Author Topic: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans  (Read 12268 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« on: December 14, 2012, 06:34:00 am »


We collect a batch of new models in one of the most competitive segments on the market: family sedans.

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Offline Erik

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Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 07:05:24 am »
About as I would have expected. Only disappointment and surprise was the new Altima.
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Offline Snowman

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 07:13:32 am »
Looks like Honda is going back to the successful formula that got them to where they are today. :thumbup:

Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 07:45:57 am »
Looks like Honda is going back to the successful formula that got them to where they are today. :thumbup:

Yup, I wasn't around to do this comparo, but got to drive them all briefly.  This is more or less how I would rank it too.  The Camry was my surprise - even in base model it is soooo good at what it does.

Offline hemusbull

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 08:04:07 am »
So a mild hybrid is in the pack and there is "no reason to exclude it". At the same time are missing two champions: Canada's favourite rock bottom priced Chrysler 200 and people's BMW - KIA Optima! I don't get it!

Offline superukr

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 08:04:25 am »
domestic cars are more expensive? go figure.

Offline Danno001

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 08:19:57 am »
So a mild hybrid is in the pack and there is "no reason to exclude it". At the same time are missing two champions: Canada's favourite rock bottom priced Chrysler 200 and people's BMW - KIA Optima! I don't get it!

+1

Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 08:24:21 am »
A very good article and no real shock that the new Honda Accord won or that the Malibu came in last.  I think if they could redo it I would have included the VW Passat as it seems to do very well in comparison tests.  It's nice to see that the Camry came in second instead of the Fusion as I'm not sold on the Ecoboost engine offerings and the interior just isn't the step up that the exterior is.

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 08:29:02 am »
Hey, I didn't get the call for this one... i guess because there weren't any V-dubs to make sure came out on top....  :P



Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 08:36:43 am »
This comparison test was only about the 4 all new vehicles vs the sales champ, camry.

Offline Blueprint

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 08:39:42 am »
Malibu's really on a roll...downhill. Dead last in every comparo published so far.

As for the Altima, first time I saw the new one on the road, the word "Oldsmobile" popped up in my mind. The sporty, in-your-face appeal of the previous gen is gone, along with its low-to-the-ground good looks and manual tranny.

A midsize comparo just for us the forum boys would include:

Kia Optima - base with stick (NO ONE ever published anything on it!)
Honda Accord Sport 6MT
Ford Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT
Mazda6 GS 6MT
VW Passsat Comfortline TDI 6MT
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Offline jyarkony

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 08:44:38 am »
So a mild hybrid is in the pack and there is "no reason to exclude it". At the same time are missing two champions: Canada's favourite rock bottom priced Chrysler 200 and people's BMW - KIA Optima! I don't get it!

Unfortunately, it was more a question of logistics—sure it would be nice to test 10 cars together, but we do not have the unlimited resources to do that even if we want to. I would have definitely liked to add the Passat, Optima, and Sonata, but we had to draw the line somewhere, so we stuck with this year's new releases, plus the Camry because it is such a huge sales juggernaut (mainly in US) in that segment. If there is one car that would still look good next to the Fusion, it's the Optima, in SX trim. wouldn't mind testing those two head to head. hmmmm...

as we did with the SUVs and compacts, the other cars will get their shot at the champ in a rematch.

I'm driving the 200 in a few weeks, so I'll report on that, but it would have to overachieve (compared to its Sebring predecessor) in a big way to match the top 3 in this test.
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Offline jyarkony

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 08:49:55 am »
Malibu's really on a roll...downhill. Dead last in every comparo published so far.

As for the Altima, first time I saw the new one on the road, the word "Oldsmobile" popped up in my mind. The sporty, in-your-face appeal of the previous gen is gone, along with its low-to-the-ground good looks and manual tranny.

A midsize comparo just for us the forum boys would include:

Kia Optima - base with stick (NO ONE ever published anything on it!)
Honda Accord Sport 6MT
Ford Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT
Mazda6 GS 6MT
VW Passsat Comfortline TDI 6MT

I want to do a mid-size M/T comparison, but good luck finding all of those—we'll be lucky if we can line up two of those! I drove the Fusion 1.6 MT on the launch (see the first drive), and it is good—the shifter itself isn't that fantastic, but together with that engine, the car becomes a real gem and it feels like it is nipping at the heels of the 2.0 Ecoboost power.

But even there, knowing Honda manual transmissions and having driven the Coupe V6 MT, the Accord Sport 6 MT would be a treat as well for a daily driver.

Offline Blueprint

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 08:57:27 am »
So a mild hybrid is in the pack and there is "no reason to exclude it". At the same time are missing two champions: Canada's favourite rock bottom priced Chrysler 200 and people's BMW - KIA Optima! I don't get it!

