Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 6:14 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
#11286 of 20217 Re: C/D on hybrid mid-sized sedans [backy]
Jan 03, 2009 (9:04 pm)
i could be wrong, but i think the prius has higher that usual voltage wiring that runs through the roof. i will take a toyota designed sunroof, not some aftermarket 80's design.
thanks for trying to convince me, but no sale.
#11287 of 20217 Re: C/D on hybrid mid-sized sedans [explorerx4]
Jan 03, 2009 (9:13 pm)
Ha, I'm not trying to "convince" you of anything. Just trying to provide you with information that you requested and trying to have a civil discussion about mid-sized cars, hybrid variants in particular.
Please feel free to share with us any links to info about high-voltage wiring in the Prius' roof. As for moonroofs being designed in the '80s... yes, I think it's true that basic moonroof design hasn't changed much since then. I remember a moonroof on a girlfriend's 1983 626 that worked just like they do today.
Jan 03, 2009 (11:10 pm)
I had the opportunity to test drive both the Accord and Mazda6 over the past couple of weeks. Iíve been working so much that I havenít had time to post my reviews, but since we just had a holiday I figured Iíd post the review now. Remember this review is simply MY OpinionÖbut feedback is always good.
I hear folks say the previous generation Accord looked better, and I just donít get it. I came very close to buying an 04 Accord back when I purchased my 05 Altima but declined the offer simply because I hated the styling. I love the aggressive blunt nose of the new Accord. V6 models look especially aggressive with the front lip spoiler and fog light cut outs. All EX (not just the V6) models should come with the fogs IMO because without them the front end looks a bit naked. I find the side profile of the Accord to be quite nice and Iím a big fan of the standard 17 inch alloy wheels found on EX models. I also like the Acura TL-like character line that goes from the front fender to the back taillights. The one weak aspect of the Accordís styling is the rear end. It looks a bit bland, especially next to the 06 and 07 Accord and the Mazda6 GT which have LEDs.
At first I didnít like the front end of the new 6, but its grown on me a bit. I still have issues with the lower grille and its ďBracesĒ but otherwise the car looks good from the front to me. I especially like the Xenon headlamps found on GT and some Touring models. I drove a Black GT model at night and I was impressed with the exterior lighting and I thought the manual leveling xenon headlamps were a nice touch. In profile, the only real issue I had with the new 6 was the RX-8 inspired fender flairs. On V6 models with 18s it doesnít look too bad, but on models with 17s and especially those with 16s, the vehicle height to wheel ratio makes the car look tipsy looking. The 17s should be standard on base models and the 18s on the S models should be standard on Touring and Grand Touring I4 models. I think if Iíd never seen the Euro and Japanese-based Mazda6 Iíd probably like the our new 6 moreÖbut after seeing those models, the US-based 6 looks a bit too stretched (from the side) for its exterior styling. Itís a bit too big for the styling theme its trying to pull off.
Winner: AccordÖit just looks more cohesive (I know Iím going to catch heck for this!)
I still think the Accord has the best interior materials in the midsize sedan category. The only car that exceeds the Accordís materials is the Passat and for what VW charges for the car itís materials should be better. Honda just seems to get it right in the areas where people pay attention. From the padded door panels, gathered leather upholstery and overall feel of the interior materials, the Accordís interior just comes off as more upscale and more matured feeling than the interior of the 6. Iíd say the Accordís interior design feels a generation or two older than the new Mazda6, which isnít particularly a good thing. One major negative for the Accord is the abundant use of buttons throughout the interior. It can be daunting at first glance, but after about ten minutes or so of driving I quickly became accustomed to the layout. Base models with manual climate control look less impressive than models equipped with the automatic climate control and navigation system. Hondas were always known for having very user friendly simplistic interior designs, thatís changed quite a bit over the last two generations and I hope Honda will go back to their roots in future generations because the current Accord has a very minivan like interior layout. The bottom line is that when I sit inside the Accord, it feels more refined and more matured. The level of quality is higher, the tactile feel of the controls is better and the overall ambience inside of the Accord is that of a much costlier vehicle. For some it may be a bit too mature but it works well for me. Of course this assessment is based on driving Accord EX-L models, EX models with cloth arenít bad, but LX models have their fair share of cheap interior materials as well. In base LX and LX-P form, Iíd be inclined to go with other choicesÖthe Malibu and the Aura IMO have better interior materials in base models in comparison to the AccordÖbut when you dress the Accord up in leather, wood trim and the works, its hard to beat the Accordís interior materials and overall feel.
