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Compact Sedans

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    edited January 2011
    I am very interested in the 2012 Accent (a sub-compact in size, but will probably have a compact-sized interior if it follows the current Accent on that score) and the new-for-2011 Elantra. The Veloster doesn't interest me much.... just not my kind of car anymore.

    I also like the Golf, as it still has the high-quality interior and the more useful hatchback configuration, compared to the Jetta. But... the Golf isn't a sedan, although it is a compact.
  • In the midsized sedan forum, there was a "top 5" rankings question. I realized I didn't have 5 midsized cars that interested me...I think they have grown too big for my tastes. I tend to like things on the sporty side, and the compact segment seems much more responsive to that market.

    I am very excited about the new Focus, the Mazda3 (excepting the smiley front end), the Impreza WRX and the VW GTI. I think any of these cars match the interior volume of my '93 Accord. I am pretty keen on the sport models of these compacts - I want to see the Focus ST (but I fear it will have a psuedo-stick instead of a true manual transmission), although I am partial to the WRX sedan already.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,680
    Ditto on the Hyundai twins but since the wife came from a Buick family, we'll give the Verano serious consideration...all depends on how much $ she wants to spend. I usually swoop in to test drive her final choices & get the deal done. Since we both buy our own cars now, we tend to keep within a certain budget and since she doesn't have the automotive passion that I've got, she'll get what's easiest for her to drive. Things like alloys don't really interest her much, though I do try to nudge her towards a nice looking car with some bling to it...personally, alloys are a must for me but she'll be just as happy with nice looking bolt on hubcaps.

    Depending on my driving situation come 2015 or so, I might splurge a bit & go the used route with some more creature comforts like leather/moonroof...something a bit more upscale than a Civic. But that's a long way off & there's a very good chance that I won't be able to drive when that time comes. Time will tell. :(

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    By 2015, the game will be changed again. By then, we'll not only have the new Civic and Focus (due this year), but a new Corolla (probably), a new Sentra, a new Forte, a new Impreza, and possibly a new Mazda3. And cars like the Cruze, Elantra, and Jetta will have had their mid-gen tweaks. Who knows what lies in store for you then?
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    You are correct, the Golf is a compact but isn't a sedan. But there are several compact sedans that are also offered in a 5-door hatchback (or wagon) bodystyle. The Mazda3 5-door is currently the most successful of its type, but the 2012 Focus 5-door will almost certainly be a hit also. The Kia Forte is now offered as a 5-door, but it's not nearly as successful in the styling department as the Mazda3, Focus or VW Golf. The current Hyundai Elantra Touring will be around for one more year, then a brand-new 2013 version will be introduced in Jan-Feb 2012.

    When I went to buy my Mazda3, I had every intention of buying the 's' 4-door sedan. But when I saw it parked next to an 's' 5-door (identical color), I was sold....hatchback all the way! =)
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    "I am very excited about the new Focus, the Mazda3 (excepting the smiley front end)...."

    The 2012 Mazda will be getting a facelift and the smiley-face front-end will be toned down substantially!!! I was ready to pull the trigger on a 2011 Mazda3 s Sport 5-door, but I've decided to hold off and see how the 2012 're-fresh' turns out first.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited January 2011
    I have been researching the 5 lately. I have to say, Mazda was endulging in some pretty powerful drugs, IMO, when whomever authorized the mass production of all those smiley grills. I would not let the looks of it sway my ultimayte decision to buy 'anything really' as long as the rest of the pkg works for me. The 5 actually strikes me as very effeminate from the front, side and especially the rear :(
    But I like the concept of upright roomy seating and being able to sleep or camp in the back and haul stuff in a pinch. Affordably. And I love the fact that it comes with a std. If only it was AWD there would probably already be one in my drive.

