By on August 11, 2017

2018 Honda Accord

One reason why this post was published Wednesday instead of earlier in the week is that I was at a Chicago-area event where Honda PR was presenting the all-new Accord to local media.

This particular presentation was unusual in that Honda focused less on the new car’s specs and features and more on a major question that’s hovering over the midsize-sedan class – namely, will the segment even exist in a few years? Or will crossovers (CUVs) have fully taken over by then?

It’s an important question for Honda (and any automaker, really), and it’s obvious that reporters are asking why Honda would spend resources on redesigning a midsize sedan when the crossover market is so damn hot.

Honda, of course, pushed back by reminding assembled media that we’re talking Accord here, and it’s one of the best-selling cars of all-time, one of the most well-known nameplates, a bread-and-butter car for the brand, one of the most heavily awarded cars of all time, et cetera. So why wouldn’t the brand stay with a car that does such volume, even if the rest of the segment is seeing a decline?

The company has a point – it never occurred to me that Honda would give up on Accord (or Toyota give up on Camry) despite the shift in market trends. Those two models are just too damn popular.

It was a different point of pushback that caught my ear. The company spokesman giving the presentation politely suggested that journalists are buying into the midsize deathwatch narrative a little too easily, because it’s easy to see a near 20-percent decline and say, “Well that’s it, the trend will continue and the segment will die.” Never mind that the trend could stop or even reverse in future years.

What’s interesting is looking at what cars have left the midsize segment in the past couple of years – or are about to. It’s a small number. Mitsubishi no longer has an offering there because the company is barely alive in the North American market. Volkswagen is planning the CC’s death, but a replacement is on the way. And while focusing on trucks and SUVs was part of the reasoning behind FCA’s choice to kill the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, it’s only one reason why those two cars are dead and soon to be dead.

Those two models were killed in part because they failed to compete at a high enough level to justify investment, and FCA felt it better to focus in the short term on building models that sell. The company’s struggles dictated this – FCA simply had to concentrate its efforts on its best-sellers in ways other OEMs haven’t had to. The 200 also lacked rear headroom – a fatal flaw in this class – and it’s possible Sergio Marchionne wanted to pare the lineup down in order to merge with another automaker.

Automakers aren’t yet fleeing the midsize segment, then. Both the Camry and Accord are fully redesigned for this year and Nissan’s Altima is expected to follow suit in short order. Other vehicles in the segment have been recently refreshed.

Yet just about every journalist, pundit and analyst has predicted the death of the midsize sedan (we haven’t, exactly. As we state in our Midsize Sedan Deathwatch pieces: “The midsize sedan as we know it — “midsizedus sedanicus” in the original Latin — isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but the ongoing sales contraction will result in a reduction of mainstream intermediate sedans in the U.S. market. How do we know? It already has.”)

However, I think it’s important to note that “decline” does not equal “death.”

What I mean by that is while the segment is likely to see fewer sales unless consumer tastes shift back (keep an eye on gas prices, and yes, I know crossovers are much more fuel-efficient than before), and while a model or two may disappear, the segment isn’t likely to.

What’s more likely, in my view, is that midsize segment will simply no longer be the dominant class.

It’s human nature to overreact to trends. Think about the aging athlete who has a bad year and is assumed to be too old to be any good anymore. Sometimes, that’s the case, but sometimes it’s just an off year and her or she bounces right back the next season. Other times he or she is no longer dominant but still can perform at a high level. Either way, a decline doesn’t always signify the end.

That’s what I think will happen to the midsize segment. The rumors of its death have been exaggerated.

Still, there is concern outside of what we called the “big three” – Accord, Camry and Nissan Altima. As Tim noted before, the non-big-three midsizers are suffering.

While I won’t be saying prayers for the Malibu or Fusion anytime soon, that news could be worrisome for Subaru Legacy and Mazda6 fans. The good news is that the Legacy was just refreshed, and since it shares architecture with the Outback, it’s likely safe for now.

As for the 6, Mazda already told us they had no intent, for now, of killing it. But as Tim noted in that piece, it’s not just about sales numbers but about profit. On the other hand, the 6’s driving dynamics live up to Mazda’s chosen “zoom zoom” identity, and the company could keep the 6 around just for that reason, even if the profit equation isn’t so favorable.

