Last post on Dec 07, 2013 at 12:35 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
#17791 of 20212 Re: Autos.ca Comparison Test - Accord vs Mazda6 [cski]
Mar 19, 2013 (5:18 am)
Thanks for the congrats!
Love the car so far. It's a 2013 EXL navi sedan in dark red. List price was $30,785 with destination, and we got it for $28,000 flat. That's a lot of money for a midsize car, but it's totally loaded—premium leather memory seats, hard drive navi and music storage, back up and side cameras, pushbutton start/smart entry (love that!), more powerful and economical engine, etc., etc. A few people have gotten a little bit lower than that on this model, but we wanted that rare color and navi combo which required a special order. Our dealer was finally able to find it with a dealer trade 200 miles away right off the truck. It was manufactured in Ohio just last month.
First impressions: Wow. Our 2008 Accord EXL navi (which we are keeping—the car we traded in was a 2010 Mazda5) is a nice and impressive car, but this one is a significant jump up in most areas.
The engine and transmission combo work very well together. So far (and this is our first tank) the 2013 seems to be getting 5-7 mpg more than our 08—and yet the new car has virtually the same amount of room inside while being a little smaller outside.
One of Honda's weak spots in the Accord for decades has been road noise, but the 2013 seems very quiet to me.
The trunk of the 2013 looks smaller outside, but open it up and voila—it's bigger than the 08 Accord by 1 cubic foot.
I really like the CVT so far. Someone recently posted that they were worried about reliability on it. I'm not, really, although I admit I could be wrong. I read an article about a year ago (can't find the link now) that talked about how much R & D and manufacturing muscle Honda put into this new transmission. Specifically, the high tech composite material "belt" of the Honda CVT is supposed to be extremely durable. The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on to give a pleasant and natural feel to the transmission. I had an Altima CVT as a rental car once, and it wasn't that pleasant. The 2013 Accord CVT is a more sophisticated and pleasant system—and as I said the mpgs seem impressive so far, which is in large part bc of the cvt.
Since we are keeping the 08 Accord, which has a manual transmission, I still get to shift myself, which is what I prefer. The new car is more for my better half, but I'll get to drive it too.
Anyway, very happy with the car so far. But as I keep saying, there are lots of good choices and good cars when it comes to midsize today—Fusion, Optima, Mazda6, etc. are all very good cars.
#17792 of 20212 Re: Recent Research to replace an Acura TL [stage4survivor]
Mar 19, 2013 (5:08 am)
stage4 wrote: "The Accord Touring is an impressive car...."
At the Accord web page
there are few stories of people going from BMW and MB to Accord Touring to save tens of thousands of dollars.
Hope you'll give us more of a report on your Touring when you get the chance. How is the adaptive cruise control? That's the one feature of the Touring that I wouldn't mind having....
#17793 of 20212 Re: Autos.ca Comparison Test - Accord vs Mazda6 [benjaminh]
Mar 19, 2013 (5:18 am)
>The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on
Would you explain what you mean by this?
#17794 of 20212 Re: Recent Research to replace an Acura TL [benjaminh]
Mar 19, 2013 (5:19 am)
Yeah. I agree. Stage4survivor is obviously a Honda guy, and is posting in mid size sedans so I would think EX-L V6, six speed auto, and all options would be reassuringly familiar and rewarding to drive. Alternative? Passat 3.6 is my second choice. Big, well built, fast.
#17795 of 20212 Re: Autos.ca Comparison Test - Accord vs Mazda6 [imidazol97]
Mar 19, 2013 (7:03 am)
">The sound and shifting firmware have also been worked on
Would you explain what you mean by this?"
You'd probably have to drive the Altima CVT and Accord CVT back to back to hear and feel this, but the Altima has kind of a droning whine to it. It feels and sounds somewhat unpleasant. It's not terrible. I think the Altima is a good enough car, actually, but....rather rental, if that makes sense.
Honda has been refining the sounds of their engines and transmissions for a long time. Partly it's just the sound of quality imho. When I drive my Accords I often think, if I think about it at all, "that's just what a car sounds like." But when I'm on a trip and get a rental car, it's often a bucket of cold water and unpleasant sounds.
