OT: Car Choices?

Submitted by icefins26 on August 23rd, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Way off topic but I thought I'd reach out to the MGoSphere for help on my new car.  I am currently in a 2009 Subaru Legacy (which I love, by the way) but my lease is up next month.  I got a helluva deal on my Legacy and the 2011's don't have any deals going.  I am debating between a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2010/2011 Ford Fusion, 2010/2011 Toyota Camry or a 2010/2011 Nissan Altima.

Anyone able to comment on these choices from experience?  And help would be greatly appreciated!



August 23rd, 2010 at 11:42 AM ^

I'm driving a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and its the best car I've ever owned. Great acceleration and handling, comfortable, great Sony stereo and 40.0 mpg.


August 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

If you end up going the hybrid model, get the Mercury Milan instead of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.  Mercury is offering a 1500 dollar rebate on the Milan Hybrid.  I have a black 2010 Milan hybrid and it is a great car.  Rides smooth, a lot of interior room, quiet ride, however, you do lose 1/3rd of your trunk space with a hybrid.  Filling up for gas every 2.5 weeks is very nice, and hybrids hold their value longer. 


August 23rd, 2010 at 4:13 PM ^

Mt friend who is a Euro snob when it comes to cars, recently said that he would get the Fusion.  Ford is doing many things right.  I even heard that the Fiesta is a nice car for younger generation.


August 23rd, 2010 at 4:46 PM ^

My family will only buy Ford family cars, which was fine when I thought I could wait until after graduation to sell my 95 Mercury and buy a year-old Fiesta, but we fear the Mercury's already on its last leg and another winter in Ann Arbor could end in us scrapping it. I have until Friday to get another Ford or Mercury (2004 or later) with reasonable mileage for less than 8K, and I hate driving the older Foci and Tauruses. After Friday, I go back to Michigan, where I can't register a car without Michigan no-fault insurance, which I don't want to go through the trouble of paying for.  Please advice?


August 23rd, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

or an escape, I know a few people with escapes, they stand by them. Get the FWD version. 

FWD-based Four-WD is worthless anyway.

An escape should run you between $8-10k (2006, FWD, 4cyl)


And the first gen Fusion (base) should also be right around $8k. 


They're based off the same platform (IE, they're the same car) just the one is taller


August 23rd, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

but I wouldn't get either of those with only 4cyl, my little sister has an 01 Focus that I absolutely hated driving because it felt like the accelerator did nothing. Also, the 8k is coming from a $4,000 bond I have and the $4,000 I think I could get from my dad, but I really doubt he'd help me out more than that. If I can find one with a V6 for <$8,000 that isn't red (I have a completely rational dislike of scarlet) and also has <100k miles, that'd be awesome. 

/pickiest pauper ever.

Feat of Clay

August 23rd, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

We were long-time loyal Honda drivers but when we replaced my Accord last fall, we went for a 2010 fusion hybrid.  Love that car.  The mileage is spectacular in city driving and pretty damned impressive on the highway. 

The sync system could use some work.  Only complaint we've had, really.

ND Sux

August 23rd, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

but of course I respect everyone's right to do otherwise.  I will say that the Ford Fusion gets pretty high marks for its class.  Test drive and compare options/prices...it will serve you well. 

I'm on my 2nd Dodge Avenger and absolutely love it. 

Good luck to you!!!! 


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

Erm, to each his own, but, in all honesty, what does it really mean to "Buy American" these days anyways, when all major car manufacturers are multi-national corporation?

Even if they're headquartered in the US, chances are much of their manufacturing is done elsewhere.

And vice versa, car corporations that are foreign have factories in the US.

Then there's always the issue of parts suppliers and whatnot.  

The auto industry is truly international now, so the very idea of buying American is pretty much obsolete.

(EDIT:  Clicked on the wrong button.  This was intended as a reply to pullin4blue's post below.)

Feat of Clay

August 23rd, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

Yes, if workers at foreign-owned plants here in the U.S. just do so out of the goodness of their hearts, without drawing a paycheck.

