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Buick Regal GS

The current generation Chevrolet Malibu is available with I4 and V6 engines

The 2011 Kia Optima SX (pictured above) like its Hyundai Sonata relative will only be available with four-cylinder engines
CAFE leads to engine downsizing for GM

Manufacturers are preparing for upcoming CAFE changes which will require corporate fleets to average 34.1 mpg by 2016. As a result, a number of auto manufactures are turning to direct injection, turbocharging, hybrid technology, and full electrics to boost their fleet fuel economy.

General Motors is taking a big step, according to GM Inside News, to improve the fuel economy of its bread and butter midsize sedans. The next generation Chevrolet Malibu (due out as a 2012 model) will reportedly only be available with four-cylinder engines.

The current generation Malibu is available with a four-cylinder base engine and an optional six-cylinder engine like most other midsize sedans on the market. It's likely, however, that the next Malibu will use two new four-cylinder engines featuring direct injection technology -- the base engine will be normally aspirated while the uprated motor will be turbocharged.

GM already uses this approach with the new 2011 Buick Regal. The base Regal is available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. An optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque will be made available later in the model year. An even more potent Regal GS will come later next year with an uprated turbo four producing 250+ hp.

Another manufacturer that is going four-cylinder-only is Hyundai (along with its accompanying Kia brand). The 2010 Sonata is currently only available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (24/35 mpg). The 2011 Sonata will be available with a 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder which outpowers and outgrunts the optional V6s in other midsize sedans while delivering 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Both powertrains will also make their way into the upcoming 2011 Kia Optima.

Toyota's Camry and Honda's Accord are both due for complete redesigns within the next two years, so it would be interesting to see if they too go for a top to bottom four-cylinder engine lineup.



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RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 8/31/2010 9:47:00 PM , Rating: 3
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q3/engine_d...

Nothing yet has made on their claims to give better gas mileage by turbocharging vs. naturally aspirated. You can add to that chart as well the Acura SUV that has the turbo 4 that gets 20MPG or less.

The current mazda6 V6 matches the output of the upcoming Sonata turbo, but with worse mileage. The Sonata will probably do better than a real life 18mpg of the 6, but I'll bet the V6 and transmission timing on the Mazda is much more fun to drive. Their current engine in the Sonata does a real life 24mpg according to C&D.

In the future:

The upcoming 2.2 liter diesel engine for the Mazda6 has 173HP, but more torque, at 310lbft. Gets 31-33city and 43 highway. Uses the small/large turbo approach to work better than the variable geometry.

In fact, Mazda is avoiding turbos on their upcoming sky gasoline engines and will rely on HCCI, or using normal gas without spark plugs. The upcoming 2.0l will get 30/39 city/hwy mileage in the Mazada3, which is normally mileage ratings found in smaller cars like the Fiesta. 155HP and 150lbft of torque isn't bad either.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/31/2010 9:59:55 PM , Rating: 5
Edmunds has a Hyundai Sonata in their long term test fleet and have been regularly getting 34+ mpg on the highway at 65 mph:

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2010/08/2011...

31.1 mpg in mixed driving and up to 75 mph

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2010/08/2011...

As for the Mazda 6. It's another failure for Mazda in the U.S. midsize market (just like the previous generation Mazda 6). The Sonata has been killing it in sales and the was actually the number 10 selling vehicle (car or truck) in July.

http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/159366/a...

January to July 2010 sales:
Mazda 6: 20,165
Sonata: 107,085


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 8/31/2010 10:24:38 PM , Rating: 1
C&D got 24MPG on their usual 400 mile or so test. And I drive like they do. I'm not interested in MPG figures that represent only 3% of my driving habits.

quote:
As for the Mazda 6. It's another failure for Mazda in the U.S. midsize market (just like the previous generation Mazda 6). The Sonata has been killing it in sales and the was actually the number 10 selling vehicle (car or truck) in July.


Not attacking you or the quote or in a state of denial, but I don't care. The Camry outsells it too - let the losers drive the souless cars.

Is the Sonata bad? No. But Mazda drivers know each other - we prefer cars that are fun to drive.

