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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193

    @ahightower said: I really REALLY appreciate my Accord ('13 Sport 6MT) this week. My wife was rear-ended in it. Not severely, 10-15 mph, no injury, and little damage to the car. But still it added up to a $750 insurance estimate, and that assumes there's no damage behind the bumper panel.

    I dropped it off at the body shop and went to get the rental. They set me up with a compact... Ordinarily I'd insist on something comparable size, but the adjuster and rental guy were very pleasant and moving quickly for us, and I only expected to need it a short time. So I figured why not get something small, save on gas in the meantime? It'll be parked at the airport a couple days anyway. Plus it is a 2014 Hyundai Elentra, which I admit to being slightly curious about. Is it really as good as the reviews say? It's as big as a midsizer inside, so they say... I'll take it.

    Well. I know rental cars don't get treated with the most TLC, but this thing is quite a disappointment. It's the base model, apparently, or close to it. Interior materials are chintzy (and not very clean - trying not to judge the CAR for that, but it adds to the "experience"). Seat is quite uncomfortable - too narrow. Dead pedal is too small for my size 12. Front leg room is okay with the seat all the way back, and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes. It does have a USB port, no bluetooth. Road noise is better than my '08 Mazda3, but noticeably worse than my Accord. Adjustable steering is gimmicky - Comfort is sloppy, Sport is ridiculously stiff (had a flashback to the wife's 1996 Geo Metro with no power assist) - just leave it in Normal. Brakes are fine. Back seat leg room is small with driver's seat back - not seeing the "midsize" interior here. Maybe it's the head room, which is quite good, and not to be discounted... but it's no replacement for an actual midsize sedan.

    The worst aspect is definitely its transmission. Six-speed auto with manu-matic gate. Seems promising and impressive for the price, but it is an absolute dog. It's desperate for higher gears at the expense of power. 2K RPM at 70 mph is good, I believe the 40+ mpg highway claims. I'm being unkind to it and getting 33 in moderate traffic. But there's no power when you start from a stop, until suddenly it's racing like a maniac. Just so poorly calibrated, or something. Manumatic isn't worth the effort - it's reasonably responsive to "manual" shifts for what it is, but not something I want to deal with all the time. Again, perhaps this is a mistreated rental and not representative of the brand, but it's only got 4K on the clock. I feel I'd get better mpg with a transmission that kept the engine in its dang power band until I was at cruising speed, versus one that has to be stomped into submission. Or maybe I am just a stick shift control freak and this crap is considered acceptable to most people. I don't remember having any issues with the Optima I test drove last summer. The power seems adequate, if the transmission were more cooperative.

    Anyway, this is getting long, and it's not a midsize car, but I thought I'd rant a bit on my coffee break. Bottom line - I really am glad I got this thing, because it's going to make my Accord feel like an M5 and I'll fall in lover all over again. I just hope the damage is minor so that it doesn't hurt me on Carfax or whatever. TTFN.

    The seat in the Elantra was the reason our senior pastor sold his. He had the top of the line, 2011 Elantra in red with the 17' wheels. Gorgeous, but in the end... its an Elantra. He drove my car the day I got it, and traded his Elantra in under a week. He bought an Optima EX. Thank god it was a different color!

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 2,432
    edited March 5

    Cski

    You cant compare your Optima to a Elantra. LOL 2 different worlds. I also sat in a Elantra and at almost 6'2... 240 felt like a bumber car to me narrow seating and like hightower claimed my size 14 shoe was no match for that pedal..... I liked the new Nissan Sentra. The Civic has been redesigned and improved and the mazda 3 is a very good choice but very noisy engine..

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

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618

    @dudleyr said: Certainly the case for Ford. I think the VW turbos fair a little better in fuel economy.

    My Fusion 2.0 turbo with the optional 19 inch wheels has averaged 27.9 mpg for the year I have had it. It's rated at 26 mpg combined. It will improve from there.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,775
    edited March 6

    @ahightower - thanks for the impressions on the Elantra. Whenever Hyundai introduces a new model the automotive press always goes ga-ga at first and declares it the class leader, which is what happened in this case. But not long thereafter in comparisons it was not faring so well, and I have heard numerous people either expressing their dissatisfaction with their purchase, or being disappointed after a test drive and changing their purchase plans. Sounds like not a very good choice.

    @cski - Hyundai has a pattern of overstating power and fuel economy ratings, which does not match up with real-world experience. Many tests of the Sonata Turbo commented to the effect that it didn't drive like it had 270HP under the hood, and I always doubted that rating. I suspect it puts out nowhere near that much power, but like Detroit in the '60s, it gives them something to advertise. I am not a fan of that company.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668

    The problem with hybrids is the EPA test is at 70 degrees on summer fuel with no ethanol. When you test a hybrid on E-10 in winter temps on winter blend fuel of course it's going to get worse mpg.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618

    @akirby said: The problem with hybrids is the EPA test is at 70 degrees on summer fuel with no ethanol. When you test a hybrid on E-10 in winter temps on winter blend fuel of course it's going to get worse mpg.

