Last post on May 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM
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
#6321 of 18220 I need midsize perspective
Oct 14, 2007 (8:53 am)
I need to buy a new car. Right now we have a 2006 Accord (4cyl) and an old, dying 1997 Nissan Sentra. The Sentra must go.
More than anything, as boring as it may sound, we need reliability and longevity in whatever we buy (which is why we replaced our old, dying 1996 Mazda Protege with the Accord). I have been very pleased with the Accord so far, and I am now very enamored with the new Accord. I'm not that impressed with the Camry. Not sure why, I just don't like the looks that much.
Here's my quandary: I don't have enough auto perspective to know what we're missing if we get another Accord. My wife doesn't want a new Accord--she wants a Volvo. She doesn't know much about cars, and doesn't know much about Volvo, but she loves the idea of us having one. Trouble is, I don't know why you buy a Volvo over an Accord. Why do you buy an S40 or C30 over an Accord? What does a Volvo give you?
What about an Altima, or a Mazda6? Or hell, what about a Subaru? I just don't know what the trade-offs are.
#6322 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (9:24 am)
Read a lot of professional reviews and comparison tests first. This will give you a good idea which cars fit your wants and needs. They will usually point out the strong and weak points of each. Then use this information on test drives, to help you evaluate during what will probably only be a short drive around the block. It's hard to get a lot from a test drive, if you have little to no information going in. You could rent the perspective cars for a few days, to get a better feel for them, but that would cost you. Good luck in your quest for the perfect car.
#6323 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (10:10 am)
I agree with the above remarks. As you know Volvos have a much higher price range than these mid-size and more luxury and power, in the top end than these cars. However, in the price range of these vehicles $16K to $30K there is a lot of variation. You would have to drive the S40 to see how it stacks up with the Accord.
So the best advice is to test drive and see what you like and don't like. You can't really go wrong with any car in this class, it's all about what you like most and dislike least.
#6324 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (10:14 am)
Why do you buy an S40 or C30 over an Accord? What does a Volvo give you?
Buying a Volvo simply because it is a Volvo is a bad reason for purchase.
I think you should first find out what particular type of car you want. Do you want a mid-size family sedan? Do you want a compact? Do you want something that impractical but fun? How much do you want to spend?
The Volvo C30 is designed for people who want performance with some practicality. It has a great drive, but it's not spectacular. It's an overall great car. I loved its unique looks the minute I saw it. But I'd honestly rather have a Volkswagen GTI over it. It's just as practical but it's more fun to drive. (This is all my personal opinion of course).
I think before you jump to other automakers. Find the type of car you want. Don't badge shop.
But a good suggestion before you make the big purchase is test drive all its competitors. If you're looking for an Accord-sized car. Test drive the Sonata, Mazda6, Aura, Camry, Altima etc.
#6325 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (11:31 am)
Beyond what other people have written (and I think ctalk nailed it best...) you have to know what characteristics your wife wants in a car before you can start to narrow down your choices. Volvo has a reputation for safety as well as being a brand that that sits solidly in the near luxury segment. Since she's not too enamored with the Accord or Altima, I'd geuss she is somewhat conservative (likes to make safe choices), but likes nice things without being pompous or elitist like maybe a BMW or Mercedes could be interpreted. You haven't mentioned if she is interested in a wagon or sedan, but if you have a need/want for extra cargo area, a Volvo may be a good choice.
Although the Accord has become a bit more Camry like in it's ride, it is a very nice car. I'm always a little wary of buying a brand new model though since all the wrinkles may not have been ironed out yet so if you can wait at least a few months, that would be best (you'll also be able to get a much better deal on an Accord as I've heard the dealers aren't willing to negotiate too much on them right now). If you can get over the kind of strange looking exterior, the Accord would make a great choice if you're looking for something that is less fun but refined and don't mind how common they are.
One thing's for sure though, if you try to impose your choice on her and something goes wrong... you'll never hear the end of it. So try to make this a learning experience for both of you and let knowledge guide your decisions.
#6326 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [zzzoom6]
Oct 14, 2007 (12:18 pm)
"Since she's not too enamored with the Accord or Altima"
That's not what the post read. The sentence was: "My wife doesn't want an Accord, she wants a Volvo". The clearly doesn't suggest she's not enamored with an Accord but more enamored with the Volvo.
"One thing's for sure though, if you try to impose your choice on her and something goes wrong... you'll never hear the end of it."
What is even worse is to let a decision be made without thorough follow up. If the wife makes the decision and it turns out to be wrong, it's a costly mistake. IMO, the best way to do it, is to make a joint decision, which probably what it will turn out to be anyway.
Although, the flip side is, there probably is no wrong decision, Accord, Altima, Volvo...etc. They all have their strenghts as well as their weaknesses.
