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#30275 of 35254 2011 Nissan Altima - An 8.5 on "The Sandman Scale"
Feb 15, 2013 (7:26 pm)
Drove this today and it had 26k plus on it, an "S" model as it had manual adjustable seats. The cloth was just o k as the other model I drove recently, a 2012, had much grippier cloth plus the power throne which I manipulated in such a way as to have minimal spinal pain. This is a good cruising car as I found out earlier...once the traffic thinned out I used the cruise control and set it at 77 on the 70 mph I-95. Effortless really with minimal steering corrections needed though the car did need an alignment as the wheel was not dead on straight as I prefer, it was cocked a bit to the left when going straight. Seriously good mileage as compared to some of the other "economy" cars I've driven...sure the engine is definitely worked in and all that but I was getting at least 32 mpg's with the a/c cranked the majority of the time. I had to make the dial a bit warmer as one could hang meat the a/c was that cold. All the dials worked as intended and things , stalks, signals, etc. were all where they should be. The standard radio gave very nice sound with the ipod though one couldn't see the artist's name and song title through the standard system, something that should be already in place. We had some rain again but not much and as we got back into the Palm beach area, the rains hit again. Overall on the "Sandman Scale", I'm giving the Altima an 8.5 as it was a pleasure to drive, got exceptional mileage for a mid sized vehicle and had ample passing power the few times I really needed it. The radio and lack of title/artist was a faux pas here as was the lack of a power drivers seat. Am very excited to get my hands on a 2013 model for an extended road trip to see if newer is indeed better. All I can say is Nissan, ya done good here!
Feb 15, 2013 (7:54 pm)
On my ratings scale, I've given today's contestant, a 2011 Nissan Altima S an 8.5 as it was a very good driving car and was hard pressed to tell that it had just a tad over 26k on the clock. I explained a few of my likes and dislikes in the previous post. I've given the Hyundai Elantra a 9.5 on my ratings scale because though it's not quite the perfect vehicle, it comes damn close...for the price, there's a whole bunch of goodness here and this is only the GLS model. Not sure if it has the "preferred package" as I don't know what extra's come with it but it's a perfect rental choice...it does everything right! Definitely has that import look of late which is pleasing and is instantly recognizable as a Hyundai with it's "fluidic styling" though some may not find it as pleasing as I did. The view out the rear is better than I thought even with the triple rear headrests, the sloping of the rear window is misleading in that I had good vision out the back. The controls work as intended with a pleasing purplish hue and the wheel, though plasticy, felt good in my hands and was pretty meaty, something I prefer in a steering wheel. I'd prefer a leather wheel but I am assuming that the Limited version has this covered. The seats were comfortable and not overly firm and I felt like I was sitting "in" them instead of "on" them...and there is a difference here. The material is just o k, I prefer a grippier cloth like the new Altima has but what is standard here works. I'm sure this will be addressed next year with the mid cycle refresh. The a/c works nicely and keeps the cabin comfortably cool in fact all the controls work with a nice tactile feel which put a smile on my face.
Sitting in the rear, I had plenty of room though I wished the seat bottom was raised just a tad higher. I think three in the back would be fine for a short trip but two would definitely be the better choice. There's a whole lot of goodness in this car and it reminds me of Honda but Honda from two decades ago when they were fun cars to drive. This is a fun car to toss around and I never felt like it was underpowered even when passing is required. The kick down wasn't too abrupt but not as smooth as some other cars but nothing to cause any concern at all. This is a well thought out and constructed product and I commented to a co-worker that this was probably going to be the next vehicle on my side of the garage...I like it that much! I would definitely want the preffered package as I must have alloys on any future vehicle I own...steelies and bolt on covers will no longer do. Although I like a sunroof, not sure if I'd spring the extra cash for the Limited model but if someone has to have the sunroof and larger and somewhat nicer alloys, this would be money well spent.