    It is pretty obvious that 'expert' reviewer only had half a clue about how hybrid work.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,278

    What I don't get is why people get upset with the manufacturer for not getting the MPG calculated on a totally artificial test. Blame the EPA. they designed the test parameters, the makers just design the car to take the test.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458

    @stickguy

    It is ridiculous & people are crazy when it comes to their car not meeting the EPA fuel economy numbers. They think they will get the EPA HIGHWAY rating driving around town. The car manufacturers play to this by advertising XxxX Car has the best in class highway fuel economy in the mid-sized segment. In real life, who is going to notice the 3 mpg difference between the top 4 cars as far as fuel economy goes in XXX Class?

    The government (or the car companies) need to change their testing standards to reflect real world driving. In addition to MPG, they could use a cost per mile or cost of fuel per 100 miles.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,278

    they did change at one point. Maybe just discount the city number another 10%?

    the other issue is defining "city". that to me is more local, as in back roads, modest speeds. Not excessive stops/starts, idling, low speeds and short hops. That is pretty much most of my wifes driving (mine too), and we never get close to the city # around town, especially on the big-engine fatso stuff (odyssey), where I expect about 3-4 MPG less. No way I was getting 20MPG in that use on the van (15-17 depending on weather was more likely). Get about the same 17ish on the RDX, but that easily can beat the highway # (I have had 200+ mile runs breaking 30 in that).

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 930

    With my '13 Accord, I got the EPA numbers in Spring, Summer, and Fall. They have slipped somewhat during this very cold winter. The city number is still the same (26) but I'm not getting 36 highway, more like 32 or 33. I don't consider that bad information but just the fact of living in a cold climate with winter gas. I'm pretty happy with the mileage estimates overall.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193
    edited March 6

    The only thing I know for sure is my own numbers under heavy congestion. I barely crack 20 mpg. I live 13 miles from the Pentagon. My average speed from my last fill-up was 22 mph, and my average trip is 4.4 miles. My trip computer when I parked last night indicated 19.7 MPG on a car rated at 24/35. Not good.

    In automotive news: Fiat just bought the remaining 41% of Chrysler. It now completely controls the company. (Source: Motortrend, April 2014).

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,683
    edited March 6

    @fushigi said: I don't get it. How does "Having trim lines .. lowers costs .." lead to "This allows them to offer a .. car .. for just a little bit more money."? Lower manufacturing costs leads to a more expensive product? Sounds like Honda is more interested in a higher profit margin than in giving the consumer a good deal.

    Probably I didn't phrase it very well.

    Since I'm a fan of the Accord, another way to say it would be: Honda gives you a substantially better car for just a modestly higher price. There are lots of good cars in this segment, but for some, including Consumer Reports (which just chose the Accord as its top pick in midsize), Car and Driver (which yet again has put it on their 10 Best list), and Edmunds, the current Accord is something of a benchmark:

    Edmunds.com: "The Accord is in many ways today's segment benchmark, offering a terrific blend of efficiency, driver involvement, comfort, space, refinement and equipment."

    www.edmunds.com/auto-shows/chicago/2014/2014-chicago-auto-show-2015-subaru-legacy-faq.html

    When the all-new 2013 Accord was introduced, it was the only best-selling midsize sedan to earn a "Good" on the IIHS small-offset crash test. The Camry was rated "Poor"--which was essentially a failing grade. It wasn't just chance that made that happen. Honda spent hundreds of millions of dollars in engineering and on super high strength steel to achieve that result with its ACEII structure. Quoting from Honda:

    "The 2013 Accord unit-body uses 55.8-percent high-tensile steel, more than in any previous Accord. In addition, 17.2-percent of the steel is now grade 780, 980 and 1,500 – extremely high grades that have never before been used in any Accord."

    http://automobiles.honda.com/news/press-releases-article.aspx?Article=6825-en

    This is part of what made the Accord not just safer than a Camry, but safer than a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes. Again, that costs a lot of money.

    Camry quickly played catch-up, and added more steel to the 2014.5 Camry, which is now rated "Acceptable" in the IIHS crash test. That's better than failing, but still below the Accord.

    Compared to the Camry LE, which has an essentially identical list price to the Accord LX, the Accord has a more advanced engine, gets higher mpg, has higher safety ratings, has more features (like dual zone climate control standard), etc.

    In other words, Honda is trying with this generation to move the Accord a bit upmarket.

