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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,240
    Mr Autoextremeist.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,240
    I never said anything about fraud.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    No, you just insinuated they slant their reviews based on their "agenda".
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 7,165
    It was common knowledge as far back as the 1960s and '70s.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    edited October 2013
    Riiiight.... I disagree with some of the mags from time to time but I have never heard of any of them even investigated for taking bribes or basing their reviews on advertising dollars. Lots of people come in these forums and take cheap, driveby shot at the mags with accusations but I've never seen them cite one single shred of evidence. Now if one wants to say they(the mags) don't know what they are doing or talking about, that's fine as it is an opinion. But it's easy to say something is "well known" or "common knowledge" without having to show any evidence of it. It was probably rumors back then just like it's rumors today. People love conspiracy theories when they don't agree with something.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    I would probably figure that car mags want to avoid biting the hand that feeds them. Some of the biggest and best advertising is from car companies. Nice glossy pullout pages touting the brand. Draw your own conclusions.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,547
    It turns into scrap metal...thus saving the world by recycling. LOL.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,547
    Every car mag gets accused of this in every issue. I have read Car and Driver religiously for decades and always look through the letters to the editor first (called Backfires). There is always a letter from a reader making those accusations, mostly about BMW 3 series and Honda Accords winning the 10 best awards year after year. The magazine addresses the issue openly and I believe they really are impartial.

    I have also read MT for many years, and I very much enjoy when their opinion differs from Car and Driver, giving me a different perspective sometimes.

    If you really look at the comparo's closely, you will notice that sometimes a car wins by just one point over the winner that was chosen by a competing mag. To me it just adds choices. I just add the car to my list of ones to consider, giving me more options when it comes time to choose and sign that buyers order.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    It can be problematic criticizing a car too heavily when the maker of that car pays your bills by placing ads in your magazine. I find that all car mags have good things to say about even the worst cars.

    CR is the only exception and that is precisely why they don't accept advertising. They also call a spade a spade and have on several occasions rated cars as unacceptable.

    No matter how bad the vehicle no car mag would ever rate a car as unacceptable if the maker placed ads in the mag.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,547
    edited October 2013
    It is mostly the new EPS (Electric Power Steering) systems they are criticizing as being numb and having no feel, but this was compounded by the Azera and the Cadenza being built on the Optima/Sonata platform and asking this platform to carry 500 more pounds of engine and a larger body without adding more cross structural beams and welds.

    Now, they did say that the structural rigidity problem was only less as compared with the competition. The Impala and the Avalon are brand new chassis from the ground up, and their frames are far more rigid than say a 4 year old platform that has been modified to carry more weight than the Sonata and the Optima were designed for.

    The Chrysler/Dodge contenders in the comparo are rear drive, so the steering had better feel because those wheels are not powered and have better response as the design doesn't have to filter out the rotating mass of axle's in the front drive competitors. Also, underneath the Chrysler's is a Mercedes platform that is very rigid.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,048
    Nobody is impartial unless they're just publishing objective test data. CR is partial towards safety and repair history. C&D is biased towards performance.

    The other problem is inconsistency. The same vehicle in the same magazine can get drastically different results depending on who's doing the test.

    CR hates Fords with MFT because the touch screen makes you take your eyes off the road (not really true because you can control everything you need to control while driving from the steering wheel or voice but that's beside the point) and it's not safe. But the Tesla got a 99 out of 100 score and it only has one huge touch screen - no buttons at all.

    Every review and personal opinion is biased and anything printed for public consumption is done for entertainment value and to generate revenue for the publisher. Once you understand that and take everything with a grain of salt you can make your own informed decisions.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    I totally agree with "drawing your own conclusions" as that is what forms one's opinion. But to say it is a fact or "well known" that a car is rated on the same scale as advertising dollars collected or that direct payoffs are involved in exchange for getting good press is pretty damning dialog.

    Someone mentioned that CR pulls no punches. However, if one reads different forums they are constantly accused of bias towards Japanese cars bordering on some sort of conspiracy. They don't accept advertising dollars so how does that fit into this conspiracy theory. Add to that the fact that they just rated the Tesla and the Impala as two of the highest rated autos they have ever reviewed. Both American designed and built.

