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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    The 3.5 makes 263 hp at 6,250 rpm and 249 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm, which is an additional 42 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque. It delivers those increased numbers smoothly, but accompanied by a far too noticeable and decidedly drone-y, flat and unrefined sound.

    Here is the link:

    http://en.autos.sympatico.msn.ca/guides_and_advice/article.aspx?cp-documentid=51- 15239&dub-gallery-photo-number=&dub-gallery-page-number=2
  • I just test drove the Azera, Avalon, Camry, Altima, Maxima, Fusion, Taurus, Lucerne and Imapala the past week or so. I am not a fan of Nissan's style, but the Altima's interior is much improved. The Impala assembly quality, especially fit and finish in the interior, was not good on the SS I drove, and the car had squeeks and rattles. SHockingly, the Camry had the same problem, but notquite as bad. I was shocked to see the misaligned panels. I am astounded at how much cheap plastic is in all of these cars, but the impala seemed to be the worst at that too. They all get some minus points for cheap plastics on various pieces or consol, dash pieces, etc. I guess you just don't touch.

    I was suprised by the Azaera and Taurus because, although I was not expecting much, they were a suprise because of how good they were. I drove the Taurus AWD after the Avalon, and was most suprised that the Avalon was not the slam dunk I thought it was going to be. I was stunned at how quiet the Taurus was,and how the engine noise is virtually absent, and is well hushed at speed. I was also suprised the assembly quality and fit and finish was good in the Taurus and Azera, and the other products from Toyota no longer outclass others as they have in the past. The Azera looked and felt like a toyota product, and Ford's interior assembly look similar to VW (on the austere side).

    I was also pleasantly suprised at the visibility and seating positions in the Taurus. I will admit the Taurus looks are more stark with the grill, but also a little more sedate - or boring - than the others since it is so boxy. I guess that is the ford edge style.

    The Buick Lucerne stood out as a V8, but the visibility in the car is not great. The car interior is small compared to the exterior dimenesions, especially when compared to Taurus and Avalon. I am not sure how that happens.

    I have not yet made up my mind, but everyone has an opinion. I have not had a ford or American car since the 1970's (car at 16 was a pinto), but this new Taurus refinement got my attention.
  • Ford has made a lot of progress on quality from everything that I have heard. I think your comments on the Taurus are on the mark, it does seem to me to echo the VW style of design, a bit stark but clean. Many have commented on the generous dimensions of the interior.

    May I suggest that you also test drive the 2007 Kia Amanti? I know no one has really talked about it in this thread for a while, but I have owned one for a month and am extremely impressed and pleased with the car. I think you will find the quality of the interior very Toyota/Lexus-like, and it is quite spacious, especially the back seat area and trunk. Kia has taken care to make the inside of the car very quiet and squeak-free. Fit and finish is of very fine quality. I like its exterior looks, they grow on you, but some may find the design "unique"! The handling and engine power are very good, much better than the first generation of the Amanti. It uses the same 3.8 engine as the Azera. I had tried out the Azera, but found the ride on the Amanti more to my liking. I felt that the Azera rode a bit "twitchy" - but this is purely a subjective opinion. I find the Amanti a pleasure to drive, and my wife loves the car. You are wise to try out as many of these cars as you can before making a decision.
  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    So, the 2008 Taurus mileage is better than the Azera....

    And, the Taurus is less expensive than the Azera.

    Another plus is the availability of AWD, which has also been completely re-engineered from the old 500, although I never read anyone complaining about the 500's AWD system which was Haldex. The new AWD is lifted from the Edge.

    The Taurus gets the highest score on all of the NHTSA crash ratings. The Azera does not.

    I really don't know what more Ford can do, spec-wise. If the reliability of the car is halfway decent, and it still doesn't sell, maybe Ford is in bigger trouble than I thought.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,466
    "maybe Ford is in bigger trouble than I thought"

    The Taurus will not "save" Ford. Midsize sedans are where the volume is and although Ford is doing well with the Fusion/Milan it isn't up to the competition and until it is Ford will continue to lag behind in sedan sales.