In 2010 I had a rental Fusion. Yikes. the sound of that engine when pushed was unpleasant and unrefined.
Honda engines purr and sound happy at work. Even when pushed hard they growl in a more refined and happy tiger-like way, rather than sounding like a tortured mechanical animal that's being hurt.
I think the new Ford Ecoboost engines probably sound very good too. I just don't know bc I haven't driven one yet.
Here's an article from The Car Connection that explains some of what Honda has done:
http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1079054_2013-honda-accord-attention-to-g-fo- - - - - - - - - rces-yields-a-better-cvt
"....While that itself impressed us, what's the most noteworthy in the Accord's CVT is how quickly it can respond and bring revs up when needed. For instance, a number of CVTs (including the one in the 2013 Nissan Altima, surprisingly) will feel completely flat-footed and off their game if you roll around a corner at 15 mph with your foot off the gas and then accelerate at full throttle. The time to tap into full thrust is delayed for a surprising time. But in the Accord, it very quickly raises revs all the way up to the Accord's 6,600-rpm redline. Pull off the same test, dipping into half throttle out of the corner, and it very quickly finds the right ratio for the throttle opening—feeling a lot like downshifting and with no slow, muddled ramp-up.
How did Honda achieve this far better (we think) CVT calibration when rivals like Nissan have been working at it for so long? According to the project leader, Honda's CVT isn't much different in the mechanical design, but Honda put a lot of time into oil pressure control and electrical systems, along with the control software....."
#17796 of 20212 Benjaminh new Accord 13 dark red w/navi
Mar 19, 2013 (10:36 am)
Sweet man. My car is dark red too. $28k loaded is about as expected with all the tech your new ride has. I wish I had camera's on mine.... It is really hard to get used to the Optima's external dimensions in the rear. I use my driver's side mirror to verify I am leaving enough space while backing in to my spot.
So, if you are looking for a new sporty mid size... definitely check into the cars safety /camera system before deciding. New Accords have them standard!
#17798 of 20212 Re: Autos.ca Comparison Test - Accord vs Mazda6 [benjaminh]
Mar 20, 2013 (10:05 am)
That's why none of us are "Altima guys" Ben. We fight tooth & nail for our cars here, but none for the Altima. I think that says it all about Nissan offering.
Mar 20, 2013 (12:38 pm)
Have a 2005 i with auto - the trans does shift hard from 1st to 2nd in cold weather. Aside from that and a poor drivers seat (uncomfortable) the car is fine. I wish they kept the hatchback,I guess I'll keep the one I have now.
#17800 of 20212 The Midsize Trifecta
Mar 20, 2013 (10:13 pm)
Fresh off the Twin Cities Auto Show, I took a [much deserved] half day off today to drive my three finalists back to back: the Fusion SE, the Mazda 6 and the Honda Accord. Unfortunately, the dealer I visited for the Mazda didn't have a manual in stock (again, there isn't one in dealer inventory in the entire state of Minnesota right now...), so I was forced to drive an auto, but I still felt it was worthwhile for comparison purposes.
All three seem like excellent choices. I don't think anyone is going to get that Chrysler 200 buyer's "God, what was I thinking?" feeling a week after driving one of these home.
That said, none of them is perfect either.
The Accord Sport 6spd manual
There is a reason for Honda's reputation in the world of manual transmissions. This is one easy to drive car. The take-up on the clutch was silky smooth and the linkage had direct, short throws. Unfortunately, this Accord is a bit nautical in the steering and suspension dept. - rather surprising considering it's Honda's Sport model, rolling on 18" donuts.
The car is definitely an improvement over older Accords in terms of quietness though - all the better environment in which to enjoy the low fidelity 4 speaker sound system... Really, Honda? On your "Sport" model? I could understand the garbage stereo on the "liver spot special" LX trim, but on the line that's intended for the slightly less aged buyer it makes no sense.
The other thing the really surprised me about the Accord was the quality of some of the interior finish. The plastic storage door under the AC controls, for instance, felt like something that could've fallen out of a '05 Cobalt. The upper portion of the front seatbacks felt rinky dink too (they look substantial but grab onto them with your hand and they feel as though they're made with some type of cheap, uncompressed foam). That said, I expect the things that matter for reliability/longevity (mechanicals, suspension, electrical system, etc.) have probably been well-engineered. The Accord, in my mind, seems like the smart, sensible choice.
