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Low End Sedans (under $16k)

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Comments

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    What happened to your criteria: quiet, smooth ride; high mpg; good resale value? The Pro has none of those. In fact, the Pro's resale value will drop some more come fall when the Mazda3 debuts. Also, I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say you are buying the Pro for a bit under MSRP. That doesn't sound like a very good deal. Pros in my area are advertised at a minimum of $4000 under MSRP, including the $2500 rebate. But the Pro is a good car, and if you like the way it drives you should be very happy with it.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    If I buy the pro it is MUCH uner MSRP, but because I am so upside-down on the Galant, it comes out to around MSRP.

    The Pro isn't the best on resale or highway ride, but it is one of three cars I can afford to get into (the Ion with my discounts or another Galant being the other two), mainly on account of the very aggressive rebates and the dealership owner's willingness to make up for my Galant's troubles. Still, since my Galant has already taken most of its depreciation already, I plan on looking carefully at just replacing my problematic brakes and keeping the car. OTher than the brakes, it has been a nice ride.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I really like the Galant. It rides well, drives well and is well screwed together. While it is not as cheap as a compact, it is one of the cheapest (high quality) midsize cars around. The fuel economy issue is due to size not the car itself. When I drove the 2003 Galant as a rental for a week I got 38-39 mpg (imperial gallon) compared with 40-41 mpg for my dad's 2003 Accord. Not that big a difference IMHO. The Mitsu can be had for a lot less than a Camry or Accord right now.

    Your idea about the brakes is a good one. Despite poor JD Power ratings and resale, I think Mitsu makes a fine car. Up here we have gotten them for 25 years as badge engineered Chrysler products and they were often referred to as the best cars Chrysler doesn't make!

    I think Mitsu rates poorly due to a terrible dealer network in the US. Up here in Canada, the dealerships were set up by an ex-GM of Canada guy who successfully established Saturn dealers in this country. For Mitsu he offered franchises to 5-star Chrysler dealers (considered the best of their type) and new dealers willing to meet a strict standard.

    I have been in a couple of Mitsu dealership and service was excellent - very Saturn like. This despite them being really inundated with customers. Here in Toronto every Fast-and_furious wanna-be was looking for an Eclipse at that time.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    Actually fuel economy depends on a number of things, I as I think brake friction (and thus heat) is what is causing my brakes to have so many problems, it could very well also be the cause of my dreadful fuel economy (18 or so city, 21 highway). The advertised fuel economy compares poorly with Accord and Camry largely due to those cars' more sophisticated powerplants. The engine (2.4 liter four) in the Galant is getting old, and while it is powerful enough and has excellent low-end torque, it just can't match the newer models for power or efficiency, though it has many of them beat for smoothness.

    I agree with you as to the car's overall quality, it is an outstanding cruiser and handles well for its size. I've actually found a few decent Mitsubishi dealers in the Los Angeles area (a 40-mile drive to Cerritos gets me Saturn-level service) and think that if the brake replacement will solve the fuel economy problems, that I may just keep the car. What a Protege replacement has going for it are better fuel economy (a little), a 4 year warranty and a lot of fun to drive. Keeping my Galant makes more sense financially, though the warranty is almost up and in addition to the cost of new brakes, it also needs new tires.

    With new brakes and tires though, the Galant should be reliable, more fuel efficient if brake drag was the problem, and handling should be better than before as I will be upgrading the OEM Goodyear Eagle LS (195/65/SR15) to Pirelli P4000 (205/60HR15). Perhaps an aftermarket extended warranty on the Galant before the factory coverage expires is also a good idea, based on its history thus far.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I think fixing up the Mitsu is a good call. None of the small cars on the market today can match the Galant for highway comfort. I like individual things about the Pro, Civic, Lancer etc but a bigger car is just more comfortable. My limited experience with the Galant is that (in imperial gallons) its gets 2 mpg less than a Lancer and 9-11 mpg less than a Civic/Corolla.

    Yes the Accord and Camry are more sophisticated but they are physically larger and to my eyes ungainly in the cheaper trim levels. Even the stripper Galant looks good although the interior is a bit dull looking. Still I like it better than the new Altima interior (yuck).

    Perhaps I have a soft spot for Mitsus. They are the first Japanese car (an 1981 Colt) I ever drove and rode in frequently. Bullet proof powertrain, solid built quality and economy of operation which are now the hallmarks of Japanese cars, were at that time the purview of only a handful of vehicles. In Canada in the early 80s most Japanese cars disintegrated from rust prematurely. The Colts at least fared better than the Civics and Mazda GLCs of their day.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I saw a mid 1980s Dodge Colt on the weekend in surprisingly good shape. Up here in Canada these Mitsubishi cars did not sell as well as Civics and Corollas but were reasonably popular due to their low price and good economy of operation. While not a pretty car it was still a competent little car with pleasant looks and a bullet proof powertrain. Mistu's current little car, the Lancer, is one of my favorites, despite the lower than average fuel econ. Its pretty hard to beat a small Japanese car, they are all so decent.

    How about the Koreans? Hyundai is doing well and their cars are pretty good. Anybody out there with good Kia experience they would like to share?
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    Just ordered the parts, Brembo rotors, braided steel lines and a caliper and master cylinder rebuild.