    If you want to the lowest price, there are all sorts of good choices—Altima, Camry, Sonata, etc.

    If you want something a little better than those in most areas, you have to pay somewhat more for the Accord. It's still a good "value," and has a competitive price, but Honda can't as easily put as much in the way incentives on the Accord, because it probably costs them c.$2000 more to make the Accord compared to some of their competitors. It's one of those "you get what you pay for" situations imo.

    It still remains to be seen whether Honda can completely succeed with this strategy, but they've tried to make the Accord the benchmark with this generation. The LX model in particular, which was a more basic car in the last generation, has had essentially thousands of dollars of improvements and equipment added, but the list price went up only a few hundred dollars.

    And, as CSKI and others have said, the Accord Sport, with its premium wheels and tires, power seat, dual exhaust, etc., is one of the best deals in midsize with an msrp starting at $23,715. And you can get get good discounts and financing on that. But you are not currently going to get $5000 off of list, as you can on a few models of Sonata and Altima at my local dealers.

    That's a very lengthy way to try to answer the question from the point of view of a fan and owner of the Accord.

    Sorry it's so long!

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668

    4 miles is barely long enough for the engine to warm up. In heavy traffic to boot you're lucky to get 19 mpg.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,683
    edited March 6

    Truth about Cars reviews the Accord Hybrid. The reviewer Alex Dykes has a very detailed review, including 20+ minute video. In an 800+ mi mpg test, he did get the epa rating of 47 mpg. This has just now become my dream car to replace my 2008 Accord someday. But since I still have almost 2 more years of the HondaCare warranty on my current ride, I think I'll probably wait till the end of 2015.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/review-2014-honda-accord-hybrid-with-video/

    "...In many ways the Accord Hybrid shares more design themes with the Fisker Karma than a Toyota Prius....Honda went back to the drawing board and designed a true serial hybrid....

    The Accord Hybrid’s impressive 50/45/47 MPG EPA rating (City/Highway/Combined) is even more impressive when you look at some of Honda’s design choices. First off all hybrid trims get tires one size wider (225/50R17 vs 215/55R17) than the gas-only Accord to compensate for the 230 lb weight increase. Secondly Honda chose to trickle-down Acura’s two-mode damper technology into the Accord. These two choices define how the car feels out on the road with the Accord barely nudging the Fusion out of first place when it comes to overall on-road performance....

    ....the Accord’s large greenhouse and low beltline give it the best visibility in the segment....

    With all the numbers tallied the Accord Hybrid is an easy winner. It is more expensive than the competition but that delta shrinks when you account for feature content. The delta becomes immaterial however when you look at our average fuel economy numbers of 47.8 MPG in the Accord and 30 to mid-30s in all of the competition (including that 47 MPG Fusion.) Honda’s hybrid has the best road manners in the pack, the most composed ride, a comfy back seat and a quiet cabin....

    Specifications as tested:

    0-30: 2.8 Seconds

    0-60: 7.0 Seconds

    Cabin noise at 50 MPH: 69 db

    Average Observed Fuel Economy: 47.8 MPG over 835 miles.

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665

    EPA mileage.

    You're not supposed to get the EPA's numbers. They are just a guesstimate on what you may achieve.

    Last I recall...they don't even test drive them or measure how much fuel is used. They put it on a dyno and measure the exhaust gas to calculate how much fuel is used (they say it is more accurate) during the simulation.

    The numbers are only supposed to be used to compare to other automobiles.

    So if vehicle-A achieves 20 mpg and vehicle-B achieves 22 mpg for the same test you can only assume if you purchased vehicle-B over vehicle-A that you'd achieve a little better mileage...not that you'd achieve 22 mpg.

    Style...I find driving style affects my mileage more than anything else. I tend to like torque...and slowly accelerating away from a light in a peaky engine doesn't work for me (like the Elantra engine). I stomp it and the little motor revs and screams like it's on fire. I do better (mileage) in a larger engine (or diesel) that has more torque running it at 30% versus a peaky engine at 90%

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668

    @ivan_99 said: EPA mileage.

    You're not supposed to get the EPA's numbers. They are just a guesstimate on what you may achieve.

    Last I recall...they don't even test drive them or measure how much fuel is used. They put it on a dyno and measure the exhaust gas to calculate how much fuel is used (they say it is more accurate) during the simulation.

    They actually measure the burned hydrocarbons from the exhaust which is far more accurate about how much fuel is being combusted. Each gallon of fuel produces a specific amount of exhaust waste.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193

    It doers have great MPG.. The Accord Hybrid pictured looks like an LX. .

    It is certainly the most complicated hybrid drive system on the mid size market, as it really has no transmission to speak of (which might make some people happy who had Honda tranny problems in the past). It is just not for me.

