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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    I think the intent was C/D, as in Car & Driver. The old rankings that were presented came from a C/D comparo, not CR (Consumer Reports).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Not surprising C/D put the Accord at the top, since it's a perennial 10Best, but the Malibu made 10Best this year too--the LTZ must be a lot better than the base Malibu.

    Note that this was not a fair fight in terms of equipment--it was the high-end Accord, Sonata, Fusion (and Avenger?) vs. low-end trims on the Altima, Malibu, and Camry. My first thought was that they designed the test to a certain price point, but that wouldn't explain the Accord EX at minimum. Would have been interesting had they compared the Accord LX or LX-P to the others, I think, or made the trim levels as close as possible.

    The other interesting thing is, the Sonata is slated for a significant upgrade in the near future--nicer interior, more power, 5AT on the I4, exterior tweaks etc. Could easily give it enough to pass the Malibu, maybe others??

    UPDATE: Just got the March C/D in the mailbox, and they DID review the 2009 Sonata! Some notes from the review:

    "The light makeover is appealing."

    "The center stack, the IP, and the center console are totally new, and they're far more modern and rich to the touch, especially the convincingly real-looking wood." (They have a good photo of the new dash; the plood does look pretty nice IMO, if you like that orange-ish plood.)

    "To us, [the new nose] looks Lexus-ish." (The grille looks like the Elantra's to me.)

    They also liked the equipment provided, the "big and airy" interior, big trunk, the smooth ride, the "slick" manumatic, and the light and accurate steering. What they didn't like was that there was still too much body roll for their taste (needs to "quicken all of its reflexes by about 10 percent"), and they said the platform isn't as solid or flex-free as the Accord's or Altima's. Their verdict: "One foot deeper into Honda Accord territory."

    They confirmed the updates that have been rumored for awhile: 175 hp with less induction noise, 5AT on the I4, retuned suspension, quicker steering, and (on the Limited) standard moonroof. And of course the new interior and nose.
  • So your '06 Accord can't play MP3 CDs? That's pretty pathetic on Honda's part if that's the case. Ford's basic CD players and changers have been playing MP3 CDs for 3-4+ years now. Seems like Honda took the form over fuction approach to their last gen audio systems because they are at least better looking than Ford's systems IMO.

    Having an '07 Accord that can't play MP3 CDs or have an aux input, I concur. For $150, I can get an aftermarket converter that basically confuses the head unit into thinking the iPod is a 6 disk CD changer.

    I have heard connectivity has been improved in the '08 but I have not tried it yet.
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    Backy, I know thar you`ve looked fairly closely at the Optima in past. Was the car simply not included in the C&R comparo, or, was it included but failed to merit ranking ? I assume the former but would sure like to know !
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    The Optima wasn't included this time. I think C/D wanted to test the latest versions of the cars, and since they tested the Optima last time (which came out after the Gen 4 Sonata), they decided to go for the updated 2009 Sonata this time--since there's little change in the Optima from 2007. And since they tested the Sebring last time, they took the Avenger this time.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    LOL...My fault people, I meant to type C&D

    yea, I noticed the equipment levels were off base a bit, but do they actually control what they get in terms of vehicles? I always thought they requested a trim level in a certain price range and the manufacturer sends whatever trim level they have available.

    The Accord had an as tested price of $24494 I think or something along those lines and it was an EX with cloth, right?

    The Fusion was priced at over $26K from what I've seen on other forums. Even the Sonata came in at a mere $10 cheaper than the Accord (yet it yield far more equipment)
    7. Avenger SXT - 20,195
    6. Fusion SEL - 26,945
    5. Camry LE - 23,883
    4. Sonata Limited - 24,485
    3. Malibu LT - 21,905
    2. Altima 2.5S 23,665
    1. Accord EX - 24,495

    And the Camry must have been nicely equipped to be over $23K. I wonder if using the Malibu 2LT would have made a difference?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    The 2LT might have gotten another point or two for things like interior styling and driver comfort, but it wouldn't have changed the ranking order since the Malibu was 7 points behind the Altima.

