Last post on May 25, 2013 at 4:17 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
#17507 of 18227 Re: Back to midsize sedans [benjaminh]
Feb 16, 2013 (12:52 am)
I have actually had some hands-on experience with several of the newest mid-sizers. I drove a new Mazda6 Grand Touring all day while I was having my CX-9 serviced one day last week. My brother-in-law is the body shop manager at a Honda dealer and he brought home a 2013 Accord Sport CVT for me to drive for a weekend. My best-friend has a 2013 Fusion SE 1.6 EcoBoost as his company car. I also had a 2012 Optima LX as a rental car for 10-days in Los Angeles last August.
So here’s my take-
Best style: Mazda6, hands down! The Fusion comes in 2nd and the Accord and Optima are a distant tie for 3rd.
Best acceleration: 4-cylinder Accord is slightly faster than the Mazda6, but the Mazda6 feels faster with it’s 6-speed AT vs. the Accord’s CVT
Best reliability & quality: the new Mazda6 has very impressive interior materials and assembly quality, I think it will also prove to be very reliable; Accord is almost a sure-thing
Best safety: According to NHTSA tests, the Optima is crash test superstar; the Accord only rated 4/5 for frontal impact, Fusion 4/5 on Side Impact and Rollover and Altima got 4/5 on Rollover; the 2014 Mazda6 hasn’t been tested yet
Most bang for the buck: The Accord is definitely the winner, especially the high-content and high-value Sport trim level
Best visibility: the Mazda6’s technology makes it the winner, thanks to the Blind Spot Monitoring System and Rear Cross Traffic Alert in addition to the Rear View Camera.
Best dealers: Finding a great dealer is hit-or-miss with most brands (Honda, Ford); Unfortunately, Kia and Nissan dealers (at least in the South) generally suck
Best resale value: Accord and Mazda6 (Honda resale value is legendary; if the new Mazda6 follows in the footsteps of the Mazda3 and CX-9, it will be right up there with the Accord.
Lowest maintenance costs: Optima’s long warranty wins this one; but the Fusion will be in the shop so frequently for recalls that it may seem like the cheapest
Best handling: Zoom-zoom- the Mazda6 leads the pack
Best braking: Fusion and Mazda6 have shortest stopping distance, almost identical to one another; Accord is a very close 3rd place
Best paint colors: Fusion and Accord have the most colors to choose from and most of them are attractive; Mazda6 has the fewest choices (six) but at least of a few of them are stunners (Soul Red, Blue Reflex)
Best seats: Mazda6 seats would feel at home in a Volvo
Most interior room: Accord, Altima, Optima and Fusion all have 102-103 cubic feet of interior space, but the Optima and Altima come up short on rear leg room by several inches; Mazda6 is slightly smaller than the rest (99.7 cubic feet) but it feels just as roomy.
Biggest trunk: again, the four listed above range from 15.4 to 16.0 cubic feet, so they’re all the same, but Fusion wins with the 16.0 if you live-and-die by numbers; Mazda6 is slightly smaller at 14.8 but shape and design make every inch useful.
Further opinions and comments on specific models-
Accord- as the former owner of three Accords, I was very disappointed by the 2008-2012 model- I hated it! The 2013 looks, feels and sounds like a Honda should.
Mazda6- I am a big fan of the 2014 Mazda6- it is at or near the top in most categories and it looks amazing; it will never sell in the same volume as Accord or Camry, but should easily double the sales of the outgoing model.
Fusion- a pretty face will only go so far; my best friend upgraded his company car from a 2012 Fusion SEL 2.5L to a 2013 Fusion SE 1.6 EcoBoost four months ago. It has been subject to three recalls and two warranty repairs and it is currently at the dealer for a third warranty issue! When it isn’t in the shop, it is slower than his previous 2.5L and gets 4-5mpg less overall. The MyFordTouch interface is cumbersome, counter-intuitive and inherently flawed (Ford’s equivalent to Windows Vista?). He is currently driving a rental Corolla and told me he wishes could just keep it and never see the Fusion again! That’s about as sad as it gets…..
#17508 of 18227 Re: Back to midsize sedans [igozoomzoom]
Feb 16, 2013 (4:31 am)
Very good reviews! Thanks for sharing your excellent points here.
The Mazda6 does seem impressive.
I personally slightly prefer made in USA to Mexico (Fusion) or Japan (Mazda6).