It’s clear that for Honda, Toyota and Nissan, everything is still relatively rosy in the midsize segment. But with 35 percent fewer nameplates in the class than there were a decade ago, and with almost 20 percent of CUV conquests coming from the midsize class, things do look a little dire.

Dire doesn’t mean dead, though. The midsize segment isn’t going anywhere, nor is the Accord. Adjust expectations accordingly, but don’t start the funeral dirge just yet.

[Image: Honda]

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77 Comments on “Honda Declares the Midsize Car Alive As It Prepares to Launch Next Accord...”


  • avatar
    phreshone

    At 105.3 ft3 of passenger volume, the current Accord is no longer a midsize, but has made the full-sized car redundant.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Most mid-sizers have grown to the point where there is little need for the full size (love my full size though). You are correct in that the Accord is probably the largest mid-sizer.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        My Charger has materially less usable space than my 9th Gen Accord and is more difficult to enter and exit.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        Look at that roof line. In the back seat, if you’re over 6 feet or so, you’re going to be slumped down or leaned over.

        Like I said before: we’ve reached a point where even compact sedans have enough leg room, and even full-size sedans don’t have enough head room (with the honorable exception of the Chrysler 300, the most retro sedan on the market).

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          No, there will be headroom. Your tailbone will be barely above your ankles and your knees will be neck-high, but there will be headroom in that position. That’s why 4-door pickups are the new full size car.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        I bought my Hyundai Sonata because it had the biggest interior of any car I could find that wasn’t an oversized luxury mobile.

        The only car that equaled it was the Cadillac XTS.

        The Sonata is bigger than the 2 cars above it in hyundais ladder: The Azera (which doesn’t seem to have a place anymore as its outsized and out optioned by the sonata) and even the G80.

        Yes the G90 is still bigger, but thats a beast, as area the huge cars like the 7 series and whatnot.

        Its an odd trend, but its not just there. The Honda Civic has more legroom than the current accord if I recall. The Fusion has more room than the Taurus.

        When I was shopping for a car I found it really confusing that a Taurus, Maxima, G80, and Azera were all too small but the Fusion,and Sonata were fine.

        The world just doesn’t make anymore sense.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    As long as there are elderly widows the Accord will exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Elderly widows jumped ship to CUVs before almost anybody else did. The only Accords that any of them own were inherited from their husband when he passed, whereupon they dealer maintain it for the next 12 years and 40,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Where did you see the widows that like a car with an engine that revs to 7000RPM, one of the noisiest interiors, and a manual transmission (at least as an option)? Accord has been one of the most fun mainstream sedans to actually _drive_ on the road for decades. Recall the time when Ford and Chevy sold sedans with pushrod engines and 4-speed automatics when Hondas had revy VTEC and much better transmissions (including manuals)? Well, the widows you speak of, are still driving those antiquated American cars I bet.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Jacob,

        in your other comment you basically said that Mazda6 is not quicker than Accord with 2.4. Just stop this already. Mazda IS quicker, period

        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-mazda-6-in-depth-model-review-2017-mazda-6-performance-and-driving-impressions-review-car-and-driver-page-4

      • 0 avatar
        doug-g

        Honda is today’s Oldsmobile. It’s your mother’s Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      >As long as there are elderly widows the Accord will exist.

      That would be the Camry.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Tim Cain has excitedly leapt on any data showing the imminent death of the mid size car outside of the big 3. I am glad you are more level headed and agree with Honda that a decline doesn’t mean death and doesn’t mean it will continue forever.
    Also as you say smaller players like Subaru have refreshed their cars and Mazda will stick with the 6 because it uses the same platform as the CX5 and sell worldwide so focusing on US and Canada only paints a overly pessimistic picture.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Except Tim explicitly stated that the segment isn’t going to end, that it’s in a state of decline and that we should expect to see smaller players bow out, which has happened.

      His statement was quoted in this very article for clarification.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Yes he has that boilerplate text at the start of his series. Although the title is deathwatch. He does think many of the smaller players – Subaru, Mazda, VW etc will leave. On that I disagree with him.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Of course they aren’t going to die out completely, that is just silly. Even in Europe, where non-premium sedans of all sizes have been sales poison for decades, there are enough elderly pensioners to sell a few here and there. The most popular will carry on selling a fraction of what they did in their heyday. The also-rans will probably die out.

      I’d just as soon see the end of the useless things. I despise CUVs, but I would buy one before a sedan, because even if they are mostly dynamically awful, they are at least somewhat useful. Thankfully it hasn’t come to that.

