By on March 13, 2011

For all the buzz surrounding the Compact segment, the real battle at the moment seems to be in the Midsized (D-Segment) class. As in the C-Segment, Toyota is maintaining its leadership by a healthy margin, but right below it there’s a knife fight between Fusion, Accord, Altima and Malibu (look for this fight to include Sonata if Hyundai brings more capacity online). The fact that Accord no longer has a lock on second place has opened a huge opportunity, as the contenders clamor to become the Camry’s main rival. But this battle for second place has also bifurcated the segment into contenders (15k units and up) and everyone else. And speaking of “everyone else,” Mazda6 dropped off our chart this month with only 2,838 deliveries, hanging out with such underachievers as the Passat/CC (1,750 units) and Saab 9-3 (494).

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53 Comments on “Sales: Midsized Sedans, February 2011...”


  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    The Impala is a Large sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      So is the current Accord. In fact, model bloat has been pushing all the traditional “midsize” cars closer to “full-size” territory.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      From the inside, the Impala isn’t really that large.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      The cutoff, according to the US government, is 120+ cubic feet of interior space. That’s where it’s defined as “full-size”. 110-120 is a midsize, 100-110 is a compact, etc. The Impala and Accord sedans are over that 120 ft^3 line, the others are under it.
       
      Now, if the Impala arranges that interior space such that the rear passengers’ feet don’t fit anywhere, that’s Chevy’s problem.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      The Impala arranges most of that space into the trunk.
       
      A car with 120 feet of interior volume including the trunk is “large”.  Unless the trunk has windows, in which case it’s “small” again.  Unless the trunk doesn’t have a lip, in which case it’s an “SUV”.
       
      Our federal code remains as detached from reality as ever.

  • avatar
    mike978

    The Camry’s reign is tentative since there will be 5 competitors at around 35K units (assuming greater supply of Sonata) and the Camry was at 45K -not a huge lead – albeit for just two months. Wouldn`t take a huge shift for Camry to be overtaken at some point. Honda could easily be fifth and the Accord is not that old. Fusion and Malibu due for replacement first.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I would point out that the current Camry is pretty old and due for a redesign soon.  Now, that said, the last two mainstream Toyotas that saw refreshes (the Corolla and Sienna) weren’t huge improvements, so it may be a moot point.  The same applies to the Accord, except that Honda hasn’t flubbed redesigns.
       
       

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The top vehicles in this segment are all competent, and it’s refreshing to see that buyers are starting to walk away from the ‘must have a Toyota or Honda’ mindset for what is possibly the most milquetoast market segment.
     
    I’m surprised the new Optima is selling only a third of what the Sonata is doing in numbers, but it could be due to slow inventory rollout, that comparison will be worth rechecking with March’s numbers.
     
    Similarly, the Chrysler 200 being outsold by the Galant is embarassing, but I have no idea how many 200s were actually on the lots in time to sell in Feb.
     
    The Prius and Impala are odd interlopers here.   I know technically the Prius is a midsize, but if you’ve ever sat in or driven one, it feels much more like a compact.  Going the other direction, the Impala may technically be a fullsize sedan, but I’m OK with it ending up here.  Despite exterior dimensions, the Impala is showing its age the same way the Panthers did – exterior space to interior space ratio is way off compared to most newer cars.  In particular the rear seat legroom in the Impala isn’t any better than the midsize Malibu, and is much less than modern fullsizers like the Avalon.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    I’m surprised and disappointed by these sales numbers.
    To buy a Camry, you have to walk into a Toyota showroom, walk past the Prius, and choose a car that does the same things but uses twice as much fuel to do it, and pay the same amount of money! Yet 27,000 people did exactly that last month.
     
    Even worse are the Nissan numbers. The Sentra outsells the Juke four to one. In under five minutes, you can tell that the Sentra is a losermobile. It’ll take you the turn out of the parking lot to find that the steering doesn’t do what you want it to, one hard stop to find that the brake bias is completely wrong, one trip to 3/4 throttle to find that they’ve somehow turned the great SR20DE into “un perro”, and all of two minutes on a bumpy road to find that that the spring and damper rates were chosen by a random number generator. Meanwhile, the first three miles in a Juke will find an energetic little engine, great steering feel, clean ride and handling, and enough room for four. How can you lay your money down on a no-star car when a four-star one is sitting right next to it?
     