The Mazda6 on the other hand just feels sportier. There is no denying that. I drove one particular GT model at night and I came away very impressed with the interiorís design. The gauges in particular were very, bright and sportyÖmaybe a bit too bright since I had to adjust them after a while. I also liked the ambient interior lighting found in the 6 which is very BMW-like. But while the interior design of the 6 is better than the Accords, I donít believe the materials are better. Several areas throughout the interior are marred by cheap interior plastic. The area around the interior gauges and the interior door panels felt very cheap. I also noticed a lack of padding for the interior armrest and some interior panels that didnít line up well. While the leather inside the 6 has a nice perforation pattern the leather quality itself wasnít that great, especially next to the Accordís gathered, more upscale looking leather and in base form, the cheap looking (and feeling) cloth upholstery matched up with the cheap looking black plastic didnítí impress me at all. Donít get me wrong, Iím not saying the 6 has bad materials, but next to the Accord, the 6ís materials are lacking in texture, quality and feel. The 6 in upper trim levels competes favorably against the Camry and the Aura and Malibu but I feel the Accord and Sonata have better materials overall.
Winner: The Accord buy a significant margin
I only got to take the Accord out for a short test drive, so I canít say much about the it. But what I do know is that the basic LX model I drove had one of the slickest feeling manual transmissions IĎve ever driven. I was hoping to drive an EX or EX-L model but the nearest model with a manual was over 90 miles away. Power was abundant, even in the base LX model I drove and the shifter itself felt very light, very crisp and very predictable. I drive a truck for a living and the shifter in the Accord felt refreshing next to the clunky, awkward feel of the shifter in my Peterbilt. Yet for a car with such a slick shifting manual, I must say that the Accord didnít seem nearly as fun to drive as previous generations. Itís almost as if the car has gotten to big to warrant a stick shift. The Handling was sound, but never sporty, the ride itself was very Camry-like and the steering felt a bit on the light side. Overall the drive, just like the interior felt a bit more matured than the Mazda6. The car just felt big...
#11289 of 20217 Accord verses Mazda6 continued
Jan 03, 2009 (11:20 pm)
...and even though its only a mere .4 inches longer than the new Mazda6, it handled like a bigger, more sedate car.
On the flip side, the 6 was a lot more fun to drive. I went to a dealership in Anderson, SC that allows you to test drive cars on your own so I took the 6 on an extended test drive. Outside of having a pushy salesmen who knew nothing about his product and who acted like my brother and I werenít worth his time, I must say the experience with the 6 was fantasitc! From the interior layout, to the handling and steering feel the 6 was just more fun to drive. I felt like I was connected to the car, not just driving it. It took some time getting used to the shift pattern but once I warmed up to it, I felt right at home in the 6. I took the 6 all over the Anderson areaÖfrom the back roads leading to Clemson University to a short stint up Interstate 85. The 6 was up for every challenge. In areas where the Accord simply met the challenge, the 6 seemed eager, more poised and ready for any task given to it. Surprisingly the 6ís ride was more composed than the Accordís and it never felt harsh. The 6 also had less wind and engine noise. As a matter of fact, while sitting at a red light I thought Iíd actually stalled the 6 because it was so quiet. One area where the 6 lagged behind the Accord was in power. The Accord, even in base LX form just seemed more powerful despite its slightly bigger size. Iím sure the 6 weighs more too. The lack in power isnít a real concern but it is noticeable in the few passing maneuvers I attempted on the interstate. While the 6 didnít feel as sporty as the previous generation, its sportier than anything currently available in this class.
Winner: The Mazda6 by a wide margin.
Iím one of those folks who loves features. One of the few things I like about my current Altima is its list of standard and optional equipment. In the feature content arena, the 6 easily beats the Accord and everything else in this class. Xenon headlamps, LEDs and push button start are just a few of the features the Mazda6 GT I test drove had.
Memory seats are a nice touch too, but I donít think Iíd use them much. I didnít drive an EX or EX-L but I spent a few minutes inside an Accord EXLV6 inside the dealership showroom and it became clear that Honda missed the boat on interior gadgetry and innovation. Bluetooth is only available on navigation-equipped models, there is no push button start, no LED tail lamps or electroluminescent interior gauges. For the price of a GT model, Iíd be better off moving up into Acura TSX or Audi A4 2.0t territory, but a loaded Touring model with Convenience and BOSE/Moonroof pkgs lines up very closely with the Accord EX-L model all while having xenons, rain-sensing wipers and many other features not found in this class.
