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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,576
    200K plus on a Prius is impressive! That's someone who gets his money's worth out if the hybrid!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,330
    Bought this car in 2006 and put 5200.00 in it and now the resale value is down to 2000.00 Timing belt, rusted oil pain ( car sits in garage) yearly brakes, starter, sensor, Battery, Radiator and many more items I replaced. I will never buy a Kia again! Not built to last.Money pit!

    Didn't Kia's already have the Hyundai 10 year 100K warranty in 2006?

    Or did you buy it used? In which case, you took the risk of buying used and you can't really blame the vehicle for that.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,716
    Well, even with the 10/100 warranty, most of the problems would have been covered only for five years or 60k miles.

    Also this particular car, a 2006 Optima, is actually a tweaked Gen 3 Sonata, designed in the mid-'90s--before Hyundai's push for quality vs. only low price. Current Hyundais and Kias are a big improvement over the older cars.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    edited July 2012
    Yes, I recall the 2006 Kia Optima. My friend had a blue one that looked really nice. The interior was nice too. Nothing too fancy but it had lots of features for the money. Other than replacing the driver side power window motor he had no trouble with it until he sold it with 119k on it about a year ago.

    He bought a 2011 and I recall him showing it to me. after researching it (it is STILL a Hyundai Sonata underneath); I found out that the chief designer at Audi AG designed the new Optima line.
    Generating 2 cars with one solid uni-body shell and reliable drivetrain is called "Platform Sharing". It cuts development costs drastically, and allows more creative styling with the money saved. There are no body panels shared between the current Sonata and the Optima. Even the interiors are totally different. The suspension tuning is different as well, with the Optima being a bit more sporty and with a 2" wider track.
    I purchased my 2012 Optima EX on December 31st 2011. It is a beautiful car to me...but isn't beauty really held by the eye of the beholder?

    Thanks for letting me ramble! -Chris
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Wow, 2" difference in track is a lot for two chassis' based off the same platform. That much difference could provide significantly greater g's in corners if the suspension tuning is matched to it, which apparently it is. In theory, this wider track could also trickle down to more elbow/shoulder etc room and even easier to meet side-impact crash standards.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    edited July 2012
    Car and Driver May 2012 issue has a 6 car comparo called "Hot Six". The Optima EX came in 3rd, but only missed second by 5 points I believe. It defeated the Sonata SE as well.

    Hyundai-Kia has come a long way since the 1999 Sephia, which tended to explode directly after leaving the dealership with a signed buyers order.

    They are slowly closing in on Honda and Toyota, beating them at their own game. I am not saying they are hands-down the best cars, but they may be the best value on the market in the mid size sedan segment.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I don't usually feel one way or the other about a car's appearance but the Altima sedan design of the last 7 years or so struck me as awkward, even ugly at the rear end. Perhaps there is a very long overhang behind the rear wheel but all I think of when I see one is a baby with a loaded diaper. From any other angle the car is fine but in profile it looks very rear end heavy. That aside, why do they sell so well? Don't they all have CVTs? Is there any one remarkable aspect that drives so many people to buy Altimas.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,716
    They are reliable, comfortable mid-sized cars with exceptional (for 2013) fuel economy, good value (e.g. features like push-button start standard), and (for many) attractive styling compared to more staid designs like the Camry and Accord. Also they handle well for a mid-sized family sedan--at least the previous generation did, I haven't driven the new 2013 Altima yet.

    When you think about it, there probably is not one remarkable aspect for any mid-sized family sedan that causes people to buy one. The possible exception might be Camry = reputation for reliability, but it has other attributes also such as a smooth, quiet ride.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Thanks for the reply Backy. I think you are right on with the Camry and Accord, they both ride in on a long history of reliability and relative affordability. I wasn't aware that Nissan had such a reputation but have never looked up the numbers. I have a 2010 Milan(Fusion) which is an excellent car in every respect but doesn't come near the Altima in sales despite a very significant refresh in 2010. The Altima has had consistent high sales numbers through the 6 years or so that it hasn't changed at all.
    I guess that is a better way to state my puzzlement. The unchanged Altima outsold many of its substantially improved competitors over the past 5 years. That is impressive and puzzling. It certainly has demonstrated consistent appeal and very impressive sales numbers. I'll bet if you asked the man in the street which were the top three mid sized cars in sales numbers they would get Honda and Toyota correct but I doubt more than 25% would guess tha Nissan was consistently riding in third place and about a lap ahead of its other competitors in sales. Impressive. I'll have to drive one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,716
    Another reason for strong Altima sales in the previous generation... they were pretty popular in rental fleets. Which is OK by me as they make good rentals, when I can get one. I usually have to get smaller rental cars--corporate policy. My last rental was a creaky Aveo. :P
  • hp2009hp2009 Posts: 65
    we test drove camry se ....too tight seats for big people and less interior space...little bigger than corrolla....