Great job Hyundai and hoping that the refresh will add some nice changes. I've seen pictures of the new Kia Forte, the fraternal twin of the Elantra, and can not wait to run them back to back to see how different they are. I prefer the Elantra's looks but from what I've read, the Forte will be a force to reckon with and have exceptional optional add-ons like a power drivers seat, something I think every car should have. As much as I lust for the 3 Series or C Class, my two dream vehicles, this is one car I'd be very proud to own and if I weren't the frugal and logical person I am, I'd have one sitting at home right now...I'd proudly turn in my low mileage '06 Civic on this puppy tomorrow!
Look for my review of the 2013 Ford Focus coming to this Edmunds forum soon.
#30277 of 35254 Re: The Sandman Scale [sandman_6472]
Feb 16, 2013 (4:42 am)
Great write up as always Sandy!
#30278 of 35254 Re: The Sandman Scale [nyccarguy]
Feb 16, 2013 (4:58 am)
Thanks but need to work on paragraphs and punctuation. These need to be readable. Off to start my long week!
#30279 of 35254 Elantra GT Lease deal
Feb 16, 2013 (8:14 am)
So the Hyundai website advertises the following lease deal on a base Elantra GT auto:
$179/month for 24 months, $2,499 down. Reviewing the details and backing into the terms, that comes out to a "purchase price" of MSRP ($20,340), cap cost reduction of $2,320, residual of 75% and an interest rate equivalent of 2.85%.
I assume if nothing else, you can negotiate down that cap cost off of MSRP and thus reduce the down payment.
For those more familiar with leases, how do those terms hit you?
#30280 of 35254 Re: Elantra GT Lease deal [breld]
Feb 16, 2013 (9:40 am)
Adding the 2500 into the lease makes it about $280 per month. You will also want to roll in the sales tax into the payment. The gold standard for evaluating leases is Taking 2 zeros off the msrp for a 36 month lease before taxes. If the msrp is 20k then you want to be as close to $200 per month. On 24 month leases, have no idea how to evaluate. I think the GT is a hot seller so I doubt you can get a smoking lease on one. Honda Pilots and VW Passats are great now -- easy to get to that goal but the heart wants what the heart wants.
#30281 of 35254 Re: Elantra GT test drive [breld]
Feb 16, 2013 (10:57 am)
Now I wonder if the tires had way too much pressure in them on the GT I drove? The Limited sedan was fine with the same tires.
The base model had heated seats, so it's well equipped, but no pano roof stand-alone option like Ford has.
#30282 of 35254 Re: Chronic Tire Buyers Anonymous [tifighter]
Feb 16, 2013 (11:00 am)
I'm hoping both - more sidewall to absorb bumps, and I got ultra high performance all seasons vs the OEM summer rubber that are hard in cold weather until they warm up.
I'm on Miata.net (juiceman) but not very active.
#30283 of 35254 Re: 2011 Nissan Altima - An 8.5 on "The Sandman Scale" [sandman_6472]
Feb 16, 2013 (10:53 am)
The new one supposedly has zero gravity seats, so you'll have to try them and let us know if that's just hype.
#30284 of 35254 Re: Elantra GT test drive [sandman_6472]
Feb 16, 2013 (11:00 am)
Like sandman I have the Mazda3 Hatch (an 07) and it has been a real gem in 6 years of ownership. I haven't had a single problem to report for that period unless you count the fact that it was hit twice by other cars and once by hail. All three repairs restored it to a basically new appearance. If I have one niggling complaint it's that it doesn't get as good gas mileage as the Civic it replaced, but Mazda's new Skyactive technology should take care of that. I have the five-speed and Mazda makes a very refined manual transmission.
Although I have no direct experience I have heard countless complaints about Ford's mytouch system as is borne out in sandman's post. I like the look of the new Focus and I know that lower trim lines can be purchased without mytouch or I guess you can learn to live with its idiosyncrasies.