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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Mazda6 and Fusion/Milan have double wishbone suspension, also.
  • A Honda automatic seems to be a weird beast - its not your typical slushbox and neither is it an automatically shifted manual. I can't seen to find much more information about it though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hondamatic


    OK, I read the entry in Wikipedia but could someone explain the difference between the Hondamatic and a "normal" automatic transmission in plain English?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    this is where we are all heading, whether it be things like CVTs, hybrids, or the multitude of computer controlled systems now infecting our cars. By any reasonable definition, what is more complicated also must fail (sometimes inexplicably) more often. Cntrl-Alt-Del. Especially in vehicles in this particular class, it does seem that the car buyer doesn't want to be bothered with a mundane chore like driving. It will get worse...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I'm still not quite 100% convinced yet, but I keep thinking that Nissan is on the right track here...

    Well, the CVT was about the only reason that I even test drove the Altima. I like the idea of CVT and in my short drive it seemed fine to me. Too many other things I do not like about the car, though.
  • Its too bad there isn't a usable public transportation system in this country. Most of my friends in urban environments (metro DC and Chicago) have a fun car they use for trips and they use public transportation to get to work and back.
    I too think cars will continue to fall in two categories, refrigerators/ranges, and stuff thats fun.
  • In terms of changing the tire sizing when I switch to ultra-high performance SPTs, I have no intention of changing either the diameter, the width, or the sidewall. I don't want a harsher ride by decreasing the sidewall height, and I don't want a wider or a bigger wheel either, mostly because of increased road noise and distorted odometer readings. On top of that, I trust Honda's engineers as to their OE sizing recommendations.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    ntil you hit bumper to bumper traffic that goes on for hours... and then, it will be pure torture!

    That's not how I see it. This is strictly personal, but I love my manual in traffic. Anticipation and coasting make it a breeze. I realize I'm in the minority on this though.

    For me, a manual transmission is the only way to go no matter what the traffic is like. :shades:
  • In terms of changing the tire sizing when I switch to ultra-high performance SPTs, I have no intention of changing either the diameter, the width, or the sidewall. I don't want a harsher ride by decreasing the sidewall height, and I don't want a wider or a bigger wheel either, mostly because of increased road noise and distorted odometer readings. On top of that, I trust Honda's engineers as to their OE sizing recommendations.
    I am sure most people feel this way (if incorrectly) about stock components and I think this is why mass market cars in this category will not offer a real sport package.
    I wanted to hit on few misconceptions about tires in this post. The sidewall height is a ratio of the width. Hence a 60 series tire would be about 60% as tall as it is wide, a 50 series 50% as tall and so on. New tires (unless accompanied by larger rims) wouldn't decrease the sidewall height. It may decrease the ratio but not the actual height (since the tire is wider, the height stays the same, preserving speedometer readings)...this is a "Plus 0" fitment. Wider tire + better tire characteristics=better performance, usually with the same rim. Road noise is a function of a particular tire and has no relationship to tire size (excepting mud bog type tires or similar, which aren't being discussed).
    A Plus 1 fitment is when the wheels get a little bigger. Going from a 15" inch wheel in a 195/60 to a 16" wheel in a 205/55 or 215/50 gets a lot more rubber on the road. Again, outside rolling circumference stays the same so there is no difference in speedometer readings.
    A Plus 2 would be going from that 195/60 15 to a 205/50 17 or similar. This is where things get critical. Choosing a heavy rim at this point can affect vehicle handling, and going with too small of an aspect ratio (that width to height thing) can affect ride quality. Choosing too aggressive a tire can lead to tramlining.
    Its possible to keep going and get 18 or even 20" wheels but those are pretty much purely for "bling" and weight more than the car. :sick:
    Honda's engineers don't chose the tire size, the marketing and purchasing people do. Purchasing chooses the smallest, cheapest size marketing will allow. Very rarely to engineers get final say in any of these decisions. If you are that stoked about it, the marketing group did their job :) Every component on a car is a compromise so that it works for everyone but is optimized for no-one. Tires, even in the same exact size, are easy to upgrade for performance or snow traction, or what not.
  • For me, a manual transmission is the only way to go no matter what the traffic is like.