    I thought this was interesting, though. Here's some quotes from the March C/D issue re the Accord:

    "Needlessly complex center stack"
    "Thirty-four buttons on the Accord's center stack--why?"
    "Wacky cabin ergonomics... fussy minor controls."

    Yet C/D said the Accord has the "most ergonomic interior"... then ranked it equal to the Altima, Malibu, Sonata, and Camry on "Ergonomics."

    :confuse:
  • Okay so the stock 205/60R16 Bridgestone EL41s on the '07 Accord are a crummy size and don't handle particularly well in the dry but they do seem to be stars of the all-season world in the winter. We have had a few good snows this week and the car has been very easy to control in the poor weather. There is no hint of the rear end wanting to come around on turns either. The car tracks very well.
    Its too bad the size is wrong, I could have put them on the Subaru and gotten a different tire for the Accord in the spring.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735

    "Needlessly complex center stack"
    "Thirty-four buttons on the Accord's center stack--why?"
    "Wacky cabin ergonomics... fussy minor controls."


    I think this was an initial response to the number of buttons, and not knowing the arrangement.

    Yet C/D said the Accord has the "most ergonomic interior"... then ranked it equal to the Altima, Malibu, Sonata, and Camry on "Ergonomics."


    And this was after they were more familiar with how the controls were laid out, and after actually using them for a while. Having more buttons can actually be better, IMO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Well, I guess we'll never know just what C/D thought about that, because all they said about the controls and ergonomics is what I posted. I would think if all the buttons grew on them, they would have mentioned it, e.g., "It has lots of buttons, but it's no big deal because we got used to them after awhile." But they didn't say that.
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    A well-designed and ergonomic center stack design, including the HVAC and audio controls, should be intuitive at first glance, not after hours of use or studying the owner's manual. Unfortunately, Honda is following in the footsteps of BMW. Could a Honda version of iDrive be next?

    Honda is an excellent company, but not exempt from making blunders just like every other manufacturer.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    A well-designed and ergonomic center stack design, including the HVAC and audio controls, should be intuitive at first glance, not after hours of use or studying the owner's manual. Unfortunately, Honda is following in the footsteps of BMW

    I guess it comes down to what is intuitive for some is mind bending for others. I figured out i-drive in 30 seconds, while driving at 50 mph. So if you are saying Honda is intuitive I would agree with you. If you are saying Honda is exceedingly complex, I would disagree with you.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Was the car simply not included in the C&R comparo, or, was it included but failed to merit ranking ?
    C&R tested the Tata Nano i/o the Optima as Kia declined to provide a vehicle for testing.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    For $150, I can get an aftermarket converter that basically confuses the head unit into thinking the iPod is a 6 disk CD changer.


    I know that Honda would sell you a dealer installed accessory to use your iPod with the Accord stereo. I don't recall what it cost though.

    Seems most, if not all, of the other mfrs include a standard aux jack for your iPod or other MP3 player these days. I would assume Honda finally joined the 21st Century and included one standard on all '08 Accords but I don't know that for sure.
  • For $150, I can get an aftermarket converter that basically confuses the head unit into thinking the iPod is a 6 disk CD changer.

    I know that Honda would sell you a dealer installed accessory to use your iPod with the Accord stereo. I don't recall what it cost though.

    Its a rebadged version of the aftermarket adapter with less functionality for $50 more.

    Seems most, if not all, of the other mfrs include a standard aux jack for your iPod or other MP3 player these days. I would assume Honda finally joined the 21st Century and included one standard on all '08 Accords but I don't know that for sure.

    I think the aux in has been corrected in the '08s, but it still leaves the iPod interface to navigate while you are driving, which is sub-optimal in my humble (and professional) opinion.
  • "Needlessly complex center stack"
    "Thirty-four buttons on the Accord's center stack--why?"
    "Wacky cabin ergonomics... fussy minor controls."

    All the three CD comments refer to the center stack. CD does not say that they have issues with any other ergonomics except the center stack.

    Other ergonomics, as usual, were found top of the class by CD
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    C&R tested the Tata Nano i/o the Optima as Kia declined to provide a vehicle for testing.