I couldn't stand the front of the new Sonata after awhile - too over styled. Reminds me of the old Ford Taurus. And I can't get HIDs on a Sonata at any price.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2010 10:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
I've been a long time Mazda owner, and you would be crazy to buy a Hyundai over one.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 8/31/2010 11:37:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mazda had a relatively clean design with the first generation Mazda3 and Mazda5 and then went psycho with the huge "Joker grin" on the '10 Mazda3 and '11 Mazda5 -- not to mention they downsized the Nav screen on the 3 -- WTF? The "new" Nagare design language was so poorly received that Mazda has already ditched it:


Subjectively speaking, that big ass grille on the Sonata isn't pretty either. Come to think of it, all styling is downhill.

And that person who designed Nagare left on his own free will to Renault; saying Mazda ditched it isn't accurate one bit.

quote:
Hell, Hyundai's are rated far better than Mazdas in reliability, although I haven't had any issues with my 3s other than a parking brake handle that became loose (was fixed under warranty).


Far better? Try almost the same.

quote:
The previous generation Mazda6 was too small for the midsize market, so Mazda overcompensated by making the new one much larger and threw in a big 3.7-liter V6 as an optional engine. That's turning out to be a mistake as well for them as they still haven't seen a ROI.


How is this a mistake by giving what people American's want? They have the Europe version which is smaller and what people didn't want here.

The V6 is just Ford's anyhow, it isn't like they wasted money there either. Most have 3.5l V6s in this class, how is it big?

quote:
That being said, I'm eyeing the Kia Optima SX myself to replace my 3s. 274 hp, 34 mpg, HIDs, heated seats (front/rear), cooled seats (front), panoramic roof, GPS, Infinity sound system, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, push button start, backup camera, memory seats, etc. for less tan $30k? Sign me up! ;)


Not bad, as the Mazda6 is much more. KIA's seems to copy Honda's styling and then tweak it. Failure at being original there.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/1/2010 12:26:02 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Subjectively speaking, that big ass grille on the Sonata isn't pretty either. Come to think of it, all styling is downhill.

And that person who designed Nagare left on his own free will to Renault; saying Mazda ditched it isn't accurate one bit.


There is only ONE fully Nagare vehicle that will come to the U.S. market and that is the Mazda5. It has the full grin, and the wavy bits on the side. The Mazda3 is "Nagare-light" being that it got the grille. Same goes for the refreshed Miata/CX-7 to a lesser extent.

Now Mazda is already moving to Kodo...

I personally am not a fan of the Sonata's Klingon "Warf" grille, but the rest of the package is quite appealing.

quote:
Far better? Try almost the same.


Mmmm, no.

(Initial Quality chart is towards middle of page)
http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressreleas...

(Dependability chart towards middle of the page. Hyundai above average, Mazda well below -- even Kia is better)
http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressreleas...

quote:
How is this a mistake by giving what people American's want? They have the Europe version which is smaller and what people didn't want here.

The V6 is just Ford's anyhow, it isn't like they wasted money there either. Most have 3.5l V6s in this class, how is it big?


By ROI, I mean Mazda put all of this energy into "Americanizing" the Mazda 6 and it still hasn't generated the sales numbers they wanted. Mazda was aiming for 100,000+ unit sales per year for the current generation Mazda 6. They're on track to sell less than 50,000 this year.

They would have been better off leaving it a world car like Ford is doing with the Fiesta/C-Max/Kuga and next generation Mondeo (which will be our new Fusion).


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 9/1/2010 9:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
I guess Consumer reports vs. JDP disagree, but both are based on people responses.

Oh well. I don't know why the Mazda6 is flopping. The cheap sonata is part of it, but they solved what people complained about to them about it being small.

It's like the Miata/MX-3 is a nice vehicle, and I drove one across a track. But when the GM roadsters came out they sold like crazy. In a silly way of thinking, it's almost as if those buyers were waiting for an american roadster, even if it isn't as good.