    Couldn't have said it better myself! :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Me three. ;-)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    But have you ever been stuck in stop-n-go traffic for an hour? I was one day in my 95 ranger and my left leg went to sleep and started to cramp. I love manuals but not for commuting.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    while the enthusiast will continue to 'pay the price' of the MT, the auto will still account for the vast majority of sales in this class - would contend that possibly a majority of the licensed drivers out there couldn't drive a stick in any case. The auto trannied cars will continue to have some drivability issues and/or take much of what makes driving fun out of our hands.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 342
    I agree that the new Altima is going to be successful. I never liked the new Maxima because I just couldn't get over the crappy dash, same goes for the Murano and the old Altima. Nissan fixed it with the new Altima.

    In my area, Pittsburgh, you really don't see too many Maximas you see way more 6 cyl. Accords and TLs. The current Maxima hasn't sold well.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    The 2007 Fusion has now received top ratings of Good for both front and side impact IIHS tests, so cross that off the list of things to gripe about.
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Posts: 170
    The 2007 Fusion has now received top ratings of Good for both front and side impact IIHS tests, so cross that off the list of things to gripe about.

    How 'bout I don't even think about buying one and wait for the 08 Accord? The Fusion will look so Fordy then. They're gonna have to address the funky, thrown together dash and controls. Now even the Altima looks sweet inside.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "But have you ever been stuck in stop-n-go traffic for an hour? I was one day in my 95 ranger and my left leg went to sleep and started to cramp. I love manuals but not for commuting."

    Just one day and you called it quits? Geez, I’ve been stuck in stop and go traffic for hours on end, day after day after day. I started driving a stick shift when I lived in San Diego in the late 1970s, a car with an unassisted mechanical clutch linkage and a 3,500 pound pressure plate no less. From there I moved to Los Angeles, followed by Atlanta, Detroit, San Jose, Chicago, New York and now the Boston area. In addition to commuting daily in the rush-hour traffic in those cities, I've also worked long term contracts where I either had my own car or a stick shift rental in Dallas, Washington DC, Denver, London, Paris, Stuttgart, Rome, Taipei, and Auckland. Nobody can say I haven't experience the worst traffic the world has to offer in stick shift equipped cars, and yet, I still prefer having three pedals under my dash, and by a huge margin too.

    No matter the road conditions, no matter the traffic conditions, no matter the weather conditions, I cannot think of a single scenario where I'd prefer an automatic. The only time I admit to it being a bit of a chore was when I was in my first RHD car (a Fiat of some sort) while stuck in London on a day where all mass transit was on strike. The combination of driving on the wrong side of the road, shifting with the wrong hand (but the correct foot), and looking up and left for the middle rear-view-mirror was just about to my limit of new experiences to deal with at one time.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    "The 2007 Fusion has now received top ratings of Good for both front and side impact IIHS tests, so cross that off the list of things to gripe about."

    Where did you see this? I wonder what Ford did differently in the past year?? :confuse:
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    "How 'bout I don't even think about buying one and wait for the 08 Accord? The Fusion will look so Fordy then. They're gonna have to address the funky, thrown together dash and controls. Now even the Altima looks sweet inside. "

    And then I guess when the 09 Fusion makes its refreshened debut the 08 Accord will look like its "Fordy"??
    Interior on the Fusion has won awards.. get out and visit Stratigic Visions for one. When I park my Fusion SEL V6 next to an 06 Accord it makes the Accord look plain frumpy.
    Just face the music, the Fusion just plain out styles the Accord. Read any review on the Fusion and it get very high marks for styling.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    c'mon now, the Accord interior vs. any Ford's - not even close in terms of design/egronomics or fit/finish. Awards from who?
    The Fusion is better than the Chrysler if that means much, but still short of what for example GM is doing in the Aura. Exterior styling - always subjective
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    c'mon now, the Accord interior vs. any Ford's - not even close in terms of design/egronomics or fit/finish. Awards from who?
    The Fusion is better than the Chrysler if that means much, but still short of what for example GM is doing in the Aura. Exterior styling - always subjective


    Last I checked, interior design was subjective too, but I certainly agree on the ease-of-use and tactile quality - Honda has the Ford beat there out of the vehicles I have been in (Loaded Fusion V6 and 4-cylinder Accord).
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I either had my own car or a stick shift rental in Dallas, Washington DC, Denver, London, Paris, Stuttgart, Rome, Taipei, and Auckland.

