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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala

motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
edited May 2014 in Chevrolet
This is my attempt to set up a comparo between four full size sedans. So let the discussion begin. Does anybody think the new Azera can be a competitior to the Avalon. I think they match up quite evenly in terms of performance but the Hyundai has a lower price and a better warranty. The 500 is a decent car but the engine just doesn't cut it in a 3800lb car.


  • I think the Impala SS is the best bargain of the four. With GM red tag sale going on you could probably get the SS at 25 grand which makes it a very sweet deal. I only thing I don't like is the FWD setup. No V8 cars should have FWD :mad:
  • Just sucks. The worst full size car out there. Noisy and underpowered.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 594
    Underpowered to be sure... needs about 75 more horses and some torque to keep up with the competition. Cheap wire antennae for the radio is rediculous. No place for your left foot when driving either... real tight for some reason. Nice trunk size.

    It is a good looking car, IMHO. But a little short in some critical areas compared to the Avalon.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    I really liked the 500 in every respect until I drove it. Where is the engine, and what is that unholy racket coming from under the hood?
    Ford announced that the 500 wasn't selling because the public doesn't like the grill, so they are changing it!
    How can they miss the point? How could they do all the market research, spend billions on R&D and the manufacturing of an all-new, extremely nice car but forget about the engine? Didn't they drive the competitors? This amazes me. They could have at least installed the Lincoln, Mazda or Jaguar version of the Duratech or better still, offered a V8 as an option.
    This is why they are losing money.
  • The 500 needs at least 250 Hp to be even remotely competitive. Ford really dropped the ball on this one IMO. It is frustrating that the domestics refused to learn their lessons even after one setback after another. While the Impala SS is a nice sedan with class leading power, I don't understand GM's love affair with pushrod engine and 4 speed automatic. This is 2005 not 1955 for heaven's sake.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Impala SS is that they didn't follow Chrysler's lead on the 300, and go to RWD. A RWD, 303hp Impala SS would be awesome. In addition, the Crown Vic should have been killed, and a V8 and RWD given to the Ford 500.

    And not to veer off topic, but their is an article in Autoweek where a tester comments that the V6 Charger is actually a fun car to drive because of the RWD factor. He points out that the V6 would just be so so in FWD, but is actually a pretty fun car with the RWD set up. Point being, that the V6 Impala, with a different tranny might even be a decent performer were it RWD.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    I tend to prefer FWD. More stable in the rain and certainly far, far better in the snow and ice where there is no substitute for weight directly over the driving wheels.
  • Please.....
    I drove a V6 charger and it was a dog (ruff ruff) no fun to drive at all! :lemon:

    That combined with a REALLY cheap interior, I wouldn't spend my money on one.... NO WAY!

    And for Autoweek's review, they love almost everything!

    As for the HEMI... Now that was fun! :P The interior was still bad though.

    sorry to be off-topic.... :(

  • If Hyuandai can price the car right, I think it can win over a lot of potential Avalon buyers. If the Azera tops out at say 28G's fully loaded than this car would be a bargain. But some people will never consider a Hyundai because it is a Hyundai.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    Having had the '05 Avalon for 4 months now, I can say that the quality is down vs the previous models and both the Toyota dealers and Toyota Corporate have a bad attitude when you have a problem.
    Now that legendary Toyota quality and customer care has been banished to the history books and the Avalon has moved away from it's roots as a smooth, quiet, soft-riding luxomobile in favor of a more sporting pseudo-euromobile, this leaves the DOOR WIDE OPEN FOR THE AZERA.
    I certainly will take a long and hard look at the Azera when my Avalon lease is up, and if the Azera has a quality track record, I'll be a convert.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    When we shopped for a new car a couple of months ago, price was not the primary concern...we wanted to get maximum value for our car dollars. We looked at the Toyota Avalon, the Ford 500, the Buick Lacrosse CSX, the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and the Lincoln LS. We did not check into Hyundia, because the nearest dealer is over 110 miles away. While shopping at the GM dealer (Buick Lacrosse), we spotted a nice light blue car across the lot. It was a 2006 Impala LTZ. After being underwhelmed by the Buick, we took a closer look at the Impala and took a test drive. After 15 minutes in the car, the only question was how big a check would we have to write. This LTZ compares real favorably to cars costing thousands more, and is a dream to drive. Gobs of power, great suspension, quite good fuel mileage, and excellent fit and finish. While all the cars we looked at had good points, and some bad, this package, in my opinion offers more car for the dollar than anything else we tested. After a couple of months, I am still convinced that we spent our money wisely. We also drove a new SS after the LTZ, but came right back to the LTZ because it has a far nicer interior, and hardly any of the torque steer that can make the SS almost dangerous for a pair of old farts like us.
    I agree with the posts about the 500 power, and the Avalon was not at all impressive...rather ugly, in my opinion. The closest comparison to the Impala LTZ seemed to be the Nissan Maxima, but I don't think the Maxima is worth $5,000 more. We liked the Lincoln LS, but again..there is not $15,000 more value in the LS. The only Chrysler that got our interest was the 300C(hemi), but outside of the sweet engine, there is not much we liked....horrible driving position for shorter people. The only problem I have with the LTZ, so far, is keeping the speed down. It is so smooth and quiet, and the engine revs so smoothly, that I have found myself cruising at 80MPH on a couple of occasions. Guess I'm going to have to start using the cruise control. Oh, BTW, the Bose radio in the car is one of the best car radios I've ever heard. Sorry to sound like a Chevy commercial, but this thing is impressive.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,287
    Sorry to sound like a Chevy commercial, but this thing is impressive

