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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    So the fact that the only comparison test that the Fusion won, was a very limited test, that Ford paid for, doesn't smell a little fishy to you? Smells like a Seafood restaurant's dumpster, to me.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    to answer your earlier question, I never said SC was useless, all I said was that it doesn't improve anything and may even inhibit performance in track conditions. m1miats's explanation is right on the mark. Nobody ever said Ford was dumb, it is to the Fusion's advantage that an AWD vehicle without SC is compared against 2WD cars with the system.The Fusions do BTW have an intelligently designed suspensions etc. thanks to Mazda's continued expertise in that area - but both cars do continue to be infected by Ford's inability to build even a passable small engine.
  • jml7jml7 Posts: 5
    I agree with you, especially on the engine part, as the Fusion's base I4 is the 2.3 Liter ported over from Mazda.
  • I agree with you, especially on the engine part, as the Fusion's base I4 is the 2.3 Liter ported over from Mazda.

    I would hardly consider this to be a bad thing. That motor is a lot of fun in the Mazda3 and the highline Foci (the lower Mazda3/Focus gets the 2l).
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    for many years now the 4 cylinders were Mazda engines, and the 6s were either Vulcans or Duratecs - and the engine to have was certainly the 4 banger, even back in the 80s. Although I have a problem (as it relates to complexity and durability) with turbocharging in general, I'm sure the Speed6 is a blast to drive, and much preferable to the current 220hp Duratec and probably even a 260hp Duratec rehash.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    I test drove the 4 banger before buying the 6 cylinder mazda6 and found that even in the heavier hatchback, the four cylinder was very fun to drive. Of course driving style needed to change; although it could go into a corner a bit quicker, it was a bit more important to keep the revs up to have access to enough torque to pull out of a corner quickly. But I was impressed by how smooth the 4 cylinder was; mated to a manual transmission, this engine and the mazda6 were a good match. The v-6 has quite a bit more torque down low, so even though there's a bit more understeer mid-turn, the v-6 handles very well for a car in this class.

    But in comparison to the mazdaspeed6, well that thing is a beast. I think I heard that this engine/turbo package was rated as one of the best engines in the world. Plus adding AWD helps keep all that power and torque to the road. The amazing thing is that the speed6 can be had starting in the 22k range since demand has been less than stellar. For those who would like to have a Grand Tourer type car, the Speed6 would be a great choice.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Only a leftover 2006 Mazdaspeed6 can be had for around $22K because 2006 models have a $4750 rebate. 2007s are much higher in price.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    I own the Mazda6 4 banger and it is a blast to drive. Anyoen who says not probably hasn't driven one. The car handles like it is on rails and dances like a ballarina. In the straight line (not a normal driving condition may I add) I will get ate alive by many cars. In the corners and through traffic (real world conditions), the car makes everyone honest.
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Posts: 170
    I don't get this riding on rails business. Shoot - my old Geo Storm was a tight little handler. Most small cars sit low and are go cart oriented. Its not like other cars in this class are top heavy and lean hard in the turns.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    motor Trend had a review of the Aura, I'm sure its a nice car. But Motor Trend made reference to the .2 second difference in 0-60 times between the Fusion and Aura... Faster, ok, but can you count to .2 seconds? :surprise:

    More features? like what?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    "Most of those "unreliable" domestics you are speaking of arent even unreliable per CR's tables in the new car issue."

    Another place to see all those "unreliable Fords/GM products is MSN reliability data.. This will open your eyes! :surprise:
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    What?? Fusion has nothing in common with the Taurus. Get it straight man! The 3.0 Duratec in the Taurus does NOT have VVT for one! The suspension and drive train are not Taurus either!

    As far as your 30 year track record with the Accord.. Better go back and look at all those recalls for transmissions, electrical issues and more over those past 30 years :blush: The Accord is in no way perfect if you did your homework. I dumped my 2000 Accord for issues, that is why I'll never buy another one. Honda= overpriced, overrated and overdone for me!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    "Most of those "unreliable" domestics you are speaking of arent even unreliable per CR's tables in the new car issue."

    Being reliable, isn't everything. Just one thing, in a long list.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This topic is about midsize SEDANS. It is not Ford vs Honda. It is not foreign vs domestic. It is not large size sedans. It is not engines. It is not anything but head to head comparisons of the specific vehicles listed at the top of this page.

