Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:13 PM
You are in the Sedans
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Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#2200 of 3640 Re: 2010 4 cylinder Malibu [plekto]
May 05, 2011 (6:14 am)
Having driven a four cylinder automatic 2003 Honda Accord, (for 3+ years), I have a basis of comparison between the Malibu's four cylinder and that of the Honda.
The following are the keys points:
1.) The four cylinder Honda could easily achieve 30mpg on the highway, at legal highway speeds. (My four cylinder Malibu requires me to drive at 55mph in order to break 30 mpg, yet it is advertised to get 33mpg. ----- This is not just my vehicle. ----- This complaint is all over the "net" with regards to this issue. ---- But GM does not seem to be concerned about this minor glitch!)
2.) The four cylinder Honda had plenty of reserved power at highway speeds for passing. ------- (While the Malibu four cylinder is "adequate," it could use more reserve power for passing at highway speeds!) ---- The Malibu engine is not as refined as the Honda engine.
3.) The seating in the Malibu is more comfortable than that of the Honda.
4.) I have the LTZ Malibu. Since it has the four cylinder engine it only has one exhaust. From a design point of view, the vehicle would look much sharper if had a dual exhaust system. ----- (They could have split the single exhaust at the rear of the vehicle to get this look.) ---- A nice touch in terms of image, would be a "slight rumble in the exhaust," like a Ford Mustang. (Nothing too loud, just a little feel / sound of power!)
5.) The design of the vehicle is outstanding. This is a "home run" for General Motor, and this could put them back into the automotive marketplace in a "big way!" ---- General motors needs to redesign / improve their four cylinder engine offerings. ---- (If Honda can produce a four cylinder that offers good mileage and performance, why can't General Motors accomplish the same goal? ----- Don't we have talented automotive engineers working for American companies? -----)
6.) The original equipment tires on the Malibu are of a very poor quality. -- (They do not hold air!) ----- I replaced them with Michelin tires, and I no longer have the air loss issue. (The Honda Accord comes with Michelin tires.) ----- GM did nothing to assist me with the replacement cost of these defective tires, and I am NOT happy with this issue!
#2201 of 3640 Altima or...
May 15, 2011 (1:46 pm)
Hi all I'm new here. I've been looking for a new car for about a month. I'm not in DIRE need (current car hasn't broken down or anything) but I am trying to narrow my choices. I had been holding out for a BMW 3-series but setting that aside, I came upon 4 cars I am considering (All are used models, from "07-'11):
The cruze is just something I stumbled onto. I only added it to the list because I have yet to narrow it from the list lol. I have done zero research. The interior looks nice and the 36 MPG is attractive. That is the extent of my knowledge. Thing is, it is such a new model I don't know if I can realistically find a used one.
The Jetta was the car I initially was looking at when I started poking around. I have heard nothing but good things about them. I like the looks, the apparent quality etc etc.
Altima seems to be the top contender right now. I love the Jetta, but as far as gas...it can't compete with the Altima....right?! The Altima gets 3 more miles per gallon and has a 5.5 gallon larger capacity than the Jetta. Altima's also seem to have a good amount of bells and whistles but I REALLY want one with a sunroof as well and it seems to be more difficult to find these, especially compared to Jetta's which almost all seem to have sunroofs!
I have a close personal friend who works at a Honda dealership. I don't know how much he can/will help me, but all that aside the accord doesn't seem to be much different than the Altima. Keep in mind i have not test driven any of these (yet). The accord edges the Altima in MPG but has a smaller gas tank. It seems the Accord has alot of nice interior stuff, leather seats etc but again, the question of the sunroof pops up...how common are they on Accords and how long am I going to be pulling my hair out looking for one. It SEEMS to me that the Accord and Altima are virtually the same cars, just depends on the selected features and such of each individual car that separates them...
So, can anyone shed light on this? Make comments, give info and suggestions to me in regards to these cars? How they stack up with each other? Prior experiences. I have been doing alot of reading here as I just joined but thought I might as well make this topic to get specific feedback I am looking for. Also, can anyone comment on insurance costs? Thanks ahead of time for all constructive comments! Take care
#2202 of 3640 Re: Altima or... [wik82]
May 16, 2011 (6:21 am)
Compared to a 3 series or even a used C class, these will all be a massive let-down because they are not really luxury brands, don't drive the same, and aren't RWD.
IMO, instead of a 2007 3 series, you might look at a 2005 Lexus IS300. This was the last year and as such, it's all but bulletproof. With a ~3250lb weight, though, it drives like a late 90s 3 series, but with Toyota reliability. You'll never regret buying one. Assuming that you don't hold out for the 3 series, though the recent models are quite heavy. You might be better off with a used 1 series.
note - an IS350 is a whopping 3650lbs, give or take. The newer 3 series are almost as heavy. They somehow lost that small sport sedan magic over the years as they got larger and larger.
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listin- - gId=53002483
The same price as a typical entry level sedan. Given that the car was designed to last 250-300K+ miles, the mileage isn't even worth worrying about.
This is what I'd chose, myself, but that's because with manual, these really are as close as Japan ever got to equaling a BMW.
May 16, 2011 (7:19 am)
Thanks so much for the reply. I had looked at Lexus but was checking out the IS250 instead. Not much around me though. Thing is, I don't want RWD. I'm in Ohio where we get the worst of summers and the worst of winters. RWD is notoriously bad for the winter. FWD or AWD is the way to go, for me at this point.