    BTW, the Taurus I saw on a lot a few weeks ago was 34K. Granted it was fully loaded, but, that # is easily Avalon/Lucerne territory. Take away the AWD and Nav and you are right at Azera pricing.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • 101649101649 Posts: 192
    Ford is on the ropes...Focus isn't even up to the Mazda 3 standard. V-6 Fusion is very weak..Who wants to spend a min of $48k (base) for a hopped up Mustang?? Taurus nameplate won't attract enough needed attention to make the sedan a real hit...Lincoln MKZ is in search of an identity. Town Car is a dinosaur..Ford SUV's and trucks are all but "give-aways."
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 339
    FYI - According to a Hyundai salesman, a lot of Azera buyers are former Cadillac owners.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • 101649101649 Posts: 192
    Might be true, but consider your source....Quite a few Huyndai salespersons aren't even up to speed on their own products..Also, it depends upon what "a lot" means...Auto Week used to post either weekly or monthly the total sales of all the major manufacturers....I haven't seen an issue in some time, so it would be interesting to see the rankings....given, they don't break it down per model.....I'm sure that someone reading this has access to the individual makes and models sold monthly or can pervide a link....
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Yeah...the SS is great (depending on what you're looking for), but the argument we had earlier pertaining to that is that you had to get a V-8 to contend with the power output of the foreign V-6's...same applies to the 300/Charger twins and the Buick Lucerne. Without the upgrade to V-8, the V-6 models fall a bit short in power.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Now go test drive an Azera and tell us what you think. ;)
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Not sure how you figure the Taurus is less expensive than the Azera. If you go and price a fully loaded Taurus and a fully loaded Azera...I can almost guarantee you that the Azera will come in less than the Taurus.

    Right now, the biggest advantage that the Taurus offers is AWD, a larger trunk and a very cavernous cabin.

    However, even if you use Edmunds as a guide, the starting MSRP price for the Taurus starts out higher than the Azera...that's without options.

    Nice try though. ;)
  • martin22martin22 Posts: 53
    Actually, it's not so much outright power I'm interested in - it's low end 'grunt',i.e. gobs of low end torque, that I like.

    In England, I owned a couple of Jaguars (XK120 and 3.4 MkII), each with the magnificent XK engine. That was another engine with great low end torque even though it was a straight 6 and only about 200hp.

    I'm not one to go screaming around, red lining the tacho - I leave that to the youngsters. I like 'long legged' cars like the SS that can cruise at 70 mph at less than 2000 rpm. As a bonus, the SS brings to the table a much more controlled ride than its lesser brethren - probably as a result of a thicker anti-roll bar and maybe several other factors. I rented a 3.9 LT once and it wallowed a lot - the SS does not do that.
  • dborthdborth Posts: 474
    "Quite a few Huyndai salespersons aren't even up to speed on their own products."

    So true. Most of these guys can't remember what they had for dinner last night. What lights their fire is conning the buyer to return the factory questionaire for them to fill out in order to get their "spiff".

    Bad news for a foreign factory contemplating an upgraded sedan over Azera.
  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    What are you talking about? Right here on Edmunds, the 2008 Taurus starts at 23245. The 2007 Azera starts at 24,235. With the weakness in the dollar, you can bet the 2008 prices will be higher for the Azera (The Sonata is the only '08 Hyundai listed, and it is $500 higher). A 'fully loaded' Taurus is AWD. Compare FWD to FWD.
  • scbobscbob Posts: 167
    Sept 2007 Motor Trend 2008 car reviews: Taurus-3 stars; Azera-3.5 stars. MT gives little consideration to reliability in its reviews, but Consumer Reports does. April 2007 Car Review issue: 500-better than average; Azera-much better than average.
    As for costs, it is hard to say. I have things on my Azera as standard that were options on Lexus. Owner satisfaction on the 500 was average, compared to much above average on the Azera.
    Personally I don't care for the grill on the Taurus (reminds me of my razor). Also, the bright work around the fog lights looks like an attempt to cover a hole. Reminds of what they did in the 60's and 70's to "refresh cars by tacking parts on. But that's me.
    Compare everything and decide what is right for you. :) :)
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Gosh, my HEMI has plenty of low end grunt. :shades:
    And will cruise at 70 MPH at less than 2000 RPM, running on 4 of the 8 cylinders.

