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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    why does it matter what Saturn stands for? If you like their vehicles it doesnt matter. Why do people base car buying on all these meaningless factors? I would never not buy a car because I am "confused" about what a brand stands for.

    With the exception of Hummer and maybe Saab I dont see any of GM's divisions as expendable. GM has a broad range of midsize cars that appeal to different people. A lot of Aura buyers wouldn't drive and Impala or Malibu.

    As for luxury vs non luxury, I think it's pretty obvious that Hummer, Buick and Cadillac are luxury brands and the rest are not. I dont see what's so confusing. It's apparent that Saturn isnt a competitor for Acura due to its pricing. The only Saturn product that can cost well over $30k is the Outlook.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "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?? "

    Saturn is the new Olds. It will not compete with Pontiac. There will be no RWD Saturn sports sedans. Pontiac will not get an Outlook or Astra. The main common ground between the brands will be Aura/G6 and Sky/Solstice. Most of the people GM is gunning for with Saturns wouldnt be caught dead in a Pontiac. I cant see anyone who would buy the Astra looking at anything in the Pontiac showroom.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    keep in mind that while this reliability equality may be true now - that some of this (see Fusion/6 powertrains) has to do with using 'antiquated' and debugged components that have been around for years and years. If and when, the 3.5 makes it into the Ford products, it will logically be less reliable than what it replaces. Witness the spotty record the LaCrosse CXS has shown with the new 3.6 vs. the better results of the same car with the old 3.8, and likewise some of the problems Toyota has been having with the completely new Camry, and I would forecast some problems even for the new Accord, if Honda decides to substantially redesign it. There is only one difference, IMO, Toyota/Honda/Nissan have the money to spend to correct their problems, Ford/GM don't.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "IMO, Toyota/Honda/Nissan have the money to spend to correct their problems, Ford/GM don't. "

    I wouldnt go there. Perhaps Ford doesnt have the money but GM has been increasing its R&D spending recently. I think they will be spending between $8B and $9B this year which is more than last year. I'm pretty sure only Toyota invests more into product development. I haven't heard of any significant reliability issues with GM's DOHC V6.
  • This HG issue was the first generation 2.5l motor. Its well documented, there were recalls and additional warranties to cover it. It affected vehicles from 98/99-01/02.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Saturn, at its inception, was a stroke of marketing genius - no nonsense, courteous/friendly dealers, what you see is what you get pricing, maybe gimmicky plastic body parts, and a car that was somehow accepted as 'safer' than many others. GM blew it, as it degenerated into any sequence of rebadged Chevys.
    Don't bet the farm on 'no RWD Saturn sports sedans', GM does have that Theta platform down under, that is already being used with the 3.6 and V8s, and would seem a natural point of differentiation, if Saturn is going to reestablish itself as a 'premium' GM brand.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Lacrosse is black circled in CR, and the engine is noted by MSN as a 'problem' area. Think if you would do some further research you will find the same sort of concerns showing up on the CTS 2.8 and 3.6. I didn't exactly say it was a 'bad' engine (it may indeed be one of 'Detriot's' best efforts to this point) only that it will logically experience more problems than a 50s vintage 3.8.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The TSX (and the TL) is a thing of beauty - much better looking than the Accord and worth the extra money.

    Perhaps, but the Mazda6 is also much better looking than Accord and sells for much less than the Accord or the TSX...now that is a real thing of beauty :) ;) .

    (also I don't like leather seats, so that eliminated any consideration of TSX for me)

    The '08 Accord coupe design does look good to me...presumably the sedan will be similar.
  • 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.

    And the TSX requires premium fuel.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Don't get me wrong - I don't mind Mercury being rebadged Fords with different styling. I think there is a place for that. I drove a Milan and Fusion V6 and couldn't tell any difference. Maybe you were just expecting a difference? Was the Fusion a different trim level?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Perhaps Ford doesnt have the money but GM has been increasing its R&D spending recently. I think they will be spending between $8B and $9B this year which is more than last year. I'm pretty sure only Toyota invests more into product development.

    You'll probably be surprised to know that Ford spends the most on R&D and has for the last several years. And even with the current situation at Ford Fields and Mulally have committed to not cutting R&D or product development funding (realizing that product is the key to long term success).

