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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    If you want good handling in bad weather, you might look at the Legacy. Not great pickup with the 4 cylinder, but might be quick enough for you. Accord is not the best for road noise--for low road noise you might want to look at the Camry. Fusion/Milan is a good overall choice also, and has an AWD option (but IMO the Legacy is a better choice if you are going AWD). All of these are reliable. As someone else noted, you might take a look at the Sonata and Optima also--esp. the Sonata if you don't want something that looks like a typical mid-sized sedan.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877

    I own a 2008 Accord and it's been great. Excellent room. Good Handling. Nice mpg. Good quality.

    There are other good choices too. It's a very competitive segment, and there are a lot of nice choices at just a little bit more than 20k.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    As everyone else has stated, there really isn't a "bad" car in this segment (well,except maybe the Avenger/Sebring twins. :) ).

    The next thing you should do is get behind the wheel and test each of them for yourself. We can all type about a billion pros and cons for each vehicle (and every other midsize sedan that you didn't mention), but the only thing that can actually help narrow down your choices is taking each of them out for a test-drive or two. Check out the controls, how each of them rides/drives, how quiet/loud they are, etc.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Fusion is a very good choice, in fact since Ford is dropping the Mercury brand, there will soon be some good deals on the Milan. I have a 2010 Sport, fast, quiet, comfortable, smooth ride, Sync, good MPG even with the high HP motor. Compared to the 2009 Camry I had, its worlds better.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    There is already around $1500 - $2500 in extra dealer cash on the remaining Mercurys.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Between the 3 vehicles I would either go with the Altima or Mazda 6 based on the characteristics your looking for.

    Big reason I axed the Accord is during my test drive and many many reviews from car mags, I felt and the reviewers felt it did not suppress road and wind noise that well, especially in the 4cyl models nor does the Accord have the pick-up or crisper handling that the Altima or Mazda 6 have.

    Now, between the Altima and Mazda 6 its a toss up. The Mazda 6 definitely has more crisp handling but the Altima has less road noise compared to the Mazda 6 and slightly better pick-up and go and also better mpg.

    You really should test drive both again and see which one fits your needs better.
  • I second this.
    The Altima and Mazda6 are the most sporty, from my research and experience.

    Even though the Fusion/Milan are basically the same car as the 6, they are tuned slightly differently, if I understand correctly.

    Most reviewers say the Altima is just a *little* bit more sporty than the Mazda6, as well as slightly more fuel efficient (probably due to the CVT). But many other reviewers didn't like the feel of the CVT.

    The Mazda6 has plenty of acceleration for me, corners like its on rails, glides over road roughness like it was on air, and is extremely quiet on the road. Not Lexus-level of luxurious quiet, but far better than any Honda product (I've previously owned CRVs and Civics...Honda gets good gas mileage mainly by making lighter cars by skimping on sound insulation that weighs cars down).

    I favor the Mazda6. It is bigger than the Altima for rear-seat room. It has the biggest trunk in the class. IIRC, it has the tightest turning radius in its class. I think it is *much* better looking than the Altima, but also than the Camry, Accord, or Fusion/Milan.

    I chose the Mazda6 4-cyl due to fuel economy concerns...I haven't gotten addicted to V-6 sport sedan acceleration/power, so the 4-cyl was great for me. One reviewer said the 4-cyl actually handles better because the lighter engine weight over the 6-cyl results in better overall balance. I don't know, but I have never checked acceleration speed with a stopwatch even once in my life, so I don't care about exactly how many seconds it takes to get from 0-60. What I care about most is how the car handles, how it feels...

    Even though Mazda has some reputation of some problems (biggest problems about 10-15 years ago), so does Nissan...I really don't feel like I trust Nissan engineering for long-term reliability, and I think Mazda has increased its reliability significantly over the last decade.

    Still, I wish I'd taken the time to test drive at least the Altima, if not also the Fusion (even though I dislike the Fusion's looks immensely). You shouldn't depend totally on reviews, like I did.

    I was actually originally looking for a Mazda3, because I had driven the previous generation and loved its handling and acceleration...and reviewers said the current 3 was just as good in every way, or better. I hadn't considered or researched the 6 or its competitors because reviewers also said the 6 had sacrificed handling for size and comfort. But when I drove the 2010 Mazda3, I was underwhelmed. It just didn't feel as peppy as the 2008 Mazda3 I had test-driven previously. But interestingly, despite being larger and heavier, I felt the Mazda6 was actually more zippy/peppy/nimble than the 3!

    So I immediately started negotiating for the 6, and purchased one that day. I haven't regretted it...a month later, I still feel a thrill when I accelerate around a corner on my morning commute. I expect I'll have that thrill for a number of years. Hopefully the whole 10.
  • cincyhoyacincyhoya Posts: 10
    edited October 2010
    I bought a '11 Sonata SE 6 months ago and love it / would highly recommend it. I test drove a Fusion as well (granted a Sport so higher price point) and loved how it drove, but wasn't a fan of the exterior style or value. Let's face it, nobody NEEDS to spend $27k on a car (a Fit will get you points A to B nicely), so curb appeal and panache matter and the Fusion didn't do it for me, but the ride was fun. In the Fusion, the 4 cyl felt underwhelming, so I cross-shopped that V6 with the Sonata. I also looked at the new model Legacy - big fan of Subies generally but, like the Fusion, to get the features I wanted put the price well north of the Sonata.

