Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 9:31 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
#15818 of 20196 Re: size standards [igozoomzoom]
Oct 26, 2010 (4:56 am)
I guess I don't really understand reviewers.
The following is what I recall from my own research from all sorts of sources, so I can't provide a link.
The 2009 Mazda6 is just barely smaller than the largest car in the class (the Accord).
It has the biggest trunk in its class.
It has the tightest turning radius in its class.
Some reviewers complained that getting bigger made it less maneuverable...I have to wonder if they actually drove the car, because other reviewers said it had the steering precision you come to expect from Mazda, and I myself thought it was every bit as nimble as the 2010 Mazda3 despite its larger size.
Reviewers complained that the 4-cyl was underpowered, even if it got gas mileage similar to its rivals.
Then reviewers complained that the 6-cyl got slightly worse gas mileage than its rivals, even though it had plenty of power and torque.
The Accord does get better gas mileage than the Mazda6, but it attains the better mileage by cutting sound insulation so road noise is significantly louder in the Accord than the Mazda6. And the Mazda6 is universally praised as being more fun to drive. So the Mazda6 is the car to look at if you want large size, good handling, and relatively quite noise, if you are willing to accept slightly worse gas mileage as a trade-off.
Despite the previously-mentioned complaints about the larger size negatively impacting handling and lack of power in the 4-cyl, reviewers almost universally agreed the Mazda6 is the 2nd sportiest vehicle, exceeded only by the Altima...but most reviewers agree the Altima's ride is far more harsh, as well as significantly smaller. (and some reviewers HATE the Altima's CVT). So the Mazda6 is the car to look at if you want a sporty car that is still smooth over bumps.
Exterior styling is according to personal taste, but lots of reviewers think it looks the best. In any case, it is clearly better than the Accord, and a toss-up with any other car.
Interior styling is less subjective, and the Mazda6 always gets high marks for materials, layout, and appearance.
If that weren't enough, Mazda has apparently done a great job packaging options into the trim levels, so you can get base luxuries like cruise control, auto, door locks, and traction/stability control at a cheaper price than most.
So if you want a low-priced car that handles well (nearly best in class), is smooth over bumps, has plenty of size for passengers and cargo (class leading or too close to matter), is relatively quiet on the road, and has a decent record for reliability, the Mazda6 should be on your short list.
That it isn't recommended more by reviewers is inexplicable to me.
The Mazda6 is up 48% over last year's sales. Unfortunately, last year's sales weren't all that hot.
By now, however, it is 2 years old. Newer competitors (like the Hyundai Sonata) have newer technology. But the 2011 Mazda6 (due in the Spring, I think?), should be a strong candidate for good sales.
#15819 of 20196 Re: size standards [brainfertilize]
Oct 26, 2010 (5:45 am)
"you can get base luxuries like cruise control, auto, door locks, and traction/stability control at a cheaper price than most."
Luxuries? I don't think these are considered luxuries any longer. Aside from the automatic, aren't these items standard in even the lowest trim level of any midsize car?
As for the auto, that would always be available as a separate add on to the base trim level.
#15820 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [akirby]
Oct 26, 2010 (6:15 am)
AWD gets you going in slippery conditions and prevents you from getting stuck. However, it does nothing to help you stop or steer.
Correct. And this is why it's a trap. Transferring power back and forth just doesn't work at all. They all it all-wheel-drive, but it's really a part-time FWD/RWD transfer system. So of course it gets nearly the same mpg. It's in 2WD mode 99% of the time. Compare that to a 4X4 or full-time system which really does work to keep you on the road in snow and bad weather.
#15821 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [plekto]
Oct 26, 2010 (6:31 am)
Not sure about other systems but Ford's system doesn't just transfer 100% of the torque from front to rear so in most cases there would be torque on both the front and rear. Also remember Ford's AWD system is 100% electronic and can therefore transfer torque in anticipation of slippage before it occurs - such as accelerating while cornering.
Ford's system could split torque differently if needed since it's all electronic (note the 2011 Explorer - same hardware) - but in a passenger car it's not at all necessary most of the time.
It would be nice to be able to lock in a 50/50 torque split for slippery conditions. I'm sure there's a reason they don't do it.
#15822 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [plekto]
Oct 26, 2010 (6:55 am)
Not quite. These systems don't move from FWD to RWD. They move from FWD to a blend of split power between front & rear wheels. They're still typically front-biased but even sending, say, 30% of the power to the rear can help move the vehicle. Maybe not uphill on ice as simulated in the video but through more common conditions like a slushy parking lot.
Some systems also include side-to-side differentials. On my vehicle the FWD power can also be split between either of the front wheels. Which is how it can also help you steer in adverse conditions. It also offers an electronically controlled 4x4 Lock mode but I doubt I'll ever use it as I've no need to do true off-roading.
I do agree, though, that AWD doesn't help when it comes to braking. Engine braking, perhaps, but not normal braking. And I think there's a general consensus that the AWD systems in the CR-V and Highlander (and RAV4) aren't exactly the best. They're easily more primitive than Subaru's system.
But little of this discussion is germane to midsize sedans since few offer AWD.
#15823 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [fushigi]
Oct 26, 2010 (7:56 am)
On my vehicle the FWD power can also be split between either of the front wheels. Which is how it can also help you steer in adverse conditions.
On dry pavement that can help by causing the outside wheel in a turn to get more power.
But in adverse conditions moving the torque side to side won't help. Either the front tires have grip or they don't and that's what affects steeering.
#15824 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [fushigi]
Oct 26, 2010 (8:05 am)
But little of this discussion is germane to midsize sedans since few offer AWD.
LaCrosse (though some would call it full-size)
I wonder if we will see others soon? Or is the cost of developing an AWD system so high that it doesn't pay off at this price point?
#15825 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [stephen987]
Oct 26, 2010 (9:04 am)
I don't think the R&D is too onerous. Like the engines and many other components, the AWD systems can be adaptations of the systems developed for the CUV that runs on the same platform. For instance, if the Edge & Fusion run on the same underlying platform I'd wager their AWD systems were related (though probably not identical). Likewise the Legacy/Outback and probably Tribeca.
#15826 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [fushigi]
Oct 26, 2010 (10:22 am)
Then it shouldn't be too hard for there to be
--a Camry All-Trac with Highlander/RAV components
--an AWD Altima with Murano drivetrain
--an AWD Mazda6
--an AWD Sonata (borrowing heavily from the Santa Fe)
Etc. I know my friends in Canada and upstate NY would appreciate having these choices.
#15827 of 20196 Re: RWD in snow [stephen987]
Oct 26, 2010 (10:52 am)
It isn't hard from a technology standpoint. The hard part is the same as it is for manual transmissions in family sedans: Convincing the automakers that enough sales would follow to make the move profitable.
Of the above AWD midsizers, Legacy aside, what percent are sold with AWD? I see plenty of Fusions around, for instance, but it's pretty rare to see one with AWD badging.