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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Heard a radio ad from a Twin Cities Mazda dealer this morning. They are offering $6500 off on all 2006 Mazda6s 6ATs when you finance through Mazda ($5500 off if you don't). That means you can get a nicely-equipped Mazda6s with V6 and the 6AT for as little as $18k + T&L. Very nice deal on a V6 mid-sizer.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't think it was a "horrible oversimplification". In fact I agreed with it.

    Just for one example of why this is wrong...Honda and Toyota are known for high reliability. Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi are about average. OTOH, the handling and ride of Mazda is certainly above average.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Isn't ford known for leaking gaskets in their V6s...or is that just the 3.8L version?

    My sieve (3.8L ford V6) is one of the reason's I'd rather get the 4 cylinder Mazda6.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Isn't ford known for leaking gaskets in their V6s...or is that just the 3.8L version?

    I believe it's just the 3.8L. Totally different engine with different design.

    IIRC, The Duratec was never offered in 3.8L form, nor have I heard any major problems with leaking gaskets.
  • Anecdotal personal experience with the Duratec 2.5l from a Contour (non-SVT) with a 5speed was great. Popped a couple of water pumps in 150k but other than that was fine. OTOH with most other cars, you have to change a rubber band that operates the valves every 70k or so, and its such a PITA the water pump is changed "while you're in there."
    While the Duratec wasn't a torque monster, it was more than adequate to make an entertaining ride with a manual trans.
    The car also saw track duty in driving events, so I have absolutely zero complaints with that vehicle and its durability.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I had a '98 SVT Contour with the 2.5 Duratec 195hp version. It had a timing chain just like the Duratec 3.0.

    The engine was great. To bad I had quality issues with everything else with the car. Ended up trading it in on a Jetta in 2000 because I couldn't take it anymore (and yes the Jetta was perfectly reliable for me).

    The SVT 2.5 Duratec just loved to rev and smooth too. Without watching the tach, I'd often hit the 7200rpm rev limiter cause it was so willing to rev. Torque wasn't a strong suit, but it was a lot of fun when the variable intake switched @ 4500rpm into lets go mode. I've yet to drive a FWD domestic car that is as entertaining to drive as the SVT Contour was. I just loved autocrossing it. Particularly when going up against GM cars in the same class. I just ate them up.

    The closest thing I've driven to the SVT Contour is a Mazda 6.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Well the contour was related to the Mazda 626, which was replaced by the maybe its not surprising that a number of contourites seem attracted to the 6 (and pehaps the fusion, as well). This includes me. I have had a couple of contours that I bought used ('95 and '96) both were 4 cyl and MTX. My daughter and son now drive them.

    The 4 cyl zetec has been a pretty good engine for us, 140,000 miles on the '95...hoping it lasts until the daughter graduates from college in May.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    What?? There are n problems with the Duratec 3.0 for leaking seals...
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Accord – Total: 38,043; Retail: 37,625 (Fleet: 1%)
    Passat – Total: 5,003; Retail: 4,918 (Fleet:2%)
    Altima – Total: 17,669; Retail: 15,143 (Fleet: 14%)
    Milan – Total: 3,490; Retail: 2,970 (Fleet:15%)
    Fusion – Total: 13,612; Retail: 11,053 (Fleet:19%)
    Camry - Total: 41,892; Retail: 34,084 (Fleet: 19%)
    Mazda6 – Total: 6,192; Retail: 4,236 (Fleet:32%)
    G6 – Total: 17,516; Retail: 10,107 (Fleet: 42%)
    Sonata – Total: 14,039; Retail: 6,978 (Fleet: 50%)
    Impala – Total: 26,480; Retail: 11,969 (Fleet: 55%)
    Malibu – Total: 17,662; Retail: 7,012 (Fleet: 60%)

    Source: link title

    Impala, Sonata, G6, Malibu all above 40%!

    Mazda6 was surprisingly high.
    As usual, the Accord leads in retail sales.
  • So what's significant about FLEET sales? Is it that the regular consumer isn't interested as much being a higher percentage is fleet?
  • So what's significant about FLEET sales?

