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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala



  • Only way the 500 will out run the avalon is if it is pushing it.

    Funny you should say that, as I just outran three today. LOL

    My point being, few USE all that power, even after they buy it.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Drove all four listed. Below is how I would rank based on my experience:

    1. (tied) Hyundai Azera / Toyota Avalon (slight edge to Azera)

    3. Chevy Impala
    4. Ford 500 (needs the 3.5 to be more competitive)
  • Ford 500 (needs the 3.5 to be more competitive)

    Most of the other cars need better DRIVERS to be more competitive. ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    In fact, I think they intentionally go out of their way to trash good American vehicles.
    WHY - what's the motivation - there is still a very large portion of auto buyers in this country that bleed red, white & blue. If Ford or GM had come up with Azera, the 'press' would be awash with all kinds of glowing reviews and awards. Speaking for myself, I would love to see a competitive quality American made/designed car (that classification blurring because that's exactly what the Avalon is, for example - while many of the 'Detroit' products are made in Canada/Mexico etc.. Chrysler has enjoyed quite a honeymoon with the 300 with the automotive press esp. the 'C' - until recently it turns out to have some reliability/quality issues - same for the LaCrosse - and the 500 - decent in most respects until you open the hood. But, I guess, what you folks are telling me is that this is all a figment of somebody's imagination and bias?Statistics continue to indicate that the 'Japanese' (keep in mind that the Av was designed in Calif. and is built in Ky., the Accord is built in Tenn. (I think), most of Nissans in Ohio etc. etc) do a better job at manufacturing an automobile and there is some evidence that even the Koreans are improving to a point that should shame the Big 3. Maybe we should all just ignore this, and spend our $30k on inferior products?
  • Chrysler has enjoyed quite a honeymoon with the 300 with the automotive press esp. the 'C'

    It's a "sports sedan" . . and anything with that much horsepower is going to have a honeymoon with the auto magazines.

    I've driven one . . and it has NOTHING on the 500 . . . other than the Hemi, of course.
  • But, I guess, what you folks are telling me is that this is all a figment of somebody's imagination and bias?

    Yep, it sure is. My brothers have driven Hondas and Toyotas for years . . yet we all have the same kinds of "issues" with repairs and repair frequencies and costs. Which is to say, not a lot, but no perfect cars, either.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    never said the Toyotas/Hondas/Nissans of the world were 'perfect' - but certainly less 'imperfect'. The 300C is only slightly quicker than the Avalon at the penalty of several MPG, the 3.5 V6 actually a better engine choice(thank you MB) that is far superior to that 1970 vintage mixmaster Ford engine. Despite the RWD the 300 (with any engine) is not a 'sports sedan' and neither are the Avalons, Azeras, TLs, 500s, Maximas, Impalas, LaCrosses/Lucernes etc.. Ford made a big mistake with the 500 - what could have been, isn't - simply because of the drivetrain. If little ole (historically) technologically challenged Hyundai can make the improvements they did with the Sonata and Azera engines - why can't Detroit??? Put the Hyundai 3.8 in the 500 - then, you would have something.
  • Yeah! What ever happened to the good ol' days when wealthy American corporations bought out their competitors and then shuttered them permanently!
  • Missed the fun this weekend, I could get to a computer to save my life. I will grant you that there has been an edge in reliability that has been fundamentally Japanese for a good long time. However, based on what I read, the automotive press has a short memory when it comes to Japanese cars.

    Case in point, I just looked up the Mitsubishi Galant ES review on this very website. For those of you living under a rock, Mitsubishi covered up large scale problems and recalls with their automobiles a few years back. There is not a single mention of past mechanical issues in the review, not a mention of hidden previous warranty repair issues either. As far as edmunds is concerned the new Galant is much better than the previous version, but still not in the Camry/Accord league.

    Now lets switch over the Chyrsler Town and Country (by the way I did not search for reviews to compare, I picked Mitsubishi because of their history, and picked a Chrysler at random), here is verbatim one part of the opening few paragraphs "These minivans have been Chrysler's biggest success story of the last two decades and have always been at or near the top on the segment's sales charts. But these corporate darlings have had their share of problems, as various mechanical woes have tarnished their reliability reputation. Although quality has improved greatly in the last five years, the current generation has had its share of repair issues, and an extended warranty would not be a bad idea if you're planning to keep the van beyond its basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty period.