I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that the Mazda6 has the best visibility. Can you explain that? The reviews I've seen give the Accord the best visibility both for its thin rear pillars made of ultra-high grade steel, as well as for its side camera. The visibility cameras are optional on both the Honda and the Mazda, and so I guess to me what's more important is the standard of visibility on even the base model.
The Honda Accord Coupe actually got a perfect score from the NHTSA:
http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/5-Star+Safety+Ratings/2011-Newer+Vehicl- - - es/Vehicle-Detail?vehicleId=7522
The Accord sedan got perfect on everything except for one 4/5, as you said. 5 stars overall. Can't figure that out one....? But the Accord is still the tops in the IIHS test, joined only by the Acura TL and Volvo.
#17509 of 18227 Re: Back to midsize sedans [gimmestdtranny]
Feb 16, 2013 (5:45 am)
And you got that I meant the glove box thing a bit as a joke. But I disagree with you a bit here:
"I got a chuckle out of the best glove box light question. Regardless of how much so-called content Honda may have re-inserted back into the car, I still consider this penny-pinching tactic, a glaring omission. In my mind that type of cost-cutting makes me wonder where else Honda has crunched such ridiculousness. Just think of the possibilities..."If we chop 3/8" of length off every wire on every harness we can save x $ on our production. No matter that harnesses pulled and stressed to their limit..for the few failures we may have to wty, we'll clean up on this move in the end. Plus, just think of the quick go-to fixes our service shops can do well outta wty, since we'll already have a shortcut to the problem areas".
Honda has taken a few things out (like the glove box light, ski pass through, and double wishbone front suspension), but what they've added is much more and more important. And I feel 100% confident that all that remains is top quality in the Honda Accord. Can't tell if you were joking, but they aren't going to skimp on the wiring in the car....
The Accord's quality and ability to last a long time is quite well known in the auto world, and Honda wouldn't mess with that. Normally a "halo car" is a rare model (like a Corvette or S2000) that brings prestige to the brand even if they don't sell that many of them. I read somewhere that some of Honda's engineers and execs think of the Accord as a "halo car." Even though it's a mainstream sedan, with this generation they pulled out all the stops to make it something special too. But even Honda has to deal with economics and dollars and cents, and so while they were adding the equivalent of thousands of dollars of stuff to the base model, they simply had to save a few hundred bucks here and there too.
The base Accord LX still adds a huge amount of stuff compared to the last generation of Accord LX. In the last generation you got a VTEC engine in the LX, but it was a lower level, less sophisticated, and less powerful engine than you got on the EX and above. Now even the LX gets the same advanced and now directed injected VTEC as is found in the EX. Some might say no big deal, but it is a big deal.
To state the obvious, the engine is the most expensive part of the car by far, and some brands cheap out when it comes to the engine of the base model. In particular, the new Ford Fusion has a thrashy, unpleasant, and unsophisticated 2.5L 4 cylinder engine in the base model (I had it on a rental car. Yuck). You have to buy yourself with options the better 1.6 ecotec. And the Passat has an old tech, not very powerful, and not very efficient 5 cylinder in its base model car.
#17511 of 18227 Car and Driver 10 Best
Feb 16, 2013 (7:14 am)
The list in alphabetical order: Audi A6, BMW 3 series, Ford Focus, Ford Mustang, Honda Accord, Honda Fit, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Porsche Boxter, Scion FR-S, VW Golf/GTI....
Here's the 1 minute video C & D made for the Accord:
Car and Driver 2013 10 Best list:
The family sedan, elevated.
Let us get this straight: The new Accord has ditched its control-arm front suspension for struts; a CVT has displaced its four-cylinder's step-gear automatic; and gasoline direct injection is new this year—but only on the four—nine years after Audi first offered it in the U.S. So why is this car back on this list for a record 27th time? It's not because the Accord is a looker. What it has is inner beauty: Luxury-car big inside and yet smaller outside than before, this ninth-gen version fully delivers on Honda's "man-maximum, machine-minimum" philosophy. The Accord's greatness has always derived from its ability to disappear under its driver, but this new car verges on the ethereal—it is so easy to see out of, so easy to point into a corner, so elegant and light and forgiving in its responses that one big fluid loop develops between man and machine. This is true whether you're talking about the base four-cylinder sedan or the six-cylinder coupe with its clockwork manual. Its playful and graceful spirit makes taking grandma to the doctor and the kids to soccer and the boss to lunch no chore. You only think it's a driving appliance until you drive it. Then you understand."
