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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Honda has pretty much always been near top rated in reliability and Mazda less so.

    Tell that to the many thousands of Accord owners who have had problems with automatic transmissions! :P ersist/

    I've sat in the back of both cars and didn't notice a significant difference in room. The previous-generation Accord was roomier than the current one. Even the first-generation Mazda6, a much smaller can than the current one, had plenty of rear seat space for me.

    Given how tough it is to get the IIHS Top Pick+ designation, I think claims that the Mazda6 got the "minimum" score to get that ranking is really pulling out the Big Nit Pick.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    I have not driven a new Accord, but I have driven the Mazda 6 Touring. I don't remember it being loud. Also, based on the pictures provided by tundra-dweller I can barely tell the difference between the 17" rims and the 19's on the touring.

    On my Optima, I have 17" rims and 215/55/17 V rated tires. I drove the SX Optima with the 18" rims, but I didn't feel enough of a ride difference that would kill the deal. I can tell the difference visually, and I really think the 18's are nice, but I think the 17's on my car are the right size for the cars mission as a sporty family sedan. I didn't get the turbo because I felt that it would hurt long-term reliability, and it was $5000 more for power I would rarely need and would almost certainly have cost me high insurance rates, not to mention a higher potential for speeding tickets.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,179
    edited May 2013
    Like I said, low road noise is obviously high on your criteria for a new car. I have three cars, an Acura, a Toyota and and a Mazda. They run from very quiet to some road noise but none of them are bad. I never really thought the old Accord was that bad either for road noise so I guess it doesn't bother me as much as the next person. But all the reviewers used to comment about the bad road noise of the old Accord but apparently a lot of people didn't think so or didn't care that me. I think somethimes when they can't find much else to complain about they zero in and jump all over a minor fault. Like, "oh boy, we finally found something bad, let's really play it up so we look like we really did our job". Kind of like internal auditors LOL. I think that was the case in the old Accord as well as the new Mazda. CR didn't seem to downrate the Mazda much for road noise even though they mentioned it in their review.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,502
    Well, some cars are noticeably worse. I have a Pontiac Vibe that sounds like a rocket taking off (not in a good way as power is not its strong point) and I can't talk on a cellphone (as a passenger) because I can't hear the caller. These cars, though, not so much different. Accord and Altima are pretty quiet now, Accord much more than it used to be. Haven't tried the new Mazda yet.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,179
    yeah, all my cars are midsize or larger and I think that makes a difference. When I used to travel all the time for work I would get compact or subcompact rental cars and I really did notice how loud they were. Both engine noise when accelerating and general road noise while cruising. I think newer cars are a little better as you say and I think bigger is better usually when it comes to noise but there are always exceptions.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    Tell that to the many thousands of Accord owners who have had problems with automatic transmissions! :P

    Amen, backy!

    The worst part of all was the flippant response and refusal to accept responsibility until class action suits forced them to do so. It was a page right out of the 70s-80s GM playbook!

    When it was all said and done, the number of transmissions replaced was in the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS!!! Many cars (more than half according to some sources) had multiple transmission failures, not just one.

    I know a guy who was a Honda fanatic from the time he was a kid. He never even considered anything else. When he got the new car itch, it wasn’t a question of what kind of car to buy, but which Honda to buy! ‘

    He leased a 2002 Acura TL Type-S in March 2002 for 42 months. The first transmission was replaced at 13k, then again right at 30k. At 37k, the third transmission went and it needed yet another replacement. There was only four months remaining on the lease and he demanded that they terminate the lease early. They initially said they would, but only if he made a lease or purchase of a new Acura.

    That guy was me and I almost leased a 2005 TSX, which I loved and still think the ‘04’-‘8 TSX is a great car! But it was a matter of principle and, even if I ultimately decided to get a TSX, they were going to terminate the lease on the TL four months early UNCONDITIONALLY! It was either that or, when the finally put the fourth transmission in it, I would probably create a drive thru in their showroom! I’m only half-kidding; it was the most infuriating experience of my life.

    The guys at the dealership were sympathetic, but they were powerless to do anything. The transmission replacements under warranty were ultimately handed on a regional level, like most significant warranty repairs are handled. But by 2004, they all had to go thru Corporate in Torrance, CA. And my car always had at least five or six others ahead of it waiting for approval and/or parts!

