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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison



  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Jockeying for parking spots? Actually, I don't do that...I don't try to park as close as possible to the place I'm going if I see a lot of cars in the lot...I just head to the back where I know a space will be. People don't realize how much gas they burn waiting for a spot to open...creeping up and down each aisle, waiting to pounce on the next thing pulling out! LOL

    I do get an opportunity to step into it here and there, but during the daily commute...not as often as I desire. I reserve those moments for weekend driving where I can benefit from some highway mileage! ;) As far as burning more gas than before...the milage really isn't any different between my Azera and the Sonta I had previously. The Tercel I had, benefitted from more highway driving than city driving.

    42 gallon tank, huh? :surprise: I would DREAD pulling up to the pump with that even close to "E". I tell you what...with gas prices headed to $4/gal. Instead of comparing large mainstream sedans, we'll be comparing mopeds, bicycles and skateboards!!! Greater fuel economy, more frequent trips to the gotta give to get, right?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    have the issue - just haven't seen the article you reference. Yep, the MB E320 comes in at about 200hp and 400 lb ft. If you've ever driven one, it FEELS quicker than it actually is (something that can be said for a lowly VW 4 banger diesel as well) - it really isn't that quick - because, as you note, HP delivery is slowed by the engine's inability to pick up (and limits to) engine speed (rev). It also drives quite a bit differently than its gas engined cousins - compression braking. RWD a must, of course, and not just because of torque steer.
    If we can accept the fact that something short of 300 lb feet is about a maximum amount of torque that can be 'safely' run thru the front wheels then the logical assumption is that these upcoming Maxima/Accord diesels will be more like 150 hp and probably less than 300 lb feet - if the FWD 'platform' is to be used. Although the FE may get up past 30 mpg overall- these cars will be 'dogs' relative to what they are now - and the diesel - again- won't make any friends...
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    42 gallon tank, huh? I would DREAD
    really no problem if you get your Exxon bill tied into a open line of credit - on your house! ;) Since I didn't need to tow anything and my kids grew up, there certainly was no use for a big ole _UV (how can a Suburban be called a 'sport' anything?) anymore - besides which my Avalon is a WHOLE lot more fun at about half the operational cost.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    On topic, please!
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Back on topic - Azera Test Drive . . .

    I just spent 5 days in a Hertz 2008 Azera Limited with the Ultimate Package, and the Azera is one nice car. I drove from central Illinois to Charlotte, NC and back - total mileage for trip was around 1,600 miles.

    The Azera handles fine - not floaty at all - much more like a European sedan. Excellent steering, handling, and a supple and compliant suspension - just about the right combination of ride and handling. I've driven M-B, older BMWs, SAABs, and Volvos most of my life, and this car doesn't "feel" Asian at all. The 3.8L DOHC V6 has plenty of spunk, and at idle, you don't even know the engine is running. The 5-speed automatic shifts very smoothly. In the mountains (including the Great Smoky and Appalachian) on the interstates through southern KY, throughout TN, and in NC, the Azera could more than keep up with the traffic - in fact, it could easily leave it behind. I really had to watch my right foot throughout the trip. Overall gas mileage, and I must note that the typical speed on the interstates even through the mountain areas was 80MPH, was 28MPG. This MPG average included two days of city stop-and-go driving in Charlotte. The highway speed sounds excessive throughout some of the mountain ranges - which it was IMO - but, if you don't peddle that fast, you'll be run over by 18-wheelers running at least that speed - especially down hill!

    The amenities with this car are very impressive. And, I carefully inspected the interior and exterior build-quality - it, too, was most impressive. As good, or better, than I've seen from any manufacturer. Frankly, I came away very impressed with this car, and wouldn't hesitate to buy it. In fact, my wife is not only pleading her case toward that end, but measuring the garage to make sure it fits!
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Technically, they do, according to the EPA. It's not as big inside as the Taurus, but it still classifies as a "Large Car" without the moonroof, something the Chevrolet Impala can't say even though it's billed as a Large/Full-Size car.

