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Compact Sedans

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    ~$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: 2,346
    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: 18,628
    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: 2,346
    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: 18,628
    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: 2,897
    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: 2,346
    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: 2,897
    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%.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    And if you are lucky enough to earn 8%, while inflation is 3%, it takes about 14 years to double, after accounting for inflation.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,707
    Last year's actual durable goods index for inflation was 6.5% for 2010.

    We're in the middle of a 1970s era inflation cycle. Nothing short of hard assets will save you, because nothing will consistently give you those sorts of returns in this economy.
  • A reporters seeks to interview a recent car buyer who opted for an Elantra or Cruze after considering Corolla. Please email pr@edmunds.com by Monday, February 14, 2011 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your decision.
    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I'm a 44 year old single guy and I want a nice, small, loaded car that gets good MPG. What I do want to see are some nicer small cars. I've had an 86 Accord and I have a 96 Altima and neither car rode like a small car yet so many of the smaller cars seem to maybe intentionally ride like economy cars or sports cars or handle terribly. The 86 Accord and 96 Altima are actaully slightly smaller than today's Civic, Sentra, Corolla and Mazda3 so the size should not be an issue.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,701
    I'm a 44 year old single guy and I want a nice, small, loaded car that gets good MPG. What I do want to see are some nicer small cars. I've had an 86 Accord and I have a 96 Altima and neither car rode like a small car yet so many of the smaller cars seem to maybe intentionally ride like economy cars or sports cars or handle terribly. The 86 Accord and 96 Altima are actaully slightly smaller than today's Civic, Sentra, Corolla and Mazda3 so the size should not be an issue.

    I feel very much like you. I really lament the size growth of sedans over the last 20 years.

    Most of the recent best small cars have grown too much (TSX) or gotten cheaper inside (Jetta). The Mazda 3 is a pretty nice car, but not luxury. The A4 and MB C class are much nicer but also much more expensive. The BMW 3 series is more austere and when loaded is quite expensive. I don't know enough about the Volvo S40 but that might be an option. The new Cruze is almost midsized but when loaded it is very nice inside. For mileage the new Elantra might be good, but is probably not as "nice". I hear the Kia Forte is pretty nice as well.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,218
    The 2011 Mazda 3 got a rather poor 2 stars in the updated gov't side impact test. My wife saw that at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday and it pretty much sealed the fate for considering the 3 as her next car. Sadly, the Civic is also a 2-star car, though before getting that far my wife crossed it off her list due to the IP layout; she despises digital speedometers.

    Cruze gets 5 stars, as does the A4 & Jetta. The Forte gets 4 stars with a warning.

    Corolla, Elantra, and some others have yet to be tested.
  • We were just discussing the expansion movement a couple of days ago. It seems that manufacturers start out with a compact or subcompact vehicle (e.g., the original Civic) and gradually enlarge it over the years so that it's not truly "compact" anymore. Then they start over, a la the Honda Fit, which looks a lot like the original Civic.

    Can't we just stop messing with the size?

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Increasing space is one of the cheapest ways to give the perception of being better than the competition.
    The other ridiculously cheap move is all the electronics that mfgrs are offering. I have seen people rule out a certain great car, just because it didn't have a USB outlet.
    That little scam they (especially the Koreans) have going, will go down in history as one of the biggest profit moves ever. All this iPod, Bluetooth, USB stuff costs them literally pennies, yet pull hundreds and even thousands by the very strategic option packages. Most cars already come pre-wired for stuff like this because it would cost more to 'not' have that slot in the factory assembly line allocated for the 'odd ball'.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    You should look at the new 2012 Focus that will hit dealerships in about a month. Very nice vehicle and hasn't gotten huge like Cruze and Jetta. Should handle very nicely(better than Cruze, Elantra), get similar MPG as those two and interior quality and tech is as good or better than all the other compacts..
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    You didn't say this car has to be new. So along with new cars like the Cruze LTZ, 2012 Focus SES, and Elantra Limited, you should check out the pre-2011 Jetta (TDI for best fuel economy). If a hatch is OK, the Golf (available with the TDI also) is one of the most refined small cars, albeit pricey when loaded (but then so are the Cruze and Focus). The new Verano will be pretty luxurious, but won't match the likes of the Cruze, Focus, Elantra, or Jetta/Golf TDI in fuel economy.
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