By moriz on 9/1/2010 9:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
my girlfriend and i are looking at cars lately, and we're pretty impressed with the mazda 6. decent looks, excellent steering, drives well, has decent fuel economy, and the interior is HUGE. despite being physically smaller than my dad's '03 camry, it has a noticeably bigger cabin.

as for why they seem to sell so poorly, i believe that it's not so much that the mazda 6 is bad, but more because the mazda 3 is so ridiculously successful. those things are EVERYWHERE; they're spreading like the plague.


By sprockkets on 9/1/2010 3:47:21 PM , Rating: 3
I remember looking at that chart when it came out when reading leftlanenews and called BS on it. Why should Scion, a Toyota rebadge, get way way worse on reliability than Toyota itself? And since Mazda vehicles share Ford parts, how could it be that much worse?

Same for Dodge. No way in hell that is more reliable than anything.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2010 12:24:38 AM , Rating: 1
lol Brandon I remember when I first came to DT you could not speak highly enough of your Mazda. Every car article in the comments section you were practically advertising for them. Now you throw the poor Mazda under the bus :(


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/1/2010 12:33:42 AM , Rating: 4
I didn't throw "my" Mazda under the bus :) I said that it's been reliable with the exception of the parking brake handle.

I LOVE my Mazda 3. It was the perfect vehicle for my mid to late 20's years. Now that I'm married, thinking about kids, and "settling in a bit", I want something a little larger and cushier. Better fuel economy wouldn't hurt either.

I try not to be "brand loyal" and instead try to be "car loyal" -- meaning, I choose the best vehicle that suits my needs at the moment (and is within my budget) regardless of who makes it.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Lord 666 on 9/1/2010 12:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
Brandon,

Don't you own a Prius?


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/1/2010 12:39:52 AM , Rating: 4
Oh hell no. I like the idea of the Prius, but couldn't bring myself to drive one :)


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Samus on 9/1/2010 2:02:08 AM , Rating: 1
The last exciting car Mazda made was the GLC, exciting because it worked. I've owned two Mazda's, a 1998 Protege (a decent car) and a 93 MPV, the biggest piece of shit ever. Both, however, were riddled with problems, things that any noteworthy manufacture would recall. Like the defective castings in every single 96-98 Protege 1.5l manifold that cracked just around the time they were not federally responsible to replace emissions equipment (70,000 miles I think, might have been 80,000...)

The only good thing about Mazda is they test-market Ford's European platforms first. But I'd never buy a Mazda again. I'd rather own a Korean car at this point. And at least Hyundai and Kia build their car's in the United States. Mazda just opened an assembly plant here 5 years ago, and it's so small it accounts for a fraction of their total vehicles sold in North America.

If you're buying Japanese, you'd be crazy to get anything other than a Toyota or Honda. Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, Isuzu...these companies are barely profitable for a reason.


By nolisi on 9/1/2010 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
You are entitled to your opinion, but if I'm going to make a judgement on Mazda, I'd make it on data that was more recent than 10+ years old.

quote:
If you're buying Japanese, you'd be crazy to get anything other than a Toyota or Honda.


While I haven't seen/heard much negativity about Honda's reliability, I'm forced to ask if you missed the slew of recalls coming out of Toyota in the last year or so.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By chromal on 8/31/2010 10:27:28 PM , Rating: 3
I think Hyundai's have shown remarkable improvement, and I think I'd rather drive one than, say, a Kia or Daewoo, but, gonna have to say I prefer Japanese design and built vehicles to South Korean ones, if only because they've been doing it well, longer.

I guess the Sonata makes sense if you don't need or want AWD, don't prioritize handling. I see a lot of them on the road, though consider them mostly forgettable.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By YashBudini on 8/31/2010 11:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think Hyundai's have shown remarkable improvement,


They same might be said of then Governor Clinton, who took AR from being ranked 50th in state literacy to being ranked 49th.

There's always room for huge improvments when you're at or near the bottom.

quote:
I guess the Sonata makes sense if you don't need or want AWD,

You really gotta laugh at how brainwashed the public is about stuff. Sitting on a steep hill in a blizzard waiting for a red light I had FWD and 4 Vredestein snow tires. The Jeep Cherokee next to me had 4WD and all season tires. The light turned green and I drove away, while the 4WD Jeep sat there with 4 wheels spinning. What a farce.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2010 12:27:34 AM , Rating: 4
Holy crap, I think I'm actually agreeing with Yash over something.


