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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    With Toyota and Honda I call it "less expensive", with Chrysler, Ford, GM, Kia/Hyundai, I call it "low end." No matter what you read about these new "low cost to buy" cars, it still pans out the same at 60-90,000 miles. The Toyota's, Honda's, Subaru's, and even the Suzuki's made by Suzuki (not a rebadged Daewoo), are still going strong...I had a Neon and Focus new off the lot, My Corolla saw them pull into the driveway, and saw them die there...and that Corolla is still going. I cannot believe the way the motor on that car still sounds today. It is unreal. the Focus is what made me say, "I will never let another American (big 3) car in this family again. Have your own opinion, but the Japanese companies (albeit, I'd rather them be made there than here to keep the quality high) are the way to go.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    Since you provided your personal experience, I'll provide mine:

    2001 Elantra GLS, purchased new in October 2000, sold to my sister five years ago. Still going strong, about 80k miles, no major work except regular maintenance and a clutch replacement after my wife and son worked together to destroy it six years ago.

    2004 Elantra GT, purchased new in March 2004, 61k miles, still drives like new (60k service increased the mpg about 10%, gets 37 mpg on the highway now). No major work except regular maintenance; replaced rear brakes at 45k, fronts still have 70% left.

    2007 Sonata GLS, purchased used in November 2009, 51k miles, still looks and drives great. Still under factory warranty. Had to replace the driver's recliner switch (warranty), that's about it except regular maintenance.

    I've owned Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans (leasing a Sentra now, nice car) and they were all pretty reliable, but no more so than the 3 Korean cars I've owned.

    In short... it's 2011 now, not the '80s and '90s anymore. Different world out there.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,740
    edited May 2011
    Aveo is Korean, isn't it? Seems like Daewoo...

    The Chevrolet Aveo is really a re-badged Daewoo Kalos, it's Daewoo-designed, just warmed over by Chevrolet for their customers' consumption. GM bought Daewoo round about 2000 and made a company to be plopped in South Korea called GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Company.

    This was one of the halo cars produced by that "marriage" of companies. But it's a GM-run Company, make no fidgety mistakes here.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I had a friend buy a Hiyonday in 1993. It was an utter piece of junk. It was in for warrranty work like every month! Whne I bought my 2001 ECHO I looked at one. It was a total piece of crap. I could not BELIEVE a manufacturer would sell something like that. Better to wait until they could make something competitive. 10 year warranty? I was pretty that was a trap to lure the unwary.

    I have looked at them recently and they are better. I would not say they are made a like a Tyota. But they arent radiactive!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,740
    edited May 2011
    I herd therwe's this ting on the compoooter kawled speilberg chek. Chek in too cash.


    Burp. :D


    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Youve obviously never been to TX where they have Tieotuz.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,944
    Now that's funny! And if I remember correctly, it's pronounce TY-otuz, emphasis on the Ty.


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  • barkydogbarkydog Posts: 45
    I can remember the old joke about a proposed joint venture between Toyota and Chevy to manufacture and rename the Chevette.

    It was to be called the Toylette.

    So now we have the actuality of an American Version of a DaEwOo.

    It's called the AVEO. And it's a pretty good car. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    "Pretty good car" as in quite possibly the worst car currently offered by anyone in the USA (now that Chrysler has upgraded its lineup)?

    The Aveo was no better than passable when it debuted years ago. Now it's hopelessly outclassed by every other car in its class. I've had to suffer through a few Aveo rentals. They brought new meaning to the term "penalty box". These days, I physically recoil when I see a Yaris waiting for me at the rental car lot. I always try to get out of it (easier since I asked Hertz to put "No Yaris!" in my profile). But the Aveo is worse. Much worse.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    A friend bought an aveo and only had it four years before getting rid of it. They had a lot of trouble with it.

    I found out my two year old Yaris is worth MORE than what I paid for it. First car I ever had that did that...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    thots prettie commin wuth all youzed carz nowdaze.
  • barkydogbarkydog Posts: 45
    So you think both the Aveo and the Yaris are terrible based upon your rental experience.

    It seems to me that actually owing a vehicle makes for a more valid evaluation of it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    Yes, but I think I can form a pretty good impression of what it's like to live with a vehicle after driving it several times for multiple days at a time in "real-world" conditions.

