I felt the same way you did. I figured I didn't need the leather nor the Bose (it's harder to upgrade) and the price became a lot more competitive. Plus you have the super engine and the seats were a lot wider and more comfortable than the Accords.
The Accord still is the best value, I agree...but I didn't want a car that 400,000 other people have bought every year since 1998, so that's about 1.6 million Accords out there in the U.S. with basically the same design.
That awesome engine, along with the transmission was built in Japan and shipped over here before the folks at Tennessee put it all together. I would have to agree with you that the folks at Smyrna, Tenn. don't do as a good a job at putting a car together as the folks at Lexington, Kentucky. The new Altima does not have flawless build quality (like I previously stated). My bro has a 99 Maxima (built in Japan) and you can tell the difference.
But the Altima is still a way cooler ride than the Camry and a lot more fun to drive.
$24,000 for 157HP? It better be made in Germany.
Where was that Sentra built in 94? Probably Japan, right? There's your answer. Getting the U.S. workers to improve the build quality in Tenn. seems to be Nissan biggest challenge now.
Had I know about that before, I could have seriously considered a 1.8 Passat w/ 5-speed.
That's not a bad increase in HP for $499.
I don't need to spend anything on my Altima right now and I'll probably trade it in for the Infiniti G35 in about 3 years so, I'll probably leave mine stock. I know some people are very excited about the new G35, I considered waiting too for it. I hope they do 'everything' right on that car...once and for all.
#1780 of 4962 Mazda 6 handling, and 'its still a mazda' comments
Oct 18, 2001 (4:07 am)
Read the Edmunds article about the handling - it'll eat ANY of the other sedans' for breakfast!
The Mazda philosophy - build useful AND fun cars, seems to have been fulfilled yet again - and they only drove a prototype!
As for the 'its still a mazda' comments, unlike Honda, Toyota and nissan, which are built outside Japan, the Mazdas are still built in Japan. And from personal experience and observing friends' and acquaintances Proteges, Sentras, Corollas and Civics, its impossibly to tell the difference in terms of longevity and quality. All of them will or have lasted well into the 100K+ region. But the tangible differences are the comfort and drivability, in both of which the Protege has the rest of the field soundly beat!
As for the Ford association, Mazda will build the platforms and engines for the compact and midsize sedan versions for Ford, Volvo, Mazda, and perhaps even the baby Jag X-type will shift from the Ford Mondeo platform to something by Mazda. All Ford seems to provide is money (to Mazda), and its ONLY reliable engine (subjective, and my opinion)- the 3.0l Duratec V6, to the Tribute and now the 6. And its been modified by Mazda to include Valve timing and intake work for 20 more HP.
As for Tribute problems, 5-6 recalls in the first year and all of them minor - true, its a hassle to bring cars in for recall repairs, but for what you get (compared to competing mini-utes) makes it worth it! But almost ANY car, even from venerable Toyota and Honda, has 2-4 recalls in its first model year!
Mazda all the way!
Oh, and I'll avoid further cross posts, the Mazda 6 topic has taken off!
I know it's a very small sample and largely anecdotal, but I've owned two Mazdas and two Hondas and the overall quality/reliability of the Hondas is higher. No doubt in my mind. And residual values are definitely higher, as well.
That doesn't mean I would write off buying a new Mazda or Nissan, but the reliability issue would have to be addressed. Maybe styling, handling, and features (stick shift available with V6) would overcome the reliability and residual factors. We'll have to see.
Let's hope that the appearance of this extremely attractive Mazda puts pressure on Nissan to address shortcomings in the interior appearance of the Altima. I'd much prefer a hatchback or even station wagon to a sedan, and I wonder if Nissan is tempted to produce the Altima in either version. And although the Mazda bodies look wonderful, the Nissan V-6 is better than anything this side of a BMW. Man, this family sedan area of the market is getting interesting!
Whoa, slow down, a lot of what they wrote was "according to Mazda". I seriously doubt it'll handle better than the RWDers like the 3 series and Lexus IS. I like the Mazda (I own two of them), but let's be realistic.
The 626 sold in the US is built in Flat Rock, Michigan, not Japan.
The wagon is very sleek. I would consider one for sure. 219hp is plenty, and it looks like Mazda re-engineered the engine significantly. Bugatis use VW engine blocks, but that doesn't mean much either.
Back to Altima vs. Accord, the LX V6 Accord has 15 inch steel wheels. Hardly the equal of the Altima's gorgeous 17" alloys. There's also a significant difference in horsepower.
I don't think the look would translate well to the Altima's roof line. They would have to change the shape of the rear doors to do either a hatch back or wagon, else it won't look right. That's why the Passat looks good and the Saturn SW2 doesn't.
No, the 94 was built here in the USA. The folks at Smyrna can build them just as well as the folks in Ky. I think the quality control standards were relaxed for the Altima. Nice car, don't get me wrong. But, like I said. The attention to detail on the inside leaves a lot to be desired.