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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Yes, I know. The observations C/D made between the Sonata and the Optima are what I am trying to convey to vser.

    C/D liked the Optima better. They liked the quality of the materials in the interior, and they liked the handling and styling.

    In the end they said they prefer their Sonata in Optima clothing. They compared the Optima's lines to a Jaguar. Now, as far as room is concerned in the rear seats, I fit in the back just fine, and I am 6'2" and weigh....well a lot.
    The only seat that isn't comfortable is the middle rear "hump seat"...and we all know that seat is for a kid and for short trips only. That is true for almost all sedans. Since it is me and three kids, the middle hump is not an issue.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 257
    Ugh...there is simply NOTHING wrong with drum rear brakes on cars of this class..and even the next class up. First of all, the parking brake works so much more effectively requiring way way WAY fewer adjustments. The odds of the Mrs. driving off with it on is much reduced. They are also far far FAR more corrosion resistant friendly, altho those in VA won't have any firsthand experience realizing this so you can be excused there. Also, they last way way WAY longer! Hell, there are drum brakes on some poster's cars here on Edmunds that have gone well over 150k miles on the original shoes.

    Drum brakes are cheap. The reason they last so long today is that they don't get used very much - most of the braking (when disc/drum) is done with the front brakes. They (rear drums) should probably last the life of your car. To actually "work", drum brakes require constant adjustment. Two ways to adjust them: 1) use a specialized tool and 2) by applying them when backing up. In the past, when parallel parking was the norm this action adjusted the drum brakes and kept them adjusted and thus working. Now that parallel parking is almost a thing of the past, once the initial adjustment wears off the drum brakes do virtually nothing.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Modern parking brakes with rear discs are self-adjusting. On modern cars the rear brakes are actually used more than the fronts in most cases so rear drums would wear out just as fast as rear discs.

    The only advantage to drums is cost.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Don't know about you but I still have to back out of my driveway and most parking spaces at stores, restaurants, etc. I don't understand why you would say that the only time rear drum brakes get adjusted is during parallel parking??? On the other hand, I live in a suburb of Chicago and we still have plenty of of parallel parking spots in town and in neighboring towns. But I agree, they are cheaper.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    On modern cars the rear brakes are actually used more than the fronts in most cases so rear drums would wear out just as fast as rear discs.

    This simply is not true at all! Not sure where you're getting that from but I suggest trying to relate to just a couple theories (there are more but 2 will suffice I hope).

    Ask yourself why front brakes be they old fashioned drums or discs are ALWAYS larger on the front axle than the rear. Everything is larger, the rotors, the pads, the calipers...all because the front does the vast majority of the braking. There are many reasons for this but weight transfer is among the top...and while this is happening, the rear becomes less loaded so hence even less braking ability is available on the rear. And this now is one reason that, yes, discs on the rear can provide a bit more controllable activation so are desirable for TC on sporting/panic characteristics.

    The second scenario is one you can try easily yourself by walking beside your bicycle (providing it has separate fr and rr brakes). Just walk beside it and apply the rear brake and see how easy it is to drag the back wheel. Now try the same walk-beside, but instead, apply the front brake and see how much more retardation is available.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    The 2009 Elantra was built on the previous platform. The 2011 to 2014 Elantra is the model that was being discussed as having mid size room/interior dimensions.

    The Elantra also shares it's platform with the Kia Forte'. (both current and previous models).

    You should probably ask the guys on the compact car board if they have had a similar experience like the one you described. Maybe they know more about it.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Also, many (if not most unfortunately) use a smaller diameter interior drum within the rear rotor to house a drum brake type of parking brake. The parking brake is super adjustment-sensitive and even when brand new and adjusted right, it simply can't have the holding force that a larger drum provides.

    And while many will activate the rear pads through the caliper, those types are very prone to corrosion and sticking in areas where roads are salted etc...especially on cars whose owners don't always use the parking brake.

    All reasons why I prefer rear drums.

    (cski) As for some of the performance perks from rear discs vs drums, fact is, rear drums weigh.. if anything, a bit less than a rotor...especially the rotors that house a drum parking brake inside. Factoring in that that, combined with weight of calipers and pads vs the weight of shoes and assorted springs and levers, can sometimes weight MORE than a drum set up. This becomes an unsprung weight comparo (less is better) because less unsprung weight allows the suspension duties to perform/react not only quicker to road irregularities but do so more easily. This is for the most part (but not exclusively) a performance and racing perk. But I do agree that TC and threshold braking can be a little better controlled with rear's just that, personally, I prefer to give up those performance enhancements to have all the other benefits that mean more to me if I could have drums.