    I was expecting this. :)

    We are in that gray area, for example, the Maxima isn't a large car per EPA, while the Accord (w/o moonroof) and the Sonata are both classified as large per EPA.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    admittedly just a test drive and not a 5 day rental but I would have to disagree with your assessment of the Azera's ride which is as soft (or even softer) than the Avalon XLS/Ltd. and certainly NOT to be construed as anything 'European' - LOL. Not even the tighter Avalon Touring can ever hope to make that kinda claim. ASnd nor will any of these vehicles ever be able tyo say something like that - not with 60%+ of the weight up front, and not with the FWD.
    If all it takes to be a 'European Sports Sedan' is a halfway decent amount of power then somehow that term must mean nothing or the Avalon must therefore be a better one. Not. This has typically been the reviews in road tests/comparisons as well - not that the Azera is bad or not a terrific value for the money, but that iit is what it is, in fact, the ultimate Buick - except that even the current LaCrosses/Lucernes aren't as 'soft' as the Azera. I do hope, however, that you enjoy your 'European Sports Sedan' though, it sure sounds like you and allmet have a great oppurtunity to get together and explore the limits of terminal understeer, and lose in that battle some understanding of what a 'sports sedan' really is..
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,412
    I remember watching a short review of the Avalon on You Tube and they mentioned the Avalon being a sports sedan. Absolutely cracks me up. Its not even close in any way shape or form other than straight line acceleration. The other day I got a little too heavy footed in a long sweeping curve (30 MPH posted) and I got reminded that I was driving a 3700 lb FWD beast really quickly! Not that I lost control or anything just the lack of feedback from the steering wheel and the feeling of the car wanting to head in a straight line.

    Having said that, I have to agree with you on the Azera I find it softer than my Avalon (XLS). Handling was about the same, maybe with a touch more body roll.

    If you want a sports sedan head elsewhere than anything in this forum including the 300C which dispite being RWD isn't that much of a handler either. Of course better than the Av or Az but that isn't saying much.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Captain...was your test drive in an '08 or an '07? Also...the poster pointed out the fact that he has owned various European vehicles, I think he would be one to compare the ride between the Azera and the European offerings he's driven before. One thing to note, the 5 day drive was mostly on highways, which is exactly where the Azera would shine anyway. Funny thing is...the poster never said anything about the Azera being a European Sports Sedan. He simply said that he's driven European cars and that the Azera doesn't feel Asian (Korean to be correct). do you get that he's calling the Azera the Korean equivalent of a European Sports Sedan?

    Personally, I'm not surprised by his experience with the Azera he rented. What he experienced on his 1,600 mile trek was exactly my experience driving from MD to FL. Only difference was the gas milage. Considering I probably had more people and more luggage, even with an average speed of 75 mph, my FE was around 27 I think that's pretty good that he pulled off 28 mpg cruising at 80.

    Is the Azera a great city car...even I would be one to say there are better. Is it terrible in the city...not at all, there are worse. I drive my Azera into DC daily and let me tell you...the streets/road here are less than desirable in terms of conditions. With that in mind, does the Azera make me wish I were in another car...hardly.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    an '06 just after they came out and also the one that apparently has had less reliability issues than the newer ones.
    More than perhaps just opinion, there is a 'balance' associated with near equal weight distributions (and RWD) - cars that have such things along with a bit of power and the engineering sophistications, those would be 'sports sedans'.
    It is entirely possible, though I would think not likely, that somebody could own what is a 'European Sports Sedan' and never appreciate it or find any use for its dynamic capabilities. It really takes no time at all for me behind the wheel of let's say a 530 to feel(and appreciate to some degree) the difference between that and my Avalon Touring - despite the fact that my Avalon is definitely quicker and certainly 'tighter' (and more responsive feeling) than the other Avalon trims as well as the Azera. That MT (?) comparo done some time ago with the 06 Av Touring/Passat/Azera best summarizes what I feel to be a proper categorization of these particular cars - and the Passat is the one that does 'better' at emulating at least some of those 'sports sedan' attributes - not the Av Touring and definitely not the Azera.
    If there is going to be any 'Korean' car that can be an equivalent of 'sports sedan', I think you know what it might be.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    If you want a sports sedan head elsewhere than anything in this forum

    in the same vein - the lead line in that 6 sedan 2005 comparo Avalon/300/500 etc. that the:
    "The Avalon has abandoned its "Japanese Buick" spot for a position in the Sports Dept." - from C&D no less and cause for me to lose some respect for that publication's knowledge of geography.
    Where exactly is this 'Sports Dept.'?
    Or maybe it attains that honor simply because they got it to 60mph in 6 flat?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...well, considering the suspension was one of the things supposedly upgraded for the '08 model, it's possible that it could ride a little better than either the '06 or '07.

    I understand everything you're saying about the characteristics of a European sports sedan, but again...nothing was said about the Azera being the equivalent of one. He simply said that the car didn't feel Asian. So I am still trying to figure out where you drew the European sports sedan issue out of all of this. Obviously, the poster knows how the European cars feel on the road and based on his comment...he seems to know how Asian cars feel on the road. Simply put, it was only stated (in his opinion no less) that the Azera didn't feel Asian.

