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Should I buy Malibu or Sebring or Sonata?

10187 Views 23 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  K-A

I have a question for you. I wonder what do you think. I would like to buy a new vehicle or a 1 year old used one. I test drove many cars and I came up with top 3 possible cars. I like 4 door sedans that are bigger cars since I got a Chrysler Concorde V6 leather with wood grain that is 210 inch long! So I need a car for 3-5 years that has some luxury and ample sporty power if I need some. Here is my current car:

So I test drove almost all of the available mid and full size sedans in my price segment except Hyundai Sonata, Azera, Ford Fusion.(I cannot buy BMW, Mercedes, Acura, Lexus, Lincoln, Cadillac, Ford Fusion 2010 or Buick Lacrosse CSX)

What I am looking for is luxury interior look in some extend but sporty engine and soft suspension like a luxury car. It does not have to have real wood grain though.

My top 3 choice would be :
1, Chrysler Sebring Limited 3.5L V6 (I like to look but little bit concerned about the reliability)
2, Hyundai Sonata Limited V6 or Azera Limited V6. (The interior looked real upscale and the exterior is also okay but not that good as the Sebring)
3, Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 3.6 V6. It was nice to drive but something was missing for me. Something that would make that car exceptional for me. Exterior looks nice expect the back of the car. Rear visibility was horrible though.

I test drove the Toyota Camry V6, Nissan Altima V6, Honda Accord V6 but they cost more than they would worth in my opinion in addition American cars have nicer exterior than those in general. Pontiac G6 GT has poor interior (no luxury look), G8 GT was thrilling (V8 with 361 hp!!) but too expensive and again not too luxury looking interior although it is super sporty. Dodge Charger looks aggressive but the interior is poor looking. The Mitsubishi Galant is ugly. I do not like the Saturn Aura (copy of Malibu) and I am not fan of Mercury Milan either (downgraded Fusion for me)

The question is Do you think I should try buying a Malibu?? I am concerned about the long term reliability. Hyundai has improved a lot since 2006 and now it can compete with mainstream brands. Also when I testdrove the Malibu the dealer guy told me that the shifters on the wheel are not designed to drive the car in manual mode for a long time? I was like wtf?!? Is that true?

So could you drop me some lines what do you think?
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I have driven two of your three finalists. The sonata was a limited version with a V6 and all leathered up. I drove it from Amarillo, TX to Ardmore, OK (~5 hours each way) My feeling was, though the sonata was nice as a rental car, it did not match up with the fit and finish of the Malibu and the Sonata really had zero fun factor. The ride was harsher and not nearly as quiet as the Bu. I do not have any experience with the Sebring so I will not comment on how it may compare. I have 10K on my Bu and other then a mild base rattle from the rear dash the car has been great. That reminds me I need to look for that rattle... Don't really think about it until I am driving with the base elevated. I was not overly impressed with the two tone interiors of the LTZ and I really did not like the suede in LTs so I was happy to find a LTZ with black on black leather. Hope this is helpful...
"By the way what about that manual shifter behind the steering wheel? Can I use that as if my Malibu would be manual? Also does it let me rev the engine to red or it shifts gear no matter what?[/QUOTE]

The maunal shift paddles will allow you to whined it out and down shift. It's just not the same as slaming gears.
The maunal shift paddles will allow you to whined it out and down shift. It's just not the same as slaming gears.
Those things are so slow they are a joke!:D[/QUOTE]

But if you want to you can... I wouldn't want a Porsche with them either. If there is going to be a maunal option give me a clutch. There's just not enough control with the paddle shifters.
Hey, I finally found a use for manual mode... Shifters are still not fast enough for daily use but I have been pulling it back into manual while driving on the hwy. It keeps the trans from shifting out of sixth gear on hills. Seems to be improving my milage a little (28 mpg). Still popping it back in auto when I get to town though. My biggest problem is that the car is so quiet/music so loud, that I forget when I am in manual until I look down and I am taching 5 grand. I have driven a 2009 sonata Limited and my Bu. I still like the Bu better. The 10 yr / 100K Hyundai warranty is hard to beat. I never keep a car that long so I am indifferent the 5 yr/ 100K power train is good for me on the Bu. Drive both pick the one that meats your needs/likes the best. Either are good choices
Though the new lacrosse does look nice, add equivalent equipment to the LTZ and the Buick would run you back up over $30K and I am still having trouble not seeing my grandmother driving it . But I have to say, Buick is really trying to shake that image.
It looks like the base Lacrosse does come with a V6 3.0 Liter
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