By chromal on 9/1/2010 12:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree, seeing as every car I've driven daily has been FWD, and at 8700ft elevation at home, that means something in the winter. Nevertheless, Subarus and Audis are immensely popular around here.


By chromal on 9/1/2010 1:00:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's always room for huge improvments when you're at or near the bottom.
That kind of goes without saying, I think. Or were you winding up to go after me for the AWD I don't own? Heh. Still, the Sonata ranks up there with the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord, if that sort of car (sedan) is your cup of tea.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By YashBudini on 8/31/2010 11:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for the Mazda 6. It's another failure for Mazda in the U.S. midsize market (just like the previous generation Mazda 6). The Sonata has been killing it in sales and the was actually the number 10 selling vehicle (car or truck) in July.


Hyundai's 6 was known for below average power and below average mileage, but then it was connected to just a 4 speed automatic, which also didn't help.

I know 2 Mazda 6 owners who bother experienced spark plug recession holes filling up with oil and causing spark issues. In both instances the owners sold the cars as opposed to a ridiculous repair bill. My other friend bought a new 323 with a read main seal leak that ruined his clutch. Too often Mazda looks too much like Chevy.

quote:
getting 34+ mpg on the highway at 65 mph:

And faster than average rust as well.

quote:
The Sonata has been killing it in sales

What does this prove? I'm sure tires that are rated C in traction and mileage outsell A and AA tires on price alone. You think the average person does any significant research buying a car? If they did all those Sonata bulges wouldn't need to be there.

Mazdas don't look all that aggressive, in fact they mostly look like they are smiling at you.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 9/1/2010 6:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
You are basing your aversion of Mazda on 2 examples of anecdotal evidence?

Good. I'll avoid Dodge because my dad's minivan had leaky evap coils, 5 bad belt tensioners, leaky head gaskets after 60k miles, a bad transmission at 33k and other issues.

You think that was a problem? Wow. And a "new" Mazda 323?

I'm not going to say they are as good as Honda, but they are not a Chevy, ever.


By YashBudini on 9/1/2010 9:41:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You are basing your aversion of Mazda on 2 examples of anecdotal evidence?


Statistically speaking or not I should not have seen any occurrences of such a failure.

I am assuming Chevy has gotten better since my last one 30 years ago, which had more problems and recalls than all my prior Chevies (about 7 of them) combined.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2010 6:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sales figures....

Umm you know people mostly buy Hyundai's because they are cheaper right? Using sales figures to claim they make better cars isn't being very honest at all.

Korean cars suck Brandon. I can't believe we're digging up this same old tired discussion over and over. When are people going to learn? Underneath the pretty wrapping and extensive (wonder why it's so extensive?) warranties is a nice tidy pile of crap.


By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact, Mazda is avoiding turbos on their upcoming sky gasoline engines and will rely on HCCI, or using normal gas without spark plugs.
Mazda's coming out with HCCI?!!!!!!! I think I just pee'd a little.

quote:
155HP and 150lbft of torque isn't bad either.
All of the turbo's are well over 200hp and are the V6 replacements not the base engines. And I doubt seriously we'll see a diesel Mazda6 or diesel Mazda anything here in the US. What we will see is the turbo DI engine detuned or totally reworked and stuffed in the Mazda6 as the replacement for the V6 engine.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By YashBudini on 9/1/2010 12:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The upcoming 2.2 liter diesel engine for the Mazda6 has 173HP, but more torque, at 310lbft. Gets 31-33city and 43 highway. Uses the small/large turbo approach to work better than the variable geometry.

Ah, I love the smell of diesel fuel in the morning.

(Really?)

No. Not in the morning. Not ever.

Not the sounds either.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 9/1/2010 9:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't even sound like a diesel. C&D tested it already. Has a high RPM limit for a diesel too. It's coming to the US for the poster above me.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's coming to the US for the poster above me.
I'll believe it when it's at the dealership. Sorry, I've heard WAY too many promises of diesel (Accord diesel anyone?) here in the US with only a VERY few actual cars showing up.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 12:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested in a Mazda 6 with 310 lb ft. I'm sure you can turn up the boost to get the horsepower well over 200 too and around 500 lb ft. Of course you'll have torque steer like trying to use a fat girl in a wheelbarrow race.

