Re: 2009 Car and Driver 10 Best Cars - no Lexus, no surprise?


Don't look now, but the Accord is EPA classified as a "large" car, and with the V6 (three liters and 270 horsepower!) it can be a pretty quick one too.
Getting back to the Ten Best list, though: I know (as if there were ever much doubt) that if I throw enough money at the problem I can get a truly fine automobile. One of the things the magazines can do is go through the lesser ranks of cars, kissing all the frogs so they can tell you which one is the prince. That used to be a goal of the ten best list (and still is of their occasional category comparos).
Conversely, putting an M3, Corvette, etc. on the same list with a Fit or even an Accord makes you wonder about the purpose of the list. Best in each of several classes, maybe? They certainly don't compete with each other even vaguely...
--Joe
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Ad absurdum per aspera turned on the Etch-A-Sketch and wrote:

Who, exactly pays off the EPA to define these? I drove a Maxima for several years. I cannot believe people put that subcompact as a "midsize."
An accord as a "large" car? WTF??
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PerfectReign wrote:

Um, a Maxima *is* a midsize car. It's practically cavernous inside. Do you call a Peterbilt a "light truck?" A Fit is a subcompact. A Maxima is most certainly not.
I'd hate to hear your opinion of a Lotus Elise, but whatever it is it won't make me lust after one any less.
nate
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They do, at least for some values of "way". (And sometimes "weigh.")
Most models tend to expand over the years, sometimes for the better. New models and sometimes whole new brands are then introduced to take their place at the bottom.
The Accord that were were talking about it, in its eighth generation, some thirty inches longer ("and everything in proportion") than the first one. The size classes assigned by the EPA are defined in terms of passenger and cargo volume (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg / info.shtml#sizeclasses). Admittedly it is toward the bottom of what's considered a large car by the EPA, but it is in that category. (The slightly smaller coupe is still considered midsize.)
The current and immediately past Maximas are slightly but noticeably bigger than your fourth-generation 1998 was -- two or three inches in every dimension as well as rather less of a "three box" shape -- and I think they're considered midsize cars butting their heads against the "large" threshold.
Design makes a big difference too, in both the perception and the usability of the space, and usually though not always this improves over the years.
I personally think the "large" category is too broad and undifferentiated, but the cars in it are hardly what I'd consider "econoboxes" either.
Cheers, --Joe
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Ad absurdum per aspera wrote:

Actually, didn't the Maxima get *downsized* sometime within the last 6-7 years, basically swapping places with the Altima as it grew to balloon-like proportions (and appearance)?
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The generations of the two lines leapfrog each other by a couple of years, and there was a period in the early 2000s when the Altima was very subtly bigger.
The '09 Maxima is a tiny bit smaller than the outgoing generation of Maxima in height and length but is a bit taller. It's a little wider than the present Altima but shares the same "platform." They rated it at some 20 more horsepower too, with the best engine option. I think that instead of "swapping places" with the Altima they were trying to position it as a higher product -- I'm tempted to dust off the obsolete term "personal luxury car" for the new Maxima, despite its four door configuration.
Supposedly the Maxima has a better chassis and suspension and brakes, as well as more amenities and gadgets, compared to even a high option Altima. It's also noticeably more expensive (well, sure).
Of course set its design and construction in motion before the economy went off in the weeds. Reading between the lines on the Web, it looks like a lot of people are weighing its merits against the 3.5- liter Altima (a couple hundred pounds and several thousand dollars lighter, and still with the possibility of a manual tranny) as well as against other makes. Dunno if that's quite what Nissan had in mind; but then, the present state of the economy is not really what anybody had in mind...
--Joe
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Ad absurdum per aspera turned on the Etch-A-Sketch and wrote:

Interesting analysis. I hadn't thought of things in that way. As for the Maxima, I like that it is getting taller. If I were into buying a car for me (as opposed to my wife) I'd look at either the HHR, the Honda Passport or the Scion xB. Those all look nice and tall.
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My only question about the 10 best cars list is: What exactly are those cars the best at?
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And to think, GM offered and perhaps pioneered tilt wheel, telescope wheel, and (watch for it...) Tilt and Telescope Wheel before I was old enough to drive.
gmfleet.com makes me think tilt-and-telescope (dunno if it's whole- column tilt or wheel-tilt) is standard on fleet Pontiac G6's ... but that for some reason it isn't even an option on their 2008 or 2009 fleet Impalas. Go figger.
Maybe if you're really nice they'll get you a G8... and a company gas card -- when it's time to turn in the Impala!
--Joe
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Ad absurdum per aspera wrote:

I think we're going to Malibus next time around, if they ever actually order new cars (stupid economy.) I'm totally OK with that assuming the current generation is similar ergonomically to the previous one. I fit much better into the 'bu than the Impala. The Impala does have a tilt wheel but it doesn't telescope (or if it does, it doesn't come far enough out, I forget which.) A larger range of steering wheel adjustment, more seat height adjustment, and more lumbar support (my back is very particular about car seats) would make me a much happier camper.
nate
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Typical asswipe.
If the Maxima is a "subcompact", as you put it, then what is "midsize" in your world?
Oh, I see--you intended followups to go only to the GM newsgroup, therefore "midsize" to you is a extended bed crew cab Silverado.
Cro-Magnon man walks among us.
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Last full sized car was the '59 Caddy Fleetwood
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Elmo P. Shagnasty turned on the Etch-A-Sketch and wrote:

Okay, compact.
Midsize is like the Buick Regal or Infiniti M45.
Fullsize is maybe a Ford Crown Victoria.

No, you add the extended bed, and it makes it full size.
As for the fu only to alt.autos.gm, my newsreader (KNode) automatically takes out the xposting.

Nice attempt at an insult. (look at my x-face)
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Ad absurdum per aspera wrote:

C&D for a couple years added a category to their 10 Best list for each car, but it's always been - these cars are the cars that we think are THE BEST. Pretty much about the only rule is that it's average new car price x 2.5 or so, ruling out Ferraris and whatnot because any car that's 10x the average price of a car SHOULD be awesome.
It's their list, they can make up the rules however they want. :)
Ray
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