    The smaller cars (particularly the Protege) are great fun, but the depreciation hit is too large, and except for the mystery brake problems, the Galant has been and should remain excellent.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    So now you got a Galant on steroid brakes? Nice!!!

    Dinu
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Anybody out there with good Kia experience they would like to share?

    If that isn't an open invitation for iluvmysephia to enter the discussion, I don't know what is!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    to drag me into this one. On the Mitsubishi Lancer, that is a car to keep an eye on...the Evo is filling the performance niche for the fast and furious crowd now but even the standard Lancer offers a decent small car with decent looks to go along with it IMHO. Another interesting small car in this price range is Suzuki's Aerio 4-door sedan(I don't like the little wagon-looking Aerio)....soon there will be new GM Daewoo Auto & Technolgy Co. cars imported to the U.S.as Suzuki's to throw in this mix as well as Chevy's Aveo. It's good times for low-end enthusiasts! My 2001 Sportage has been a reliable rig and, although I have no immediate plans to trade in for a new baby I'm closely watching a sports car that chimes in just a little more expensively than this forum can handle, the Hyundai Tiburon GT V6. Ingtonge18 just gave a most favorable 5K mile report on his and that is probably the car I'll pounce on next-it will probably be in a few more years though as I'm at 57,500 miles now in the Sport and not having the 90-mile a day commute that I endured in Washington state. Ozark roads would be most entertaining in a Tibby-low slung and clinging to the corners with glee! For now it's mini-uting to my hearts content. For the sake of the "low-end" discussion Tiburon rings in at around $16,249 for the 4cyl base model and about $18,499 for the GT V6 so it's pretty much outta this one...as is the new Chevy Cobalt currently under development by GM. If I'm not mistaken I thought I read something about a more upscale price tag for Cobalt than the Cavalier-Sunfire has.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Nice photos Dinu. Holy schnikey does that sedan version of the new baby Mazda ever look like a 3 series BMW! One nice thing about the current Pro is that the new 6 looks like a giant version of it. So even though there will be a new small Mazda, the old one will not look horribly out of date. This is a complaint I have have from some buyers of the 2002 Corolla which was only made for about 3 months before the early intro of the totally revised '03 (though I really like mine).

    Iluv: Do you still own a Sephia (judging by your name). I have a colleague here who drives the Acura version of the Civic (Canada only) and seriously needs a second car to replace one that has gone to a better place. She drove a Sportage in Florida as a rental and absolutely loved it. She is now sold on Kias and is thinking about a Spectra or Rio. I see quite a few Kias around here in Toronto. I have not had any personally experience with them but they look do nice
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I saw a Suzuki hatchback (forget the name) in the most recent Automobile Mazagine with a 1.3l engine making 110 horsepower, and 4wd. I think they said the price would be around $10,000. I'm sure it will never come to north America, but I wish it would.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Look closely at the new BMWs' front end from a profile look, then compare that to the 3 - very close.

    The HB has soem hints of Murano in it.

    Dinu
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    You are right about the Murano influence on the hatchback. I really like it.

    I saw the spy photos of the new 2005 Nissan Sentra recently and that also looks quite BMW ish albeit with a truncated rear. That could be interesting. I like Nissan cars but the current Sentra is built in Mexico and not much to look at. It is also one of the old Nissan designs - where they copy what Toyota does and make it even duller looking. The interior or the Sentra looks a lot like the last generation of the Corolla.

    muffin: If you are in Japan you must get to see all kinds of interesting small cars that we do not get in North America. The only Suzuki car we get is the quirky Aerio - IMHO the worst interior available on any car today. Even worse than the Cavalier/Sunfire. The Aerio has a really cheap looking steering wheel and a digital dash. The car does drive well though and I do not mind the unique exterior styling. I am sure like other Suzuki products, it is a very reliable car.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I lived in Japan for a few years, and left the flag on my profile, but I'm in California now.

    A friend of mine owned a Suzuki dealership there, and the cars available are much different from here, as you might imagine. I agree with you about the Aerio, I was really turned off by the test drive, even though it's a good value.

    Suzuki's strengths are in its small cars. They were building 8500rpm Swifts back in the late 80s. I'd love to see them build a presence based on their sport hatchbacks in the US.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 and have really enjoyed it. It rides like a truck but handles itself fairly well around town for a 4WD rig. I usually get around 25 mpg, too, if that's a consideration. Kia is working on a new Elantra-based unitized body Sportage replacement for early 2004 as a 2005 model that will be FWD w/an available option of AWD. That should be interesting, too and not real expensive. No actual pricing is available on it yet. That Suzuki Aerio sedan looks interesting though I doubt I would be interested in it as a purchase it looks kind of lovably quirky. My mind seems stuck on the new Tibby...nice pics of the new M-6 dinu01! They've done what looks to be a fine job with it!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The M6 is out and we can all agree it's the best-looking midsize out there, right? :)

    Dinu
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    Just goes to show you how our minds can more accurately decipher and interpret information that we're MOST interested in, eh? Know what I mean?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Mazda3 or Mazda Mazda3 or Mazda M3 or M3 or MZ3 - you got the idea.

    Dinu
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