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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Sonata and Optima don't offer a 6MT, although one is rumored for the 2010 Sonata.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Different people buy (or have bought) manuals for different reasons.

    I used to do so for the extra gear, better mpg, and in order to get adequate acceleration from a 4 cyl. It no longer became necessary do have a manual to get those things, so I went to the automatic.

    My son is shopping for a new car and his main reason for wanting a manual is he does not like the "slush" factor. He does,however, very much like the idea of a DSG (though he has not actually driven one). But when I ask him if they offerered a DSG in a car in his price range, would he pay an extra $1000 to get it, he is not sure. So in his case, the cost is a factor.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    What is DSG?
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Direct-Shift Gearbox
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    It's basically a computer controlled manual transmission that offers automatic or manual control. The advantage is there is no traditional torque converter on most versions and the shifts are lightning quick - faster than a human can make. The downside is the automatic mode isn't as perfect as a regular auto tranny. These units typically weigh a lot less than regular automatics as well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I checked out the mid-sized sedans at the Twin Cities Auto Show today (along with everything else of course). Of those I hadn't yet seen in person, I thought the 2009 Optima was the most impressive, especially considering the value quotient. The new front and rear styling looks better up close than it did in photos, standard ABS/ESC and the improved I4 (from the Sonata) are welcome changes, and the car retains its high-quality interior (slick manual HVAC controls, high-quality plastics and fabric, good amount of padded surfaces etc.).

    I was not impressed with the new Fulan. They had a Milan hybrid and two Fusion hybrids, plus a Sport. None was available to sit in--either on turntables or locked. But they were sitting right next to the 2009 cars, and I have to say that I don't see a significant improvement in either the exterior or interior for 2010. I actually liked the interior of the 2009 Fusion better than that of the 2010. The dash on the 2009 looks sleeker and less cluttered to me than the 2010's. The controls and gauges weren't lit, however, so that might make a difference in overall appearance. I also reinforced my opinion that I prefer the looks of the Milan to those of the Fusion. Just too much chrome up front on the Fusion for my taste. I noticed though that the rear of the Milan looks unchanged, except maybe different colors on the lamp bezels. I prefer the rear of the old Fusion to the new one. The new one looks cheap to me for some reason.

    The other mid-sizer I liked, although not a sedan, is the 2010 Prius. It was on a turntable, but the doors were open. It looks to me like it's moving just standing still. The interior looks a lot nicer and there was a seat height adjuster button (yay!) on the driver's seat.

    That's about it as far as mid-sizers. I liked the Mazda6 also, but I had previously seen it The Malibu LTZ they had on the floor had an especially nice interior color scheme--a brownish two tone--that looked sharper than any Malibu I have seen yet. The best thing about it was the surround for the center stack buttons was fairly dark, which eliminated the cheap look when the black buttons are against a light background. That contrasted with a $31,000 Camry SE I saw, for which the dash was incredibly boring and cheap looking. But the Sonata Limited I saw had what I thought was the sharpest-looking dash in the mid-sized class--definitely the best part of its mid-gen refresh.

    P.S. I saw more interesting vehicles outside the mid-sized sedan class than in it. My favorites were probably the 2010 Taurus (love the "My Key" feature that lets parents program a top speed for their teenagers; also it has heated/cooled/massaging seats). Also two new SUVs: the 2010 Equinox (very sharp inside and out, plus 30 mpg highway w/o hybridization), and the new XC60. It was fun to see the new Camaro (looks a lot like the Challenger) and new Mustang. I saw some great high-end cars too, but for that money they should be great. :)

    P.P.S. Seemed like most domestic companies cut back on the show this year. Not many turntables or fancy displays, just... cars. Ford had far and away the best effort of the D3. The biggest surprise was Hyundai, which had a large floorspace that was packed for the first time I have seen. Usually you could bowl in there and not hit anyone. Ford was pretty crowded too--GM and Chrysler much less so.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I would love a manual but living around a big city, traffic is tied up more often than not and I just do not have the patients to shift 100 times on my way to work, just not worth it.

    I am looking at possibly getting a 2010 Camaro for a second summer car if I can swing it in a year or two. If i do, it will be a manual with a V6.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I think Hyundia is taking off because price and better cars. Looking through the paper they are the cheapest cars advertised and they often come with 0% financing to boot. In a crappy economy, that sells.

    My big beef with them is they add nothing to the local economy, almost all their vehicles are imported and made overseas. At least Fusion, Camry, Malibu, Accord, 6 and Altima are produced in the U.S.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    At least Fusion, Camry, Malibu, Accord, 6 and Altima are produced in the U.S.
    Sorry vanman1 but the Fusion and Milan are manufactured in Mexico.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    And the sonata/santa fe are made in alabama, ahem. They're also adding a us plant for kia cars as well. I don't see them being that different from most other car companies including so-called us car makers.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Sorry vanman1 but the Fusion and Milan are manufactured in Mexico.

