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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    I find it humorous when folks think the Accord's styling is great and the Legacy's is "dumpy". Except for front details and a character line, they could be twins.

    Legacy: ck-spin---01-opt-1352990890.jpg

    Accord: an628opt.jpeg

    IMO I don't know how anyone could consider the Camry to have better exterior styling than the Altima or Sonata... or the Malibu or Legend for that matter. To each his own!

    But, interesting that the Passat is both 5th or 7th... does that depend on the trim level, or ?? ;)
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    edited October 2013
    Jay, I can't tell if you're being serious or not with that comment.
  • serenity185serenity185 Posts: 22
    edited October 2013
    Completely agree with your comments on the Mazda6's interior, gogophers1. The sand cloth interior just looks classy and well-made. As someone who's potentially shopping for $23-$25K sedans, I greatly appreciate that Mazda is one of the few manufacturers who are putting a lot of thought into the look and feel of their base models' interiors.

    My current car is a 2007 Accord EX with cloth which I love since it's soft and looks plush, and after seeing the cheap, rough-looking fabric and finishes that many competitors use in this class on their base models, it's a bit disheartening. Thankfully Mazda is bucking that trend.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 7,011
    Oops, copy/paste error. #7 should be Fusion. Not a fan of that design. I think that was probably the most over-hyped car when it was introduced at the auto shows last year. I cannot see what they were so wowed about.

    Styling is obviously subjective. I find the Camry styling not bad. I would not mind being seen in one.

    I find the Legacy very unattractive and don't see the similarity you mention. The front overhang looks way too long and the trunk way too short. Proportions are awkward.

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

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    We all totally agree on Camry. Put together by committee, and loved by only frightened consumers because it is a "safe buy".

    The mat draped across the dash is awful, and on the outside it is just a thin plastic mess. The fake chrome around the fog lights and the steel wheels with hubcaps just don't cut it anymore in this segment...but then again I see a zillion Sonata GLS running around. There are tons of people that aren't "car people", so I understand the rational. New and shiny is good, and for many it's good enough.

    Another thing is that on the Camry (and the Corolla) the bodywork on the front wheel well is way wider than the tires, (for aerodynamic reasons I am sure), but it doesn't look right.

    The SE is acceptable. It has a nicer looking front end and good looking rims. It's just bland.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    In a Camry, no one sees you. It's as good as witness protection.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    You are right about the Mazda quality. Also, the Optima cloth seats in base LX is nothing special. It is what you get for your money in the EX that wowed me.

    In particular I can't stand silver painted plastic. (satin faux-aluminum) The Optima has NONE. It has an actual piece of aluminum around the gear shift. The Mazda doesn't have any either. The Sonata does. Lots of it. That is why I slammed the Sonata interior in another post. Still a good car though.

    In the Camry, it's fake aluminum plastic is also squishy, and you can damage it with your fingernail. Awful.

    It is a turn off for me in any product. Reminds me of a low buck Soundesign boom box.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    I have leather seats in my LaCrosse and in my Prius. Other than the actual seating area, the rest is vinyl and it would suit me fine all over. The difference in look and feel is minimal. Most of the cloth seats I've experienced lately are mouse fur material and drag on your pants getting in and out so yeah -- give vinyl over cloth any day if the price is comparable
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,127
    I'm ok with cloth seats, it's just hard to get heated cloth seats.
    My Focus had them, but usually you have to get leather to get the heaters.
    Also, I do like my toys, so usually that model includes leather seating.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    Heated cloth seats aren't all that hard to find. My wife's Sonata GLS has them for example. (The Elantra GLS offers them too.) I use them more than I thought I would, feels good in the winter.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    edited October 2013
    When Fiat merged with Chrysler, their president was touring the Chrysler product line in person and after he saw the 2010 Sebring/Avenger he said "dreadful".
    So, the story goes that he approved a rework of the interiors on the spot at $100 per car, a sizable investment. The the "hard points"" of the cars are exactly the same as pre-2011 cars, (so they can use essentially the same tooling) but there have been a host of other mechanical changes. With the addition of the 3.6 liter, 283 hp engine, the 200 has become a respectable ride....but still doesn't reach the sophistication of the majority of the other players. The 4 cylinder Avenger still uses a 4 speed automatic, and the 2.4 liter has been called "farm machinery" at higher rpm.

