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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited January 17

    Actually, looking at today's newspaper in Louisville, some other midsize cars are available for similar prices. As you folks know, I'm a loyal Honda guy, but there are some great deals out there, for instance: 2014 Toyota Camry for $18,890 (w/$500 loyalty), 2014 Altima 2.5S $18,850, etc. I'd still pay c. $2000 more and get an Accord, but....

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited January 17

    Wow, so much to comment on. I agree with ahightower on the sun/moon roof. I need the headroom. As a bonus my car is 150 lbs lighter, and there is no chance of potential leaks and squeaks over time.

    I still like the Accord Sport, despite what the EX has to offer. The wheels and exhaust plus fog lights is the look that I like, but you do get only 4 speakers in the stereo. However, it is listed as having 160 watts, which is good. Also, the 10 way drivers seat (listed here @Edmunds as an 8 way) and the leather steering wheel and shift knob is also important to me as I will be touching them very frequently.

    There was a time when a sports car, or sport package, was actually a more bare-bones car that was a hoot to drive on weekends and track days. Now "sport" is affixed to almost every car in some way. Things like "sport shift mode" on an automatic is simply the manual operation of the same automatic trans gears that are in the rest of the lineup. My moms 83' Plymouth Reliant Wagon had "sport shift" then (D, 2,1).

    I like the Accord Sports black cloth seats too. Very grippy and great looking in black.

    The rear vents, push button start, turn signals in the mirrors, all can be added on later. My choice is still absolutely the Accord Sport. The white one that I see all the time in my neighborhood always makes me look back at it and stare, and I can only imagine that owning one like it would produce the same effect in spades.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747

    @explorerx4 said:

    Ok - 100K miles or 7 years. You're lucky that's not an aluminum head or you'd probably be replacing the entire head just to get the plugs out!

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456

    @ahightower said:

    -10-way power adjustment (incl lumbar - HUGE for me, EX does not have this either, you have to go EX-L)

    EX does have 10 way power with lumbar.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited January 17

    I just looked at both the 2013 Sport M/T and the 2013 EX M/T. Both have 8 way adjustable power seats. Only the EX is listed with lumbar support. My source was right here in Edmund's.

    On the 2014 specs it lists both cars as having lumbar support. I think the 2013 specs may be a listing error with Edmund's. Does anyone have a 2013 Sport with power lumbar? How bout an EX?

    Now, I just went over to Honda's site, and compared both cars with both transmissions, and Honda says that all 4 have 10 way power seats with power lumbar. Honda also listed all 4 variants as having manual transmissions, so even Honda is confused about what car comes with what. I guess you get a bonus M/T in case your CVT explodes, which is what we all have feared in the first place.

    Here is the URL: http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare-trims/results.aspx#modelname=Accord Sedan&modelyear=2014&compmodel1=CR2E5EEW&compmodel2=CR2E7EJW&compmodel3=CR2F7EJW&compmodel4=CR2F5EEW

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • @m6user said: garythesnail Usually when adding quotes one references the source. Where did you read read this? I was at my Mazda dealer yesterday and they said pretty much nothing was changing on the 6 for the 2015 model year. I was just in for service and shooting the bull with the service manager so it wasn't some salesman trying to sell the 2014 model. But it wouldn't be the first time a dealer was just not up to speed on the latest and greatest. But if you're source is right and it doesn't arrive until early 2015, it would probably be a 2016 model. Tks.

    Automotive News (www.autonews.com)

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited January 18

    Only a few of the players are really satisfied with their place in the midsize market. Even Toyota, according to an article in Auto News today, wants its forever boring and mediocre Camry to be more interesting. Nissan is said to be let down with the performance in the market of the Altima, which they once thought might go to #1 or 2, but which now seems stuck between 3rd and 4th place, and has had some quality issues. The Sonata, after riding high in 2011 and 2012, apparently saw its sales to rental fleets soar 40% last year, and discounts are heavy. Maybe this is one reason why the former head of Hyundai USA, John Krafchek, isn't there anymore? Don't know. VW has been bitterly let down by the weak sales of the Passat, which meant laying off 500 workers at its new factory in TN, and even laying off the head of VW of America.

    I think the only players who feel happy with their position in the midsize market right now are: Honda, which is staying at a strong #2 (and even outsold the Camry last month) without huge discounts; Ford, which saw sales of the Fusion jump 22% last year and has started production in the US; and Mazda, which is getting rave reviews for its Mazda6 and sold a whopping 200% more in December than a year ago (which was still only 4,365 cars).