    I didn't test drive an Altima (to me the current body style has been around too long and I'm afraid a whole sale change would kill value) or a the Mazda6 (bad impressions form rental cars), but from all accounts, the new model Mazda6 is a big winner, so you probably owe it to yourself to check it out.

    That said, like expressed above, if you can buy an Accord EX for $18k, do it. That's just too good to pass up. I've driven the current model and it's certainly respectable. Not quite my driving style, but better than a Camry.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Even though the Fusion/Milan are basically the same car as the 6, they are tuned slightly differently, if I understand correctly.

    That was true for the 1st generation. The first Fusion was a virtual copy of the Mazda6. The current variations of the Fusion and Mazda6 are much further apart. They share similar 4-cyl engines and a similar platform, but, they rest is vastly different.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The first Fusion was a virtual copy of the Mazda6.

    I recall a thread recently that jumped all over someone because he suggested the MKZ was just like the Fusion. So this looks like fair game... a "virtual copy"? Really?? :surprise:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited October 2010
    a "virtual copy"? Really??

    After touring the AAI factory in Flat Rock, MI where the Mazda6 and Ford Mustang are built, the chief vehicle quality inspector for the Mazda6, who was our tour guide, mentioned that Ford used the Mazda6 to mold it into a Ford Fusion and saved $10 billion in doing so. His own words were that the Fusion was identical in many, many ways. They even shared some of the same paint choices.

    So, yes the 1st gen Ford Fusion was a "virtual" copy of the Mazda6, as far as engineering goes. Don't mistake my statement as being equal to a re-badge, like Fusion/Milan, but, it's as close as you can get without being a re-badge.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited October 2010
    Paint colors. Wow. But not: exterior; interior; suspension tuning (Fusion/Milan much smoother than the Mazda6); shifters (that sucky AT shifter on the Fulan); electronics (no Sync or touchpad locks on the Mazda, for example). No AWD on the Mazda6. Also the little thing about the Fulan being considerably bigger inside and out than the last Mazda6.

    Yes, the MKZ is an exact clone of the Fulan, if the Fulan and Mazda6 are virtual copies.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    As an owner of an '07 Fusion, get into the same gen Mazda6 and the a Fusion.
    You will immediately notice the difference. I know you are aware of this already, so your post surprises me.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    The first gen Fusion was longer and wider than the Mazda6 on which it was based. The current Fusion and Mazda6 are much closer in size. They did start with a Mazda6 platform and they do/did share a lot of internal parts. But it's nowhere near a "virtual copy".
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications


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  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Here's an interesting article about the changes made to the star crash rating for vehicles for the model year 2011 and beyond.Not many have been tested yet, but the 2011 Sonata did pretty good, the 2011 Camry not so good!

    Stars on Cars 2011 ratings
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The Sonata did "pretty good"? Looks like it scored the top score possible--5. No other mid-sized family sedan tested to date got higher than 4. Note however the Sonata's score applies to cars made "later"--not sure what the cutoff date is for that. The score for cars made earlier is 4.

    Looks like Toyota has some work to do when they redesign the Camry.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited October 2010
    As an owner of an '07 Fusion, get into the same gen Mazda6 and the a Fusion.
    You will immediately notice the difference. I know you are aware of this already, so your post surprises me.

    I own a '05 Mazda6 and have driven the 1st gen Fusion several times. I am aware the feel different, and look different. I think you are missing my point, or I am not conveying it well enough.

    Perhaps the word "identical" was a little strong, but, the Fusion was created from the Mazda6. Ford literally took a Mazda6 and turned it into a Fusion. They did not just start on the platform and build something different, they actually sculpted the Mazda6 into a Fusion.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited October 2010
    Kinda like saying that the Ford Edge is "identical" to (or a "virtual copy" of) the Fusion, because the Edge is based on the Fusion's platform. But they are much different vehicles, aren't they?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Kinda like saying that the Ford Edge is "identical" to (or a "virtual copy" of) the Fusion, because the Edge is based on the Fusion's platform.

    No, you are missing my point. The 1st Mazda6 and Fusion had far more in common than the platform. That is my point. A platform, or platform design is a very small piece of the pie and does not cost $10,000,000,000 to develop. Ford saved that exact amount when designing the Fusion because the took a completed Mazda6, made some changes (some minor, some major) and called it a Fusion. It's a fact.

    What we see now from Ford is an evolution from that concept and they seem to have created a much better version with the current Fusion. Mazda also went in a different direction with the Mazda6 and it too is better (or worse depending on which 1st gen Mazda6 owner you talk to).