    Here is some unabridged wiki info since no one else has posted any, and the Avenger is indeed mid-size:

    "Although the Sebring platform has been retained, there have been numerous cosmetic and powertrain changes to the 200. While the 2.4 L four-cylinder 173 horsepower (129 kW) 166 lb·ft (225 N·m)[citation needed] engine with either a four-speed or six-speed automatic transmission is carried over, Chrysler's new Pentastar 3.6 L V6 engine is also offered, with a six-speed automatic transmission, generating 283 horsepower (211 kW) and 260 lb·ft (350 N·m) of torque. A flex-fuel version of the 3.6 L Pentastar engine is also offered. Other changes include stiffer body mounts, a softer ride rate, revised suspension geometry, a new rear sway bar, and upgraded tires. The 200 also introduces more premium features than the Sebring, such as LED lighting, thicker seat cushioning with higher quality materials, along with new measures to decrease noise, vibration, and harshness.

    The 200 is produced at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and arrived at dealers in December 2010. A 2-door convertible model was added in early 2011 with the same engine choices.
    The 200 and sister car Dodge Avenger were ranked the "Most American Made" sedans and convertibles by The Kogod Made in America Auto Index in 2013."

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    edited October 2013
    I love your well thought out comments, and your lists were awesome, particularly the transformer/go-bot reference. You are not offending me at all. I didn't like the front end of the Optima at first. It grew on me. I initially thought the Sonata was beautiful. Then, after seeing thousands of grey GLS hubcap jobs that I grew numb to it. Kind of like the previous generation Altima's (with the clear plastic "altezza" rear lights). Neither does anything for me.

    Then I saw an Optima SX (turbo) in electric blue with the pizza wheels. Killer. It turned heads. While I couldn't rationalize the expense of a turbo, I saw the EX model was very well equipped. Even the base model has dual exhaust and fog lights....along with alloy wheels. Also has the most horsepower in the base engine.

    So, the Fusion "did it" for you. That's the cool part. People don't "fall in love" with Camry's. They need a car, and don't want to get a lemon.

    That leads me to the American car. You mentioned your HHR, with a recurring steering problem, replaced by a problematic Ford.

    I had the exact same experience. My Z24 had a cracked transmission resulting in poor clutch alignment....eating clutches every 30k. Then the alternator went every 30k also. I kept a spare in the trunk. Then I had an SHO. The engine seized .

    I don't buy american cars anymore. Period. All the Asian cars I have owned have worked flawlessly. No "glitches". Also, I buy more mainstream engines, instead of the higher-zoot V6/turbo models; crammed into a small engine bay. That is why my Chevy's alternator fried. Too hot. I don't want a turbo- fear of more time in the shop as the car ages. When metal parts get red hot and spin at high RPM, then endure ice cold winters and 100+ heat summers, that hot and cold cycling will eventually break something....and that something will be attached to something else. However, it really boils down to having 3 kids under 13. I can't afford hi-performance engine problems/insurance/fuel/tires, and will not be able to until they are on their own.

    Then, I will buy a mid-life crisis car when my hair is silver and my Viagra is daily!
    I was happy that I found something in the middle for now. Sporty, roomy, reliable, smooth powertrain, and comfortable. $24,000.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,127
    Some only have heated lower seat cushions.
    I like ones that also have heated seat backs.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • The big advantage with vinyl (or "leatherette" as VW likes to deceptively refer to it) IMO is that it ages well. I have seen fake leather/vinyl interiors in cars with well over 100K on the clock that still look virtually new.

    Incontinent grandmother? No worries. Drooling canine? Not an issue. Careless children that can't hold on to their waffle cones? No problem. It's VINYL!

    Leather, on the other hand, does not age well - at least not when it's installed in a car interior. Cowhides dry out and crack when exposed to extreme heat (and car interiors, even up here in MN, can get HOT in the summertime) and will discolor and pick up a sheen when they come into continued contact with human body oils (natural or otherwise). The lighter leather colors are the worst for wear, but I've seen some pretty nasty dark leather interiors on cars without a lot of miles on them too.

