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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • Rereading your post I responded mostly with regard to the "fun to drive" category in C@D. Since you used BMW as an example I figured that was the one you were trying to defend. The "gotta have it" is a goofy category that in my opinion has no place in a family sedan test. Gotta have a Camry/Accord/Sonata/Malibu/Jetta etc. more than any other family car in existance? Give me a break! I would probably prefer one or two over the others but "GOTTA HAVE IT!!"?? Maybe in a Corvette...Viper comparison I'd get that emotional.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,020
    "GOTTA HAVE IT!!"?? Maybe in a Corvette...Viper comparison I'd get that emotional.

    Make that GOTTA HAVE IT vs. CAN'T GET IT. Rumor is Chrysler is cutting half it's vehicles starting with the Viper.

    And to keep it on topic - not sure if that includes the Avenger/Sebring or not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    While "gotta have it" is a silly rating category, I think you are mistaken if you think cars are not bought based on subjective criteria. It may be different criteria from what C&D think are important, but I really think for most people choosing one car over another comes down to many subjective judgements.

    What objective criteria do people typically look at? Price, size, mpg...maybe certain performance numbers. (Expected reliability is kind of a hybrid, partly objective and partly subjective, IMO). Most other stuff I can think of is subjective: styling, materials, ride, handling, seat comfort, convenience.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    While some here will state that they buy their cars largely or even partially due to these "feelings" most people do not

    I'll challenge that remark as you really don't know what criteria "all" people use to buy cars. You might know the criteria of a few of your friends.

    These "feelings" don't mean squat to the majority of family car buyers

    You can validate this statement how?

    Maybe these subjective feelings mean more the potential BMW or Mercedes driver but not so much to "ole Joe" I think.

    OK, you did add I think to the end.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You hit the nail on the head. Anyone who doesn't think a whole bunch of subjectdive criteria is not used in car buying is severly misinformed.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    And to keep it on topic - not sure if that includes the Avenger/Sebring or not, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    I heard last month that the Viper might be getting a temporary axe (GM brought back the Camaro) to free up some money to enhance the Sebring.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The ALL NEW Accord was numerically in front due partially to two subjective category scores...the "gotta have it" and "fun to drive" . Both of these are intangibles with no real measurable winner other than the "feelings" of the several drivers assigned to the test. If one uses the measurable scores the Sonata would have been much closer numerically to #1.

    When you buy a car, do you go by a numerical scoring system? If you do, the Sonata may be the perfect car for you. Going by the number of Accords sold each year, many people use their "feelings" and "intagibles" to decide. If you are only going by the numbers, there would be no need for a test drive. You could just get the numbers from comparison tests, apply them to your own system, and go out and buy that car.
  • Well, I guess it's just a bit of everything, handling(the obvious one), engine & transmission refinement, quality interior materials used, gauge display etc. Note my brother does not own either car and little info was given to him, and I never drove the Sonata, so I can't say much here.

    By the way, I thought the 2009 Sonata is the 'redesigned' model, and the 08 Accord beat them again? Or is it just the mid cycle 'refresh'? If so the Sonata could catch up earlier than I think they might if they indeed address all the shortcomings of the current model. :)
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Just to add my 2 cents worth on this issue....

    Seems to me that, if the majority of folks buy a car primarily based upon the technical and quantitative scores a car gets, then the car getting the highest score each year would also be the best selling...assuming prices are relatively even between models.

    Looks like a simple theory to prove or disprove. My guess is that sales don't follow technical scoring data in a 1 to 1 correlation....I think you will find that people also include other factors in their decision making process, such as previous brand experience, dealer treatment and reputation, etc...
  • I'm not sure what point you are making here...

    Of course, most car buyers in the family sedan segment are not looking at factors such as fun to drive, gotta have it, etc. This is borne out by the sales figures.

    But, does that mean C&D should not judge family sedans by these criteria? Clearly, a proportion of buyers do buy cars (even family sedans) based on more "subjective" criteria. In fact, Edmunds created a whole new section of their website to cater these buyers (Insideline). These types of buyers are the main subscription base of a magazine like C&D. How, then, can you fault C&D for using these measures? Indeed, they'd be foolish not to use "subjective" measures; they would lose their reason for existence.

    When reading a car review, it's important to know who the reviewer is and for what audience he is writing. And, as is often said on these forums, drive the cars for yourself and decide what fits you best.