    we test drove accord ex,exl.....pretty roomy....captain seats...for big people...more roomy feels than camry.....

    selected accord exl....
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    There is no puzzlement. The reason why the Altima sells so well, is that it is a great car of the money in the mid-size sedan segment, and consistently has a slightly more standout design then half the mid-size sedans in this segment.

    I've recently test drove the 2013 Altima, 2013 Camry, 2013 Malibu, and 2012 Passat. I have to say, both the Passat and Altima would be my choice to get a mid-size sedan. The Passat had the usual German ride that lets you know your driving, but doesn't punish you. I actually found the ride in the new Altima to match the Camry's ride quality now. The Altima comes with so much technology, remote start, heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, cleaning rear camera, tire fill alert, etc. Most of this you can't even get on other cars in this class and Nissan went along way to refine the noise of the engine, amount of noise that comes into the cabin, etc.

    Also, the CVT is not a monster people make it out to be. This is not meant to be a sports car. It is meant to be a sporty family sedan that gets good fuel economy. The CVT is smooth and not feeling shift shock all the time gets nice after awhile.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,716
    How was the handling on the new Altima? Was it at least as good as on the previous Altima? I am hoping that in improving the ride smoothness they didn't take the crisp handling out. Also did you check FE on your test drives? I am wondering if the new Altima can actually achieve those high EPA numbers.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Not bad. I tested both the 2.5 and 3.5. Both has better handling than the outgoing model, not Infiniti, BMW, or Audi crisp obviously but probably the best handling of any mid size sedan I've test driven. The Passat came a close second in handling department though. Camry's handling has improved but still sloppier than Altima, Passat, or Mazda 6.

    FE is hard to say, it is unGodly hot and humid in the northeast right now and the air was blasting, plus I was using a demo car that is just being short tripped around the block for test drives. I would expect it to meet or exceed those EPA numbers as with my 2010 Maxima right now, I'm getting 25-26 mpg averages per tank, when it was EPA rated 19/26mpg with an avg of 21 or 22 mpg per tank.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    I think it is a good looking car, vastly improved interior, and 40% less friction in the transmission (CVT) vs last model.

    Also, it beats all of its competitors to 60mph. (7.7 seconds July Car & Driver issue). C/D tested 6 mid-size sedans in the May issue and the Altima would have been faster than the Sonata by .1 second.

    I have the 2012 Kia Optima EX, and I am very happy with it. I think the Altima will be a very strong competitor in the mid-size sedan segment.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    The Altima sells well because it's Nissan's Big Mac's Value meal. They sell a ton of them and they are eager to deal.

    Keep in mind that newer, nicer, feature and safety packed designs came out from Hyundai and Kia and now Toyota's redesigned Camry.

    Really, they are all very, very good and safe cars. I liked the style of the Optima, which rolls on the Hyundai Sonata chassis, the quality interior, AND the 100k warranty.

    Also, I bought my 2012 EX Optima on the last day of the year (2011) and they dropped 4k from the sticker!

    Furthermore I didn't like the CVT transmission or the cheap interior in the Altima. The new Altima also has only a CVT for a transmission. No 6 speed manual OR automatic is offered. However, the new CVT has 40% less friction than the last one.

    The new Altima was not out when I bought the Kia....but I stll think the Optima is a very attractive car. So, in this segment it comes down to "whatever floats your boat"! :) :)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    The Altima sells well because it's Nissan's Big Mac's Value meal. They sell a ton of them and they are eager to deal.

    Keep in mind that newer, nicer, feature and safety packed designs came out from Hyundai and Kia and now Toyota's redesigned Camry.

