Last post on Jun 18, 2013 at 3:41 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
#17519 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [benjaminh]
Feb 17, 2013 (2:22 pm)
Ben, You are right about the Optima blind spot. 100%. "Ghost cars" appearing out of nowhere has happened to me at least 5 times. I will look, look again. and look a third time while SLOWLY merging and BAM!!...a car will be there. It's maddening. I guess those little round mirrors are in my future. Really, really near future.
Anyone considering purchasing a 11-13 Optima, (and this info is coming from an owner), I would check out the Accord and it's improved sight lines if a family sedan is what you are after. The problem with the Accord is that with all of the options that I have in my car, a comparable Accord is close to $30,000. $6k more, and 40k less warranty.
Also, on the performance issue: 2013 Accord V6 0-60 is 6.1.
2012 Kia Optima Turbo 6.3.
When my car is paid for, based on my current mileage, I will still have 40 thousand miles under full warranty!. (I did pay $900 to extend the basic 100k powertrain warranty to full bumper-to-bumper warranty).
Anyway, to me, the contest is between the Accord, Mazda-6, Altima, Optima, Fusion.
The Altima looks great from the side and the back, but the front end looks like it was stung by bees. It's all "puffy". A bit of a re-style in the front would be a slam dunk for Nissan.
#17520 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [akirby]
Feb 17, 2013 (2:28 pm)
Hey Kirby. The Optima you rented was an LX. It's interior materials are cheap compared to any other trim level. The EX has leather in all the door pockets and dark ebony wood everywhere you touch. The steering wheel and shifter are leather as well. Outside, the only diff is 16" rims instead of 17" with better tires.
If my only exposure to the Optima was an LX rental, I would feel the same way . How are the sight lines on your Fusion? Also, how is the 1.6T EcoBoost in real world acceleration and passing? Curious.
#17521 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [benjaminh]
Feb 17, 2013 (2:37 pm)
Oh, Benjamin, the article you quoted was written by me on Optima forums. I get around. LOL.
#17522 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (5:59 pm)
I still think the Fusion SE is nicer on the inside than the Optima LX even though mine is a Titanium 2.0L EB.
I'm used to the Fusion's higher trunk so I don't have any issues. The 2.0L EB has plenty of power - more than my old 3.0L - and is returning 2-3 mpg better fuel economy in the winter before it's broken in. I'm very happy.
#17523 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (7:43 pm)
#17524 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (7:46 pm)
Well C & D got an Accord to go 0-60 in....
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.6 sec
And so if that's true, it did blow the Optima Turbo's 6.3 out of the water.
But was it a weird test? An error? Even they seemed amazed, and noted that the 2013 Accord V-6 was a shade faster than a brand new BMW 328i with a manual....!
#17525 of 18435 Re: Motorweek comparison test [benjaminh]
Feb 17, 2013 (7:59 pm)
Yep, that's the most important thing in a mid-sized family sedan... being able to go 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.
Remember what a great car the Accord from 25 years ago was... especially the Coupe? Everyone wanted one of those babies back then. How much horsepower did it have? Base models had 98! And the top-end LX-i had 122. Somehow we managed.
#17526 of 18435 Re: Back to midsize sedans [igozoomzoom]
Feb 17, 2013 (9:50 pm)
A lot of good insights here, igo. Thank you.
I'm in the market for a new midsizer right now and the three finalists for me are the Mazda 6, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion. Each has its pluses and minuses... I would've also considered the Altima, but since "sporty" Nissan decided to nix the manual transmission option, I responded, in turn, by crossing them off my shopping list. And therein lies the rub. Within the last 5 years, the entire midsize class has become enemy territory for manual tranny drivers to shop in.
I had a chance to drive a 2014 Mazda 6 with a stick (my understanding is it's currently the only manual transmission 6 in the entire state of Minnesota) last week. All around it was a great ride. Not only is it stunning to look at (right on about Blue Reflex and Soul Red - Mazda presently has 2 of the nicest exterior colors in the midsize class), but the interior is excellent. My goodness, has anyone seen a new 6 with the 2-tone sand/black interior? It's absolutely gorgeous. And all the controls in the 6 are solid and easy to use. I felt immediately at home in the car. It seems like a car that would wear well - no gimmicks; just a solid driver's car that seemed day-to-day livable. That said, why no coolant temp gauge, Mazda? Oh well.
