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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    There is no difference between under $3500 and $3500 to $4000. For the additional $1K potential tranny cost in the event of a catastrophic failure in 10 year I'd rather be driving a BMW than a Buick.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Try $1200 or less to replace a 4 speed transmission in a Buick(or other GM with one). Yes, the new GM 5-6 speed models are also similarly pricey, so the smart money is on the older 4 speed design.

    That's some serious money saved, and last I checked, they are very reliable as all of the bugs have been worked out. It's not a fun car. But it's virtually as reliable as what Toyota or Honda make. Just 1/3 the cost to fix.

    Average cost for repair:

    Dang. That's some serious money. Three GM transmissions for the price of one from Toyota.
    The older 4 speed Camry transmission also was fairly inexpensive to fix.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    As you say it, to get something from GM as reliable as a Toyota, you have to go with a 15-20 year old design.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    The prices you quoted to replace a GM 4 speed tranny is nonsense.
    My 2001 Impala needed a remanufactured tranny at less than 40K miles (bought brand new) and I was quoted $3500 plus taxes. This is in Canada at a GM dealership (could have gone elsewhere but given a 3 year warranty if I went with GM) but it shouldn't be that much less in the US. Maybe 25% cheaper at the most.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I guess it all depends if one goes to the dealer or not. When my tranny went on my '96 Camry the dealer wanted $2300, Aamco wanted $2200 and I ended up taking it to a shop that deals with foreign cars and got it done for $1800 and it came with a 1-yr warranty as well. The guy even replaced my rear engine seal at no extra labor charge since he had the tranny dropped already.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, let's see.. Canada at the time was charging what... 30% extra for money conversion and import fees and gouging and...

    I can get the transmission replaced on a LeSabre/etc from that era for no more than $1500 in any major city IF I bypass the dealer and shop around for even an hour or so.

    I did note that the new GM 5-6 speed models are now 3-4K like Toyota. Ouch.
  • hjc1hjc1 Posts: 183
    I would guess that the GM trany cost more because it's new and few if any rebuilds are available yet. If you price a new transmission from any mfg. you will always pay more.
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    It's not a big deal, but I thought the Impala 3.9L had 233hp. ?

    It does now, but actually in 2006 it had 242 hp. Not sure why the decrease.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    but actually in 2006 it had 242 hp. Not sure why the decrease.

    It's due to the new SAE standard, the engine output is still the same.

    Same thing happened to the Avalon as it dropped to 268hp.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It affected most cars, although Domestic makes seemed to be less affected.

    A few examples:

    Acura TL - 270hp to 258hp
    Nissan Maxima - 265hp to 255hp
    Honda Odyssey - 255hp to 244hp
    Toyota Corolla - 130hp to 126hp
    Mazda 3s - 160hp to 156hp
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    233 (or 242) HP a somewhat amusing thought. In an Impala you don't want to do that without wearing your kidney belt. ;)
    Thought the SAE change happened to effect ythe 06 and subsequent models - for example, my 05 Avalon rated at 280hp 'losing' 12 hp as an 06 model.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    I just finished 750 miles of interstate driving in my 07 Avalon. The gas mileage was 31 + MPG at 75 MPH, air conditioning on all the way. I was passed by an assortment of vehicles that probably had more horsepower, but probably by none that were getting better gas mileage at the same level of comfortable traveling.

    I know that my Avalon probably doesn't fit all the criterion for "touring sedan", but as a "road car", it's certainly hard to beat!
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Tires have a dramatic effect on the ride of an Impala. I have an '06 Impala with the 3.5L, 211HP V6. The ride with the OEM Goodyear Integrity tires was terrible. Last month, after 26,000 miles on the G/Y's, I got rid of them and had General Altimax RT touring tires installed. The ride is now smooth, quiet, and very controlled. Exponentially better than what the G/Y's did on the car. The crashing sensation over bumps has been dramatically softened.

