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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter would like to talk to owners of Ford cars and trucks with MyFord Touch. If you fit this description and you’d like to talk with the reporter, please send daytime contact info to by 4 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.


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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    from Inside Line (at the link at the top) of - ry-comparison-test.html

    "....Now the Honda Accord is back at the beginning, and it wins this test easily. As usual, it's the total package that makes this car special. The new four-cylinder engine and CVT work incredibly well together, providing usable performance and a real-world improvement in fuel consumption. Honda also improved the look and feel of the cabin, while adding the tech features that have become important in this class. In the midst of checking all those boxes, company executives didn't lose sight of details like handling and steering feel — key ingredients in the character of Accords past and present.

    Next to the Accord, the 2012 Toyota Camry LE is down on flavor. It's every bit as useful as the Honda on the inside, but on the road, it's slower and wholly uninterested in doing anything other than taking you to work in comfort. For some, that's enough, especially given this LE model's competitive price tag.

    But we'll pay a bit more for the 2013 Honda Accord's tastier brew. For the moment, it's the car to have in the four-cylinder midsize sedan class.

    Speed Read

    1st Place: 2013 Honda Accord EX
    The Accord is once again the epitome of good taste in the four-cylinder midsize sedan class. It's quicker, more fuel-efficient and overall more enjoyable to drive than the Toyota, and it has a nicer cabin to boot.

    2nd Place: 2012 Toyota Camry LE
    We won't stop you from buying a Camry, especially if you like a compliant ride. But its automatic transmission isn't as responsive as Honda's CVT, and its interior belongs to a lower income bracket."

    in other words (cue music)


    Episode IV


    It is a period of midsize car wars.
    Rebel Accords, striking from an Ohio
    base, have won their first victory
    against the Toyota Empire....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    edited September 2012
    Oh-oh, neither car hit even its EPA city FE number in the tests. I can see all the irate posts on the Accord and Camry Fuel Economy discussions now. Let the lawsuits begin!

    P.S. The Accord EX comes with a 6MT standard, $800 less than the CVT, and Edmunds chose... the CVT?!?!? What is the world coming to? CVTs, I guess. ;)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    Some are saying that the Accord's new "Earth Dreams" CVT with "G-shift" performs and feels better than Nissan's CVT for the Altima—athough right now it looks like the Altima edges out the Accord when it comes to hwy mpg. Some Honda engineers seem to be wondering if an EPA *retest* of that 38 hwy number that Nissan submitted to the EPA might be in order. Honda's internal testing seems to show that the Accord and Altima get nearly identical mpg when run with a CVT. But the EPA hwy ratings right now stand at 36 for Accord and 38 for Altima. Some are recalling that BMW had to lower its hwy number on its new 3 series by 2 mpg last year when the EPA did its own test.

    Anyway, interesting stuff in this segment. The competition is white hot, but it seems maybe Honda is taking the lead in terms of all around performance, quality, and features....

    "2013 Honda Accord: Attention To G-Forces Yields A Better CVT" - - - - - rces-yields-a-better-cvt

    "....While that itself impressed us, what's the most noteworthy in the Accord's CVT is how quickly it can respond and bring revs up when needed. For instance, a number of CVTs (including the one in the 2013 Nissan Altima, surprisingly) will feel completely flat-footed and off their game if you roll around a corner at 15 mph with your foot off the gas and then accelerate at full throttle. The time to tap into full thrust is delayed for a surprising time. But in the Accord, it very quickly raises revs all the way up to the Accord's 6,600-rpm redline. Pull off the same test, dipping into half throttle out of the corner, and it very quickly finds the right ratio for the throttle opening—feeling a lot like downshifting and with no slow, muddled ramp-up.

    How did Honda achieve this far better (we think) CVT calibration when rivals like Nissan have been working at it for so long? According to the project leader, Honda's CVT isn't much different in the mechanical design, but Honda put a lot of time into oil pressure control and electrical systems, along with the control software...."
  • Wow, that new Accord looks like the 2012 Hyundai Genesis. :cry:
  • ctlctl Posts: 129
    Major issues with last generation (2008) Accord:

    - Road noises!!!: seems to be addressed, finally (after 10+ years...)