Winner: Mazda6 by a wide margin
While I do find the styling of the Accord to be better than the 6, I cannot deny that the 6 is overall the more sporting and more fun car to drive. From its racy, cool looking gauge cluster to its sporty handling and fun to drive factor the 6 just seems like the more engaging car. The Accord, while feeling predictable, just feels a bit mature, even a bit Spartan in LX trim (which is to be expected given its base price) so Iíll have to make the trip to Asheville to drive the only EX-L manual sedan in my area (coincidently a Mazda dealership in the Asheville area also has an I GT manual as well) On the safety front the two cars should be very similar and at this point Iíll give Honda a slight edge over the 6 for reliability (considering Hondaís track record) but overall the 6 just fit me better. Iíd like to stay loyal to Honda (since thatís all my family has ever driven) and because I find the interior materials to be a great deal better than those found in the 6, but the 6 draws me to it and considering that it seems easy to find a loaded manual Mazda6 in comparison to a loaded manual Accord and the fact that Mazda will probably give me a better discount, Iím going with the 6 on this one. If there were a few things Iíd change about the new Mazda6, it would be its available color combinations for manual models. You can only get four exterior colors (Red, Black, Silver or Gray) with one interior color (Black) while in Canada you can choose any color 6 you want, even with the manual transmission. I would love a Kona Blue Mazda6 I GT with Gray leather!
Overall Winner: Mazda6...until I get more seat time in an EX-L manual Accord.
Jan 04, 2009 (7:39 am)
Speaking as a regular ol' driver rather than a host, I LIKE this car. A lot. People can argue over the origin of the technology and whether it is/isn't a true hybrid - whatever. The fact is that Ford has made a great decision to build on a strong product by offering it in a version that maximizes fuel economy. To most of us, that's the essential information.
For the first time in ages, I'm excited about a Ford product. The Prius, for a variety of reasons, doesn't do it for me, but I think this is a great move for Ford.
#11291 of 20217 Re: Accord verses Mazda6 continued [maxamillion85]
Jan 04, 2009 (8:13 am)
Excellent and very thorough review. I agree with most points you've posted, but IMO the interior materials between the Accord and 6 aren't that much different, if at all. The biggest drawback (by far) is the 60-something buttons stacked all over the dash, as you've mentioned. Too busy. I'm driving a car, not flying a 747.
#11292 of 20217 Re: C/D on hybrid mid-sized sedans [backy]
Jan 04, 2009 (9:24 am)
i guess i am mistaken about the roof wiring in a prius.
regardless, since it is not available with a factory moonroof, i would not buy one.
overall, i can appreciate that it is a pretty practical vehicle, just not for me.
#11293 of 20217 Yet another mid-sized hybrid sedan coming
Jan 04, 2009 (10:35 am)
Not sure this was mentioned here before, but we'll have another mid-sized hybrid to choose from in 2010: the Sonata hybrid, which will probably be the first hybrid to use a lithium polymer battery. The Elantra hybrid will actually be Hyundai's first hybrid, due this July, but it will be sold only in Korea initially so the Sonata is to be the first Hyundai hybrid sold in the U.S. The details (see link to article below) look interesting... the Sonata will be a full, two-mode hybrid, but reportedly will use a unique variant of the two-mode design to allow optimal fuel economy both in city and highway driving. The lithium polymer battery will take up a lot less room than battery packs used in other hybrids, so perhaps trunk space will not be compromised as it is with today's full-hybrid sedans. And Hyundai plans a plug-in version for later release.
The 2011 Sonata due in 2010, will be part of Hyundai's 24/7 Version 2.0 initiative, which will push out 7 new models by the end of 2011. Recall that the 2006 Sonata was the 2nd vehicle in Hyundai's original 24/7 program, which resulted in 8 (whoops) new or redesigned models in a span of 2 years.
Things are getting interestinger and interestinger in the mid-sized hybrid market!
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/green_machines/2011_h- - yundai_sonata_hybrid_car_news
#11294 of 20217 Accord buttons
Jan 04, 2009 (4:46 pm)
One of the main reasons I passed on the Accord was the dash. In a nutshell, the buttons all over the place were driving me crazy from the second I sat in it. The exterior is not nearly as attractive as the new Mazda 6 or the Malibu LT which I ended up with.
Honda can always be counted on for reliability and refinement but I think the design of the new Accord is poor.