    It may sound silly, but it felt almost like a death in the family when I walked out of the Acura dealership leaving my TL forever. I had a folder full of legal documents terminating my lease. They also required that I sign a release preventing me from taking future legal action, which was fine. They also ‘tried’ to get me to sign a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” preventing me from speaking to the media or anyone else about my experience. Thankfully, an old college buddy married an attorney and she went with me to handle the termination process. She warned me ahead of time that they would probably try to get me to sing a non-disclosure. I wanted to write something very vulgar on the signature line, but instead I let her tell them to shove it in “legal-ese”.

    Before the TL, I had six other Hondas starting with an ’85 CRX when I was 15. The TL Type-S was sort of my realistic dream car and it turned out to be the worst automotive nightmare and lease reliable car anyone in my immediate family has ever owned!

    I had the same sort of numbness and confusion that accompanies a death and the grieving process. So I followed the same advice experts give after a loss – DON’T make any major purchases or changes for at least 6-8 weeks, then discuss it with at least two people you trust before you actually do it. My mom had just bought a 2003 Explorer and her ’95 Grand Cherokee was retired to ‘extra’ car duty. So I had a vehicle to drive and could take as long as I wanted to buy a new one.

    I actually loved that old Jeep and would have kept driving it longer than I did (about 10 weeks). But my daily commute was over 50 miles round trip, lots of stop-and-go and when I wasn’t in gridlock, my right foot tended to be quite heavy. I averaged 12.4mpg over 10weeks in the Jeep. I was paying a car payment just to put gas in it.

    I decided to see what those “Zoom Zoom” commercials were all about and, long story short, I ended up with a 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door. My paternal grandmother’s family has a huge picnic every summer (she had 10 siblings) and they were all ‘Honda people’. When I pulled up in my Mazda, I felt like I might end up being hung for treason before the day was done. I made it out alive and over the next two years, I noticed fewer and fewer Hondas at the family picnic. The largest faction ended up with Nissans and now at least seven of them (that I know of) drive Infinitis. Two cousins copied me and got Mazda3s, but the both got sedans, so they’re not as cool as me! =)

    Anyway, I have no intention of ever returning to a Honda or Acura product. I might have reconsidered after 8-10 years passed, but the way they’ve screwed so many out-of-warranty Honda owners since then is unforgivable...
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • After driving some others it came down to these two. I test drove the 6 Touring, then the Accord LX, then the 6 Sport, then the Accord Sport finally the 6 Sport again.
    Personally I noticed a slight amount more noise in the 6. Beyond that the driving dynamics, functionality and ergonomics were won by the Mazda. Styling being subjective as always but from any angle the Mazda absolutely smokes the Accord. It harkens to a 70's RWD muscle car with modern overtones. Suffice to say I bought one. Waxing it now....
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    edited May 2013
    Great story man. My wife's 2004 Mazda 6 had similar issues with the A/C compressor being replaced 3 times, and two transmission replacements before 100k, but Mazda took care of her at least. I had an 03 Protege', but it's lack of ABS and downright dangerous wet traction led to a terrible accident. Motortrend just experienced a taste of that Jekyll and Hyde handling in their last compact car review, validating my experience. Their car HAD ABS and traction control..mine did not, so I quote: "In claiming its previous victory, the Mazda3 dazzled the judges with its crisp, natural steering feel; responsive, unshakable chassis; and sport sedan handling. It led this competition with the same trump card, at least in the dry. As it happened, rain struck during our evaluation loops, and opinions of the Mazda changed quickly. Those who drove it in the dry were again smitten with its excellent handling on the winding road portion. Those who drove it in the wet, however, told a different tale. Editors found it breaking loose at both ends on wet roads."

    Ultimately, there was a thundershower on I-95. Having already slid for almost 1/4 mile previously I slowed WAY down. I was doing 40 mph in the slow lane, with basically zero throttle input, and she hydroplaned at both ends, slamming me into the wall, bounced off a truck, and into the wall again. The car was crushed into a cube with wheels, but to Mazda's credit I drove it behind police to the off ramp (3 miles) where a tow truck could reach us safely.