    And for info...I recently had to replace rear rotors (with inside parking expensive) on my CRV. And the fronts are still original! This is certainly not the norm on most cars has more to do with Honda's known crappy brake designs on CRVs.
  • I highly doubt drum brakes are lighter, consider all the steel in the shoes, springs and that large cast iron drum. Disc brakes dissipate heat far better and hence are less prone to fade. Also rear drum cylinders fail long before caliper cylinders on disc brakes in my experiance. Not to mention the increased labor costs (or DIY work) when needing replacement and no, they do not last "the life of a vehicle".
    If someone prefers them I say enjoy the 1940's technology. I'll take disc brakes any day, including using them on Motorcycles and Bicycles.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited October 2013
    For me personally I hate seeing drums through the rims on cars...the disc/disc looks (physically) better.

    As far as weight is involved, rear calipers and rotors are smaller on back wheels, and the weight difference is most likely nil because of that. It depends on the car.

    Having rear discs is upmarket, and drums are downmarket. That is the way it is in the industry. Whether they work any better than drum, on a middle model car like mine, is most likely negligible at reasonable (and legal) speeds. Pedal feel is better "they say", but I don't know as I have had rear disc's since 2001.

    Longevity wise, my Grand Cherokee needed new rear pads at 130,000 miles, but they still passed inspection and I sold it with the original pads still on it. I informed the buyer and he said it he would do it himself. This is on a 5000 lb vehicle with 4x4. Longevity is not an issue in my experience.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Yes, I agree on the aesthetics thing..for sure.. speaking of which...and I shouldn't go there (here) cuz it is so off topic, so don't feel you have to reply..but I absolutely abhor the round holes in steel wheels. It's becoming less of an issue as alloys are becoming more common-place, but there is something about a round in so many of them...just makes a wheel look so Mickey Mouse. I know the intention was to reduce weight originally compared to the old basic steel rim, but for the love of all that's good and decent in the world...if there must be a hole..elongate the dang thing..anyway..rant off.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    That's the way brakes used to work, but not on some (or most) modern cars. We just had the brakes replaced on the 08 Edge with 60K miles. The front brakes had plenty of pad left but the rears were shot. The tire shop that did the brakes said that was becoming much more common now where the rear brakes are doing much more of the braking than in the past and they're seeing rears wear out much faster. That's not an isolated case, either. It just has to do with the design of the braking systems and software and the advent of stability control and 4 wheel ABS.

    There is no advantage to drums other than cost, and rear brakes do tend to wear faster than the fronts at least on some modern cars.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Interesting sounds like they rated the stock sound system fairly highly in the Optima. I think what you did with by adding the powered sub, was great idea. It'd simply allow more OEM amp watts to power more cleanly the higher frequencies when the volume is turned up. The Optima in the C&D comparo did not have an upgraded stereo did it? Not beyond say maybe just having the 6 speakers of course...not even sure if a base base Optima has only 4..

    Another thing that jumped out a bit for me was their like for the seats in the Optima. I guess because I love the office in an Optima. I got the impression though they preferred the lighter steering and overall handling of the Sonata better. I was shocked to read the Sonata was the second quietest in the group at speed.

    From my own experiences I can concur with them on the auto in the Passat. It's a gem...the regular 6 sp auto that is..
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I look for 3 things in rims.

    1) The rim cannot be wider than the tire. This avoids "rim rash". Tires bend, aluminum does not.

    2) Easy to clean: self explanatory.

    3) Looks: I like "split" 5 star rims, where it is basically a 5 spoke design but with 2 fins on each main spoke. I have them on my car currently. My Jeep had 5 stars too, and were easy to clean. I clean my rims once a week, and they will still look new 10 years from now. Brake dust and dirt over time will permanently damage aluminum wheels by pitting.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited October 2013
    The Sonata was the only car in the comparo that came with 18" rims, and those rims were wider with stickier rubber; thus the better handling.

    The Optima's sound system is good as long as you listen to digital media. Turn on an FM source though, and it sounds like "My First Radio" by Fisher Price. Horrible. Or maybe FM is just that bad in comparison. But it does have Sirius and pairing a phone is easy. I guarantee you guys you will not need the manual to set it up. Also, all the major controls are on the steering need to reach. Use a thumb drive and you can skip the Sirius fees. I am not going to pay to listen to old Twisted Sister and Van Halen. I have over 1000 MP3's right in the USB port. My kids LOVE it.