    Meanwhile, the Mazda3 and Miata keep Mazda afloat for now, yet the 2, 5, 6, CX7 and RX8 bounce along at the bottom of the charts. They need to seriously change the dealer lineup; the 2, 5, and 6 should at least finish in the top ten in their segments.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Prius and Camry may hold the same number of people, but the Prius comes off as cheaper, smaller, and flimsier driven back to back with the Camry.  There are still a lot of people who like the sensory deprivation tank experience that the Camry provides better than anything else in the class.
       
      It’s no mystery why the Juke is suffering – It’s as ugly as sin.  The Mazda3, Ford Flex, and I’m guessing Nissan Cube are all cars that offer something great, yet can’t grab enough buyers due to looks.  The lesson here to automakers is that the US customer base prefers safe and derivative styling over new and daring.
       
      I’m with you that Mazda needs to improve their dealer lineup, as well as their advertising presence.  The 3 should do a lot better, the CX-7 is pretty nice in its class, especially with the turbo 4, and the 5 is a great family vehicle for those with kids, a budget, and some environmental conscience.  The 2 has a problem in that it’s basically a Fiesta, but a little bit smaller, without the ability to get the Fiesta’s premium options that make the Fiesta attractive, with a less powerful engine, and an outdated automatic transmission option.  The 2 is sporty and fun to drive in 5 speed form, but dull and lifeless with the automatic that the vast majority of US buyers will opt for.

    • 0 avatar
      mazder3

      Ugh. I think we need to start a Mazda Deathwatch…

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Sentra isn’t really all that bad.  It’s actually pretty good, all things considered: it’s roomy, reasonably spacious and, unlike the Juke, fairly conservative in it’s styling.  It’s only issue is that the Versa does all those things better.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I rented a Sentra for a week a couple of years ago and found it to be a fine commuter. I expect most buyers use it accordingly and have no problem. I consider it a track-ringer compared to the Corolla that I also had the misfortune to drive.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Sonata isn’t suffering from lack of supply anymore. It is suffering from a poor model mix on the lots. Hyundai is overbuilding the turbos, leaving dealers with few regular cars to sell. Not everyone wants a sexy $25k turbo Sonata, they are just looking for the $21k base GLS.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Mazder3, their volumes are up on all but the 6. If they were viable the last couple years they’re viable now. No need for a Deathwatch, but they could do so much better if they made some changes.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    If not for the large sales of domestic cars into commercial sales like rental cars, taxi cabs, and city cars, Fusion, Impala, Malibu, Escape, and so many other cars would be on a death watch.  What really hurts the sales of domestics is everyone gets to drive one as a rental, then walk away with a poor impression of a domestic.  Myself, I always try to get a Japanese car at the rental counter, but that can be hard.  They shove a domestic at you.  Sometimes they have 30,000 miles on them, and they have lots of problems.  Plus, who would ever buy a domestic when usually they are a rental?  Not me.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Impala has a large fleet percentage, as does the Crown Vic (pretty much 100%) and the Town Car (probably over 50%) due to rental lots and popularity with livery companies, but the Fusion and Malibu don’t have rental fleet percentages that are out of line with what the Japanese automakers sell to rental lots.
       
      You do see more government purchases of Fusions and Malibus here, just like you see government purchases of Toyotas and Hondas in Japan, but those aren’t enough to be statistically relevant.  The Fusion, Malibu, Escape, etc, sell well to retail buyers just like the Japanese competition because they are well built, reliable cars with features people want.
       
      Rentals also lead to retail sales a good bit of the time.  I’ve sold a number of Edges, Escapes, Fusions and Focuses to people who rented one, liked it, and remembered it when it came time to buy their next car.  I would assume Hyundai and Toyota salespeople have experienced a similar phenomenon.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ jimmyy     Firstly…my thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people in this terrible time. Secondly, I would niether buy, or for that matter rent, a Japenese car, if my life depended on it.

      I am certainly not the only one with simalar thoughts. That might explain Malibu/.Impala sales eh.

    • 0 avatar

      Plus, who would ever buy a domestic when usually they are a rental?  Not me.
       