    After you've purchased the car, it's a little late to evaluate it, isn't it?

    "Terrible" might be too strong a word, especially for the Yaris. It's just that I think both are outclassed by newer designs. They are two of the oldest, if not the oldest, designs in the class right now. I prefer other cars in the class e.g. Versa, Fiesta, Fit, Accent, and Rio. But the new Sonic looks to be a big improvement over the Aveo.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,944
    True, but I can tell you right now that after renting a particular vehicle for several days, I'm pretty certain about whether it's a vehicle I'd consider purchasing, or one that is off my list. A few days of renting isn't sufficient to provide a comprehensive review on which others may make a decision, but it sure is enough for me.


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  • barkydogbarkydog Posts: 45
    "After you've purchased the car, it's a little late to evaluate it, isn't it? "

    No, I did my homework before buying and I was not disappointed. After owning an Aveo for a year and a half and 8000 miles, I'm very pleased with my purchase.

    The way most rental cars are used and abused, I wouldn't base a decision solely upon that experience.

    I test drove the Yaris, the Fit and the Aveo, all of which are comparable, before buying an Aveo 5. For a variety of reasons the Aveo was the best choice for what I wanted and expected of a small economic car for basic transportation. I could tell you specifics about what I considered deficiencies in the other models, but this is an Aveo forum. Besides, I don't owe you or anyone an explanation. Apparently you came here only to criticize the Aveo, but not in any specific way.

    When you bring up the "out-classed" argument you sound just like a car magazine reviewer. Are you one, or just a parroting 'wanna-be'? Sure, the Aveo is not the newest, nor the latest design with all the fancy bells and whistles. You sound preoccupied with "class" and novelty (newness).

    But not all of us want the latest and the most sophisticated model on the market. If we simply want a 'plain vanilla' car at a low price (possibly at a price much lower than the other offerings) what's so bad about that?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    edited May 2011
    I obviously touched a nerve. But let's try to keep it about the cars and not personal jibes, OK?

    I've found it's useful to see how a car holds up under hard use as a rental car. If the car is rattle free and drives smoothly, and everything still works, after 30-40k miles as a rental, that's a good sign. But some rental cars seem worn out after only 20k miles. One of the Aveos I drove was like that. A couple others were nearly new.

    Since you demand specifics as to why I think the Aveo is outclased, here's some:

    Saftety: How many cars today don't have side curtain airbags? How many don't have standard ABS? The Aveo doesn't have either. In fact, ABS isn't even available except on the LT trims. Most small cars today even have stability control standard, at least on some trims. It's not available at any price on the Aveo.

    Power: Trails the Versa, Fiesta, and new Accent and Rio to name a few.

    Fuel Economy: Despite having only 108 hp, the Aveo isn't that great in FE (27/35), trailing the Yaris, Fiesta, Accent, and Rio, and trailing even some larger cars.

    Interior quality: It improved over the years but is behind the best in class, i.e. Fiesta, Accent, and Rio.

    Ride quality: Some small cars such as the Versa, Fiesta, Accent and Rio have a smooth, comfortable ride for a small car. Aveo doesn't. (Note the comment about ride on Accent and Rio is re the 2006-11 models; I haven't driven the 2012s yet.)

    Sorry it bothers you that I use terms like "outclassed." I think it's accurate. It doesn't mean "class" in the way you implied--it means the class of car the Aveo is in i.e. B-class. I am not pre-occupied with "newness" (heck, I buy mostly used cars). I would like to get the most for my money though. If I could find a car with better safety, power, fuel economy, ride quality, and interior quality than the Aveo for about the same money, I'd have to look past the Aveo.

    But understand I am not attacking your personal decision on a car or anyone else's. I am simply stating my opinion of a car... which is what this forum is all about.

    BTW, this is NOT an "Aveo forum". This discussion is about all the low-end cars, including the Aveo.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 3,064
    You've obviously not been in these forums very long or you would have known that Backy gives the best car reviews bar none here in Edmunds. Too be rude on your part in here is totally unacceptable...we, as a group, all treat each other with dignity & are way out of line here! His opinions are his and yours are yours...let's leave it at that! And last I looked, this isn't the Aveo forum.

    Backy is a very well respected & knowledgeable poster and has been for years...all his reviews are as professional as many magazines and I would hope you would apologize for the nastiness of your post! You rock Backy!!

