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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • But the 07 model didn't have that many buttons!

    I'm not sure but when I went to look at the '07 last year, I was shocked by all of those buttons. I drove my friend '08 in July and I think it's cleaner than the '07.
  • I'll respectfully disagree :blush:.

    The 08 has buttons laid out in what looks to be a haphazard way. Drastically different font sizes and odd shapes make the thing look cheesy to me. I like the cleaner look of the 2007 (more business-like).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Backy said he would have liked to see the SE V6 in the comparo.....he just referenced the I4 MT comparo.

    It's obvious that Edmunds left out a large number of other midsize V6 sedans so it's a time waster to try and figure out exactly why they left out a particular model. IMO they wanted to get a comparo done quickly with the new Mazda6 and picked a couple of other midsizers that in normal V6 trim are commonly thought to be the "sportiest". Although I really don't think the Accord falls into that category as much anymore. The Camry and the Sonata would have to have the SE trim which is not the standard handling package. To my knowledge, the suspension/handling on the Accord, Altima and Mazda6 are the same throughtout the different trim levels.
  • Nissan's website states the Altima SE-V6 has "retuned struts/shocks, stiffer springs, and thicker front (24.2 mm) and rear (18.3 mm) stabilizer bars" versus the other models. The SE-V6 also has P215/55VR17 All-season tires versus the SL's P215/60TR16 All-season tires.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Thanks, didn't realize that. Off hand do you know if the Accord changes in the different V6 trims?.
  • I believe that the Accord does not change from EX to EX-L trim with regards to handling upgrades.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Mazda6 suspension does not change throughout the entire car line. The only changing variable is the wheel size (16, 17, and 18)
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    Mazda6 suspension does not change throughout the entire car line. The only changing variable is the wheel size (16, 17, and 18)

    Also the weight and weight bias. At least that's the way it was in the last gen. The I4 was always deemed more tossable, not more fun to drive mind you, due to it's better weight bias and lower curb weight compared to the V6.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    To me, more tossable = more fun to drive
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    To me, more tossable = more fun to drive

    To some that is true. I found that the V6 was more fun to drive when I test drove simply because of the extra power. There was a noticeable difference in handling between the I4 and the V6 but I liked the extra power hands down.

    I was more or less stating that because I didn't want to get flamed by those who also felt the V6 was more fun to drive. But thank you for pointing that out and making it clearer for all. ;)
  • I love the new Mazda 6. That car is gorgeous, and the handling and power sound right on the money. The outgoing model was a three-run homer, this one is a grand slam!

    I have owned Camrys, Accords, Luminas, Maximas, Grands Prix, and many other mid-sized sedans too.

    I love the new Chevy Malibu too. We need an SS version.

    The Camry is sharp and very attractive.

    The new Accord is a huge improvement over the looks of the older model.

    The Altima is great, sports car handling with musclecar speed.

    I am in love with the new Maxima.

    The Ford Fusion is a stylish and sporty little car.

    The mid-sized sedan category just might be the most varied and interesting one in all of new automobiledom.
  • I'm a fairly new driver (17) and my parents have agreed to help me pay for a car under $25,000 MSRP

    I'm interested in buying a 4-door mid-size sedan (which means not a small car like the civic/corolla)

    so I suppose, realistically, I have this to choose from:

    Honda Accord
    Mazda 6
    Toyota Camry
    Ford Fusion
    Chevy Malibu
    Dodge Avenger
    Chrysler Sebring
    Hyundai Sonata
    Subaru Legacy
    Kia Optima
    Pontiac G6

    I was wondering if people on these forums could help me narrow it down to the top 3 based on space, build quality, equipment, safety, value, and driving performance
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Five or ten years ago that would've been easy (Honda, Toyota, then a long steep dropoff). Now it's not--cars like the Fusion and Sonata are much better than their precursors of a few years ago. I haven't driven the latest versions of some of these cars, but there seems to be a consensus with regard to the following points:

    1. Honda and Toyota no longer have a monopoly on good build quality. Many would say that they have slipped, while other cars have stepped up a notch. Also, the Toyota has lots of engine but handles too softly for my taste.

    2. If driving performance (meaning acceleration, handling, "fun to drive") is a priority, then the 2009 Mazda 6 ought to be on your short list.

