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Low End Sedans (under $16k)

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Comments

  • jkobbjkobb Posts: 51
    I have a Hyundai Elantra and do not consider it low end . Even though I can afford a bigger car , I chose not to . I think they should change the title to "Smart Sedans". Smart because I bought a car no bigger than I need. Smart because I save money everytime I fill up . Smart because I can now use that extra money on other things.Smart becuse these cars are so maneuverable and easy to park and fun to drive. I could go on, but you get my point. I think the "Low End Sedan" title is derogatory.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    "Low end" doesn't refer to the quality or capability of the car but the price range--for this discussion, under $15k. I suppose we could call it "Low Priced Sedans". But I like your idea better. I wonder if people would confuse it with the Smart cars though. :confuse:
  • randydriverrandydriver Posts: 262
    I too could afford a much larger car,but choose to own one that suits my needs. That sounds like it makes more senes than "Low End Sedans" my car is not low end in any repect but price. It makes the cars sound like they are........?Crap?. and they are not.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I think Low Priced Sedans is a good title. Im not so much a fan of "Smart Sedans" because smart for you or I may be absurd for someone else, its not very standard.
    I was never really offended by Low-end, in the first place, though.

    ~alpha
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Well, this discussion has been going strong for just 2 days short of four years now and you are the first person to tell us that reaction.

    The name started out being something like Low End Sedans: Japanese, American, German and Korean - something like that :) - and we shortened it to this a while back.

    It was created as a counterpoint to the High End Luxury Sedan discussion.

    I don't see any reason to change the name at this point.
  • jkobbjkobb Posts: 51
    I was just wondering how many people reply when asked what they reply "Well I`m sad to say I just drive a Low End Sedan" . Then they sheepishly walk away . I`m just saying the title makes it sound like these cars throw pieces of junk , when in fact they are just as goodas their bigger cousins. Only easier to park , get better milage,and I believe more fun to drive. Smart like a fox I am. :)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    Low End means smart. Too much excess going on for too long. Low End=Smart.

    Oh, leave the title to this thread like it is. It's fine. :)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • gy563gy563 Posts: 44
    2006 kia rio (new pride in korea)
    image

    image

    coming this summer
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,969
    am i supposed to like this? i do like the cell phone cover. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    C'mon, now--you have to admit for an econobox starting at around $10,000, this ain't bad at all. If you don't like the climate controls, don't worry--there's no way we'll be getting anything that fancy in the U.S. It'll be basic knobs for us.
  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    looks fine to me. That many steering wheel controls is unheard of in this price range. While the seat fabric is purely industrial, I'm sure it'll take a beating ;) Besides, I'm tired of all the lower end cars sticking their gauges in the middle of the console, so it's already a leg above
  • huntleyhuntley Posts: 14
    As a 54 year old male who does minimal driving, I am trying to decide on whether to purchase a Ford Focus ZX5 ($16,800) or a Kia Spectra SX (14,800). I have narrowed my choices down to TWO vehicles. According to Consumer Reports, the Ford Focus is rated number one, whereas the Kia Spectra is "out of contention" due to poor crash results :cry: . Owners of the Kia Spectra have said the car suffers from "nose plow" when braking, as well as "understeer" and a noisy engine at highway speeds. I tried BOTH vehicles and found that the Focus had a better seating position, but cheap looking interior materials. The Spectra's interior looked superior and the handling felt similar to the Focus, even though it had a much lower stance. This is a difficult decision. I also drove the Mazda3 but ruled it out because I found the seats were as hard as concrete. I tried the Cobalt and those seats were the same. The most comfortable seats are in the Focus and the Spectra. Because of Kia's poor history and "pooh poohing" from the auto industry, I am reluctant to purchase one, plus I have never seen one on the road. Even the salesperson at KIA told me the car was a hard sell. Could someone please offer some advice and suggestion to help me make my final choice? Are both cars silly looking for a 54 year old male? One added piece of info . . Kia and Ford are both conveniently located near my home.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Here's my take.

    I'd get the Ford Focus for a few reasons. The Focus, I heard has some good crash test results. It's got a pretty good stereo, and excellent driving dynamics. It's got a relatively large interior for a car in its class.

    The Spectra5 has a low price, a long warranty, like 10 years, and the build quality is supposed to be pretty good, and the interior materials are also above average.

    However, there are some othe vehicles that you might not have considered. Consider the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. Both of those cars look great, have available AWD, plus a lot of cargo room. The Vibe has available satellite radio and I think even a NAV system.

    There is also the Suzuki Reno, if you're looking for a budget hatchback. However, I'd take a Focus over the Reno, because of it's handling and interior volume,

    My final recommendation to you is a Honda Element. If you can get over the styling, the vehicle has a lot to offer. Build one at the Honda website and you will see.