    A long time Edmunds member, I am,

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,944
    Let's just all calm down here. No big deal. One person likes a vehicle, another person would never buy that same vehicle. What's new?

    It isn't personal in any way apart from the fact that it's a personal preference for certain vehicles, features, qualities, etc.


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  • barkydogbarkydog Posts: 45
    if you re-read my post you will see that I did not "demand specifics as to why... the Aveo is outclased (sic)." You took the opportunity to provide a long list to support your position.

    It matters a lot to you whether a car is outclassed. You want the latest features and the more of them, the better. Car reviewers assume that everyone should want that above all else.

    Some of us don't want all those things. Some of us want just the basics at the lowest price possible. An Aveo can often be purchased new for thousands less than others in its "class".

    So my rhetorical question still stands: What's so bad about wanting that?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    edited May 2011
    You pretty much did "demand" that I provide specifics:

    Apparently you came here only to criticize the Aveo, but not in any specific way.

    So I tried to oblige you.

    It does matter to me a lot how a car compares to others in its class. If one car stands above others in its class, yet is comparably priced to the others, that is a good thing in my mind. If OTOH one car trails others in its class in significant ways, especially multiple significant ways, then one way to express that is that the car is "outclassed" by others.

    I do want the best possible safety, economy, comfort, reliability, and performance in the cars I buy, relative to how much I am willing to pay. It does take "features" to provide those things, e.g. full complement of airbags, ABS/ESC, modern engine management like CVVT and maybe GDI, 6-speed transmissions, nicely-trimmed interiors etc.

    For people who want a basic car at the lowest price possible, I think the Aveo is a great choice in a new car. It's one of the few cars that can still be purchased new for under $10k. There's nothing "bad" in wanting that, and I never said there was. It's simply that you and I look at car buying differently. It appears you would rather buy new even if it means getting a very basic car, for a low price. My preference would be to get a better-equipped car by buying one that is slightly used, for the same money. As I said before, I tend to buy mostly used these days (since 2004 anyway), except I did lease a 2010 Sentra last year only because it offered a very low payment with zero out of pocket, which is what I was looking for at the time.

    Would you care to share with us how you made your decision for the Aveo over the other cars you drove? Maybe others would find that useful in their new car hunt.
  • barkydogbarkydog Posts: 45
    Your question about why I chose the Aveo is a fair one, so I will try to provide an answer. Before I do however, I must note that your initial assessment is that of it being "quite possibly the worst car currently offered by anyone in the USA" and a "penalty box", and as compared to a Yaris as being "(W)orse. Much worse." That's undeservedly harsh.

    Before buying I test drove and compared it with a Yaris and a Fit, all 2009 models. The Yaris was comparable in all the dimensions of usable space and size. The ride was very similar. However the Yaris' interior was like a bad joke. I have owned three other Toyotas that I loved, but everything about the Yaris' interior was absurd. For starters, putting a speedometer in the center of the dashboard is idiotic, there were virtually no gauges, and there were many more inconvenient features of the interior design. I did not feel comfortable driving it and that alone was reason to reject it - not to mention that it cost much more than a similarly equipped Aveo did. Ironically price was no object for me, but I won't overpay just to have brand recognition. IMHO, the Fit was no better for me, in that it had a glitzy interior that had many trendy accessories that I didn't want or need. The supposedly more spacious interior wasn't what it was touted to be; I saw no real advantage to it. The EPA ratings on the others (Rio and Accent) was no better than Aveo; on the Versa it is considerably worse. I didn't bother with either of the former as they are also Korean and the Accent isn't made as a 5 door.

    I do my own routine service such as oil changes. Try crawling under a Honda to get to the oil filter. The Aveo is very easy to service and the filter is right under the hood. The others don't have a stainless exhaust system. Aveo does, and it's one less thing to need to replace early on. I've been driving for 40 years. I don't need things like ABS brakes or baby seat securing convenience or accommodation for computer gadgetry.

    Apparently the early Aveos were poorly designed and made, but I've never driven one so I'll accept that as a fact. I simply compared the 2009 to others in the same model year and category and found it to be favorably comparable. I judged it on that basis, not a prejudicial one.