A Volvo is not a bad car, heck they sell enough of them. I wouldn't get one...it's not quite my style, but there are a lot of them on the road and they have reputation the Duracell bunny would envy in terms of longevity.
#6327 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (4:38 pm)
One thing you didn't tell us is, who will be the primary driver of your new car? If it's your wife, then she should have the main input into the decision. But encourage her to take a look at other options than just the Volvo. It's a big decision and one you will both need to live with for several years. The S40 and C30 are relatively small cars, compacts vs. the mid-sized or even full-sized (in interior room) cars we're discussing here. The mid-sized Volvo is the S60, which is pretty expensive compared to cars like the Accord, Mazda6, and Altima.
Has your wife seen and driven the new Accord, to know why she doesn't like it? If not, encourage her to do so, with an open mind. It's an excellent car and probably just as safe as a Volvo--if that is why she likes Volvos. And it's likely to be more reliable. It also has more of a European look to it than the 2007 Accord--if that is what she is basing her opinion on.
If she is not familiar with the other cars you mentioned, e.g. Altima, Mazda6, and Subaru (Legacy?), maybe you could ask her to take a Saturday with you and drive some cars. It's fun, and will open her eyes to other alternatives. The Mazda6 for example could be considered a big cousin of the S40, since the S40 is based on the Mazda3 platform. The Mazda6 is available in a sleek hatch, if she likes hatches ala C30. She might really like the new Altima coupe--very sporty looking, yet economical with the I4. The Accord coupe is pretty sporty looking, also. And if she's into safety, she might like the Subaru with its AWD.
There's several other good choices in this class. You might sound her out as to how she would feel being seen driving a Korean car. If she is against that idea, don't waste your time looking at the Optima and Sonata, but if she's open to it take those for a drive; they represent excellent value in this class. Some people really like the styling of the Fusion; it's based on the Mazda6 platform. If she's open to driving a domestic car like the Fusion, you could check out its twin the Milan and also the Aura, which is getting many positive reviews. The Passat is also well-regarded, if pricey, but will probably not be as reliable as others in the class such as the Accord. But it too offers excellent safety, ala Volvo.
In the end, get something your wife really wants to drive. I made the mistake once of getting a car that was a very practical and logical decision, but after a couple of years it was clear my wife really missed having a minivan. So now she has one, albeit a smaller one than she had before, and she loves it.
#6328 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [backy]
Oct 14, 2007 (6:53 pm)
Thanks all for the feedback. Very helpful, and there's no doubt we need to go drive some cars. To answer a few questions and clarify some things that have been asked:
- We haven't actually decided who would drive this car. She's had the Accord now while I've driven the little Sentra (I have the shorter and easier commute), so I sort of want the new car, but we'll see. It will ultimately be a joint decision.
- She doesn't dislike the new Accord, it's just that it's an Accord and she wants something "different". I've told her how different the new one is, but it still says "Accord" so she still feels the same.
- She's not set on Volvos, she just really wants a "luxury nameplate. Given our other financial obligations right now, and the very high quality of non-luxury cars like Hondas and Toyotas, I don't see the point.
- Actually, that distinction was part of what was driving my original question--what does a low-end luxury car give you that wouldn't be trumped by a loaded high-end non-luxury car? Why buy a low-end Acura TSX when they could get a somewhat loaded Accord for the same money? I'm sure there's a reason, I just don't know what it is.
-We already test drove the Camry and the Sonata. We liked the Accord much more than either. I'm not a big fan of domestics so don't see us going toward an Aura or a Fusion. My wife doesn't like coupes or hatchbacks. It's strictly a sedan for her, unless we do a crossover.
-The crossover is definitely an idea and a possibility, I just wrestle with the extra cost. We don't have kids yet, and all we really need is a car. But we might consider one of the less expensive crossovers.
Anyway, thanks again for the input. We've just got some research and test driving to do. I think it will be fun.
#6329 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (7:19 pm)
While you've driven the Sonata, you might try the Azera. It's not much bigger on the outside than the Sonata but a totally different car for well under $30,000.
#6330 of 18220 Re: I need midsize perspective [bruuklin]
Oct 14, 2007 (7:40 pm)
Sounds like your wife is looking for something semi-unique but also something that will pamper her. Since you haven't mentioned wanting a car that is fun to drive, I'd guess that is why the Mazda or Altima would not fit in the mix for you guys. Not considering domestics narrows it down a lot too, but keep in mind some cars like the aura and fusion are based on other cars whose parent company are from other countries. It also sounds like keeping this purchase below 30k is where you'd like to be. Really, sounds like the Azera would be the perfect fit as long as your view of Hyundai isn't too negative, or if you can wait for the new Mazda6 when it comes out first quarter of 2008 to see if that has the image and ride quality that you may be looking for. Good luck in your search...there's no shortage of good cars to choose from!
Aaargh bhmr59 beat me to the Azera recommendation lol