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Old 08-30-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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Gas saving and comfortable ride?

i remembered a buddy of mines got a 1986 Nissan Maxima for free, that thing is made of pure metal, probably weighed alot, and i loved it when its on the freeway. its so quiet and comfortable that when you close your eyes going 65 mph, you would feel as if the car is not even moving at all, no noise at all. but the damn then only gets 16 mpg combined.


I have sat in a 03 accord, 92 camry, 08 sebring, 04 tsx, 06 crv, a bunch of civics, corollas, etc and nothing even comes close. what car out there that has a 4 cylinder engine that gets good mileage, and is comfortable and quiet on the freeway? the new camry's or avalons?

I know that the higher end of luxury cars probably gets into that ballpark, but its too much money to throw at it
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:33 AM   #2
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That is always a great concern of mine. I don't like noise and I don't like a harsh ride.

Think outside the Japanese box. Look at GM cars with the 3.8, like a Buick LeSabre, and the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis. Read about them in the Hypermile Sleepers thread.

My VW is tight and smooth, though not the most plush ride it's quiet and comfortable. Bumps aren't swallowed by the suspension but they don't feel bad.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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Try a test drive in a newer Altima. 2.5 liter 4 cyl with a CVT transmission. You may be able to get a manual 6 speed if you don't want the auto.

86 Maxima was a very light car at about 2800 pounds, and they got a lot better than 16 MPG unless there was some serious mechanical or emissions component issue. I don't think you could drive one hard enough to get 16 MPG if everything was working OK.

The wifes 99 Max would get 28 on the highway going 80 MPG.

Her Rogue got 27.5 on the last tank at 5k miles on an 09 Model.

regards
gary
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:56 AM   #4
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Pontiac Sunfires with the ecotec are fairly economical and comfortable.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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How long ago did you ride in that Maxima? I imagine it wasn't too long ago if he got it for free.

A nice ride can be felt in a car with badly worn or completely blown shocks. If you are trying a bunch of new cars and you can't find what you are looking for that's most likely what it is. Go test drive a new Crown Vic, if that ride isn't smooth enough he had worn out shocks and you'll never get that kind of ride in a car with good suspension.

Here are a few that come to mind for me to have you try:

Any 2000+ Ford V6/V8. Their 3.0L V6 is very nice.
2001-2005 Stratus or Sebring sedans only, the mitsubishi built 2.4 and 2.7 in the coupes annoy.
Pretty much any late model GM mid-size like the Impala or the G6 with the V6. You can't really go wrong with ride or MPG in a late model GM car running a V6 equal to or bigger than 3.4L. I personally don't care for any of their vehicles between the mid 70s and 2000 though.

Don't even bother with the majority of Japanese cars, by the time you've got the ride you are looking for you are in their luxury sector. Might try Hyundai Sonata since they start new at well under 20k.

Usually, the heavier the car the better the ride. V6 cars have more weight over the front so they tend to feel better and since the engine is powerful they can have it turn lower on the freeway so it doesn't buzz.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Pontiac Sunfires with the ecotec are fairly economical and comfortable.
The Sunfire, being smaller and cheaper than the Grand Am I had, can't possibly be a comfortable ride. My Grand Am was rather harsh by my standards* and the interior layout was uncomfortable too.

*: I guess that's relative; maybe someone who is used to small imports would find it to be quite plush.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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I look at the vehicle construction... Generally speaking - vehicles built on frames are smoother than unibody vehicles. Longer wheelbases ride better than short wheelbases, and heavier vehicles ride better. IMHO thebest riding car currently on the market would be a Mercury Grand Marquis.

-Jay
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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or you could always modify a 4 cylendar i cut out the carpet and used a hammer on the floor to bend it in on one of my cars to give myself more foot room. cars should come in sizes for the drivers
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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Eagle - Cars do come in different sizes. That's why I usually buy full size vehicles. I like them in the "land yacht" category. Lots of legroom & headroom are a must. I'm 6'4", and 220 lbs. Most economy cars just don't cut it, however I do like driving my dad's new Focus. I really haven't driven it far though. Don't know how much I'd like it if I had to take a road trip in it. I might hate it afterwords.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:29 PM   #10
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The 1993 Nissan Altima was the first 4 cylinder 4 door sedan that used rubber isolated subframes on both the front and rear ends. This provided the same isolation as the old separate frame and body cars as the American makes.

1993 was the first year. 150 HP 4 cylinder twin cam sequential port injection.
32 MPG highway without any hypermiling efforts.

Thats for an automatic transmission.

It weighed 2500 pounds and rode as good as any car I ever drove. 0-60 in about 8 seconds.

The 95 and up Maximas weighed 2800 pounds and had an all aluminum 200 HP V6, and rode as well as the Altimas. I can't remember if that Maxima model had rubber insulated subframes or not.

A Toyota Corolla today weighs the same as the original Altima.

The 86 Maxima's were nice cars, but they did not have insulated subframes, and the V6 had a timing belt that could wreck the engine if it broke.

The 93 and up Altimas had timing chains as well as the 95 and up Maximas.

If you thought the 86 was a good riding car you should consider the 93 and up Altima and the 95 and up Maxima. Both are available with 5 speed transmissions if you prefer a manual.

95 and later are OBD2 so you can use a scan guage.

regards
gary
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