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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited July 2013
    I finally jettisoned my OEM tires, and I am glad I did. The new Bridgestone's have totally changed the ride, which was hard as a rock... and loud in comparison. The ride and noise levels were my main gripe about the stock Nexen tires, so when I saw that the Turanza's were also a low rolling resistance design as well, that sealed the deal. They also were highly rated for wet traction too. I don't know how they got all these great features out of one tire, and the jury is still out on wet traction, since it is 100 degrees here and refuses to rain.

    I am obviously a little OCD about my Optima, so as you folks can imagine it took a couple of weeks of agonizing research to finally take the plunge and get this done. I am going on vacation in August (including a 1000 mile round trip), and since Kia did not provide me with a spare, there was no way I was doing it with 3 tire plugs and marginal tread life after 20k of pounding DC traffic.

    I found the new Bridgestones at NTB, and they gave me 20% off for applying for their credit card, 6 months same as cash, and I got a $60 Visa debit card from Bridgestone. Pretty happy.

    NTB/Merchants all-inclusive price was $120 per tire INSTALLED, after the 20% discount, which was great because just the tires are $143 each on the tire rack. I did pay tax and a $6 disposal fee.

    Basically it was $530 total.

    The Turanza's have very positive reviews everywhere I looked, and so far it seems to be accurate.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Are you folks seeing the online ad on this site by Toyota trying to literally "crush" the Accord? The ad is both obnoxious and misleading. The animation has a Camry on a platform on top of an Accord, and the Accord gets smashed into the ground. Text pops up saying things like: "American Made," "Long Lasting," etc. For one, both of these cars fit American made, since the Camry is made in Kentucky and the Accord in Ohio. Both are long lasting. No points have been made, in other words, but the Accord is crushed anyway. I can't imagine Honda doing anything as crass and crude as this.

    The Accord has better safety ratings than the Camry, accelerates more quickly, has more standard features, higher mpg, better handling.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,197
    I just decided the test drive the Accord yesterday at my local dealer. I test drove the base model LX Accord.

    The 4-cylinder with 185 HP will have perfectly adequate power for 9 out of 10 people, unfortunately I'm in the 1 out of 10, but it was very good for a 4-banger.

    The CVT is fantastic and works just like a normal good automatic transmission. This transmission makes every previous CVT made by other manufacturers look like a dinosaur.

    The car was pretty good, but I preferred the seats in the EX-L, and I love a leather steering wheel (although Honda's isn't as nice as Audi's).

    Looks like the Sport model might hit the niche I would want from this car (slightly more HP, leather steering wheel).

    Seat travel is limited so if your more than 6'3" tall, you'll get pissed that you can move the seat further back.
    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
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited July 2013
    It seems like Toyota is grasping at straws and taking the low road in trying to win it's battle over the now-in-first-place Accord in sales.

    We talk about how the Camry continues to be a best seller despite it's less than stellar reviews, comparatively lower safety scores, and ho-hum styling.

    Well, I have noticed that there are more new Accords on the road around here than any other current model mid-size else except the Sonata. To be fair, I can't tell a 2011 Sonata from a 2013 so this is just an observation...fair or not. I DO see a LOT of 2011/2012 Camry but I will address that next.

    By personal observation on mid-size sedans made since 2004, I would have to say that I see the Camry more often BY FAR than any other car on on the road. Next would be the Altima, and then the Accord, with the Fusion bringing up the rear in fourth.

    Now, I know this isn't the compact car forum, but the Corolla and the Civic are a tossup for first, with the Mazda 3 and Focus tied for second.

    This is just my observation...I am not an expert, but I would like to play one on TV. ;)

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    However....I have noticed that there are more new Accords on the road around here than any other current model mid-size else except the Sonata.

    Must be a local thing... or maybe it's because people tend to notice what they're looking for. :) I see tons of Sonatas, but also lots of Optimas and Passats and 200s. Probably because they have been out longer than other mid-sized re-designs. I see more current gen Camrys, Altimas, and Fusions than Accords. I've actually seen very few Accords, only a couple of Mazda6's. And very few new Malibus despite relatively decent sales numbers.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    base model auto trans
    200 24
    Passat 25
    Malibu 26
    Fusion 26
    Camry 28
    Sonata 28
    Optima 28
    Accord 30
    Altima 31
    Mazda6 31
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    The current standard is only about 23 mpg combined.