      And really, THAT is the new Accord?!? That front end is… unfortunate. It looks like it got a good hard kick in the teeth. What are they putting in the tea they are giving designers these days? They have gone from boring to willfully hideous.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        Unfortunately, if you need a design that is aerodynamic (for fuel economy) *and* meets the absurd European pedestrian protection standards, there are only a few ways to do so effectively – and they’re pretty much all butt-ugly. This Accord isn’t nearly as bad as many others I’ve seen (e.g. the insane Lexus front grille).

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          This is correct. Doesn’t there have to be 3 feet or something between the bottom of the hood and the top of the engine or something? That really makes it difficult to design an attractive vehicle that isn’t a truck or CUV.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The “near 20-percent decline” is really more like 33%, since the 55% share in 2009 is now down to 37%.

    It’s also worth noting that Hyundai/Kia retain a notable presence in the segment, although both entries have gotten smashed this year.

    • 0 avatar
      saturnotaku

      When Hyundai throws up to $6,750 cash on the hood of a Sonata and still can’t move more than 10,000 in a month, that’s a bad sign. Still, it was enough to entice my folks into getting one – a fully loaded 2.4 Limited that cost them $23k and change out the door on a sticker price of more than $33k.

  • avatar
    Heavymetal_Hippie

    This new Accord is beautiful to look at. But its an answer to a question no one asked. It won’t sell, not until massive dealer incentives pile on. And even then, it will sit around on lots.

    Many of us soon-to-be-former Honda fans are waiting around for the company to come back to *leading* the market with innovative and [gasp!] fun products again. But the company has become too conservative, too leaning on the “reliability” reputation. That doesn’t cut it anymore. All new (non German) cars today are reliable. Honda has lost any vision or direction.

    A good example is the lame attempt at selling a pickup truck to Americans. The Ridgeline misses the styling entirely. It is hideous! Minivan suspension. Body on frame. Sedan sitting position. And that front grill is a mess.

    Meanwhile, Toyota literally cannot build Tacomas fast enough right now. They’re not just struggling to build enough trucks – demand is so high, Toyota’s struggling to build enough *plants* to build the truck! And the Ridgeline? A weird curiosity that automotive writers noted, but truck buyers laughed off as a ridiculous minivan-camino. What did Toyota do with the Tacoma that Honda missed with the Ridgeline?

    [Don’t even get me started on the design embarrassment that is the Civic R…]

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “This new Accord is beautiful to look at.”

      The headlights are beautiful. The nose looks like it was in an accident.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      A lot of hyperbole here, where to start…how about the fun remark, ask Mazda if fun sells.

      • 0 avatar
        RedRocket

        The Mazda 6 has 2 main problems: 1. It’s slow. 2. It feels cramped inside.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Red – incorrect on both points. It’s acceleration is mid pack as is it’s space. It is a perfectly competitive sedan. It doesn’t sell because of a lack of incentives (built and shipped from Japan), limited advertising and dealer network.

          • 0 avatar
            readallover

            mike – incorrect on both points. It doesn`t sell because ITS TOO DAMN LOUD INSIDE THE CABIN. Americans won`t put up with the NVH and Mazda has simply been too stubborn to address the issue until the last year or so.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            How am I incorrect on the space and acceleration points when you compare it to the other mainstream sedans which are comparable. It isn’t either the slowest or smallest.
            Agree on NVH, it isn’t terrible but not is it class leading. Next 6 will be better based on the improvements to class leading for the CX5 and CX9.

          • 0 avatar
            Jacob

            Mazda is not midpack if it can’t out accelerate even a Honda Accord with a base 2.4L engine. Forget the comparisons with turbo-4 or V6 engined sedans. And it shows. Barely anyone buys those things. Aggressive styling gets them only so far.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Red rocket,

          Why you spreading false info here? Why do you call Mazda6 slow. It is fastest in its class http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-mazda-6-in-depth-model-review-2017-mazda-6-performance-and-driving-impressions-review-car-and-driver-page-4

          Camry and Accord are new now. And Mazda redesign will come with that compression engine. So, for 2017 Mazda6 is the fastest 4cyl mid-sizer

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      “This new Accord is beautiful to look at.” OMG. It looks like some one took a sawzall to the front grill after a minor fender bender and found some scrap laying around to make a fugly creation. That thing is horrid!

