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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I paid for my car's 15k service with it. :)

    Hyundai has reduced fleet sales on the Sonata, has bumped up prices, and has cut back some on incentives over the past year. Yet they are still near capacity in Alabama when adding the Sonata and Santa Fe production. So they are not doing too bad IMO.

    The Elantra has been in the mid-sized class by interior volume since the 2001 MY, but is even bigger inside for 2007-8. It is definitely an alternative for me. Power-wise, it's at 138, which is low for the class but since it's smaller/lighter than others in the class, it's plenty peppy for me. To me the Elantra is an interesting, lower-cost alternative for a car with mid-sized interior and trunk room but compact size, and a good complement of features including standard ESC on the SE trim.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The Elantra, once the bump the HP should sell even better than today, but then again, it is bumping into Sonata at that point. Gas mileage will be even more important with $82 a barrel oil now.

    A little more work on the steering and suspensions of the Sonata to tune for handling, and I would say it has arrived. As for looks, I think it is just fine when compared to some now trying far too hard for a change for the sake of change, and just doing strange things with headlamps and such. The Sonata look is clean right now. If they hold to long term durability high scores, things will continue upwards. The first half of this year, they were at around a 27% fleet sales, while it is not huge, perhaps they could half next year??? What are the numbers on Sonata? I thought they are selling under last year figures, but I could be very much wrong on that one. Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So what about moving it up a notch and buying a used car in the mid-sized range, in the near luxury (which would be luxury to my pocketbook) ? How many have done just that, with no regrets. I have thought about it, but always stopped short of acting on it. I see those BMW 3 and 5 cars, the baby Mercedes, and Cadillac, Lincolns, Acuras, and well let's say a hundreds of older, hopefully well maintained luxury or near luxury, now selling at or below what it cost for base i4 mid-sized Japan or Korean car. Maintenance and replacement of parts is my fear, after hearing of some prices, like on Volvos, oh my!

    Would you say it is the transmissions which are the most concern in those used cars, and could it be some of the older models, with a stick or an automatic which is an older type, could be less costly and thus take some of the risk out of the equation? Or is it something one will do buy once in life, like buying a boat. :)
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I have 2008 Mazda6's in my inventory, the new Mazda6 will be a 2009, not 2008.

    Thanks for correcting that. The U.S. version hasn't even been unveiled yet!

    am a Mazda employee, and have heard no such numbers yet.

    You work at a Mazda dealer IIRC, right? The Ford employee I speak of works at an assembly plant if I'm not mistaken. Big difference.

    Employees of Mazda dealers aren't Mazda employees either I always thought. Are they? I'm not trying to flame. Just curious.
  • "Some of these preferences that come to mind are: steering wheel audio controls, "manual" mode in an automatic, extender on sun visor, doors that open without having to unlock first, automatic door locks, the "old" mazda6 type vents, minimal chrome, no wood or fake wood,..."

    Wow, minimal chrome...does somebody still do that?

    I vividly remember riding in a ~'79 Camaro about 10 years later, and it had the most ghastly multi-toned aluminum type dash. Granted, the chrome/brushed aluminum is done with more taste now, but I still wonder how it's going to age, and whether we'll look back 10 years from now and wonder how the designers went so overboard for that fad.

    And that's just the sedans. The over-the-top use of chrome on the dinosaur SUVs these days (think Escalade and Navigator) is enough to make any self-respecting pimp blush. Oh well, I guess they're devoid of any real improvement ideas, and they have to go somewhere to stay semi-relevant.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Isn't that aluminum look on the Camaro something of an aluminum tape applique, so perhaps the old one pulls off, and a new tape sticks on there.

    As for those GOOD things we now have on a modern car, the extending sun visor ranks amongst the best of ideas. The telescoping steering column is a great idea, though I wish they would pull towards the driver yet another inch or two, as I have short arms, I guess. What I do not like at all are those foot emergency brakes. The worst I have seen, IMHO, is the New Altima which has the foot brake position more where I would expect the clutch to be. Now it does rise upward of course when not engaged, but it is still in what looks to me in harms way if the legs swing up, such as in a wreck, or when I am twisting around getting in or out. Wait a minute, it is in the down position when moving in and out, which is even worse. I really do not like this. On the Aura it is not a good thing, but at least it is far to the left side. I want my hand brake. Loren
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    My parents had a tilt & telescopic steering wheel in a 1968 Plymouth Fury III. I think the T & T steering wheel was available before 1968.