    Sure, the performance enthusiasts' favorite cars will often have the bragging rights, but, hey, don't let that bother you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    No, as mentioned earlier, the 2009 Sonata is a mid-generation refresh, not a redesign.
  • Keep in mind that Hyundai's refreshes often entail leaps and bounds as they spend about 10% of their profits on R&D. This means that when others change headlights and bumpers, Hyundai is changing underpinnings, engines and implementing a great deal of engineering knowledge gained from the aforementioned R&D.
    I often laugh when I hear someone negatively comment after driving a Hyundai even 24-36 mos. ago considering the fact that Hyundai has hired 2500 engineers and spent $15 billion upgrading engineering and manufacturing and build processes at their Namyang, Ulsan, Detroit, Fountain Valley and Munich plants, studios and testing facilities.
    Hyundai's progress has been staggering but we are really just seeing the beginning. The 'Genesis' is indeed appropriately named for the BK platform in both sedan and coupe forms is going to bring some serious improvements for Hyundai. Now if they can just hire a good ad agency to properly promote what is to come.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    I think the most telling points from the Sonata refresh, aside from the fantastic interior revisions, are the engines and corresponding fuel economy.

    The 2.4L I4 & 3.3L V6 get bump in hp to 175 and 249 respectively. Despite the increase, MPG gains further, with the I4 now boasts as class-leading, and the V6 is at the top of the pack, if not the best (I don't recall exactly).

    Of course, all those, plus list of features longer than _____ (put whatever you feel like :) ), quality and reliability attributes, kick-a$$ warranty, roomiest car, and many other goods, what's not to like.
  • karsickkarsick Posts: 312
    Just more proof of the "gotta have it" theory....

    Anyone ever compare the raw numbers on the Chevy Aveo with the numbers for the basic Mini Cooper?????

    ... or the Cooper vs the Yaris, the Accent or the Rio????

    Not much separates these cars objectively, but one company charges twice as much, and their cars are known for retaining a high % of their value despite being more problematic.

    Anybody honestly think "gotta have it" isn't important to buyers? :confuse: :P
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Except the Mini buyers generally don't cross-shop with the subcompacts you listed, and vice versa.

    Let's talk about the same class of vehicles and this class, and I agree with what Backy said earlier, the Sonata SE should have been sent instead of the LTD. Still, the Sonata is competent enough to take on any car in the class; the refresh just makes such fact even more objective and compelling.
  • So the Mini is 18, the Aveo is 11.
    The Mini has a better basic warranty, 15 more horsepower, 7 lb-ft of torque, 6 speed vs 5 speed, bigger alloy wheels, better suspension, better interior materials (and having sat in the Aveo and the Mini, the quality of the seats is much better), tilt and telescope wheel vs just tilt, more power outlets, retained power, air filtration, standard 4 wheel discs with ABS, traction control, better fuel economy/cruising range, better acceleration and braking...
    I think there is some objective differences here, in addition to the subjective ones.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I have a feeling some marketing folk at HMA are kicking themselves about now, slapping themselves upside the head with "We coulda sent an SE!" ;) When you consider C/D's two knocks on the 2009 Limited were that its platform was not as stiff as the Accord's or Altima's (probably nothing to do about that until the next redesign) and the reflexes needed to be 10% quicker, the sport suspension and handling on the SE could have taken care of that issue perhaps. For the price point C/D was shooting for, they actualy could have tested an SE V6, and blown the doors off the other entries, ala the Edmunds' Accord/Sonata/Camry comparo from a couple of years ago. But since the idea was to test I4 cars with ATs, their report on the SE V6 will have to wait for another day.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    According to price data at, the blog entry is in error. The list price of the base 2009 Sonata, the GLS 5MT, is $18,795 including destination charge. The list price of the base 2009 Camry, the CE 5MT, is $19,380. However, if you want ESC, which is standard on the Sonata, that's an additional $650 on the Camry, so the price difference becomes $1235. So the Sonata is not more expensive than the Camry.

    As for the Malibu, the least-expensive Malibu is $19,995 including destination. It has a 4AT but no ESC (or body side moldings for that matter, they are $150 extra). The least expensive Sonata with an AT (5AT with Shifttronic) is $19,995--the same as the base Malibu w/o ESC. The least expensive Malibu with ESC is $21,280.

    Don't believe everything you read in a blog. ;)
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    Honestly the got it factor is a joke plain and simple. I rather have excellent safety capabilities criteria which is alot more important in this type vehicle = family mid size.

