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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is interested in interviewing an individual who recently decided to do routine maintenance or basic car repairs on their own to save money in the struggling economy. The reporter is particularly interested in someone living in California (Southland), but all responses are encouraged. If you would like to comment on your experience, please reply to with your name, location and daytime phone number by 5pm Pacific, Wednesday, August 17, 2011.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Edmunds has their first drive up and some other sites as well. Personally, I like the interior a lot compared to the old. The rear looks ok but I don't car for the front so much. All in all a minor improvedment outside....major improvement inside. From what I've read the interior not only looks better but is made from better materials.

    MPG has increased on the I4 to better than the Sonata per EPA and they are getting 30mpg out of the V6! That's pretty good but I realize it's not as good as the turbo I4 in the Hyundai/Kia but then again it's a V6 and it goes NOW. I tend to believe you could attain the EPA numbers with the V6 in the Camry versus the turbo 4 in the Sonata and Optima. From what I've read it is more difficult to achieve those EPA numbrs in the turbos unless you baby them and who wants to do that. Isn't that why you buy more HP for, to give it a go now and then?

    All in all a pretty good improvement. Not exciting but then again these are family midsized sedans so exciting is not what they are. You want a Porsche.
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    It does look like a bloated Corolla. Last I read Camry sales were off 18 percent in comparison to last year this time. Toyota needed to do better and IMO has failed. The styling factor is just not there. Bland, safe, no soul = 2012 Camry...
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,125
    Bland, safe, no soul

    Sounds just like the current Malibu...
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I agree it's kind of bland like Malibu, Altima, Accord, Fusion and Legacy and it's pretty safe too but they have addressed, it appears, the main problem they had IMO which was the look and quality of the interior. They also tweaked the suspension for a little better handling which I know probably isn't saying a lot but they don't want to tinker too much. They have a pretty strong fan base that liked bland and safe and a soft ride.

    And which I4 auto midsize family sedan that we discuss here do you imagine has soul? Besides being hard to define because I'm sure the definition is different for just about everyone.
  • LOL don;t you have better examples?

    Optima, Sonata, Mazda6 ...OMG....r u kidding me
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    No, I'm not. You forgot Regal though as you were LingOL.

    Feel free to give us your examples of the best dashes in this class.
  • jkobty2jkobty2 Posts: 210
    Just watched a video of the 2012 redesigned Camry. I almost threw up.
    Toyota has already slipped to #3 in sales beaten by GM and VW. By next year they will also be overtaken by the other 2 Koreans KIA and Hyundai. (Considering GM is now number one in sales with a big contribution worldwide from GM Daewoo, another Korean).
    Toyota and Honda seem to have lost the plot. Love the Mazda6. My 09 Mazda 6 still trouble free after 3 years (bought in 08) and 50K miles. Zero warranty repairs. And looks amazing next to a Camry :);_ylt=A0WTf2uBtVZODk0Aam3tFAx.?ei=U- TF-8&p=2012%20camry%20redesign&rs=0&fr2=tab-img&fr=yfp-t-715
  • rdm925rdm925 Posts: 46
    I could not agree more! My 07 Mazda 6 at over 84,000 miles just keeps on humming. Like the energizer bunny. Zoom-Zoom!!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Toyota has already slipped to #3 in sales beaten by GM and VW

    One problem with your thought - the earthquake & sunami is a big reason they slipped to #3 in sales. Honda - same problem. My Honda dealer's lot has been nearly empty for months!!
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Because of inventory shortages Toyota dealers are not too eager to negotiate as they used to. If you go on Toyota buying threads then it is noticeable that people are paying much higher prices then a year ago. Also used Toyota prices significantly higher, I saw people paid for used 2008 Highlander almost same amount that I paid for it brand new 4 years ago. Go check your zoom-zoom resale price, you'll be pleasantly surprised!
  • rdm925rdm925 Posts: 46
    I don't give a damn about a Toyota's or my resale value!! I drive a car because I like the way it looks and performs. I plan to keep mine til it is dead and at this rate it will be a long time!!
    Zoom-Zoom :shades:
  • jkobty2jkobty2 Posts: 210
    I find that counter intuitive to what should be happening. With parts shortages, good luck fixing or servicing your Toyotas. Parts will be on back order for a loong time.
    In the case of the Mazda6 it shares most mechanical parts with one of the best selling midsize cars (Ford Fusion, mercury milan, lincoln MKZ)
    so parts for mazda6 are readily available and dirt cheap.
    In Canada Honda and Toyota dealers still have older models with zero kilometers still on dealers lots. Really good deals to be had if you can tolerate driving a camry or accord
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,197
    With parts shortages, good luck fixing or servicing your Toyotas. Parts will be on back order for a loong time.