    "Grunt" takes displacement. That's what gets things movin'
    :)
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    and what's the name of that option that is optional on lexus?
    Is this a superior 3.5 engine producing 272-300 HP or heated and cooled seats or a reliable vehicle , which has no need of long warranty to prove its reliability?
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    Azera Limited with Ultimate, and Taurus Limited FWD with Stability Control, homelink, moonroof, etc. ( to bring the equipment on par ) both list for a few bucks under $30K. Taurus has adjustable pedals and rear sonar, but doesn't have power tilt ( and woodgrain ) steering wheel tied to seat memory - I'd call it a wash... similar power and economy, too.
    The Hyundai warranty trumps the Ford, but who knows about long term reliability.
    It's nice to have a choice, isn't it?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Hyundai warranty trumps the Ford, but who knows about long term reliability
    The warranty difference should not be construed to make any implications about reliability (or quality). The Hyundai warranty after all is only on powertrain components and within the 7 year/100k term should largely be inconsequential for any car in this group. Bottom line, I think, is that Hyundai HAS to offer that warranty to sell their cars and Ford doesn't simply because it can't afford to. Wouldn't surprise me however to see Ford 'bite the bullet' however now that Chrysler has upped the ante along with GM already on the bandwagon.
    OTH the Azera has been showing a very good record over the short term despite an all new engine/tranny. A truly 'clean sheet' new design and an impressive effort. Remember though that the Sonata started out life with a whole bunch of 'initial quality' awards and favorable reliability stats, but in time has been showing its 'roots'. Think that it is still a little earlier to declare the Azera a 'triumph' from a reliability persepctive.
    The Ford 3.5 doesn't seem to be the truly 'new' engine it was purported to be (surprise, surprise), so therefore, be less likely to experience too many teething problems and most of the other components have been 'tested' already in the 500.
    Only a guess, of course, and although I would likely favor the Azera personally because of a smoother and quieter powertrain, I would bet a marginal long term reliability edge to the Ford - if you don't include those AWD models.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,466
    I think it is a tough call between the Azera and the Taurus. Both cars offer a lot and are reasonably priced. If I was buying now it may come down to which one I get a better deal on. For some the warranty would sell the Azera and for others the availability of AWD would sell the Taurus. Ford's next step to making the Taurus a super solid competitor is taking the 3.5 to the next level and reducing the NVH. Sounds like the 3.5 was another "rush job" by Ford.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • celica8celica8 Posts: 42
    We have a Lucerne CXS with the chrome package and it gets a ton of compliments. Also the v-8 makes highway cruising a dream. Big trunk, too. Not a single problem with it since we got it more than a year ago.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Sounds like the 3.5 was another "rush job" by Ford.
    agreed, and an interesting statement given that the 3.5 was originally supposed to be in the Five Hundred - 3 years ago! However, had that happened I would bet that the Five Hundred would have sold much better (much like the Chrysler 300) and we wouldn't be talking about the 'Taurus' today. I guess we'll see if the marketing mavens are right about the name change and whether the extra HP needed to make it competitive in this class works.
    Having recently driven an Edge, the 3.5 still seems a notch or two below what most of the competition is offering.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Starting price, you're going with STARTING price??? Look at what you get for that price and see if it's really a comparison. The best barometer is the price on fully loaded top of the line models. As I pointed out earlier...the Azera comes in less than the Taurus. I'm also sure if you go with the starting price on base models...comparably equipped...the Azera will still come in less than the Taurus.

    I'm pretty sure if the Taurus didn't have AWD, it MIGHT be less than the Azera, but...that could be the factor that takes it higher. I did say that AWD was one advantage that Taurus has over the Azera, along with bigger trunk space and a cavernous cabin. Downsides...bland styling (they tried hard though) and an almost clinical interior (not inviting at all). The new Taurus IS leaps and bounds better than any other Taurus that has been on the streets in the past. It actually looks like a car a family should be in.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Yeah...you had to get a V-8 to get something that's "long legged". However...I guarantee you that the Azera is quite long on leg as well. I'm not one for redlining the tach either.

    The SS has a more controlled ride because it's a "sport" version. The LT is just a cruiser version so it's going to be softer. That being the case, you should have driven a Maxima or an Avalon Touring model...both of those have stiffer suspensions than most of the other entries.

    Don't know about anything being lesser brethren to the Impala though...that's funny!
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    A long warranty doesn't prove reliability, it proves a company's willingness to stand behind their product.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,466
    Lucerne is a great car but as I and others have said the 3800 V-6 is antiquated and the V8 while nice isn't worth the fuel economy penalty compared to the almost equal power of the 3.5 V6 in the Avalon. I was saying in one of the other forums the other day I still cannot understand why GM won't put the 3.6 6 speed in that car. I just can't believe the Lacrosse gets a superior powertrain than the "flagship" Buick. Make the 3.6 standard then offer the VVT 292 HP version of the Northstar V-8 as an option for those who have to have a V-8.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,466
    "I guess we'll see if the marketing mavens are right about the name change and whether the extra HP needed to make it competitive in this class works"

    Something tells me that it won't. The Taurus name is "tainted" now with the stigma of "fleet" car. And not to mention that many dealers are having a fire sale on '06 Taurus program cars. Why wouldn't they just have marketed "the restyled 500 now with 260HP 3.5 V6" Nah, that would have made too much sense.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    If hyundai stood behind their warranty, it would have been fully transferable. Most people, who buy new cars keep them for few years and not 10 yrs.
  • "A long warranty doesn't prove reliability, it proves a company's willingness to stand behind their product. "

    Totally agree. And for me, Powertrain warranty is pretty much meaningless. The REAL factor is the Bumper-To-Bumper warranty. Now THAT!, is standing behind your product...

    But I have to admit, even the bumper to bumper warranty was probably 4th or 5th reason on my list when I bought, lower than Styling, Options, Price, Performance, etc.

    Still loving my Charger SXT. NO ISSUES whatsoever in two years now...
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