    It does not have enough bass for me....and why they didn't use the rear deck for speakers I will never understand. The SX model has a sub mounted in the center of the rear deck, thus the premium sound.

    I don't know ab out you guys, but I miss the simplicity of the older 89-94 model Honda Accords. They used 6 1/2" speakers on front doors and rear decks, and took a standard DIN size stereo in the dash. You could put ANY stereo on the aftermarket in those cars, and adding a sub was Awwwwwwsummmm. Those were the good-old-days of car Audio. (for me).

    Ok I am done posting today....someone else take over!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    Drove the Fusion 1750 miles over the weekend, all using 93 octane fuel.
    2/3's of the trip there were 3 people in the car, the rest with 2.
    About the only difference I noticed was that it didn't downshift on some hills that it would otherwise.
    I would guess that the fuel mileage was about the same for the trip as using regular, 28.8.
    Am trying another tank of premium for my normal commute.
    Probably would not have made my goal of 500 miles on one tank, but the opportunity didn't really present itself.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter is interested in speaking with a car buyer who recently purchased a new sedan, but did not consider any of the German brands (such as Volkswagen) during the shopping process. If you can assist, please contact by Wednesday, October 23 2013.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I figured the CRV had the same type of rear brakes as the Accord, but obviously not. On my 03 Accord the emergency brakes are built into the rear calipers. I much rather rear disks in this setup. The pads are much easier to change than shoes would be, and look much better through the open wheels my Accord has. The wear is also easier to check with disk than with drums (I can actually check the rear pad wear without taking the wheels off). Also, with the advent of EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), the rear brakes do a lot more work on the 03, than they did on my old 92 Accord. Under light braking, the rear brakes do a lot of the work, which lessens nose-dive, and saves the front brakes for hard braking. This of course means that the rear pads wear much faster than they used to, but changing the pads is easy as pie compared to a drum setup. There is also no way a drum setup would weigh less than the disks, at least on my car. The last time I had a vehicle with rear drums (Toyota truck) I took the drums off to check the wear on the shoes, and they looked like they had never touched the drums at all. Why even put brakes on the rear, if they aren't going to be used? With virtually no braking power going to the rear wheels, the front brakes have to work that much harder, which means they will wear quicker. Rear disks are better, in many ways, IMO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Your son may not be aware that the car's GVWC is posted on the door jamb. For the 2009 Elantra, it's 3752 pounds. Subtract the car's curb weight, around 2750, and that leaves ~1000 pounds for everything else including gas, people, and luggage.

    With two 250+ pound guys in back, two more people in front, and luggage for all four in the trunk, it's likely your son exceeded the payload capacity of the car. Or if not, could be the weight was unevenly distributed with two big guys plus the luggage in back of the car.

    Another way to look at it is, one could load a LOT of gold bouillon into a car the size of the Elantra, including in the trunk. Doesn't mean it's a good idea!
  • vservser Posts: 48
    As crazy as this sounds right now, the Avalon is in the mix. IMHO it has a lot of what I'm looking for. One thing tho is the extra 6k ish. But I'm thinking the residual value after 5 years will be much more than 6k. Just not sure if its too fancy for an active 40 year old.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    The Avalon is a great car! I wish the new Impala's face could be grafted on to it, but the rest of the car is WOW!

    I can guess you are not considering the Chevy, but it is a darn fine car and has been well received in the mags. With the 3.6 it makes 305 hp, and is very nice inside.

    Also, good news...there is NOTHING wrong with my car. A crushed coke can got sucked off the road and jammed between the muffler and the body, causing a buzzzzzzzing noise. The mechanic came out laughing.
    So, 24,000 heavy footed miles and still zero problems with the Optima.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited October 2013
    That's why on pickup trucks the most important wheels to have ABS on is the rears.
    I can tell by your posts that you understand the physics involved in having an unloaded pickup with the rear wheels locking....the rear wants to come around and you end up pointing the wrong way on the freeway.

    Here is a list of the four major ABS systems in case any of us wish to fall asleep from boredom early tonight. I just cut and pasted from wiki...