    That's the great thing about owning a quality durable car like a Toyota, you never need replacement parts because the originals never break.

    A Toyota with a back ordered replacement part just never happens, unless you are trying to cure something like driver error or pedal misapplication which causes Unintended acceleration! :P ;)
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Toyotas break down, just less then other makes. No owner complained so far to shortage of parts.

    Here is a couple of 2012 Camry video reviews for Toyota haters
    Review 1

    Review 2
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,170
    edited August 2011
    Even though we own a Mazda 3s, it has been the most reliable car we've ever owned. And we've owned GM, have a Hyundai and also have owned or own from all of the Japanese brands. Must say my current Civic has been pretty great also, but the Mazda is so much better. The Mazda brand is a real sleeper and hopefully more people will buy their cars...great products!!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    In the case of the Mazda6 it shares most mechanical parts with one of the best selling midsize cars (Ford Fusion, mercury milan, lincoln MKZ)
    so parts for mazda6 are readily available and dirt cheap.

    That's not necessarily true anymore, at least with the current-gen 6. The 1st-gen was very mechanically similar to the Fusion/Milan twins. With the 2nd-gen redesign, the common mechanical parts have dropped, and will go away altogether when the Fusion switches to the Mondeo platform.

    As for difficulty in getting Mazda parts, I can only tell you that when I ran into a deer with my '04 a few years ago, the body shop had to order the hood and front bumper protector, since there were none available within 250 miles, so it took a few extra days to finish the repair.

    Mechanically, I don't know. Besides the regular maintenance items (pads, rotors, wipers), and a gas cap for my '04, neither the '04 nor the '10 has needed any warranty or non-warranty repair.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I have a 07 Mazda6 and it has been bulletproof so far. I also have a 7 yr old Tundra that, save for one warranty repair, has also been bulletproof. They are both very dependable brands. All these children that thump their chests by bashing Toyota relentlessly get real boring after awhile. Toyota isn't cutting edge on design, tends to be conservative and have made some mistakes. What auto maker hasn't? They also have made an awful lot of very popular and dependable cars/trucks.

    I really think if Toyota had come out with a car that looked exactly like the Sonata or the Optima before Hyundai/Kia did, these people would still be saying that they are the ugliest things made. There are plenty of plain jane midsize cars out there besides the Camry.
  • jkobty2jkobty2 Posts: 210
    seem to have a very short memory. have we forgotten about the infamous sludge problem where Toyota engines were left with no oil, or how about the six speed transmission problems in camry and lexus, also forgot about that. or how how about the radio and suspension problems in the rav4, oops forgot about that too. Unexplained computer glitches blamed on brake pedals and floor mats. Yep, Toyotas never break. Go with that :)
  • jkobty2jkobty2 Posts: 210
    2 things caught my attention from those 2 reviews, the cameo appearance of the sonata in the first one, damn that car is sexy, and tiffany in the second review :)
    I do have to agree that the interior of the new camry is way better than outgoing model, which just looked and felt like plastics from a dollar store.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    There's a few plain-jane mid-sized cars, the new Passat probably the worst offender in addition to the Camry. But why did Toyota have to make the new Camry look soooo boring, resembling the likes of the Kia Forte? (Except the Forte has more interesting character lines.)