    Now whether they're spending that R&D money wisely is an entirely different topic.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    You'll probably be surprised to know that Ford spends the most on R&D and has for the last several years
    NO WAY - the Toyotas (and even Hyundais) of the world, coming out with with completely new cars and drivetrains, and building new plants that cost billions all over the country. Ford, OTH, closing plants, and continuing to use old drivetrains, platforms etc. Happen to have any numbers, or is this an opinion?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Actually, I was not expecting a difference. I did later read one review that also indicated a difference in ride.

    ...tuning felt different than Fusion, a little softer... The up side of this softer setup is a very quiet and compliant street ride, fitting nicely between Fusion and Zephyr.

    http://www.mpt.org/motorweek/reviews/rt2519a.shtml

    Drove both S and SE in the fusion and the cheaper Milan trim level. All were 4 cyl.
  • This may very well be true, but you must realize that Toyota's market capitilaztion (value of their stock) is $440 billion, whereas GM's market capitalization is just over $20 billion. This means that GM is worth less than 5% of Toyota's worth. That won't even pay the sales tax in most states. Needles to say, GM will not catch Toyota's market value or total accumulated assets in my lifetime.

    Steve
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I doubt that Saturn is the new Oldsmobile. Closer to being Opel brand of America. Olds. was a division used a lot to bring new ideas to market, later used on cars throughout the realm. Oh my, in a way you could be correct. The Malibu is the Chevy Aura. OK, share and share alike, it is GM so who knows, maybe a version of Astra will be Ponti or a Caddy some day. I have know idea what they have in mind. If they buy Chrysler, it won't matter - they are gone. Was news of GM buying Chrysler some sort of hoax???

    And don't get me wrong, sharing of the platform is a good thing. Only way for car manufacturers to make money. People do not complain that their G35 is the same as the 350Z Nissan now do they?
    -Loren
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Top Gear (a Well-Known Car-Enthusiast Publication from Europe) put this one out. You'll note several Euro-Only Brands, but the overall results are interesting. They are sorted top to bottom, with number one (MAZDA) having the fewest incidences of problems in their vehicles:

    Table to illustrate the reliability ratings of 450,000 vehicles by manufacturer. Position Manufacturer Incidence rate (%)
    1 Mazda 8.04%
    2 Honda 8.90%
    3 Toyota 15.78%
    4 Mitsubishi 17.04%
    5 Kia 17.39%
    6 Subaru 18.46%
    7 Nissan 18.86%
    8 Lexus 20.05%
    9 Mini 21.90%
    10 Citroen 25.98%
    11 Daewoo 26.30%
    12 Hyundai 26.30%
    13 Peugeot 26.59%
    14 Ford 26.76%
    10 Citroen 25.98%
    11 Daewoo 26.30%
    12 Hyundai 26.30%
    13 Peugeot 26.59%
    14 Ford 26.76%
    15 Suzuki 27.20%
    16 Porsche 27.48%
    17 Fiat 28.49%
    18 BMW 28.64%
    19 Vauxhall 28.77%
    20 Mercedes 29.90%
    21 Rover 30.12%
    22 Volvo 31.28%
    23 Volkswagen 31.44%
    24 Jaguar 32.05%
    25 Skoda 32.12%
    26 Chrysler 34.90%
    27 Audi 36.74%
    28 Seat 36.87%
    29 Renault 36.87%
    30 Alfa Romeo 39.13%
    31 Saab 41.59%
    32 Land Rover 44.21%
    33 Jeep 46.36%


    Some info to note from that page:

    "Some 450,000 vehicles, all between three and nine years old, from 33 manufacturers, were surveyed across the US and UK. The results are based on the number of failures reported during a given one-year period for every 100 Warranty Direct policies sold. The results (see table) make interesting reading. "
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    it is the FM platform and Nissan's use of that platform throughout its lines that effectively saved Nissan (along with a bunch of French francs) from a plight similar to Ford's. Proof that it does work, if you are atarting out with something good enough to 'rebadge'.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    NO WAY

    WAY. At least through 2005. Can't find 2006 numbers. This doesn't mean they spend wisely or get a lot in return, just that they spend the most.