      Spoken like someone who makes their mind up without necessarily being bothered by the facts.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      Am I the only one who knows people that purposely beat the crap out of rentals, thus making them irrelevant in judging a car. Furthermore the Avis’s and Hertz around here are full of Camrys and Sonatas, but perhaps that just them trying to cater to the area’s tastes.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Looks like not even the rental fleets are buying the 200/Avenger, nor the Caliber.

  • avatar
    Acc azda atch

    I think its fantastic that Accord is being passed up for the Fusion… hopefully the more driveable cars.. and not just the stripper 4s.
     
    It is STILL wild that Camry can still lead the pack.. with (id guess) the standard 4cycl autos.. in shiny primer or beige. Someone needs to tell Toyota.. its ok to paint a car.
     
    P.S
    Why is the 8th gen Accord being ranked 3rd, when Altima HANDILY outsells it? (Courtesy of the 199mo leases on the 2.5 strippers)n It should be 5th…
     
    P.S.S
    It is interesting.. if ya cover the badge of the Accord.. and the Altima.. ya can see Altima’s design influence. Current Accord is a direct descendant of current Altima.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      The 2010 accord does look altima-ish. The 2011 however looks like Honda bought leftover Lincoln deck lids from Ford. The taillights and the trunk strips don’t match.
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xjG8HkIJ0iw/TVkYmAeya4I/AAAAAAAABnQ/LFeRrZhXtBI/s1600/2011_honda_accord65545456.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      mikeolan

      The Fusion IMO isn’t that good of a car. The Accord has definitely gotten worse from the prior gen and feels like a hollow barge, but the Fusion isn’t exactly great to drive.  Of the two the Accord still feels higher quality inside, even though the Accord is still a bit disappointing this generation.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I always thought there was a bit of Bangle-ized BMW in the rear of the current Accord.  The Accord is still a very good car, and it’s larger inside than the Fusion, so that has appeal to some.  The Fusion is a bit sportier, especially if you get one of the packages or trims that comes with the sport suspension, but the Accord can hold its own.
       
      The heavy competition in the midsize sedan market has made all of the options pretty strong, whether you want the total isolation of the Camry, the sport-centric Mazda6, or something in between like the Kizashi, Altima, Fusion or Accord you really can’t go wrong.  Even the Avenger and 200-ne-Sebring, which used to be ridiculously bad, are pretty good now with much better V6 engine options and much nicer interiors.
       
      In fact, I’m trying to think if there is a total dog left in this segment, and nothing is coming to mind.  I suppose the Mitsubishi Galant would be the closest one to being irrelavent, and isn’t it in some way based on the older Sebring/Avenger?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @Acc azda atch “It is interesting.. if ya cover the badge of the Accord.. and the Altima.. ya can see Altima’s design influence. Current Accord is a direct descendant of current Altima.”  How many car designs use the BMW notched C pillar window style? Altima, Impala, Accord, etc. Personally, I’d like to see more design variance. The Malibu is a good example, but the greenhouse also kind of follows the Acura and Avalon. Cars have always looked somewhat similar to one another through much of automotive history.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      ZACKMAN:
      Dont belittle me.. by giving a blanket statement about the “somewhat generics of auto design”. I’ve got the current / full set of http://www.amazon.com/Car-Design-Yearbook-Definitive-Production/dp/1858941903)

      P.S as for the C pillar notch. It’s called the hoffmeister kink.

       
      Ion:
      The tail lamps on Accords used to be done so well and with so much thought.

      In the 5th gen they differed the 4/6 by putting extra lights on the trunk lid itself.
      In the 6th gen they reversed the reverse and red lights.. in the same mold.
      The 7th gen they moved the white square around from the center to the full width of the trunk brake light (different from the CHMSL). However, they did get cheap towards the last 2yrs of that gen and screwed up the rear trunk / bumper mold. Looks awful.
      The 8th.. is just a really cheap applique of trim and or brake lights. Nothing more than a reflector.
       

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The current Accord not only uses the Hofmeister “kink” at the C-pillar, it also uses a rendition of the Bangle 7 Series taillights w/ the reflector strip design.