The profits may end up in Japan, but some chunk of your money is going to American workers and American suppliers, and that gets spent ( and respent) primarily here at home.

I owned a Honda built in Ohio and now own a Fusion built in Mexico.  I may get fewer dirty looks driving the Fusion (which is an awesome car, I agree) but it's not clear to me that it is worlds better than the other in terms of the US Economy.


August 23rd, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

Depends on the company.  My Mazda is "foreign" even though Ford is a major stockholder in the company, so a lot of the money goes back to them.  Right now, a Ford is an excellent purchase because they are turning out top end cars, but purchasing something because it is American does not promote improvement in our auto industry.  The big three got to glide and put out sub-par products for a long time because of this, and only now are they making up for it.  You should buy the car you want because it is the best car for you, and not for any other reason.


August 23rd, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

Toyota is the most "American" car company in the world today.

Sorry, GM.



The term "American car company" has little to no validity anymore.


August 23rd, 2010 at 1:38 PM ^

on average.  This basically includes all the parts involved in making the cars.  Honda is not too bad; they use about 55% American parts (compared to 66% for Detroit 3).  Toyota only uses around 33% and the Germans hardly use any at all.  The fact kit for the site below has some decent info about where cars are made and who employs American workers.



August 23rd, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

The only thing I can say about that list is BUY AMERICAN.  Aside from that, the Ford product really has improved so much that you would actually be buying the best car on the list anyway.


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

The Camry.  You'll probably find it is the highest rated amongst that group on the major internet sites.

Also, it will probably have the highest resale value (which is irrelevant if you are choosing to lease again).


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

because it determines what the lease-end value should be (I say "should" because several of the car companies would prop up the lease end and take the loss later to get more cars out the door now).  The lease end value directly impacts the cost to lease -- higher lease-end value, and you are "renting" less of the car over the period.  As perceived car quality improved, the Ford Fusion's resale value increased and due to recalls and perceived value decreasing, the resale value of the Camry has gone down.  Toyota can negate that effect by ignoring the real lease-end value and using an artificially high on to keep the lease payments down, but it is still relevant.


August 23rd, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

I just bought my last car at the end of the lease because the blue book value was significantly higher than the lease-end value.  In the end, given what I paid during the lease and the purchase option price, it was a good deal.  I have had them go the other way, too, and just turned them in. 


August 24th, 2010 at 7:23 AM ^

But I'm assuming that the OP has or will perform his due dilligence and will understand the terms of the lease for each vehicle before making his decision.  Resale value may affect the terms, which are negotiable to some extent, but it is a direct concern of the lender and not the lessee.


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:48 AM ^

The Sonata will give you the best value for the price, and has come a long way towards matching and exceeding the others in terms of both interior quality and driving experience. You could probably also get a good deal on a Toyota, but they are extremely boring IMO. The Altima is towards the end of its product cycle and could probably also be had for a good price. 


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

is completely awesome. I had one leased until that ran out, and prior to that I drove a few others, including a Camry which was completely gutless. Maybe there was something wrong with that one, I don't know, but getting it going was more a matter of gathering speed than accelerating.


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

I also have the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and agree with Engin77 that it is the best car I've ever owned.  Now my father is a Ford retiree so I'm a little biased, but I've owned/leased a 2003 Ford Focus, 2006 Ford Explorer, 2007 Ford Edge, and now the Fusion and this is by far my favorite vehicle.  BTW, I'm getting about 39MPGs.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

I almost didn't, but now I'm really glad I did. The map is large enough on the console display that you can actually navigate with it, without the turn-by-turn directions, if you choose.

I don't usually like voice recognition apps, the the Sync's voice recognition is really well done. Push a button, say "Phone", it prompts with "Command?" and I say "Call at home." and it dials!


August 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

When I purchased my car, I was in Hawaii.  The selection was limited and none of them had the Navigation system.  I use the GPS off my Droid so I'm okay with that instead of the Sync voice navigation.  I wish I had gotten the Navigation system.  I did get almost every other feature (BLIS, Reverse Sensing System/ Camera in Rear View Mirror, Leather Seats).