    The new styling is particularly puzzling in light of comments like this (from C/D, Sep. 2011, emphasis added by me):

    A redesigned Camry arrives later this year. Details are scant, but as Toyota has already given it a six-speed autobox, plus the newer 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the redesign will focus on styling. That comes per company president Akio Toyoda's mandate to add verve to the Toyota products.

    If this is Toyota's idea of "verve", I'd hate to see what they think is "boring". :surprise:
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Sludge problem is very well documented issue and the way Toyota handled it initially is a real turn off. To Toyota's credit they eventually took care about this problem by repairing engines free of charge. 6 speed transmission problem was apparent on early production vehicles and was covered by factory warranty. As far as "Unexplained computer glitches", completely baseless - nothing then extortion attempt by individuals and UAW.


    Transportation secretary Ray LaHood said, “We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics system, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended, high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.”

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I've driven several mid-sized and near-mid-sized (mid-sized interior) rentals lately. Here's some thoughts:

    * Fusion seemed the most solid and quiet. It didn't hurt it was a well-optioned SEL I4 with leather vs. lower trims on the other cars, but it had a smoothness to it I did not feel on the other cars, including the Sonata. Just a very pleasant car to drive.

    * Sonata was pleasant enough and returned very good FE for its size, e.g. 20 mpg in extreme city driving conditions vs. 16 in similar conditions for the Fusion. The dash was more modern than the Fusion's, and although it was a base GLS with no options, it was plenty of car for the money. The only downside was it seemed a little noiser and "thinner" than the Fusion. The 198 hp engine had lots of pep, however, and handling was good for its size.

    * Camry was... well, the best I can say for it was it was the best Toyota I've rented in recent years. But since the other Toyotas I've rented (Yaris, Corolla, Matrix) were abysmal, that isn't saying much. Ride was smooth and the V6 engine peppy. But there were several squeaks/rattles and the interior finishes were cheap looking/feeling. The new Camry can't come soon enough. The new LE Hybrid looks particularly interesting... about $26k list for a well-equipped hybrid with over 40 mpg city. Should be very popular.

    * The Jetta was an SE with the 2.5L and 6AT. Although it lists for about the same money as a car like the Sonata GLS, I found it a totally unremarkable car with nothing positive that stood out with the exception of a well-contoured driver's seat (but leatherette, which was sweaty in the hot summer weather). The dash doesn't look all that bad but one touch tells you VW has cut costs on the new Jetta. Response is sluggish, as if it has to think about whether it wants to go when you step on the gas. Ride is OK except on some concrete freeway road surfaces, where I found there was a resonance in the chassis that was very unpleasant. FE wasn't that good, and there's no mpg computer to tell you how bad it is. Handling is OK but not exceptional--no better than the Fusion or Sonata. Rear seat and trunk are roomy for its size, but the Sonata is roomier for the same money. I rented it as an experiment, but will steer clear of them for future rentals.

    * The Elantra GLS (no options) was also a very pleasant rental--roomy, comfortable, nice looking inside and out, peppy enough (no speedster of course), decent handling, excellent FE (27 mpg in extreme city driving). A good alternative to people looking for a car that can hold four adults in comfort yet get excellent fuel economy in a trimmer package.

    * Altima is a nice enough car, with good handling and a comfortable ride. But the rear seat isn't that roomy and the dash isn't up to par with some newer models e.g. Optima and Sonata. An Elantra would provide nearly as much room with much better FE at lower cost.

    * The aging Sentra (getting a lot of these at Hertz lately) has some nice attributes, including good highway FE (touches 40 under favorable conditions @ 65 mph), a relatively smooth and quiet ride, and a roomy back seat for a small car (mid-sized interior). Also a well-laid out interior with humongous glove box and smooth controls. But it needs a more economical engine to compete with the newer compacts, and also needs crisper steering--the electronic steering has no road feel.