    Anyway, if i do end up with one, I'm going to get about 2 or 3 molded white Billy-Bob teeth made up professionally, and I'm going to randomly stagger-mount them in the grill. They're gonna be so white no one will miss them. Altho, maybe I should have them yellowed? lol (Hopefully no one tries to steel them though :sick: )
    It's the best thing anyone with a smiley could do. That is if you're comfortable being able to laugh at yourself in the mirror. I am and do all the time..
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    The Kia Forte is now offered as a 5-door, but it's not nearly as successful in the styling department as the Mazda3, Focus or VW Golf.

    Styling is subjective. I happen to like the crisp lines of the Forte hatch.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    They should of used the grill that the Mazda Speed has.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    what kind of gas milage does it put out? I can't find specs for it.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    If you read several of the reviews out there they all say that the EPA hasn't completed testing so the numbers aren't out yet. Most auto mags/reviewers have been guessing something around 26/27city and 37/38hwy. The high mpg version is due out later this year and is supposed to be over 40mpg hwy like the Cruze Eco.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    edited February 2011
    Automobile magazine has an article in its March 2011 issue that is very appropriate for this discussion: a review of the 2012 Focus and 2011 Elantra. In the article, they point out that, 15 years ago, the two cars at the top of the compact class were the Civic and Corolla. Now, the mag opines, the top two cars in the compact class are the 2012 Focus and 2011 Elantra. The article is mostly about those two cars, but they also briefly review most of the rest of the cars in the class and explain why they are NOT on top of the class, in their opinion.

    This article is not yet online (I couldn't find it, anyway), but I did find two first-drive articles, and a lot of the content from these two reviews shows up in the March article. Check them out, if you want to see why Automobile thinks Focus and Elantra are at the top of the class:

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1101_2012_ford_focus_drive/index.htm- - - l

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1012_2011_hyundai_elantra_drive/inde- - - x.html

    From the looks and description of the Focus hatch, it looks like a great small car--great handling, plenty of power, excellent fuel economy, high-quality interior, versatility of a hatch. The sedan isn't bad looking either, but I think I like the looks of the Elantra sedan better. Plus given the choice between a sedan and hatch, I'll take the hatch--especially when it looks better than the sedan, which the Focus hatch does to me. I just wonder what the Focus will end up listing at, with a modicum of equipment.

    Edit: I see pricing for the Focus is up on Edmunds.com, so I priced an SE hatch with 6AT and cruise control--so pretty basic, but something I could live with. MSRP is $20.3k! Or about the same as a well-equipped Cruze 1LT, or an Elantra Limited. Adding options to get the Focus' equipment level up to, say, the Elantra Limited puts the MSRP to nearly $24k. It will have to be a really great car to justify that price premium, IMO.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    I think the US car buyers are finally coming around to the idea of decked out compact cars. GM tried it with the Cimmaron but it was a disaster. With the shock in '08 of $4+ gas prices and the potential for them again just about with any global hiccup, I think we are getting "it" on fuel economy. Used to be on the luxury or premium car forums nobody cared at all about MPG. In fact, people were derided just asking the question. "If you can't afford the gas you shouldn't be looking at these cars" was the mantra. Well, I think even most luxury car buyers these days do care about MPG. MPG is certainly not the deciding factor of course but the interest is there.

    You can get a bare bones compact(even with midsized interior) for $15k or something with all the bells and whistles for $24k. Quite a spread and quite a choice which is the way it should be. Some people completely balk at $23-$24k for a compact car but they are much more substantial cars than they were 15 years. My first car was a 1960 Falcon with 13" rims, 3 speed on the column, no power of any kind....not even steering. No seat belts, air bags, head restraints, crash resistant steel bars in doors or crumple type front and rear ends. And people wonder why they weigh so much more now. LOL.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    People had better get used to $25k compacts, because that's what Chevy, Ford, Mazda, Honda, and VW are offering. Although they offer $17k versions also, those are pretty bare-bones. I would never pay ~$25k for a luxe-trim compact that is essentially an economy car with lots of features, because: 1) there's so many other choices, new and used, I would prefer to spend my $25k on, and 2) I don't need a lot of the features in those $25k compacts.

