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Buying a Midsize Car

SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
So I'm looking to buy a midsize card soon, ideally within days but my current car runs and there's no real rush. I've done a fair amount of internet research and test driven a few cars, some twice, most of it today.

I drove: Ford Fusion SE, Hyundai Sonata SE, Nissan Altima SV, Honda Accord LX,Sport, and a Volkswagen Passat.
I'm dumb and shouldn't have wasted my time on the Passat because it's too expensive and I didn't realize that Jetta was actually a midsize, and yet I've not seen it mentioned in any of the "top midsize car" articles I've read.

The Accord was initially promising for its price and roominess, but upon second look it's a bit too plain without a steep enough discount to be worth it.

My impression of the Altima could be spoiled by incompetent salesmen, but the rear seats seemed tight, the CVT a bit loud, ABS that kept kicking in when it seemed it shouldn't, unwanted forced add-ons like nitrogen tires, and the complete inability to actually dial my contacts via bluetooth.

I liked the Sonata for its only moderately tight rear legroom and ample headroom, good instrument panel even without a big touchscreen, very nice turning radius and moderately quiet ride, lower price and seemingly awesome warranty.

I liked the Ford for the best-looking interior and exterior, a similarly nice if somewhat cluttered instrument panel(if I don't get MyFord Touch), another quiet ride and seemingly powerful acceleration(though not in the first second or so). One of my few complaints aside from price is a very large A-pillar that obscures a bit much of my vision when turning left.
Tl;DR
I'm thinking about a Ford Fusion or Hyundai Sonata, but maybe there are things/cars I overlooked or didn't consider, and I'd appreciate being informed about them.

Also, I was planning on putting down a large $10,000 downpayment, but is there any reason why I wouldn't put down 0 if I was offered 0% financing for 60 months?

PSN: Kurahoshi1

Posts

  • KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    Pointless to put down any money if it's 0%. You're just throwing away money. Invest it elsewhere or just hold onto it in case it is ever needed.

    Fusion is great, maybe look at Kia Optima also? Those look awesome in white, IMO

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    You usually wont get approved for the 0% financing without putting down a large down payment or trade in.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    I have a good but not great credit score and a low six figures income and got 0% w/Mazda. I am still trying to pay it off ahead of schedule because if you default they accelerate the interest at some punitive rate, so unless you are carrying higher percentage credit card debt or are trying to get a down payment on the house, I might put some money down anyway. It will also lower your monthly payment amt, which will make life easier.

    Relatedly, it does not appear that you are looking for hatchbacks, but I got a Mazda 3S hatchback that is on the low end of your price range and am loving it. Not the world's best engine but I enjoy the torque and go fast when traffic permits.

    If you want more performance the mazdaspeed 3 is priced around that sonata model and has as much horsepower as the sonata.

    They are roomy (I'm 6'2 200 lbs and find it comfortable) and let me haul furniture as well as friends. You'd have to check out the back for yourself but I've fit 5 people in it (including 2 members of a womens college basketball team and one crew girl) without too much whining.

    kaliyama on
    fwKS7.png?1
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    If room is your concern, though I know you did not ask about them, have you thought about some of the crossover style vehicles?

    I actually have a Hyundai Santa Fe (which is an SUV, I don't care if they call it a crossover) and from what I've seen the Tuscon doesn't look bad on legroom. I learned to drive in a Ford Explorer, and always felt cramped (6'2"), I got a Sonata as a rental when travelling and found that despite being made by tiny Korean people, they give a shit about legroom. Ended out buying a used Santa Fe and have been pretty happy with it.

    When it comes time to replace it, I may check out an Impreza hatchback. Have you looked into them at all?

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    This might put you off it, but my wife's mother has been driving a Sonata in Chicago weather for a few years, and has no problems and seems to enjoy the ride.

    Probably a little too boat-like for me, but the large trunk and good passenger compartment is nice. My (tiny) 2008 Accent has given me no problems either, just not a lot of features - Hyundai has certainly improved.

    Mugsley wrote:
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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    Kaliyama, I did drive a mazda 3 sedan, since I currently have a protege, and I quite liked it, but it's missing some of the gadgets I'd like, and it was definitely cramped in the back seat. I almost think it's got less room than my protege.

    Hatchbacks might be great for functionality, but I just don't like the look, and the same for SUVs and crossovers.

    I did notice that the Sonata was one of the longest mid-sized cars, and yet it's turning radius seemed impressive, though perhaps I'm not quite as aware of width as I should be, for more difficult parking.

    I'm looking at the Jetta a bit, and finding it difficult to see much difference between it and the Passat, other than maybe a few luxury touches lost and a tad bit less room, for $1,000 less, plus generally less glowing reviews than the Passat. The latter actually looks barely in my price range online(with delivery), so I'll have to look into why the sticker seemed to be another $1,000 on top of that.

    What I'm struggling with right now is mostly over what creature comforts I want. I think my two or three choices are close enough in handling, but I can't tell how much I want the extra trim. Like, generally does climate control work very well, actually staying pretty close to the degree set? MyFord touch seemed a bit slow to respond, yet for $1,000, and the only way to get climate control, perhaps just worth it.