    The standard for midsize cars in 2017 is about 27.

    The standard for midsize cars in 2021 is about 32.
    (The Mazda6 is already there if you get the optional Tech Pkg with regenerative braking, etc.)

    The standard for midsize cars in 2025 is about 38.

    Only the last standard is a significant jump over where the most economical cars are now. We can assume that a dozen years of improving technology and better designs will help us get most of the way there, without even the use of hybrids. But the 38 mpg requirement is actually weakened by "credits" that manufacturers get for various things like hybrids, ac refrigerants, etc. Once manufacturers buy down the requirement with the credits, the real standard will probably be about 35 combined, which is only 3 mpg more than the current Mazda6 gets with Tech Pkg, which admittedly is an all-new state-of-the-art car. But still, if you ever hear someone whine about these unrealistic CAFE requirements, they are really just blowing smoke imho. We'll get there, and we'll get there without sacrificing room, safety, or performance.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I am 6'3" and ended up with accord (sport) precisely because of the leg and head room. I do wish the steering wheel had a little more reach, but I'm still getting settled after just 1,000 miles. Options are sitting up straighter than I'm used to, or having the seat forward a bit. Moving every seat all the way back is a lifelong habit... The amazing thing is I can actually fit in the back seat even with driver seat all the way back. In my old Mazda3 there was virtually no room behind the driver.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    Does the Sport Accord have a power seat? Lumbar? Yeah, the legroom in the new Accord is impressive, esp. since the car is about 3 inches shorter than the last model (I like the added room in my small garage). At 38.5 inches, I think the only midsize car with more rear legroom is probably the Passat.

    Do you use the paddle shifters much? They are probably fun to have, even if you only use them once in a while.

    The tires on the Sport Accord are massive. Does it seem like they help with handling and grip, or is it hard to tell?
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioPosts: 723
    Grasping at straws? Ho hum styling? Compared to the Accord? I beg to differ. Just 12 presets for XM radio on the accord. Dumb. Is XM even offered on the lower end EX or LX models? Dumb. Plus the gimmicky passenger side blind side monitor. Dumb. Accord really let me down. And I had a 2007 Accord EX-L 4 cylinder coupe 5 speed manual in my driveway up until recently-- great car. But no manual offered on the ex-l now? Dumb. What was smart of accord? Driver seat position memory-- good move. Camry could learn from that.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    It seems like Toyota is grasping at straws and taking the low road in trying to win it's battle over the now-in-first-place Accord in sales.

    The Camry is 207,626 ytd thru June. The Accord is 186,860. How can Accord be "now-in-first place" in sales?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    I think cski meant was that the Accord is leading in to sales of retail customers as opposed to selling cars cheaply to rental car companies. Since only 80% of Camry sales are retail, that means they sold about 166,000 that way, which is below the c. 185,000 the Accord sold retail.

    Among the big players in mid-sized cars, Honda is alone in mostly shunning fleet orders through April.
    Chrysler 200 52% Toyota Camry 20%
    Chevrolet Malibu39% Hyundai Sonata 17%
    Ford Fusion 34% Honda Accord 1%
    Nissan Altima 33%
    Source: R.L. Polk & Co. data analyzed by
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    yeah, I guess he could have meant that but that's what he should have said then. But for years and years Camry has beat Accord in sales both retail and fleet. Doesn't make Camry a better car then and it doesn't make Accord a better car now. I don't think anyone would argue that a Camry is a better car than Accord as I personally would rather have an Accord(well actually I would rather have a Mazda6) but using a sales number as one's criteria is foolish. That would make Corolla the best compact sedan just because it sells better worldwide and it certainly is not the best car.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I was specifically responding to benjaminh on a post featuring a Toyota commercial with a Camry piled on top of an Accord and crushing it. That was where the "low road" comment came from.

    On the sales comment, it was the net Accord sales vs Camry w/o fleet or Taxi sales.

    I always research a post string before I make comments about it. :)

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 257
    I was specifically responding to benjaminh on a post featuring a Toyota commercial with a Camry piled on top of an Accord and crushing it. That was where the "low road" comment came from.

