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    Thread: MT: 2012-2013 Family sedan showdown

    1. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 11:53 AM #1
      Ferrari may get all the fan mail and sell countless bedroom wall posters, but in the 66 years since its founding, the Italian automaker has sold just 130,000 cars. Total. Worldwide. Ever. Toyota, in comparison, sells roughly that many Camrys in the U.S. every five months. Honda's Accord and Nissan's Altima are close behind.

      Make no mistake: The humble sedans you see here may have to endure morning gridlock, Labrador fur, and the occasional wayward French fry, but they're the power players of America's auto landscape. Indeed, data sifter Experian Automotive says this mid-range class accounted for a whopping 27.4 percent of the U.S. auto market in the first half of 2012. (Crossovers were a distant second, at just over 19 percent.) While the spotlight-hungry 458 Italia is out there screaming and preening and generally looking as restless as Honey Boo Boo in a library, these four-doors are stoically squaring away the driving chores and eking maximum miles from every precious gallon of gas. Average Joes? Nah. They're heroes.


      Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz283x71Ttf
      1st - Passat SE 2.5 - (MT loves interior and most fun to drive despite worst engine and slowest)
      2nd - Honda Accord EX-L 2.4 - (tied for best power, hates interior, not fun to drive)
      3rd- Ford Fusion SE 1.6 ecoboost (MT loves the turbo, loves the exterior, hates interior & mediocre MPGs)
      4th- Nissan Altima SV 2.5 (best MPGs tied for best power, MT still doesn't like the CVT)
      5th- Toyota Camry XLE 2.5 (MT hated the interior)
      6th - Chevy Malibu 2.5 LTZ (Shame on GM)


      Anyways - My own take is Nissan deserves the crown. After starting this article talking about how bread & butter family sedans are so important and deserve notice MT tosses out all of the important metrics and puts focus on simple German interiors and driving dynamics.

      Passat is the clear fun to drive German car, Altima is the best family car IMHO

      Last edited by 2.0T_Convert; 10-01-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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    2. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:04 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post

      Passat is the clear fun to drive German car, Altima is the best family car IMHO

      Based on that, I'd agree. Looks like it's got the appliance thing down. I lol'd a bit at your "shame on GM."
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    3. Member Yo Teach's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:06 PM #3
      Mileage according to Motor Trend:

      "Only decent" - 24.9
      "Impressive" - 26.3

      Those figures aren't really that far apart. The descriptions used make it seem like the gap is five mpg.
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    4. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:12 PM #4
      I find it appalling just how much GM ****ed up the Malibu and its intro. I usually defend GM and praise it when it does well, but the Malibu is a dud. Introducing the Eco early was dumb, making it this small was dumb, trying to maintain both it and the Impala was dumb...they just completely ****ed it this this time around. It doesn't even look that great - in person, the tails look big and cheap and the front end is too tall.

      I'd love to defend it, and I've tried. But...yeah. The Fusion looks like it costs $10k more. If you were determined to buy a modern domestic family sedan, I'd recommend that or even the Dart - theoretically a size class down but no less spacious.

      As for the rest, the Altima seems like it's probably the best mainstream, bread-and-buttah family sedan in the bunch along with the Accord, the Fusion and Passat was designed for guys who actually know what the Nurburgring is, and the rest are cynical bunts.
      Last edited by Turbio!; 10-01-2012 at 12:15 PM.
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    5. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:14 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      I lol'd a bit at your "shame on GM."
      When I started the article with Malibu dead last my mind wandered to TCL progression from "OMG this is amazballs and will be class leader!" to "it sucks and has ugly tail lights."

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    6. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:16 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      When I started the article with Malibu dead last my mind wandered to TCL progression from "OMG this is amazballs and will be class leader!" to "it sucks and has ugly tail lights."

      I'll eat my words here. I tried my hardest to like it and defend it when it came out, but the proof was in the cramped, oddly proportioned pudding. It's not a horrible car, but it's not a very good one.

      I stretched that analogy past the breaking point, didn't I?
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    7. Member IsraelGT's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:16 PM #7
      I think the Accord deserves the 1st place, and if I wanted something sportier it would have to be the Fusion.
      That said VW did really well with the Passat.

      Regarding the Camry, while it might deserve the 5th place, and Toyota could have tried harder, they either had a lemon or they are full of it. My sister currently drives a rental Camry SE, and it is very comfortable, quiet and well built. Sure I think the interior looks too cheap, I hate the infotaiment screen, and the exterior while OK is nothing more than a refresh of the last Camry, but from what they wrote you would think it drives/rides like a Yugo, and its far from it.

    8. Member Momus's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:17 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Passat is the clear fun to drive German car, Altima is the best family car IMHO
      I thought the fun to drive German car was the Fusion.

      "You can tell right away it was engineered by a German team," says Evans. "Reminds me of the Passat, but even more German. The ride is firm; you feel all the bumps; but it pays back in handling. This thing is built like a tank and feels it in turns, but the body is very well controlled." Febbo agrees. "Suspension tuning is really good." In fact, post-driving, all of us agreed the Fusion's steering is the best of the six--better even than our winner's. "Sportiest car in the group," summed-up Martinez.

      Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz2844gfoYN

    9. 10-01-2012 12:17 PM #9
      Accord > Altima

    10. 10-01-2012 12:17 PM #10
      I'd be curious to see where the Sonata and/or Optima would have landed in this comparison.

