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Should I buy Malibu or Sebring or Sonata?

10209 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 a friend who owned a Kia Optima 4-cylinder. It was his second! It was always a nice car when their son wasn't leaving crayons on the seat to melt. I drove an Optima with 4-cyl and it was overpriced, underpowered, and vibrated a lot below about 1500 RPM, which is way above idle at a traffic light. So I started looking elsewhere. When I got down to my last two choices they were the 'Bu or the Impala.

I thought the Impala was a very comfortable car, large inside, decent looking, and it had ample response when I pressed the go pedal. Very nice ride, easy entry and exit from all four doors (yep, I tried each one!). The ride on the freeway was luxurious compared to my '97 Grand Prix with 160K miles on the ticker.

Why did I take the 'Bu? I drive about 10 miles each way to work, don't have any kids, and enjoy a good corner. The seats and suspension are better suited to driving and throwing the car around than the ones in the Impala. They're also firmer. I noticed a slight difference on the freeway portion of my test circuit, but since I don't put on 30-60K miles a year I'm not in it all day every day. I've gone on a number of trips since I've had it and it's quite comfortable. I've even asked my passengers to be painfully honest (hey, I didn't build it!) and they've had nothing but praise for the ride quality and the quietness.

In short, if you want a ride as soft as a couch, take the Impala. If you want to have some fun, take the 'Bu.

The Sonata is simply a Kia with a different badge, just like a Mercury is a Ford. You said that the Milan is like a Fusion, which is true. I honestly tried to get the Kia, but the ride quality, the available options, and the price all conspired to convince me not to. I still don't like the quality of the Chrysler products. So, for me, it would be a choice between the Chevy and the Ford.

I'll take my 'Bu, thank you!
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