    Deminin, did you also get the employee discount? I am glad you like the car but maybe a couple of years down the road you can trade it in on an Azera Limited.
  • Sounds a lot to me like few of you (if any) have actually DRIVEN the Five Hundred. Especially with the CVT.

    Doesn't feel underpowered to me.

    And just like I could in my 1996 Taurus wagon, I can STILL out-accelerate 98% of the Corvette drivers on the road. :P
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    That's pretty funny.

    P.S. my '05 Sonata will blow the doors off a Viper too! :P
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    There was no employee discount on the 2006's...only a $1000 rebate. We got a good price for our trade-in, and since we were paying cash, I just wrote out a check for the amount I thought the deal should be for. At first the dealer balked, but when we got ready to leave, and said we would think about it, they changed their tune. I guess they figured that a bird in hand....etc. At any rate, I think we got a fair price, and I'm sure they made some money...they can stick it to the next one who buys a gas guzzler SUV.
    BTW, we drove it about 600 miles this week to visit the kids in the city for Thanksgiving. It did great, and averaged 26.3 MPG going up...60 to 65 MPH. Coming back, we took the Interstate, and I ran it between 80 and 85 most of the way, and the mileage dropped to 24.2. We had fairly stiff side winds but the car handled quite good. The only time I felt any "wobble" was when passing a big truck at speed...there would be a slight sideways shift as I would clear the truck, and get back into "clean" air, but it was quite manageable.
  • "P.S. my '05 Sonata will blow the doors off a Viper too!"

    Depends on who's driving the Viper. Odds are, you'd probably win if you were trying to.

    98% of people who buy "sports cars" don't really utilize the power very often, and can be routinely beaten by those with lesser vehicles.

    If everybody out there had 3.5L 250hp engines and were using them to their full ability most of the time, then perhaps I'd feel underpowered. But as it stands, I can pretty much get around anybody on the road without making the engine sound like it's going to explode.

    Now a Taurus with the non-Duratech 3.0L V6 (150 hp, I think?) . . . now THAT starts to feel underpowered. And then there's my wife's old '79 Mustang with the 4-banger in it. That was downright SCARY to merge into freeway traffic with.
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    And just like I could in my 1996 Taurus wagon, I can STILL out-accelerate 98% of the Corvette drivers on the road.

    I think that you miss spelled a word. Don't you mean 98% of Chevette drivers on the road.
  • Nope, I meant Corvette.

    But then I beat 98% of all drivers on the road, when I'm in the mood to do so.

    It's about the driver's will, not the car's ability.

    The other 2%? They're just being unsafe. :P
  • While the Impala is a nice car, I wonder why GM is in love with ancient pushrod technology. This is 2005 not 1955. I think GM is selling themselves short by offering this somewhat antiquated powertrain. I know pushrod is cheaper to develop than DOHC but in 2005 OHV engine just doesn't cut it.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    The 500 is much more comfortable than the Impala both front and rear, but could use more ponies if you are a very aggressive driver. The AWD option is a winner in the 500-Montego for the snow belt. And there is nothing wrong with pushrod engines. They cost less, weigh less, take less room, and in the most recent versions provide competitive mileage and performance. They aren't as sewing machine smooth as the Honda engines. Too many people have fixed ideas.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I moved from an Elantra to a 3.5 liter Malibu Maxx. Although slightly rougher, the 'Bu has:

    1. almost as good mpg
    2. far lower maintenance, no timing belt to screw with.
    3. lighter weight than a corresponding ohc engine-- smaller physical size too.
    4. A loafing engine that can get 6000-8000 miles on an oil change (it's not cranking that fast).
  • Most modern DOHC engine these days have 5 or 6 speed automatics and not 4 like most of GM's current pushrod powered V6s and V8s. The Avalon turns about 1800 to 1900 rpm at 60 mph. I don't know about the Impala but I doubt it would be less than that. With VVti, most modern OHC engine also has good low end power too which most OHV supporters use as a bragging rights. Plus the 268 HP Avalon is rated at 31 mpg on the highway whereas the Impala LTZ with nearly 30 less HP is only rated at 27 mpg.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The 3.9L engine does have VVT, so its not really that far behind in technology. It produces 240+ horses, has plenty of low-end torque, is light, and cheap to build and maintain. Overall, I think its a good engine for the Impala.

