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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison



  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    IMPO - and I have nothing to really substantiate this - is that those other pushrod variants only continue to exist because they can easily be modified for E85, thereby providing GM a means to improve (and meet) CAFE requirements.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Even if that is the case, they make the 3800 look pretty pathetic. Competitors' engines like the 3.5 in the Taurus, Avalon, Maxima, and the 3.8L in the Hyundai and Kia that all have 250+ hp and 240+ lb-ft really embarass GM as a whole. I've heard the argument that "the 3800 and the GM pushrods are better at torque than top-end power," but now these new DOHC and VVT engines have BOTH. GM can't get 3.6L production ramped up fast enough as far as I'm concerned. The 3.9L in the Impala is 30 hp short of its competitors, with no bonus in fuel economy for choosing it over a Taurus, etc...
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    LOL I told you...the Hyundai 3.8 is a pretty good platform for them to build off of. Today's Hyundai is not the Hyundai that used to make those pathetic, disposable cars (Excel & Scoupe). ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Today's Hyundai is not the Hyundai that used to make those pathetic, disposable cars (Excel & Scoupe).
    We can only hope so - more good choices - because this is perhaps Hyundai's biggest problem - not that its current crop of cars are any good but that nobody believes it!
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557's not that folks don't believe it, they are too close minded to even give it consideration. Before I bought my '02 Sonata, I was skeptical as even I had watched Hyundai's previous failed offerings in the automotive industry. When I walked out of the dealership after my initial test drive, my skepticism had shifted to light optimism with a hint of doubt. 4 years & 105K miles later...all skepticism was removed.

    I think folks just need to be more realistic in realizing the playing field is more level than they want to believe or care to admit to themselves. It's bad enough Americans had to swallow the fact that the Japanese were making better cars than we were, now...they have to turn around and digest the possibility that the Koreans are capable of bringing something to market that can compete with the Japanese offerings AND be better than the American products too.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Before I bought my '02 Sonata. . . 4 years & 105K miles later...all skepticism was removed
    you would certainly be braver than the average autobuyer, those suspect Hyundai models you mentioned were sold as late as the middle 90s. Besides which, 4 years and 105k, is really something that should be expected these days even from the American brands - make it 8 years and 210k and you really are saying something. Unfortunately, I guess, Hyundai is still a number of years short of having
    that kind of history. Keep in mind that the new Sonata opened to JDP 'value' ravings as well as doing pretty well in consumer mag. ratings - it has since slipped.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    You are right, the middle and late 90's. It wasn't until the 00's that they started getting themselves together. No...they didn't make any leaps or bounds at that point, but they were grabbing their boot straps and pulling them up. Their first major showing (IMO) was the '02 Sonata. While, was the same as the previous year, the change in sheet metal and redesigned interior made it much more appealing to the eye. Along with a laundry list of standard features and an offering such as Shiftronic (V-6 models) made it worth noticing.

    I have to admit, this model year of Sonata started out like the Azera did. Nobody seemed to be interested in it, however...about 6-8 months after hitting the show rooms, folks DID start taking notice and it took off after that. I remember when I first bought mine...I didn't see any on the roads for a long time, would pop up here and there. Next thing I knew...they were all over the place like the Camry and Accord. They did improve it with the '06 model and yes, it has slipped, but it still remains a very capable and viable option to Accord and Camry (which seems to be having it's own issues as well).

    Yes, I'll agree with the fact that the Hyundai turn around is still young and they have a long way to go, but...I think they are raising eyebrows and making other makes a bit nervous along the way. That is a good sign IMO. The key at this point is to be consistent with their newfound growth and appeal and establish continuity in the market so that folks will look at them with more favor than they do now.

    You're right, 4 yrs/105K miles is expected by Japanese or American offerings. My mentioning of those statistics is based on the fact that it's a Korean product...a Hyundai. Most folks would scoff at the idea that a Hyundai could be that reliable.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    4 yrs/105K miles . . . Most folks would scoff at the idea that a Hyundai could be that reliable
    that we disagree on - for 20 (or 30) large, I think the current carbuyers EXPECTS more than that - I know I do - regardless of brand.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Yes...they may EXPECT it, but at one point...Hyundai really didn't seem to be capable of it. Thus, that is why they were known as disposable cars at one point. IS highly expected, considering everyone offering some variation of a 100K mile powertrain warranty (with the exception of Mopar's unlimited powertrain warranty). However, again...with most folks minds still stuck in the past (when it comes to Hyundai)...I really think they are heavily skeptical in terms that they feel Hyundai products aren't reliable enough to to meet those terms.

