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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • You are confused!

    I wasn't the one talking about the 6 recalls, that was someone else.

    Re-read my post. The top part (in quotes, and bold) was a quote from the poster I was replying to. The lower quote was part of my response.

    The original poster was relating the problems with his Mother's Altima to me, and I was stating that so far, my Mother-in-law's Altima has been OK with that one exception.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Here THIS LINKshould help ya! JD Powers long term data, if you dig for it, can be unearthed on the Edmund's site -- thanks Ed!
    -Loren
  • jeffyscott: "Why is it ridiculous? The data is simply based on the number of problems per vehicle. This does have the weakness that all problems are treated as equal."

    How did they obtain this "data"? And when? In my opinion, a credible research study should cite their sources and methodolgies. Also, it is misleading to state that one brand is more reliable than another when all problems are treated equally.

    Example:

    Midsize sedan "A" has been in the shop twice; once for a door lock that malfunctioned, and once when the radio stopped picking up FM channels.

    Midsize sedan "B" has been in the shop only once, after the transmission suddenly self-destructed.

    Which car has been more "reliable"? According to most of the studies which are being cited in this forum, it would be car "B" because it is less likely to develop a "problem." But which car would you rather buy? Which one would you consider reliable?

    Seems like most of these studies don't use common sense...

    And why are they all so scared to let you know EXACTLY how they came up with their results? I mean specifics; if they are using surveys, how many surveys were taken, how long ago, among what population or group of respondents, and how were they compared with one another? Were all "problems" treated as equal, were repair costs taken into account, etc?
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Not so sure about the gas mileage on Aura. While it seems a bit heavy, my past experience with GM V6 OHV engines, is that they got figures for MPG at or above listed. Not sure how the DOHC will do. I may drive the Aura again. After several runs with the Honda, I decided on a V6 in that line. Just one sweet ride. And while classified as a family car, it really does well on the road. Good feel, nice steering and not too much lean in cornering. The Aura seemed like a decent car. The engine being a bit rougher than the Honda V6, but then again, I tested the base with the 3.5. And I may add, it may not be a bad compromise in that it sells in the price range of the Honda i4 cars. Of course not matching i4 gas mileage, but is a little quicker. In looking around the city and highways, if you own an Aura, you have a unique car - a rare find. Seems like they are not selling. Wonder if the advertising did not work well, or something else is going on here. Looks like Saturn was asleep too long???
    -Loren
  • Thanks for the link. It's nice to see a long term (4-5 year) study that is organized so well (breaks out problems by mechanical, body integrity and accessories- I like that).

    From what I read on their site, based on their claims, they are doing good market research. However, I still have questions... It says "These scores come from owners who have rated their vehicle on dependability after four-to-five years of ownership."

    What owners? Has anyone ever been asked by J.D. Power to rate their own car after 4-5 years? How do we know that their sample is representative of the total population?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I thought I heard a while back that the G8 would be a Bonneville replacement. Is it basically the Grand Prix replacement instead?

    It was always the Grand Prix replacement. You obviously heard wrong. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I've seen a few Aura's even here in truck country. ;)

    I guess you wouldn't see them on the left coast. Is that really surprising. ;)

    Rocky
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the car I was asking about specifically the 3.5SE?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    sorry, duh!
    but, I would guess your MIL will have the same sort of luck I've had with Nissans overall - a total of four of them, over 15 years, a total of about 500,000 miles, and never had one in the shop - although I did lose the 92 Maxima to a blown tranny at 250k (my fault). They are great cars, and that 3.5 VQ is perhaps the best V6 out there (apologies and a tip of the hat to Toyota and Honda).
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    didn't anybody catch the fact that this extended warranty co and reliability stats are apparently for Great Britain!?
    Not the same cars (although mostly the same mfgrs.) - got to be careful about the silly Internet, you can find info on all kinds of things that don't really apply.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Edmunds has figures for estimated (5 yr/75,000 mi) repair costs for in their "true cost to own". There is very little difference in the expected repair costs for the models I looked up: Fusion, Accord, Camry, or Mazda6.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I believe more in comparison tests, than reliability data reports. In a comparison test they drive the cars back to back, and I think that gives them a good assessment of which car they like best, and why. The car reviewer (doing a comparison test) can give you an idea what to look for during the test drive (personal pros and cons).

