him know that even if the other dealers still had 2300 in add-ons and wanted 27,432 for the car, they'd be beating the Serra Honda offer by over 1,000, and with that, I wouldn't buy either car.

    He lost sight of the fact that I have two vehicles that are serviceable, one that I'd be comfortable driving across the country (the Sonata) even though I'd disclosed that to him earlier.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,179
    "flimsy" sunroof cover or lightweight? Lightweight is what Honda was thinking there. I am sure that it cost less too.

    Seat belt adjuster issue: I am 6'3" so I feel your pain there, but my Optima's seat-belt is a little low too, but still completely comfortable. I have driven small cars to large pickups, and have never had a seat-belt irritate me for being a little low.

    It sounds like you still like your Sonata. Why don't you check out the Mazda 6 next, and if you feel like that car isn't quite right for you, then keep your Hyundai. The V6 3.3 Sonata is a good car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited August 2013
    (("flimsy" sunroof cover or lightweight? Lightweight is what Honda was thinking there. I am sure that it cost less too.))

    Flimsy. The edge at the front was rough, and the motion it slid with was loose, not damped like my previous Accord or my current Sonata. It felt like something you'd expect to find in a Cobalt or something. It felt almost like posterboard/cardboard covered in felt. For what it's worth it didn't look bad at all, but it wasn't confidence inspiring as being "rattle-proof" down the road. (How many times can I say "felt? :))

    ((Seat belt adjuster issue: I am 6'3" so I feel your pain there, but my Optima's seat-belt is a little low too, but still completely comfortable. I have driven small cars to large pickups, and have never had a seat-belt irritate me for being a little low. ))

    My Sonata's seatbelt hits me just fine. Again, prior Accords have been ok here as well. This irritated me because at the highest position it hit right at the crest of my shoulder - the corner of my arm/shoulder, if you will - and I kept wanting to move it up or down. It's the first time I've ever had the issue in a car.

    ((It sounds like you still like your Sonata. Why don't you check out the Mazda 6 next, and if you feel like that car isn't quite right for you, then keep your Hyundai. The V6 3.3 Sonata is a good car. ))

    Both are good suggestions, but I'll share my reasoning behind the shopping, just for the sake of conversation. Trade-in on my car is about 6k, outright private-party pricing is around $7,500. I have someone interested in my car at the asking price of $8,500. If I get that, or at least $8,000, I'd sell. The car has over 110k miles on it now, and while it has been solid and reliable, it's approaching the end of it's cost-free life according to history. I have family that I drive 300 miles to see on a monthly basis, and want a car I can drive through the boondocks without wondering if I'll have a problem.

    The Mazda 6 is a beautiful car, and if they offered it with a V6 engine or a more modern infotainment system, I'd be more inclined to test-drive one. As it stands now, it doesn't meet my wants/needs for 25k-30k bucks.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,252
    You can get into a 2013 LaCrosse for around 25k and it has leather and a V6. Probably not on your radar but what the heck. I like mine -- smooth and quiet. 25 mpg as well.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    Grad -

    Try and find some of the no haggle dealers in your area. Really makes things enjoyable. In and out in under an hour buying my '13 Accord EX 6MT. No haggle price was $2,000 plus off of sticker and there were absolutely no add ons or additional fees. This was back in Jan when the the 6MT had just started showing up - could probably do much better now as the '14's are around the corner.

    I know these are not near you, but here are a couple in my area.

    http://www.walser.com/index.htm

    You may need to use the chat window for honda prices at walser, but most of the others are listed.

    http://www.bismarckmotorcompany.com/index.htm
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I appreciate the input. The LaCrosse is a nice vehicle, and a good option. However, of everything I've driven, my favorite is still the Ram SLT with the Pentastar and UConnect. It's off-topic, so I hate to expound on it more.

    I'm about to take a new job within the same company that will change my commute from 95 miles daily to about 30. With that reasoning, I can make the case for having a truck with lower mpgs if it's what my heart really wants. I've driven all these midsizers hoping to "talk myself out" of the truck, but nothing has.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thank you for the links... however I think the seatbelt adjustment and lack of a couple of key features for the money will keep me out of an Accord this go-around.

    And yes, the Ram I'm listing doesn't have cooled seats, but I can get cloth. The Accord with the upgrades I'd want forces you into leather. As a result, I'd want ventilated leather.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    edited August 2013
    Think about a diesel in that Ram? would sure help mpg.

    http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/ecodiesel/
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Probably not. Diesel here is about $0.40/gal higher than regular unleaded. I don't intend to do much/any towing with it; it'll be a highway queen.

    Anyhow; I didn't intend to hijack this thread. Dudley, if you or anyone else would like to chat about the trucks, maybe meet me in the "Help me Choose" forum. I know this isn't the place for "Ram Talk." ;)
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