    Thanks but you`ve got to help me a bit here ! I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you nicely to explain what a Tato Nano is , and ask you for the source of your info about C&R`s test , so that I can understand your comment better . If, as I suspect, this was your feeble attempt at a backhanded put down of the Optima, please don`t bother responding . I`d call you a wit but I`m afraid I`d only be half right.....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    I don't see that the statement from C/D about "wacky cabin ergonomics", which was in a separate sentence in C/D (hence my use of the ellipsis in the original post), has anything specifically to do with the center stack. It seems more general to me, i.e. "cabin" vs. "center stack." How did you make the connection to the center stack?

    Also "fussy minor controls" could refer to controls on or outside of the center stack, couldn't it?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Uhm... this comparo we're discussing is from Car & Driver, which is typically (at least by them) abbreviated "C/D". But "C&R" is confusing in this context, so could we please try to avoid using that abbreviation in this thread, so folks don't get mixed up and think this is maybe some Consumer Reports thing? Thanks. :)
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    If you'd read above you'd see it was a mistake on my part...and in another post I corected myself ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Yes... but some folks apparently didn't see your correction.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I have nothing to add, except a corrected title, carry on... :)
  • In this comparo, as well as all other pieces CD has done on the 08 Accord, they have only complained about the center stack having too many buttons and praising pretty much everything about the interior. I did not see any quote in the piece where they referred to any other controls they didn't like. The quotes you referred to are in the summary and thus don't have any details.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I think the aux in has been corrected in the '08s, but it still leaves the iPod interface to navigate while you are driving, which is sub-optimal in my humble (and professional) opinion.

    I agree. Other than Ford's SYNC is there another vehicle that comes with some sort of affordable factory installed MP3 player interface that lets you control the unit using the head unit/steering wheel conrols? Some NAV units do it IIRC but that's another ball game given the price for that of interface. It seems like this should be a simple add on for every mfr but I've never really heard much from any of them save for Ford with the SYNC.
  • I agree. Other than Ford's SYNC is there another vehicle that comes with some sort of affordable factory installed MP3 player interface that lets you control the unit using the head unit/steering wheel conrols? Some NAV units do it IIRC but that's another ball game given the price for that of interface. It seems like this should be a simple add on for every mfr but I've never really heard much from any of them save for Ford with the SYNC.

    I like Ford's implementation the best, but the 2001+ BMW 3 series, the '05 or so and on VWs and Volvo (well I guess it looks like the European brands) have had some level of iPod integration, giving access to playlists and controlled through the steering wheel. The Ford one is cool because it uses voice and gives you direct access to any song on there. I think the Nav vehicles have more features.

    My MIL has an '05 or so Prius that has an Aux-in on the console, I thought that was better than nothing but was happy to have my co-pilot to play DJ on the trip. In my own previous car, I just brought the whole dang laptop and powered it via the cigarette lighter and used a cassette adapter for sound. It actually responded to voice commands also.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    In my own previous car, I just brought the whole dang laptop and powered it via the cigarette lighter and used a cassette adapter for sound. It actually responded to voice commands also.

    Did you buckle it up? :P

    The Ford one is cool because it uses voice and gives you direct access to any song on there. I think the Nav vehicles have more features.


    Right on. Since I have 2 MY06 Ford vehicles without any kind of AUX ports I was hoping SYNC would be an accessory I could buy for them but unfortunately it is not. I can either buy something aftermarket (which I do not like to do), buy the AUX jack where iPod control is done on the iPod, or I can buy the TripTunes Advance and control the iPod from the head unit while it sits in the glove box and charges. But since I can burn the MP3s to CDs and play them directly in the CD changers, a practice I've become comfortable with, I've been reluctant to make any additions.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Actually one of the quotes I used was from a summary, but the other was from an article body. But you're right, they didn't give much detail on some of their comments. So... how do we know they are referring only to the center stack controls when they say things like "wacky cabin ergonomics" and "fussy minor controls"? We really don't know what they mean by "cabin" and "minor controls", do we?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    So... how do we know they are referring only to the center stack controls when they say things like "wacky cabin ergonomics" and "fussy minor controls"? We really don't know what they mean by "cabin" and "minor controls", do we?