      ….. and yes, as long as there are retired wealthy widows, the Accord will sell.

      … and retired school teachers will buy new Prius’

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        My initial thought was “they’ve hired somebody from the GM Buick design studio to handle this one”

      • 0 avatar
        210delray

        What the current Camry, Accord, and Altima need to do is drop the hokey gaping maw grilles with excessive plastichrome, bring back smaller more conservative grilles and real bumpers (chrome-plated steel would be nice, but I’m dreaming). Put air intake slots under the bumpers if necessary for proper cooling.

        Don’t even ask me what I think about the front-end design of today’s pickups!

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          ^ This!

          The head designer of the Accord looked like some sort of hipster freak, so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised that the Accord is a dog’s breakfast in spots, since the same mindset causes Cadillac to value high-end coffee and other things that DW and others have lamented ad nauseum, instead of things like quality, and making a product people might buy!

          (Can’t wait for Sajeev’s critique once the Accords hit dealers.)

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      And yet I’m not hearing of Honda exactly having much issue selling the Ridgeline.

      As for sedans, while it is true that CUVs/SUVs have stormed the beaches and continue to do so in waves, the sedan won’t go anywhere soon. I have one (admittedly alongside a small(er) SUV). And folks like my mother prefer the size of a sedan to any SUV. Nameplates like the Accord and Camry aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. We may see a continued contraction of the number of different offerings in that category, but the category itself is sticking around.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      I think the Accord will not have any problems selling. Not a big fan of the turbo engines only but I forgive them due to the manual transmission available in for both engines. You won’t see too many incentives. After a year or so you will see some low interest for loans but that’s about it. I do think there will be more cross shopping then ever since the 2018 Camry is one of the nicest Toyota ever.
      You are right about the current Ridgeline though…it is a visual abomination. It does sell well enough for Hondas expectations. Honda never expected to dethrone the Tacoma. The Civic sells very well among its peers and doesn’t have much competition.
      As for the Tacoma? Why is Toyota selling so many? I hate to be like Big Al from Oz but I guess, lack of good competition. I think the new Tacoma is the weakest ever. Bad first year reliability, big serious recalls, crap V6 engine, crap driving position. Once the Ranger comes out and the New Frontier comes out, Tacoma sales will slow down considerably.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        I think the current high popularity of midsize pickups indicates there might be a market niche for compact pickups as well – or maybe even El Camino-style utes.

        Hyundai should have brought the Santa Cruz to market. Americans seem to be willing to buy almost anything with a pickup bed – it’s a bet worth making.

    • 0 avatar
      JDG1980

      The Ridgeline is a solid niche seller. It won’t be conquering the pickup truck market any time soon, but it looks to average about 36K sales a year, and these are profitable sales with high retail prices.

      IMO, the big mistake was making the Ridgeline too wide, in an attempt to compete with half-tons. At 79 inches, the Ridgeline is as wide as an F-150. Its bed is 5 feet wide and doesn’t have wheel well intrusion, so they could have made the overall width significantly narrower (70 inches or less) and still been able to lay 4×8 sheet goods flat (which other midsize pickups can’t do).

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      I admittingly am not a lover of pickup trucks and have never towed anything in my life, so to my eyes the Ridgeline looks like a nice compromise. I have two friends who recently bought the new one, as well.

      One is a dad with two kids active in sports, the other is a builder of fine furniture. Neither needed to be able to haul 8,000 lb loads nor overcompensate by commuting in a three-quarter-ton rig. To them, the superior ride, quietness, and roomy back seats swayed them. The furniture maker was smitten with the Tacoma until he drove it back to back with the Ridgeline. He also remarked on the trunk under the bed as a particularly useful feature. Baseball dad filled his bed-trunk with ice and drinks for the whole team a few weeks ago.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Oh, look, it’s a Crosstour that hit a brick wall.

    Seriously, Honda et al., just make it a hatch already. I was looking at something the other day–Giulia? Infiniti something?–and the trunk opening was incredibly small due to the rake of the rear window. These things should just be hatches.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Last weeks news rehashed for this week. The midsized segment isn’t going anywhere, even with less sales.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    10 years ago Hummer was a hot brand. Then 2008 happened. It will come again.

    • 0 avatar
      210delray

      Hummer was a very niche brand and was killed by the Great Recession and GM’s bankruptcy. Very different from today’s most popular midsize sedans. I myself am not giving up on the class and have no plans to buy a CUV or SUV in the future.

