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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    But why would MT test a model (SE) that few people are likely to own?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Especially when said model isn't even avaialable to doesn't even list a Sonata I4 model with automatic or manual transmission.

    And did anyone notice the Passat was a stick shift?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Few people are likely to own an Altima 2.5 with every possible option or an Optima EX I4 with every possible option, but those are the cars MT tested. If you look on the lots you see mainly 2.5Ses and Optima LXes, or EX V6es.

    As has been said, MT could have lined up the equipment in the cars better. For example, they tested a basic Camry LE and Passat but loaded-up Altima, Fusion, Optima, and Malibu (any others?--Galant?) and mid-trim Sonata, Accord, and Avenger. It throws the whole "value' equation off--if they use that as a key criterion. For example, an Optima LX with ESC/ABS package, AT, and Appearance package is very nicely equipped (with many of the features on the EX trim) and lists for under $20k (under $17k with current rebates). And the other loaded cars are at disadvantage if the loading doesn't improve the ride/handling, which it probably doesn't much. OTOH, the Camry would have probably done better had they tested the SE trim, due to its sharper handling.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    All the cars are supposed to be automatics (or CVTs). I wonder if they slipped up and used a stock photo of a Passat with a stick, or maybe the AT shifter just looks like a stick? (That's what I thought when I saw the photo.)
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    The photos on Motortrend's website show a stickshift (VW uses a chrome surround for there tiptronic transmissions) and it went 0-60 in 6.7 seconds.

    It's gotta be a stick.

    But I agree 100 percent Backy...the comparison has no consistency whatsoever...especially they way they try to slant the VW Passat as a "Value" leader in the group.

    A Passat equipt anything like that Altima would be well over $32 grand.
  • karsickkarsick Posts: 312
    .... more Motor Trend comparos coming next month, too:

    They'll decide which is the most cost-effective commuter sedan from the Far East, a Kio Rio sedan or a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

    Then they'll head to Moab to compare the off-road prowess of two SUV's, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs the Porsche Cayenne GTS :P .
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    "silly navigation"

    Excuse me? I have the V6 Limited Sonata with navigation and it's anything but "silly." It is a great system, voice activated and touch screen with a huge POI database, dead reckoning, multi-destination routing, and the ability to play CD's and DVD's (both movies and music) all for $1,250. That under cuts the competition by as much as $750 and is just as good as anything in a Honda. Maybe it's silly to you, but for those of us who need the assistance of a nav system, and enjoy the convenience of it, the system makes a wonderful addition. It was a huge factor in getting me to look at a Sonata in the first place, and I'm sure I won't be the only one. I guarantee you that option helps with sales of the 09 on top of all the other improvements.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Whoa whoa, it was just a random comment regarding my non-need to upgrade to limited and also add nav. I'm sure the nav system is awesome and great for everyone who gets it. Don't worry about what I say there :) I'm sure you have every right to love your nav.
  • jerry08jerry08 Posts: 2
    I am new to this forum. I plan to purchase either an Accord LX-P (I4 Auto) or a Sonata Limited (I4 Auto) in the next two weeks, and to keep the car for 5 to 8 years. I am looking for your opinions on the following in order to firm up on the decision: pricing, maintenance/insurance costs, reliability, and resale value.