    - sloppy brakes: brake pads that do NOT last much longer than 20K miles (jury still out on the new one)

    - slooow and bad real-world MPG: seems to be addressed

    - VCM: only for V6

    If the new CVT proves to be durable and without major issues (Honda has probably the worse auto transmission history among all major players), I think Honda can finally be proud after quite some time.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    Video of a fast drive on country roads near Santa Barbara. Wonder how fast he's going in the straights? Anyway, as he says it's an impressive ride for the price.

    PS Most fun watched full screen at 720...
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I personally don't know how Toyota stays in business. They have legendary reliability, but I have a relative at a local Toyota franchise and he see's just as many Camry's with major problems as any other brands midsize sedan.

    I think the new Camry just looks cheap. From the fake chrome around the fog-lights to the fake aluminum trim and onward towards the tacked-on looking lower body kit it just looks cheap.
    The interior is inferior to even the cheaper Hyundai sedans. The fake aluminum trim can be scraped off with a fingernail, and the material is squishy. Squishy fake aluminum. OMG. Then there is the short 50,000 miles! That's a lot of miles unprotected.

    Finally, they want to sell you a stripper LE for $26k. The Accord in this comparo is clearly the winner here, and honestly I would rate the Camry dead last after all the other competitors. I would buy a '13 Altima over the Camry for example.

    I do have to admit that I am fully smitten by my 2012 Optima EX. I bought it last December and it just looks and drives beautiful. (the 2013 Accord was not out last year so I only had the older model to compare).
    So, in closing, I would drive the Accord, Sonata, Altima, and Optima and choose the best one out of the four.

    Thats my 2 cents worth. :P

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,323
    toyota has been doing that for years (cheapening the cars). Corolla, Rav4, Camry.

    but, in the business, once you have a reputation cemented, it takes a long time to change perception (that goes for good or bad). Ask Caddy!

    and plenty of people still buy because they know it will just be gas and go, no involvement at any level, reliable transportation with good gas mileage.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    Yeah, I think the Optima, Sonata, and Altima are impressive. The one problem I have with those cars is that they don't have very good visibility. The Optima is very good when it comes to its engine, features, quality, style, etc., but those very thick rear pillars from what I've read make for poor rear visibility.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    of the 2013 Accord. This is significant esp. because of how negative they were about the 2012 Civic. Here's the Consumer Reports thumbs up report on the 2013 Accord video:

    "Honda is playing to win when it comes to feature content. All Accords have a USB connection, Bluetooth, and, most impressively, a backup camera. You also only get satellite radio on EX and higher trim levels...

    Honda is also incorporating a lot of electronic safety features into the latest Accord. Uplevel models come standard with forward-collision warning, as well as a unique feature that uses a camera to show what is in your passenger-side blind spot before you change lanes...

    This redesigned Accord comes not a minute too soon. Almost every major player in this segment has been redesigned--or soon will be. It will be very interesting to see how all of these sedans stack up. To find out, we'll be buying Accords of our own when they go on sale next week. For now, enjoy our video for other first impressions."
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I totally agree. My Optima has a HUGE blind spot, and the EX did not come with camera's to help me out.

    I have almost nailed a passing car twice so I now keep my head on a swivel when passing. Also, it is tough to parallel park.

    I guess that is what happens when cars get lower and have a fast-back type C pillars like sports cars.

    If I had to buy the car again I would have added the cameras AND a stupid height adjustment on the passenger seat.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • ctlctl Posts: 129
    When you drive a 15-20 years old Toyota/Honda, you know what they are made of. When you see a 5 years old Hyundai, you also know what they are made of. When you can see beyond the appearances and see through the pretenders, you show what you are made up.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    cski: Thanks for that brutally honest report. Wow. I do think the Optima looks good, but I do not think that style is worth risking your life or the life of someone else. Honestly I think car stylists who do that should be fired. And otherwise I like KIA as a company--reliable, many are made in USA, etc.