    If i could make up a ridiculous criteria it would be "ugly factor" which then the accord would accumulate pts in minuses. It is one ugly car inside and out.
  • You also have to remember that no one on this forum represents a "typical" buyer if simply because they are users of this forum. They are more educated with respect to automotive technologies, and certainly more motivated to push an agenda (thats not bad, people here talk about what they like).
    I would thing consumers who are willing to buy a sport oriented magazine dedicated to cars would also be in that category. I definitely agree that its silly. I could see like MSN doing something like that or some other online type thing, but not a true car magazine, nor an anticar magazine like CR.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    CR reports on what cars people buy, and why. When some people saw the new 08 Accord, they thought, "I gotta have it". Just because you are not one of these people, doesn't mean they don't exist.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    People in Fairfield are in BMW and MB terriority

    I see way too many BMW's and MB's. Not to mention every other lux vehicle made. However, there are a lot of people that don't need the lux name, so they buy the blue collar equivalent. That was mainly what I was referring to.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    naw what is offensive is that car and driver actually act like some cars are got to have and others are plain old potato. Its tiring that they think they are the gods of the car auto magazine industry when they are really not. A website like edmunds does a far better job in evaluating cars fairly with the right criterias for different classes and have a staff who are mostly made up of average joes but know their cars. (smart buyers)

    Car and driver should have been smarter and maybe instead of labeling it got to have it factor, label it like intangibles factor or nothing at all.

    The last point i want to make about this argument is that the sonata was not once criticized in their article except the fact it has more body roll then they preferred yet it is a quiet car. And that was pretty much it. Even the altima and accord got critized more it seemed with either being a little too sporty and not quiet enough, complex interior design etc. Its just funny that on the article about the car you have nothing bad to say about it calling it quiet and smooth(But to expect no body roll ), great value, overall competent etc yet its still placed 4th. Next time they should make up their minds and if it is quiet quit complaining it has some body roll because you can't have a car in this class which has both amazing handling and quietness.

    just my 2 cents
  • CR reports on what cars people buy, and why.

    No, CR reports on how vehicles match up with their selected criteria. They actually don't appear to care at all about what people actually buy, nor why. If they went off what everyone else did, that would make them not so independent, no?
    The closest thing they have is "would you buy that car again," which still seems like a relatively worthless criteria. My life situation changes considerably between vehicles (or even over the last year or so) and its unlikely I would buy either car I have again; one due to availability, and one due to its blah.

    When some people saw the new 08 Accord, they thought, "I gotta have it". Just because you are not one of these people, doesn't mean they don't exist.

    And I have no problem with that, but C&D doesn't know if or how many exist either. If it is their way of saying "among our testers, this was their favorite" then that would make sense.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Based on C/D's criteria, too much body roll for their taste plus slower acceleration in the 1/4 mile plus the subjective factors like "gotta have it", were enough to put the Sonata 4th in the scoring. But as we've been reminded by other posters here, the raw scores don't tell the whole story. As you noted, the comments from C/D's editors were very positive about the Sonata, except for having too much body roll for their taste and a wish for the structure to be as stiff as the Accord's and Altima's, two newer designs. So when you look at the overall picture, and how the Sonata scored just 2 points overall (or about 1%) behind one of C/D's 10Best, the Malibu (and beat it on Vehicle and Powertrain), and tied another C/D 10Best, the Accord, on Vehicle and got nipped on Powertrain only because of being 0.4 seconds slower in the 1/4 mile test, I think it was a very impressive showing for a refresh of a car that debuted in late 2004 (in the home market), up against newer designs from Honda, Nissan, and Chevy.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Obviously you do not live in Fairfield County, or you are in lower Farifield County...that's where the big bucks are.

    Most of Fairfield County residents aren't rich. Housing costs are very high. Gasoline at the lowest place in my area just dropped to $3.19, although 15 miles away it's 10 cents cheaper. My gas heat bill issued 2/6/08, 32 day period, 921 degree days, 274 CCF of usage (we have programmable thermostats with the heat at 62 to 65 almost all time time, one 264 sq ft room on it's own heating zone is at 70 for 5 hours) was $414. Electric bill, 30 days, 563Kwh = $126.

    Yeah, in our town there's BMWs, some MBs, a lot of new(er) SUVs. Most of those BMWs & MBs are purchased to impress and most of them are not bought new.

    Some people prefer a new reliable car and others will buy a few year old name badge. I guess I don't live in the right part of Fairfield County and certainly don't have a high enough income to have hired help, never mind buying a car for that hired help.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    My bad, I confused your part of town with Greenwich. My point still stands though.
  • Lease is up on my speed 6 and am looking at acura TSX or TL or lincoln MKZ .TSX is slightly cheaper($350.00 month) with the TL and MkZ being pretty equal cost wise($400.00 month). All 36 month lease with 15k/year with total out of pocket $1000.00.Any advice on either cars or prices would be appreciated.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have noticed that there are a lot of us residents of Fairfield County, CT here on Edmunds. Very interesting, considering how small of an area we live in.
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