    But, T & T is not something new.

    I agree with you in the "emergency"/parking brake location. In fact, my '71 Volvo had the brake lever between the driver seat and door. It did not impede entry or exit and did not get in the way of the shifter or console.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    No, telescoping steering in column is not new, though many manufactures, like GM, did not offer it as a standard feature, even on a Cadillac CTS when introduced. How cheap is that? I believe it is now standard.

    Those swing-a-way steering columns were pretty strange. Guess it was a good thing. Your basic tilt is a good thing to have. A few cars did not have it. The older Miatas did not, though I am lucky as the wheel is in the right position for me. I owned a first gen. of a Miata some years ago. May get another one. L
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I have always liked the wood look, real or not. Plood, as some call it, can be very nice when done right. If one car has plastic that looks like wood, and one has plastic that looks like brushed aluminum, I will pick the wood look. Of course, like anything else, the "Plood" in some cars, looks much better than the "Plood" in another.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My father's 1970 Chrysler New Yorker had tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and probably a few other things you don't see on today's economy cars. If you think the new Accord is too big, you should have driven that beast. It was massive. There was obviously no fuel crisis back then.
  • Guess it was a good thing. Your basic tilt is a good thing to have. A few cars did not have it. The older Miatas did not, though I am lucky as the wheel is in the right position for me. I owned a first gen. of a Miata some years ago. May get another one. L

    My grandfather's 1999 Nissan Frontier doesn't have tilt either. It's an XE Reg Cab model though, so it has crank windows, manual locks, a 5-sp man & 4-cyl combo, and doesn't offer intermittent wipers (I don't mean variable intermittent, I mean it has low-speed and hi-speed and that's IT).

    It's a hoot to drive though - the only manual transmission in my immediate family.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Glad you liked your Miata. I had an '71 Volve 1800E. What a great car for that era. Mid-size sedans are now as fast, have almost as good cornering ability and MPG is about the same.

    That was one helluva car until I had to replace it 13 years later (family and eventual maintenance cost). It was so far ahead of its time but is now so primative compared to today's cars. It would cruise comfortably at 80 and give 31 mpg. Take it up to 90 mph and the mpg would drop to 26 or 27. LOL. (And that's based on a full tank of gas, no trip computer-- miles driven /gallons used. Those were the days, 90 mph on a 2 lane road in rural Florida on rte 29 or 27.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Those are a classic and can be viewed at car shows these days. Really cool looking. The last car I know to have those small fins. Always wondered about that. Well the sport wagon, with the trapezoid window in the back has somewhat of a comeback as the C-30 Volvo. The Volvo sports car and sports wagon both were pretty cool. I liked another old model, the 164E, it was so classy.

    Wonder how Volvo is doing these days. The new c-30 has arrived, at least for taking orders. Nothing too exciting otherwise??? Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    First car I was driving around was the family car, which was a '61 Buick LeSabre. Really cool how it looked with the windows down, and no center post (pillar). Probably not the safest way to build, no doubt.

    The Accord is not too big for a car, but perhaps too big now to be an Accord. Guess we now have the Accord Stretched Sedan. Oh doh, that is as bad as Toyota Racing Development! I won't go there.... :blush:
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    There is just something about driving a car with a stick which makes you always come back for more of that interaction with the car. Could be the control, may be having to actually do more to get into motion, possibly a bit of kid which comes out, as you try to get the most speed out of the engine, along with a bit of nostalgia, I would say.
    I love to downshift and upshift, and find the right gears to get the most out of the next turn. We have lots of curves and back roads around California. Shifting is all about the straight line performance, I take it elsewhere on the flat and straight roads of America.

    I am driving a car with a 5 sp automatic, which is really excellent at getting the job done for a sedan. It won't be long though before the kid in me simply must row the gears once again. I hear the calling of a sports car! Now the money is the only hard part. Taking all donations for save the sports car addict fund. :D :D :D

    Interesting how people drive all sticks, for the most part in Europe, even in the most crowded of cities. The automatics are sooooooo very much better than the days of old, and still improving. That said, is even a paddle shifter the same fun? And that 5 sp. automatic I have is going to cost something like $5K or more to replace if it ever blows.
    Oh well, its all good. Perhaps that is the way to go, with an automatic for sedan and leave the stick to the sports car, or at least the paddle shift. - L
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "There is just something about driving a car with a stick which makes you always come back for more of that interaction with the car."