    Those who want to continue to participate here have got to stick to the subject.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    booyahcramer, please email asap - pat AT Thank you.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    "It was a closed course designed to highlight advantages of AWD handling.
    They could have put a FWD drive Fusion and a AWD Fusion together and the people would have said they preferred the AWD version on the course just as the people preferred the AWD Fusion to FWD Accords and Camrys.
    I wonder how it would have gone if all the vehicles had been FWD?

    Please, please, please, read the whole article. They were V6 Accord/Camry. So, since the Accord/Camry come with stability control, and the Fusion does not? then it would have been unfair again? They were "comparably priced". Meaning you can get an AWD Fusion for the same price as the Camry/Accord... It also give numbers of people who chose the Fusion, along with interviews. I just don't understand why it is so hard to believe a Ford could actually win something.. :sick:
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    If Toyota or Honda had set up a closed course that they designed to highlight advantages of stability control (such emergency high speed lane changes/obstacle avoidance etc.) it would have been just as biased as Ford's closed course for AWD.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    (I think I'll try and start some new topics)

    SO! The Fusion and Legacy have All-Wheel Drive! Who is using their all-wheel drive in this wintry weather much of the country is having?

    Who has driven the new Kia Optima? Anybody here bought one? They look pretty promising as long as you are shopping 4-cylinders, but the V6 is WAY outgunned by other V6s in this group.

    What are you looking for the next (2008) Accord to be offering? A more sporty flair, or a bias to luxury? Will the V6 have 4-cylinder economy or will it have class leading power, or both? Or neither?

    (Take it from here, or come up with a new topic maybe?) :)
  • FWIW, the Fusion AWD system is not all that its made out to be. Its the cheap version that runs in FWD mode until slip is detected then some power is transfered to the rear. True AWD systems such as those in found in a Subaru are far superior in slippery snowy/icy conditions because you always have some amount of power to all 4 wheels at all times, not only when the sensors start to predict/detect slipping.

    On a closed circuit with emphasis on handling, little things can make a big difference... wrong tire inflation pressures for example. People who take part in autocross events would know this but not the average person off the street. The Fusion could have been setup better than the Camry/Accord ie. "tuned" for this particular showcase.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yes, but with full-time AWD comes a heavier fuel economy penalty. Honda's CR-V uses a similar setup to the Fusion AWD, and I've heard few complaints except that people wanting to "off-road" in the CR-V wanted a true 4WD system.

    Downside to the Fusion's system? AWD won't do as much for everyday handling until slip begins to occur. Until that happens, it will still handle like a typical front-drive car, not like, say, and Audi A6 Quattro, which is very balanced with its AWD system, I believe.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    3.6-liter XR's 6.3-second 0-to-60
    Fusion V6 is 7.2 0-60
    Yeap, both are quick enough.
    I have not personally driven the Fusion with a six yet. I did drive the Aura 3.5 and 3.6 and will tell ya, the 3.6 is fast, with lots of torque. The six speed works fine. I believe Intellichoice lists the Fusion SE V6 as worse than average value rating as in cost to own. The Aura is listed as average. The Honda Accord naturally is rated better than average. If I was buying a car, and was sure I would be happy with the car for at least seven years, and the car company is around to back the car, then yeap, no problem. Problems arise if you somehow get a car you wish to back out of, as in selling. Low resale could hurt. I have no problem with the Fusion in most respects. Not the fastest car, yet fast enough - price seems pretty fair when discounted - cornering ability and agility is good - looks pretty nice, and it appears that Mexico is putting out a car with good initial quality scores. The caveat of course is in the years to come, reliability, resale, and Fords health. If I am willing to assume some risk, and the price is right, I suppose I could venture in. A journey into the unknown. I am considering buying the Aura, which is made in USA, and is projected to have average resale value. Once again a leap of faith though compared to buying a Honda. Seems to be a little less with the GM vs. the Ford product, but once again things change. In 2005 I bought a PT Cruiser, which had an average rating for total cost to own. Now it seems to have fallen into a poor zone for total price, as resale is faltering. At least I bought the lowest end one, some I did not dive off into the high water. :blush:

    It would be good for the US economy of course to see GM and Ford healthy once again. The Fusion though made across the border, throws some money Fords way, as would buying the Aura, which is made here in the States throws money into the GM pot. While I am impressed with the Accord SE V6 and i4 cars I tested, I was also pleased to find a good handling Fusion, with sharp looks, and the Aura having lots of the same attributes of an Accord. The total cost of ownership between the three cars mentioned appears to be all too predictable, and thus some sacrifice is required.
  • virusvirus Posts: 21
    I'm not quite certain why they didn't test the Camry SE instead of the XLE which is not sporty at all.
  • The fuel economy penalty is usually very small - like 1-2 mpg, and this partly is due to the extra baggage for the AWD drivetrain.