    . . . and the Hyundai Sonata is made in Alabama.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Backy, I had almost the same reaction today--at the Atlanta auto show. Hyundai, Ford, and Toyota were the busiest booths. At the Chevy booth most of the action was little kids wanting to sit in a Corvette (and dads thinking this might be their only chance).

    I was very impressed with the interior quality (about all you can really judge at an auto show) on the part of Hyundai and Ford. I too prefer a simple, clear layout, so these were among the very best I saw. Points also to VW and GM for good layout, though the GM cars ranged from very nicely put together (all the Buicks, plus the Malibu and Impala) to pretty darn grim (the G6 and G8, plus surprisingly the three Auras on display). An interior trim piece came off in my hand on a Saab 9-3.

    It seems it's pretty difficult to screw up the basics right now--most cars seem to have good driving positions, reasonable assembly quality and so on. But because there are so many good choices, the market is unlikely to forgive even a small miscue right now.

    My ratings for the rest of the midsize sedan class, based on nothing more than an auto-show impression:

    Malibu--very very nice, but they didn't have anything lower than a 2LT with leather on display--I'd like to see a base cloth-seat model for comparison
    Impala--a pleasant surprise
    Aura--attractive but not as well put together as the Malibu
    Altima--not bad, but not great either
    Camry--not a standout
    Accord--OK on its own, but unexpectedly below much of its competition in interior quality
    VW CC--extra deluxe accommodations, but meant for shorter folks than me
    Sebring--poor layout, bad driving position, could hardly see out of it--in short, everything that's wrong with the 300, but in a smaller, cheaper package

    ETA: I too found more interest in other market segments. The standouts for me were the Genesis (sedan and coupe), the BMW 1-series, the Volvo C30, and the VW GTI and Jetta. I'll second your praise of the '10 Taurus as well. On the smaller end of the spectrum, I found the $9990 Versa 1.6 stunningly comfy and spacious. Also, I was hoping Ford would have a Fiesta on display, at least on a turntable, but sadly no dice.
  • I would stay away from the Malibu. If your sticking with a four cylinder you have to pay a pretty hefty premium to get the six speed auto transmission. The standard four speed auto transmission is archaic and really hurts gas mileage.
    My friend has a V6. OK car but the interior was really poorly put together.
    Toyota is running some crazy incentives right now. You can get a well equipped LE auto for under $20k.
  • You really can't judge reliability on a model that has only been out for a few months. With the Accord, at least you can look at previous models and make an estimation. I guess you can do that with the Malibu as well, but the old junker Malibu and Impala are possibly the Malibu's closest relatives, and they are notoriously bad cars.
  • Also if you look at the reliability history of the Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura, they are terrible. All three cars ride on the same platform. It is assembled in Kansas City, alongside the Saturn Aura, and also at Lake Orion, Michigan, alongside the Pontiac G6. :lemon:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Which reliability history are you referring to? If it's CR's, they show the G6 (V6) is below average. But the Aura (also V6) is average--not great, but not "terrible." And the Malibu's record is average going back to 2005, which includes the last few years of the previous generation. The Malibu was the latest car to use the long-wheelbase version of the Epsilon platform, and that platform was revised for the Malibu. It's possible those improvements have helped the Malibu garner a good reliability record to date.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Toyota is running some crazy incentives right now. You can get a well equipped LE auto for under $20k.

    That pales in comparison to incentives offered by others in the mid-sized class right now. For example, I can get $4750 off any 2009 Sonata right now--before the negotiating starts. So we are talking a well-equipped GLS (equivalent of the Camry LE trim) for under $15k, or a loaded Limited I4 (non-nav) for under $20k. Or how about a well-equipped Fusion, Milan, or Malbu for $16k?

    Camry still carries a pretty high price premium for what you get. If the plan is to sell the car in 2-3 years, it might be worth it because historically they have held their value pretty well, but it's questionable you would ever make up the initial price difference compared to other cars. Better to buy the Camry because you like it better than other cars, vs. its reliability record (it's no longer the champ there) or resale record.
  • So the longer wheel base makes the Malibu more reliable? With an investment as big as a new car, I would steer clear of anything that might closely be as unreliable as the Aura or G6 or CTS for that matter. You also didn't touch upon the premium for the 6sp Auto in the Malibu.
    And yes you can get the last generation Fusion on the cheap, which I think is a great car. The thing is that in three years that design will be 8 years old.
    The Hyundai is a great deal if that is your taste. I personally like the Honda Accord but I don't think the incentives are as steep there.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    No, you misunderstood my post. The stretch-Epsilon part wasn't the "change" part; the Malibu uses a revision of the stretch-Epsilon platform that the Aura and G6 use. I wouldn't be surprised if the Aura's platform was different than the G6's, too, since the G6 was first out, followed by Aura, then Mallibu.