The Mazda 6 Touring Automatron
Oh my, is this a sweet ride. I think Mazda should steal the Maxima's old 4DSC moniker for this one. Even with the slushbox, I felt I was driving something special behind the wheel of the 6. It's obvious Mazda stayed up late designing this car. All the controls fall perfectly into place. A quick study of the center stack and I didn't have to look at it for the remainder of the test drive - the radio tuner, fan speed dial, etc. are right where they should be (and operate exactly the way you'd expect). And despite some journalist opinions I've read about this car, I felt the interior materials quality was clearly a cut above the Accord and Fusion. Perhaps that made Mazda's notable omission of a coolant temp gauge all the more glaring.
Not too many times does a person run across a car nowadays that combines seriousness with style, but Mazda pulled it off here. Color me disappointed that its North American product planners decided that buyers opting manual transmissions will be banished from the option spec sheet. Okay, I understand that the Touring trim will become available with the manual this summer (which is great for those with an affinity for vinyl seating or that require a cross traffic alert system due to early onset myopic peripheral degeneration), but again why is the sunroof only available on the Grand Touring? Sunroofs aren't aspirational features anymore; that's why you can get one on a Cruze LT or Focus SE (the plebeian trim levels on plebeian models). And the same thing goes for satellite radio...
Ford Fusion SE Automatron/SE 6spd Manual
I got lucky tonight. After coming in from a notably unspectacular test drive in an SE 1.6 Ecoboost w/auto (the only thing that feels boosted about Ford's small turbo mated to a slushbox in this car is the engine volume - I can't believe how LOUD these things are), an SE w/a manual fell from the sky - literally, these things are harder to find than 5 leaf clovers (it apparently didn't even show in the dealer's online inventory). Thanks only to an extremely hard working sales consultant (who managed to consult with enough people at the dealership that he was able to locate this mystery ride) did I find out how nice this car can really be.
I now see why Ford was quick to serve up the 6 speed manual Fusion to the automotive press corp. for their first drive reviews. Comparing the auto and manual versions of the 1.6 turbo is like comparing a winter's night in South Dakota to the 4th of July in Las Vegas. In all candor, unless a person is a left leg amputee who's not creditworthy enough to swing the financing on a 2.0, there is absolutely no reason to get the Fusion with the 1.6/auto combo.
The manual Fusion, much like the Honda, is super easy to drive. And did I mention fun? The steering in this car is so quick and communicative, I forgot it was a midsize family car half way through the test drive. Throw in the best front seats of the group (it's about time Ford came up with a headrest design that doesn't seem intended to pummel your cranium into submission - I guess they did pick up a few pointers from Volvo before selling them off to the Chinese), Ford's always awesome keyless entry "touchpad" (why hasn't anyone else copied this?) and standard SiriusXM and this car started floating around the sexy 6 at the top of my shopping list.
It's too bad the first unit I drove (the all bark/no bite slushbox) had an incredibly annoying, buzzy rattle going on in the headliner all the time - 3 inches away from my noggin (with 7 miles on the odometer, no less). And with or without SiriusXM, all 6 speakers of the stereo sounded dreadful. Note to Ford: get going on a good, old fashioned Moon and Tunes package (with a higher quality set of speakers and an extra pair for the rear deck) for the SE - it needs it, badly. Also, think about making Ice Storm an optional color for the non-hybrid models while you're at it. I very much doubt I'm the only one who'd be more than happy to pay a little extra for it.
One final item about the Fusion [deserving of special attention] - that center stack is an unmitigated disaster. Fifty lashes twice to whomever or whatever came up with the design(s): it goes from bad (in the button happy base models) to worst (with MFT). Seriously Ford, do you think it's safe to force a driver to stare at the center stack just so he can determine where to place his finger to adjust something as simple as the fan speed when a vehicle is travelling 88 feet per second? I guess a person could memorize the voice commands if he wished, but not all of us desire such a Hasselhoffian driving experience.