    Chyrsler sells more minivans than any other manufacturer, I worked at a Dodge dealer in Florida, we sold tonnes of them. Very few came back for problems, in fact the only one that came back for me was one which had the power sliding door on the drivers side. The motor shorted and had to be replaced. That was it. Out of about 150 vans that I sold over my career. Does Chrysler build the perfect car? No. But, this example is exactly what my point is, When a Japanese manufacturer builds a product with problems (the transmissions of 2003 for Honda), the press seems to trip over themselves to make excuses or hype the fact that this is an aberation in a long line of wonderful vehicles and may mention the problem with the next years review, to point out what an improvement they are. American manufacturers get no honeymoon, and (sorry ladies by my wife does this to me), like a spouse that will never forget what you did 5 years ago, the press will beat to death mistakes made by American manufactures.

    To comment on slider7's comment from above, most american companies have less reserve capital available to simply, buy and dash. GM has huge capital expenditures paying retired workers. Ford, with weakening sales and a bland product line, must cut huge amounts of jobs and factories.

    When will Ford realize that they should shutter Mercury? When will GM either make brand specific models or shutter another brand. Chrysler at least had the courage to close down plymouth, which other than the prowler sold rebadged Dodge vehicles with less features.

    The real success for the Japanese manufacturers has been clear product lines. Toyota / Lexus, other than early in the history of Lexus when the ES 250 was a thinly disguised Camry, there has been a clearly defined line were Toyota badged cars end and Lexus cars begin. Has been, because Toyota is falling into the American trap of styling an entire product line with to many of the same elements so you do not differentiate between a new Camry or Solara and an ES 300 from the front. Honda has Acura, Nissan and Infinity. You see the point. Over at GM? They should stick with Caddilac as a luxury brand, Pontiac as the performance end (no minivan, suv, or sedan), GMC should build the Trucks, and chevy should build the entry level and family cars and suv's. That does leave Buick in a lurch, but other than having a midlevel product, say 30,000 to 40,000 they do not offer much that cannot be made up in other vehicles.

    Hyundai is doing it smart, build one brand, buy into the second (Kia), take your original brand upscale and leave the newcomer to champion the value flag.

    One other thing that these boards are forgetting in the vs. argument is that if the azera is just behind the Avalon, and the Sonata is just behind the Camry/Accord, isn't it still a better deal and logical purchase to get a 10 year warranty on the drivetrain rather than a 3/36 or even a 5/60?

    Those of you saying that you keep cars a long time, I would think you would appreciate the added protection.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    And as I mentioned earlier there is still a large segment of the buying public that would prefer to buy that Big 3 product if the actual vehicle values now and down the road were the same.
    But, you don't address what I think is the real issue here - if the American mfgd. products are being unfairly treated by the media - WHY - there is no logical reason they should - actually, the reverse should be true given where the advertising dollars can come from. And, the consumer magazines that don't get money that way - guess they must be accepting deposits into Swiss bank accounts from the Japanese. I'd contend to you that C&D in that comparison test (Optima, 500, 300, Maxima, Avalon) would have loved to be able to rate either of two US products ahead of the Avalon - it would have been to the mags. benefit to do that.
    Your comments regarding the probelms created by a lack of product line differentiation are spot on except that it has been well illustrated that multiple branding what is ostensibly the same product is THE way to profit nirvana. Witness what Nissan has done with the FM platform, and compare, if you will, the financial condition they are in now vs. where they were 10 years ago. Johnson & Johnson been doing this for years - with toothpaste! It works.
    Actually think that Detroit's problems are more a result of a continuing failure to respond to ever changing auto market - wasn't it really those abortions called Vegas and Pintos that allowed the Japanese to establish themselves in the US back in the 60's and 70's - and the fact, that for some reason, the US manufacturers have never been able to build a good smaller displacement engine!
  • As I stated, I do agree that as a track record of reliability, the Japanese autos are better than their American couterparts. What my point is, there is a bias in the media. How else can you explain how this site would give the 2003 Honda Odyssey a rating of 8.7 and say it is a perenial favorite when the transmissions were going dead in less time than fruit flies. Its not even commented on in the review! And this is for an established problem. Read the consumer reviews. There was a recall for the transmission for the Odyssey, Accord, TL and CL and MDX. All used the same defective transmission. Do we read about how you should look out for these models? No, they are still recommend higher than American models who didn't leave their drivers on the side of the road. What I would like to see is even handed writing by reviewers. If you are going to mention past problems with one model do it with all of them. I posted earlier a list of recalls, and Toyota and Honda were not 0. Hyundai actually had fewer than both of them. But we say Hyundai reliability has no track record as if 80's excels and elantra's have any bearing on the cars made today.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    I had a chance to check out the Azera. Nice car, but not for me. The front seats are not very comfortable and have very limited adjustability even with power. The passenger seat has no tilt and i wouldn't want to spend much time there. The 500 does need the 3.5, but overall it's potentially a more liveable car. The Azera was selling for over $30,000. With my GM card, i could be in a Buick Lucerne CXL v-8 with comfortable dual power seats for 30,000.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Had a chance to drive the Lucerne the other day - very good car from GM, although the V6 lacked the power it needed, with respect to this class/segment at least. The V8, however, compensated; with output figures about the same as the V6s offered from such said above - Avalon, Azera and others...