    The Accord may be a little boring to some (although I think it's sleek and elegant), but it has best-in-class visibility all around. And that's even before the cameras and lane watch systems they now have...

    But even Honda once in a while designs a vehicle with poor rear visibility. I hear the new CR-V is quite poor.

    But at least they got the Accord right!

    cski: Would you ever consider trading in your Optima on an Accord, or now that you've made the purchase and otherwise really like the car do you feel you're stuck with the poor visibility for the time being?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    There is no such thing as a blind spot if you adjust your mirrors correctly AND turn your head. When a car leaves my center mirror it appears in my side mirror. I also turn my head as an added precaution.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    Do you think 100% of the people in these midsize cars with poor rear visibility (Sonata, Optima, new 2013 Altima, new 2013 Fusion, etc.) adjust their mirrors perfectly, use them perfectly, and turn around to look enough too?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Of course not, but how is that the vehicle's fault?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    Let's just say that when I drive in the possible blind spot of a Sonata, Optima, etc., I try to be extra careful, and get out of that possible blind spot if I can. I wish I didn't have to do that. And I think designers and stylist should be aware of visibility as an important safety feature in a car. But it looks like we'll need to agree to disagree on this...
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    To me this is an interesting story of what some of the execs and engineers at Honda wanted as they worked on the new 2013 Accord.

    Honda goes all-in with 2013 Accord
    Automaker bets redesigned car brings its mojo back

    Read more:

    Here's a taste of the article. More at the link...

    "This is our most important car," said Takuji Yamada, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. "This car is who we are."

    The Accord is Honda's make-or-break profit center. More than 11 million have been sold in the United States since the car was launched 36 years and eight generations ago. But the Accord has slipped in sales, share and consideration as other automakers' mid-sized sedans have improved...

    Honda cannot afford another public humiliation like the one it received with the lambasting of the cheap interior materials used in the 2012 Civic redesign. The Accord is the car that defines whether Honda has regained its mojo.

    Honda Motor has taken its lumps of late from a string of uninspired products; the Japan earthquake that crippled its r&d operations, making it the hardest hit of any Japanese automaker; the Thailand flooding that smashed a chunk of its supplier network; and a strong yen that squeezes the profit from dollar-denominated U.S. sales.

    Ito's watch

    The 2013 Accord also is the first Honda developed completely under the watch of Ito, who took command of Honda Motor in February 2009 soon after the global economy imploded.

    Ito, an engineer who helped develop the aluminum body of the Acura NSX supercar, also has taken his lumps. He formally took blame for the Civic's cheap interior, saying he approved a last-minute removal of content from the car to lower its price in the slumping U.S. market. But Ito also gave the underlying message that such an error would not be repeated.

    At the Accord press event here, a phalanx of Japanese engineers beamed with pride -- indeed, with rarely seen swagger -- when standing next to their new charge. That also was a sea change, for two reasons: First, there was little mention of U.S. engineering involvement in the car's development, whereas Honda's PR message normally reinforces how "American" a vehicle is. And, second, for the past several years, Honda engineers typically have been reserved rather than boastful.

    Might this be the start of a renaissance at Honda?
    Big changes

    Shoji Matsui: No excuses allowed

    For the 2013 Accord redesign, Honda called on a 30-year veteran to be chief engineer.

    Shoji Matsui engineered Accords for the 1986 to 1996 model years -- the car's heyday, when its road performance and refinements gave it an aura of prestige. Matsui's first job was to design the fuel-filler cover for the 1986 model. His mentor: Takanobu Ito. For the 2013 car, Matsui says his mission from Ito was to "put our power together on this, without excuses."
  • If the new Accord is as good as it is written-up, the Altima could be the loser is all this. Honda appears to have come up with a genuinely better car and done good work to create more function/price combinations. So Honda has a good car, a good reputation and good value. The Camry had the head-start, resale value and reputation. The Altima is stuck is the middle and may again be relegated to populating the rental fleets. Nissan's quality, in reputation or reality, does them no favors.

