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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Honda Accord as tops amongst midsize sedans and seldom get it right.

    How can you say they didn't get it right? Everyone picks the car they like the best. You, me, CR, Joe Blow. You may want a 4 door sports car, and the Altima would be a good choice for you. Joe Blow may be looking for the smoothest ride, and he would like a Camry, or Sonata. Do we all have to agree? I hope not. :confuse:
  • As I remember it, the CR rating of 89 for the V6 Passat, Accord, and Altima relates to driving performance only. The Accord is ranked first overall by CR because of other consumer factors (reliability, value, resale, etc.) that give it the edge over the other two. So, both C&D and CR agree on the V6 Accord's position in its class: #1 -- which is certainly not what the initial post indicated. And that's comparing a five year old model with a new 2007 Altima remodeling. Not bad for Honda, and watch out for 2008 when the new Accord hits the decks!

    FWIW, the exterior styling of the Altima leaves me cold. Never liked it, never will. Looks like a jelly bean that's trying too hard to be "hot". Everytime I see a Nissan sedan approach and I say, "Hey, that's not too bad!" I then find myself saying, "...oh, it's a Maxima." As for the Accord, what some people think is bland and boring, others think is dignified and balanced. Cars don't have to look "hot" to look good, let's get over that one please.
  • Yeah I agree, the lack of VSC on the Mazda must have held down its speed on the slalom. I drove one the other day and it is definitely more nimble than the Accord, but less so when you turn off the Accord's VSC. But I wouldn't buy a car without VSC and I couldn't appreciate the Mazda's relative lack of hp compared with my Accord (212 vs. 244). The Mazda felt restrained by its high torque vs. hp ratio. If I did a lot of twisty back road driving I'd prefer the Mazda, but with the mix of high speed highway driving I tend to do, I'll take the bigger ZOOM-ZOOM of the Accord.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I'd like to see them do a comparison of the 4 cylinder versions, since these would likely be better suited to a slalom.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    CR does not rank cars based on reliability, value, and resale. It ranks them based on its test results. Then it decides which cars to put its "recommended" tag on, based on predicted reliability from its member survey (main factor) and crash test results.

    So in fact the V6 Passat, Accord, and Altima are tied for first in CR's rankings. Still an excellent showing for the older Accord.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The one thing that stood out in the Car & Drver test was exterior styling. They rated the Accord & Altima as even. Not in your wildest Honda dreams! The current Accord has one of the most boring designs in all of automobiledom.

    I'd pretty much agree with this rating. The Accord may be boring and I would say unattractive, but altima is unattractiver, imo.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The current Accord has one of the most boring designs in all of automobiledom.

    The new (and old) Altima has that "Cheap Aftermarket" look. The big gaudy lights turn me off.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I concur. The Accord is stately, classy, and boring to me (I said it and I HAVE ONE). The Altima is trying WAY too hard with its lighting details. They look too "boy-racer" for me, and I'm 19! But, that's all personal opinion, and I am no more correct than you.

    I don't think anyone should be claiming one person's styling preference as stupid over another, in my opinion. After all, it is SUBJECTIVE!!!!!
  • I can see how you can think that the Accord is stately, classy, handsome, whatever--and still think it's unexciting. This will probably open a can of worms (and a barrel of monkeys--us! :) ) but I just can't think of a sedan under $35K (base) that I think is REALLY exciting and stylish that really gets my blood pumping when I see it. Until somebody comes up with a better suggestion, I'll have to go with the Lexus IS 250/350. Other takers?
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    OK, what is a better mid-sized car? I have driven the Aura base model, Altima, a 2006 G6 GT V6,the Sonatas, and the Accord SE V6 so far. Of those tested to date, I would say the Accord has the best feel, and engine. The car is quiet enough, corners on rails, and the engine and transmission work together well. It is simply smoother overall. It has stability control and side air bags, with a V6 for $24K retail price. So far it would be my pick. There are more to test drive of course. Consider the resale value, and overall build and handling quality, so far it looks like Accord is a best pick. And I do like the styling. Smooth style in both sedan and coupe should last a lifetime.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    I couldn't agree more.
  • I haven't driven all those cars so I can't say, but I'm prejudiced anyway since I bought a SE V6 Accord a couple of months ago. I did prefer it to the Mazda6, VW Jetta GLi & Passat, and the Legacy GT for what I got for my money. I spent $20.5K for the car and I wouldn't spend over $21K (including destination charge) if you decide to get one. So far I'm very happy with it inside and out, and I'm really looking forward to upgrading the stock Michelins to high performance summers and adding a thicker rear sway bar in a couple of months. (Final advice: Drive the Accord with the VSC turned off to get a better idea of how it can feel on the road when you want to go play a little! :D )
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Remember, that the SE-V6 should be available for MUCH less than sticker.