    As for the price factor, you are comparing a loaded Azera to a middle-to-upper trim of Lucerne V8; in my opinion, the CXS trim, however, would be comparbably equipped.
  • Yep the Lucerne looks nice but unfortunately even the V8 Lucerne is slower than the Avalon and the Azera and the transmission is still the antiquated 4 speed. But I think the Lucerne is a better competitor to the Avalon than the Chevy Impala.

    Question for the Host: Is it still possible to add the Lucerne and the Chrysler 300 to the discussion ?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    honda's transmission recalls and replacements had to do with a cooling probelm that caused the failures - I thought it was well publicized and was one of the reasons that I ended up in an Avalon instead of a TL.
  • I think you made the right decision. My point is that if review the reviews, and this comes back to hyundai vs america vs japan, then you do not hear mention of past problems with cars from japan. Each model and year gets a clean sheet of paper. Each and every review I have seen about hyundai has somewhere in it an nod to the old, bad car days of hyundai. Its the same for american cars and vans. The only vehicles that seem to be bullet proof for america are trucks, but since i am not in the market for one, my experience is admittedly lacking.

    Other than the consumer reviews her on Edmunds, do the reviewers mention it?

    You were wise to move to another vehicle that year, but unlike Chrysler vans, Honda got a clear slate. Past reliability is always brought up with any other cars outside of Japan (except of course to reinforce the bulletproof reliability)

    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 04V551000 regarding the honda accord. This affected 257000 accords. The airbag during installation could have been ripped. Dealers were to install a protective piece of equiptment to avoid this problem. This affected 2004 and 2005 accords.

    Never once in an accord review was this mentioned. Also on the consumer boards one of the responders stated that there was a recall for the transmission of the 2005's, can not confirm that though, because you NEVER hear about the bad stuff with Japan.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you must be reading different magazines than I do - the enthusiast mags. very rarely, if ever, talk about repair histories or problems with any brand unless, of course, it effected the car's performance during the time they had the car. They are simply evaluating a car's comfort, styling, and most of all, the car's dynamic capabilites - acceleration, handling, braking etc. Reference the most recent issue of MT testing the Avalon, Azera and the new Passat 3.6. Yes the Azera finished 3rd, but because to them, anyway, it is just a little too soft - more like a Buick - but did not say anything about Hyundai's past history, only that the car was a genuine leap in the right direction - which it certainly is. The Passat - didn't mention a thing about any of the reliability issues that VW and the Germans have been having - only that the tranny hunts for gears and the ride a little harsh. So they select the Avalon (in Touring trim) as a best compromise. My point is: MT and the other car mags will not generally trash a car around things like recalls and premature transmission failures - it would cost them too many advertising dollars.
    The consumer organizations, however, a different story - they will gather data on almost everything we buy, don't have an 'obligation' to affluent advertisers, and then simply compare repair histories. Although these organizations have their own priorities (eg safety over performance) how do you argue with what is consumer supplied informaion. And yes, that Honda tranny of 2003 is about the only noted problem area for those cars in the CR ratings, for example. As it should be. And yes, CR did do a story in the 06 Buying guide issue about how the quality gaps were narrowing between the US/Korean brands and the Japanese.
    As, I think it is.
    All in all, doesn't sound very 'anti-American' to me?
  • There is another discussion which details the Buick Lucerne and LaCrosse in comparison with the Azera.

