Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 4:29 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
#17522 of 20187 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (4:59 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 20187 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (6:43 pm)
#17524 of 20187 Re: Motorweek comparison test [cski]
Feb 17, 2013 (6:46 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 20187 Re: Motorweek comparison test [benjaminh]
Feb 17, 2013 (6:59 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 20187 Re: Back to midsize sedans [igozoomzoom]
Feb 17, 2013 (8:50 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 20187 Re: Back to midsize sedans [gogophers1]
Feb 17, 2013 (8:42 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 20187 Re: Back to midsize sedans [gogophers1]
Feb 17, 2013 (8:50 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.
#17529 of 20187 Re: Back to midsize sedans [scwmcan]
Feb 17, 2013 (9:29 pm)
That sounds like a hassle and a half to me. At that rate, I will settle for a Fusion (and remain envious of our friendly neighbors to the north).
My hope - if my 3 year old, problem-riddled Focus doesn't completely implode in the meantime - is that Mazda will rejigger the options packaging on the trims when the diesel 6 arrives (not that I need an oil burner, but I would certainly consider one if they do hook it up to a manual transmission).
Mazda is making a mistake if they throw roadblocks in front of drivers demanding manuals. They could own that market with this car if they wanted to. Is it huge? Probably not. But a few thousand extra units out the door certainly seems possible. Why continue to cede the sub-40 segment to VW?
The same goes for any major manufacturer willing to put a midsize wagon on the road. Everyone fears cannibalizing their high-margin crossover sales w/wagons, but there is a market out there for them (before Subaru made its Outback uber ugly, I saw quite a few of them puttering about).
#17530 of 20187 Re: Back to midsize sedans [akirby]
Feb 17, 2013 (10:31 pm)
Well, that's a poor decision on Ford's part (why even sell them if they... don't want to sell them?). Interestingly, the last time I was in the market for a midsize car was in late April of 2008 and the Fusion was at the top of my list. Of the Ford dealers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, there were about 20 or so Fusions with manuals in inventory at the time (each dealer having 1 or 2). I finalized my decision on a Fusion after a Friday afternoon test drive, got bank financing on Saturday and by the time I got off work Monday afternoon, all 4 of the manual Fusion "finalists" I was considering (due to color, options, etc.) had been sold (e.g., I didn't want a white one with a camel interior and 18 inch wheels) - silly me for thinking Ford couldn't move that many midsize cars equipped with sticks in a single weekend. In retrospect, putting money down on that Moss Green beauty would've been a wise choice.
I ended up buying a Chevy HHR LT with a manual instead [and spent what seemed like half of the next two years of my life driving around in Chevrolet Malibu service loaners]. My God, have I made some car buying mistakes in my life...
#17531 of 20187 Re: Motorweek comparison test [backy]
Feb 17, 2013 (10:11 pm)
Base models had 98! And the top-end LX-i had 122. Somehow we managed.
yes, but the new car is significantly bigger and safer...which contributes to its 3300lbs; about 800 pounds more than the 88 accord.
Image the 88 accord with 98hp and 4) 200 lb people in it