    At this point the players can make more of these cars than people in the US can buy, which is leading to intense competition over features, price, and financing. And so, it's a buyer's market.

    For reference, here are the sales numbers again from last month:

    1. Accord 32,321
    2. Camry 29,964
    3. Altima 24,816
    4. Fusion 24,408
    5. Malibu 15,493
    6. Sonata 14,479
    7. Optima 9,474
    8. Passat 9,254
    9. 200 5,652
    10. Avenger 4,950
    11. Mazda6 4,365

    My predictions for 2014: Fusion will pass Altima and become the #3 selling midsize car. Accord will get close to the Camry but won't quite pass it, since Honda won't play the "0%+ 2000 rebate" game. The Mazda6, I think, might pass the Dodge Avenger, but that's not saying much.

    Maybe Honda is the only one selling close to capacity at this point. I think they can make about 33,000 Accords a month for the US market, and that's almost what they sold. Iirc, Toyota can make up to 40,000 Camrys a month, and so they are already way under what they can do. I believe Ford and Nissan have about the same capacity as Honda, and so they are selling about 8000 fewer midsize cars a month than they are able to make....

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited January 17

    from Auto News:

    Toyota readies remix of Camry with 'waku-doki'

    Alan Ohnsman January 17, 2014 - 10:38 am ET DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. has a challenge: How to heed President Akio Toyoda's insistence on heart-racing design for the next Camry and Prius models without jeopardizing their mass-market appeal.

    Getting it wrong risks knocking Camry from its perch as the best-selling U.S. car, a title held for 12 consecutive years, and seeing Prius, which sells more than 200,000 units annually in the U.S., eclipsed by newer hybrid vehicles. While next-generation versions of both cars are in the works, Toyota executives haven't provided many details.

    The aim for the next Camry is a "more emotional, more impactful design," Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota's U.S. design studio, said in an interview at the Detroit auto show this week. "Camry's taken some hits on styling, but it's still selling well. But we need to create better design for Camry in the future."

    Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, is pushing an overhaul of vehicles with an emphasis on "waku-doki" design, shorthand for the Japanese phrase for heart-racing qualities. That would break from the current styling of the Camry and Prius, which together accounted for about a third of the company's U.S. sales volume last year....

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140117/OEM03/140119700/toyota-readies-remix-of-camry-with-waku-doki#ixzz2qhQHcMaX Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 2,353
    edited January 17

    I have heard that Mazda is hugely disappointed with sales of the new 6. From those numbers, I can see why. An early refresh is due next year I hear.

    2014 Cadillac ATS4 2.0T, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786

    ab348: Really? I didn't know that....If you find any links to articles, I'd like to see what Mazda's plans are for the 6. It's really the only car beyond the Accord that tempts me at this point.

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 3,179

    The 2014 mazda 6 has been redesigned. The reviews on edmunds are pretty good. The only thing i dont like is No 6cyl.. Unless i misread the reviews wrong.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 3,179

    The Accord is still the best buy in this midsize lot.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 2,353

    @benjaminh said: ab348: Really? I didn't know that....If you find any links to articles, I'd like to see what Mazda's plans are for the 6. It's really the only car beyond the Accord that tempts me at this point.

    This is from Automotive News:

    "Mazda6: Despite getting redesigned for the 2014 model year, a re-engineered Mazda6 is scheduled to arrive in late 2014 or early 2015 with a new interior and updated front fascia.

    Since the debut this year, the redesigned Mazda6's interior has been criticized by some as bland. Sources say the new interior will include new gauges, instrument clusters, materials, center stack design and seating surfaces, as well as a version of the connectivity and infotainment system in the upcoming Mazda3. The new interior's overall aesthetic will be similar to that of the 2014 Mazda3, but more refined to help the mid-sized sedan keep its place atop the hierarchy of Mazda's cars.

    A 2.2-liter turbodiesel will be added to the powertrain lineup this year. Sources say that a hybrid powertrain is under study."

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130826/OEM04/308269968/mazda6-cx-5-to-get-earlier-updates#ixzz2qhswxe8f Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook

    2014 Cadillac ATS4 2.0T, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338

    @benjaminh said:

    My predictions for 2014: Fusion will pass Altima and become the #3 selling midsize car. Accord will get close to the Camry but won't quite pass it, since Honda won't play the "0%+ 2000 rebate" game. The Mazda6, I think, might pass the Dodge Avenger, but that's not saying much.