    With many FLEET sales, that means that a lot of 1-2 year old used models will flood the market, driving down resale value. It also represents where the "bang-for-the-buck" cars tend to lie, since rental companies aren't likely to shell out more money for "refinement," "style," or "fun-to-drive" cars, with the exception of the Mazda 6(fun to drive).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Note that more Camrys were sold into fleets in the month that was reported (note it's not all of 2006 as per the title of the post, just one month) than Sonatas. That doesn't bode well for resale values of Camrys I guess.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ;) Then imagine what it does to Sonata resale values at 50% :P

    A lot of the Toyota fleet sales of all vehicles goes into the TRAC program which in 6-8 months remarkets them through the Used Car depts of the respective TRAC stores. It's a huge benefit to the participating stores.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,238
    But the Toyotas still get sold to the public, don't they?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Nice spin backy...

    Lame, but nice attempt. Its also an indicator as to how well a particular vehicle is selling. If a manufacturer has the demand to sell a car retail, it will. Toyota was tied into some existing fleet contracts which will be expiring and that accounts for some, too. But all of these cars with 30+ fleet indicates these are models that do not have high demands.

    I understand that the Sonata is a better car, etc, but its not going to have good retail value. That's a virtual guarantee with that many fleet cars.

    I think the Fusion fleet number is good news, too, but my question is what happens when the Taurus is not longer available to fleets? I wonder what the 500 is doing.

    I just returned from a trip which involved a bunch of rental cars at various Hertz locations. Still quite a few Tauruses around. Hertz has really diversified since they are no longer owned by Ford, so there were also a lot of Impalas an Sonatas. That seems to be the bread and butter of the passenger car fleet. They also had a bunch of Subaru Outbacks, Pontiac G6's and various SUVs. One red Camry SE (odd trim for Hertz) at Seattle.

    I ended up with a Mustang, a Nissan Murano, and an Explorer.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    I wonder what the 500 is doing.

    All this information is offered in the link I provided. You can even look at the trucks/SUV's at this link .

    The Ford Five Hundred is selling at about 31% to fleets.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Lame, but nice attempt.

    Why is it lame? Please explain why having Sonatas from fleet sales (whatever the fleets are) "flooding the market" will hurt resale values, but having even more fleet-sale Camrys hitting the resale market won't have an effect on Camry's resale value. Also please explain why Toyota is different because it is "tied into" fleet deals. Don't you think Hertz et. al. have contracts with other automakers that tie them into selling a certain number of cars to fleets?

    It is a reminder that percentages don't tell the whole story, whether it's fleet sales or depreciation or whatever.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    In my observations, a 4cyl Camry has a resale value that is below an Accord. V6 Camrys seem to hold their value well since most fleet Camrys are 4cy models.

    I was suprised at the number of Camrys going to fleet, but if you look them up on Autotrader, the number if 1-2 year old Camrys and Accords for sale pale in comparison to the domestics.

    The bottomline is most people seem willing to pay more for an Accord/Camry vs. the others. Supply is a big part of the resale value, but you still have to have a willing buyer.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The TRAC program in a way insulates the vehicles in it from having a huge depressing effect on the resale market, Yes the vehicles are sold 'used' by the TRAC dealer but often they have few more miles than a new demo so they appear to be semi-new. The prices obtained for these gently used TRAC vehicles is often near the new vehicle price.