    Maybe when I am in the market for a new car the high-mpg choices will be more attractive to me.

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665

    @akirby said:

    Yeah...that's what they say :)

    I just have a hard time believing that a real...real accurate measuring cup (my terminology for an industrial...or medical...fluid measuring device) wouldn't give you a more accurate amount of fuel burnt than looking at exhaust gases.

    I suppose they're the scientists...so I skeptically nod in agreement...

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193
    edited March 7

    @ivan_99 said: I suppose they're the scientists...so I skeptically nod in agreement...

    ...or they were delirious from exhaust gasses when they jotted down those numbers....." dude whatever it gets 30 something, right?" (slumps to the floor)

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618

    @cski How does your mileage with the Optima compare to the Jeep you had before it? I kind on think you have to look at the proportion.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668

    They actually collect the carbon in the exhaust and weigh it - each gallon of gas produces a specific amount of carbon when it burns. Liquid measurements are simply not accurate enough.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954

    @ivan_99 said: I suppose they're the scientists...so I skeptically nod in agreement...

    Somehow I think they may know how to measure fuel consumption better than using a coffee cup and a calculator. I believe it was scientists that had to calculate the amount of fuel needed to get to the moon and back and that was 45 years ago so I think they can measure gas used by an automobile.

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193

    The Jeep gave me about 15 mpg with the 4.7 liter V8, and the 5 speed automatic and Selec-Trac II 4x4. I loved it. The whole vehicle just drove fantastic, even at 12 years old. But that was the problem. It was 12 years old and it was expensive to maintain, and even with the snow this year I didn't need 4 wheel drive. If I lived out by Winchester VA or Frederick MD I would have bought another 4x4.

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665

    @m6user said:

    Yup, but if they measured the amount of fuel they'd need to go to the moon by measuring the exhaust gas of the rocket sitting on a rocket sled I'd still be skeptical; and probably worried if I was taking the trip.

    I'm certain Bill Nye the science guy could explain it so I could understand. Though, regardless of the measuring scheme used, the EPA numbers are just supposed to be used in comparison to other automobiles.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    edited March 7

    I'll agree that the numbers are best used for comparison. However, they are still supposed to be a realistic range for the "average" driver.....if there is one. I have an AWD 2013 RDX that is rated at 22mpg combined. My mpg since buying the vehicle 18 months ago is sitting at 24.2 mpg. That is mostly suburban Chicago area driving with maybe about 20% freeway driving. I've been able to get very close or better than EPA on every vehicle I've had for about the past 10 years and especially since the EPA revised their numbers to make them more realistic in 2008 I think it was. I don't race people at stoplights often but I'm hardly what one might call a sedate driver.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668

    All things being equal, your fuel economy results relative to the EPA ratings should be fairly consistent. If you used to get 2 mpg better than EPA combined then you can reasonably expect the same on a new vehicle. However....... all things are no longer equal. Hybrids and small displacement direct injection turbos are much more sensitive to driving parameters and E-10 fuel and even temperature so the more you get away from the exact EPA test parameters the harder it is to get EPA results. New stricter emissions also have a negative effect especially on short drives.

    EPA testing wasn't designed for buyers - they're done primarily for CAFE compliance and they have to be modified with a formula to come up with the window sticker ratings. I've often said they should publish a range instead of just 3 numbers, but the resulting range would be so big that it wouldn't be useful at all (15 - 34 mpg e.g.).

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,193

    So basically, if my car isn't sitting in a warehouse at 72 F running at 1700 RPM at a simulated 60 MPH then I will get 19 mpg instead of 40, and that is perfectly OK. No really, I get it. It isn't the manufacturers fault that I have ten stoplights to get one mile to the grocery store, all crammed with cars. I really will look into a hybrid next time. All I was thinking was that the car looks and drives great, and it should be good on gas. And it is. Just not as good as I expected.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529

    Judging by this continuing trend, it's time for rear-seat Americans to join Heightwatchers.

    @elroy5 said: It said the styling would be daring, with the roof swept back behind the driver for a sleek look even if it takes away rear head room. Looking around the web, there is general consensus that tne new 6 will be considerably bigger (for more rear leg room)

    Maybe I am not understanding this, but it doesn't sound right. Tall people sitting in the back seat will have more leg room, and less head room. I guess they will have to slouch a lot huh? :confuse:

    MODERATOR

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618

    Yesterday at work a co worker stopped by my desk to ask me what kind of car I drive. He saw my car when I was leaving work, wasn't sure if it was me, thought the car looked great, and wasn't sure what it was. They are looking for an AWD sedan and the Fusion is on the list.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686

    What else is he looking at? Pretty soon he'll have 2 new options: the new 200 with AWD, and the new Legacy (if he can wait until fall).

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