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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    My best friend has a 2008 Ford Fusion SEL with SYNC. It's his company issued vehicle- all of which have SYNC now. A Ford rep told me that over 80% of fleet sales have SYNC installed.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Actually, the WRX is still a 5-speed manual. It's the Impreza 2.5 GT that is saddled with the archaic 4-speed automatic.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Things that happened since Toyota got 17% share:
    1. Legacy wagon gone
    2. Auto-trans only WRX
    3. Auto-trans only Outback turbo

    Definitely heading for one size fits most.


    I guess since Mazda now doesn't offer a manual with the 6S, nor does Honda with the Accord V6 4-door, they must also have had shares purchased by Toyota...

    1. How about the possibility that the Legacy Wagon didn't sell? Considering I'm in Subaru heaven living in Upstate NY, and I've seen all of NONE on the roads without a dealer plate in the past 5+ years.

    2. As long as I remember, the WRX has ALWAYS had a manual option, and still does.

    3. Gotta knock this down to sales yet again, for pretty much the same reason in #1.

    The only thing that has happened since Toyota bought shares is the development (and cancellation) of a proposed sports coupe that was to be sold by both automakers.

    And 17% is less than the controlling percentage of 33.4%, according to Japanese law. Ask Ford...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    1. Legacy wagon gone

    With poor sales and people opting for the very similar Legacy Outback, there is no reason to have a Legacy wagon. As a member of one of the largest Subaru dealers in the nation, I can attest to the fact that the Legacy wagon did not sell.

    2. Auto-trans only WRX

    5-speed manual still offered

    3. Auto-trans only Outback turbo

    The Outback is not a car for enthusiasts. For all intents and purposes, it's an SUV according to Subaru. Again, we can point to lack of interest as a reason not to offer a manual Outback turbo.

    In my opinion, Subaru is headed in the right direction. Outside of looks, the new Legacy sedan seems to offer something for everyone. If you want FE, buy the 2.5i with CVT. If you want a little fun, but the manual 2.5i. Power? 2.5GT or H6. Throw into that the ever popular Outback, Forester (selling like hot cakes BTW), and WRX / WRX STi and you have a popular car line. Outside of the Tribeca, everything is a good seller, in restricted regions of course!
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I guess since Mazda now doesn't offer a manual with the 6S, nor does Honda with the Accord V6 4-door, they must also have had shares purchased by Toyota...

    No, just giving up on the enthusiast market. I was surprised Mazda did that, but oh well. Honda seems to bring out the V6 manual towards the end of the model run. I think it makes more sense in the sedan than the Honda Monte Carlo...I mean Accord Coupe.

    1. How about the possibility that the Legacy Wagon didn't sell? Considering I'm in Subaru heaven living in Upstate NY, and I've seen all of NONE on the roads without a dealer plate in the past 5+ years.

    I think that;s because they are all in my neighborhood. How do you define "didn't sell?" Did you define it as 300,000 units/yr like Toyota does with the Camry or 60,000 like a small profitable European manufacturer does with their 3-series?

    3. Gotta knock this down to sales yet again, for pretty much the same reason in #1.

    Again, what constitutes sales? The reason we went with Subaru last time is they had a sporty mid-size wagon with a manual transmission. If they are just making a boat with a slushbox, I can get that for a lot less $$.


    The only thing that has happened since Toyota bought shares is the development (and cancellation) of a proposed sports coupe that was to be sold by both automakers.


    And Toyota having access to Subaru plants in the US for manufacturing, allowing they have reserve capacity, made possible by canceling/eliminating models. :sick:
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Manual drivers are a dying breed. I'm sure if more than 5% of midsize sedan buyers were looking for manuals, the car companies would make more of them. Dealerships just don't want cars that just sit, and sit, and sit on their lots. Can you blame them? I drive a manual every day, and I don't see the big attraction. Slush boxes, as you call them, are better than they used to be. Many times they get better mileage than their manual counterparts. Today's computer controlled automatic transmission is hard to beat. Get with the program.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    You drive a manual. Therefore you must be an "enthusiast" according to some people's definitions. If you were to drive an auto trans you would automatically be thrown from the enthusiast club. These are midsize sedans......how do you abandon someone you never had in the first place. I drive a '07 Mazda6 which handles a little sharper than most other midsize sedans. Is it for enthusiasts only.....hardly. Just people that like a little sportier driver versus soft touring ride. I think anyone can be an car enthusiast no matter what they drive. Look at all the people who post and read these forums, they are all car enthusiasts to some degree and a lot of them drive Camrys too.