    Out of 1700+ dealers in the US & C I'd guess that 500 of them are TRAC stores with 5-50 TRAC Camry's in each fleet. As you noted all or nearly all are 4c LE's
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Honda/Acura auto sales slip by 17% in August
    =======> Aug 2006 vs 2005 ...... YTD 2006 vs 2005
    Accord* .. 34,504 .. 46,153 .. -28.0% .. 250,663 .. 258,514 .. -3.0%
    Memo: Accord
    Hybrid 499 2,336 -79.4% 4,248 11,651 -63.5%
    Civic* .. 31,549 .. 34,762 .. -12.6% .. 225,212 .. 203,673 .. 10.6%
    Memo: Civic
    Hybrid 3,411 4,146 -20.8% 21,841 19,106 14.3%

    MY changeover?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Note that Accord sales overall are down for the year, and Civic sales are up. So I think it has more to do with increased competition for the Accord (new Camry, Sonata, Fusion/Milan for example) than MY changeover. Civics have been hot, so it's possible dealers are running thin on those, but I see ads re big discounts and lease specials on 2006 Accords, so they can't be too rare yet.
  • Maybe gas prices are the reason for the dip in Accord sales and bump up in Civic sales.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    That could be, but consider sales of the Sonata are way up for 2006. Sales of the Fusion/Milan have been added to this market for 2006. Camry sales are up or at least solid for 2006. Accord's are slipping. Maybe because it's one of the oldest designs in this class, besides the Mazda6, and the Altima (replaced for 2007)?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Accord makes sense as it ages into its final year, but the Civic???? As hot as this new model has been and with gas still in the $3.00 range for most of August?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    The Civic isn't a mid-sized car.

    Sales have been strong all year, so that drop could be due to dealers running out of '06s.
  • , but I see ads re big discounts and lease specials on 2006 Accords,

    A lot of dealers and car makers run ads with low prices just to get you on the lot. They may only have one model that is specifically on sale.

    In Birmingham, Serra Honda is out of 2006 Accords now. Only 2007s on the lot (very few Accords period, and only 3 coupes!)... I'd attribute the lower numbers to lack of inventory of 2006 models, at least here in Alabama that is.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Looks like the year-end closeout sale on the Accord was a success then, at least in Alabama! :)

    Here's a tidbit from my local Hyundai dealer: Hyundai is ramping up production of I4 Sonatas in Alabama to partially offset an expected shortage of Elantras, due to the 2007 Elantras not arriving until January, due to the recent strike in Korea.
  • Looks like the year-end closeout sale on the Accord was a success then, at least in Alabama!

    It most certainly was, in my eyes!

    Here's a tidbit from my local Hyundai dealer: Hyundai is ramping up production of I4 Sonatas in Alabama to partially offset an expected shortage of Elantras, due to the 2007 Elantras not arriving until January, due to the recent strike in Korea.

    I know it belongs in the news&views section, but on what scale is this strike (if you know)? What caused it?

    I think making more I-4 cars is a good idea; people still are valuing efficiency more than they did 5 years ago, despite the recent small price drop in gasoline. Paying $2.61 a gallon looks great when you compare it to $3.02 of one year ago, but looks awful when you compare to the $1.77 per gallon in B'ham of 2 years ago, or $1.40 of three years ago.

    (Gas prices referenced from, a spinoff of a really handy site that operates in MANY cities around the nation, from Akron to Worcester...check it out!)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Yep, the strike details belong in News & Views. I have someone following me around these discussions, waiting for an off-topic post so he can protest, so let's stick to mid-sized cars.

    I am disappointed the 2007 Elantra will be delayed, because it will be one of the least expensive and most fuel-efficient ICE mid-sized cars available, with the possible exceptions of the Versa and Sentra. (Yes, the Versa is rated a mid-sized car by the EPA, imagine that!)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I recently rented a car from Budget for a trip to NY. Of course, it's the luck of the draw on which vehicle you are assigned. I received a red 2007 Camry SE 4-cyl automatic w/o a sunroof. In viewing several locally-owned rental agencies, the foremost car on the lots is the 2007 Camry. I saw no Sonatas at the locally-owned agencies, and only one Sonata at Hertz at our local airport.

    There's no question that the Camry will retain its resale value better than the Sonata, but given the incidence of reported problems on the new Camry - now covered extensively by the mainstream media, not just by forums - the Camry may no longer be the darling it once was in the long term. The large percentage of owners are happy, but it's the vocal minority who gets the coverage, and this will eventually affect Toyota.
This discussion has been closed.