#17512 of 18227 Car and Driver stats
Feb 16, 2013 (8:02 am)
http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2013-ford-fusion-se-ecoboost-vs-2013-honda-a- - - - ccord-ex-2013-nissan-altima-25-sv-2012-volkswagen-passat-25-se-comparison-test-c- - - - ar-and-driver2013-ford-fusion-se-ecoboost-vs-2013-honda-accord-ex-2013-nissan-al- - - - tima-25-sv-2012-volkswagen-passat-25-se.pdf
Best braking 70-0: Fusion 175 ft, Accord 184 ft, Altima 185 ft, Passat 185 ft
Acceleration 0-60: Altima 7.6 seconds, Accord 7.7, Fusion 1.6 8.3, Passat 8.8
Acceleration 0-100: Accord 19.8, Altima 20.5, Passat 23.9, Fusion 24.9
Top Speed (all are limited by their internal computers): Accord 127 mph, Fusion 122 mph, Altima 119, Passat 114
It's ridiculous that I think all of these cars have speedometers that go to 160. That's just silly. 140 is plenty as they will never get there....
Sound level 70 mph: Fusion 67 dBA, Accord 68 dBA, Altima 69 dBA, Passat 69 dBA
Roadholding: Fusion .87g, Accord .87g, Passat .84g, Altima .84g
#17513 of 18227 2013 Accord V-6 test results
Feb 16, 2013 (11:45 am)
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 13.9 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 21.2 sec
That's slightly faster than a BMW 328i:
"With less weight to haul around—3552 pounds versus 3607 for the last V-6 sedan  we tested—our Touring example sprinted to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and tripped the quarter-mile lights in 14.1 seconds at 101 mph. Those figures put it solidly ahead of all its competitors and into sports-sedan territory; the Accord ties our long-term, six-speed-manual BMW 328i to 60 and trumps that car in the quarter by 0.2 second and 1 mph."
#17514 of 18227 Re: Motorweek comparison test [stickguy]
Feb 16, 2013 (10:20 pm)
I'd love to see this test done including the Mazda 6. Interestingly, the "family" picked the Optima. I agree wholeheartedly with the family. If I had rated the cars in this test, I would have rated the Optima 1st, the Fusion second. If the Mazda 6 was included in this test, I'm not sure where I would place it other than it would be in the top three of this group consisting of the Optima, Fusion and Mazda 6 and that the Accord would be placed in fifth place as I would put the Sonata slightly ahead of the Accord as the more I look at the Accord's derivative, generic and utterly forgettable styling I become increasingly disappointed that Honda had a chance to make stunningly attractive Accord that could have been competitive styling wise with the Fusion, Optima, Mazda 6 and instead decided to "play it safe" and produce a bland, dated design that leaves me completely cold.
#17515 of 18227 Re: Actual 2013 Nissan Altima CVT video..... [nyccarguy]
Feb 16, 2013 (10:29 pm)
I own a 2001 Odyssey and have had to replace the transmission 3 times already. It is well documented that Honda designed transmissions prone to failure in my Odyssey and the 5 speed automatic that replaced it. Since the Accord's CVT is a new design for Honda, I would wait a few years to see if Honda has worked out any potential "bugs" in it given the fact that Honda does not have the best reputation with transmissions.
#17516 of 18227 Re: Motorweek comparison test [bb49]
Feb 17, 2013 (5:09 am)
The style of the Optima may excite you, but it does come at a cost. There's a whole thread in the Optima Forums .com site about the blind spots bc of the huge rear pillars, "ghost cars" coming out of nowhere since you can't see them, adjusting your mirrors perfectly to minimize problems, etc. Here's one post from an Optima owner:
"Today was the last straw regarding "ghost cars" appearing out of nowhere. I am aware that it is due to the wide C-pillars and the steeply raked rear window design, which makes the trunk taller, hiding even large cars. It is the price I pay for style I guess. However:
It is so bad that I am getting paranoid. I must have looked three times before changing lanes this morning, but a Civic was there. This is the third time it has happened this month...."
http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/5-optima-general-discussion/4964-blind-spot-da- - - - - - - nger.html
The Accord V-6 also blows the Optima Turbo out of the water when it comes to acceleration. Does anyone need to go that fast? Probably not. But as Hans Solo once said about the Millenium Falcon, "She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts kid.”
The Optima is a great car—quality, style, value, made in usa, etc. But like other cars it's not perfect. The Honda Accord has its issues too. Some owners are reporting some software glitches sometimes with their electronics, although Honda has promised a fix soon. And the style of the Accord, which seems clean and functional to me, is dull to you and some other folks too.