    As far as a "premium" for the 6-speed auto in the Malibu... you didn't read my post re the huge discounts on the Malibu, did you? What kind of "premium" are you talking about compared to, say, a comparably-equipped Camry? Does the 6AT Mallibu cost more in real-world bucks than the Camry? I don't think so. It's actually the Camry that has the price premium relative to the Malibu.

    FWIW, the 2009 Fusion is a design that debuted in late 2005, just a few months before the 2007 Camry debuted--so in three years the 2009 Fusion's design will be 6-1/2 years old, and the Camry's will be six years old. Big deal. I'd take that "old" Fusion any day over the Camry.
  • True, but the Camry is still being produced and the previous Fusion is being put out to pasture. Also you would be hard pressed to find a Malibu for less than $20k even with the incentives.
    What are the prices on the G6 and Aura? Maybe you can get a steel as they are just shorter versions of the Malibu.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Why would you take an "old" Fusion over a Camry.I have heard nothing good about it until it was the "new" Fusion. :confuse:
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994

    Why would you take an "old" Fusion over a Camry.I have heard nothing good about it until it was the "new" Fusion

    Then you've ignored most of what the auto press has said about it over the years, and a lot of what's been said in these forums. Virtually the only consistent complaint has been that the engines are a step behind the best of the competition. Fusion has gotten rave reviews for its ride/handling balance, its reliability and quality control.
  • milkman1milkman1 Posts: 80
    I have to agree. For a car that is supposed to be on the lots now, Ford should have their 2010 Fusions open to play with at the car show. I also was left underwhelmed from the car show, but finally got to sit in one yesterday. Other than the rubber lining in the dash top storage compartment the interior is vastly more comfortable than an 09. Having sat in one after the other, that materials used are a lot more comfortable on the elbows and to the touch. I couldn't drive it though because it had already been sold.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The premium is there but if you get an Aura, 6-speed is standard. 6-speed is standard on the LT and LTZ Malibu.

    As for quality of the interior, the Malibu is excellent.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    There are some amazing deals on 2009 Fusions, I-4s starting at $16,500 and V6's around $20K (loaded and with the same 6-speed as in the Malibu)). If I was buying today I would prob buy one of these!
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I went to the Mpls. Auto Show yesterday and was also disappointed the 2010 Fusion interiors were not accessible. I was lucky enough to sit in one, but couldn't drive it, when I was shopping. I checked out all the midsize competition and found the 2010 Fusion's interior (from my experience stated above) far superior to all others. The only other car that really impressed me was the Mazda 6. The Accord and Camry interiors seem like a collection of mismatched materials and design. The Fusion's interior is more consistent and aesthetically pleasing. Subtle materials and components blended together. Although not in this class, the new Camaro was a complete disappointment. Horrible interior design. If this is the car that's supposed to save Chevrolet, I hope they have a plan B.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The reason I put "old" in quotes is because there was an assertion from someone else that the Fusion's design is "old." I was pointing out that this "old" Fusion design is only 6 months older than the current Camry design. Also, the "new" Fusion is a tweak to the 2006-2009 design, not a redesign. It's easier to see that when looking at the 2010 Fulan close up. If you approach from the side, or the Milan from the rear, it's really hard to tell it's a 2010 vs. a 2006-9.

    If you didn't hear anything good about the 2006-9 Fulan, you haven't been paying attention to the mid-sized sedan market over the past 3 years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The "new" Fusion is a tweak to the 2006-9 car, not a redesign. So if you think the previous Fusion is being "put out to pasture", then you'd have to think the same thing about the Camry, since the 2010 model has some tweaks to it.

    Hard pressed to find a Malibu for under $20k?? Hardly! Just yesterday I saw several ads in my local paper for Malibus (not just base) well under $20k. And those were advertised prices--might still be some negotiating room there.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I have seen 2009 Fusions (new) as low as $13k recently (probably an S with stick), and around $14k with automatic. There was even an ad yesterday for automatic + moonroof for around $15k. These were with a special $500 Auto Show discount.
  • I live in the Boston and we usually don't get the best promotions or desperation deals. Also I was referring to the 6sp AUTO Malibu's. I checked the local inventories, they are just hard to find. Chevy makes more money off the the 4sp.
    To me, driving in a new looking model is important. A car costs a lot of money, I want to ride in something that looks new and stylish. :sick:
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