    It is a shame that automakers install the cheapest name brand tires they can get for new cars. If they would allocate (and charge customers), for better tires from the get-go they may actually earn more business. I would gladly pay $200 more for a new car if it meant getting premium tires (instead of having to replace poor OEM tires early for $400-$600 more after only two years of ownership).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Trust me, they (maufacturers) don't always install the cheap tires on there. Replacement tires on my 4-cylinder Accord are $800 to get what I had (V-Rated Michelins). They're fine tires, but I won't be replacing them with the same kind!

    I put Integrity tires on my old '96 Accord and hated them. They were replaced with Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires and I love em, and are what I will put on my newer Accord when these expensive Michelins give up.

    My folks are on-again off-again about getting a full-size car. My dad actually dislikes the Taurus but likes the looks of the Impala. I keep suggesting he drive a Mercury Sable, since the only thing he doesn't like about the Taurus is the look (he hates the chromey grill).
  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Is your dad a Detroit-only guy?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Nope, actually he's nearly been a Honda-only guy all his life. In this case, mom and dad want something comfortable for highway trips, but don't want to break the bank (under $20k would be preferable). The Impala and Taurus/Sable meet that requirement.

    I don't pretend to understand my folks. Just a month ago they were almost ready to buy a Nissan Versa SL. Now they're back on the big-car bandwagon.

    I dunno!! :confuse: :P
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,413
    Sounds just like my parents Grad. In one week they looked at the Accord, Camry, Impala, Highlander, and Fusion. Then the next week they were buying a hybrid. Then it was a RAV4 and the Edge. Brutal! I told them they would end up replacing the 05 Highlander with a Camry.... guess who was right! (I wanted them to splurge a little and go for an Avalon, but that didn't happen)

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I just talked to them after their Impala test drive. They said they liked the car with the exception of the pitiful lack of decent cupholders. One big one, one little one, and that was it. The deal breaker was, well, the deal. The dealer offered $22,000 out the door on a cloth-equipped LT model (MSRP around $23,400), and that's after the rebate. My folks didn't bite, and have moved across the highway to the Ford dealer, and the salesman was bringing the only Taurus in stock around to the front for them to drive when I hung up. I'll let ya know. ;)

    It's kinda funny to me to watch this progress.
  • carolinabobcarolinabob Posts: 576
    Cars are very individualistic purchases, but have they tried a Camry XLE with V6? I had a 2003 and it was a great car. I now have an Azera because it has more bells and whistles and I just don't like the interior or exterior styling of the Camry or Avalon. I would recommend the Azera, but sounds like Hyundai may be a stretch for them. Also, there is the wallowing problem.
    Good luck to them.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My folks really don't like the Camry, and feel it took a nosedive with the latest redesign.

    The Camry is a stretch for them as well on price, when considering an XLE V6.

    I just hung up with them, they really liked the Taurus, and will be going back to talk prices later in the week. They had a few program cars, with less than 15,000 miles, with leather, dual climate control, moonroof, etc. for $17k, and this could be the route they go. They will price new ones, of course, but the Taurus could be it.

    Dad still dislikes the exterior, but liked the interior, and how it drove, and is willing to purchase this car, especially since the salesman (apparently a veteran Ford salesman of 31 years) was low-pressure, very friendly, and talked candidly with them; no games.

    A big drawback against the Impala, they noticed, was the lack of interior space. Dad said it felt like his Civic in the back seat (a bad thing).

    The Taurus was quiet, and solid, although their test car (with 13k miles) had a squeaking strut, which the dealer would fix before purchase, they said. That was his only concern. He liked all the bells and whistles, and said the car was plenty quick.
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    So Grad, why don't Mom and Dad make like their son and get an Accord. A nice LX 4 banger with no sunroof is considered a large car by the EPA, would get better fuel economy than the Taurus, and could probably be had for around 20 large after wheeling and dealing.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    They feel the new Accord has gotten too big and too expensive. They've had many Accords in the past (90, 92, 93, 00, 01, 03, 05), but they really don't like the new one, after driving an EX-L 4-cyl. I was on that test drive, and I must admit, it doesn't feel like a step forward, just a step bigger. I love my Accord now all-the-more.