    But there's probably enough buyers out there who want a loaded compact and are willing to pay ~$25k for one to make it worth manufacturing them, e.g. retired folks who used to drive a Buick, but now realize they don't need a car that size but still want all the luxury features. So they'll buy one small, loaded, car for themselves, and a minivan or 3-row SUV to convey the grandkids.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think even most luxury car buyers these days do care about MPG. MPG is certainly not the deciding factor of course but the interest is there.

    I think many, whether luxury car buyers or not, tend overreact to gas prices and mpg figures.

    The average person drives about 12,000 miles per year. Even a large difference, like 25 mpg vs. 35 mpg does not amount to all that much money...25 vs. 35 mpg would mean about $400 per year at $3 per gallon.

    $3 vs. $4 per gallon would be a difference of $342 at 35 mpg and $480 at 25 mpg.

    People get all worked up over differences like this that amount to $30-40 per month in gas costs, even going so far as to buy a new more fuel efficient vehicle to alleviate this cost and spending more than they will ever save from the reduced fuel purchases in the process.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    At $25K, nicely optioned out, the blinged-out Cruise (aka Verano) will be a nice and affordable choice next to the A4/TSX/C300/etc that are frankly way too pricey at this point.

    Case in point - the TSX is actually the current generation Accord in Japan. What they ship us as the Accord is one size larger over there. There is a hefty markup over the price in Japan for the vehicle when they ship it to the U.S. as a result of their smoke and mirrors in doing this swap. (there is no "Acura" brand in Japan - it's all "Honda")

    I think the new Buick will sell very well.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    People get all worked up over differences like this that amount to $30-40 per month in gas costs, even going so far as to buy a new more fuel efficient vehicle to alleviate this cost and spending more than they will ever save from the reduced fuel purchases in the process.

    I agee that one shouldn't buy a new vehicle just to get better MPG. That, I agree, is foolish as just the sales tax and fees alone would pretty much eat up any savings even if kept 5 years or more. However, don't know your situation but $30-$40 dollars a month is a consideration for me when looking at a potential purchase. Not a deal breaker but definitely a consideration.

    Did you not shop around to save a couple of thou when you bought your last car? That's about what $30-$40 a month would be over a 5 year period. If it's not important to save that why did you bother shopping around? It all figures into the overall cost of ownership. Most luxury vehicles take premium and the thought of $4 gas and more for premium is a consideration if one is going to buy a new car. I can afford a luxury car but preferably I'd like to get decent MPG if possible. One thing is range. The less I have to fill up the better especially this time of year. Just sayin that IMO a lot more of those kind of buyers are taking MPG into consideration.

    Just read where BMW, Infiniti are both coming out with small 4 cyl front wheel drive cars in the near future. Times are changing.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    edited February 2011
    Going from 25 to 35 mpg was meant as a deliberately extreme example. For a particular class of car the differences are typically much less, unless you are going to a hybrid or diesel for which a premium must then be paid, offsetting some or all of the fuel cost savings. But even with that extreme example the difference, ~$2000 over 5 years, is equal to what some pay to have an option or two added to the car.

    In the case of an increase in gas prices, there is not much that you can do as you already own whatever car you previously decided to buy. Undoing that previous decision is often more expensive than living with it and paying for the gas.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    Did you have a straight face when you put the A4, TSX, and C300 together with Cruze (not "Cruise", that's an easily-excitable actor, not a car, unless you meant the now-deceased PT Cruiser) in the same sentence?

    And fwiw, the Cruze is not "aka Verano". They may have some common underpinnings, but are much different cars--different bodies, different interiors, different engines. For starters.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,680
    Really? Had no idea about that...thought they were identical twins underneath as a way to save tooling costs. Interesting, as the Verano will be on our short list.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    ~$2000 over 5 years, is equal to what some pay to have an option or two added to the car.

    Pretty expensive floor mats,(wink) Usually an option costing that much would include several expensive items...not one or two. I'm sure the average person gives some thought to adding that $2000 option or not.