    averigejoe, "Hyundai Azera vs. Volkswagen Passat vs. Buick LaCrosse" #, 19 Nov 2005 11:28 pm

    You may be surprised at the prices and equipment levels of the three. Take a look.
  • kwonc71kwonc71 Posts: 245
    Azera Ultimate Pearl White for $26,941 on Ebay. You get another $1,000 off as a Hyundai owner= $25,941. About $8,000 off from a Avalon price. Type "Azera" on Ebay search. You will find a page from Great Lake Hyundai in OH.
  • Why do so many Americans care about some magazine editor's subjective opinion. The objective results of car performance are posted by every automobile manufacturer. Everything else is someone's OPINION. The definitions of fit and finish, road noise, seat comfort, drivability, etc. are completely different for most people. Do yourself a favor - drive the cars yourself before you buy and get the one the YOU want. Forget about opinions because yours is the only one that matters.
  • Thanks averigjoe for the link. :)
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Regarding those long warranties:
    They're long because automakers know the engine and tranny are some of the most reliable parts on the car. A/C commpressors, starter motors, alternators, computers and other electrical parts, etc are the parts that typically go bad after the 3/36 warranty expires.

    So, those warranties don't do much good but instill a false sense of security with people who don't realize that their warranty may not be of much use after the bumper-to-bumper term is over - especially for Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans whose engines/trannys easily go 150-200K miles between overhauls. My last Maxima (1996 SE) had 160K miles when I sold it and the engine/tranny ran like new.

    I read somewhere that one can upgrade the Azera's 10yr powertrain warranty to a 10yr bumper to bumper warranty for a fee. Now that's something to consider! Will such an upgrade make the Azera better/smother/more refined/etc than the Avalon? No, but it will most certainly make it cheaper to operate. I won't even compare reliability of American cars to the Toyota's long term reliability record.

    Anyone really interested in comparing the Av to Azera should read this months car mags - one of them (Motor Trend I think?) has a comparison test between the Av Touring, Azera and Volkswagen Passat. Great article.

    That Hyundai has improved from making cruddy unrelaible cars to a well built fairly reliable cars in the last 5-10 years speaks volumes about Hyundai's understanding how important quality and reliability is to our market, and how inept American automakers are at comprehending the same.

    Germany needs a lesson in reliability too. Chryslers haven't improved in reliabilty with the infusion of Mercedes juice - they just drive better and have better build quality, but reliability of Daimler Chrysler is still sorely lacking.

    If Hyundai continues on its path for another 5-10 years while improving quality and reliability to match the best Japanese automakers, they may earn my dollar in the future. But not yet.
    Regards to all,
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Detroit won't put modern engines into their cars because they're so hung up on the short-term savings of using cheaper-to-produce pushrod engines. As such, they're way behind the learning curve on building potent and desirable overhead cam engines. This is exemplified by V6 Avalons (and soon 07 V6 Camrys) being virtually as quick as a V8 300C, but with insanely higher fuel economy.

    What America needs to do is put a freeze on all spending on any car development that does not focus on improving build quality, real reliability, and implementing OHC engines. They should forget spending on styling, updates and even pull back on advertising a bit. This will hurt sales and market share for a year or three (but its happening to the big 3 anyway each year), but they'll emerge with product more likely to be bought by more discerning customers of Japanese branded cars.