    I understood that from your reply. I think Honda is producing all the cars they can and selling them to individuals while Toyota has a larger production capacity (more than one US factory) and relies on taxi/fleet sales for their numbers. I don't know (and not interested in looking up) the resale values, but one reason the accord historically has held its value better than camry is the fleet sales. When companies get rid of these cars they flood the market and lower the price for all camrys - not just theirs. I remember in 2000 when we bought an accord. A friend of ours who worked at a Toyota dealership suggested we buy an accord. He stated that the camry costs $1,000 more new and in 3 years will be worth $1,000 less than the accord.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    It's been an epic battle stretching back for 30 years. As you say, Toyota has the capacity to build a lot, I think up to 500,000 Camrys a year for sale in the USA, although they've never actually sold quite that many. Their top year was about 470,000 iirc, although I'll try to look that up. As you say, the "extra" production, so to speak, goes to rental car companies and that affects resales values.

    Hondas top sales year for the Accord was maybe c. 420,000, but that was a long time ago, and I think that might have included a small percentage of imported Accords from Japan. I don't think they usually import more than a very small number from Japan these days, but the recent drop in the yen might change that. I think they are selling every one that they can make in Ohio at the moment.

    For the history buffs, here is the history of the sales battle between Accord and Camry in the USA. In the 80s the Accord was way ahead, but slowly and surely the Camry overtook it, in part by selling to fleets and rental car companies:

    Toyota Camry: 151,767
    Honda Accord: 325,004

    Toyota Camry: 186,623
    Honda Accord: 334,876

    Toyota Camry: 225,322
    Honda Accord: 362,663

    Toyota Camry: 255,252
    Honda Accord: 362,707

    Toyota Camry: 283,042
    Honda Accord: 417,179

    Toyota Camry: 262,531
    Honda Accord: 399,297

    Toyota Camry: 284,751
    Honda Accord: 393,477

    Toyota Camry: 297,836
    Honda Accord: 330,030

    Toyota Camry: 319,718
    Honda Accord: 367,615

    Toyota Camry: 326,632
    Honda Accord: 341,384

    Toyota Camry: 357,359
    Honda Accord: 382,298

    Toyota Camry: 394,397
    Honda Accord: 384,609

    Toyota Camry: 427,308
    Honda Accord: 401,071

    Toyota Camry: 445,696
    Honda Accord: 404,192

    Toyota Camry: 420,451
    Honda Accord: 404,515

    Toyota Camry: 388,219
    Honda Accord: 414,718

    Toyota Camry: 431,647
    Honda Accord: 398,980

    Toyota Camry: 411,088
    Honda Accord: 397,750

    Toyota Camry: 424,803
    Honda Accord: 386,770

    Toyota Camry: 429,519
    Honda Accord: 369,293

    Toyota Camry: 445,808
    Honda Accord: 354,441

    Toyota Camry: 470,710
    Honda Accord: 392,231

    Toyota Camry: 434,935
    Honda Accord: 372,789

    Toyota Camry: 356,824
    Honda Accord: 290,056 (2564 Crosstours)

    Toyota Camry: 327,804
    Honda Accord: 311,381 (28,851 Crosstours)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    The Camry is probably the least expensive midsize car you can get, and there some good things you can say about it. But the last time I had one as a rental I was not at all impressed. And I'm not the only one. Here's what Motor Trend said in a 6 car midsize car comparison test several months ago. The Camry was 5th: - on/viewall.html

    "....The competition has crept up, though. And the Camry itself is -- dare we say it? -- showing signs of weakness. True, the basics are still there: a genuinely huge and inviting rear seat, impressive real-world fuel efficiency (we observed 26.1 mpg), a full complement of conveniences, and aggressive pricing ($25,570 base for the topline XLE). So why aren't we in love?

    Ask Febbo: "This car is just so cynical. Horribly executed, and not a drop of passion anywhere. Interior looks like it was designed by the accounting department. Monochrome display for the HVAC system could have been developed in the '70s. The knobs are cheap, the buttons are cheap, everything is built to the lowest price."

    Febbo isn't alone. Writes Seabaugh: "Did Toyota even try? Seems like they just phoned it in. Cabin has way too many hard plastics, a shoddy infotainment system, a dash so shiny it reflects into the windshield in direct sunlight. This is the McDonald's of cars: billions and billions served. But that doesn't mean it's good."