    I still have family that swears by them. Getting a completely reliable car seems to be a luck-of-the-draw kind of thing that no manufacturer can completely avoid. There are so many contractors making parts for vehicles, with contracts awarded to the lowest bidders, that failures are bound to happen. All we can hope for is that they happen infrequently.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • gee22gee22 Posts: 82
    I have to agree with you. Obviously, road noise is relative, what one may find acceptable another would not. After reading almost every available review of the Mazda6 I, my expectations regarding road noise were not high. I went from a 2010 Camry to a 2010 Accord and the Accord was somewhat louder but I have noticed no difference between the 2010 Accord and my Mazda6.
  • tundradweller1tundradweller1 Posts: 74
    edited May 2013
    Even though the link was from 2011, the current models have their issues too.
    Shuddering CVT's 4 cyl. - VCM problems with the 6 cyl. - radio, uneven body gap and paint issues:

    link title

    Not a Honda hater, I just didn't buy one...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    edited May 2013
    I really like Hondas in general... owned two Civics. My oldest son has a Civic now. I just don't think Hondas are perfect, as some folks do. :)

    If I were looking for a mid-sized car right now I'd definitely check out the Accord LX 6MT. But would look closely at the Mazda6 too. The others are down my list a bit, but lots of good cars in the class now.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    edited May 2013
    My neighbor told me that my front tires looked a bit low on air yesterday. I told him about TPMS and was confident it would alert me if the pressure went below specs.

    Anyway, I though about my MPG problem, and decided to go to my local Shell to check. The fronts were 32 PSI left and 34 PSI right. So, I found that the max pressure was 45. so I set the machine on 42. TPMS didn't warn me because the pressure was within minimum specs I guess.

    In short, WOW! What a difference. The vague steering I complained about is now a distant memory! I drove about 20 miles yesterday after the fix and I was pleased with the ride on highway and byways. Now I hope it will increase my MPG. I am going back to the station to fill the rears to match.

    Have a good weekend guys, and BTW, the new Star Trek movie is incredible!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 259
    You may want to see what the manufacturer recommends for a tire pressure. Too much tire pressure may result in the center of your tires wearing out prematurely - just like underinflating them wears out the outside edges.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    Quote: I found that the max pressure was 45.


    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    There is usually a difference between maximum pressure and recommended pressure.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    There is almost always a big difference between max and recommended pressure. Recommended pressure is on the sticker in the door jamb or in the owner's manual and is set specifically for that vehicle and is usually around 32-35 psi. The max pressure on the tire is the maximum pressure that should ever be used under any circumstance and going above it could cause tire failure. If you like 42 psi then just keep an eye on tire wear. I would recommend dropping it back to 38.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited May 2013
    Yes, the Optima is going to be noisy no matter what. 17" tires will not be enough to make an Optima quiet. 17 inch tires where considered big, low profile tires just a few years ago. 50 series tires are already pretty slim. I'd rather have a bit taller 16 inch tires, but now you can only get 16 inch tires on the most stripped base models of cars.
    There is a refresh for the 2014 Optima. If they choose to insulate the cabin better on the 2014s, I will probably add it to my list of cars to consider.
    However, noise is not the ONLY reason I don't like 18 and 19 inch tires.
    They are unusually expensive to replace and the tread life is short even if you get the longest lasting tires available in that size.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    There probably was not that much difference between a 2010 Accord and and 2014 Mazda 6 in noise, but a 2010 Accord does not have a well insulated cabin, so that's not saying much.
    2013 Accord models are now reasonably quiet for the class (maybe except Sport with 18" wheels).
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    With hundreds of thousands of miles at 40 psi I have never had an issue with uneven tire wear.
  • It never ceases to amaze me that owners and even some mechanics still inflate tires to max. pressure on the side wall. Recommended pressure also pertains to how the car will handle in a emergency situation.
    Also on average for every 10 degree change in ambient temperature tire pressure changes 1 psi. You may find them over inflated this time of year.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    edited May 2013
    My max sidewall is 51. ;)

    My car also handles better at 40 psi, gets better mpg and the tires last longer ( less flex = less heat and longer life.)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,526
    A recent case to demonstration how sensitive cars are to adjustments is the Honda Fit recall.
    The stability control had to be reprogrammed due to a different tire being spec'ed on the car when new.
    The door sticker on my Fusion specifies 37 psi front and rear.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • redgatredgat Posts: 2
    edited May 2013
    So I've been looking to get a car recently and I'm stuck at somewhat of an impasse. I test drove the Legacy, Accord, Altima, and the Sonata, and I feel like I liked them all equally. I also test drove the Fusion and Mazda6 but something about them didn't impress me too much.