    I have test-driven both vehicles and feel either one will be a good choice for my family. Their drivability is between the two cars I previously owned: a 96 Maxima SE and a 02 RX 300. Both vehicles are closely priced: the Accord has a price quote that is $100 above invoice, whereas the Sonata is priced $405 above the Accord's. Accord has better reputation and resale value, and Sonata has better warranty and accompaniments. Can you provide some advices/opinions to help tipping the scale? Thanks.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Accord definitely has the resale value advantage (in 5 years, think of the price difference). Overall though, both are excellent vehicles. Do you have a gut feeling of one you prefer over the other? The sportier handling of the Accord or the smoother ride of the Sonata?
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    I think that if you'll compare the equipment on both cars, you'll find the Sonata gives you a LOT more for your money. Having said that, it comes down to which YOU prefer.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    If you're comparing a mid-model Accord vs Top of the Line Sonata Limited, I'd definitely pick the Sonata. At going for 5+ years of ownership, resale values aren't as important and I would figure the extra interior space and many extra features would be worth it. Of course this assumes you like the ride itself, that is key. I'm not sure where you get your pricing from as well, but a Sonata should be easily found at $1000 under invoice as well before any rebates even.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Since you are comparing two cars with much different levels of equipment, I think a price comparison is difficult. Think of it as getting a car with a LOT more equipment for about the same price as a more basic car. You should check with your insurance rep re relative insurance costs, since they can vary widely. Maintenance-wise, there should be little difference, but consider that you have a much longer warranty on the Sonata to cover problems, so that could affect overall ownership cost. Reliability-wise, the Accord and Sonata I4 are very close. Resale value is not a major issue for a long-term ownership, but again it's hard to compare here because the cars are not of equivalent utlity. It would be different if you were comparing, say, the Sonata Limited to the Accord EX-L.

    You might also see if you can find an SE to drive. Its crisper handling might be closer to that of the Accord, if you like the way the Accord drives better than the Sonata. And the SE would cost less than the Limited.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Simply put, I'd take the Sonata Limited I4, with it's leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and power sunroof over the Accord LX-P which lacks these options.

    The LX-P is a better value than the LX IMO, but I could never own any Accord (or any car for that matter) without at least a sunroof. I prefer the styling of the Sonata Limited, with it's chrome trim bits and nicer 17 inch alloy wheels to the Accord LX-P's 16s as well.

    As other have mentioned you should be able to get the Sonata for well below invoice. For some of the pricing I've been seeing over at the "Prices Paid and Buying Experiences" forum for the 09 Sonata, you should be able to get at least $2000 below invoice at a minimum for an 09 Sonata. With that kind of pricing you could very well step up to a Limited V6 and it would still be comparable in price to the Accord LX-P.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248 comparison/index.html ison/index.html

    Despite a high sticker and thirst for premium, wins by a nose due to driving fun.

    Only lacking the VW's verve; our #1 pick if family comes first.

    Efficient, well executed, it's the sound, yet charmless choice.

    Polarizing looks inside and out can't hide a great engine and chassis combination.

    Surprisingly athletic chassis hampered by wheezy engine and irritating transmission.

    Though due for a refresh, Kia finishes on top of the second tier. Room and economy are fine, it just needs the same refinements the Sonata received.

    Steepest sticker, yet not the best ride, performance, or value. CVT and light steering create an effortless drive, yet fully loaded, it still seems lacking.

    Poor finish for arguably the best looker. Shame that sexy skin hides a weight problem the underpowered Ecotec can't handle.

    Looks old, feels older, and saddled with many of this comparo's worsts, including power-to-weight and EPA and observed fuel economy.

    Drum brakes, four-speed trans, cheap plastics, and poor economy make this a frightful drive. Gaps between last and first don't get any wider than this.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You might want to put a big "SPOILER ALERT" in the top of that post for people like me who subscribe to the magazine and may not have wanted the ending given away.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    I think for serious frugal family car buyers the real answer is the Sonata. We're looking at something that just outgunned the Camry and Accord.

    The Passat is more for family buyers with extra cash that want to have fun. Kinda reminds me of a Mazda3 And Rabbit in the compact class. If you wanna have your cake and eat it too, it'll cost you...and it'll push you closer to a lot of other vehicles in the 25-30k range. Personally I'll stick to the 15-20k range.

    The two biggest surprises to me were the Altima and Malibu being so low. I guess everyone has different likes and tastes, obviously the Motortrend people do too!

    One other interesting note: The Avenger uses an engine with similar base parts to the Sonata's 2.4L, I guess hyundai did a better job tuning their engine to be smooth and reasonably powerful. The Avenger's 9.3 0-60 is pretty pathetic and the handling numbers are just as bad. It goes to show that an engine does not make a car. Of course the same base type of engine in 2.0T is also the lancer evo ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    The basic block design of the Avenger and Sonata are similar, that's about it. Much different engines--obviously.
  • Hello Folks,
    Consider a Kia Amanti. I think you'll be very surprised at what you get for the money.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Well, the Amanti is generally considered to be a full-sized sedan, but thanks for the suggestion. I'd tend to go with something like the Azera or Taurus in that class though. Or a mid-sizer that has full-sized interior room, like the Accord or Sonata.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Awhile back we had a short discussion on dealer profits and where they came from, new car sales, used sales, repairs/parts, body shop etc. There was an article in our local newspaper which reported that AutoNation, the largest car dealer chain in the US reported the following numbers.

