Last post on Jun 19, 2013 at 6:38 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda MAZDA6, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#10953 of 18437 Car for teen driver
Oct 10, 2008 (6:43 am)
I'm thinking of buying my 16 y/o son a 2009 Ford Fusion, primarily because it seems to be the least expensive mid-size sedan to receive a top safety rating from IIHS, with the optional ESC. I don't see a lot of posts on the Fusion, anyone have an opinion? I'd rather not buy him a brand new car, but the ESC seems to be an important accident avoidance feature, based on the fatality rates for teen drivers, and it's hard to find older cars with that feature, unless you go to an older luxury model, then you have premium gas and high maintenance costs to worry about. I'd welcome any other opinions, just trying to explore all my options.
#10954 of 18437 Re: Car for teen driver [marys236]
Oct 10, 2008 (8:08 am)
If you're interested in ESC, check out a one or two year old Hyundai Sonata. It has excellent safety ratings, offers ESC, and should be available for well under $15,000 depending on how many miles and how it is equipped. They're a great value.
#10955 of 18437 Re: Car for teen driver [thegraduate]
Oct 10, 2008 (8:28 am)
you beat me to it!. The Sonata is a great buy, especially for what mary236 is looking for.
#10956 of 18437 Re: Car for teen driver [marys236]
Oct 10, 2008 (8:37 am)
If I was you I would not spend that kind of money on a 16 year old kid. Contact your ins agent first what would be the cheapest car to ins because the ins rates for inexperienced teen drivers is crazy . My first car when I was 16 in 1967 was a 1963 Dodge Dart. Do not spend more than $7500 for a first car !!!!!!!!!!!
#10957 of 18437 Re: Car for teen driver [theking]
Oct 10, 2008 (9:12 am)
Well, I'd rather spend $7500, but for that price, I can't get side impact air bags and electronic stability control, and good crash ratings, at least, not that I've been able to find. The fact that it's likely he will have an accident, based on statistics, is why I want these safety features. The leading cause of death for boys between 16 and 25 is car accidents. I'd like to keep him alive, and whole, at least until he's 18 (little humor there), for the least amount of money. We live across town from his HS, so he has about a 30 mile round trip on the interstate to get to school and back, he needs something safe and reliable.
I thought about a 2006 or 2007 Sonata, it does not have the best IIHS ratings in side impact crashes (only average, instead of good, like the Fusion), but it would cost less.
How accurate are the IIHS ratings, does anyone know? Are cars with higher ratings really a lot safer?
#10958 of 18437 Re: Car for teen driver [marys236]
Oct 10, 2008 (10:10 am)
The IIHS results are valid and there can be significant differences in a specific accident situation. The problem is the tests are very limited and do not cover a wide range of real accident situations - different speeds, different size vehicles, different barriers, weather, etc. so it's hard to actually predict real world performance.
In the end you have to do what you think is right because you're the one who has to live with the decision.
#10959 of 18437 time for a new car?
Oct 11, 2008 (2:53 pm)
Took my 05 mazda6 in for an oil change today and after drooling a bit over the new 6 in the showroom, I ended taking one for a drive. Very nice, comfy ride... very good fit and finish. Not quite as sharp handling wise compared to my older 6, but then again it handles bumps better and is quieter. Plus back seat room is huge compared to mine. For a v-6 grand touring minus my trade in, the 09 would end up being around 16k which seems pretty fair. By the way, I went to Ron Tonkin in Portland and these guys were great to deal with. Super easy and very nice guys which I can't say about any other car buying experience I've had!
But... no manual tranny and no hatchback which my current 6 has and which I love. Thing is, I really like my current 6, but I've been getting the sense that a new, less edgy car is in order for my life now. If they had a hatch, I'd have a new car in my driveway now, but they don't. My mom just bought a car in this class a month or two ago (before the new 6 was out) and we drove many cars. I drove the Accord, Altima, Azera, Sonata, Camry (yuck!), and an 08 Maxima (the car my mom ended up getting). The 09 mazda6 is the winner in my eyes ... the Maxima comes in a close 2nd, but I prefer the 6. Besides, I'm not going to get the same car as my mom!
Anyways... I'm amazed I'm even considering this. Went in for an oil change and almost bought a car.... What do you think?