Contrast that with the Ford. Unfortunately, the 2013 Fusion I drove was a 6 speed slushbox (the closest manual was in Kansas City, MO - about 400 miles from Minneapolis) so it wasn't a dollars for dollars comparison, but it gave me some good takeaways regardless.
While I really like the looks of the Fusion too, Ford didn't seem to sweat all the details. First off, the 1.6 is freakin' LOUD. Maybe it's just that I had to have my foot to the floor in the thing the whole time to keep it moving in traffic, I don't know. But in all the reviews I've read, I never recall hearing a comment about engine noise. Anyone else notice this? Something tells me I'd be way off the mark with my MPGs too if I bought one of these tiny turbo Fords...
Also, while the non-MFT Fusion models have less fussy controls than the uplevel versions, the center stack is still a disaster: a mess of buttons that must be studied before a station can be changed; the AC vent output selected. Furthermore, the miniscule 4 inch radio display has to compete with a bunch of superfluous information (the instrument binnacle already has a tiny outside temp display - so why the redundant, tiny read-out in the stack?). What was Ford thinking? They build a very enjoyable [albeit school bus loud] driver's car (the Fusion's steering was super quick and the suspension/ride combo is about as good as it gets) and then throw in a bunch of ill-thought controls that constantly force you to take your eyes off the road. And seriously, whoever engineered that Futurama-style turn signal stalk needs to be forced into exile. It's like Ford tried to one-up VW with their lane change feature but failed miserably in its execution. Well, as these things start working their way into rental fleets and garages of the elderly, expect to see a lot of Fusions on the road with their turn signals engaged at all the wrong times (or perhaps never at all).
As far as the Accord, I've yet to drive one (it's next on the list) but I have high hopes. I must prematurely congratulate Honda though for designing a modern sedan that appears to have excellent visibility without looking like it was hit with the same ugly stick that really did a number on Toyota's Yaris.
So why consider a Fusion over a 6? If I was shopping for a slushbox, it would seem like the 6 would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, in Mazda's infinite wisdom, the 6 manual is available with absolutely zero factory installed options - no sunroof, no SiriusXM, no you-name-it. Granted, it already comes fairly well equipped (including dual exhaust), but I've seen Chevy Aveos with factory sunroofs (why, I don't know - but they exist). Mazda must think those who enjoy rowing their own gears hate sunshine and music.
The Ford manual, on the other hand, can be equipped with a number of a la carte options (kudos, Ford) including back-up sensors and a sunroof. Satellite radio is standard on the SE trim (as is Ford's still clever - for those of us who like to leave the keys in the car when heading into the theme park or out to the beach - touch pad entry). Too bad you're forced to order the Fusion stick shift sight unseen (or drive across the country for a test drive) if you're in the market for one. Apparently, no Ford dealers order manuals for their own inventory anymore.
All three cars are attractive in my eyes (w/top prize going to the 6). Mazda has the best color options in and out (although I do like Ford's Ginger Ale/Dune combo); Honda gives you various shades of mud as well as white and red (so long as you stick to the automatic - no pun intended). And I think it's safe to say that the Ford will have the worst resale (as it will very likely be in the shop most often) with the Honda being excellent and Mazda falling somewhere in between.
#17527 of 18435 Re: Back to midsize sedans [gogophers1]
Feb 17, 2013 (9:42 pm)
Guess if you want a Mazda6 with a manual and all the extras you need to see if you can import one from up here ( Canada). All models come with a manual as standard here. I guess they feel they are more likely to sell them that way here. It is a shame that you can't get them this way in the states.
#17528 of 18435 Re: Back to midsize sedans [gogophers1]
Feb 17, 2013 (9:50 pm)
I don't understand the issue with the turn stalk on the Fusion. As for dealers stocking manuals, don't blame them. For some unknown reason Ford only allows manuals to be ordered for retail customers not dealer stock. No idea why.