    Besides, when comparing a 177hp basic Accord with a 263hp Taurus with some options, for similar money, the Taurus is the clear winner in bang for the buck; I'm reading a lot of owner reports talking about their highway economy; most are reporting 29-31 MPG. Since this will be a trip car, comfy, powerful, and well-equipped are important factors here.

    Sure, the Accord has marginally better economy (3 MPG, according to the EPA), but it also has much less highway passing power (177hp and a 5-speed automatic versus 263hp and a 6 speed automatic).
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    All good points. The Taurus also has a $2000 rebate or low-interest financing options right now as well. Let us know what they decide.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yep, 0.9% for 36 months. I'm not sure if they will go new or used here. Depends on the numbers that the dealer runs for them.
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    Despite the bad rap Ford gets, the Taurus is a very solidly built, quiet, smooth vehicle.

    Also, Ford has recently upped the horsepower, improved the interior materials considerably, and you'd be hard pressed to find a safer car (it shares its safety cage and chassis with the Volvo S80).

    I actually think it's a classy and high end looking car, also. It reminds me of a Audi in the haunch and posture.

    I have really high hopes for the Hyundai Genesis, because I like the interior and exterior of that car very much, and respect the decision to go with a rear wheel drive format. My nagging concern is whether Hyundai has been able to eliminate untoward suspension noise (as they seemed successful at doing in the Veracruz? I say this with a question mark because Consumer Reports says it's there, while MotorTrend says it's not).
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    That is not a bad out-the-door price for an Impala. Figure if it was $23,400, and then they were getting the $2,000 rebate, the dealer was selling the car for somewhere around $20,500 (assuming an average sales tax rate of 7%).

    If they are in a State with no sales tax, then I would agree it wasn't the best deal.

    My parents have a 2007 Mercury Montego Premier and love it. My grandfather has a Ford 500 and likes it as well.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    I have also owned cars where the OEM tires would have been very expensive to replace. However, an expensive tire does not necessarily make for a good tire. Michelins are highly overrated and almost prohibitively expensive. The Michelin tires I have experienced were not very competent in the rain and were no quieter than other tires.

    The Potenza G009 was a very popular tire. In fact, when my parents had their 2003 Impala LS, they replaced their G/Y Eagle GA's with G009's.

    Bridgestone, however, has discontinued the Potenza G009 and replaced it with the Potenza G019 Grid.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    The Impala does have a very small backseat considering that it is a full-size car. Additionally, the rear bench is not the most comfortable for long trips.

    I am 6ft5in tall, and no one can sit behind me in my Impala since I put the seat all the way back.

    The Taurus, however, is the exact opposite. The driver's seat doesn't go back quite far enough for tall drivers, but the rear seat is extremely roomy.

    My Grandfather is actually on his second Ford 500. The first had an incurable suspension noise/squeak. He traded it for a different manufacturer vehicle altogether. Then a couple of years later traded that for another 500 and has been pleased since.

    If your parents are interested in the Taurus with the squeaky strut, I would suggest they have the dealer completely fix it before they ever sign any paperwork or hand over any money. The dealer will try much harder to properly fix it if it means a resulting sale as opposed to after the sale has taken place. That may sound preposterous, but I have seen things play out that way first hand.
  • lostwrench1lostwrench1 Ct.Posts: 831
    True, the Taurus is safer.
    The Taurus, in crash tests, gets 5 stars front, front side, and rear side.
    The four door Accord, even with side air bags, gets only 3 stars for the rear side impact. (2008 models - Taurus - Accord)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I imagine the G019 Potenza has similar characteristics to the G009 (Hope so!).

    The Michelins on my Accord are expensive because they are rated for high-speed (V-Rated). My Accord has a top speed of 130mph (a 4-cylinder!) according to Car and Driver and the tire is rated for that. My next tires will likely be H-rated (108 mph) and several hundred cheaper.
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