    Would I prefer the Avalon's 3.5? SURE! But in effort to keep costs down and reinvest a bit in interiors (and the Impala's is MUCH improved over the former version), its a fine engine.

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    American mfgrs. have always continued to do what they do best. Pushrod engines do tend provide proportionately more torque sacrificing a few ponies and some efficiency. Good example of this is the GM 3.8 V6 that rated up to about 210hp but 230 lbs torque - tied to some low cruise gearing this engine could get 30 mpg highway in some large cars. Call it antiquated if you will, but successful and reasonably durable. GM and Ford are starting to 'get with the program' as far as these continuously variable dual cam overhead valve trains, multiple injector engines such as the 2GR engine in the Avalon and the IS350 - guess we will see how it fairs long term - that 3.8 I'm talking about is, in many respects, a tough act to follow.
  • Sounds a lot to me like few of you (if any) have actually DRIVEN the Five Hundred. Especially with the CVT.

    Doesn't feel underpowered to me.

    Well, we DID take a Ford 500 with CVT for an extensive test drive where I put it through the wringer and I can unequivocally say that powerwise, it does indeed leave a LOT to be desired. Even my wife, a very mellow driver, commented on it's lack of power and responsiveness compared to her old car, a '00 Impala LS 3.8 V6 with 95,000 miles on the odometer. While we liked the overall size and appearance of the 500, it was notably underpowered compared to the Avalon Limiteds we were initially interested in. I can also say with absolute surety that the car we ultimately opted for, an '05 Maxima SE, would blow the 500 right off the road in all but the worst driving conditions in which case the 500's AWD would come in handy.

    And just like I could in my 1996 Taurus wagon, I can STILL out-accelerate 98% of the Corvette drivers on the road

    Not if the Corvette drivers are even trying.
  • "Even my wife, a very mellow driver, commented on it's lack of power and responsiveness compared to her old car, a '00 Impala LS 3.8 V6 with 95,000 miles on the odometer."

    What's her 0-60 time in that thing?

    What's your 0-60 time in the Five Hundred?

    Be sure to actually TIME it, and give it the gas.

    "Not if the Corvette drivers are even trying."

    And that was exactly my point.

    Am I going to win drag races in a Ford Five Hundred? Nope

    Do I have enough power to (safely) get around those who are in my way with one? Yup.

    Can I beat 99.9% of the drivers of a Toyota Avalon when I want to with it? Yup.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "Can I beat 99.9% of the drivers of a Toyota Avalon when I want to with it? Yup."

    What the hell is the point of a statement like that? Uhm, yea, a Chevy Aveo at full throttle will no doubt beat a 268 horse Avalon as well if the Avalon driver is using 1/4 pressure on the gas.... its not a testament to power or acceleration at all.

    Bottom Line: Even the most expensive Ford Five Hundred is among the slowest in the class. It'll outrun a Kia Amanti and nothing else, save MAYBE for the 3.5L 211 horse base Impala LS, 1LT, 2LT.... but I doubt even that b/c GM's 4 speed is very responsive despite lacking in ratios and the 3.5L has a torque curve that the Duratec can't match from its displacement.

  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    He meant he can beat 99% of the PARKED drivers of a Toyota Avalon...

    The old Avalon's performance left the 500 for dead.

    The new Avalon will roast the 500's headlamps in it's afterburners, and then shake the rest of it into shrapnel in the thundering wake of turbulence...

    Sorry barnstomer64, I've driven the 500 and you lose on this one. If you drive a new Avalon you'll know what we are talking about! ;)
  • "What the hell is the point of a statement like that? .... its not a testament to power or acceleration at all."

    That's my point, exactly. And you made it for me.

    If you have enough power to beat 99% of the drivers on the road . . . you don't really need any more (other than for bragging rights or "racing" in situations that are most-likely unsafe for all involved.)

    Now, when you own a car that has to be FLOORED to keep up with the average drivers on the road . . . then you're definitely well into the "underpowered" category.

    I guess it all gets down to your definition of "underpowered":

    1) Underpowered in terms of drag racing?

    2) Underpowered in terms of beating ALMOST EVERY determined driver out there in a true sports car?

    3) Underpowered in terms of enough acceleration to get around the vast majority of drivers on the freeway, merging safely, etc?

    If you've got to beat every male teen and early 20's driver out there with a sports car, then the Five Hundred might feel underpowered to you. Otherwise, it's nowhere NEAR "underpowered".

    A lot of people FEEL that it's underpowered, because of how the CVT works compared to a normal automatic.
  • "The new Avalon will roast the 500's headlamps in it's afterburners, and then shake the rest of it into shrapnel in the thundering wake of turbulence..."

    With less than 1% of the Avalon drivers at the wheel, sure.

    Otherwise, it's down to which driver really wants to get around the other vehicle.

    I'd venture to say that the vast majority of Avalon and Five Hundred drivers have lost enough testosterone that they feel the need to get into a race at every opportunity. Most are satisifed to simply be able to get around the idiots drivers on the roads. And either vehicle gives them the power to do just that.
This discussion has been closed.