    Hope this helps, and good luck on your car purchase!

    P.S. I have to admit, I dont usually see 54 year old males driving compact hatchbacks. Males that age usually drive either a large SUV or a large luxury car.
    But hey, nothing wrong with driving a hatchback :)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,969
    huntley... am a bit younger than you, (but not a bunch). have an '04 focus zts(sedan, 2.3, 5 speed). can comment of the focus. have had it a bit over a year, and my wife and i love it. bought it to keep miles off our 'good' vehicles, plus next year we will have an addtional driver. we end up driving way more than we expected, because it is a really good driver. i'm assuming the numbers you posted are msrp. you can get a focus for way less than that. i won't go into everything i like or dislike(unless you ask me to), so i'll stick to the dislkes. the stereo is pretty good(blaupunkt), although it can get overwhelmed with the windows or power moonroof open. the interior surfaces are cheap(hard, easily scratched). the driver's seat is not all that comfortable for me. people think you are some kid and try to turn stop lights into drag races. gas mileage is pretty comparable to epa sticker.
  • huntleyhuntley Posts: 14
    csandste . . . . . interesting that you recommended the Malibu Maxx. The Maxx is my THIRD choice. I had driven the other two vehicles, unable to make a choice between them and decided to try something out of character for me . . . the very funky looking Maxx. I absoulutely loved it! I loved the power, heated fabric seat along with the back seat sunroofs and reclining bucket seats . . such a flexible vehicle. The gas mileage looked excellent and the comfort was way better than the other two, plus it's more "adult" looking for a guy of 54. As a single person who drives alone, only a mile from his job, do I need a car that size? A ZX5 of Spectra seems to be all I really need. One thing I didn't like on the Malibu . . . the dash looks like tupperware. Then I read that the 2006 model will have a tweeked front end. I have always had smaller cars. This past weekend I tried the new Sonata 4 cyl. version. What a wonderful car!!! But it felt too large for me. The mileage on the 4 is almost the same as the Ford Focus . . . just 2 miles less per gallon. My conclusion on that car is that it's just another "nicer looking" Camry which I would never buy. Maybe I'll just stay with my 1999 Mercury Mystique LS until something really strikes my fancy.
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Posts: 593
    Drove a Mazda 3, but reliability not as good as the Maxx.

    I think there's only one way to respond to that statement:

    HUH!?!?!?!?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The 3 gets the top "Much Better than Average" rating from CR, the Malibu isnt even close.

    ~alpha
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I was going by J.D. Power Initial Quality. I believe that Mazda as a brand is near the bottom of the list. BTW-- I like both the 3 and 6. I think the 6 is a better looking and sportier car than the Maxx, so I'm not dissing it, just stating that I have some quality issues-- you could certainly argue that the Maxx will drop off the charts in the near future but the last generation platform (although a very unpleasant car) was at least reliable at the end of its run. The problems with the 04 Bu fit in with GM's rushing things to market. Unlike my 01 Elantra which was rock steady in its first year there seems to be a significant difference (subjectively) in what people are reporting between the 04's and 05's.

    'Bu/3/6

    Mechanical Quality 5, 2,2
    Feature and Accessory Quality 5,5,4
    Body and Interior Quality 4,3,2
    Overall Quality 5,2,2
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    (Do I need a car of that size?)

    My feelings exactly when I got the Maxx. Seemed too big and I actually curbed it once or twice-- long wheelbase. However, after a month I adjusted to it and the Maxx delights me more and more. I'm even getting used to the automatic.

    As far as the interior, most people seem to like the neutral better than the gray. I have the neutral and have always had a pure hatred for phony wood but even that is growing on me since it's there in a limited way. Dash design sure isn't Lexus like, but it's pleasant to be in. Kind of like an Equinox. I do think the seat fabrics on the LS are cheap.

    The mechanicals are universally fixable by a lot of different people. The exterior isn't pretty but at least its unique. It has a whole load of crap on it, things like adjustable pedals-- even on the base car.

    Give me that Sonata wagon and I'd be a happy camper, the sedan is way too Camcordy.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said:

    even on the base car.

    If you got the 4 cylinder, I'd appreciate a report on its handling, acceleration, noise level at cruise (at 80 if you drive that fast) and freeway gas mileage. I am interested in the 4 cylinder Malibu because it gets such great freeway gas mileage, accordig to reports, and because while both the 4 & 6 are reported to have good handling, the 4 has been reported to have better handling (lighter weight in the nose) than the 6 by Consumer Reports and also one of the car enthusiast magazines.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Look at the current issue of Motor Trend, they have a 5-way comparo including the Spectra and Focus (and 3 and Corolla and Cobalt). I think the Spectra out-pointed the Focus but the 3 edged the Corolla for first.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    If I did I misstated. I bought an LS Maxx, which I guess is the base Maxx since the 4 cylinder isn't available. I think the 3.5 liter engine is great, although not ohc. Gets almost as much mpg as the four and has a lot more power. The 'Bu is well suited to a torquey engine. FWIW-- Other than a van this is my first non-four in more than 30 years so I'm not a large car guy.

