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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I was not attempting to slam Ford's Eco-boost engine QUALITY in any size. Just that a 3500 pound car with 178 HP is going to be under the whip and therefore having to work harder. Harder working engines experience more wear in general. (That's why we have odometer tampering laws).

    See comparison below....

    Have you guys ever seen Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear) drive a BMW M3 vs. a Toyota Prius in order to compare fuel economy?

    All Jeremy had to do was keep up with the Toyota, with the Toyota going as fast as it could around the track.

    The M3 got better MPG in an engine twice as large, and on a heavier and larger vehicle.

    Just a counter-point.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited September 2012
    You know the CVT didn't get off to a great start. It was supposed to be revolutionary when they first came out. Unfortunately most folks didn't buy one, and they were relegated to almost exclusive duty in economy cars. The Subaru Justy comes to mind (shivered :sick: ). The only CVT I have ever driven was in a Dodge Caliber I had to rent. That 2.0 and the CVT was a double-kill for the Caliber. It was just bloody awful.

    Nissan aims to change all that. They reduced friction/wear by 30% as compared to the outgoing model. CVT's also have far fewer moving parts. I really want to drive this new Altima. There is a 2013 on my street and I really liked the styling from afar and close up. It's gotta nice **S. :shades:

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited September 2012
    I recently rented a 2012 Altima for trip Chicago/Dallas r/t. I really like the CVT for low revs at speed, good mpg and good pickup from 50-80mph. However, was in a right lane at light and didn't realize the lane ended right after going through the light and had to get into the left lane quickly. Decided to floor it and holy crap was there a racket(basically I think it redlined) and it really didn't have the accompanying surge forward but just kind of sat there. I quickly slowed quickly and let the other cars go ahead and meekly pulled in behind. I thought that my little Mazda6 auto with much less power would have been more than adequate for what I tried to do. The CVT...not. I decided that I didn't want a CVT right there. I'll keep trying them from time to time to see the improvements they make but for now I just don't like certain ways they respond.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Maybe we will have more courteous drivers if everyone had cvt. I'm so sick of a-holes punching it across my front bumper making me backoff because they weren't paying attention. Pulling behind the vehicle wasn't a meek maneuver it was the way your supposed to drive,
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Well, it would have been different if the roads in Texas had some signs like we have in Illinois. You know, something like "lane ends" or "merge left ahead" or something. I didn't realize the lane ended until I was setting at the light and it would have been no skin off anybody if I just wasted a little gas and jumped in. I didn't try to push my way in either. But they could have noticed my out of states plates and realized I didn't know the lane was ending. They were probably all a-holes that refuse to let anybody in like some posters in this forum. I waited until all 5 or 6 cars went by me. If I know a lane ends at the intersection I'm the first one to wait in line in the lane that is not ending but I do let people merge within reason. I pay a lot of taxes but I don't own the road.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    I'm concerned with the long term durability of the cvt. I know the sample size is small, but I know 2 people who owned 2 cvt equipped jeeps (1 patriot & 1 compass). The guy with the patriot had the cvt replaced under warranty @ 60,000 miles. The new cvt failed & had to be replaced (on his dime) @ 120K miles. The guy I know with the compass had his cvt fail @ 65K miles.

    I have more faith in the engineers of the Japanese makes. How long are the cvt altimas lasting?

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

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited September 2012
    nycarguy: I think some earlier Altimas with the cvt did have trouble. Specifically the belt, which as you might imagine has big stresses placed on it, could wear out. As you know, it's not a regular belt, but a very high tech "super belt." I think the Nissan CVTs are now more reliable.

    Honda has developed a new and supposedly better belt for its new earth dreams CVT. Here's a short link to a Honda site with a press release about it:

    "....Key features of new CVT for midsize vehicles

    The newly developed high-efficiency electric oil pump, high-strength belt and exclusive CVT oil raise transmission efficiency to enhance fuel economy.
    The wide ratio range offers cruising with enhanced torque in the lower rpm range, thereby enhancing fuel economy. At the same time, the wide ratio range increases drive power during off-the-line acceleration to help realize an exhilarating and sporty driving feel."

    Honda's "G-shift" design and software apparently much reduces the acceleration lag that you can get with Nissan's cvt. In other words, if you floor it in a 2013 Honda Accord cvt it's supposed to respond pretty quickly.

    Honda has probably spent a billion or two dollars developing this transmission. The belt on the new Honda unit is supposed to be something of a breakthrough for strength and durability. Right now I think they are making the belts in Japan, but they are about to start producing them in Ohio.

    I think the Honda CVTs will be quite durable, but I would probably buy an extended warranty just in case....
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Kinda cool:

    I think Honda's CVT is probably fairly similar.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877 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.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Appreciate the info and enthusiasm for Honda you provide but could you bold or italicize and add quotes when you are directly cutting and pasting. Really would like to differentiate between your actual comments versus copying of reference material. Tks.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Sure. Usually do add quotes but forgot that time...
  • Since the title of this Forum is "Midsize Sedans 2.0", I thought this article might be interesting to some of you. One car class smaller, but plenty of 2.0 liter engines compared. Spoiler: Mazda 3 owners will be happy. son/fuel_economy.html

    Copy and paste the address if the link is not live.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    My wife had a black 2004 Mazda 6 Sport-wagon V6. I drove a 2003 Mazda Protege LX, simply because I had a 40 mile each way commute and needed the fuel economy over space. The wife had both the girls and worked full time so she got the sweet ride.

    Both cars drove awesome, but there were quality problems. The 6 kept having A/C problems and was plagued with wheel bearing issues, bent rims, and occasionally refused to start for no apparent reason. We found out later that the battery was bad. Our roads here in Northern VA are really good so I can't attribute the wheel issues to potholes, frost heaves, and all the other rust belt/great lakes area road problems. (no offense..I am from Buffalo).