    No, we don't know what they mean. Which is why reviewers should never say vague comments like "wacky" or "fussy" if they are not going to explain exactly what they mean by them. Also because it opens the door to possible false assumptions by the reader.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Agreed!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Time to freeze the "C&R latest comparison" thread and do away with this misnomer once and for all.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    The car ratings on the right side of this page now list a 2009 Toyota Camry. Are these available for sale already? Are they different from the '08 Camrys? What's the deal here?
  • Agreed, they should have clearly marked what they meant by 'wacky cabin ergonomics,' especially since this was not in the comparo article, but in the review of the Accord coupe a few pages later, where they said that 'this car carries over the sedan's wacky cabin ergonomics' or something like that.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    The car ratings on the right side of this page now list a 2009 Toyota Camry. Are these available for sale already? Are they different from the '08 Camrys? What's the deal here?

    Since the 07 Camry came out in January of 06, this is not a surprise. I doubt it will be much different from the 07. Personally, I don't think a new model should be allowed to come out until at least half of the previous year has passed. June, maybe, but not January. It gives the impression that the car is younger than it really is (the 07 Camry is two years old now).
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Very early release of new models makes it even better for those who buy early, especially with a Toyota. Buy a 2009 Camry today, drive it for a year, and see even less depreciation than before. Of course, this only benefits those who trade every two to three years, nothing for those who keep a car a decade or longer.

    I will admit, however, it's getting a bit ridiculous. New model years shouldn't be introduced until the September or so time frame.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    Get ready for more of the same... pretty soon the 2009 Sonata will be out--already reviews are appearing in the car mags, so the public release can't be far behind.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Someone - I'm thinking it was Ford, maybe the F150 - debuted a vehicle in January and used the +1 model year designation. It is a little ridiculous, but if you think about it so is debuting a car in September 08 and calling it a 09.
  • caazcaaz Posts: 209
    Technically speaking..you could have purchased an 07 camry in August and in only 5 months, have a car thats 2 years old already. Thats not good for resale. Thats when toyota and others begin to damage thier customers.

    Later
    Caaz
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Actually the mileage differences will make up for most of the depreciation difference. A couple of years ago I priced out 2 successive model year vehicles with the exact same mileage over the same period (3 yrs, 12k miles per year, both vehicles purchased in October - new MY vs. leftover previous MY). The difference in blue book value was only a few hundred dollars which was less than a normal end of model year rebate.
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Why is debuting a car in September 2008, for example, and calling it a 2009 ridiculous? This was the automobile marketing pattern for over 50 years. When I was a kid in the '50s, we all looked forward to our trek to the local dealerships to view the new model year cars - and, they were always rolled out in late September each year. Of course, simply because "that's the way it was always done" doesn't make it right. It certainly makes a more sense than introducing the 2009 model in February of the previous year.

    Everything is skewed anymore. Bathing suits are introduced and sold in the dead of winter, and winter coats in summer. Try buying either when you really need one!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    As you say, just because it's always been done that way doesn't mean it makes a lot of sense. My point was it's ridiculous to say that you can call a car a 09 model in September (4 months early) but not in May. It works out for the auto plants (at least the union plants) because they can shut down during July 4th week to tool up for the new models.

    If we're going to put rules in place then I'd say you can't call it the following model year until December.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Has anyone actually seen a 2009 Camry or a 2009 Sonata? Are they any different than the 2008s?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    I've seen photos of the 2009 Sonata, in multiple sources (Web, C/D article). It's a refresh from the model introduced for MY 2006, with the visible changes being a redesigned interior, especially the dash and center stack (which IMO may give the '09 Sonata the best-looking dash of any car in this class now), a new front end, and new alloys (don't know about new plastic covers on the GLS). There's many mechanical changes too, which I summarized in a post here a couple of days ago related to the C/D comparo--13 more hp on the I4 (and more expected on the V6 also), 5AT with the I4, retuned suspension and steering, and others.