Unfortunately, it was more a question of logistics—sure it would be nice to test 10 cars together, but we do not have the unlimited resources to do that even if we want to. I

When we did the cute-ute comparo with 11 vehicles, it was indeed quite a task to accomplish, but the logistics worked out in the end.  Testing the newer cars was the right thing to do, but sub-matches in matching pairs or trios ( 6MT hint-hint  ;D ) can be done over time. Next up will be the new Mazda6. Hopefully, it'll be more relevant to our market than the current one...local Mazda dealer still has new 2011s in stock, and they're not odd ducks either - all automatics.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 08:58:58 am by Blueprint »

Offline Blueprint

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 09:01:49 am »
Malibu's really on a roll...downhill. Dead last in every comparo published so far.

As for the Altima, first time I saw the new one on the road, the word "Oldsmobile" popped up in my mind. The sporty, in-your-face appeal of the previous gen is gone, along with its low-to-the-ground good looks and manual tranny.

A midsize comparo just for us the forum boys would include:

Kia Optima - base with stick (NO ONE ever published anything on it!)
Honda Accord Sport 6MT
Ford Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT
Mazda6 GS 6MT
VW Passsat Comfortline TDI 6MT

I want to do a mid-size M/T comparison, but good luck finding all of those—we'll be lucky if we can line up two of those! I drove the Fusion 1.6 MT on the launch (see the first drive), and it is good—the shifter itself isn't that fantastic, but together with that engine, the car becomes a real gem and it feels like it is nipping at the heels of the 2.0 Ecoboost power.

But even there, knowing Honda manual transmissions and having driven the Coupe V6 MT, the Accord Sport 6 MT would be a treat as well for a daily driver.

The KIA I'm very curious about. I recently saw it advertised at 18,999$ after incentives.  The 6MT pricing has been all over their ads since the Optima launched, so it would be legit to have one in the press fleet... I should ask my colleagues.

Offline jyarkony

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 09:03:59 am »
Malibu's really on a roll...downhill. Dead last in every comparo published so far.

As for the Altima, first time I saw the new one on the road, the word "Oldsmobile" popped up in my mind. The sporty, in-your-face appeal of the previous gen is gone, along with its low-to-the-ground good looks and manual tranny.

A midsize comparo just for us the forum boys would include:

Kia Optima - base with stick (NO ONE ever published anything on it!)
Honda Accord Sport 6MT
Ford Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT
Mazda6 GS 6MT
VW Passsat Comfortline TDI 6MT

I want to do a mid-size M/T comparison, but good luck finding all of those—we'll be lucky if we can line up two of those! I drove the Fusion 1.6 MT on the launch (see the first drive), and it is good—the shifter itself isn't that fantastic, but together with that engine, the car becomes a real gem and it feels like it is nipping at the heels of the 2.0 Ecoboost power.

But even there, knowing Honda manual transmissions and having driven the Coupe V6 MT, the Accord Sport 6 MT would be a treat as well for a daily driver.

The KIA I'm very curious about. I recently saw it advertised at 18,999$ after incentives.  The 6MT pricing has been all over their ads since the Optima launched, so it would be legit to have one in the press fleet... I should ask my colleagues.

They only have a single Optima on press fleets in Canada, and it is in Vancouver.

Offline mixmanmash

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2012, 09:15:35 am »
So a domestic out handles and is more of a drivers car than the Japanese.  What is this world coming to?  Looks like some of the right thing rubbed off on Ford from hanging out with Mazda.

Nissan definitely has some work to do if it can't deliver the fuel economy in the real world.  I'm guessing the overhyped CVT has something to do with it.  If it's like my wife's Rogue, it just keeps hunting and never appears to get the lock up torque converter engaged unless on the highway.  However, Honda has apparently figured out how to make one that delivers.

I definitely look forward to a comparison that includes the new 2014 Mazda6 with both engines.  Especially the diesel with MT.

Offline redman

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2012, 09:43:22 am »
Re Camry sales in the U.S..... "although last year both the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion outsold it in this market, but it is back on top this year."

Not really a true comparison to me without the Sonata or it's stable mate the Optima. I understand the logistics part but just the same it would be nice to revisit with the top 2 winners of this round and some missing competitors when timing allows.
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Offline whaddaiknow

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2012, 09:46:11 am »
Great article. Thank you.
I wonder if the suspension tuning is different in the 4-cyl Accord vs 6-cyl.

Offline opg210

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Re: Comparison Test: Best Family Sedans
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2012, 10:15:01 am »
Great review, thanks guys. Funny to read that a Toyota trumps a Ford in value. I agree with others, what a world its coming to.

I do like the honesty of the comments in the review ("here's the one we'd buy, though it didn't win"). I'm not a fan of rankings for that reason, each has a different personality (well, they're all pretty similar, let's face it) so each can see what traits work best for them.

The depth of choice is astonishing though, these all look like pretty capable choices. And the B list someone mentioned is probably even better, on average. For those in the market it's a great time to be buying