    The Protege' did NOT have ABS, but DID have summer tires. OMG. I almost died in that car. It hydroplaned at 60 mph on interstate 95 at the "mixing bowl"....slamming into two walls. Can you say med-evac? My first helicopter ride.

    I think Mazda makes great cars, we probably had bad luck. I think I will pass on Mazda as long as I live though.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,935
    ' My first helicopter ride. '
    Really glad it was not your last...
    - Ray
    Medevac = really bad, typically.......
    2016 BMW 340i
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Scary story! So glad you made it through ok.

    Cars are significantly safer than they were even 10 years ago, and that's a good thing...
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited September 2012
    I had my right arm broken in two places, a broken rib from the seat-belt, lacerations of the face (looked worse than it was)...and I got to have black and blue marks in the shape of a seat-belt across my chest and gut.
    Saved my life. The car still ran afterward. They drove it onto the back of the flatbed I was told.

    I so didn't even ask if the car (Protege')had ABS when I bought it. The EX had it, but the LX and the lowly DX did not. I mean come was 2003!

    So much for making automotive assumptions that all cars have our safety as priority one.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Wow, sounds pretty intense.

    My 2002 Honda Accord LX didn't have abs either....

    Basically, we can thank gov't and the iihs for effectively encouraging car makers to make safer vehicles.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    2.0 means this is the second version of the forum - after the first one had to be shut down a few years ago. Has nothing to do with engine displacement. :)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I actually had an opportunity to get real world MPG on my 2012 EX during my commute. I got 26.5 MPG round trip. (36.2 miles).

    My commute is from West Springfield, VA to 23rd St NW Washington DC. It is 18 miles each way. 4 miles of it is suburban stop and go, then higher speed driving on 395 for 14 miles.

    I never use the econ button. It slows up throttle response, and I need to be on my toes during this commute. It is dense, fast, and just plain dangerous at 6 am. (I went in and right back home this morning, just had to get my cell). I work from home on Fridays

    I have 10,200 miles on the car, purchased last December 28th. My fuel economy has steadily improved from horrible; to as-advertised. Folks with brand new Optima's should be just a little patient.

    There have been no problems or issues with my EX 2.4 (other than rear visibility). Great car.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited October 2012
    The midsize sales race for Sept and the year so far, according to the WSJ. Honda won't be able to make as many of the all new 2013s for a few months as they ramp up production, and so any chance of getting closer to the Camry won't come until 2013, if ever. As you can see, Ford has dropped off the list for now as they transition to the all new 2013 Fusion, but they are likely to be back next month. And the Passat should start making an appearance as VW's factory in TN gets up to full production of 170,000 a year by the end of 2012. Earlier this year I think the Altima was ahead of the Accord for a while, but now the Accord is in its customary #2 spot again. Camry has a huge lead, however, and simply cannot be caught this year. Next year? Probably not, but who knows....The Optima is in 5th place, perhaps for the first time? Sales have been strong....

    Toyota Camry 34,252....314,788
    Honda Accord 29,182....247,847
    Nissan Altima 24,448....234,040
    Hyundai Sonata 17,332....175,346
    Kia Optima 14,304....114,728
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    My poor Kia. Always last in something. :cry:

    Hopefully they will be 115,000 GREAT cars.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    It's not last at all. The Optima was ahead of the Fusion, the VW Passat, the Mazda 6, the Malibu, Chrysler 200, etc. Your baby is a big success who has entered the big leagues!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907

    The November C/D has a comparo of their current mid-sized champ, the Passat, vs. 3 new mid-sizers. Here's the order of finish:

    4. Passat SE
    3. Altima 2.5 SV
    2. Fusion SE EcoBoost
    1. Accord EX

    Not a long reign on top for the Passat!

    As C/D said: "... the big H is back."

    I love the tag line for the Fusion: "Mr. Bond, your rental car is ready." :) One great thing about this new crop of mid-sizers is, whenever I can get upgraded to this class of car, it will be hard to go wrong (OK, maybe if it's a 200 or Avenger).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    It's really interesting that C&D put the Passat 4th while MT put it in 1st place ahead of the Accord and Fusion.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Which trims did MT review? Maybe they looked at the high-end cars where the Passat with its V6 would do better than the SE with the 2.5 I5.

    Also maybe MT put more importance on things like rear seat room--C/D ragged on the Fusion about that.

    Also one of C/D's knocks on the Passat was, "bland as dry toast". Uh... these are mid-sized family sedans, folks--not race cars. The Accord is pretty bland, too. And the Camry. But still fine cars for their intended audience.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    Yeah, I'd say it's pretty much splitting hairs with that group of cars. I bet all of us on the forum could test the exact cars and most of us would have a different ranking.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Both tests were Passat SE 2.5L I believe. It just shows how subjective these comparison tests are.

    It does seem clear that the Malibu and Camry need improvement to stay competitive, although that doesn't seem to be hurting Camry sales. Yet.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The Camry was just redesigned for 2012 and the Malibu for 2013! If they are in need of improvement to stay competitive... wow.

    As you noted, Toyota doesn't have any problem selling Camrys. And Hertz et. al. need lots of mid-sized cars, so Chevy can sell a ton of Malibus there if needed for volume.

    Hard to imagine that one of the oldest mid-sized family cars, once the new Mazda6 hits the streets, is the Sonata... a couple of years ago it was the latest and greatest. Fast times at Mid-Sized High.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Toyota seems intent with putting minimal investment into the Camry and since they seem to be selling so well as is it's hard to argue too much with that approach.

    Of course they run the risk of losing sales down the road if they get too far behind but Camry buyers do seem to be loyal.
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