    I'd be surprised if there were any significant visual changes to the 2009 Camry, since it's been only 2 years since its redesign. I expect a refresh for the 2010 MY.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    I think releasing an 08 model in September of 07 is ok. It's the final quarter of the previous year, and people are used to it being that way. A used Camry buyer, who doesn't know how early the 07 Camry was released, would have no clue that the car was sitting in the previous owner's driveway twice as long as he thinks it had. In short, the Model Year number should mean something.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    There's many mechanical changes too, which I summarized in a post here a couple of days ago related to the C/D comparo--13 more hp on the I4 (and more expected on the V6 also), 5AT with the I4, retuned suspension and steering, and others.

    Glad to hear. They should've had a decent center stack all along, as well as a 5-speed auto. The Sonata may be back on my list of contenders should something happen to my Accord.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,943
    I thought the old center stack was plenty "decent" considering it came out in 2004, but the new one is way better. The lack of a 5AT on the I4 was puzzling, since the Optima's had it on the same engine since early 2006.

    I'm not totally sold yet on the new front end. I liked the old one for its clean, simple lines. I'm not a fan of stick-on chrome bits. It looks to me like some cross of the previous-generation Passat and the curret Elantra, with spiffier versions of the headlamps from the 2006-8 Sonata. Maybe it will look better in person. I'm hoping the SE will have less chrome in front, and a more agressive grille.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Check out the pics on Inside Line. There is a pic of the new center stack, although it doesn't get in close enough to get good detail.

    Inside Line

    If you get your hands on the latest Car and Driver, they have some very good pics in there. ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    It's the mileage that counts more than how long it's been sitting around.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    It's the mileage that counts more than how long it's been sitting around.


    True, the mileage does count "more", but age still counts. :)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Let the abuse from Korea haters begin...

    I actually own both an 07 Optima and an 05 Malibu Maxx. The Optima got rammed while parked. Damage was minimal but I got a two day rental on an 07 Mazda 6.

    Although the Mazda was tighter handling than my Maxx (which I still prefer to both cars, all things including utility and comfort considered), it was not better than the Optima. Both had the same Michelin 17 inch tires. The Mazda looked like about 70% of the way to wear out at slightly more than 20,000 miles. Ouch.

    NVH and internal fit and finish were better on the Optima. Maybe I'm too old to appreciate zoom zoom zoom. The Mazda 6 was less comfortable than the Optima, especially in the lumbar region. Instrumentation (if you like red, I guess you like red) was not up with the semi-electroluminescent panel of my appearance pack LS. The Mazda did have more thigh support (longer seat), a short coming of the Optima. I didn't like the additional seat bolstering, probably because my fat [non-permissible content removed] was too wide.

    I've criticized the Kia for having a crippled DIC compared to my Maxx (no MPG for example--probably corrected in 08), but the Mazda had nothing but outside temperature and two trip odometers. Hopefully the new one will catch up.

    I'm not a Mazda hater. I loved my 01 Elantra but could see that the 3 was clearly a better car. Not so with the 6 v. the Optima.

    Both the Milan and Fusion were on my short list when I bought the Optima. Frankly both interiors were less polished than the Optima but the cars were more satisfying than the 6 and would have been the equal to the Kia with the exception of engine power and price. I think both handled slightly better than the Optima. Not so the 6 which was slightly more compliant (surprise, earlier Korean cars I bought were softer-- probably the tires). The Mazda traded the better over bumps feel for poorer on-center handling.

    Maybe it was 20,000 miles of rental car abuse and maybe it's just that the 6 is more than ready for an update. I've read that Mazda has among the lowest rates of brand retention, IMHO it's because the 3 is clearly the better vehicle than the 6 and drivers take off for more refined hot handling brands.

    Unlike the (probably) last 20 renters, I didn't abuse the car and have no idea whether or not the 6 would be better on the skid pad; my preferences were based on normal around town and interstate driving.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Looks like Hyundai had the Lexus RX in mind when re designing the interior. Almost looks like a carbon copy.
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