    Really, they are all very, very good and safe cars. I liked the style of the Optima, which rolls on the Hyundai Sonata chassis, the quality interior, AND the 100k warranty.

    Also, I bought my 2012 EX Optima on the last day of the year (2011) and they dropped 4k from the sticker!

    Furthermore I didn't like the CVT transmission or the cheap interior in the Altima. The new Altima also has only a CVT for a transmission. No 6 speed manual OR automatic is offered. However, the new CVT has 40% less friction than the last one.

    The new Altima was not out when I bought the Kia....but I stll think the Optima is a very attractive car. So, in this segment it comes down to "whatever floats your boat"! :) :)
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,532
    A reporter is looking to talk with anyone in the market right now for a new midsize car. If you fit this description and you’d like to talk with the reporter, please reach out to with your preferred daytime contact info by the end of the day Friday, August 17, 2012.

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

  • naatz1naatz1 Posts: 187
    At the risk of offending Altima owners, I did not even look or drive a 2012 Altima last Feb when I was doing test drives. We got stuck with a (granted bottom end, no options) rental Altima on a 1100 mi drive to TX a year+ ago. I had to put a pillow under my right leg to drive the car and the 4 cylinder just did not have any get-up-and-go. We dumped it asap for the drive home and got an Impala; granted not a sexy car but LOTS of room and perhaps with the tires or weight ratio got us through some hairy snow road conditions on the road home.
    Car companies may think they are doing a favor putting their barrel bottom versions in rentals but in this case they turned me off totally. We settled in March on buying a 2012 Camry XLE 4 cylinder and are 98% happy with that 8000 miles later. Close runner up was a Subaru Legacy followed by a Kia Optima & VW Passat diesel, the last two were almost impossible to get last spring in the configs we wanted so the contest really came down to the Toyo and Subie.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,455
    well, it is a fully redesigned model. so not the same as what you drove.

    and interesting to me is from the reviews (no, I have not sat in or driven a new style Altima), 2 of the best features are the fantastic new seats, and best in class (or real close to it) acceleration from the 4 cyl.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    edited August 2012
    Yep. It is worth checking out now that it has been redesigned. It is Nissan's bread and butter, and they really listened to the market. I think it is a top pick.
    I wish there was a 6 speed auto, but Nissan chose to offer only a CVT. It does have a manual-shift mode that holds "gears" for spirited driving.

    I have a relative that works at a local Nissan dealership. I would like to drive this newly designed vehicle before I pass further judgment!

    One of my friends works in the design portion of the industry and said the mid-size sedan is the hardest car to design. It HAS to be ALL things to ALL people.

    My top picks for mid-size sedan are as follows:
    Camry (yawn) (new design is "chintzy" looking, inside and out. Legendary reliability, space, comfort and safety features save it as a top pick)
    Accord- wait for 2013
    Malibu (Malibu's make me yawn almost as much as the Camry)
    Fusion -wait for 2013
    What happened to the Taurus? It grew like two feet and I see very, very few of them. I had a 1994 SHO and loved it till the engine exploded. 224k might have had something to do with it.

    -Chris :shades:
  • misterbillmisterbill Posts: 60
    edited September 2012
    I just bought a new Sonata. I would definitely have looked at the Optima but there is no KIA dealer anywhere near me and I'd rather be able to service it locally. Test drove an Altima a few months ago and when the dealer asked what else I was looking at I told him the Sonata and that I preferred it's look. He said "it's just sheet metal". I guess he was tired of people telling him that the Altima was ugly. I was not aware of the redesign for 2013. Just looked and I still like the Sonata better (but the Altima is not as ugly as it was).

    I am not a big fan of Chevy but I love their new commercial where the dealer asks the Camry owner if he is ready to trade it in, and is shocked when the guy tells him that he just bought it new. The dealer still can't believe it and looks for a cassette deck.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    Congrats on your new Sonata! What options did you get? What kind of price? I assume yours was made in Alabama?

    I like the looks of the Sonata too....Hope you'll give us a report with what you like, as well as any items that annoy you.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    edited September 2012
    Altima was boring and the warranty wasn't as good. My mother in law Works at a local dealer and has worked there for 31 years.