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I've had long rants here before (and could probably type out another one quickly if you want an explanation) but I don't trust their reviews of cars for shit. If you want car reviews, read a car magazine: Auto week, Automobile, Motor Trend, etc.

That said, Drive all the cars you're interested in, and put them through their paces. Floor it, stomp the brakes, park it. Set the front seat where you'll drive it, then sit behind it and see if you'll fit (accurate gage of leg room between the different cars) Other than that, just try to experience the cars as best as you can, your opinion is what matters most. 


August 23rd, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I've got a 2008 Fusion and I love it. I have to say that Sync is worth its weight in gold, especially now that laws are beginning to crack down on cell phone use in cars. I have recommended Fusions to two people and Sync to numerous others in Ford cars and I have received glowing reviews back once they took my advice.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

Korea cars have massively stepped up their game since the mid 2000s, but they've yet to spike the price to match.  So odds are that is the best value for your dollar.  The Ford is also a solid choice and an excellent American made product.  Test drive those two and go from there.

(If you live in Michigan, the Ford has the advantage of not getting you dirty looks from your neighbors.  The Genesis sedan my GF rolls tends to evoke hatred from my autoworker neighbors.)


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

i guess i'm biased because i have a 2009 subaru legacy also.  i'm not 100% sure how it works for leasing but i know when you buy a brand new subaru you get a sizeable discount if you are a member of the Leave No Trace organization.  i think i got 1000-1500 off when i got mine (LNT website says between 1300 and 3300 off).  maybe check into becoming a member or ask the dealership about how that will work with leasing a car.   http://www.lnt.org/programs/subaruVIP.php

Edit: oops you need to be a member for 6 months before buying your car, didn't see that caveat.  


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

I work at Ford dealer in Sales I will give you Xplan pricing friends and family. Buy a Ford they have the best products and it is owned by a American company


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

there isn't a single car there in that list that would qualify to be "American" and yet by some criteria every car on that list could claim to be "American".


That is the dumbest criteria to use when buying a car. That being said, the Fusion is fantastic on its own right. It doesn't need any pity votes....it kicks ass just fine in a fair fight.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

When you buy a foreign car the big $ go back to the homeland etc.  If you buy a Ford or GM the $ stay in the US and in the pockets of more Americans.  American company, I don't believe, means the vehicle was built in America.  GM has plants in China. However, the earnings coming back to America for R&D, Engineering, Design etc.  Go Blue!!!


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

it. You would be suprised by the percentage of your car price that goes to the tons of Tier-1 and Tier-2 &3 suppliers in Detroit.

You are flat out wrong about the flow of money. When you buy a camry here, it goes on the books of Toyota USA and they pay taxes here. They use American suppliers, they support American dealers, and American mechanics in the service shops.

Most people don't realize that stating "American car" as a reason to buy one actually hurts the brand value of good cars like the Fusion. The majority of the people look at that and go "Oh that probably means it is not as good as the other cars and people are buying it only because it is American".

The Fusion truly kicks ass in a open fight....no need for any Handicaps.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:51 PM ^

between where it is assembled and where it is made. Fords parts atte mostly manufactured in the US, partly world sourced, but assembled in US, Canada, or Mexico.
Kia's and Hyundai's are assembled here, but with parts entirely from korea. Fords are much better for or economy because of parts source. And I think the fusion is assembled here. Maybe not, but I am mostly positive the hybrid drivetrains are assembled here.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

It all depends what your looking for. The fusion gets good gas mileage and at the same time looks decent. The hyundai is an ok car nothing fancy. The altima is a sporty car and it looks great. I would def go with the altima.


August 23rd, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

'09 Fusion owner here. Love the car. I wish I would have waited and got a 2010 model but regardless, it is a great car, and Sync is awesome. Got the upgraded stereo system and it is the best Non-Custom sound system I have ever heard. Fusion gets rave reviews from most all sources.