    Currently, I have just over 42K on my '06 Azera and it has been GREAT!!!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yes...they may EXPECT it, but at one point...Hyundai really didn't seem to be capable of it. Thus, that is why they were known as disposable cars at one point.
    Hyundai: Brought to you by Chinet

  • cxccxc Posts: 122
    My understanding of the 3.8 Lambda (like several others engines that purport to have 'VVT') is that this function is simply an inertial mechanical shift of the camshaft and only happens at a given higher rpm, something kind of pioneered by Honda in their 4 bangers years ago

    GM invented VVT. BMW started to use it more than 20 years ago. HONDA just renamed it as VTEC about 10 years ago.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    considering everyone offering some variation of a 100K mile powertrain warranty
    well, not everybody - only those mfgrs that NEED to - consider this -if it wasn't for those fine mid 90s disasters known as Excels etc., we probably do not have anybody (even GM and Chrysler) offering it today.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    GM invented VVT. BMW started to use it more than 20 years ago. HONDA just renamed it as VTEC about 10 years ago.

    I don't think that's entirely true...

    Fiat was the first auto manufacturer to patent a functional variable valve timing system which included variable lift. Developed by Giovanni Torazza in the late 1960s, the system used hydraulic pressure to vary the fulcrum of the cam followers (US Patent 3,641,988). The hydraulic pressure changed according to engine speed and intake pressure. The typical opening variation was 37%.

    In September 1975, General Motors patented a system intended to vary valve lift. GM was interested in throttling the intake valves in order to reduce emissions. This was done by minimizing the amount of lift at low load to keep the intake velocity higher, thereby atomizing the intake charge. GM encountered problems running at very low lift, and abandoned the project.

    Alfa Romeo was the first manufacturer to use a variable valve timing system in production cars (US Patent 4,231,330). The 1980 Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 L had a mechanical VVT system in SPICA fuel injected cars sold in the USA. Later this was also used in the 1983 Alfetta 2.0 Quadrifoglio Oro models as well as other cars.


    In 1986, Nissan developed their own form of VVT with the VG30DE(TT) engine for their Mid-4 Concept. Nissan chose to focus their NVCS (Nissan Valve-Timing Control System) mainly at low and medium speed torque production because the vast majority of the time, engine RPMs will not be at extremely high speeds. The NVCS system can produce both a smooth idle, and high amounts of low and medium speed torque. Although it can help a little at the top-end also, the main focus of the system is low and medium range torque production. The VG30DE engine was first used in the 300ZX (Z31) 300ZR model in 1987, this was the first production car to use electronically controlled VVT technology.

    The next step was taken in 1989 by Honda with the VTEC system. Honda had started production of a system that gives an engine the ability to operate on two completely different cam profiles, eliminating a major compromise in engine design. One profile designed to operate the valves at low engine speeds provides good road manners, low fuel consumption and low emissions output. The second is a high lift, long duration profile and comes into operation at high engine speeds to provide an increase in power output. The VTEC system was also further developed to provide other functions in engines designed primarily for low fuel consumption. The first VTEC engine Honda produced was the B16A which was installed in the Integra, CRX, and Civic hatchback available in Japan and Europe. In 1991 the Acura/Honda NSX powered by the C30A became the first VTEC equipped vehicle available in the US. VTEC can be considered the first "cam switching" system and is also one of only a few currently in production.


    In 1992 BMW introduced the VANOS system. Like the Nissan NVCS system it could provide timing variation for the intake cam in steps (or phases), the VANOS system differed in that it could provide one additional step for a total of three. Then in 1998 the Double Vanos system was introduced which significantly enhances emission management, increases output and torque, and offers better idling quality and fuel economy. Double Vanos was the first system which could provide electronically controlled, continuous timing variation for both the intake and exhaust valves. In 2001 BMW introduced the Valvetronic system. The Valvetronic system is unique in that it can continuously vary intake valve lift, in addition to timing for both the intake and exhaust valves. The precise control the system has over the intake valves allows for the intake charge to be controlled entirely by the intake valves, eliminating the need for a throttle valve and greatly reducing pumping loss. The reduction of pumping loss accounts for more than a 10% increase in power output and fuel economy.

    Source: Variable valve timing
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Funny, but you know what...everyone IS offering them...just not advertising them. Curious as to why Toyota won't advertise a 100K warranty on their new cars, but offer them on their certified used ones.