    And I do feel like the understated styling (is understated a word many of us can agree on?) of the Accord will stay looking fresh a lot longer than much more heavily styled vehicles will.

    Look at the 11 year old Accord and 11 year old Camry (both considered bland by many, I believe) vs. the 11 year old Taurus and 11 year old Skylark.





    To me, the "bland" cars of yesteryear are more desirable than the "edgy" cars of the same time-frame.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I don't see how the Lexus IS 250 or other Lexus cars are particularly better than most other cars. Do like the looks of the Accord (really like the Coupe), Altima is pretty cool, Mazda6 not bad, Camry OK except the nose is bit odd, Aura pretty attractive, New Malibu will look great, Mercury Milan one of the best looking cars, Sonata is trying - sort of non-offensive & decent looks, Acura has all good looking cars, Infinity G35 very good looking car, BMW3 is good, the CTS is bold and beautiful, Volvo has an interesting look, though it is getting on in years now, then there is the Mercedes C class, which is simply classy and sleek. Lexus IS 250 is alright looking, though the car seem small or small looking like more an econo car, perhaps a Corolla.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    They (Edmunds's) are showing the SE V6 Accord as $22,745 in my area in the gray metallic color as the TMV price. Retail is $23,945. I have yet to try the 4 cylinder, though the V6 is sure an energy rush, I may hard to impress now. :surprise:

    As far as style. I kinda like the effort by Toyota, yet the front is a bit odd. The best of all Camry efforts came in '92 when front, side and back look like they ALL worked well together. Too many cars fail due to being designed by committee ! Well they look that way. Look at the strange Ion. What's up with that?
  • I'd suggest you try the Subaru Legacy GT. If you find the right high volume dealerships you can get a $30K MSRP car for around $25K (after rebate) and you will be hard pressed to find a more entertaining ride. I test drove a 6 speed Accord coupe last year and I'd say the Subie was more fun. It is even pretty entertaining with an auto and I really don't like them. I ended up buying a Civic Si Coupe thinking I'd drive it for 4 years and had off to my daughter when she gets her license and then I could go out and buy something closer to my last car a 99 Passat. Now I think the Si might be too much car for a teenager and I've gotten really used to the go cart like reflexes. I might have a hard time finding my way back into something more civilized.
  • Good post, and I agree. I'm particularly impressed with how good the Honda still looks. LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE UNDERSTATED! YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Once you've driven the V6, I imagine few people go back to the I4. I managed to do so though. The 4-cylinder Accord is arguably the best 4-cylinder on the mainstream market. I agree with that argument - it is a great car. I drove from Birmingham to Chattnooga today (a hilly drive) and back on 7 gallons of gas and 240 miles. Doing the math, that's about 35 miles to the gallon. All that, and I never had to downshift but a couple of times to pass on the hills, driving at 73 MPH.

    I'd suggest going with the EX 4-cyl before I'd go with the SE-V6 (pure preference - I wanted a sunroof and premium interior trim), but nobody will knock you for getting the V6. They're both just that good.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually, for we understated drivers we prefer to do a "golf clap" instead of boistrous cheering. Hehehe...

    Here are my too "understated" cars (read by some as "boring' :))

    I love my bland babies!

  • Another car you might take a look at is the new Mitsu Lancer (though it might not be big enough). A quick road test in C&D sounded promising. Especially once the Ralliart and Evo versions come out.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Promising to me too, until I saw the EPA mileage numbers. They are the same in the compact, 152 hp Lancer as they are in the much larger and heavier Altima V6 with 270 horsepower! 21/29 is pitiful! My 166 hp Accord with a manual would have 26/34 MPG!

    Back to the midsizers!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I wish the local dealership stocked the Subaru Legacy sedans. All they have in stock are wagons - yuk!