    Still looking for Optima and Regal rentals. I don't see any/many of those. Lots of Altimas and Malibus and Camrys and Fusions, some Sonatas (fewer now that Hertz doesn't seem to buy Hyundais anymore).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I can see what you mean but it IS from your perspective. I don't find exterior desgin of the Camry to be that bad(either the old or the 2012) and I actually like the way the new Passat looks...I think the design has staying power. I like the Sonata and Optima a lot as far as the exterior looks go also. Probably the only midsize car I think is ugly at this time is the Malibu....just something about the overall shape and rear end that I realy don't like plus I didn't like driving it as a rental.

    I guess the exterior design, unless it's really gaudy or something is just not that big of concern to me. Can't see it when I'm driving it and don't particularly care what others think. I do like a high grade interior with bells and whistles though. Looks or design are just so subjective that it is hardly worth discussing.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,125
    Backy - thanks for the insight into the rentals. I'm going to be traveling quite a bit over the next few months and will try to provide some rental reports as well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If looks are hardly worth discussing, why do automakers pay so much attention to it? OK... SOME automakers.

    I think the design (of the Passat) has staying power.

    I suppose so... the exterior design of the Chevy Impala, to which the new Passat bears a strong resemblance, certainly has had staying power over the years.

    It used to be, ALL mid-sized family sedans had boring styling. Then some automakers shook things up a bit, made life more interesting for mid-sized sedan buyers. As long as a car isn't downright ugly (see Kia Soul or Nissan Cube for examples), I can live with it. It's nice to have some choices in this segment that are visually interesting though.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    * Fusion seemed the most solid and quiet. It didn't hurt it was a well-optioned SEL I4 with leather vs. lower trims on the other cars, but it had a smoothness to it I did not feel on the other cars, including the Sonata. Just a very pleasant car to drive.

    When I had the 09 Camry, and looked at the 10 Fusion, the difference between material quality was quite apparent. The Fusion was hands down far better quality overall in materials. I hated the handling in the Camry, soft, mushy, heavy body roll on turns. The body styling was OK, it had a nice stance to it from the front, but the nose where the badge is reminded me of Jimmy Durante with how it bulged out.

    My only complaint with my Fusion is the door handles, you would think after 5+ years they would have resolved the door handle breakage problem. They are weak where the spring is and tend to break right there. My drivers door handle broke last week. Thankfully it is an easy fix, and the handle is under $40.

    One other thing, the tires it came with, lousy wet weather traction, and very easy to spin on dry pavement, but they were quiet. I replaced them with Goodyear GT's and they tend to be noisy on Concrete. This may have been the problem with the VW you drove. Traction though is great with the new tires so I will take the noise knowing the car will stick to the road now.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The problem with the Jetta had nothing to do with the tires. It was something related to the suspension, maybe tied to the wheelbase. Whatever it was, there was a strange vibration/resonance (NOT tire noise) when driving over a lot of the concrete freeways in the Chicago area. Never occurred on blacktop or some of the concrete freeways. I've seen this kind of thing before but it's been a long time since I experienced it. It is a Blocker issue for me for a car. But then, it was probably clear I didn't see much else worth buying in the Jetta. Maybe with the turbodiesel it's a different car. But also more expensive.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Havent posted in a while so not sure if I mentioned, but my beautiful brand new Spicy Red Kia Optima SX was rear ended by a dopey girl on her cell phone. I've been without it for a month now due to scarce parts, and I miss it desperately. She did quite a number on it, rather depressing.

    I've had to use rentals and most of them feel like driving an old couch. A Seabring, a Sentra and a Cobalt so far. Boring, horrible interiors and no driving dynamics. I do get the appeal of the soft ride, I like the idea of a smooth driving cruiser. A Lexus or Mercedes, soft and quiet certainly has it's appeal. In this class though it just translates to cheap for me.

    Also on the subject of midsized, I have to say I underestimated the new Jetta in terms of styling. I've seen a few in person and they look very nice. No idea how they drive but I like the look much better than the last iteration.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    Which trim/engine do you have and which tires did yours come with acdii? Our '11 SEL I4 came with Michelin Energy tires and they are great on dry and web pavement. Snow will be coming in a few months so we'll see how they do there.
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