    % of gross profit from new car sales = 22%
    % of gross profit from service/parts = 42%

    It didn't break down the rest in the article but I assume body shop and used car sales made up the other 36%. I would guess that used car profits probably were close if not more than the new car profits as well. The article also mentioned that this profit picture was the case for most new car dealers.

    It was in the Chicago Tribune and was about vehicles sales in general and the truck/suv glut.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    % of gross profit FROM new car sales not to be confused with net profit margin, This is misleading - all this says is this particular co. sells a lot of new cars NOT that they are making a 22% profit selling you or me a new car.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    So are you saying that this particular company(which represents over 600 dealerships nationwide) makes more profit from new car sales than it does from repair/parts? If you're not than what is misleading about the numbers?

    I don't think the statement, which says gross profit , insinuates that they make a 22% net profit margin on each new car sold.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    So are you saying that this particular company(which represents over 600 dealerships nationwide) makes more profit from new car sales than it does from repair/parts
    to the contrary I'm suggesting that the 'average' dealer is LOSING money selling new cars - especially if you consider the direct (and indirect) costs incurred doing it. If there weren't used car lots and service depts. we would likely have no dealers. The fact that Autonation might generate 22% of it gross profits from new car sales means nothing simply because they might be losing money doing it (although I seriously doubt it).
    Have a friend that happens to own a few dealerships and he will claim precisely that - was awarded a Ford dealership franchise and was really looking forward to what he thought would be more high profit service $ - and not necessarily because the Fords were more likely to need service, only in that there are more Fords out there (incl trucks) to fix.
    The ex 'Big 3' make billions and billions of gross profits every year manufacturing cars, YET when all is said and done it turns out they LOSE billions and billions.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Ok. We are both on the same page. The discussion I was referring to was a comment about how much dealers made off new car sales and how they screw everyone. I commented with exactly what you just said.....that they make lots more from backshop, used sales, bodywork, parts etc than new car sales. Some questioned my premise so when I saw the numbers in that article I thought it would be interesting to post.

    I'm sure there are some dealers, maybe luxury type cars, that actually make decent money off new car sales but for the more average price car dealers they make little to none. New cars end up being like loss leaders that draw people into stores with the hope they buy other things and keep coming back for service etc.

    The fact that Autonation might generate 22% of it gross profits from new car sales means nothing simply because they might be losing money doing it (although I seriously doubt it).

    It means they generate 22% of their gross profit from new car sales. It means exactly that, nothing more, nothing less.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    After researching the meaning of "gross" vs. "net" profit, I think it would be more useful to know the percent of net profit from each part of the operation. If wikipedia is to be believed, gross profits are before deducting overhead, payroll, taxation, and interest payments.

    Apparently the fact that their are positive "gross profits" from selling new cars, pretty much merely means they sell the cars for more than they buy them from the manufacturers. Looking at gross profits would just seem to mean mark-up is higher on parts than on new cars...not exactly something anyone would question, I presume.
  • jerry08jerry08 Posts: 2
    I finally decided on the Sonata, and had just purchased 4-cylinder 09 Sonata Limited in Khaki color. I was not able to get the price down to much here in Dallas, and ended up paying 22,020 (with rebate) out-the-door.

    Thank your and others who had responded to my questions.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    You're right, it would be nice to have all the facts and figures but I was just relating what the article said and they didn't mention net profits.

    My point, and I really was trying to keep it very simple, is that dealers make more profit(I guess I mean net profit) from backshop operations other than they do from new car sales. Untill someone proves me wrong, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Congrats on your new car. What color is your interior? It would be great to hear about you experience with the car, especially the MPG you get, over on the Sonata forum.
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