    Blasting a company because they are trying to optimise sales with what their research tells them will sell is crazy. If people want a stick shift so bad they should be willing to pay extra for it. Maybe the manufacturers wouldn't abandon it if they can make money selling them. I like to drive a stick shift once in awhile but not on an everday basis and can't afford to just have a car sitting around to drive occassionally. I think I fall into the vast majority of midsize sedan buyers so the manufacturers are just responding to the market. Instead of complaining so much about stick shifts not being offered in every vehicle out there, pony up the extra cash. If the enthusiats do that the manufacturers will be glad to accomadate them.
  • chris789chris789 Posts: 37
    I've been looking at both the Accord and Camry and a friend mentioned I should look at Hyundai. The Sonata looks similar to both the Accord/Camry and I wanted to find out how it compared to ride/comfort? The tiburon gs also looks nice.

    tia,
    Chris
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    If people want a stick shift so bad they should be willing to pay extra for it. Maybe the manufacturers wouldn't abandon it if they can make money selling them.

    That is a good point, if market research told the manufacturers that a large number of folks* would pay $1000 extra to substitute a manual for an auto in a midsize sedan, perhaps they would come back as a premium option.

    *Note that "a large number" does not mean the 5 manual lovers reading this post, who are poised to respond with: "I'd pay $1000 extra and even more...". :)
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    That goes against my very nature! A manual transmission has traditionally had three distinct advantages- it costs less to buy, it uses less fuel and the overall driving experience is more rewarding (often quicker, a sense of being connected to the vehicle).
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    If ride and comfort are the main factors--then Camry is king.Very comfy,quiet ride with no road noise.
    The Accord--sporty handling,taut steering wheel ,quite a bit of road noise.
    The Sonata is a bit of both actually.
    Plus the resale value of Camcord is much better than Sonata.Resale wont matter if u keep a car for 10 years or drive it till the wheels fall off.
    And if u are image conscious-go with Camry/Accord.
    Also a used 1 or 2 yr old Sonata can be a screaming bargain!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    They currently still cost less.

    They don't necessarily use less fuel anymore and when they do the difference may be negligable...at least they way they configure them on actual (midsize) cars.

    Rewarding driving experience depends on the driver, for most the manual is just an annoyance. It is no longer certain to be quicker, as evidenced by the recent comparison of a 4 cylinder midsize (was it the Mazda6) where the auto out accelerated the manual all the way to about 85 mph. Then there is the whole issue of DSG type transmissions perhaps starting to come in to play...will Ford be putting their "power shift" in the Fusion any time soon?

    Another advantage they had was that you typically had gotten one or two extra gears over the 3 and 4 speed automatics. This is now typically not the case...and in fact you may effectively lose the top gear in some cars. In my 2007 Mazda6, for example, 5th gear in the manual has a ratio that is fairly close to 4th in the auto. In my wife's 2005 Jetta the auto has a 6th gear that did not exist in the manual.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Since the Sonata costs a few thousand less up front, the fact that a Camry or Accord is worth more in resale is expected. While a used Sonata can be a great deal, there were major improvements for 2009 that you might find to your liking. There are some used 2009s out there, though--that model was introduced early in 2008. The 2010s are nearly here, so you might find some really good deals on 2009 Sonatas now. That might be true of the Camry also--the 2010s just arrived, and while they do have some improvements (e.g. more powerful I4 engine, standard VSC) it is basically the same car.

    At any rate, you could drive the Sonata and get pricing even if only to have more negotiating power with the Toyota and Honda dealers. Another car to check out is the 2009 Optima--pricing is a little lower than the Sonata, but it has a suspension that is more tuned for handling than is the Sonata. If you like the way the Accord handles vs. the Camry, you may find the Optima more to your liking than the Sonata. But if you prefer the ride of the Camry, check out the Sonata GLS or Limited (SE has a sport-tuned suspension).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,691
    The only reason to buy a manual today is because you like them, for whatever reason (cheaper, less complicated, more fun, etc.). They no longer have performance or fuel economy advantages. I drove sticks for years but I don't want one as a daily driver in Atlanta traffic. I do want one in the mustang gt convertible I plan to buy in a few years but that won't be a daily driver.

