Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but at least with the Mazda6 you aren’t driving a car that looks just like every other car on the road (half of which are Camrys and Accords, seemingly.) I also really like the looks of the Kia Optima and the Ford Fusion, but think the Mazda is likely the more reliable car, partly because of the conventional automatic. I suspect the issues with CVT repairs will change over the next few years with so many of them being sold. Once Toyota and Honda starred using them on some of their best-selling models I was convinced most of the issues must have been resolved. They may not last forever, but I’d be surprised if those companies are expecting very many premature failures. It would be highly embarrassing. I though for a while we’d be seeing more of the VW-style dual clutch autoboxes, but only Ford seems to have gone that route of the really big manufacturers, and they’ve had serious problems with them. The other German makes do seem OK with them, but they seem willing to settle for complex designs requiring more maintenance or less reliability.
I have to disagree. Dual clutch transmissions are less complicated than conventional automatics. A conventional automatic have oil passages going in every direction. There are clutches that are hidden within gear sets that depends on the oil routed through the shafts for activation. And the activation pressure depends on the seals around the shafts. Since one clutch is generally responsible for more than one gear, any out of spec leakage from one of those small seals necessitate a rebuilt. A conventional automatic depends on the sum of all parts, large and small, to work properly with single point failure modes.
Dual clutch transmissions is essentially two manual transmissions in one box. There’s nothing complicated about synchronizers. For those who are used to squishy torque converters, the direct connection not unlike a manual transmission may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially in city traffic. This is not a problem in Europe where almost everyone has been exposed to manual transmission. While Failed tranny Only Rolls Downhill, Hyundai would sell you a Sonata with a seven speed dual clutch transmission. Honda has its own version of 8 speed dual clutch transmission.
In a related note, Porsche has programmed its dual clutch to act like a CVT. During part throttle and when the computer decides that the car should be between two gears, both clutches slip to varying degrees so that both gears can transmit a portion of the power. However, the car stays in either gear with the respective clutch fully engaged at full throttle
Ford messed up somehow on the dual clutch units(one bad apple)anyway if I dont get a look at the front or emblem,I cant tell a lot of new cars from each other.The Mazda styling is quite distinctive,with its huge grin(the smart cars smile too)
Lexus - A car made for those who would like to buy a Toyota but think a Toyota is not expensive enough to befit what they see as their station in life. The funny thing is, many millionaires but 2 year old Fuisions or Malibus. Don’t believe me? Read the book, “The millionaire next door”
On Cape Cod your “old money” millionaires drive Subaru’s and Volvo’s. “New money” millionaires drive BMW’s, Mercedes and Lexus.
I would try both the Camry and the Accord out and buy either based upon your personal preference. The Accord has been a. Very reliable car for decades and it’s not going to be a turkey because of a different transmission. They are awsome cars, as one is owned by a close friend. They get 40 mpg highway while having excellent performance for a four.
If this were a CVT in a Jeep or Audi or many other less reliable cars, I could get the point. Theoretically, with fewer moving parts, the CVT should be more, not less reliable from a good car maker. If you like the Camry better or prefer to deal with a Toyota dealership in your area, fine. But I would never let the trans be the deciding factor in these two excellent cars.
I was by no means criticizing dual clutch transmissions. I think they’re an exceptionally clever idea, but many companies haven’t yet perfected their operation. Porsche’s implementation has been much praised for its smoothness from a stop. It’s just curious that the Germans (and Ford, which designs its small cars there) have all opted for dual clutch designs and the Japanese have adopted the CVT. The Americans haven’t settled for either yet. A CVT has theoretical advantages and is very simple. The dual clutch feels more familiar. With electric drivetrains it all may become moot.