    The ford also seems to be my only cheap way of getting remote start, at $300, though I'm not sure how far the actual range of these tends to be, and whether they'll go through a wall or two.

    PSN: Kurahoshi1
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    A Jetta is a Golf wth a boot. The Passat is built on an entirely different, larger platform.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Look at the Mazda 6 that here in a moment. I got a chance to drive it at a press event and it is now high on my list. It has lots of gear and great room in the back and most importantly fun and satisfying to drive.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
    Jasconius
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    was gonna say Mazda 6. I haven't driven the new one, but Mazda's have really ramped up in the past few years. I've had my 3 for a year and absolutely love it. I hear the new 6 is a big improvement over last year.

    At least take a look at it

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  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    Do 0% if you can get it. Then you get the pittance of interest off that 10k instead of the car company.

    On the Mazda 6, you may want to drive the old model as well, because they should be heavily discounting it if they are already pushing and promoting the new model year.

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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    Hmm, the 6 has surprisingly low mpg. Comfort and luxury features are my top priorities over performance which is why I've been making the choices I have, like 4 cylinder, non-turbo etc, but I'll take a look at it.

    PSN: Kurahoshi1
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    A bit more expensive, but see if there any C30's around. Comfiest car I've ever driven.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    The new Fusion looks lovely, and the 2014 Mazda 6 refresh is based on the same general platform. Never found expensive climate control to be worth it. Basic AC is good enough. Vented and heated seats are nice but another thing that can break, and likely not available on these models. I'd look at the Subaru Legacy cause it's in the general price range at which you're looking (and I kinda love Subarus). If you are concerned about mileage I'd wait on the Hyundai, mileage has been overstated and there is a pending class action lawsuit about it. You should probably check out the Camry as it is right in that same class, thoroughly boring, but will have high reliability and good resale.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    The thing about Subarus is they hold their value. This thread is interesting, because I'm almost done paying off my 2009 Impreza ($21,500 when new) and went looking at what used ones were going for. Dealers are selling my exact car (White, 2.5i, manual) for $17,500 or more. Private sales are in the same range. That's nuts.

    (Canadian prices, btw)

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Yeah, the new imprezas are killer, but Subaru interiors are not fantastic as their strength is in the AWD and other pieces.

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    I own a 2012 Sonata, and I love the car. Has a smooth, quiet ride, a nice instrument panel and a decent sound system. However, here's the bad news: the car has an uncommon tire size (which I just learned the hard way). I just had to buy a tire and it cost me $175 (that was the cheapest price I could find). Apparently there are a few Nissan models that use the same tire size as well. The car is great, but the tire cost could be rough if you're not expecting it.

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
  • Curly_BraceCurly_Brace Robot Girl Mimiga VillageRegistered User regular
    Subaru makes lovely cars, and of the two I've driven (both 90's models) I've never had any complaints. Having 4-wheel drive in any place with snow is a major plus. Buying a Ford new can be a good experience, according to my grandparents and parents who have both done it. Of course, if the dealer is a silly goose then they may screw you over somehow. Car might not be great but you can be confident you can get it serviced easily.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    The new Fusion looks lovely, and the 2014 Mazda 6 refresh is based on the same general platform.

    Same platform - are you sure? As I understand the new Mazda6 is a whole new thing with both engines, platform and all.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
    chrishallett83
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    If I were buying a midsize today I wouldn't consider anything but the Fusion. I think it's a downright beautiful car. Not only does it look awesome, but it's comfortable, very nice materials / workmanship, reliable, etc. Everything I've seen is positive for it.

    I've heard good things on the Sonata too, I'm just not a fan of it's looks. To each their own, I guess.

    The new Mazda 6 sounds like it's going to be pretty nice too, but I probably won't see one up close until the NAIAS in a couple weeks.

    Depending on how you feel about looks, I'd say choosing between the Fusion and Sonata would be a matter of personal preference, price point, warranty, etc. You should be happy with either one.

    Also, if you get 0% / 60 months, your best bet is to put the minimum down. If nothing else, put your down payment in a savings account and make your payments out of there. It costs you nothing to do it that way, provided you have the discipline not to waste it.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    The new Fusion looks lovely, and the 2014 Mazda 6 refresh is based on the same general platform.

    Same platform - are you sure? As I understand the new Mazda6 is a whole new thing with both engines, platform and all.