    Ford's powershift DSGs will show up first on the Fiesta. It's more fuel efficient than a regular 6 speed so it will be targeted at smaller cars. Larger versions that can handle more torque are on the way but nothing is confirmed beyond the Fiesta. I'd bet the Fusion won't see one before 2011 - they just have so many other things to work on first.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I agree that today's automatics are worlds beyond what was available even ten years ago. The best of them are finally approaching the immediate response of a manual.

    But I'm not sure I'm ready to ditch the last manual in my stable and go automatics-only.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    "I'd pay $1000 extra and even more

    Agreed. If they loved their sticks so much they wouldn't have a problem paying extra. The argument of why should I pay more for less is kind of like eating at a French restaurant, you get less but it is supposedly so much better that you shouldn't mind paying $100 a plate. It's called exclusivity. If the manufacturers thought they could sell em(at a profit) ....they'd make em.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    There may be some other factors as to why there are less models with a manual. CARB is one reason, since the computer cant control the driver, it may not be able to meet certain regulations, where an automatic that is computer controlled and regulated can meet those standards. Years ago a manual was standard, an automatic was an option, today it is more efficient to have an automatic and with only one transmission option, that means less stock on the assembly line, less overhead, etc. The automatic also doesn't need the clutch pedal, master/slave setup, etc. so less parts to supply, and less configurations of the main chassis to have.

    You cant put a manual on an engine built for an automatic, so you would need engines designed for manuals, along with the associated PCM. The engine would have different linkages, different flywheel, and other accessories, so overall it is less expensive to a car line to stick with one transmission type on a car run, than to have a manual as an option.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000
    The reverse is also true. If they can charge extra for an auto trans and make money they can do the reverse.

    As far as CAFE is concerned, since most of the EPA numbers still show the manual trannies getting the same or better MPG I don't think that is of any consideration at this point. Could be in the future though. Right now I think it's strictly a demand thing that drives the production numbers.....not CAFE.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Slush boxes, as you call them, are better than they used to be. Many times they get better mileage than their manual counterparts. Today's computer controlled automatic transmission is hard to beat. Get with the program.

    Oh good point. I will now just change my likes and wants to meet your paradigm. I stand corrected. /sarcasm
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Ford's powershift DSGs will show up first on the Fiesta. It's more fuel efficient than a regular 6 speed so it will be targeted at smaller cars.

    ...replacing the "premium automatic" (read: slushbox) as that transmission can't hit the same fuel economy numbers

    Larger versions that can handle more torque are on the way but nothing is confirmed beyond the Fiesta. I'd bet the Fusion won't see one before 2011 - they just have so many other things to work on first.

    Volvo has it in Europe, slightly different but related transmission.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,700
    and rented a 2009 Toyota Camry. In a nutshell the car is easy and safe and secure to drive. However, I found myself not liking the "floaty" suspension/handling package. The car is quiet at freeway speeds, has easy to steer steering, just it would wander off the road and hit those zip-strips near the road's fogline all of the time.

    It did have a great stereo, and I had one of my favorite Foghat CD's and one of my favorite Guess Who CD's along on the trip with me, so that was very cool, to be able to rock out nicely. I drove two of my sisters and a friend of one of the sisters over to Kelowna, B.C. to see Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings of Guess Who fame in concert at Kelowna's Prospera Place. Nice to have a "safe" driver to drive up there, as the show started at 7:30PM and got out at around 11:30PM, so it was pitch-black for the drive back to the Okanogan, WA, area one of my sisters has built a home at.

    Overall I would give the 2009 Toyota Camry a score of 80 out of 100. For the more sportier handling I'd give a serious look at the 2009 Kia Optima, if I was interested in a car in this size-range. My 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS just handles too well and a big drop in handling as large as the Camry's would not cut it for me. I'd take a serious look at the Kia Optima, and from what I've heard, the midsize Optima would fit my bill perfectly. BTW-Kia is working on a new Optima-sized car right now codenamed the VG. So the Optima is under re-constructive surgery as I type this post out.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,691
    If I wanted better handling I think a Fusion, Mazda6 and Accord would be first on the list.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Yes, and maybe the Altima and Legacy also. The Optima does I think have a nice blend of handling and ride quality, more attuned for handling than the Sonata. If the Camry is too soft, the Optima might be more to their liking. Or even the Camry SE, or Sonata SE, with their handling upgrades.
  • The Accent in 2005 was the first Hyundai Hybrid, then came the Elantra, then the Santa Fe. They sell these in limited quanitites in China and South Korea to test and work out the kinks in the real world before applying them to North American Products.