    I think there is some bias in reviews but it tends towards likes and dislikes like handling versus power or looks versus reliability. Different mags tend to view different aspects of an automobile to be more important than others. Consider this, if any magazine was ever proven to give one manufacturer better reviews based on additional advertising dollars or kickbacks, payoffs, bribes, etc., that mag would be history. No other advertiser would waste their money and the car lovers that read these mags would stop reading it. The two kisses of death... disappearing readership and ad dollars.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    " But the Tesla got a 99 out of 100 score and it only has one huge touch screen - no buttons at all."

    I've seen you write this before. Just because something(car, computer, smartphone, etc) has a screen doesn't mean the interface and how it operates are the same. Some are well done, easy to see, fast, problem free interfaces while others not so much. I think CR believes Ford's fits into the latter category and from my brief experience with it I agree with them. Now, I didn't spend hours reading and "learning" it but I assume the salesman that couldn't get it to work either had spend some time with it. Maybe he just needed a few more hours.

    While I can't disprove what you said about the same vehicle in the same magazine getting drastically different results, I have never really seen it. A little different maybe because, like you say, people notice slightly different things and may view things a little differently. But, when you say "drastically" I can't remember anything like that unless it was many years later and the vehicle turned out to be trouble prone or something.

    I've owned about 40 different vehicles and I can't remember any that I didn't like a lot at first. After years of ownership I might come to the realization that it wasn't such a great car after all. I had to admit to myself that I made a mistake. I think professional car reviewers can make mistakes sometimes too but I don't start screaming that the reason for it is some sort of conspiracy.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,547
    edited October 2013
    Ok Kirby. I'll buy that there is bias in the car mags based on that mags primary priority, such as performance to Car and Driver.

    The only good review I have seen on an Infotainment system is the MyLink system in the new Impala. (C/D June '13)

    What's funny is that in the same issue they HATED the CUE system in the Cadillac ATS. They said "As excellent as herpes" in the summary. The two systems are cousins!!! So, the reviewer obviously can make a big difference in outcome, but I do not think that the mfr pays C/D for those good reviews.

    *Buicks Intellilink is also related to CUE and MyLink

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • gee22gee22 Posts: 82
    Whether it's car magazines or any other publication, it is rare that there are bribes, kickbacks, etc but all senior editors are aware of the source of ad revenues. Manufacturers speak with their ad dollars and any business will react accordingly. Nothing has to be discussed, it's the unwritten rules of the magazine/newspaper game.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 7,165
    Walt Woron, former MT editor in the late 1960s, confirmed it in an interview with Michael Lamm, also a former editor. I think they would know.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    Confirmed what? That Motor Trend was paid off? How was that one missed in the automotive world? Did a google search, albeit a fairly quick one, and found nothing about kickbacks, bribes, slanting stories. On the contrary, I found quotes about how they got in trouble with the big three for writing critical reviews of some of their cars. Probably hurt access and advertising dollars from the big three so, again, that kind of goes against the conspiracy theory.

    I'm not saying it didn't happen but just your saying that it did doesn't convince me at all.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 7,165
    You're not willing to believe it anyway, and I believe we are not allowed to post links to other sites here, but it can be found on Hemmings if you are so inclined to search.

    "In May 1966, Petersen asked Walt to come back to Motor Trend as publisher. Walt accepted. “What followed,” he said, “was unlike anything I could have imagined, a totally different working climate…full of meetings, bottom-line discussions, pro formas, the need to slant editorial toward advertising, including the virtual selling of MT’s Car of the Year awards.

    “Instead of concentrating on magazine content, these meetings focused on upcoming promotions, ways to increase ad revenue and circulation, covers created by committee; all this coupled with intolerable office politics. I thought the magazine had lost its direction. It certainly lost its personality."

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,176
    I think we can post links here as I've seen plenty of them in this particular thread linking to C&D articles. Anyway, so nice of you to assume I won't consider actual facts versus conjecture. Just because I haven't believed you doesn't mean I don't listen to reason.

    This excerpt you posted certainly indicates that they slanted stuff in hopes of not offending anyone and tried to figure out ways to enhance the bottom line. How novel, a company trying to enhance profits. While disagreeable to some it certainly doesn't appear to border on kickbacks, bribes, outright fudging of facts or anything like that. I thought you had some real news to offer PLUS this was 50 years ago. Nothing like living in the past. I certainly wouldn't want to be judged forever by some mistakes I may have made in my formative years.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Not the topic of this discussion, and it's getting ridiculously petty and personal. Stick to discussing the sedans, not taking snipes at each other.