    I guess not? Information is thin on the Mazda, but no one is saying it is CD4. I had assumed since the Fusion and the 6 were both all new that they would continue some platform sharing but Ford looks to be distancing itself from Mazda.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Being in the same boat, I've driven most of those cars, and I am really leaning towards the Fusion. Ford has come a long way in the last few years. Five years ago, I wouldn't even have considered one...but the new Fusion has me quite interested.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
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  • MyiagrosMyiagros Registered User regular
    I've been driving a 2007 Sonata for a few years now and I still like it. It's roomy, drives well in all weather and is alright for pricing on repairs. Not sure if the wheel sizes changed since then(Google says it hasn't) but I haven't had the same issue that @Crashtard mentioned, they are a 185/70R16 and tires were $120 each at cost for Michilins(have a mechanic father-in-law) but cheaper brands start at $80 regular price.

    iRevert wrote: »
    Because if you're going to attempt to squeeze that big black monster into your slot you will need to be able to take at least 12 inches or else you're going to have a bad time...
    Steam: MyiagrosX27
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    zagdrob wrote: »
    If I were buying a midsize today I wouldn't consider anything but the Fusion. I think it's a downright beautiful car. Not only does it look awesome, but it's comfortable, very nice materials / workmanship, reliable, etc. Everything I've seen is positive for it.

    I've heard good things on the Sonata too, I'm just not a fan of it's looks. To each their own, I guess.

    The new Mazda 6 sounds like it's going to be pretty nice too, but I probably won't see one up close until the NAIAS in a couple weeks.

    Depending on how you feel about looks, I'd say choosing between the Fusion and Sonata would be a matter of personal preference, price point, warranty, etc. You should be happy with either one.

    Also, if you get 0% / 60 months, your best bet is to put the minimum down. If nothing else, put your down payment in a savings account and make your payments out of there. It costs you nothing to do it that way, provided you have the discipline not to waste it.

    I know a few rental car people who also say that the fusion has a fantastic interior. Solid construction, looks good, comfortable, lots of gadets.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    Myiagros wrote: »
    I've been driving a 2007 Sonata for a few years now and I still like it. It's roomy, drives well in all weather and is alright for pricing on repairs. Not sure if the wheel sizes changed since then(Google says it hasn't) but I haven't had the same issue that @Crashtard mentioned, they are a 185/70R16 and tires were $120 each at cost for Michilins(have a mechanic father-in-law) but cheaper brands start at $80 regular price.

    The tire price issue might just be an issue of geography. I live in Baltimore now, and everything is more expensive than at home in Michigan.

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
  • dgs095dgs095 Registered User regular
    I've had my ford fusion for a few years and I'm very happy with it. Sometimes it's a matter of which company is having a better sale, but I've found my fusion to be both comfortable and reliable.

  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    I just bought a Fusion Hybrid a few days ago, and I have to say I am loving it. The gas mileage is AMAZING. It handles surprisingly well, the internior is sturdy and beautifully done. The breaking is crisp if you tend to break softly.

    Plenty of room for both the drivers and passengers (a surprising amount actually for back seaters, I was stunned that it almost identical to a camry which is a longer car). The exterior is obviously sleek and stylish. I have no complaints so far, and the car is really starting to grow on me.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    how is the front passenger seat for the fusion these days? I actually was looking at fusions a few years ago and the front passenger seat was woefully lacking on headroom (I am 6'6") and I couldn't sit in it comfortably unless I was in the driver's seat.

  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    So, I bought the Hyundai. I was actually leaning toward the fusion until one more test drive of both, and its hard to say why but it just didn't feel as good as the sonata experience, and the couple thousand of savings plus good warranty helped seal the deal. I was actually most nervous about not being able to see the new Mazda 6, but I thought buying it any sooner than 6 months would be risky with not enough reviews or testimonials.

    I didn't look into tire prices, so hopefully that won't bite me in the ass.

    At 6'3 I had no problems in the front of any vehicle, but the rear of the fusion, as opposed to the sonata, was pretty tight.

    Septus on
    PSN: Kurahoshi1
  • MyiagrosMyiagros Registered User regular
    Good choice, especially when it comes to needing space for moving things. I've moved 3 times since I got my car and it really helps save trips when you can fit 4-6 tote boxes into the back seat along with a 42" tv.

    iRevert wrote: »
    Because if you're going to attempt to squeeze that big black monster into your slot you will need to be able to take at least 12 inches or else you're going to have a bad time...
    Steam: MyiagrosX27
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    how is the front passenger seat for the fusion these days? I actually was looking at fusions a few years ago and the front passenger seat was woefully lacking on headroom (I am 6'6") and I couldn't sit in it comfortably unless I was in the driver's seat.

    I couldn't say, I'm only 5'11" and no one in my family is tall, so I can't really give an accurate assessment of the height situation. But as a professional basketball player, I am sure you can afford a number of much larger luxury sedans :)

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    Septus wrote: »
    So, I bought the Hyundai. I was actually leaning toward the fusion until one more test drive of both, and its hard to say why but it just didn't feel as good as the sonata experience, and the couple thousand of savings plus good warranty helped seal the deal. I was actually most nervous about not being able to see the new Mazda 6, but I thought buying it any sooner than 6 months would be risky with not enough reviews or testimonials.

    I didn't look into tire prices, so hopefully that won't bite me in the ass.

    At 6'3 I had no problems in the front of any vehicle, but the rear of the fusion, as opposed to the sonata, was pretty tight.

    Congratulations! I've loved mine since I got it last year, and I'm sure you'll be happy too. One of the best things, like you mentioned, is the ample leg room in the front. I'm only 5'10" but I'm always cramped in cars. This has been a nice change.

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
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