    The Sonata Hybrid will be the first mass produced Hyundai Hybrid. Hyundai actually invented its first Hybrid powertrain in 1994 with a modified Scoupe engine. Hyundai thought Hybrids were a pipe dream and changed focus to Hydrogen Fuel Cells. In Terms of Hydrogen Tech, Hyundai is the leader. In Terms of Hybrid Tech Toyota is the leader.

    By the way, Hyundai has a new Small Car Hybrid system they have in KIA C'eeds and Souls in Europe they are getting ready to drop in the Next Gen Accent.

    The System is Simple:

    1. 1.6L Gamma Engine 126 HP.

    2. 5 Speed Automatic Tranmission without torque converter.

    3. 20 HP Electric Motor that acts and a Torque Converter.

    4. Smart Alternator with intergrated Starter.

    5. Hyundai ISG System (Idle Stop and Go System)

    6. Either Nickel Hydride or Lithium Polymer Batteries stored under the back seats accessible by lifting the back seats up.

    7. Regenerative Braking Motor.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Any idea what kind of gas mileage these hybrids will get?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,722
    Actually the first Hyundai hybrid came in 1995, followed in 1999 by an Elantra-based hybrid and in 2000 by the Accent hybrid. None of those were available to the general public though. It appears the Elantra/Avante will be the first mass-produced Hyundai hybrid, due out this summer in the ROK with a LPG engine and lithium-polymer batteries. But the Sonata hybrid may be the first Hyundai hybrid to hit the US--and of course that's the one of most interest in this discussion.

    http://jalopnik.com/398092/2009-hyundai-elantra-hybrid-brings-smug-to-seoul
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 383
    I know this isn't probably the Forum this belongs in, but I wanted to get advice quickly and this thread gets a lot of hits. I've narrowed the choices to two cars, both Impalas, for my 17 Year Old Son's first vehicle. The first one is located at a Chevy dealership in which my next door neighbor has been a Mechanic at for many years. It's a 2003 Impala base model with just under 78,000 miles on it. It is a one owner trade that was purchased from this dealership new. The exterior and interior are flawless. It was listed at $7800, but have told me they would sell it to me for $6800 which is right on what Kelly Blue Book says it should be. The second one is at a dealership about 25 miles from my home that sells anything from New Chevys to Toyotas. I've had no dealings with them in the past. They have a 2005 Impala with 78,390 miles on it that they were listing for $7995 which is what KBB states it might be listed at, but have agreed to drop the price to $6995 because it is the end of the month and they want to move units as the Salesman stated. It is also a one owner "local trade" and it appears to be in very good condition. It has Anti-Lock Brakes where the first one does not. It seems like a no brainer because of the safety issue of ABS and it is two years newer, but I don't have the connection that I have with the first dealership since my neighbor works there. In fact, the salesman just called me a while ago to tell me that my neighbor is taking it out for a test drive and checking it over for me. I had asked my neighbor to take a look at it for me when he got a chance. This neighbor has serviced both my older kids GM products since the oldest bought his first car in 2000. He does it on his own time on saturday mornings only asking money for parts, but we always give him cash. Of course, he would work on either car we get for my Son as long as it is GM. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments to help in this decision. Thanks in advance.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Kelly Blue Book retail prices are VERY high. If you can buy a car for the KBB "Private Party" value, that's about right.

    In general I think inexperienced drivers should have ABS, period. Ask your insurance company!
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Learning to drive in a big RWD car will give them tremendous driving experience and they will be able to drive anything anywhere after that. They are also less expensive, safer and cheaper to repair. All newer CV, and Grand Marquis also come with ABS and Traction Control. 2000 and newer have 5 star crash ratings too. Here is the best part, they get the same MPG as the impalas do. Insurance is also cheaper on them and they can be had for $4000 in very good condition.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I think you'd find that in the real world, the 3.4L Impala V6 gets significantly better fuel economy than the Crown Vic's 4.6L V8. But I would agree with everything else you said. Additionally, it's easier to find a Vic or a Grand Marquis with very low miles on it.
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