    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/dec05/comments/1184

    December 6th, 2005
    THE SPECTRUM R&D REPORT

    Who spends the most on research and development? In our annual review of corporate commitments to this vital category, we find that four of the top five spots are filled by auto makers: Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, Toyota Motor Corp., and General Motors Corp. The top investor in R&D, Ford, spent US $7.4 billion in 2004.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I've heard that from others also but the engineers say they're the same. Not sure it matters - the differences, if there are any, are minor. The styling is the biggest difference.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    closing plants has nothing to do with R&D investment. We as consumers wouldnt even see what they are doing with R&D money because that money goes towards vehicles under development that we know little or nothing about. I read that Toyota spends about $13B on R&D a year.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    33 manufacturers, were surveyed across the US and UK
    if this really was 'surveyed across the US and UK' then where is GM? Saab and Vauxhall are minor players compared to Chevy etc. Opel is missing as well.
    It is interesting to note, however, that the "Japanese" mfgrs dominate - or maybe this is some sort of European anti-Ford bias against the Mondeo etc?
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Saturn, at its inception, was a stroke of marketing genius - no nonsense, courteous/friendly dealers, what you see is what you get pricing, maybe gimmicky plastic body parts, and a car that was somehow accepted as 'safer' than many others."

    In case you missed it, Saturn hasnt abandoned its sales philosophy but they have upgraded their vehicles. I'm not sure why you think they arent the same company just because they have a real lineup.

    The Theta platform supports the Vue, Equinox and Torrent, its not a car platform. As I said, Saturn will not be duplicating Pontiac's lineup anytime soon. They will have two common vehicles in the future. The Zeta RWD platform is for the Camaro, G8 and Impala not for Saturns. You are talking about "rebadged chevys" when there is no obvious rebadging between the brands. There is no Chevy Outlook or Sky. If you call the Cobalt and Astra rebadge jobs than I have to question your definition of rebadging. The two cars look nothing alike and dont share interior parts. Same applies to Vue and Equinox. That is like saying the Avalon and Es350 are rebadges just because they share a platform.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    huh? you don't think that building a plant or two to produce something isn't development? Development is a lot more than putting some one-off conceptual vehicles in car shows.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Zeta RWD platform is for the Camaro, G8 and Impala not for Saturns.
    well I guess it's all Greek to me, but this would be the one I was talking about - called Holden down in Australia. At this point don't know that even GM could tell you where they might go with this, Saturn or otherwise.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Excerpt taken from VTEC.net:

    A-VTEC will most likely first appear in the 2008 Accord, which makes the introduction of that model even more highly anticipated than it already was. We were also led to believe that A-VTEC will first appear on a 4 cylinder engine. Will it be SOHC or DOHC? Will it be a variation of the K-series or R-series, or a whole new engine? Perhaps most intriguing to me is whether or not this technology will appear on the J-series V6? If it works as predicted, the life of the J-series could be extended significantly. Class leading top end power could be matched with vastly improved midrange torque and fuel economy – all while remaining smaller and lighter by virtue of using a SOHC design. Pay close attention in the coming months for official news from Honda on this exciting new technology.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Someone should point out that the dealerships adding side stickers is not haggle-free pricing. And then there are the silent rebates. I will find out soon what the exact price of a Saturn really is. But it does seem they did abandon the one price for all.
    -Loren
  • I am a huge fan of the Top Gear TV show!

    I have to wonder, if both this survey and one posted previously are both sponsored by Warranty Direct, why are the results so drastically different?
  • In case you missed it, Saturn hasnt abandoned its sales philosophy but they have upgraded their vehicles.

    And therein lies a bit of the problem... when people think of Saturn, those that know it... they remember the little SL1/SL2 cars. The image of Saturn isn't one of mid upscale luxury and Saturn doesn't have the name recognition that some other nameplates have.

    They are now trying to sell upgraded vehicles and ask more for them... this isn't a lineup problem, its an image problem. You may not care about a car's image when you go shopping but a lot of people just don't have enough knowledge of cars to associate Saturn to the new lineup they have and thus never even bother looking... meantime the Aura just ends up sitting on dealer lots. GM gave Saturn a great lineup, but it doesn't know how to brand/sell this to the public and thus Saturn sales are not skyrocketing.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    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.


    Uh...No, They have both US and UK data. The link I posted is to the US data. If you click on the little "i" you can read this:

    Reliabilty Index

    The American Index has been researched from over 450,000 vehicle records. Unlike our UK analysis, repair costs are not included in this analysis and the index reflects solely the incidence of failure as a percentage - the higher the percentage, the higher the risk of failure.


    Click on the UK flag and you will get UK data.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I read the article where someone else linked it (hint, hint :)). Forgive me, but I don't understand how this is very useful. Every car owner would have to be a Warranty Direct client for this to be valid, don't you think? Also there is no distinction between a transmission failure and a windshield wiper failure. Obviously they are of hugely different importance.
This discussion has been closed.