Monday, November 07, 2005

Who does Ford need to keep an eye on Honda or Hyundai?

The Fusion has been hailed as Ford's new Import Fighter, setting it's sites on the Camry and Accord, but out of the sun came the new Hyundai Sonata, that may have taken them all by surprise. Amazingly it's the Hyundai that's built in the US, as the Fusion is built in Mexico.
Ford worked hard to set the prices for the Fusions just below the competition from Toyota and Honda, and did a good job, but Hyundai is priced within a few hundred dollars of the Fusion, with some content and warranty advantages.

Hyundai, a company that we all liked to make fun of for years. Just entry levell cars or alternatives to a used car. I remember my Uncle Jim had a couple of the early Hyundai Excells, he joked that having two made sense, because if you had one in the shop, odds were the other would be availalbe to drive. He was able to buy two for the price of a "real" car at the time. Now, Hyundai and corporate sibling Kia have some of the best warranties in the industry and a growing reputation for quality and reliability. What happened?? I've read reviews of both the Hyndai and Ford and amazed how close they are in price and content, with the Hyundai actually having advantages in content. For example, I was reading a review in the New York Times on Sunday that points out the Hyundai comes standard with 6 airbags and the Ford has 2 standard and the other 4 optional, also ABS and Traction Control optional on Fusion while standard on Sonata. The Fusion does have a 6 speed auto compared to the Sonata's 5 speed, but Hydai's is "Shiftronic" with the "manual" mode.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'd buy the Sonata, but on paper it's beating the Fusion. If you get a chance, go over to AutoBlog and read their experience with both.

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