Last post on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM
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
#16812 of 20239 2006 Optima woes avenged with 2012.....
Jul 30, 2012 (4:48 am)
Yes, I recall the 2006 Kia Optima. My friend had a blue one that looked really nice. The interior was nice too. Nothing too fancy but it had lots of features for the money. Other than replacing the driver side power window motor he had no trouble with it until he sold it with 119k on it about a year ago.
He bought a 2011 and I recall him showing it to me. after researching it (it is STILL a Hyundai Sonata underneath); I found out that the chief designer at Audi AG designed the new Optima line.
Generating 2 cars with one solid uni-body shell and reliable drivetrain is called "Platform Sharing". It cuts development costs drastically, and allows more creative styling with the money saved. There are no body panels shared between the current Sonata and the Optima. Even the interiors are totally different. The suspension tuning is different as well, with the Optima being a bit more sporty and with a 2" wider track.
I purchased my 2012 Optima EX on December 31st 2011. It is a beautiful car to me...but isn't beauty really held by the eye of the beholder?
Thanks for letting me ramble! -Chris
#16813 of 20239 Re: 2006 Optima woes avenged with 2012..... [cski]
Jul 30, 2012 (4:59 am)
Wow, 2" difference in track is a lot for two chassis' based off the same platform. That much difference could provide significantly greater g's in corners if the suspension tuning is matched to it, which apparently it is. In theory, this wider track could also trickle down to more elbow/shoulder etc room and even easier to meet side-impact crash standards.
#16814 of 20239 2012 Optima chassis info source.
Jul 30, 2012 (5:20 am)
Car and Driver May 2012 issue has a 6 car comparo called "Hot Six". The Optima EX came in 3rd, but only missed second by 5 points I believe. It defeated the Sonata SE as well.
Hyundai-Kia has come a long way since the 1999 Sephia, which tended to explode directly after leaving the dealership with a signed buyers order.
They are slowly closing in on Honda and Toyota, beating them at their own game. I am not saying they are hands-down the best cars, but they may be the best value on the market in the mid size sedan segment.
#16815 of 20239 Altima's attraction?
Jul 31, 2012 (6:08 pm)
I don't usually feel one way or the other about a car's appearance but the Altima sedan design of the last 7 years or so struck me as awkward, even ugly at the rear end. Perhaps there is a very long overhang behind the rear wheel but all I think of when I see one is a baby with a loaded diaper. From any other angle the car is fine but in profile it looks very rear end heavy. That aside, why do they sell so well? Don't they all have CVTs? Is there any one remarkable aspect that drives so many people to buy Altimas.
#16816 of 20239 Re: Altima's attraction? [pod]
Jul 31, 2012 (6:33 pm)
They are reliable, comfortable mid-sized cars with exceptional (for 2013) fuel economy, good value (e.g. features like push-button start standard), and (for many) attractive styling compared to more staid designs like the Camry and Accord. Also they handle well for a mid-sized family sedan--at least the previous generation did, I haven't driven the new 2013 Altima yet.
When you think about it, there probably is not one remarkable aspect for any mid-sized family sedan that causes people to buy one. The possible exception might be Camry = reputation for reliability, but it has other attributes also such as a smooth, quiet ride.
#16817 of 20239 Re: Altima's attraction? [backy]
Aug 01, 2012 (6:42 am)
Thanks for the reply Backy. I think you are right on with the Camry and Accord, they both ride in on a long history of reliability and relative affordability. I wasn't aware that Nissan had such a reputation but have never looked up the numbers. I have a 2010 Milan(Fusion) which is an excellent car in every respect but doesn't come near the Altima in sales despite a very significant refresh in 2010. The Altima has had consistent high sales numbers through the 6 years or so that it hasn't changed at all.
I guess that is a better way to state my puzzlement. The unchanged Altima outsold many of its substantially improved competitors over the past 5 years. That is impressive and puzzling. It certainly has demonstrated consistent appeal and very impressive sales numbers. I'll bet if you asked the man in the street which were the top three mid sized cars in sales numbers they would get Honda and Toyota correct but I doubt more than 25% would guess tha Nissan was consistently riding in third place and about a lap ahead of its other competitors in sales. Impressive. I'll have to drive one.
#16818 of 20239 Re: Altima's attraction? [pod]
Aug 01, 2012 (4:27 pm)
Another reason for strong Altima sales in the previous generation... they were pretty popular in rental fleets. Which is OK by me as they make good rentals, when I can get one. I usually have to get smaller rental cars--corporate policy. My last rental was a creaky Aveo.
#16819 of 20239 compare 2012 accord and 2012 camry
Aug 02, 2012 (8:13 am)
we test drove camry se ....too tight seats for big people and less interior space...little bigger than corrolla....
we test drove accord ex,exl.....pretty roomy....captain seats...for big people...more roomy feels than camry.....
selected accord exl....
#16820 of 20239 Re: Altima's attraction? [pod]
Aug 03, 2012 (6:48 pm)
There is no puzzlement. The reason why the Altima sells so well, is that it is a great car of the money in the mid-size sedan segment, and consistently has a slightly more standout design then half the mid-size sedans in this segment.
I've recently test drove the 2013 Altima, 2013 Camry, 2013 Malibu, and 2012 Passat. I have to say, both the Passat and Altima would be my choice to get a mid-size sedan. The Passat had the usual German ride that lets you know your driving, but doesn't punish you. I actually found the ride in the new Altima to match the Camry's ride quality now. The Altima comes with so much technology, remote start, heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, cleaning rear camera, tire fill alert, etc. Most of this you can't even get on other cars in this class and Nissan went along way to refine the noise of the engine, amount of noise that comes into the cabin, etc.
Also, the CVT is not a monster people make it out to be. This is not meant to be a sports car. It is meant to be a sporty family sedan that gets good fuel economy. The CVT is smooth and not feeling shift shock all the time gets nice after awhile.
#16821 of 20239 Re: Altima's attraction? [smarty666]
Aug 04, 2012 (8:42 am)
How was the handling on the new Altima? Was it at least as good as on the previous Altima? I am hoping that in improving the ride smoothness they didn't take the crisp handling out. Also did you check FE on your test drives? I am wondering if the new Altima can actually achieve those high EPA numbers.