    I think one of the big reasons automakers push leather nowadays is that, regardless of how solid a car is mechanically or structurally with over 100K on the odometer, it will "feel" old if the seats are brittle, worn and/or held together with duct tape. Call it today's version of planned obsolescence. Take a stroll down the back row of any large car dealership's lot and peek into some windows if you doubt my veracity.

    In the 60's, '70s and '80s, cars would very often be well on their way to rustdom after 7 or 8 years in this part of the country. Build a car like that today and your brand image would drop with each and every passing glance on the road. But if your fancy model's leather interior looks like the backside of a cow exploded in it after just a handful of years, no one but the owner (and perhaps an additional occupant or two) will be any the wiser.

    For anyone who is planning on keeping his car for a long time, vinyl is a much better choice [than leather]. That said, even if you poke a bunch of tiny holes in it (read: perforate), vinyl is a poor choice for actual *seating* surfaces.

    After receiving a promo offer from VW, I was somewhat seriously considering a Jetta SE turbodiesel a few months back and took a close friend along on the test drive to get his opinion. While not obese, let's just say he's carrying along a few extra pounds. And he could not stop complaining about how much his butt was sweating on the VW's hot vinyl (and, no, the seat heaters were not on). Perhaps it was partly psychological, but I started feeling the same sensation by the end of the drive (I'm only 160 lbs, so perhaps my manner of driving had something to do with it). Ultimately, the vinyl interior (combined with the most abrupt clutch engagement of any new car I ever driven) was a dealbreaker.

    Vinyl on door panels, seatbacks and armrests is one thing. Vinyl on seating surfaces is quite another. It may wear like plastic, but it breathes like it too.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,127
    Cars were a lot different 20 years ago.
    I still have my 1991 Mustang, and have had it for 22 years.
    My kids drove my 11 year old Explorer in high school and I'm glad to have it back.
    Can't wait to take my 2013 Fusion out to South bend for the ND/USC game.
    Different perspective.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    edited October 2013
    Your concern [about American cars] is one we share. I haven't had good luck with them - even the ones I've purchased new.

    It's exactly what's causing me so much agony right now [as I dream about driving that 3 year old dud of a Ford out of my garage for the very last time]. My heart says, "Get the Fusion. It's so beautiful and fun to drive," but my head says, "What? Are you nuts? You've done this before. Get the Accord or a Mazda 6."

    And then I have all the constraints that go along with shopping for a new vehicle with a manual transmission (like, there's only about 5 choices still out there in the midsize class... and if you want cruise control and a radio, knock another two off the list...).
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,543
    edited October 2013
    The Mazda is now a 100% Japanese, in house Mazda. No Ford parts. I think it deserves to be in the #1 spot, and should be on anyone's mid size list. The 6 is a different animal all-together from the Fordza's of the past. . I believe Mazda has something to prove and they used the most modern, hi quality manufacturing processes to make it, and its made in Japan in a new facility.

    I saw the interior of a base Honda Accord today at the grocery store, so I stuck my head in. The first thing I saw was lots of shiny plasti-silver faux-aluminum. I like the Accord exterior, but what you have to see everyday is the inside. So, if that 1980's Emerson-Soundesign boom-box cheap plastic is on other Accords...then Honda blew it interior wise.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    The front seats of the Sonata have heated backs also... quite cozy. I think the rear seat heaters (not available on the GLS) are bottom cushions only.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,127
    edited October 2013
    If it wasn't for Ford, there would be no Mazda.
    They always took the road less traveled and it never has really worked.
    Ford's financial stake was never over 33%, Japanese law.
    My opinion is that the car reviewing media is trying to promote Mazda to show that still have market influence.
    That is pretty much a Fail.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    Maybe the car-reviewing media happens to like what Mazda sans-Ford is making these days? IMO their last 3 new designs, the CX-5, the Mazda6, and now the Mazda3 are at or near the top of their respective classes. Could just be that some of the automotive mags think likewise.

    Personally I wish Mazda had more market influence than they have. Maybe then the "market" would make better cars.
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