    I only paid $16K for the Maxx. With a card and the new discounts it should be quite a bit lower than that. That's about 3K less than a Sonata four banger.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Initial Quality is first 90 days only. Much more time is spent past that mark, and while initial quality, for me, is an significant metric, Im much more concerned with long term.

    ~alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Re $16k for a V6 Maxx, was that with the GM credit card rebate or other special rebates? That's FAR below any price I've ever seen for a new V6 Maxx.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    it did include a $500 autoshow credit and the GM friends and family (driveway) credit-- although by the time they worked through that it only counted for about $80. It was almost exactly $6000 off list. As far as I could tell in the 'Bu forums I did about average. People with the GM card did a lot better.

    Backy-- I know you said you sat in one (at an autoshow?) but I'd kind of like to see your thoughts after a test drive. Took me about a month to get used to after my Elantra. I'd like to see your thoughts v. the new Sonata. If that chopped Sonata wagon was available I'd be a lot more enthusiastic.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Maybe I'll have to drive a Maxx. I took it off my list after the auto show because the Elantra had enough room for me and was $13k fully loaded. But I might get my wife a little bigger car next year and keep the '04 Elantra GT for myself :) when I turn my '01 Elantra over to my oldest son next fall. The Sonata would be in the running due to its size and safety equipment, but the Maxx is definitely worth a look because of the hatchback. And if I could get a nicely-equipped V6 Maxx for $16k vs. (maybe) getting a Sonata GL for the same money, the Maxx would be quite a bargain.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    who totaled it up after 3 months. :cry:

    She was supposed to pay me $100 a month for it for 20 months. My son in law works for a towing company and it's still sitting down there-- he's worked out some kind of deal to have it sent to Mexico. Hopefully he'll check the car for left over identification, etc. before it's shipped out. I liked the car too much to view the corpse.

    Anyway-- compared to the 01 GLS, the Maxx has a lot more doo-dads including a nifty trip computer with oil life monitor, auto headlights, radio presets tied to individual key fobs, adjustable pedals and steering column (in and out, not just up and down), 2 way power seat. Certainly no better than the new Sonata-- or maybe even your GT but slightly different.

    Some people [non-permissible content removed] about the dash-- it's certainly no Lexus-- but it's pleasant. Seat surfaces may be durable but I like them less than the Elantra-- another car that got complaints but which I got to like. V-6 engine gets about 2 mpg less than my Elantra but has lots of low end torque. I'm sure it's less smooth than the new Sonata 6 will be, however. Compared to the Elantra, I like not having to lay out $700 for a 60K checkup with timing belt replacement.

    Again-- I wasn't real crazy about the car on my first test drive, given the levels of stuff my mind made the call and not my heart--- plus I don't like automatics. But-- this car has really grown on me and I find it more and more pleasant as I own it. Believe me, I've had plenty of other cars that went the other way when it comes to satisfaction.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Just had my car out this noon, three small enhancements on my Maxx:

    1. There's a little rubber thingy below the ignition switch that silences the keys from clanking on the fob (true, it lacks the Elantra's lighted ring).

    2. There's a slot in the dash which holds your billfold perfectly-- reduces butt pain on long trips, yet it's not rattling around in a stowage area.

    3. There's a little clip on the windshield to hold parking permits, etc.

    These are all very small things but they exist by the dozen and help to make this a car that grows on you.

    Last year I rented a previous gen. 'Bu and although rental cars are often abused, I came away after three days of driving missing my Elantra. The Elantra was not only more pleasant, it felt larger. Not so with this one, it really grows on you.

    Since we're supposed to be talking basic sedans here, I rented a Dodge Neon last fall-- there was the most disagreeable car that I'd been in since my old '86 Tempo-- they need a replacement in the worst way. It was even cruder than my '97 Cavalier. These little detail glitches that make a car pleasant or unpleasant can take a couple of days to sort out. The curve on the Maxx is definitely pointing up!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,969
    it's ok with you that the car will probably get rebuilt with counterfeit documentation and sold some unsuspecting new owner, so you can recoup a few extra bucks? :(
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. I don't own the car anymore--it's my son in law's.
    2. The purchasing party is a scrap yard.
    3. It wouldn't be worth fixing in the U.S, but if it can be fixed with cheaper Mexican labor, I don't see that as a problem. I haven't seen the car (too heartbreaking) but my take is that it can be fixed safely, just not at a price that would be justified in the States.
    4. I'd feel better about it giving decent service in a third world country than I would about getting it scrapped.
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