Midsize sedans versus full-size sedans

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by Mitlov, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    When I replace my Civic Si, I'm looking for something a lot roomier inside, and with emphasis shifting to quiet and refined instead of overtly sporty. I've been casually looking at both the Impala and the Taurus, both of which are very handsome in my extremely subjective opinion, but then I compared the internal dimensions to the Fusion and Malibu respectively and was shocked to see that they're nearly identical size-wise inside according to the spec sheets.

    First, are these spec sheets misleading? Is there more usable room in full-size sedans than modern midsizers, or not?

    Second, are there long-term benefits to full-size sedans in terms of build quality, solidity, how they hold up over time? Can't really tell that from a ten-minute test drive.

    Third, anyone here owned an Impala, Taurus (the full-sizer, not the midsizer by the same name), or Charger/300 and want to share your experiences, positive or negative?
     
  2. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    I'm judging between the differences in my 05 Altima (mid-sized) and my mom's '11 Avalon (full-sized).

    From what I can tell, the only noticeable difference is the cabin volume. Her car feels a fair bit wider on the inside than my car, allowing more space between passengers on each row. That, and (unless I'm mistaken) her cabin is just a bit longer than mine, so leg room in the back is better in her car than mine. As for cargo, there's not too much difference between our trunks' capacities. This is an extremely small sample size though, so my post might just be utter crap :p. That said though, my two cents is that I don't see much of a reason to differentiate between mid- and full-sized anymore, as it seems like the only "true" full-sized sedans are luxury brand boats like the BMW 7 series.
     
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  3. booboo12

    booboo12 Notebook Prophet

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    I know I'm late as hell but I'll chime in....

    The Taurus is notoriously tight inside. It's all due to the design of the interior - the center console is really high for a cockpit type feel, the door cards are pretty close to you, the windows are "chopped". People wanted a bunker type feel apparently to "feel safe" so there ya go.

    The immediate predecessor on the same platform (the 500/Taurus that looked like a knockoff B5 Passat lol...not a bad thing though!) was cavernous inside with "cross your legs" rear legroom and excellent visibility.

    Also, mid-size cars have gotten larger - some mid-size cars are technically classified by the EPA as full size cars. The 06 Sonata was the first to kickstart that trend.

    You'll really need to take a look at the cars in person to see just how the space is used - the full size cars may put that extra space in the trunk, for example.

    Full-size sedans these days are typically are aimed at buyers looking for a little more luxury and power but don't want to enter the entry level luxury space. The interiors may be a bit nicer, the rides (save for the SHO) are a tad softer, typically you can get a V6 if it's not standard unlike most mid-size cars.

    As far as build quality goes - both classes should be fairly well screwed together these days, especially with how expensive loaded mid-size cars can get. I sat in both the Fusion and Taurus and both seemed like well assembled, quality pieces, so I personally can't see a benefit going with a Avalon vs a Camry (for example) for purely long term quality prospects.
     
  4. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    Depends on the pricing, really. A fully-loaded Camry can get real expensive, real quick. Just played around with Toyota's site and fully-spec'ed a Camry for ~$35k MSRP, whereas you can get an Avalon XLE Premium for the same MSRP.
     
  5. booboo12

    booboo12 Notebook Prophet

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    At that price, the Avalon is a better choice- the interior alone is worth the upgrade over a loaded Camry.

    But talking strictly about which car would last longer....that's pretty much a wash, esp. in that example - both cars are derivatives of each other and the Camry at that price point shares the same drivetrain.

    Both would go 200k easily I'm sure. The Avalon would just be more rewarding from a luxury and comfort perspective.
     
  6. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    Oh definitely, they'd both last quite awhile.

    I was just saying that if I was spending that sort of money on a car, I'd rather go upmarket (for lack of a better term).
     
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  7. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon Super Moderator

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    Yeah, agree with most of what's been said already. Just a few additional comments:

    - Spec sheets are great, but make sure you take the time to actually sit in the cars. A lot of mid-size cars have near-identical specs because the segment is so competitive and they all need to play the numbers game, but how the space actually "feels" varies quite a bit model-to-model and can be influenced by things such as how high the beltline is, the positioning of the controls, etc, etc.

    - I don't think you can generalize that full-size cars are any more reliable or built to a higher standard than mid-size cars; it varies between specific models of specific manufacturers.

    - Check out TrueCar pricing before you set foot in a dealership, I've found it's actually pretty good in terms of giving you an idea of what models you can haggle prices down significantly on: ie just because a Camry XLE and Avalon cost about the same in MSRP doesn't mean you can get the same deals on both at a dealer. Certain specs that tend to sit on lots for longer often get better incentives tied to them.
     
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  8. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I'm not gonna buy tomorrow, just close enough to start looking.

    Somewhat related, I think it's interesting that local government sedan fleets (at least for non-pursuit work) use a ton of Ford Fusions and a ton of Chevy Impalas, but no Ford Tauruses or Chevy Malibus. Don't know if there's real significance to that, but it's something I've noticed.
     
  9. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    Interesting indeed, it's mostly all Tauruses and whatever's left of the Crown Victorias for my area, along with some Chargers.
     
  10. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Huh. Chargers are the dominant choice for pursuit vehicles in Oregon (at the City, County, and State levels), but I almost never see them in non-pursuit fleets.
     

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