      In my wife and I’s 40+ years of vehicle ownership, we have owned only cars — coupes, sedans, 2- and 4-door hatchbacks, and a wagon (plus even one of Zackman’s favorites – a true 2-door hardtop). The sole exception is our current backup vehicle, a 1998 Nissan Frontier small pickup, still going strong, approaching its 19th birthday with us on Aug. 14!

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        I’m completely with you on that on, delray, but quite honestly as I spend my time looking for my next car I find myself looking at SUVs for the first time.

        The simple fact is, we’re getting old. I’d love to have me a Jag F-Type, but I can’t see it getting any easier to get out of that thing as I get older.

        Plus, my wife has joint issues–so it would only be responsible to accept and accommodate that.

        Although, the Infiniti Q70 does a marvelous job of being higher up and easy to get in and out of…

    • 0 avatar
      210delray

      Yes, we’re getting old, and the Frontier is at the perfect ride height just to slide right in and out. Still, with exercise and *trying* to keep our weight down, we still manage to get in and out of our cars with not too much trouble. (It helps also that today’s sedans are taller than those long-low-wide land yachts of the 70s.)

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think the car pictured looks like it has a missing grille?

    • 0 avatar
      210delray

      Precisely, Honda has belatedly joined the trend started by Audi with its horseshoe grille.

      I’d like to see the IIHS restart its bumper impact tests again to show how badly these trendy designs hold up in 5 or 10 mph impacts.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Yes!

        Crunch the bumper on the lawnmower at the back of the garage, or have a rock take out the ACC radar and part of the intercooler under the grille, and you’re looking at a $3K day!

        (Honda had moved that unit behind the front emblem on the 2016-2017s, AFTER having the thing down and to the right before the MMC; haven’t lost MINE, but one of the salesmen at my dealer knows someone with a 2014 Touring who did! Why they moved it back to bottom-center, Heaven knows!)

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        No, but seriously….it looks like the entire grille is missing. BTW, it looks great on Audi. This just looks like someone stole the grille right off the car.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “That’s what I think will happen to the midsize segment. The rumors of its death have been exaggerated.”

    Thank you. Please pass this on to your other writers, the midsize death cult religion they created is very tiresome.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The midsize segment has gotten too large in physical size. The 4th generation (89-93) Accord was 184 inches long and 68 inches wide, while the current generation is 191 inches long and 73 inches wide. The prototypical 2 parent family with 2.3 kids is long gone, so who needs such a big car for commuting and shopping? If more space is needed, then most people buy pickups, CUVs, SUVs, or minivans which are available in many more sizes and configurations than 25 years ago. Chop 10 inches of length and 3 inches in width, bring back big greenhouses and more upright styling, and you might see some growth in the segment again.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Chop 10 inches of length and 3 inches in width, bring back big greenhouses and more upright styling, and you might see some growth in the segment again.”

      And if it were as easy to get into and out of as the 05-09 Prius, or the current Infiniti Q70, they’d have a landslide market of older people buying them.

      The problem is, they’d charge $40K for the silly things. Frankly, the biggest problem with sedan sales today is that new car prices are insane compared to any other consumer good.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      That 4th-Gen was technically a compact. The 2008-2012 may have just hit full-size. The 9th lost a few inches, and the new one a couple more; the width on the new ones is half an inch wider, maybe.

      As was stated, the extra interior room came at the expense of two cylinders in the top trims. :-(

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I would agree with your argument…if sales of compacts, which are basically the cars you’re talking about, were becoming more popular. They aren’t.

      As far as old folks who want cars that are easy to get in and out of are concerned…Buick made them. Remember the LeSabre and Lucerne? There’s a reason Buick isn’t building those anymore: people stopped buying them. Old folks are always going to pop for a higher seating position the easier entry/exit you’ll get in a CUV.

      People have always liked the space and capability of SUVs. The only thing really holding that segment back was that those old vehicles drove like miniature trucks, and were gas pigs. The car based CUV fixed those problems.

      It’s no mystery why the segment has taken off.

      Even if the logic of spending five or ten grand more to get what amounts to a bulked up midsize or compact car with AWD and a hatchback escapes me, I see why people like these so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I hear you man. I own a current generation Accord Sport and I believe it’s about 5% too big. I park it next to my E36 M3 in the garage and the size difference is stark. I shake my head every time I look at it.

