FWIW, the inside of the Malibu didn't do it for me like a lot of the newer GM cars too. Too bad GM. The Cruze was a great recipe, but it sounds like the Malibu did not follow in the same footsteps.
Shenandoah hot lap 1:46.92: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmYq3mBbwPg
There are other factors at play here - Ford could have specced variables that come at the cost of fuel economy, like higher rolling resistance tires for better handling and heavier weight for more NVH reduction (or just the use of cheaper, heavier materials) - that make a direct comparison ineffective.
PS Making up nicknames like that make you seem very, very biased.
"sports cars will get you through times without women better than women will get you through times without sports cars."
In the larger picture, for anyone doing primarily a lot of city driving, one of the two larger Prii should be a prime choice. I know they are not sedans, but I don't care. Anyone not buying a practical family car just based on form factor prejudices is, at the minimum, myopic.
The Passat and Accord seem to be reasonable choices otherwise, although I would of course pick the TDI if a lot of highway/country/suburban traffic was involved (my FIL gets pretty bad highway mileage and fills up oil he keeps in the trunk every 2nd to 3rd tank - but that's a V6).
I don't know what the comparative industry family sedan retention rate is, but everyone I know who at one point owned a Nissan or Mazda in this category has since moved on. This is also of course true for many prior Passat owners - but at least in the latter case there is lots of evidence that the main reason for such a move (annoyingly frequent repairs) seems to become a thing of the past. We'll have to see how the 1.8T does; generally speaking, this is very mature technology for VW/Audi by now, if it were not for the exhaust cooling, mixed injection, and a few other items. Not sure I would be ready to gamble on that in the first couple of years...
Aung San Suu Kyi
Basically, there's no evidence to support what you're saying, minus anecdotes.
I admitted as much, basically asking for numbers. At least here in suburban NorCal, both family sedan Nissans and Mazdas seem to have become very rare, e.g., compared to Prii and Jettas and Passats. Perhaps elsewhere with different demographics things are quite different. I mean, I have seen two Fiat 500s on a single intersection at the same time, numerous times, now! I don't claim to live in Middle America.
Aung San Suu Kyi
My level of care in this segment couldn't possibly be any lower... I have to agree with Sporin... getting riled up over it is silly. I'd test drive the Fusion and the 6, and wouldn't even look at the others... why, you ask? They're the two best looking of the bunch by a long-shot, and all the objective numbers are close enough that... really... who cares about the nitpicking. Sometimes it's okay to have favorites... well... unless it's the Malibu... cuz then you're just dumb.
Hmm. I was in NorCal pretty recently and I saw plenty of Altimas. All over San Francisco (those could of been rentals) but even all the way up in Danville. I have yet to go somewhere and notice there's a dearth of Nissans. The Murano is a pretty strong contender in the mid-size SUV market as well.
Fusion (but preferably with Euro "Mondeo" badging)
The upcoming Mazda6 that isn't even for sale yet anywhere in the world
Most Righteous: Kizashi
Anyway, I do hope my comments about the Malibu were taken as sarcasm as intended... if someone likes the Malibu the best out of this group, I wouldn't shy them away from purchasing one.
I think a TCL Shoot Out would include:
1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0
1st Gen Miata
VW Mk. 1-4 GTI
1998 Honda Accord and Civic
Any diesel powered manual trans wagon
Any Ford that is only available in the UK
The next all new sedan/wagon from Mazda or Subaru
The often promised yet never delivered RWD flagship from Cadillac
I wonder what the brand-jumping rate is on midsize sedans? I bet most folks buy within 1 or maybe 2 brands that they are comfortable with and have owned before and don't even consider the rest (I'm talking about real, new car buyers, not TCL'ers looking for used cars "someday")
I know TCL'ers have nothing but time and spousal-patience on hand but if Team Sporin wanted a new midsizer right now, we'd probably go drive the new Accord (Sport/Manual) and if we both liked it, that's what we'd get. The others fall into a black hole of no local dealer/bad local dealer/never liked/ and not compelled to bother checking out.
All this bitching about rear leg room is a bit overblown. I'm 6'1" and fit in the back of my Sonata. Sure, there isn't ample space, but I fit without any real issues and it only has 34.6" of rear leg room.
19-- Willys Jeep * 1989 Cadillac STS * 1991 Ford Escort GT * 1995 Dodge Neon Sport * 1997 Honda Civic EX * 1997 BMW 528i * 1998 Honda CR-V EX * 1999 Acura 3.2 TL * 2000 VW Golf GLS 1.8T * 2001 Land Rover Range Rover 4.6 SE * 2002 VW Passat GLS 1.8T * 2002 Honda Civic EX * 2006 Lexus GS430 * 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L * 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS * 2009 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 * 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX * 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE * 2013 Honda Accord Sport
"Never attribute to maliciousness that which can be attributed to stupidity."
'89 Corolla Wagon
'96 Camry LE
'01 Camry LE
'05 Camry LE
'10 Camry LE
My MiL always gets the newest one, and my FiL takes her old one; so she's now driving the '10 and he's dring her old '05.
"Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."
Originally Posted by The Igneous FactionOriginally Posted by WhistlerYOW
It's funny how most other threads here complain about cars getting bigger with every generation, yet when GM takes the Malibu off of the growth hormone race, it gets smacked in the face.