Unless a miracle happened and they offered it in RWD.


By Keeir on 9/1/2010 4:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be even more interested in a Mazda3 with that Diesel. If the values reported for the 6 in the article are accurate, I am thinking 35/48 MPG, Sub 8 sec (See VWs claim of 8.6 for a 140 HP Diesel Golf) acceleration when using a manual... and a hatch as a cherry on top.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By sprockkets on 9/1/2010 3:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Their diesel doesn't require any urea injection either to meet our tough emission standards. They said they plan on using it in 2012

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q3/mazda_sk...

Still skeptical? I'm sure for good reason.


By Spuke on 9/4/2010 7:06:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q3/mazda_sk...
Good God!!! 14:1 compression in a street car (too bad the US version is limited to 13:1)!!! Super long 4-2-1 header! Roller rockers. LOL! This is race car sh!t!!! And direct injection. Wow! It's about time big dick engineering got to the consumer market. That's going to be a monster of an engine. Can't wait to see some 10,000 rpm Mazda's in the aftermarket.

quote:
Still skeptical? I'm sure for good reason.
Yes, but impressed none the less.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 12:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's because you're ignorant of modern diesels which don't smell or make large amounts of noise. Except for Ford's school bus diesels in the F250 and up.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except for Ford's school bus diesels in the F250 and up.
Not anymore on those either.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 1:08:52 PM , Rating: 3
Haven't really heard the brand new ones. Just know the ones in the parking lot at work that are only 2-3 years old sound like a school bus. Doesn't mean they aren't good engines. Just loud.


By Spuke on 9/1/2010 9:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Doesn't mean they aren't good engines. Just loud.
I didn't imply you thought they were bad engines. Just saying that they aren't loud anymore. Besides, I like the diesel clatter. Apparently, I'm not alone in that either. But I would take one of the new Ford's in a heartbeat. 400hp and 800lb-ft! I could tow my house with that with my Solstice in the garage!!!


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Hiawa23 on 9/1/2010 9:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
I am kind of curious as to how they are going to achieve the gas mileage CAFE standards. Just using my 2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart, 2.4L engine vehicle as a base. The sticker said 31hwy 23cty. The car has never gotten 31mpg, why don't car manufacturers just skip the whole hwy vs city & just report this is what the car gets combined as no one usually drives only hwy or just in the cty? I think my tank is 12-14 gallon & the car only get 250-270 if I stretch it per tank. I would never buy a Prius as that has to be one of the ugliest cars I have ever seen, so gasoline vehicles is it for me.


By Kurz on 9/1/2010 10:18:41 AM , Rating: 3
Um... because people live anywhere from New York Traffic to Wide open highways of the midwest.


By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am kind of curious as to how they are going to achieve the gas mileage CAFE standards. Just using my 2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart
Direct injection, HCCI, and diesel. Your cars gas mileage is not all that great for what it is though. My car has 260hp and gets EPA 19/28. I have a 13 gallon tank (fill at 12 gal) and consistently get 28 mpg (80% freeway) from it.


By wookie1 on 9/1/2010 11:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
"why don't car manufacturers just skip the whole hwy vs city & just report this is what the car gets combined as no one usually drives only hwy or just in the cty?"

Car manufacturers don't rate the fuel efficiency, the EPA does. The manufacturers just put the EPA number on the sticker. The new test cycle seems better than what they used to use several years ago, but I agree that most drivers don't get that mileage.


By DanNeely on 9/1/2010 11:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
Because the numbers on the sticker are mandated by the EPA and done in tests designed by the EPA.

On your train of thought however, a half dozenish years ago (IIRC 2 before the EPA changed their tests to get lower numbers that were closer to how we drive today) one of the car makers was threatening to sue the EPA for the right to also post a lower number from their testing that was supposed to reflect typical user results.


By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
155 hp and torque isn't bad for a compact. For a midsize car, its quite anemic.

I'd have to have at least the turbo model. And then boost it up a bit from there.


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