    Motor Trend said some even more critical stuff after that....
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 257
    edited July 2013
    I would not refute motortrend's writing. Of the midsize cars we've checked out, the camry easily had the cheapest interior. I think most of the cars on the Toyota lot had really cheap interiors. If one is buying a car solely for reliability, perhaps the camry is a good idea because it can be had at a good price. But that's about it. I looked at the USAA website for my area and I can buy a comparable accord for about $500 more than a camry and that's because the camry has been discounted so much. IMHO - the accord is worth far more than the $500 difference. In fact, I think the accord is probably worth $2500 to $3000 more than the comparable camry BEFORE all the discounting.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I am pretty sure the least expensive new midsized sedan (as defined in this discussion, not as defined only by EPA interior volume) right now is the Avenger, followed by the 200. I've seen new Avengers, decently equipped, advertised in my area for under $16k... and that's before any negotiating. Similarly for the 200s. I'm pretty sure you can't get a new Camry for $16k.

    Of course, you get what you pay for. ;)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Wow. That is cheap for the 200 and Avenger. I'm not sure I've ever even seen one of those in the flesh. No wonder more than 50% go to rental companies and fleets! I wonder what they get them for? 15k?

    The cheapest Camry I saw advertised recently in Louisville was for $18,990. And so, yeah, that's a lot more than a 200. But as you say, you get what you pay for. As cheap as the Camry seems in places, I bet the 200 is that much worse. The base model has a 4 speed auto (??) which is a sign it's going into your local Budget if not Rent a Wreck...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If Toyota can get away with a 4 speed automatic on its redesigned 2014 Corolla base model, maybe Chrysler figures it can get away with a standard 4AT on the base trim of the old 200, with the 6AT available as an option (and standard on all other trims). I'll bet both of those low-end trims are destined only for rental car lots, or at least most of them are.

    Chrysler really does need a new mid-sized sedan. They did a pretty good job on the Dart, so that gives hope for the successor to the 200.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2013
    wayne wrote: "In fact, I think the accord is probably worth $2500 to $3000 more than the comparable camry...."

    I think you're probably right. And the Accord probably costs Honda maybe something like $1000-2000 more to make than a Camry.

    Back in 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis, the President of Honda told the Civic team to take something like $1000 off the cost of the 2012 Civic. They did, but then the 2012 Civic was justly criticized for being cheap in some obvious ways. The President himself took the blame, and told the Civic team to go back to the drawing board and see how to put c. $1000 back into each car to make it better. This involved better plastics, more sound insulation, better steering, better suspension components, thicker glass, nicer styling, etc. But they only raised the price something like $100 bucks, which doesn't seem like it would make financial sense. But the 2012 Civic was only selling with big rebates, while the 2013 Civic is selling with much smaller rebates. I'm not sure the profit level per car changed, but Honda effectively moved the Civic upmarket.

    The 2013 Accord was also an attempt by Honda to move upmarket, because the KIA Optima and Hyundai Sonata and some other cars had already moved upmarket a few years earlier. The Optima looks amazingly classy for a midsize car, inside and out, and has great engineering and standard equipment. Plus they are selling with only small rebates.

    Normally a "halo" car is something like a Corvette, which may be profitable in an of itself, but more importantly gives prestige to the brand. I can't find the link, but there was some Honda executive that described the 2013 Accord as their "halo" car. At first, I thought he might be misusing that word, but then as I saw the whines and complaints from Acura fans at places like, and I saw what he meant. Normally, the best and newest tech for halo cars starts at the high end cars and brands and moves down to the high volume models in a few years. But Honda, to the anger of some Acura fans, has put some of the best stuff they have on the Accord first, before Acura, like the direct injected engines, the lane watch, etc. Plus, they moved down a fair amount of stuff that used set Acura apart, like chrome door handles, etc. So a base Honda Accord not only gets from 0-60 faster than an Acura TSX, but it gets better mpg, has more high tech stuff, and costs a lot less. No wonder Acura is only doing so-so right now.