    It's not really about not needing them. In all shows a company is willing to put their money where their mouth is. Right now, the best one walking the walk is BMW with the 4 year maintenance free program. Regardless of why they're doing it...they're doing it and they can't be losing that much money over it either. Same thing with the 100K mile warranties...if a car is really bad, why would they offer it knowing full well they would lose the shirts off their backs trying to cover all the warrantied repairs.

    You mention the Excel as being the reason that Hyundai made that move, but what folks fail to realize is...Volkswagen was doing it before Hyundai even made the move. Mitsubishi followed them...Hyundai didn't start offering it until '02 or shortly before that.
  • The Impala is not on the same platform as the Lucerne. Impala is on the same platform as the Lacrosse and Grand Prix, while the Lucerne shares it's platform with the Cadillac DTS.
    The 3800 engine is the old Buick produced engine based on a V8 and thus has an offset crank for even firing due to its 90 degree Vee angle.
    The V6s in the Impala are 60 degree designs based upon the old 2.8 liter introduced in the X-car ( Citation, Phoenix, et al ) in the early 80s.
  • Good point on the reason for E85, at least as far as trucks are concerned. I doubt it would be hard to modify the more modern engines to E85, though.

    I do agree with your earlier assumption that production capacity is one of the reasons these pushrod engines continue to exist. An additional factor is the fact that the car platforms they're in are not modern, either - hence the production facilities are designed to assemble the vehicles with the old engines.

    Back on the E85: what a farce that is. Even if it was readily available, why would anyone use it if it costs the same as gasoline. Tests have shown that fuel economy is about 20% less.
  • How many Time do I need to repeat myself? IF Hyundai stood behind it, they would offer it to be 100% fully transferable. Both Toyota and Honda know their products are reliable and have no need in 10 yr warranty gimmick.
  • Well if you are willing to spend thousands and make your car less powerful and efficient then E85 is for you. BTW there is no easy way to upgrade your car to E85. Ethanol is more corrosive then regular dinosaur fuel.
    There is one place , where it does make sense and thats in Brazil
  • How many Time do I need to repeat myself? IF Hyundai stood behind it, they would offer it to be 100% fully transferable.

    Actually, they do if you purchase a CPO (certified pre-owned) Hyundai.

    Hyundai CPO Warranty

  • In this case everyone is doing it on their used cars. Would would you buy someone elses problem. In CPO you have no Idea who was previous owner and what was his/her driving style.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Puh-leeeze!!! The gimmick here is to get buyers into new cars, not the used ones. If the warranty was fully transferrable as you wish, then the masses would wait a year and buy the car used, reaping the benefit of initial de-value AND maintaining the warranty. Heck, Mopar isn't even that crazy...the unlimited powertrain warranty is only good for the orginal owner.

    Even though Hyundai's 10yr/100K isn't transferrable, the next owner still gets the 5yr/50K warranty...which is still better than some new car warranties.

    Eventually...Toyota and Honda will jump on board because the new thing is taking the worry of having to spend money on a major repair at some point down the road. Let the buyer just concentrate on paying the car note and leave the rest to them. Watch, you'll see.
  • jimmy2xjimmy2x Posts: 124
    The V6 Lucerne is a good deal slower than my 4-cyl Accord. It is adequate for day-to-day driving, but it wouldn't be the ideal car for passing a truck on a two-lane.

    Well, for one thing CX/CXL the Lucerne is at least 500# heavier and is more of a full size vehicle. If I were to buy a Lucerne it would be the CXS with the Northstar V8, but that's just me. FWIW, I drove a Bonneville with the 3800 for several years as a salesman. Heavy city traffic along with banging up and down the Jersey turnpike, GS parkway and similar roads with lots of nutty high speed traffic. While the Bonneville was never a "Boy-Racer" it certainly had enough grunt (not especially polished) when I needed it. Would have to ask how many people who constantly harp on that old engine have actually driven it.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    It's not really about not needing them. In all shows a company is willing to put their money where their mouth is.
    A convenient (and rather amusing) spin - the fact is that all these mfgrs. that offer these rather ridiculous warranties (of questionable value) only do so to sell cars and universally have had perceived or actual quality problems in the past. Do you really think that BMW, for example, goes so far as to even cover scheduled maintanence - because they want to OR that just possibly BMW realized they were losing sales because the consumer (rightfully) thought them to be troublesome and expensive to repair? Or Chrysler goes 'unlimited' because their cars are so good, that they have faith that the Charger, for example, won't have any major problems at 10 years and say 300k? Give me a break - they all do it to temper buyer concerns about quality. Spin it whatever way you wish but it sure would be interesting to see how many cars Hyundai sold if they didn't have that warranty. Last time I checked Toyota, Honda, and even Nissan were not having too many problems selling cars, when and if they ever do, it will be because those brands have lost their luster and I'm sure they may resort to longer warranties. IOf anything, a long warranty is more indicative of suspect quality NOT high quality.
    When BTW do you think that Toyota, Honda and Nissan changed any warranty policies, which have been 3/36- 5/60 for many many years. Those three only constitute maybe 90% of the cars sold - I guess they don't qualify as 'everybody'? And yep, if VW beat Hyundai to the warranty punch that would also be to relieve (some justified) buyer concerns. Sound familiar? 'Putting their money where their mouth is' indeed - only because they HAVE TO.
  • In this case everyone is doing it on their used cars. Would would you buy someone elses problem. In CPO you have no Idea who was previous owner and what was his/her driving style.

