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I'm really upset about the February 2003 issue of Road and Track. They had a mid-size sedan comparo (Passat, Altima, Camry, Mazda6, and Accord) and the 6 came in a very close second to the Honda Accord. This I wouldn't have minded. They love the Accord and the Accord is a fine automobile.

The thing that really upset me is that the 6 lost by .6 of a point. When I went through the table looking at the scores, I discovered that the Accord had somehow won in the "luggage space" category while having the smallest trunk of any of the cars compared! This garnered the Accord 10 points. The 6 got 8.8 points, even though it has a larger trunk, and also struts vs. those joints that crush your suitcases. That is a difference of 1.2 points. Twice the final difference between the two cars. Looks like the fix is in, boys and girls.

There were some other details that bugged me about the comparo as well. They went on and on about how they loved the styling of the Passat - they said it was the most attractive and distinctive car of the group. Huh?! They said the rest of them look too generic. Man, I know these guys are getting a little older, but man they seriously need to get their eyes checked.

On the plus side, the 6 won all the subjective driving dynamics awards. ALL of them. It ran away with this section. The Altima won the power categories as one would expect.

Anyway I just had to rant about this a little. Reactions?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

Appearance is subjective. Can't argue here.

But trunk size is trunk size. Cubic feet is cubic feet. Looks like R&T pull in more money from advertising Honda than Mazda...
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

QUOTE
Originally posted by applejax
Appearance is subjective.  Can't argue here.

But trunk size is trunk size.  Cubic feet is cubic feet.  Looks like R&T pull in more money from advertising Honda than Mazda...[/b]
Who cares what the mags say? They're just offering their own opinion. If trunk space doesn't matter to you, or the 6 was robbed, make your own adjustments based on that and what's most important to you and then retally the results accordingly. ;)


The Accord guys are enjoying their victory over at AccordV6.com, nevermind the fact that the car is probably the most BORING to drive out of the three. But then again, a lot of people LIKE boring cars. I don't, though. I prefer fun to drive, hence I don't even drive an Accord anymore ;)
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

I wouldnt sweat it man. It bugged me at first that they went on and on about how "good looking" the big boring looking Passat is. But then when I look at their photos and see most of them look well into the Golden Years, it doesnt surprise me they would appreciate boring designs.

At least it beat out the others. If it had to lose, at least it was to the Accord (a brand new design) and with a slim margin.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

Sounds like you're talking about the R&T Article, C&D did about 10 cars including things such as the Dodge Stratus and Saturn L200.

Anyways, I don't put my faith in car reports but they do give a good indication of what to expect when I look at a car.

As far as trunk space goes, perhaps a write in to the editor is in order. I never check the stats closely enough to determine whether or not they made mistakes.

Lastly, what is most important is that there is no doubt whatsoever that they all agreed the Mazda is the drivers car of the bunch. Best handling, best feel, most fun hands down, which was made very clear.

I like the Accord and respect it, and it is a deserving winner (assuming they didn't actually botch the scoring); but when it comes down to my priorities the Mazda offers more of what i'm looking for.

If you do write them, which I think you should, please let us know so we can pay attention to upcoming issues to see what was said.

As a side note, C&D gave the 6i a second behind the Accord as well, again by a small margin. However, once again they made it very very clear that the Mazda was by far the most fun to drive. Their biggest gripe was that while the 2.3L made 160 respectable horsepower, it didn't feel quite as strong in the low rev range as the Honda. I have driven a 2.3 so I can't comment, but I'd like to drive a 2.3 sometime so I can find out :D

I think what these articles, and what the 10Best list have done is made it VERY clear that Honda and Mazda are building the 2 best sedans out there now. They also make it very clear that if you're looking for the best bread and butter sedan with the ability to get from A to B reliabily, comfortably, and with a hint of zip that you can't get any better than the Accord. But it is very clear that if you are one who puts a little more priority in the "fun to drive" factor, Mazda is the clear winner without giving up much at all in the things the Accord does so well.

Even if Mazda loses by a slim margin, it is a car that continues to garner big praise. And the fact that all these cars are so close means that us consumers just have more to choose from, which is good for everyone. And the fact the 6 is right up there with the established best in class, after the 626 used to be one of the losers, means Mazda has finally got it right, and with a little tweaking here or there they just might eventually find themselves at the top of the heap.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

Very well thought out, Jerome.

While I agree that the Accord and the '6 are probably tops in their markets, it has been proven and admitted that the car magazines are afraid of pissing off their sponsors. Therefore, you'll probably nary see a negative word.

I would much prefer a car magazine that is either non-profit, or that does not gain its revenue from the major automotive manufacturers.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

I think that they were a little too generous in appearance points for the Honda and way too stingy with trunk and appearance points with the Mazda, especially when you reckon that its trunk is actually bigger. Go Figure!

However, I'd have to agree the Passat is a beatiful car, very... what is the word... aestetic.