    Reliability data is relevant, as far as the highest rated cars, will probably be more reliable than the lowest rated. The rest is a wash, IMO. You can pick a lemon, in ANY brand.
  • Ok - I just thought about this - what exactly does Saturn stand for? The Japanese make it easy - get a Honda/Toyota for mainstream, an Acura/Lexus for luxury.

    GM has too many brands... Chevy is mainstream. Cadillac is the luxury. Pontiac is sorta sporty/younger/value??? (sort of like a Scion?). And then you have Buick and Saturn. So it confuses buyers a great deal. The Aura is not upscale enough to be a Lexus/Acura equal to the Malibu. The CTS is more like competition for an Acura TL. The Malibu is the Accord/Camry direct competition. So the Aura is lost.

    I think GM is failing to realize that people are confused by their many offerings and a simplified lineup would make things much easier.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, its not really disproving your point, but rather making another. The Aura 3.5L with similar mileage as Accord V6 isn't nearly as quick according to instrumented testing and power ratings.

    The 3.6L is a good competitor to the Camry, Accord, and Altima V6s. The 3.5L is good if you don't care about mileage and want V6 torque but don't care about being particularly fast or advanced.
  • Saturn is trying to be, according from an article I read, mainstream yet more upscale. It's more a middle-of-the-road brand now, between your basic midsize car and a luxury car. Think of it like this.
    You have your vinyl seats: You get Chevy
    You have your cloth seats: You get Saturn
    You have your leather seats: You get Cadillac
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Nope, I would say the New Malibu 2008 and the Aura 2007 are direct competition to the Accord and Camry. Malibu and Aura will be a choice of styles, the Aura looking more like the Opel / Euro look.
    -Loren
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I haven't seen vinyl seats in a Chevy for a long time.

    Now that Saturn is losing its uniqueness (no more plastic panels, no real unique models except the Opel-based hatch coming soon), it seems redundant with Pontiac, since both have a sporting flair. Or maybe Saturn is the reincarnation of Oldsmobile??
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Saturn could be the North American Opel. Yeah, not exactly the same, with different engines and transmissions, but as close as ya get to Euro division cars sold here in the states. I do believe the new hatch is going to be the Euro Opel. Is it imported, or is it another near-Opel car.
    -Loren
  • It makes even less sense with the Ford trio - Fusion, Milan, Zephyr. Basically the top trim Zephyr is really a Fusion with leather seats, HIDs, etc. Its isn't like they're reusing the same foundation and revising/tuning the car differently (like the Lexus ES and Acura TL). All this badge engineering just makes it more confusing for the consumers.

    The same practices of the good old days are still at work in Detroit with badge engineering. Why not just make one solid mainstream and luxury model in each class segment and sell it like crazy (witness the Accord/TL and Camry/ES success)? :confuse:

    And if vinyl is Chevy, cloth is Saturn and leather is Cadillac... what exactly are Buick and Pontiac? Suede and plastic? :confuse:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Basically the top trim Zephyr is really a Fusion with leather seats, HIDs, etc. Its isn't like they're reusing the same foundation and revising/tuning the car differently (like the Lexus ES and Acura TL).

    That's true for the Milan but not the MKZ. The MKZ is significantly different and upgraded from the Fusion and Milan starting with the 3.5L V6.
  • exshomanexshoman Posts: 109
    You'll find that people who are loyal to imports will typically say problems like the ones you describe are the exception and not the rule. Sometimes people will trade in a trouble prone import for another vehicle from the SAME brand. Could you imagine anyone doing that with a domestic?

    I just had a friend who did that exact thing. He had a 99 Outback that had about 90K miles. Don't recall the details, but at 60K, he had a problem that cost over a thousand dollars. Then his AC went, as well as another problem that combined was going to cost two thousand dollars. The final straw was his engine started overheating a few weeks ago (in the middle of winter!). He spent a couple hundred replacing his thermostat, but when it continued to overheat, the mechanic said it was probably a blown head gasket. He traded it in to Carmax for $3500.