      Add a Sonata-eqsue front fasica and a Saturn/Opel rear, one gets a not very cohesive design.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Acc azda atch: I re-read my comment and am sorry if it sounded like belittlement. That certainly wasn’t my intention. I was merely drawing a parallel between the similarity of auto design these days. Years ago from the mid-50′s until the late 70′s there was much more variety, but before that, not so much, and, I suppose by some sort of economic and manufacturing necessity, cars have become much more bland in the styling department. Or maybe it is just me.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Surprised the Fusion and Camry are doing well- they’re both the worst cars in its class. Although I understand the appeal of the Camry’s reliability,  it’s not like the Accord or Altima are any less reliable, but they’re both far nicer vehicles.
    As for the Fusion, I’m amazed this car sells. It handles decently, but the interior is not up to par at all, and the longevity of the 6 speed transmission Ford is putting in them is suspect as well. There are simply better options that aren’t built in Mexico.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Not a Joke. How to spot a major company rental car?
    Look for the barcode number stickers or those with the car name in the windows. If the car is a generic late model, recently washed wearing out of state plates and usually no dealer stickers or license plate frames.
    From what I see Avis / Budget picked up some Galants lately. Hertz got some a few months back. No one else buys them. Only new Avenger & 200 I’ve seen are rentals. Avis got a bunch of Infiniti G25x & Hyundai Elantra as well. Nissan has been unloading the Versa, Sentra & Altima on every rental company. Summer will bring the Muscle Adrenaline Collection to Hertz with V8 engines this time. Mustang,Camaro & Challanger.
    A good fleet car gets boring yet appriciated. I’ve helped Hyundai & Subaru sell a few cars to people who never had an idea someone made the car they really needed. A customer with a BMW X3 was asking himself what he had the the Edge did not. Same with a Murano to a 2nd gen Mercedes M-class. The loaded Ford Fusions & Chevy Malibu got lot’s of people to look at the American cars again. Sometime a short term program car at the rental counter can really help sell some more stippers models at the dealership.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    These sales figures are remarkably accurate for my area, too. The Camry outsells everything here and Fusion is doing so well because the Ford dealers are discounting them heavily to dissuade lookers from buying a Camry.  A young military couple was considering a Camry but when the Ford sales manager found this out he undercut the price of the Camry and sold the Fusion for damn near cost. Just to prevent these kids from buying a Camry! That’s a deal you just can’t refuse.  But after those sixty payments are over and done with, will that Fusion be worth as much as the Camry?  Based on past comparisons I doubt it.  Then it is all over, but the crying.  In my area, Hyundai is shooting themselves in the foot.  There just aren’t enough of them on dealers’ lots. And what there is, the dealers are not discounting and they are undervaluing the trade-ins.  Malibu is not a player since the rental companies have tons of them at the airport. Honda just doesn’t discount, and Nissan’s Altima appeals only to aficionados, with their CVT . No one in their right mind would buy a CVT, given the problems all CVTs have with both the cones and the steel belt. There’s a rich history that goes all the way back to the original DAF CVT.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It’s pretty typical for all dealers to undercut prices of one another to beat the competition.  We’ve been undercut by the local Toyota dealer on Corollas vs Focuses a number of times.   In the past, you would have been absolutely right regarding resale value, but Ford’s has been shooting up faster than pretty much anyone else’s (though Hyundai is doing very well there too).  KBB has several Ford vehicles in their list of the best resale values of each segment, and NADA reports show equally equipped Fusions selling at auction for more than Camrys.
       
      Nissan has done so much work with their CVTs that I wouldn’t be worried about one.  I think you would be surprised how many buyers don’t even care what kind of transmission is in the car (as long as it is an automatic).  If anything, aficionados are the ones who dislike CVTs due to their ‘artificial’ feel, most regular Joes seem to like how smooth they are.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “…will that Fusion be worth as much as the Camry?” Don’t tell Mike Rowe that!