Again the Mazda 6 scores high in styling and sweeps fun to drive... I don't know what would be more important than that?! Especially when Mazdas have proven to be one of the most dependable and reliable car makes going. World wide rankings put them pretty much on par with Honda and Toyota for reliability.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

That sounds very inaccurate....

Passat? Distinctive? It has the most boring and plain body style I have ever seen! All Accords look quite plain on the outside......the new Accord is definitely a step up, but I would pick the 6 over the Accord in terms of who was the sportier and more "DISTINCTIVE" look

I don't think I'll be buying Road and Track in the future....
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

I agree with you guys. I sent R&T a letter to the editor. If you see a letter starting with "the fix was in", that's me!
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

I have an auto enthusiast since I started driving. I've had my license for over 20 years.
In that time I've been an avid reader on auto styling, performance, motorcycles, etc...

"While I agree that the Accord and the '6 are probably tops in their markets, it has been proven and admitted that the car magazines are afraid of ****ing off their sponsors. Therefore, you'll probably nary see a negative word."
********

Can you tell me where this "proof" is? Auto mags and bike mags, and other types of hobby mags, have all been accused of advertising bias. It's always been denied. You may say, "for good reason". Bull. Read the vaious publications and you'll see all brands winning and losing. When a BMW wins, people say "it's because BMW has a lot of ad space". When a Honda wins people say, "it's because of the ad space bought by Honda". All manufacturers advertise and not all win.
Moto mags are constantly berated for bending to the biggest advertiser. Wrong. Honda is one of the biggest moto mag advertisers and Honda only wins sometimes in some categories. And, even when they lose in a particular issue, their ads are back in by the next one. This "advertiser" bias is urban legend created to make those who lose feel better by suggesting that they lost because of "other" factors.

Seems the Mazda is very loved and appreciated by the world auto press. It lost to the Accord? So? The accord is not even on my list of consideration. It's boring and not comfortable to me. '
The 6 is an awesome automobile and we all know it. And that's all that needs to be said.
 

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Reading Topic: Road&Track sedan comparo

Advertising bias is not urban legend. It has been admitted by [former] employees. I have seen interviews with these people, and heard of articles pulled after threats of pulling advertisements [and hence $$]. When have you ever seen a car magazine highlight the bad points of a car? Never.

Find one auto magazine who says they didn't like a car. Find one auto magazine that says they had reliability issues on a car. Find one magazine that tells you how many lemon laws were brought against a particular model.

When I made that statement, it was a jab. Competitions may be less biased, but are still highly subjective.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

QUOTE
Originally posted by applejax


            Advertising bias is not urban legend.  It has been admitted by [former] employees.  I have seen interviews with these people, and heard of articles pulled after threats of pulling advertisements [and hence $$].  When have you ever seen a car magazine highlight the bad points of a car?  Never.  

Find one auto magazine who says they didn't like a car.  Find one auto magazine that says they had reliability issues on a car.  Find one magazine that tells you how many lemon laws were brought against a particular model.

When I made that statement, it was a jab.  Competitions may be less biased, but are still highly subjective.  [/b]
This is a truism more than anyone in the magazine industry will ever admit. If you don't think it true, study how the magazine industry works; how revenue is generated.

And this is NOT limited to the car/motorcycle mags. Check high end audio or music industry gear magazines. Reality is that if you advertise you will never be skewered; any negatives are usually mentioned in a muted tone at best.

Just reality of the biz; nothing more.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

From what I read in the Road and Track article, I think they were biased towards the accord as if they owned one which explains much. But R&T was driving the automatic S which is honestly a bit on the slow side compared to the V6 Alt or Accord Auto. You must get a 5spd in this car. I don't know where they came up with their looks comment, um the Accord looks like a Solara from the rear. The article to read about the 6 is in Motor Trend. The Feb 2003 issue has a superb article on the 6S manny trans. It pits it against the Altima SE and Jetta GLI V6. The Altima they say just about sucks even though it goes really fast, 5.9sec. Torque steer is sick and they don't get that feeling of control like the S. The S ran to 60 in 6.67sec which is a real sweet time. The Mazda 6 won hands down over the more expensive Altima and the smaller Jetta. I think the Honda would have been up there but it just doesn't do it for me. It looks like an egg to me which is fueled by their horribly eggy Civic Si which I test drove in the summer. Honda = egg. Quality is there but still an egg.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

My boss' wife just had the trans replaced by the dealer in her 01' Accord about two weeks ago. I've been hearing bits and pieces about this problem for quite a while. Wouldn't be suprised if this problem puts a big dent in the trade/resale value of Accords/Accuras.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Road&Track sedan comparo'

QUOTE
Originally posted by LBJay
I've been hearing bits and pieces about his problem for quite a while.[/b]
*sounds of bolts and little metal parts fall of the tranny constantly* ;)
 

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Reading Topic: Reading Topic: Road&Track sedan comparo

That was truly sad reading. Those trannies obviously suck. But they will never have them replaced under warranty unless they fail.

One could easily understand why - bankrupcy would come to the car company that took an entire model in for trannie-change...
 
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