    The forthcoming Mazda 6 does fare well in the scenario either since it will be the last of the Japanese mid-sizeers to market. Its track record is nothing to build on.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    When you see a 5 years old Hyundai, you also know what they are made of.

    I certainly know what my 9-year-old Elantra GT is made of when I look at its glossy red paint and near-perfect interior: a lot of quality, even for an old (late '90s) design that's not nearly as good as current Hyundais. Still drives like new too. Oh, and my wife's 6-year-old Sonata is doing fine also, except she beats up cars so it has more scratches than the GT.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    I expect that EVERY car on the road is about to hit me. An inattentive driver is an inattentive driver regardless of which car they're driving. Trucks and delivery vans have zero rear visibility other than their side mirrors.

    What I'm saying is it's the driver, not the vehicle. Not that I would argue against better rear visibility.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    Yeah, I watch out for trucks too! As you say, it's good to be a cautious and defensive driver....But imho excellent visibility from inside your vehicle at least helps.

    Here's the first ad from Honda for the 2013 Accord. For a commercial it's pretty long—1 minute 30 seconds. It talks about Honda's long time MM2 design philosophy: Man Maximum, Machine Minimum. They first talked about that in the early 80s, I think. But even though they talked about it back then with car reporters for Motor Trend, etc., I think this is the first time I've ever heard it in an ad.

    The ad also talks about the importance of excellent visibility. It's worth a watch:
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    I'm seriously thinking about buying one of these myself.

    One of our cars is already an Accord, a 2008 EXL Navi 5MT Sedan, which is by far the best car we've ever owned. Our other car is a 2010 Mazda 5 5MT.

    That Mazda5 looks from the outside like it would have good visibility from the inside, but it's actually only so so. The far back rear quarter window on the driver's side is almost unusable from the driver's seat, because of the thick pillars in the far back. The interior quality and handling are also not at the Accord level.

    Anyway, even though this car has only 13k miles, I think we're probably going to trade it in on a 2013 Accord. I've always liked manuals, but my wife prefers an auto, even though she can drive a stick well. And so the model we are leaning toward is a 2013 EXL Navi CVT in Basque red pearl with a white leather interior. I feel a bit guilty about not getting a manual, since I'm part of the save the manuals crowd, but it happens that we love factory navi for trips and even for around town, and the navi is only available with the auto these days (I had to special order mine with a manual back in 08, but now that's not an option).

    I'm also intrigued by Honda's Earth Dreams G-shift CVT. The idea of cruising at 60 mph while only running at c. 1500 rpm seems appealing. No wonder this car gets high highway mpg. My 2008 Accord runs, I think, at c. 2700 rpm in 5th at 60 mph. There are many reasons I like manuals, but one of them has always been that I felt I could get better mpg than with an auto. But no matter how well I shift I can't ever beat this new CVT on the hwy.

    The new Accord has a best in class smooth shifting 6 speed manual too available for some models. That is appealing! But even in 6th with the manual you'd be running at maybe 2400 rpm. That's why the EPA mpg ratings for the first time for the Accord are lower for the manual than for the auto.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited September 2012
    1) Hey guys. I am not looking for a fight about the Camry. There is no question they are good cars, but at the time I bought my new car they were still making a 5 year old design. I have 3 grade school kids so I had a limited budget.

    2) The reason the pillars are so thick on ALL the late model sedans is because the federal government demands it for the ever increasing roll-over and crash protection standards.

    3) The mid-size sedan segment is THE toughest automotive class to design and sell. These cars have to be everything to everyone. For example; I want a sports sedan, my neighbor wants great gas mileage, other neighbor needs a big trunk, and the kid down the hall want a fast car w/o high insurance premiums that go along with 2 door coupes.