    The main problem for me choosing between these cars is that I'm not much of a discriminatory driver. All I really want out of a car is safety, something that's comfortable to drive, and fuel efficiency. I've been leaning less towards the Legacy of late but it's the only car with four wheel drive in the list and where I live (Cleveland), the winters can get pretty bad.

    Does anyone have any tips for narrowing it down or other information that I should consider? I might also be moving away from the Altima because of the CVT which I don't feel entirely comfortable with. I've heard some mixed messages about its reliability and whatnot.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Get the Accord (best crash tests of the 4 finalists) and put winter tires on it in the winter. Except the Accord has a new CVT too (unless you can drive a stick). Supposed to drive better than the Altima's CVT though. Hard to get away from those CVTs now. Of your top 4, only the Sonata doesn't have a CVT.

    I assume an AWD car like the Impreza (better FE than the Legacy) will be too small for you. Oh, and the Impreza has a CVT too.

    If you're looking for a comfortable car with real good FE, the Camry LE hybrid might be worth a look. Crash tests (and a few other things) not as good as the Accord, though. The Passat SE TDi might be worth a test drive also.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    edited May 2013
    My tire wall says 45 and I have it set at 42. In the manual it says within spec. I checked the rears and they are at 36/36. Because there is less weight back there I didn't increase as ride will suffer.

    I don't have the tires set to max pressure and I am very much enjoying the way it drives/steers better now. I am looking forward to replacing them with better handling tires anyway, and I already have 18 k on my OEM Nexen Korean made units. I want Michelin's!!!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    edited May 2013
    No...I think you should go with the Mazda 6 or maybe the Sonata for two reasons.

    1) The Mazda will tell you a lot about traction (or lack there of) as it has been proven as having the best steering feel and chassis feedback. When you are driving in winter it is IMPERATIVE to know if the car has traction or not. (my family are from Buffalo).

    2) Get a 6 speed automatic, not a CVT; as you can still select 2 or 1 for winter situations, and it might be better for rocking out from being stuck.

    Also, keep in mind the the Hyundai (and the Kia Optima of course which has identical drivetrain) has an IN HOUSE BUILT 6 Speed. Why? Because their powertrain warranty is far longer than most competitors, therefore it had to be built right. Not saying others are built wrong...just know that Hyundai's 6 speed has a high reliability rating.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • redgatredgat Posts: 2
    Thank you both. I'll keep that in mind.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,550
    edited May 2013
    Actually the Optima EX has the quietest idle and second quietest @70mph out of 6 mid size sedans! (May 2012 Car & Driver), The 2012 Accord was loudest at full throttle, and the Malibu quietest at 70 mph. The Camry was quietest at full throttle. The Optima was not the loudest in any category.

    Now, what is really surprising is the the new Accord and the Mazda are both way louder than any car tested in May 2012. (C/D June 2013)

    The 2013 Accord: 43, 68, 81 (idle/70mph/full throttle)
    The 2014 Mazda 6 : 42, 69, 80

    This means that the Accord and the Mazda are the loudest mid size sedans on the market!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited May 2013
    Honda Accord "what?" Sport? That may be louder due to the louder tires.
    Decibel readings don't tell the whole story. Camry, Malibu and the Fusion and Altima without ultra low profile tires are usually rated as quiet. The new Accord other than Sport has been mostly rated as quiet enough and very quiet compared to previews years.
    Mazda 6 has been blasted for road noise in most reviews (even though the reviews generally overlook that in the end and recommend the car anyway for style and handling) and the Optima has a lot of complaints from owners about road noise regardless of decibel readings from one C/D test.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Honda Accord "what?" Sport? That may be louder due to the louder tires.

    Yep, that would definitely come into play on the idle noise level. ;)
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