    You continue to debate an issue that isn't even being debated. The question was, and still is...where did YOU get the whole idea that the poster was trying to call the Azera a European sports sedan?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Maybe C&D was saying that in terms of how it used to be Buick-y before, it's leanings are bit more athletic. However, just being a bit more athletic than a Buick doesn't mean it should be in the sports dept. LOL
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    where did YOU get the whole idea that the poster was trying to call the Azera a European sports sedan?

    much more like a European sedan, and then later
    I've driven M-B, older BMWs, SAABs, and Volvos

    rather direct inference that somehow an Azera is comparable to those MB/BMWs etc. don't you think? This obviously the problem I have with the statement. Those Swedish brands maybe and probably because of some incurable 'Detroit' diseases (as well as the FWD) . As I said earlier it (the Azera) is what it is (and FTM what the other cars in group are) a big comfortable 'family' sedan' that also happens have decent power but is also a bit sloppy. This would not be a unique 'judgment or observation.

    For my own info. the Azera has been noted to have some suspension problems - do you happen to know if this is with the 06 MY , or something that has happened since they 'improved' it?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Okay...he didn't say it handles comparibly to the Europeans, he said it's not Asian, but more like European.

    Azera...sloppy? LMAO While the suspension isn't conducsive to cutting loose on twisty mountain roads, it's hardly sloppy. Considering it is a family sedan, highway cruiser...the handling really is pretty good.

    Yes...the Azera did have a suspension problem...a "clunking noise" that was linked to an inferior strut. There is a TSB that addresses it and everyone that has gotten it taken care of has said the ride is markedly improved afterwards. If I'm not mistaken, that was only in the '06 to early '07 models. The only improvement they made after that was to continue to use the better strut for the later '07 models. As far as the '08 model, there was supposed to be some other upgrades to the suspension to give it a better ride than the previous 2 model years.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Azera...sloppy? LMAO
    My suggestion to you IS that: relative to some of those other 'European' brands he mentioned that the Azera, the Avalon, the Maxima (less so) , the Buicks etc etc. are sloppy - and not that this is necessarily bad, it is simply what these cars are - and also something that happens to sell well in this country.

    Toyota has always understood this and this is one reason (besides perceived quality) that their cars sell so well. The Sonata is 'sloppy' as well relative to some of the cars in its group, much like the Camry is - indicating that Hyundai also understands this.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    never could figure out why - if Hyundai has long term plans for the Azera (maybe a big 'if') why they wouldn't offer it in some sort of 'buttoned down' trim. The Touring model has been a good seller for Toyota - and it certainly does mitigate some of those 'soft' complaints that you (rightfully) hear about the Avalon.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Well...not quite sure what you're definition of sloppy is. Mine would be a terrible ride, terrible manners on any surface of road, so on and so on.

    Considering most of the cars in this class are geared to be family movers (some being more athleticly inclined than others), they reserve a right to some "sloppiness" when compared to sport sedans. If ANY of the cars in this group are driven as they are intended to be driven, there is nothing sloppy about any of them. It isn't until you start pushing them as if you were driving a sports sedan, that they become sloppy.

    Which, like I said earlier, the highway is one place the Azera shines brightly and I guarantee you there is no sloppiness to be found when cruising at 60, 70 or 80 mph. Would you be inclined to push an Azera through twisted, winding mountain roads like a BMW...hardly (even I'm no fool). About the only one in this class you might get away with it is the Max because it has a tighter suspension than the other ones.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,412
    "The Touring model has been a good seller for Toyota"

    I see a fair amount of Touring trim, however, I would have to say that it really is the best equipped trim for the $$. HID lights, leather, roof, power heated seats just north of 32K. I asked someone if they liked the stiffer suspension in their Touring and they didn't even know it was supposed to be the "sports" model. I couldn't help but chuckle at someone spending over 30K on a car and not even knowing that. I started out wanting the Touring but it was impossible to get me what I wanted (in a decent time frame) when I was shopping, so I ended up in an XLS.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,412
    "Or maybe it attains that honor simply because they got it to 60mph in 6 flat?"