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      If Altimas are only selling to ‘aficionados’ then there sure are a lot of those. Did you notice that 37k+ Altimas sold last month (good for 4th place)?
      Maybe you don’t like CVTs, but that doesn’t seem to be dragging down Nissan’s sales much.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Personally, I don’t care what people choose to buy or drive.  I’m not the one paying for it. But to all the buyers of CVTs, they have my sympathy.  One need not be a car-nut to look up the history of the CVT since its inception. For Christmas, my daughter and her family rented a 2010 Altima to drive from California to our location, and even she complained that the engine always seemed to be racing. That could be because it was loaded down heavily with packages, coolers, food and drink for the kids, etc. Mileage was a respectable 24mpg on her trip but she isn’t going to trade her 2006 Camry in for a new Altima. As with all things, we’ll let history decide how good the CVT is and how well the Fusion keeps its value. I agree with Nullo, most people don’t care what they buy, until it breaks down.  Then they care a lot!  Just because a bunch of people buy an Altima, or a Camry or an Accord or a Sonata today isn’t an indication of how well they hold up or keep their value.  For that, we have to look to the historical facts over the last five years or ten years, and base our future buying decisions on that.  To do otherwise is just foolish.  Maybe that’s why we bought a new 2008 Jap-built Highlander Limited AWD and a 2011 Tundra SR5 DC.  As they say, different strokes for different folks. But a little research goes a long way.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Once again, the difference between the Canadian and American markets is striking. In Canada last year, for example, the top 7 vest selling cars were compacts (or sub-compacts): 1. Civic, 2. Mazda3, 3. Corolla, 4. Elantra, 5. Cobolt. 6. Accent. 7. Focus. The best selling mid-size, i.e., the Fusion, only came in at number 8 overall, just below the Focus. (This excludes trucks and SUV’s, but the way).  I’m not sure what this says, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
     

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ philosophil..I’m sure of what this says. Its says $4.70 a gallon. I live 40 miles from downtown Toronto. In my area a decent house will run you $275K and up. 10 miles closer to the city,and your looking at $325K. Closer again and your seeing $400 to $700 K.

    Right…so thousands of people bite the bullet and commute at $4.70 a gallon. They ain’t driving no Yukon. The alternative is buying a 900 sq ft downtown condo. For a half of million $ they might throw in a tiny parking spot.

    For many years Toronto was managed by car haters. Less roads, poorly maintained, and lots of bike paths/lanes. This results in chronic grid lock. Without a doubt the small car is one heck of lot more user friendly.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      For many years Toronto was managed by car haters. Less roads, poorly maintained, and lots of bike paths/lanes. This results in chronic grid lock. Without a doubt the small car is one heck of lot more user friendly.
       
      I have to clarify this: it’s not that Toronto was managed by “car haters” (no matter how much that jives with Rob Ford’s preconceptions and energizes his fan base), it’s that Toronto is much too big , much too dense and, most notably, much too old to deal with traffic in the same way that Durham, Peel or Vaughan have.
       
      I lived in residence at UofT for two years, at Dupont and Bathurst for two years, and out at Bloor & Jane for eight.**  Short of bulldozing half the city (and all of the city that most people commute to) there’s nothing you could do to make traffic better.  “Car-hating” policies that get vehicles off the road is really the only solution.  You could remove every speedbump and fill in every pothole, double the width of the Gardiner, add four more lanes to the 401, double the DVP (good luck with that!) and restart the Spadina expressway: you’d still have gridlock.  Recall that the TTC ferries something like half a million people per day, and GO does near the same volume.  You absolutely cannot put all those people in cars.
       
      It’s a completely different development requirement than “car friendly” Durham or Peel—or even the outliers of Scarborough and North York—which only need to funnel people onto and off of the 401 twice a day, and who were laid out accordingly in, perhaps, the last 5-40 years.
       
      In a metropolis you have to “hate cars” a bit in order to have a functioning road system.  It comes across, if you’ll forgive the term, as “armchair quarterbacking” for people in rural or sub-urban areas to criticize the “car hating” policies of Toronto, New York or London when a “traffic jam” in their burg means, at most, a five or ten-minute delay because of a single accident at the only intersection.
       
      ** I don’t live there now because, as you correctly note, a $700K home in Toronto would buy me a former grow-op or student rental, whereas I paid a third of that to live in a smaller, independent city.  Half a million buys a lot of gas, that’s not the issue, but it doesn’t buy me a time machine, which is why I took a job outside of the GTA.

  • avatar
    snabster

    It means Canadians are cheap, gas is more expensive, and houses cost more.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Let’s break these out by retail sales only…the Accord would easily be number two.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Exactly.

      While these are 2010 percentages, the 2011 figures are probably similar.