    3. The Fusion, which is based loosely on the previous-generation Mazda 6 platform, is a bit underpowered for some tastes but handles well and can be purchased for a lot less than most of the cars on the list if you are willing to push the dealership a little.

    4. The Sonata and Optima are very good well built middle-of-the-road choices that offer good performance and economy for a good price.

    5. If you're looking at the GM sedans, you would do well to consider the Saturn Aura rather than the Pontiac G6.

    6. One frequent poster in this forum really loves his Sebring because of the electronic gadgets and the sound system. I'm glad he's happy with it. But most reports describe the Sebring and the Avenger in unflattering terms when compared to the rest of the cars on your list.

    7. It's really hard to go wrong in the midsize sedan market right now, because most of the choices are quite good.

    Having said all that, the five I'd go test drive would be the Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, and Ford. Then I'd pick the one that felt "right" to me.
  • well, really, the number 1 priority for me is how much interior room there is, the second priority would be build quality

    I plan to test drive all these cars shortly, but could people that already own/have owned or have test-driven these cars tell me which would be first in terms of interior room and build quality

    EDIT: the car also has to be fairly luxurious and quiet on the road ( not a lot of road noise)
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    If those are the top priority, look at the Sonata and the Accord first.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Another option, if our young friend lives in one of the hghly competitive areas, is the Hyundai Azera, It's only about 3 inches longer than the Sonata and is just loaded with features. Azera Limited (without Ultimate pkg) is easily available for under $25 in the competitive areas.
  • the Azera is registered as a full-size sedan, so I'm not really sure about it's price or mileage, but I'll check it out nonetheless

    oh yeah, and the Sonata has gotten horrible reviews from some of the sites I've been on

    as well, I've heard good things about the Ford Mondeo, but apparently, it's only available in Europe, is that true?
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994

    Yes, the Mondeo is a European-market car and unavailable in the US. That doesn't stop many US automotive writers from being envious though.

    I would second the idea of taking a look at the Hyundai Azera. The Ford Taurus is also worth examining if interior room is a top priority.

    As those who have been following this forum for a long time can attest, the idea of a "midsize sedan" is difficult to define. For many of us, the real question is "of the sedans I can buy for $25k, which one suits me best?" Fuel economy is often similar--compare the midsize Ford Fusion V6 to the fullsize Ford Taurus and you'll get a surprise--the Taurus, a bigger car with a bigger engine, still gets the same city mileage and better highway mileage according to EPA.

    I'd be interested to see where you found negative reviews of the Sonata--pretty much everything I've seen about the current version is very positive, including reviews at, Car & Driver, Consumer Reports, and various syndicated automotive columns.
  • I own a 2006 Sonata GLS V6 and I've been very happy with it so far. It has just under 25K miles on it. I can't recall reading any "horrible" Sonata reviews... and I've read reviews by all the major auto mags. The 2006/07/08 Sonatas are right up there with the Camry and Accord in regards to overall quality and refinement. The 2009's are even better - nicer interior, best in class EPA, etc. You might be surprised if you test drive one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I was wondering if people on these forums could help me narrow it down to the top 3 based on space, build quality, equipment, safety, value, and driving performance...

    You didn't mention "style", which I applaud you for but let's be realistic, you're 17 so I'll bet style counts for something here, right? ;) You also didn't say what kind of "equipment" is most important to you. If you drive in the snow a lot, for example, that might tilt AWD cars like the Legacy, Fusion, and Milan in your favor.

    You didn't mention "fuel economy" in your list. But unless your folks are going to help you buy gas, I'd think that is important to you too.

    But anyway.... based on your list, plus the assumption that fuel economy and style both count for something, here's my top 3:

    * Sonata SE I4: Perhaps the best value in the segment, a fine blend of handling and ride, one of the roomiest interiors and trunks, tons of standard safety equipment, sharp interior and decent exterior, and a peppy but economical I4.

    * Mazda6 I4: Perhaps the sharpest looks in the segment, good power with decent if not great fuel economy, good blend of ride comfort and handling, lots of standard safety equipment, one of the roomiest interiors and trunks in the class, and lots of equipment available. Also the newest design in the class, so it won't be old very soon.

    * Accord LX-P: Roomiest interior in the class, great reputation for quality and reliability, good blend of ride and handling, great resale value, peppy engine (EX has a little more power than LX-P) with good fuel economy, BMW-esque exterior, has all the basic features you need, great standard safety features and crash protection.

