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What new car to buy

I rear ended someone in my 2005 camry and it’s time to get a new car. I want a new one but the wife hates it. We have a 2004 accord but it’s a rougher ride and the seat is like just above road level. If we rule out the camry and accord for her, we are considering the Altima and sonata. The major drawback of the Altima is the CVT (accords have that now). I heard you can’t access the diptube (it’s locked) and the fluid is like 25-30 a qt and the dealer has to do this change (they recommend 100K but forget that). So, is buying a CVT bad? do you have to change that steel band during the life of the car/transmission? Personally I’d rather a 6 speed trans but the sonata mileage is supposed to be way below their specs (they lied again about that testing). So, any comments on the Altima (2014) and the CVT issue would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. The other thing that gets me going is the synthetic required by the camry with a cartridge filter (cost 9-20 bucks) vs a spin on filter. Geez, what next? 1000 dollar tires??? Would you consider a mazda 6???


I’m pretty set in my ways, and in my opinion, Nissan quality is a notch below Honda and Toyota

I very well remember the days . . . which weren’t so long ago . . . when Toyota and Nissan were pretty good, but Nissan was kind of junky

So the Nissan wouldn’t get my vote, because of quality concerns

Not to mention the CVT, which in my opinion, is not a proven and reliable technology

This may sound crazy to some, but I’d pick the Hyundai Sonata over the Altima. In my opinion, Hyundai has come a long way, and has surpassed Nissan, to some extent

That said, I’m not sure what kind of transmission the Sonata has . . .

What about the Mazda 6? Or a Fusion?

The Mazda6 is worth looking into. Up to 40mpg depending on trim without the CVT concerns of the Altima. It’s also available with a manual gearbox.

From my limited car buying experience of nearly fifty years, I would try out makes and models from Mazda, Toyota, Honda and Subaru and decide, not worrying about the transmission. Also, adjust your choice from these makes according to dealer reliability, fairness and proximity. It’s your car (Camry) and the wife hates ? Make it a Lexus then ! The newer Hondas ride much better too. Substitute Acura if the colors and name plates are more appealing. We are really spending your money. You can’t take it with you.

By all means try a Mazda6; great fun to drive and very good gas mileage. If you still find a Mazda6 too low, try a Mazda CX5, it’s the suv version with high seats. Both are very reliable.

I agree with those who said that Nissan reliability takes a back seat to Toyota, Honda, Subaru, and–more recently–Mazda. I don’t know how big a role the CVT played in its poor reliability rating, but the newer Altimas were flagged by Consumer Reports for below-average reliability.

Regarding the Honda seats, I agree that–at least in the past–it always seemed like I was perched just barely above the level of the road when sitting in an Accord. However, it is very possible that Honda has changed/improved their seating, and I think that you owe it to yourself to check the seats personally.

It would be very hard to beat the reliability of a Camry or an Accord, but the Camry falls short on driving dynamics and enjoyability of driving. The Accord is much more fun to drive, but the Mazda 6 is probably even more enjoyable to drive than the Accord.

So many choices…

That car, like a friend with that bubbling, fresh and exciting personality, can easily wear on you after a while. That initially boring dependable friend is always there for you and makes for a co worker that is easy to live with day after day. One is a like a Camry. Car makers get that too much excitement can cause undo stress on most days when you’re looking for boring dependable, unexciting but competent transportation. Toyota excels at boredom; but it seems to work for them.

@VDCDriver It has been some years now that French Renault bought Nissan. Renault benefited from the merger, but Nissan did not. French quality standards are substantially lower than Japanese ones. Nissans have always been more rust-prone than Toyotas and Hondas.

I agree with you on all points, Doc.
Even back in the days when Nissan (Datsun) was considered to be uber-reliable, their body-rot problems tended to be worse than even the other rust-prone cars of that era.

In fact, the Datsun SPL-311 that my brother had the misfortune to own had totally rusted bumpers and chrome trim w/in 12 ~14 months, and the body rot began soon thereafter. I would like to say that the car was at least reliable, but the only thing about it that was reliable was its habit of not starting once the temperature dropped below 40. That car was a total dog!

Later, Nissan’s quality did improve to a great extent, but–like you–I believe that their Renault ownership led to some quality issues.

The Accord is 2 generations newer than the one you have. Look at the new ones.

I think it’s overly pejorative to say that Hyundai “lied” about its mpg ratings. They messed up the test. And they made good on it with people who bought Hyundais at that time - each customer got a debit card that gets loaded once per year with a refund for the extra money they spent on fuel due to the mpg discrepancy. That card will continue to be re-charged for as long as they own the car.

Contrast that with GM covering up fatal, literally, flaws in their cars and I know which car I’m going to be more likely to purchase…

Nissan even now, is all over the map on quality. From off road vehicles second to none and a Maxima with a great motor to a Sentra that only your mother could love. The one thing new car that all car makers have excelled at is using plastic cladding to hide rust from the inspectors for a few more years. "the rust is our friend " mentality as a way of getting repeat sales was just embraced too long by Nissan in their low end models.

The other thing that gets me going is the synthetic required by the camry with a cartridge filter (cost 9-20 bucks) vs a spin on filter. Geez, what next

Where are you getting your information from? The cartridge filter costs $5. It’s easy to change…and better for the environment.