    But this also means that Honda probably can't really offer the rebates that Toyota has right now for the Camry. If they did, they'd might lose money. Toyota can sell the Camry for less and still make a profit.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,726
    I'm not sure Honda would meet Toyota rebates even if they could financially. Part of their image is high resale. I think that's why even with miniscule (regardless whether they are Bernanke artificial) interest rates, Honda never went below 0.9% while many of it's competitors offer 0% differing from each other only in terms of loan duration at that rate.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    edited July 2013
    Accord Sport does have power driver seat and power lumbar adjustment.

    I got the manual, so can't comment on the paddle shifters.

    I didn't drive an LX or EX, so can't compare the performance of the upsized wheels and tires, but I will say they have plenty of grip even in the rain, and they are not noisy at all. The OE tires are rated 400 A A, I'm anxious to see how they hold up over the long run. There is plenty of sidewall, so they are not what I'd call "low profile", the ride is not harsh. And there is a nice rubber "lip" built in to protect the wheels from minor scuffs. Also, the sport wheels' gray painted finish hides brake dust nicely.

    I'll be honest, the thing I like most about them is they just look cool. The Sport has a nice "stance" compared to the LX/EX. LX 16"s in particular look fairly wimpy, although it's a lot better than the plastic wheel covers on base Accords up through last year. The 17"s, which are the same wheels from EX all the way up to Touring, are a bit bland as well. Sport wheels combined with the dual exhaust, lip spoiler, and moderate chrome trim front, rear, and door handles, and tinted windows, it's a rather upscale look. I've had several comment that it looks much more expensive than it really is (FB photo taken from side had one friend convinced I'd bought a new BMW... haha. Not quite. Although I do see a faint resemblance to the new Lexus GS, if you'll permit the fantasy...)
  • ctlctl Posts: 129
    Automotive News cites R.L. Polk data in noting that many of the family sedan segment's heavyweights are running above 30-percent fleet sales, including the Altima, Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, while the Camry is expected to finish the year under 15 percent. Even so, Camry sales to fleets are ahead of this time last year (despite 2012's numbers having sizable catch-up sales after 2011's tsunami-tightened supplies). Honda has long touted its low fleet sale percentage, and the new Accord is no different – its fleet sales sit at 1 percent. ed-to-keep-sales-cr/
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Resale is only a potential problem if you keep a car less than 5 years or if it is totaled in that time. But Camry still has very good resale, even with fleet sales of about 12%. And if you look at a Camry vs. Accord, used the Accord is about $900 more for comparable 2010s, but the Accord was about $800 more new, so I am not seeing any real big decrease in resale value in my quick look at Edmunds pricing for the two. And that is just one element of the total cost to own. Factor in insurance cost, maintenance costs, part costs, ease of DIY maintenance, etc, etc.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,197
    Resale is only a potential problem if you keep a car less than 5 years or if it is totaled in that time.

    I think that statement is correct 30 years ago, but nowadays you have to change that 5 year figure to more like 7 years. Cars are getting very expensive and used car values have been higher lately.
    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
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I'd say the longer you keep a car, the MORE it matters. Honda and Toyota may be about the same, but compare either of those to anything American or Korean after 3, 6, 10 years...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I have done that. Have you? I own a 9-1/2 year old Elantra. It's still worth about half of its original purchase price after all that time. Not bad at all for a nearly 10 year old car!

    Take a look at used car prices for late model Hyundais, including 2006+ Sonatas. They're up there with the best of them. Probably because they've improved a lot in the past 8-10 years.

    I also see resale values of the better American mid-sized cars like the Fusion holding up well too.

    Where I see the big dropoff in value is on higher end cars. Luxury cars in particular really take a hit in resale value the first few years.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited July 2013
    You know, I find the IP on the 2014 Crayola much more cohesive than the hodge-podge, IP-by-committee "style" on the Camry.

    See it here: hoto_02.html

    I had to laugh when the author said "whats with the giant circles on the steering wheel? I feel like I should be firing missiles". Awesome! :D

    Also, thank you Toyota for not putting any fake wood trim in the new Corolla dash.

    So, Toyota, if you are listening, fix the Camry dash layout. Focus on good materials, and dump the wood if you can't do it tastefully. Sell out the current stock at a discount. Maybe as the "Honey Boo-Boo edition". Or whatever. Just call up Clem in fleet sales. He'll know what to do.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

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