    Another interesting choice would be the Passat. You could probably find a closeout 2008 for under $25k. Doesn't have the same reputation for reliability as do cars like the Accord and Sonata, but has great power, handling, build quality, and safety, and VWs tend to hold their value.
  • So you eliminated the to say why? I love Sonatas and KIA Optimas,so when someone does not like them I am curious why that is.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Sonata reminds me of a Buick with it's soft suspension, uninspiring handling and soft seats. Sonata is even more Buick-like than Camry.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    I went through this same exercise last March. At it's pricepoint I couldn't find anything that could match Saturn Aura. There's now a black Aura XE3.5 in my driveway. I've put 13K miles on it so far (business travel) and have been very satisfied with the car. It's quiet, roomy, and delivers excellent fuel economy on my long business trips. The performanceof mine (219hp) is about the same as the Ford Fusion 3.0. However, The Aura offers a higher hp V6 (3.6) in the XR Model that's significantly quicker than mine, and, class competitive. Suggest you give it a test drive.

  • Will the Camry be getting the 2.7L from the Highlander in the 2010 refresh? It'd make sense to me. The current 2.4L is a little lacking based on personal experience with a 2.4L Camry LE. It had to downshift on very modest grades at 60 MPH with three average-weight people aboard.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    That's a pretty big 4 cyl motor. With 187hp and 186ft-lbs tq, that's pretty powerful. However, one thing that remains to be seen in FE. With that displacement, I'm a little skeptical.
  • Final mileage ratings are pending, but Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong put preliminary estimates at 20/26 mpg city/highway for a FWD four-cylinder, which is about 10% better than the FWD V-6’s already-decent 18/24 mpg rating. (Memo to Dodge: This unseats the four-cylinder Journey, which gets 19/25 mpg, as segment-best.)

    20/26 would put it at 2 MPG shy of the RAV4 with the 2.4L. Considering the extra weight here, it doesn't sound like it is that much more thirsty. The RAV is hampered by a 4-speed automatic, but the Highlander is saddled with more weight, so who knows.

    Question (I'm trying to get the thread stirring again :)): What's the benefit of having a 2.7L engine be a 4-cylinder instead of a V6? (Chrysler has a 2.7L V6 now, and not so long ago finding a 2.5L-2.8L V6 was easy)
  • I'd stay away from new Toyota engine and wouldn't want to be an early adopter. Current 2.4L while not a speed demon, proved itself in terms of durability and FE. It is more then capable for current size Camry. If you need bigger engine in Camry then go for V6, they sell at good discount.
  • There's not a Camry that fits what I need/want. Compared to my 2.4L Accord, the Camry just feels too darn sleepy; making the Honda feel more like an eager puppy. Aggressive throttle response, tight responses to steering input, a firm and responsive brake pedal, and a quick thinking transmission goes a LONG way in making the Accord feel MUCH happier when you need to hustle. A more happily motivated engine would help the Camry, if not alter its attitude (obviously not everyone wants a sporty car).
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    But hasn't the 2.7L I-4 been in the Tacoma for a couple of years already?
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Hi, folks. An interesting question has come up. Here's the background:

    Our current vehicles are an '02 Accord V6 with 76k and a '99 Civic EX 5-speed with 138k
    My wife and I are reasonably pleased with both cars, but both prefer to drive the Civic when we have a choice, because of its nimble, fun nature compared to the "maturity" of the driving experience in the Accord
    Gas is selling for $4.50 per gallon here in Jawjah

    With these factors in mind, we are beginning to think about the possibility of replacing one or both of our current cars. (The Dodge truck will continue to sit underneath the oak tree in the back yard).

    The riddle is this: with aging relatives and a fair amount of medium-length (3-4 hour) trips on the agenda, we might still need a midsize sedan for comfort, but not necessarily for space, as we do not have children--just three cats. But our budget would probably dictate a four-cylinder model this time, with less equipment than our '02. For the same money as a basic midsize, we could probably get a really nice compact. Among the possibilities:

    Accord LX-P vs. Civic EX
    Mazda 6i SV or Sport vs. Mazda 3s Touring
    Sonata GLS vs. Elantra SE

    So I'm wondering what the group thinks on this subject. There's also the "wildcard"--a local dealer is advertising an '08 Fusion S, five speed manual, for $14,599.
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