    There is reason to believe that VSC is better than AWD as a safety feature while cornering. And Toyota's VDIM is even better than VSC, though its only currently available on some Lexus models. Check out this post that compared AWD+VSC compared to RWD+VDIM...

    The Fusion AWD will be useful in slippery conditions in a straight line (think traction control operation). It still will never have the ability to correct for cornering forces and compensate like VSC can. The VSC available in the Accord/Camry is a better safety feature IMO. And further evolutions of VSC (such as VDIM) could be better than lower forms of AWD (with VSC).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    The Optima may be the sleeper here. Recently it's garnered very positive reviews from MT (a finalist for COTY), C/D (third to Altima and Accord, but not by a large margin), and CR. It's been praised for its strong I4, quality interior, and good blend of ride and handling. And it's one of the lowest-priced mid-sized cars. Even fuel economy (for the I4) is decent, with its 5-speed stick or slushbox. The major downsides are Kia's history of poor reliability and resale value, and ABS and ESC are both optional (and not even available on the LX MT). Also the IIHS side impact test scores aren't out yet. Otherwise it looks to me like a nice package. The styling is ho-hum, but nothing that is offensive.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My sister has a new Optima. I asked her how she liked it, and she said the only real complaint she has is the seats (not enough cushioning). She sounded satisfied with it, for the price.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    VSC as Toyota/Lexus call it is the next big thing in safety. So much so thst the NIHS is reccomending that it be standard on all vehicles sold in America. It may end up saving more lives than seatbelts.
    Having owned a Highlander AWD, Tundra D Cab 4WD, Scion xB, and now a Camry, all with VSC, I have personally experienced VSC in action. My '05 Tundra SR5 was ordered with it - now it is standard on all Tundras.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Just to set the record straight, Ford's AWD system will shift power to the rear BEFORE slip is detected under certain circumstances such as higher throttle input. It's not just reactive like some of the other systems.

    And the difference in the Fusion Challenge vs. all of the other media tests? This one was decided by regular drivers and vehicle owners, not by automotive journalists trying to sell magazines.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    And the difference in the Fusion Challenge vs. all of the other media tests? This one was decided by regular drivers and vehicle owners, not by automotive journalists trying to sell magazines.

    And paid for and edited by Ford who is trying to sell Fusions, not magazines. I think I'd rather trust a magazine editor than one working for Ford. Or, just make the decision myself.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    There is reason to believe that VSC is better than AWD as a safety feature while cornering
    actually the systems serve different purposes - a true AWD/4WD will actually improve driveability especially in slippery conditions and one reason why the Subaru is the 'national' car of New England. VSC/Trac can get in the way in those same road conditions and is construed as a safety feature in that it will prevent the driver from exceeding whatever the mfgr (or their lawyers) has decided is that vehicle's cornering limits. Depending on how the system is set, of course, it is more valuable as a safety feature on normal road conditions.
    You mentioned VDIM which had an interesting effect on the cornering (slalom) ability in the Lexus GS. Slalom speed was reduced because the computer 'thought' that the course traffic cones were impending accidents and the car shutdown before a competitive result could be achieved. The Toyota/Lexus systems, of course, not user defeatable.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "VSC/Trac can get in the way in those same road conditions..."

    You keep saying this same sort of thing, but I think you are mistaken. ESC does help in slippery conditions.

    It also can improve the vehicles capabilities in some situations. I believe that the only time it is detrimental is if you are stuck in deep snow or want to plow through deep snow and, therefore, want to spin the wheels, this is the only time our manual suggests you might want to turn it off temporarily.

    ESC is able to apply braking to individual wheels, you can not do this yourself. This can improve the vehicles cornering or accident avoidance abilities.

    Perhaps Toyota just has a crappy system. Or perhaps the sloppy Toyota handling leads them to having to have a more intrusive system.

    We have a VW and their system certainly does help in slippery conditions. I don't think it has ever engaged itself in any other circumstances. I did have to make a very sudden lane change at high speed once, but I think the car did it without the ESC coming certainly did not reduce my speed.
This discussion has been closed.