    That is exactly where your "Sports Dept" is. I still want to know what they did to that car to get it to 60 in 6 flat. They consistently get better 0 - 60 than many other mags.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    definition of sloppy
    well let's see - lots of body roll, a whole lot of isolation from the road (not feeling what the tires are doing, for example) , terminal understeer (as tjc noted) as the cars tires howl in protest by being forced to go in a direction that they don't want etc etc.
    Keep in mind - it is that 'isolation' that many folks like, and that any reduction in that 'isolation' is usually accompanied by correspondent compromises in ride quality. People, as a rule, are rarely (if ever) going to explore the 'limits' of the car they drive so that the more that any car can isolate them from their environment, the better. They are not a bunch of enthusiasts that buy cars in this category, as much as you or I would like to think otherwise.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    true, because even in its 'tightened' 'sports' model trim it is still a 'soft and ultimately 'sloppy' car. Always also thought that the 'Touring' was as much about a desireable option set, the HIDs, leather etc. (and not paying for some arguably unneeded 'fluff') as it was about any specific improvement to the car's 'handling'. It seems to be the Touring model, however, that the car mags. seem to request for their comparisons. Only CR, that tested the XLS, seems to want to rate what the Avalon traditionally is.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    One thing that doesn't help the Azera in the body roll department are seats that keep the driver in one spot, so body roll seems worse than it really is. However, I have also noted when I have my aftermarket 20" rims on the car, body roll is less exaggerated because there's no tire lean into a turn. Instead of the factory 55 series tire, the 20" wheel requires a 35 series low-profile tire.

    I have yet to make the front tires on my Azera howl in protest by being forced to go in a direction they don't want to. Like I said...under normal driving conditions, understeer is not an issue.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I still want to know what they did to that car to get it to 60 in 6 flat
    I would not pretend that it could - its OK with me to know that it simply is PDQ. The same mag.( if I remember right) the 04-08 issue has a test on the 425hp Challenger (SRT8) and claims 3.9! Yeah right, that's 'supercar' territory! Makes you wonder whether Dodge isn't replacing those trannies every they get a car back from them.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    allmet, you need to post pictures of you Azzy because I couldn't imagine what does it look like with 22" rims.
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    As I am back "on the road" again waiting at the airport for my next flight, I don't have time to haggle or defend my earlier statements on the Azera rental from the other posters. I didn't intend to start your typical forum "my car is better than yours" argument, but I guess I should have expected nothing less. However, I will tell you this: the car was very impressive, and I have driven my uncle's 2007 Avalon previously, so I know how the current gen Avalon rides and drives. The 2008 Azera had more suspension control, with an excellent amount of compliance (shock absorber or damper jounce and rebound control). In no way did I find the suspension too soft or cushy - in fact, my wife even noticed this from the passenger's seat. In the very curvy portions of I-75 and I-40 throughout Tennessee and North Carolina during torrential downpours, the Azera was rock solid. (NOTE: In one very curvy section of I-75 in the Smoky Mountains, I left a LS460L far behind - not to say he was trying, but it was certainly interesting at the time). The Azera tracked very well, and I found the steering to be accurate and not overly assisted. And, BTW, no front suspension "clunking" - none whatsoever, as I would have noticed this driving through a number of deep pot holes, and through less than stellar two-lane roads in western North Carolina.

    The SAABs, I were referring to were those prior to GM's influence. And, the Volvo's referenced were before Ford's influence. I've owned European cars since 1968, so I know the difference. No, you don't need a kidney belt to ride in the Azera, but it's a decent combination of a nice compliant ride, and yet very decent handling. Is it a Sports Sedan - h*ll no! I never said it was - there are a number of European cars that aren't Sports Sedans either - even if the marketers say otherwise. But, the Azera is certainly a giant step up from quite a few other Asian-built (Japanese and Korean) sedans on the market today.

    Spend some time with one - objectively - and not just a test drive from a dealer, I think you'll have your eyes opened too! Enough said . . .
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Ummmmmmmmmmmmm...wipe your glasses off Louis...I said 20" wheels, not 22". Also, you can visit my carspace page and see pics of it there. ;)

    There is no way I could have put 22's on it, no way, no how!!!
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,412
    "I didn't intend to start your typical forum "my car is better than yours" argument, but I guess I should have expected nothing less"

    I don't think it turned into that at all. We all just have our opinions and voice them at will ;)

    The type of driving you did is what these vehicles excel at. Maybe the '08 Azera is "tightened up" a bit. Anyone who has an '06 or '07 drive an '08 yet to compare? The term "suspension upgrade" is too vague. I just know when I test drove the Azera it was noticeably softer than the Avalon I just drove and I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,412
    "Like I said...under normal driving conditions, understeer is not an issue"

    Of course its not. However, take it into a sharp curve at a high speed and you will quickly see how it will become an issue. This is really a moot point. These cars are not designed for this type of driving and we all should be talking about how quiet and smooth the ride is. Which of course it is :) .

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    It's nice to hear that Hyundai possibly corrected any suspension issues that were existent in the previous 2 model years.

    Also, I've been saying the same thing about actually spending time with an Azera to truly "get it". Most of the folks that talk about the Azera haven't even sat in one, much less took one for a test spin. Then, as you said...a test spin isn't going to let you fully appreciate the Azera.
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