    Maybe Honda is the only one selling close to capacity at this point. I think they can make about 33,000 Accords a month for the US market, and that's almost what they sold. Toyota can make up to 40,000 Camry's a month, and so they are already way under what they can do. I believe Ford and Nissan have about the same capacity as Honda, and so they are selling about 8000 fewer midsize cars a month than they are able to make....

    Cool!And you have Predictions too!

    I think that everything you said is dead on. It is a buyers market, unless you want the Accord. For quite a long time I have felt what most of us know, that the Accord is the most desirable mid-size on the market, so folks are not going to have salespeople begging at their feet at the local Honda store.

    Also, The day of the Camry and it's supernatural build quality have passed. It is just another mid size sedan, and only the SE V 6 stands out as one I would gladly have in my driveway. Unfortunately, I would have the Honda and it's buttery smooth 3.5 instead, and so would many others.

    My Optima has slipped below 10,000 units a month. There are a few new adverts for the Optima, with one about a father rushing home in his SX-L Optima to deliver a goldfish home before his young daughter realizes hers has passed; and replaced with an impostor. I think the restyle looks great in the front, but the "diffuser" in the back is a bit much, and does not at all do anything for under-car airflow like it does on real racing cars. A bit much is being kind. Garish is more like it.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338

    @ab348 said: I have heard that Mazda is hugely disappointed with sales of the new 6. From those numbers, I can see why. An early refresh is due next year I hear.

    I have not heard anything about a refresh either. I can't understand why folks are not at Mazda dealers in droves for these cars. The Mazda 3 is almost even better than the 6. It's Audi-like interior and logical control layout is rated as superb. I can't wait to see more of them on the road..all of them.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 3,179

    The mazda 3 is a nice car but much to small to be a contender with adults.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited January 18

    @cski said: ....It is a buyers market, unless you want the Accord. For quite a long time I have felt what most of us know, that the Accord is the most desirable mid-size on the market, so folks are not going to have salespeople begging at their feet at the local Honda store....

    Actually, even the Accord can be had for big discounts. I got almost $2700 off msrp on my 2013 EXL Navi, and that's when the model was just a few months old. And some people have done better than that. And Honda is even offering 0.9% on the Accord for 5 years. So even on the Accord you can get a great value and a very good deal.

    But you won't get 0% and 4000+ off list like with some Camry models. As everyone says, the Accord is just a better car than the Camry in pretty much every way, and so they don't have to give them away. At least not yet. But even Honda is feeling the competitive heat. I actually credit the Sonata and the Optima with making Honda step up its game and add lots of stuff as standard (including a direct injected engine) for a very good price.

    With Honda looking for 30,000 new Accord customers every month, even they are blowing them out the doors to some extent....

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 3,179

    A camry per unit cost is over 1k per vehicle less than a Accord. That with Toyota's fleet sales puts them over the top.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    edited January 18

    Mazda, from everything I've read in the news, seems to be pleased as punch with it's sales of the Mazda6 and sell about as many as they can build and ship over from Japan. I'd like to know from where somebody "heard" differently. They couldn't meet demand the first few months but are now catching up. The refresh doesn't appear to be any kind of drastic redesign but just the infotainment system is going to be changed to basically what the Mazda3 has. That system was not ready when the redesigned 6 went on sale early last year. Now, whether the 2015 Mazda6 will have it this year or the 2016 model which won't arrive until next year, 2015 I don't know. According to that autonews article apparently they don't know either and are guessing as to when the upgrade will be. Everyone is expecting the upgrade to the infotainment system after seeing the new one in the Mazda3 and it is pretty nice and does make the one in the Mazda6 seem "old" in comparison.

    There is nothing in that article that insinuates that Mazda is disappointed with the Mazda6 sales.

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 3,179
    edited January 18

    The toyota matrix was a nice little vehicle. I think it was discontinued. The mazda 3 is def. a better car.

    Is the mazda 3 bigger than the hyundai veloster.

    2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2013 Accord EXL V-6, 2012 BMW x-5, 2012 ML350

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited January 18

    @benjaminh said: But you won't get 0% and 4000+ off list like with some Camry models. As everyone says, the Accord is just a better car than the Camry in pretty much every way, and so they don't have to give them away. At least not yet. But even Honda is feeling the competitive heat. I actually credit the Sonata and the Optima with making Honda step up its game and add lots of stuff as standard (including a direct injected engine) for a very good price.