    Going from 25 to 35(40% increase) is kind of extreme but if I buy another SUV/CUV it will probably be an increase in MPG of that much or more. My current 8 yr old SUV is rated at 15/17. Won't be too hard to increase that by 40% if I buy another.

    In the case of an increase in gas prices, there is not much that you can do as you already own whatever car you previously decided to buy. Undoing that previous decision is often more expensive than living with it and paying for the gas.

    You're still talking about trading/buying a new car just to get better mpg and I agreed that would be a stupid decision. My point was that if one is going to buy a new car anyway, even a luxury brand, MPG has become a consideration for those buyers where it didn't used to be.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Using $35/mo as an example..
    - at a presumed amortized rate of doubling your money every 7 years
    - if you start work at 16 to 20 years old and retire at 65
    - and if gas never ever went up in price during that entire period

    you would have an extra $190000.

    So we know that from the example above, in the real world, you would have a lot more than 190k after 50 years of that 35 bucks / mo savings.

    I don't know about you, but that amount of money makes the difference between me maybe being able to retire at 65 vs possibly even being dead before being able to retire.

    Everything is relative to what one gets used to or expects. $35/mo is a lot more money to someone only making 20k a year, compared to a household income of 100k +. The difference is a multiple of 5. Five times that $35./mo is enough money to lease a new car every 3 years that will always be under wty for the next 50 years.

    So IOW's, $35/mo is not an inconsequential amount....to some of us..
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    Everything is relative, yes. But consider many people spend much more than $35 a month (a little over $1 a day) on their morning coffee. Or music downloads. Or one night out at the movies (with popcorn and drinks). Also, someone making only $20k a year will NOT be looking to buy one of these $17-27k compacts as a new car, but will be looking to buy a used car... or take mass transit maybe.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    So are you suggesting then that if that amount was...let's say, halfed, the end result is still not a significant amount?

    I have no sympathy for those who lack the ability to compare the cost of making a coffee at home and putting it in a thermos, vs those who actually waste more dollars in gasoline as they sit in the drive-thru line, waiting to buy that coffee.

    Milllions spend so much on cigarettes that they could literally put each of their kids in a new home half paid for when they fly the coup.
    How many times have you sat around a camp fire at night and listen to people proclaim that they can't figure out why they can never do better than live hand to mouth. This will be the same person that leaves their 4x4 Chevy pickup (only running on 7 cylinders) idling at the 7/11 while they pop in to buy smokes and pop and chips at 3 times the cost at a grocery store. Why did they leave the truck running? Cuz they can't afford to buy a new battery...and so it goes..

    Anyway, off topic..I'll stop there.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,731
    I don't attempt to tell someone else what is "significant" money or not. As we agreed, that is relative. My point is, for most people in the market for one of the cars in this discussion, $35 a month will likely not be a major factor in their decision. (Although given two offers for the same car, one being $35 a month less, I'll take the lower offer, thankyouverymuch.)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    For $2000 I was thinking on some cars that may be sunroof and alloys or leather seats or NAV.

    Chiming in on the examples of other areas many people spend money without the concerns that gasoline seems to cause, how about going out for lunch every day. I'm sure some spend $35 a week that way and maybe $35 a month just on the soda that they have with it instead of drinking water.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    at a presumed amortized rate of doubling your money every 7 years

    Expecting 10% annual returns, what a quaint notion... :)
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    edited February 2011
    Can't explain it and not saying it's totally rational but just believe MPG is becoming a consideration even for luxury car buyers as they look into the future at potentially higher gas prices.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Historically, the longer term investor will reap the more realistic expectations of return on your money.
    I'm not going to get the calculator out, but I suspect that the math I indicated, did not depend on a rate of return as high as 10% annually. Otherwise, the retirement age might have been able to be pushed up a few years sooner.
    But nonetheless, I got your point. I will assume your smiley con, means you got mine also.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    You're correct. It takes average annual return of 10% to double your money in seven years. It takes 9 years to double at 8%.
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