    Either way, both are great cars and have strong roots to one another. Now, they are more like distant cousins with the amount of differences they have.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Right. And those changes included: entirely different exterior; entirely different interior; much different size, inside and out; different powertrain choices; different wheels; different electronics (audio/entertainment, security etc.); different suspension tuning (and parts?). What was the same? Looks like (part of) the floorpan, some sharing of engines... what else? Oh yes... some paint colors.

    "Distant cousins" is a much more accurate description. But not just now... also as of the debut of the Fusion in 2005.

    If you want to talk about "virtually identical" in an accurate fashion, here's one that I can agree with: Fusion and Milan. Pretty much identical except minor styling and trim choices.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    edited October 2010
    Backy, wasn't the Fusion the larger of the two? I own a 2009 Fusion SEL V6 and it seems to me that compared to my Boss' Mazda 6 which was a 2008 that my fusion had more interior room especially rear legroom.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited October 2010
    entirely different interior

    Different in appearance. Location of HVAC vents, location of power control switches are in the exact same place.

    different powertrain choices

    Same engines / different tranny's.

    different electronics

    The basic electrical system was the same. They even shared the same ECU

    different suspension tuning (and parts?).

    Same rear end suspension (E-Type Multilink), Similar front suspension

    What we saw with the 1st Fusion and 1st Mazda6 is similar to what you see with the new Sonata and Kia Optima. The look different and feel different, but, from an engineering stand point, they are almost identical. I'm sorry, but, deciding what sheet metal is on the car, or how stiff a suspension is does not make cars "distant cousins".

    If you don't want to believe what I am saying, I really don't care. With working for Mazda for many years and having talked to engineers, corporate executives and countless other Mazda insiders as well as being associated with a Ford, I do know a little more then the average person.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    You can see the bones of the Mazda 6, but the Fusion is a lot bigger all the way around.
    If the Fusion was a jacket, you have to take it off to see the shirt (Mazda 6) underneath.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Location of vents in the same place? You mean, one in each corner and some in the center? With the audio system below, and the HVAC controls below that? Like on almost every sedan on the road today? Note the original Mazda6's center vents are actually lower than the original Fusion's to allow for the LED display... which the Fusion doesn't have, at least not centered on the upper dash. No, the Fusion's display is in the instrument cluster. And the Fusion's HVAC controls are maddeningly blocked by the shifter, whereas the Mazda6's are a bit higher, and bigger, and easier to grab.

    Location of power control switches? Where would you expect them to be, on the roof? Or trunklid, perhaps? Note the huge difference in controls--audio system, HVAC, of course the steering wheel and its controls, and the instrument cluster.

    Re powertrain, as you noted, the cars have different trannies, plus the Fusion has an AWD powertrain option and the Mazda6 doesn't. And the fours aren't really "identical", although the Fusion's 2.3L Duratec is based on the MZR. (In the latest Fusion and Mazda6, the 2.5L fours are identical, from what I've heard. But this is about the original Mazda6 and Fusion.)

    Perhaps the different front suspension is responsible for the different ride/handling of the two cars.

    To me, having almost everything on a car be different except a partial floorpan, engines (and even those aren't exactly the same), some suspension parts, and some electrical components doesn't make them "virtually identical" as you asserted. "Distant cousins", yes. Some shared DNA, but they look/act much different.

    The Mazda6 and Focus are no more "virtually identical" than the 2011 Sonata and 2011 Optima are virtually identical. They are much different cars, with some shared parts. Actually, the Sonata and Optima have more in common than the original Mazda6 and Fusion. At least the Sonata and Optima share their entire powertrains.

    Your working for Mazda for many years doesn't make you any less susceptible to hyperbole than the next person, it appears. ;-)
  • This matches exactly what I understand/see from looking at the cars with my own eyes and with what I've read when researching the Mazda6.

    I know for sure that the original Fusion was a Mazda6 with pretty much only cosmetic differences other than a stretched frame...otherwise, the differences were less than you could have within trim levels of the same car (different transmission...)

    I was under the impression that the increased size of the current Mazda6 made it even closer to the current Fusion, but I could be wrong about that.

    But I absolutely, 100% see the current Mazda6 in these pictures originally linked in this post.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, I hate to break it to ya, but that's a Ford Mondeo body over the new Fusion's chassis. The exterior isn't really what you should expect for the final product; it's a current Mondeo.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Ford started with a Mazda6 and both widened and lengthened it for the CD3 Fusion then added unique sheetmetal and interior. They shared basic engine components, electrical architecture, hvac, etc. So maybe first cousins would be more appropriate than "distant" cousins or clones.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    edited October 2010
    1. How long do you think Toyota will continue this plan?

    2. How soon until other manufacturers offer similar plans? Or will they not follow suit?

    3. Gimmick or smart marketing? How would you compare this program to what Hyundai did with offering their 10yr/100K warranty? Same goal or different?

    Toyota Free Maintenance Plan

    Let's hear your thoughts.
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