    Driving a stick in Taipei while trying to avoid hitting those dang scooters and not-so-friendly buses...

    That's gotta to be FUN!!!

    PS, will be there in 5 days. :blush:
  • Just got back from a business trip; the local Hertz had a 2007 2.5S Altima listed as a special ($10 extra); I took the opportunity to rent it. Below are my driving impressions. To put things in perspective, I am a proud and happy 2000 Altima GXE owner (137k trouble free miles, parts changed - 2 batteries, tires, power window regulator at 130k miles, water pump at 133k miles, a few bulbs, thats all) and an ex-2003 Accord owner (sold it at 85k miles, very happy with this car too, no issues):

    Impressions (Disclaimer - All opinions are IMHO)

    Exterior: Evolutionary styling, I preferred the 2006 looks but this one is quite similar, so no issues there. Paint quality was good, as was external plastics/lense quality. Trunk was very spacious, with a beautiful carpet on the trunk floor, well finished. Looks from the front nice, rear lights a bit too elongated for my tastes.

    Interior: The interior layout is nice with good instrumentation as well as an ergonomic armrest. Seats are quite comfortable, interior feels quite large and roomy. My major gripe with the interior is the execution, especially the plastic parts as well as the cheap cloth material used on the seats. The plastics on the doors are epecially pathetic, there were mold lines as well as sharp un-intended edges, looks like interior fit and finish has fallen well below the midsize average. The car had keyless start and it worked pretty well, you can just have the keyring in your pocket and the car will start. Cupholder finish was another issue, just not upto Nissan standards.

    Engine/ride/CVT: The engine sound was good, ride and handling fairly sporty, keeping tradition and in general handling was good without being exceptional (I think size has a lot to do with the handling). The CVT was a major concern and a definite deal breaker for me. Guys, if you haven't driven a CVT, please do so before you decide, it is a very very different feeling. The car felt really slow (I am sure its not, in fact in instrumented tests its right up there) as soon as you give it gas, all that happens is the engine noise increases and not much happpens with regards to motion (feel wise). Its like a clutch slipping till the CVT catches on, a very disconcerting feel for me. I drove the car about 250 miles in 2 days, could never warm up to the CVT, IMO Nissan has screwed up this otherwise nice car with this abomination.

    Overall, a decent effort, however I think in today's competitive market, the Altima will lose a lot of sales to the other contenders; I would pick a Sonata or a Fusion in a blink over this, leave alone the Accord.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    But have you ever been stuck in stop-n-go traffic for an hour?

    All the time... that was my point. However, I agree that it is simply preference.

    And I can't imagine my left leg going to sleep since I would be using it all the time.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Where did you see this? I wonder what Ford did differently in the past year?

    LINK

    It's buried in the Edge/MKX press release (both got top safety picks). I read somewhere else that they modified the floor pan.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    It was from holding the clutch in while stopped for several minutes at a time. After that I started putting it in neutral. That wasn't the only reason I opted for an automatic but it was a factor as it is for many people. I plan to get a manual mustang convertible for weekend driving.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Ah.... well holding the pedal in for any length of time is hard on the clutch so I never do that.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Wow - the 'face the music' comeback.

    You're probably the only one on the planet that thinks the Fusion outclasses an Accord.

    Whatever.

    Check out the new Altima's interior. Its pushing Accord quality. Leaves the Fusion looking very old.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    You do know the Mustang has a very stiff clutch.
    -Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Fusion looks OK. I may test drive one. I drove the V6 Accord, which is one perfect engine and very confident ride. In ten years time, I would imagine that the Accord will be tighter inside and out. Would like to see how the handling of the Fusion is when compared to Accord. Style wise the Fusion is fresh, as it is but two years of age, the butt is a bit high and the tail lights trim is a little strange. Overall it is nice. The Milan is nicer. Then there is the Accord, which is a classy and long lasting simple flowing lines design -- looks good. The Coupe looks great and comparable to a Z or G35. Before buying a Ford, I will have to convince myself that the company will be around after the borrowed money is spent at Ford. Also gotta test the Aura XR, Accord with a 4 cylinder, and a couple three other cars.
    -Loren
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I don't care because I won't be driving it in stop-n-go traffic every day. Weekends and fun days only.
This discussion has been closed.