    Right, and the Camry just didn't live up to it's customer expectations. The interior is cheap looking, with C/D saying it's materials were "barely acceptable" and "is fake aluminum supposed to squishy and able to be scratched off with a fingernail? As a matter of fact, if Mr.Toyoda loses the "best selling car in America" moniker, I fully believe that the board of directors will expect him to commit Hari-Kari at sunrise the following morning.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747

    If the new Camry is anything like the prototype I saw a few months ago, the competition has nothing whatsoever to worry about. It's an improvement over the current one, but not by much.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,786
    edited January 18

    Didn't the Camry get a full redesign in 2012? If so, I think this would just be a mild refresh, since it's probably on a c. 5 year cycle for a full redesign? I bet, however, that they are beefing up the steel structure so that it can pass the IIHS small offset test.

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 231

    @ab348 said:"Mazda6: Despite getting redesigned for the 2014 model year, a re-engineered Mazda6 is scheduled to arrive in late 2014 or early 2015 with a new interior and updated front fascia.

    I could not agree more on the mazda 6 interior. I think it has the sharpest exterior of the class, but once you open the door the party is over! It just looks dull and cheap! In fact, as much as I hate to admit this, I think it's worse than the camry's interior. I also think they are way overpriced. $30k for a 4 cyl? with a loser interior? I think they are more expensive than most of their equivalent counterparts.

  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 512
    They certainly begged me plenty, on the last weekend of the second quarter ;)
    But the car sells itself. I bought it despite the irritating salesman, not because of. Factory rebates are rare but dealers will sell at invoice. They know we know how to look things up online... Then they quickly tack it back on with "dealer installed accessories". It was not an easy negotiation from there, but deals can be had and financing is at 0.9%.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,032

    I think their small dealer network is part of the problem and that probably keeps prices higher than they should be too. I had an '04 Mazda6 wagon awhile back. Terrific car. Wish they would make a wagon again. Very practical for dogs. It was a gas hog though, not like their current lineup. And back then there were at least 3 dealerships in the city closest to me. Now there's only 1.

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 231

    @suydam said: Wish they would make a wagon again. Very practical for dogs.

    I believe wagons are still made, but they call them crossovers. When I was shopping for a station wagon I bought a venza. To me it is a camry wagon. Cheapest, hardest plastic Toyota could find for an interior, but it had the wagon characteristics I was looking for.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited January 18

    @wayne21 said: I could not agree more on the mazda 6 interior. I think it has the sharpest exterior of the class, but once you open the door the party is over! It just looks dull and cheap! In fact, as much as I hate to admit this, I think it's worse than the camry's interior. I also think they are way overpriced. $30k for a 4 cyl? with a loser interior? I think they are more expensive than most of their equivalent counterparts.

    I think Mazda is taking things step by step. First, they had to offer a solid foundation. A product that is great at the core. They can then introduce a more powerful engine (like a 2.0T) after generating some income and hopefully selling some top-end GT models that have a healthier profit margin than say the entry-level Sport model.

    I have driven a Mazda 6 Touring. The interior is VERY well screwed together, and is just as nice in most ways as my Optima EX (a direct equivalent trim wise). My gripe with it was the small LED readouts and the never ending sea of black plastic, but it is at least good quality plastic. It handles like a dream though, and is absolutely stunning in red.

    Lastly, $31,000 for a sedan with only 185 hp is not going to cut it for me either. Mazda better get some zoom under the hood ASAP... IMHO.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338
    edited January 18

    Here is the black on black Mazda 6 interior like the one I drove. It looks great....just too much black for some people. I can't tell if the seats are leather or leatherette, but they look like perforated leather. I would have no problem with this being my office.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,338

    @suydam said: I think their small dealer network is part of the problem and that probably keeps prices higher than they should be too. I had an '04 Mazda6 wagon awhile back. Terrific car. Wish they would make a wagon again. Very practical for dogs. It was a gas hog though, not like their current lineup. And back then there were at least 3 dealerships in the city closest to me. Now there's only

    I/we also had a 2004 Mazda 6 wagon. It was a black Sportwagon V6 w/ 240 hp. It was actually my wife's car. We had trouble keeping the A?C working, it liked to hydroplane a bit too much, too, and the transmission was kaput at 67 k. It drive great though, and back then 240 hp was really powerful for a mid size wagon.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

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