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Old 07-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Mazda 6 vs. VW CC vs. Optima?

I am shopping for a new car and have been test-driving several new cars. I have three top picks.

Mazda 6. I like it, although honestly, its style is a little boring.

VW CC. I love how it drives. It is smooth and I feel very much in control of the vehicle. The stereo is outstanding. Not as many features, though, as other vehicles (like no backup camera and no full-opening sunroof).

Kia Optima. For the price, it has tons of features and I love the styling. It also has awesome gas mileage. I can get a discount through work. Probably my biggest concerns about the Optima are that it might have a harsh ride on rough roads and the seats are too firm. But it is getting great reviews.

I usually keep my cars for a long time; my current car is 11 years old. It's a 2000 Toyota Solara. It has been an outstanding car. It has never had a problem. I love its ride and comfort, but it doesn't have all the new electronic features of new vehicles. But I want a vehicle that is going to last a long time and have few problems.

Why should I choose the Mazda 6 over the CC or Optima?

Thanks!

P.S. I just read an older thread here (a few years old) about how bad the stereo is. Is that still the case in 2011/2012? A good sounding stereo is important to me.

Last edited by elmonty; 07-07-2011 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Added concern about stereo
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When I was shopping for my '10, I drove just about everything else in this class, before going back to the 6 (I previously owned a '04). The Optima wasn't on the list, but the CC was.

I drove the CC, and was impressed with the interior, and the exterior styling was pretty nice as well. The seats were comfortable, and controls were logically placed and worked well. The drive was okay. The steering was too light and lifeless to me, and the suspension was soft, with a fair amount of roll through the curves, but the ride wasn't bad. Despite it's "upmarket" billing over the Passat (like the Maxima is over the Altima), I didn't see or feel any reason why there's a price difference between it's sibling (as well as the Max' over the Altima). Also since the V6 was a requirement for me, the CC's price premium was ridiculous (nearly $8K MORE) over a similarly-equipped 6.

Combine that with the terrible reliability that VW has had since the late-'90s, and the 6 easily won the dual.

And I've got the Bose system, and have no complaints with it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Try the Sonata turbo if you like the styling. It rides softer than the Optima. Outstanding mpg to power. Very good amenities. Their warranty is rock solid too.

The only thing lacking in the Hyundai is probably vehicle dynamics, but it's more than fine as a daily driver.

Hyundai/Kia is not what it used to be.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Try the Sonata turbo if you like the styling. It rides softer than the Optima. Outstanding mpg to power. Very good amenities. Their warranty is rock solid too.
Thank you for the suggestion. I drove the Sonata and the ride felt mushy and floaty to me.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the Sonata felt mushy, then the Optima should be good. Optima has only a hint of sportiness and doesn't handle as well as the 6, so you probably shouldn't be too concerned about a harsh ride. Try it out. The interior looks and feels like a Saab.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what do you want from your car? what are your priorities? reliability, price, power, handling, features etc.
i would imagine the 3 cars are great in certain areas but are worse in others comparatively. if you state what you are more concerned with it may be easier to help you pick which
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My priorities are: handling, comfort/smooth ride, reliability, premium stereo, good gas mileage, styling. It must have four doors. It has to be under $35000. I want it all, is that so much to ask?

Power is not a priority. It must do well in Michigan winters, which leaves out RWD vehicles.

My Solara strikes the perfect balance between good handling and a smooth ride.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmonty View Post
My priorities are: handling, comfort/smooth ride, reliability, premium stereo, good gas mileage, styling. It must have four doors. It has to be under $35000. I want it all, is that so much to ask?
Subaru WRX has it all... and then some more. Just sayin'...
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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the wrx isnt really that comfortable actually...it handles like a beast though...ive got another name to throw into the hat. what about a base model cadillac CTS sedan? starting price is 34k though....but the thing is top notch. among your 3 choices i love the CC's interior and stereo...
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by elmonty View Post
It must do well in Michigan winters, which leaves out RWD vehicles.
Do you use winter tires? RWD cars with winter tires generally do much better than AWD cars with all season tires in the snow. Remember that old school rally cars were virtually all RWD.
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