    11. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:18 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by DEEJAY16 View Post
      I'd be curious to see where the Sonata and/or Optima would have landed in this comparison.
      My feeling is that they're in Altima territory - great basic family sedan, not quite a Fusion or Passat in terms of overall package.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    12. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:19 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I'll eat my words here. I tried my hardest to like it and defend it when it came out, but the proof was in the cramped, oddly proportioned pudding.

      I stretched that analogy past the breaking point, didn't I?
      I guess we should have taken your words about the Malibu with a few grains of salt.

      Woot another food reference.
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    13. Member IsraelGT's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:20 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by DEEJAY16 View Post
      I'd be curious to see where the Sonata and/or Optima would have landed in this comparison.
      Yes where are the days of 10 car comaprisons? where is the Legacy (only standard AWD car in the class)? where are the Koreans? where is the 6?

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      10-01-2012 12:25 PM #14
      The title says 'top selling' mid-sized cars. What were the Korean twins sales figures for 2011?

      Hmm.. Not really in the market for a new car, but I would love to test drive the new Accord Touring 4cylinder M/T (Canada only ) with the Ford Fusion 1.6T 6M/T in the highest trim

    15. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:26 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by IsraelGT View Post
      Yes where are the days of 10 car comaprisons? where is the Legacy (only standard AWD car in the class)? where are the Koreans? where is the 6?
      Methinks this was only newly debuted cars - those have all been out a few years.
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    16. Member rimtrim's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:38 PM #16
      I don't put too much stock in Motor Trend -- remember, these are the guys who said the new Explorer was terrible in every possible way, and it's been at least a moderate sales hit.

      That being said, I think the Malibu is shaping up to be a problem, which is not good for GM, since they canceled or repositioned all their other mainstream family sedans. I happen to like the interior design myself -- it's not all in keeping with current trends, but I find that refreshing. However, the back seat is going to be a problem and the MPGs are going to be a problem. And the exterior styling has cool details, but it looks disjointed, like it was designed for a different platform and then squeezed and stretched onto this one.

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    17. 10-01-2012 12:43 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by DEEJAY16 View Post
      I'd be curious to see where the Sonata and/or Optima would have landed in this comparison.
      They would have been placed behind Camry anyway.

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...y_court/?ti=v2

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...di_comparison/

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...el_comparison/

    18. Member Robski92's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:50 PM #18
      The Fusion would be my pick.

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      10-01-2012 01:10 PM #19
      i think the bottom line is that if you're looking for a no frills yet quality commuter car, there really is no way you can go wrong in this segment. unless you pick the malibu.

    20. Member ElixXxeR's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 01:11 PM #20
      I agree that the Altima should take the crown for best family sedan. A fantastic interior, good powetrain and decent styling. I want to love the Fusion, but it's a porker and I hate those damn capacitive touch buttons.

    21. Member BostonB6's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 01:13 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by NoXenons View Post
      Is it true that the Malibu has less backseat room than the Cruze?
      No, That's not true. The whole Malibu size thing is way overblown IMHO. Here are the #'s for Malibu/Cruze/Accord for comparison:

      Rear Hip Room 54.3/52.4/54.7
      Rear Head Room 37.5/37.9/37.5
      Rear Leg Room 36.8/35.4/38.5
      Rear Shoulder Room 57.1/53.9/56.5

      Here's a pic of Malibu's rear seat

      Last edited by BostonB6; 10-01-2012 at 01:15 PM.

    22. Member Egz's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 01:25 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by ElixXxeR View Post
      I want to love the Fusion, but it's a porker and I hate those damn capacitive touch buttons.
      Those are only with MFT, which is an option on most trims, and only standard on the top of the line trims. The car in the test did not have it.

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      10-01-2012 01:26 PM #23
      I've always griped about the Passat's dull, unoriginal interior...but honestly, after seeing the cockpits of most of the other contenders, the Passat's cabin was truly a sight for sore eyes. Truly no-nonsense layout and ergonomics, nicely constructed, and attractive materials. Maybe there is something to the Passat's "Americanization" after all. Now all it needs is a better base engine.

      I'm somewhat of the mindset that the Accord should be in first place...the standard equipment for the price, air of elegance and quality, and implied excellent Honda engineering place it back on top of the midsize heap in my opinion, at least for the time being. It truly seems like "best all-around" to me.

      With all that said, like most others in here, I'd probably take the Fusion.
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    24. 10-01-2012 01:27 PM #24
      dear MT, FU.

      This is one of the most BS articles i've seen in a while. These are family sedans and should be tested and rated as such. If you're going to conduct a full series of test base on what makes these vehicles excellent family sedans than trow away all those virtues and make your final selection based on the single one thing that matters least in this class of vehicle, why bother at all? Also if the most important thing about these cars is which is the best driver's car then why not choose an Accord Sport which has a slightly more powerful engine, better grippier tires and a 6 speed manual transmission which non of the other can match.

    25. Member gonzo08452's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 01:39 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      dear MT, FU.

      This is one of the most BS articles i've seen in a while. These are family sedans and should be tested and rated as such. If you're going to conduct a full series of test base on what makes these vehicles excellent family sedans than trow away all those virtues and make your final selection based on the single one thing that matters least in this class of vehicle, why bother at all? Also if the most important thing about these cars is which is the best driver's car then why not choose an Accord Sport which has a slightly more powerful engine, better grippier tires and a 6 speed manual transmission which non of the other can match.
      LOL. I agree

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