    I'd love to buy American branded cars, but they just don't measure up. Imagine a 300 C, Ford, etc that had the long-term reliability/build quality of Honda/Toyota - that's a car I'd buy. Until then, America will sell cars based on discounts, superficial styling, and marketing - not true quality and reliability. And if that day does not come soon, the Big three will be comprised of Toyota, Nissan and Honda.
  • Check the weights of the Avalon, Camry and v8 Chrysler 300. Also compare low end torque of the motors and overall gear ratios.
    Overhead cam motors are not necessarily better. The U.S. makes the best pushrod v8 motors in the world, and they have been doing exactly that for a long, long time.
    But heavy, high horsepower and torque cars usually do burn more gas.
    There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

    If you only need 2 seats, the Corvette, with a pushrod v8, is the best widely available high performance car in the world, and a real bargain too!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    averigejoe - have to agree with deanie on this one - while the US mfgrs. do indeed know how to make pushrod engines (largely because that is all they have done since the 50's) the penalty for this ancient technology is efficiency. The GM 3.8 V6 around since the mid 50's started life as a 'Buick 231' and has not changed substantially since - and it has been a good engine in terms of durability and even in terms of economy when combined with some long gearing (circa '95 LeSabre, for example) - but, at 200 hp, 250 ft/lbs. of torque not close to what an Avalon can do power wise although almost as good with fuel. The Ford 3.0, on the other hand, a disaster from day one, and Chrysler's track record (pre MB) just as bad.
    The American manufacturers will have to change this displacement as a 'cure' attitude and substitute some real technology if they are to remain competitive. In this $3.00/gallon world combined with cars that now can outperform about anything made in any era, don't think they have a choice. The consumer maybe just a little too smart to be spending their $ on something like a 300C with some rather serious reliability issues, and maybe 16 mpg vs. those same $ spent on things like Avalons/07 Camry, TLs/Accords, G35/Maximas/Altimas etc., all of which (V6s) will come very close to running with the 300C, save maybe 10 mpg, and have a much higher build quality to boot!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    If you are referring to the Ford "3.0" you could be referring either to the 3.0 Vulcan pushrod or the 3.0 Duratech.

    For either engine, you are wrong that they were disasters from day 1. The 3.0 Vulcan, when first introduced in the original Taurus, (1987 model year was it?) was a very state of the art engine. One of the first with multipoint fuel injection and an electronic ignition system on a mass market car. The Japanese at that time were still largely using distributors and super complex carburetors. Yes the 3.0 Vulcan is an obsolete engine now, but is wasn't when introduced.

    Same goes for the 3.0 Duratech. When introduced in 1996 it was pretty much state of the art.

    With current enhancements of variable valve timing(on Fusion versions) and 6 speed transmission on Fusion or Five Hundred or the CVT transmission option on Five Hundred, the 3.0 Duratech drive train is not really behind the curve compared to much of the competion, expecially when you are talking AFFORDABLE cars.

    Neither engine has been a "disaster", and in fact have been quite reliable.

    Much of the competition's higher horsepower ratings come at very high rpm's which are rarely actually used in any real world driving situations.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    actually both - both engines pushrod, low output/efficiency, and rough as a cob at any rpm over 4000. And one of the reasons that Ford products have had consistently low ratings. And the reason, that an otherwise intelligently designed car (thank you Volvo), the 500, will never be more than a Hertz rental or fleet car. Read something very recently that Ford is finally discontinuing the engine in favor of a 3.5 at about 250 horse with some of those dreaded overhead cams etc. that may make it competitive to those more powerful and economical engines available from others. If they don't go out of business first....
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    My observation on the backend styling of the Azera:

    It seems to me every car company now is adapting the BMW's controversial high deck styling (aka. Bangel 's butt after BMW's chief designer Chris Bangel). I am seeing it on the Azera also. In addition, the old and droopy tail light of the older Honda Accord is now on the Azera.

    Other than that, Areza is very nice looking and well done vehicle inside out. I have no doubt Hyundai will sell quite a few of Azeras in the months to come. It will give people reasonable alternative to Avalon (still goofy styling), Ford 500 (too conservative) or Buick Lucern

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Now I know you don't know what you are talking about. The 3.0 Duratech is a 24 valve dual overhead cam V-6. It is not a pushrod engine, and as adapted in the Fusion and Mazda 6, it is also a variable valve timing engine. Ford is absolutely not discontinuing the 3.0 Duratech. You are confusing it with the 3.0 Vulcan pushrod V-6, which is basically being discontinued.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Amazing, isn't it? Maybe it's only the hopelessly CONFUSED who buy those foreign jobs and diss the American cars. ;)

    The Duratech 3.0L was an amazing engine when it was introduced in the '96 Taurus . . . and it's still a pretty darned good engine today.

    Hopefully the new 3.5L will be as reliable and trouble-free.
This discussion has been closed.