    Kinda- but after driving a stick for a looong time, I gave it up. It ceased to be fun in the stop and go traffic of the commute.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Wow, minimal chrome...does somebody still do that?



  • Yeah, I believe our 2002 Santa Fe (2.7 V-6) was caught up in that fiasco. Another instance of a law firm ready, willing and able to make some money on a non-issue (in my opinion of course). Our car also drove exactly the same the day before the disclosure as the day after. I got a bigger gift from Hyundai, we had a choice to extend the 100K mile drivetrain warranty to 120K OR extend the 5yr/60K bumper to bumper TO 6yr/75K (I believe) OR extend the roadside assistance to something....I forget. We chose bumper to bumper extension.
  • BMW didn't have tilt on their 3-series until the E42 or E46, IIRC. My (least)favorite non-tilt steering wheel was my friend's Peugeot, it felt like you were driving a bus.
  • Having been raised on the Central Coast, I have successfully managed to avoid an automatic transmission. Besides, those beautiful twisty-turny roads were too much fun not to take them whenever I could.
    Even running up and down 85 in the bay area, I never found myself wanting anything but a manual. The old Accord was a stick, as is the new one. I honestly can't picture that thing being any fun at all with an auto. The Subie is a stick to, and while it feels great with a stick, it would be a bit pokey with an auto.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    When you're stuck in stop-n-go traffic for 2 hours a day driving ceases to be fun anyway regardless of what you're driving.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    after driving a stick for a looong time, I gave it up. It ceased to be fun

    Same here, but no stop and go traffic, it was more that it just ceased to be worth the trouble. I had manuals mostly because I got more gears, better mileage, and adequate power from a 4 cylinder engine...those advantages are now pretty much gone. Maybe if we got the engine choices that Europeans do, I might have continued...maybe I'd be driving a manual trans mazda6 with a 1.8L or 2.0L engine.

    Stepping on a clutch pedal and moving a shift lever is not something that I find particularly exciting the vast mjority of the time, it was just a simple task that needed to be done.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Here's a question: which mid-sized sedans don't do the plood thing at all? I know of a few, but are there others? The two that come to mind off the bat are the Mazda6 and Optima. Or does the 6 offer plood on some trim lines? Also some of the compacts-with-midsized-room don't offer plood, e.g. Elantra and Versa.

    If we all band together, maybe write our Congresspeople, we can stamp out this scourge of plood once and for all!

    (Just kidding.)
  • When you're stuck in stop-n-go traffic for 2 hours a day driving ceases to be fun anyway regardless of what you're driving.

    Yeah, thats a lifestyle choice I would avoid, personally.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Here's a question: which mid-sized sedans don't do the plood thing at all? I know of a few, but are there others?

    The 2007 (2008?) Ford Fusion is/was available without plood. Our SEL AWD has piano black (shiny black plastic) trim. It's a dust magnet but much more pleasing than plood. I really do dislike plastic wood, on any car.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I can bet most people couldn't tell the difference between faux wood (plood) and real wood when the former is done right. In fact, sometimes, certain woods can look unnatural (like the dark "real" wood offered in Acura RL in the past and in Lexus LS).

    Real wood (but with matte finish) is an accessory on the Accord now, including covering the silver trim on steering wheel as well.

    I don't have faith in silver/aluminum look plastics. They don't age very well and are prone to scratch. And when they do get one, it really shows. Two out of last two Altima rentals had that issue. I would hate it in my car.

    I also see Accord getting a bit of TL treatment with some black plastic (a bit matte finished). It looks good and high quality, but also shows nail marks easily although it can be buffed off so it will age well.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I'm not a black-piano finish (or any other color finish) either for the same reason I can't understand the latest fad with laptop manufactures using glossy exterior. They are hard to maintain, and show finger prints very easily. On the upside, they might help track thieves. :P
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Technically, it should be "ood-play". :P ;) :shades:
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Generally speaking it looks good, can't say anything about the quality of the materials yet but just based on the look:

    1. I was hoping it'll look more like TL/TSX interior than RL or 5-series type. I guess Honda designers have turned the new Accord into a poor man's 5-series inside and out. I don't dislike the idea but it just doesn't look Honda to me anymore.

    2. That gear shifter looks CHEAP and like it's lifted out directly from Civic. A good looking gated shifter like the one in TL will make the cabin looks even more luxurious.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I can bet most people couldn't tell the difference between faux wood (plood) and real wood

    The beautiful thing for me is I don't care :) . Real or fake, the wood look is not something I find appealing in a car at all.
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