    I guess there is no satisfying you. You complained that Hyundai's warranty wasn't transferable. I pointed out that under the CPO program it is. Then you complain about buying other people's problems, a position I hope you would fairly apply to all used/pre-owned vehicles, not just Hyundai. What do you actually want Hyundai to do? :confuse:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    If I were to buy a Lucerne it would be the CXS with the Northstar V8
    as I think many of us would if gas prices were lower - the point is -why should we have to? - just put a 'competitive' V6 in the thing in the first place - not something that is 50 years old - its not like the 'right' engine doesn't exist or even that Buick doesn't make some good use of it in other models. If labor contracts are forcing GM to keep the plant running, do what Ford did - buy out the employees and open another plant in China, Canada or Mexico. It may not be real good for our economy, but at least we'll see better cars!
    BTW, somehow I just can't imagine anybody that hasn't had the 'pleasure' of driving a GM sedan without the ubiqitous 3.8 - it's been around that long - and always has offered right at about 200 hp except for those forays into force feeding the poor thing.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    My wife has an 07 Grand Prix as a company car (aren't we so lucky!). The 3.8 is fine until you sample a real a v6. Then you notice the 3.8 sounds like you stuck a fork in the garbage disposal. It has plenty of off idle torque to move grandpa around town, but once on the highway it's a dog. It's an OK engine in a $20k base GP, but it is a joke for something that is suppose to be a premium vehicle a.k.a Lucerne.

    As for long warranty periods, they are simply a marketing tool. Nothing else. If GM was in Toyota's shoes, I doubt, you'd see a 100k warranty. A transferable lifetime warranty would be suicide.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I understand the spin you're putting on it, but think about it...if the cars weren't really that good...they would lose money on the deal of simply offering the warranty to begin with.

    You know...I would rather have a company show me that they are willing to stand behind it rather than deal with the hassles of a company that is supposed to produce such a wonderful product hassle a customer when it's brought in with a problem.
  • Perhaps, but it's not a gimmick for the original owner, it's an excellent deal. As one who typically keeps a car for a minimum of 10 to 12 years, it's an excellent warranty. Moreover, Hyundai has a complete chapter dedicated to Owner Self-Performed maintenance within the Owner's Manual which is absolutely perfect for someone like myself. Document your self-performed preventive maintenance (easy to do, as Hyundai has a website specifically for this for owners), keep the receipts, and the warranty is fully valid and supported. No gimmicks here, just real value.

    My local Hyundai dealer is wonderful, and treats me with respect, as they know my mechanical aptitude. I think some here truly underestimate Hyundai, as I am also a current Honda (2005 Accord) and Toyota (2007 Camry) owner. Oh, and what hassles?? I've never been hassled once by Hyundai or the dealer - not so with Honda and Toyota. You don't even want to hear what I've been through with the 2007 Camry. Unless you've owned or currently own a Hyundai, you really don't have a basis for bashing the company.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I couldve sworn the Lucerne was on the W platform... my mistake. My point still stands though.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    so therefore, that Chrysler product is so good that the mfgr. really believes it is going to last - forever! No, they know have to do something to improve sales, long warranties is an effective way to combat quality concerns AND they realize that most buyers won't keep the car long enough to use any such warranty (or put enough fine print in it so they can refuse to honor it). And sure, all mfgrs. are going to lose money by offering long warranties, but what choice to they have - unless, of course they don't want to sell the car in the first place?
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