    I asked her about the Altima and she said they were "iffy" on quality. She doesn't say when I heard that I took it seriously. The other reason is that they look dated and I see thousands on the road. Also, the only transmission offered is a CVT, hubcaps, manual A/C, 20 less horsepower, older design, etc.

    I wanted more of a 4 door sport sedan. I wanted alloy wheels, dual exhaust, fog lights, HID's, leather, dual-zone climate control's, and 35mpg! Lastly, it;s made in Georgia in a brand new factory employing 2,000 Americans. Oh...I almost forgot the leather wrapped steering wheel, 17" alloys, push-button start, key-less entry, free service, free 60k roadside assistance, Bluetooth, IPOD, MP3 and Sirius, and voice-command functions.

    The EX is just slammed with features.

    The Optima had all of that, AND sticker-ed at $24,265. I got it for $21k and paid only 4% for 5 year financing, and I put nothing down.

    I think it was a no-brainer.
  • misterbillmisterbill Posts: 60
    edited September 2012
    I got the GLS in black/grey with PEP and floor mats and mud guards. This is the first car I've bought without a sun roof, I am debating having the dealer install it, they claim that it gets the same factory warranty if the dealer does it as if it came with the car. They want $1200. I decided to see how much I miss it. I would have liked the keyless ignition and other features with the SE, but they seem to be hard to find (my dealer only has one in stock and it had lots of other stuff). The only thing I really required was Bluetooth and that is standard on all Sonata models. I paid $21.6k less $1500 in rebates and 0.9% financing for 36 months. It was within a hundred dollars of the Edmunds TMV and they must have caught me on a bad day because normally I would have walked out and said "See you Monday" but I decided to just give in.

    This car purchase was way different for me than my previous purchases. Normally I had either thought about it for a long time or had to get a car quickly because my old car died. This time I really only started thinking about it a couple of days earlier when I got email from Hyundai about rebates this weekend. And I mentioned it to my wife when we were near the dealer (we had only gone down there to shop at a nearby supermarket). I actually wanted to get another Elantra Touring, which has been discontinued for 2013 and which I figured the dealer and Hyundai would be deeply discounting to get rid of. Much to my shock, there was only a $500 rebate on it and the dealer, while he had 7 in stock, was not willing to give me much of a deal. However the salesman (who I had bought my original Touring from) said the best deal was on a Sonata, and they gave me a decent price, including the $1500 rebate. I had not been thinking about a Sonata, I thought they were more money but I always liked the way the car looked. It reminds me of my 2004 Mazda 6 hatchback (also black), which met an untimely demise due to a collision with a deer (that was when I bought the Touring). I think it probably cost me less than a regular Elantra as well. Apparently those are so popular that some are sold before they even arrive at the dealer.

    Of course, you might think my wife would not be as excited as me about this. However, she has been driving a 1997 Buick for the past year, which she got from her mother. It has a dented door (from the accident my mother-in-law got into when she decided to stop driving) and no airbags. While it served her purpose (driving 2 miles each way to and from work), it was time to get something better, especially since the Touring has 44,000 miles and I'd like to cut down on the mileage so I get close to the 5 years/60k miles of warranty. So I get the Sonata, and my wife gets the Elantra Touring, so it's a win-win. The dealer is taking the Buick off my hands for a decent (if not great) price so I save on sales tax and don't have to get a new registration.

    I'm picking it up tomorrow night.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,183
    >1997 airbags

    What Buick model from 1997 has no airbags?
  • It's a Century. I don't see anything on the steering wheel which indicates that there is an airbag. I could be wrong.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    I think it was the Buick LS. (Less Stuff)?? :lemon:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,183
    The owner manual says there's an airbag in the steering wheel and one in the dash for the passenger in the front seat.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,265
    edited September 2012
    I don't remember if it had an airbag or not. I was T-Boned in it and broke my arm in two places. Also had a gigantic, deep blue bruise in the shape of a seat belt. 3.3 liter 160 HP version.

    Worst accident I ever been in. The Century was introduced first in 1936 because it could go 100 MPH. In England going over 100mph was called "doing the century" and that is how the vehicle got that name.

    I like my Optima and all, but there still is no substitution for the torque, power, and smoothness from those old V8's and some V6's.
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