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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 Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/31/2010 11:03:42 PM , Rating: 0
I've had my Mazda 3s for nearly five years and I'd buy a Hyundai before I buy another Mazda. 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).

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:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/30/mazda-debuts-ne...

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.

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! ;)


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.


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