    Anti-lock braking systems use different schemes depending on the type of brakes in use. They can be differentiated by the number of channels: that is, how many valves that are individually controlled—and the number of speed sensors.[17]
    Four-channel, four-sensor ABS
    This is the best scheme. There is a speed sensor on all four wheels and a separate valve for all four wheels. With this setup, the controller monitors each wheel individually to make sure it is achieving maximum braking force.
    Three-channel, four-sensor ABS
    There is a speed sensor on all four wheels and a separate valve for each of the front wheels, but only one valve for both of the rear wheels. Older vehicles with four-wheel ABS usually use this type.
    Three-channel, three-sensor ABS
    This scheme, commonly found on pickup trucks with four-wheel ABS, has a speed sensor and a valve for each of the front wheels, with one valve and one sensor for both rear wheels. The speed sensor for the rear wheels is located in the rear axle. This system provides individual control of the front wheels, so they can both achieve maximum braking force. The rear wheels, however, are monitored together; they both have to start to lock up before the ABS will activate on the rear. With this system, it is possible that one of the rear wheels will lock during a stop, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is easy to identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for the rear wheels.
    One-channel, one-sensor ABS
    This system is commonly found on pickup trucks with rear-wheel ABS. It has one valve, which controls both rear wheels, and one speed sensor, located in the rear axle. This system operates the same as the rear end of a three-channel system. The rear wheels are monitored together and they both have to start to lock up before the ABS kicks in. In this system it is also possible that one of the rear wheels will lock, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is also easy to identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for any of the wheels.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • vservser Posts: 48
    I drove the impala. It was nice, but to me a little jumpy. I felt like I needed to hit the gas. It does look good. There is limited visibility out the back window though.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    To me, the Impala lacks a unique identity.
    It looks like a bigger combination of mid size cars.
    Accord front, Fusion body, Sonata back.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    Looking for the perfect car is one of my favorite things to do. Good luck and enjoy !
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    So how does the weight capacity of the Elantra compare to other midsize cars? I've carried more weight in my Accord many times, with no trouble. Point being, if the car has midsize capability, as far as interior and trunk volume, it should also have the same capability, as other midsize cars, as it relates to weight of cargo too. There doesn't seem to be much clearance at all between the tires and fenders on the Elantra, so it would have to have a pretty stiff suspension to compensate for the lack of wheel travel clearance. I guess a stiff suspension, on such a light car, would make for a rough ride, but what good is midsize space, if it can't handle midsize weight?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    It's not a midsized car. It just has a lot of interior and trunk space. It is a compact car with a big interior. What good is the space? It's called elbow room. Take a pickup, you might be able to fit 2000 lbs into the bed but if it's a half-ton pickup you are in for trouble.

    How old was the Elantra? Maybe it had weak springs or something along with being overloaded.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Again, the 2009 model was smaller than the current, completely re-designed 2011 and up model. So you have 500 lbs in the back, trunk stuffed w/ luggage, plus driver and passenger. That is a lot of weight for a compact, which is why folks with frequent rear passengers and luggage/golf-bags, etc. will usually select a larger car.

    I tote three kids in my car daily, and we went on vacation with all of our luggage and boogie boards, cooler full of ice and food, etc and my car barely looked like it was loaded down from the outside.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >. A crushed coke can got sucked off the road

    Glad to hear there was nothing wrong with the car.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited October 2013
    I had an appointment in Manassas, VA this morning at 7 AM, which was no problem to get there (30 mi), but I could not believe the traffic on the way back. It took me an hour and a half. If I had to do that commute every day I would go nuts.

    Why am I mentioning this? Well, I saw all kinds of hybrids, including 3 Optima's, countless Sonata's and 2 new Honda Accord Hybrids. I can't even begin to tell you how many Priusususes. With that kind of stop and go commute I would DEFINITELY be driving a hybrid with battery only operation for at least 20 miles. There would be no way to afford the gas driving anything else. It was nice to see far less large SUV's, which used to make such a status statement. Remember Hummers? Have you seen any lately? Me neither.

    I think America is just beginning to get the picture, which is a good thing. Now we need a better selection of sedans with turbo-diesel hybrids for the best possible fuel savings while still offering loads of power down low, for torque-thirsty American tastes.

    I was really looking forward to testing out the new Mazda 6 TD, but alas it's release was delayed by EPA certification problems. Mazda is saying late Spring before they show up at dealers lots. Bummer.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    Being retired, I don't commute anymore but getting caught in a traffic jam pegs the mpg readout in my Prius at 99 mpg.
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