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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,159
    I know it's a borderline car, perhaps not in this category.

    I rented one recently and I thought it pretty much sucked. It was oh so bland, cheap interior, and drove pretty much like a Corolla. None of the character that I have been used to from VW.

    IMHO it's laughable that they thought they would increase their market share significantly with this Jetta and the current Passat.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited October 2013
    They are increasing market share by reducing the prices (at least the price of entry). I seem to recall the Jetta being marketed with "Starting at 15,995." That got you a 2.0L Boat Anchor (115hp) with a very spartan options list. The popular models push you to around 20k. However, lowering the cost of entry puts the models on people's radar.

    I wonder how many people went to Nissan dealers to look at the $9,995 Versa only to leave with one costing 150% of that.

    That leads me to a new topic/question: what are the starting prices of midsizers now? Who's the cheapest of the bunch? Is there anyone who just has an egregious lack of standard equipment anymore? (I'm trying to keep us out of trouble here and get a new convo going).
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,332
    What surprises me is that there doesn't seem to be much difference between the compacts and the midsized. I would think if I was looking at a compact I would expect it to be much cheaper, but many of them are in the mid 20s too.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think starting prices for the compacts are lower (17-18ish seems to be the norm), and the top-end is lower (25ish), but there is a lot of overlap in the "popular equipment" versions, especially if you order the midsizer with the lesser engine option.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    How about a new car mag " Appliance Driver ". This is the read for folks who don't understand any of the tech talk. All those graphs and charts are banned and talk centers around different people from different backgrounds giving subjective impressions of the vehicle .
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    Who's the cheapest of the bunch?

    In real-world terms, most likely the Avenger. I've recently seen multiple ads for V6 Avengers, decently equipped, for mid-16's. For a bit more, the 200. Not a bad deal for someone looking for that V6 power in a new car at a bargain-basement price.

    Next closest is probably (depending on phase of the moon) the low-end-trim Sonata, Optima, Fusion, Malibu, and Altima. I've seen all of these advertised in the $17-18k range within the past few weeks, with some great lease deals on the Sonata and Altima in particular. Not much more than a like-equipped Elantra, Forte, Focus, Cruze, or Sentra. Also some good prices on the Camry and Passat. No idea on the Accord, as the Twin Cities Honda dealers seem to have a pact to NEVER advertise anything but lease prices on their cars. (I would think such collusion would be illegal, but that's another story.) No big discounts advertised on the new Mazda6 yet.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,240
    First time since getting my new fuel tank. Computer indicated 15 gallons used, but when i filled it up, I got 14 in with a couple of extra clicks.
    Not bad though, about 425 miles.
    Gas was 30 cents cheaper than the last time i filled up 4 weeks ago.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,935
    from tsx at

    Camry 31,871
    Accord 25,176
    Altima 21,221
    Fusion 19,972
    Malibu 14,487
    Sonata 13,872
    Optima 11,647
    200 9,583
    Passat 7,900
    Avenger 5,099
    Mazda6 3,168
    Legacy 2,847
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,935
    The competition in midsize cars has probably never been more intense. Now that Ford's Flat Rock factory is making Fusions at full tilt, 400,000 Fusions a year can be supplied to the US market, which translates to about 33,000 a month. Honda and Nissan have a similar capacity. Toyota will stay #1 for now, because of huge incentives as well as a capacity to build up to 475,000 Camrys for the US market. My guess is that in the next year Camry will keep the lead, Accord will hang on to the #2 spot, but that Fusion will move up a notch and displace the Altima for 3rd place. The other players are doing well, but are far behind in terms of the sales race and production capacity.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,547
    Actually the proper slang for the Jetta 2.0 115 hp is "Two-Point-Slow". A penalty motor for not upgrading to the 5 cyl.

    My friends 1994 Jetta had it, and while I thought it was slow I believe it was the nicest looking Jetta to date. He had the Trek model where you got two decent bikes free with it. A really cool promotion and VW sold hundreds of thousands of them.

    It is sad that they still offer that under-powered motor in a world where all 2.0 engines produce 150 to 160 hp.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

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