      It’s nice that it has a lot of room in the trunk and room on the rear seat floor to drop things here and there but I really don’t need that considering it’s my commuter car that 90% of the time just has me in it. And most families are going CUV as everyone is constantly beating us over the head about. So why so big?

  • avatar
    deanst

    Americans are just catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to midsize sedans. Non-luxury midsizers are rare in Europe and even Canada. The only time you see a Toyota Camry around Toronto is when it has a taxi sign on the roof.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Honda, of course, pushed back by reminding assembled media that we’re talking Accord here”

    They will have to remind often because this doesn’t look like Accord. It looks like Chevy Malibu.

    Now, all this sedan death talk… is all BS. It is temporary trend. At one point it will stop going down.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Death sells papers, which explains why “… journalists are buying into the midsize deathwatch narrative a little too easily, because it’s easy to see a near 20-percent decline and say, “Well that’s it…” .

    But the reality is that midsize sedans still account for over a million sales a year, so the segment isn’t going to die. Not ever. We may see models die off, and we may see more platform sharing, but the auto industry isn’t going to write off a segment that accounts for upwards of a million sales a year.

  • avatar
    Eliyahu

    I read the designer was making the Accord lower and more sexy, meaning lowing the roof line. This type of thinking is one reason why sales of sedans are down and SUVs are up.

    The CR-Vs and RAV-4s are easier to get in and out of for we boomers. Also, they do have rear headroom, and, in some cases, better rear visibility.

    I might have purchased one, but they retain their value better than the 2 year old Accord I bought. I believe my 2014 Accord has very nice lines outside, and the interior is nicely unified, and not haphazard.

    As to the turbos, their prime benefit is MPG in the EPA test cycles. Those results may be wonderful, but real world MPG seems seriously lower. How much of this is caused by a heavy foot on the petal, I’m not sure. I do know that the Escape that I recently rented had pretty low highway MPG. It would go, however, when needed. Maybe this tradeoff is OK, but it seems like a lot of complexity being added for minimal overall benefit.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Don’t underestimate government crash standards in the decline of cars. The ridiculous pedestrian hood crush zone, and door sill requirements that are not going to protect you if you get whacked by a texting soccer mom in big bulk front SUV anyway, have made it very difficult to design an attractive car.

      Look at the new Mustang closely for a few minutes. They did a good job working within the standards they had to address but it looks very pug-nosed and has tiny gun slits for windows.

      But if you didn’t have the low roof lines, you would just have a really tall upright and awkward looking vehicle if you complied with the regulations.

      I think automakers need to work on lowering engine heights and or getting the pedestrian safety standards relaxed. If you’re enough of a dumbass to end up in front of a moving car, then maybe Darwin is trying to tell us something. Just a thought.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Here’s how to save the mid-size car segment. Every trim level comes with standard all-wheel-drive. People buy CUVs because they think they can’t survive without AWD.

  • avatar
    Tennessee_Speed

    I think the death of the mid-size auto is exaggerated for one major reason. Both Camry & Accord in their latest versions have been greatly upgraded by their parent companies. Reading the first drivers reports, it’s obvious that they are far more capable as cars people would like to drive, the Camry especially. The Camry & Accord have not been transformed into sports cars but there has been a major upgrade in handling compared to the dynamic ability of the last generation.
    One issue of concern is that the new cars are lower. The seats are at least one inch lower in the new Camry and I believe the new Accord is lower too. Therefore, older folks may not like them as much. This means that the population that will be buying these new mid-sizers may be younger than before and the mfgs are probably hoping that however many buyers that will be lost will be more than made up by younger folks who appreciate a good handling auto.

  • avatar

    The trend towards SUVs is not the only thing that has caused decline in Detroit sedan sales. One of the main reason for this decline is the superiority of the Camry, Accord, and Altima. These cars are selling at a pace that GM would die for even ten years ago. The Camry alone outsells both Buick and Cadillac combined. This is why these powerful Japanese companies can survive virtually any downturn in the economy. In the next economic downturn both GM and FCA are in deep trouble. I don’t think Chrysler will survive. In hindsight I believe cancelling both the 200 and Dart were a terrible decision made by Chrysler.

    Lets hope Telsa can pull up the slack when GM and FCA go bust.

    Imagine the source of pride there would be if an American manufacturer designed and engineered the Accord.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Why does the edit function disappear so fast now? There’s not enough time to go to the bathroom!


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