    4) I probably should not have bashed Toyota so thoroughly in my last post, and would like to apologize to Camry owners who I may have offended. :)

    Anyway, great discussion!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    Ditto. My sister's '04 Sonata has 194K miles and is just starting to get aged car random quirks. She has a 60+ mile each way commute and is strongly considering an Elantra to replace it. Absolutely no problems with quality.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    cski wrote:
    "2) The reason the pillars are so thick on ALL the late model sedans is because the federal government demands it for the ever increasing roll-over and crash protection standards."

    Good post overall. But this part is, I believe, incorrect. New higher grades of steel make thinner pillars possible while still *increasing* the strength of the car. It's not a structural problem, it's a *style* problem.

    If what you write is true, how is is that the Accord, both the current generation as well as the all new 2013 Accord, get or are expected to achieve top scores in all safety and crash tests while still having *excellent* visibility? I'm not try to annoy or argue with you needlessly, I'm just trying to give you more information for what I think is an honest mistake you are making in that one sentence there.

    Here's a little on the new Accord to give you additional info on this:

    "High-Strength Steel
    The 2013 Accord unit-body uses 55.8-percent high-tensile steel, more than in any previous Accord. In addition, 17.2-percent of the steel is now grade 780, 980 and 1,500 – extremely high grades that have never before been used in any Accord. This contributes to higher body rigidity and reduced weight, which directly benefits ride and handling, interior quietness, performance and efficiency and long-term durability.

    The measured improvements in rigidity are significant. In static tests, bending rigidity is up 34 percent and torsional rigidity is up 42-percent compared to the previous-generation Accord. In dynamic tests, front lateral rigidity is up 16 percent and rear vertical rigidity is up 39-percent....

    Collision Safety
    Collision safety capability is enhanced in the 2013 Accord, thanks to the newly revised Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, while the more extensive use of high-tensile steel allows protection to be provided with less weight. While official testing had not been completed at press time, internal Honda results indicate that the Accord will earn 5 Stars (the top rating) in federal NHTSA crash testing, along with Good crash ratings (the top level) and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
    Projected test results include:
    Projected Rating
    Overall Vehicle Score
    5 Star
    Overall Frontal Crash Safety rating
    5 Star
    Overall Side Crash Safety rating
    5 Star
    Rollover rating
    5 Star

    Projected Rating
    Frontal collision rating
    Side collision rating
    Neck protection rating
    Roof strength rating
    Narrow offset frontal collision rating
    Good - - ccord-safety
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,318
    I commend you for sticking to your guns & buying manual transmissions for so long. You even went as far as special ordering your '08 Accord with a stick. You've done all you can to "save the manuals" & shouldn't be ashamed for buying an Accord with a CVT.

    I have 1 car of 3 that's a stick, my 2001 Honda Prelude Type SH.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    And yes, that's from Honda, but in the independent IIHS small offset crash test they recently tested several premium midsize cars. Almost all did poorly, including cars by Mercedes, Lexus, Lincoln, etc.

    The two cars that passed were the Volvo S 60 and the Acura TL (which is based on the Accord).

    The new 2013 Accord is improved over the previous design on which the Acura TL is based. Honda calls its system Advanced Compatibility Engineering. The new Accord uses the second generation of this, the ACEII.

    This 3 minute video is worth watching. The rather poor results received by some premium cars like Lexus ("one of the worst vehicles in our test") are a bit shocking.

    The IIHS is expected to crash test midsize sedans like the 2012 and 2013 Accord, Altima, Fusion, Camry, Sonata, Optima, etc. in the next few weeks. I think most cars will not do well on this, with the probable exception of the Accord.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    edited September 2012
    nycarguy: Thanks for easing my guilt a little. And I figure this new car is more my wife's car. When I get the replacement for the 2008 Accord, probably in about 4-5 years, I'll most likely get a manual for myself...If one is still offered that is.
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