    He then went out and bought a new 2007 Outback last week.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, I don't blame him, really. There are only four AWD systems that work properly on the market. Subaru, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes. Everything else actually makes the car handle worse or not even good enough to do simple off-road tasks(say a 25 degree dirt hill). Considering that the other manufacturers just cost a fortune, the Subaru is a good alternative.

    And the last couple of years they have been pretty reliable.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    The MKZ is significantly different and upgraded from the Fusion and Milan starting with the 3.5L V6.

    Why do they keep throwing that aweful grill on Lincolns? I think its a nice car otherwise.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You'll find that people who are loyal to imports will typically say problems like the ones you describe are the exception and not the rule. Sometimes people will trade in a trouble prone import for another vehicle from the SAME brand. Could you imagine anyone doing that with a domestic?

    A comment like that sure is broad-based and accusatory for one-person with limited communication with the millions of import car owners. (And yes I know you 'exshoman' aren't the original poster who said that)

    And, for the record my great aunt who now is on her third Honda once sold her old, suspension-troubled Buick Regal (I say old I think it was 6 years old at the time) on a Buick Century. This was around 1990 though. She didn't make the same mistake again though. Her Century was more trouble free than the 80s Regal she had but she eventually left GM for Honda and hasn't looked back.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The MKZ is significantly different and upgraded from the Fusion and Milan starting with the 3.5L V6.

    Why do they keep throwing that aweful grill on Lincolns? I think its a nice car otherwise.


    Well, it's their design language. Too bad more people don't speak it!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    That's true for the Milan but not the MKZ. The MKZ is significantly different and upgraded from the Fusion and Milan starting with the 3.5L V6.

    I could be completely nuts, but I disagree on the Milan being the same as the Fusion. I think the ride and handling differs from the Fusion. Ride seemed a little softer and steering was lighter. I also think the mercury was a bit quieter and the seats were slightly different...not as deep as the Ford.

    Finally there is nothing wrong with having a choice of cars that differ in styling. I like the styling of the Milan much more than the Fusion. If Honda did this, without sticking me with a premium equipment level, that I don't want, I might have considered one of their vehicles. I could not get past the unattractive (to me) styling of the Accord (and then they want a premium price for it too). I know it is not based on the US Accord, but had TSX been available equipped at about the Accord SE level, I might have considered that, depending on price.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Subarus are nice cars, but they do have some weak points. Some (all??) of their engines still use timing belts instead of chains, and the replacement cost is not trivial. Also, they do have a tendency to blow head gaskets, and most shops pull the engine to replace them.

    If you own a Subaru, you must follow the recommended service intervals exactly, or you may see some rather expensive repairs. This is anecdotal evidence from my aunt and uncle's experience with a Legacy and Outback.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "My take the Aura will get significantly less mileage in real world situations. "

    That makes no sense, EPA ratings are off for ALL vehicles, not just certain brands. To say that the Aura would do substantially worse than its EPA ratings but the Accord wouldn't is illogical. Most V6 family sedans get 20-22mpg in mixed driving per magazine tests. The Accord four cylinder in a recent C&D test averaged 24mpg and the Aura averaged 20mpg.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    my bad, the Accord does have SOHC layout. Honda gets great hp/l but it means little in the real world. The mileage of the Accord V6 is about the same as the average V6 family car. The Impala gets 21/31 with it's base V6. The Aura/G6 get 20/28 in spite of having 3.6L V6s vs Honda's 3L. It doesnt really matter in the end. The TSX is another example. The TSX gets 21/30 or 22/30 I believe while the Malibu with 3.5L V6 and 4 speed gets 22/32. Sure the TSX gets 205hp from only 2.4L but it makes little difference at the gas pump.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    I could not get past the unattractive (to me) styling of the Accord

    I agree. The Accord's a fantastic car mechanically but the 06 restyle is lame. I think the 08 Accord will revive the Accord's appeal from a design angle.

    The TSX (and the TL) is a thing of beauty - much better looking than the Accord and worth the extra money.
This discussion has been closed.