    As for Mitsubishi, I see them as gone within a couple years, unless the dealerships can hold on, and hopefully grow in numbers. Not enough support. I enjoyed my Dodge Stealth / Mitsu. but did not expensive replacement parts and more problems in the car than expected for a Japan make. I would rate the car average for quality parts and excellent for fun and looks. That is sort of how I see Mitsubishi. We have but one sort of temporary looking dealer here now, with another one some 135 miles away. I think things are not well. Mitsu has some cool concept cars, so I hope they can make some sort of a comeback.
  • I have driven Honda's since my '83.5 prelude. Very fun and lots of leg room. The first kid came along in '89 so got the last year of the pop up light accord. Finally got rid on that in 2000 and bought a friends '96 civic. Once again decent legroom and headroom, I'm 6'3" so all sedans with sunroof pretty much are out. I really wanted a new civic when they came out but leg room was less then my old civic and the parking brake dug into my leg. So, next up was the accord with the new tail end, but bad leg and headroom. Honda's are like fridges, they just run. Style is very conservative in my opinion. I saw the new '07 altima and though i would give it a try. Plenty of leg and headroom and lots of get up and go with the 6 speed. Looking at both the accord and altima it was no comparison for me even though I love honda dynamics. I bought the altima, it may not be as bulletproof as the accord but I will find out over time. Based on honda's past the accord will be an updated more refined version of the present model. You can see the progression in the lines for each model change. I do not believe they will make major change like they did on the civic because of moders; toyota with scion and the small mitsu's. Honda will be honda and they have lost me unless the reliability on the nissan is bad and the car does not hold up over time in the small things.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Interesting, at 6'4", I've got plenty of room in both my dad's 2007 Civic Sedan and my 2006 Accord Sedan (moreso in the Accord of course) - both with sunroofs.

    Enjoy your new Altima, I'll bet its a hoot to drive!
  • I hope Mitsu rallies! Some of the specs on the Lancer GTS that C&D tested don't appear to be THAT different from the "much heavier" Altima. Wheelbase is 103.7 vs 109.3
    Length 179.9 vs 189.8, Width 69.3 vs 70.7, Height 58.7 vs 57.9, Curbweight 3050 vs 3268. 21/29 vs 21/27. I like the looks of the new Lancer but will withold judgement until I see them at the dealerships.

    The Leg GT sedans seem to be in short supply in my area as well. I think that might be because the dealerships are waiting for the revised body 2008's to start coming out?

    Lots of good options out there now and when the new Accord rolls out and the Altima Coupe I think there will be a lot of nice looking (and reliable) iron out on the market in the next year or so.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Research the Subie's stability control options. CR was not impressed with Subaru's system
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Congrats on the new ride :)

    "Based on honda's past the accord will be an updated more refined version of the present model. You can see the progression in the lines for each model change. I do not believe they will make major change like they did on the civic because of moders; toyota with scion and the small mitsu's."

    Have you seen the concept coupe? The fact that this segment is so competitive alone will force Honda to bang the next Accord out of the park. I'm pretty confident they will.

    Enjoy the Altima :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I would have considered the accord, if it looked like that 11 year old model. Could not get past the looks of the current one...then there was the price, too. Got my 4 cyl Mazda6 (version comparable to Accord SE) for $16K...I think that would put me in Civic territory, rather than Accord.

    I actually like the even older, pre-1995 Taurus looks better than the one you posted.
  • If I did a lot of twisty back road driving I'd prefer the Mazda, but with the mix of high speed highway driving I tend to do, I'll take the bigger ZOOM-ZOOM of the Accord.

    I have to disagree. This is obviously all my opinion, but when I bought my Mazda6 in '04, I tested the Accord more than once, and despite the more grunt that the Accord had with the V6, I felt that the Mazda6 was much more balanced, not only in the twisties, but on the highway as well.

    My commute is about 20 miles one-way, on 70-75 MPH highways, and I tend to be the passer, rather than the passee, so to speak. The Mazda6 was always ready and willing to get up and pass at a moments notice. Drop a gear on the manual transmission, flick the steering wheel, and you've gone around slower traffic before they even realize that they're hogging the left lane (my BIGGEST pet peeve, BTW!) The road-hugging was excellent, the car felt sure-footed, and the ride was excellent. The Accord obviously had the go, but it felt uncomfortable at how it leaned too heavily during lane changes. The ride was smooth, but it felt too disconnected from the road. Not quite like a Buick, but not close to a BMW either.

    Power is nice, but I'd rather have more control with it as well, and that's what I thought the Mazda6 excelled in
  • Have you seen the concept coupe? The fact that this segment is so competitive alone will force Honda to bang the next Accord out of the park. I'm pretty confident they will.

    Simply put, they have to. I've read more than one interview with Honda executives, all saying that their biggest complaint from consumers is their styling. This goes for the whole line, not just the Accord. As a result, they are planning on doing a little more to step out of the crowd. The new CR-V is proof. Although I'm not a fan of the front end, the lines overall are striking, and not nearly as "vanilla" as the RAV-4.

    The coupe concept is a good start, but Honda should do a little more to differentiate itself, while staying classy and true to it's heritage. Styling is subjective, but IMO it's also a deal-breaker between two cars that are about the same in every other way, according to a consumers eyes.
This discussion has been closed.