The BMW/Lexus issue is at the very top of my price range. So if I can get one, COOL. If not though, I don't want to pigeon hole myself into a massive payment with a car that has no or little warranty and something goes wrong, and suddenly it costs me $1,000 to replace a water pump, just as an example. That is why I listed the 4 other models above. I am calling to find out insurance costs for all of these models, to see if that swings the deal or not.
May 16, 2011 (7:29 am)
I'm not sure whether you're looking at new or used Jettas, but I would be wary if it's not new due to numerous electrical issues that we see reported over & over. I had one, and it was a BLAST to drive, and my individual vehicle had few problems (however, many owners reported pretty serious & expensive electrical issues... I got lucky). A new one might be better, and of course it comes with a warranty.
Altima - make sure you drive the exact vehicle you're planning to purchase. We've seen a number of complaints about the performance of the CVT transmission. Not sure if it's a "problem," per se, or a dislike of how the technology causes the vehicle to perform even if it's performing normally.
You're clearly a smart shopper. Don't see too many people who go into the process with so many practical considerations, and with the knowledge that there is no "one true car" - if you take your time, you'll find the right vehicle at the right price instead of getting your heart set on ONE car and sacrificing financial and maintenance considerations just to have it.
#2205 of 3640 Re: thanks! [kirstie_h]
May 16, 2011 (9:17 am)
Kirstie, thanks so much for the reply. In regards to the Jetta, I had been looking at the '07-'10 models of Jetta. I have heard that the new '11 Jettas are getting some real bad reviews. More or less that VW went cheap, the quality of the Jetta was severely compromised etc etc. Can anyone comment on that? That has been the real reason I didn't even consider a new one. Pretty much every car, with the exception of the Cruze would be all used. Cruze seems to just be too new to find used for any real "discount".
I had heard the Altima having "performance" issues with the CVT transmission. But I also read that many think it works fine, just doesn't have the "punch" that some people THINK it should have. I meant a guy who works for an auto auction company and he specializes in cars coming off lease. He said he can find me pretty much anything I want in a fairly short period of time. Because they normally sell to the dealerships though, he also said he could offer a similar car at a much cheaper price. Seemed like a real straight shooter, but I always like to keep my guard up, just in case.
As far as the "one" car for me. I don't think there is such a thing. From what I am finding out Altimas and Accords are pretty much the same, just different companies. A 3-series is great looking, in my opinion, but so is the Lexus IS250. I figure if I am going to get into debt, I might as well get what I want, within reason though. No point in not being able to buy clothes and food, just to have a BMW hahaha
#2206 of 3640 Re: thanks! [wik82]
May 16, 2011 (11:28 am)
Just as an update, the insurance is leading me towards the Jetta, ALtima and Accord. BMW is much MUCH higher, more so than I expected and I didn't even bother asking about the Lexus after I heard about the BMW.
Jetta came in at the lowest of the 3, Accord, then Altima. They are all close though and not a major difference that would force one of these models out of the discussion.
Being that I have only ever had 2 cars my entire life, I am unsure about car buying etiquette. Is it normal, acceptable, standard for someone to go to a local dealership and ask to test drive a certain model, even knowing that they have ZERO intention of buying at that moment? I was considering going to test drives these cars but I am not yet in the position, 100% to buy yet. Is it poor taste of me to go try one and then just thank them and leave? Comments welcome...
#2207 of 3640 Re: Altima or... [wik82]
May 16, 2011 (11:42 am)
the question of the sunroof pops up...how common are they on Accords
You shouldn't have any trouble finding an Accord with a sunroof. Honda simplifies their trimlines to the point where there aren't really any options. If it is an EX, you have a moonroof.
If you are looking at used, you may discover that the Accord will be pricey because Honda's have very high resale values. Be sure to compare it to new.
I'm not so sure you will find the Accord and Altima all that similar when you take a close look and drive them. Good luck in your search! Let us know how it works out.
#2208 of 3640 Re: thanks! [wik82]
May 16, 2011 (11:46 am)
I was considering going to test drives these cars but I am not yet in the position, 100% to buy yet.
Nothing wrong with being honest. Just tell them that you are in the market and plan on buying within a month, two months, or whatever. There may be pressure from some sales people to "buy today" but a reputable store will respect your shopping needs.
#2209 of 3640 Re: thanks! [wik82]
May 16, 2011 (1:25 pm)
That's the problem, though. All 3 series are RWD or RWD biased by design, so you're kind of stuck. If you have to have AWD, be aware that only full-time 4WD/AWD systems are actually useful for bad roads as they react too slowly to deal with snow and ice and rain and so on at moderate speeds. They are designed to help get you un-stuck and that's about it. If it's part-time or transfers power back and forth, it's not going to make you one bit safer in the winter.
But, that said, I've lived with RWD for years, and stability control is what saves your bacon. My best friend has a 4Runner with stability control and it will keep him from sliding out on gravel and loose dirt - stuff that is as bad as snow in terms of traction. You get about 20% side-ways and it reels you back in. On a 5000+lb SUV, no less.
But it's nothing compared to what snow tires will do for you. Snow tires and stability control in a RWD car will obliterate any AWD system with normal tires.
Get RWD. Get stability control. Get winter tires. You'll be fine. And you'll have your 3 Series that you want.
10mph on ice - 47ft vs 21ft stopping difference. Why I also chose this was because they happened to use a modern 3 series. With the right tires, a 3 series is perfectly safe. After all, Germany has.. um.. yeah, winters that are easily on par with Ohio. And you don't hear about Mercedes and BMW owners crashing all the time over there.
More BMW 3 series fun in snow.