      Fleet Mix %

      Malibu – 32.2%
      Fusion – 31.2%
      Altima – 19.1%
      Camry – 17.3%
      Sonata – 11.1%
      Accord – 4.1%

      The Impala’s fleet mix % was 72.6%,  but it doesn’t belong on this chart (anymore than the Maxima, Taurus, etc.).

      Hard nos.-wise, there were:

      68364 Fusions
      63935 Malibus
      56799 Camrys
      43707 Altimas
      21738 Sonatas
      11525 Accords

      that went into fleet.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/the-truth-about-the-ten-best-selling-sedans-of-2010/

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Then one has to factor in things like manufacturer incentives, amount of dealer discounting, size of dealer network, etc.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Don’t forget that cars also cost significantly more in Canada than in the U.S.. I’ve done a lot of research on this, and I have learned that most mid-size and larger vehicles (including most crossovers) cost anywhere from $3,000-$6,000 more in Canada than in the U.S. (and the difference can be even higher than that on some premium and luxury models). On the other hand, most compact and subcompact cars usually cost from $2,000-$3,000 more in Canada than the U.S.. So generally speaking the margin of difference in cost between compact and sub-compact cars is smaller than the margin of difference in cost for many mid-size and higher models (the Ford Fusion is a notable exception here, by the way, as is the Mustang–both of which have Canadian prices that are much closer to their U.S. prices than many other similar mid-size models)
     
    So the point is, I guess, that when you compare Canadian and American prices, Canadian seem to get more value for their dollar with compact and sub-compact cars than they do with many mid-size and higher cars. Also, because of the higher prices of cars in Canada, car payments will generally take a larger chunk of a person’s income in Canada than in the U.S., and this may prohibit many people from buying larger, even more expensive models and types.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Good to see the Altima making some volume.  It’s a much, much better car than people realize, and it was doing the “better than the Camry/Accord” thing well before the Sonata and Fusion saw the light of day.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      A friend had a 2003 Altima. It was a great-looking car, and he liked the way it drove, but it had experienced several major problems by 100,000 miles. From a reliability and quality standpoint, Nissan wasn’t quite there yet (“there” meaning Honda and Toyota levels) when his car was built.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      psarhjinian:
       
      I have to disagree.
       
      I dont think Altima is much better at all. This is a car that’s coming on 10yrs old. Its basically the same frame as the 02 with very little updates or changes. Yes it had the interior touched and the sheet metal has been slightly altered.. but this is the same car from 02.
       
      It was supposed to be the “sportier japanese car.. against Camcord”. But now that most of what they sell is the 2.5ltr strippers in shiny primer or beige. I don’t see how 199lease on a stripper sales says its a better car.
       
      Personally,
      I had one of these as a rental 10 or so years ago and i thought it was a fantastic design that I wished more would go for. But now the Altima SE-R is the only desirable vehicle.. and its just as boring and as bland as it gets.
       
      Altima needs to me woken up.. just like MAXIMA. (Just not as fat.)

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The current Altima is, despite sitting on the same FF-L bones as the previous one, a much better car.  If you wrote it off in 2002-06 it really warrants another look.
       
      It’s got most of the Camry’s ride-and-noise and most of the 6′s fun-to-drive nature.  The Fusion, arguably, is a better ride, still, but is more compromised in seating and ergonomics, as is the new Sonata.  What it doesn’t have is the prior generation’s terrible plastics.  Other than rear-seat room, I’d be pressed to say what it’s competition really has over it.  Nissan could Maxima-ize it, but why?  They already have a the Maxima for people who want an Altima with kidney-punch suspension and over-wrought styling.
       
      One important point we need to realize is that none of these cars are “sporty”.  The last “sporty” midsizer was the first-generation Mazda6, and even it was more “sophisticated” the “sporty” in it’s ride, and the prior Altima wasn’t sporty except in a “mash the go-pedal” sort of way that was remarkable in 2002 but par for the course now.  The Sonata, 6 and Fusion aren’t “sportier” than the Accord.  The Malibu?  No way.  The Camry?  You could make a case for the SE, but very few people do.
       
      We’re talking about different flavours of vanilla, here.  “Sporty” doesn’t exist in this class.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Government Motors dumps a few more rentabus to fleets and they’ll take the lead for sure.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    The Honda Accord is the best Buick ever built.


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States