#10960 of 18437 Re: time for a new car? [zzzoom6]
Oct 11, 2008 (6:36 pm)
My dad one time came to visit me at work and asked if I wanted to see his new car. I said, "Geez, Dad, the Caddy you just bought is only two months old, why would you buy a new one?" He said, "the ashtray got full!" Had me for a minute.
Actually, my parents car was stolen in a Detroit mall parking lot and they got a new one from insurance. So I guess dirty oil is a good excuse too!
#10961 of 18437 Re: time for a new car? [zzzoom6]
Oct 11, 2008 (9:39 pm)
That is why it is dangerous to take your car to a dealer for oil changes. A simple oil change can cost you over $20,000.
Oct 14, 2008 (11:54 am)
On Saturday, I went to New Country Mazda in Saratoga (while visiting the in-laws), and was able to drive the '09 6S Touring.
The salesperson went to find the specific model on the lot, so I wasnít able to start it myself, but it sure was whisper-quiet when it pulled up. I didnít even notice it until I turned to see it right in front of me. This is my first exposure to the cloth/leather seats, and I like them. Iím still not used to the gray steering wheel in a black interior, but the wheel itself fell easily to hand, and the rim thickness was luckily retained from the first-gen car. The steering-wheel controls will take a little getting used to, but theyíre easily reached without removing my hands from the 9 and 3 position, something I canít say about the í07 Altima 2.5S that my wife drives.
Other comparisons: The interior as a whole is a vast improvement over just about anything else Iíve driven, let alone in this class. The orange-and-blue gauges are easy to read, and all other controls are logically placed and intuitive. An excellent compromise between the stark, minimum-controlled dash of the Altima, and the 58 different buttons scattered on the Accordís dash.
My father-in-law and brother-in-law were with me, so the four of us piled into the car (yes, all four of us, more on that later). The inĖlaws in the back seat both were impressed with the room, easily getting comfortable, unlike my í04 6, which my father-in-law never has enough legroom.
And weíre off. Acceleration was smooth, without any hesitation or hiccup. The V6 definitely has more HP and torque compared to the 3.0L, even with the automatic and four adults, the power was effortless, and getting up to speed was easy even with only a slight amount of pedal travel. Maneuvering around the auto mall complex was a breeze, and the shorter turning-circle was VERY evident (and welcome!)
Driving on suburban roads, the steering wheel felt nicely weighted, with plenty of feedback. Unlike others, I didnít sense any on-center dead spot, it felt tight from lock to lock, similar to my í04. Brakes were excellent (as with every Mazda Iíve driven), and offered nice feedback.
After four to five blocks, the salesperson guided me back to the dealer, not allowing me to take it onto the Northway, saying that he had ďan appointmentĒ and we didnít have enough time. No, I wasnít happy, and I remembered why my in-laws never bought a car from New Country.
It was nice, but I wanted more, and I got it.
Yesterday, I went to the local dealer (Burdick), and tested both a 6I GT and 6S GT, back to back, without any salesperson! I drove both cars through the same 16 mile route, with highway and backroads sprinkled in with the city streets.
The 4-cylinder was a decent engine, with good power, and a vast improvement over the 2.3L with auto. Steering and brakes felt similar to the Touring, but thereís still an obvious difference between the 4-cylinder and V6 in terms of handling and control. Cutting apexes was still easy, but I did feel more body roll than my í04 with V6.
The S GT was a whole different experience from the I GT. The V6 was quiet and docile around town, but it moved when you wanted it to, with a nice, throaty growl. Passing on the highway was effortless, even with the slushbox, and I was easily the first car from a red light, without even trying. Chirping the tires was easy, but I didnít feel any torque steer at any time, not bad for 272 HP and 269 lb-ft. of torque. The added weight became apparent on the backroads, with more body roll than the 4-cylinder. A LOT of the blame goes to the miserable Michelins that Mazda AGAIN saddles us with. Even the 18Ē tires squealed early and often, and rode loudly on certain surfaces.
Final impression: The power from the V6 is immense and easy to control. Steering and braking is still excellent, better than any Accord or Altima could even dream of. Iíll admit that the handling isnít as good as the first-gen, which Iím not very thrilled about, but a better set of tires would go a long way (but not all the way) to fix that. Although itís no BMW, it still feels more involving than an Accord or Altima, and the HUGE improvements in both the drivetrains and interior are very appreciated.