    My Aveo5 is used for a short daily commute and for local shopping. It doesn't need to ride like a Caddy or accelerate like a Corvette. Fit and finish is absolutely excellent - as good as I've ever seen and every bit as good as the Japanese competition. The interior layout was so much better than the others that I actually enjoy driving it, even though it is a cheap econobox.

    Is it the best car ever made? No, but it serves its purpose, and at a price lower than the competition. IMHO, it's a better value, depending on your needs.

    But it hardly deserves being derided, either.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,740
    edited May 2011
    you stick up for your automotive principles and I respect that. I've been in your shoes...I bought an "early" Kia sedan imported here called the Sephia. It was a whopping total of $7,995. No radio or A/C. 5-speed stick worked pretty well. Pretty bare bones rig. I bought the car in May of 1999 and in early 2001 I took tax return money and bought some Konig Diva wheels and Yokohoma all-season 70,000 mile radials. You wanna talk about a fun ta drive, rig. Loving music like I do of course I had to get an AM/FM/cassette player (no CD player required for this dude) and voila! Rock and roll at decent quality and decent sound (my Sephia already had speakers and wiring in place, but no stereo installed in the dash!!) I remembered the salesman telling me this and found it money-saving and rather peculiar. But now it rocked-literally. Turn up the Foghat, dudes!

    This car was a great little car. I would come on here on Edmunds and talk it up. Smash! Pow! What a fool! Kia? Who are they? BAM!

    KABOOM! What an idiot! He bought a Kia Sephia....yea-haa-hhaaa-haa-haa. Might as well been talking to a bunch of stepping rock pads on one agreed with me on this one. Well, almost no one.

    There were a few of us...I talked the brand up at The Boeing Company's Everett Airplane Division where I worked. My friend from the Skagit Valley had a white '99 Sephia with the 5-speed like mine and his was pulling low 30's per gallon like my violet mist Sephia was in our 45-mile commutes down south to the Everett plant. He said his Sephia was "all right and got the job done."

    I thought even better things about my Sephia. I saw a car from a carmaker that was not going to hide it's head in the sand and run. Sure enough, when inquiring of some from South Korea about Sephia clubs the word was "yes of course we have Sephia owner's clubs!" I figured as much.

    So I have an idea where you're comin' from, barkydog. I've barked up that same kind of tree as you before. Stand your ground. I recommend purchasing a plastic Revell model of your rig and making it and displaying it proudly. Doesn't that sound like fun? :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    edited May 2011
    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I agree with a lot of points you made, particularly on the Yaris' interior. I hate the center-mounted gauges also, and I think some of the controls esp. the HVAC controls are cheap-feeling. The Yaris also is sluggish with the automatic. I do like the relatively smooth ride of the Yaris, and it has decent rear seat room in the 4-doors, or with the rear seat pushed all the way back in the 2-door. I also like the standard 6 airbags and ABS + ESC in the newer Yarii. When the Yaris first came out, even ABS was hard to find--kinda like on the Aveo now. I have to give Toyota credit for putting those safety features standard on even its lowest-priced car.

    On the Fit, I like the handling and the interior versatility. It really does hold a lot of stuff for its size. But I found the rear seat, especially behind the driver (feet cramped because of fuel tank under floor) uncomfortable. Also the driving position isn't real comfy for me, and I think some controls on the dash have a cheap feel. I did seriously look at the base Fit AT back in the fall of 2008, when the redesign came out, but decided to go used instead (a 328Ci, to ease my mid-life crisis... didn't have it long but it was fun while I had it).

    I stand by my opinions on the Aveo. I do think its the worst car currently offered in the U.S., for the reasons I listed. That is more because small cars have improved a lot since the current Aveo was designed about ten years ago than the Aveo being an absolutely terrible car. For basic transportation at a low price, it's just fine. It just doesn't compare well, IMO, to more recent designs. I expect the next-gen Aveo, the Sonic, to be much more competitive. FWIW, I own a car designed over ten years ago, a 2004 Elantra. It's a competent car and has held up very well, and back in 2004 it was competitive in its class. But it pales in comparison to the new Elantra and other compact cars available today.

    But you made the best choice for you, and that's what it's all about.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,740
    I agree with you on your assessment of the Chevrolet Aveo. Chevy just didn't put the time in to keeping Aveo current, and they don't want to spend the money on it. Hopefully the Sonic is enamored with more up-to-date merchandise.

    But it pales in comparison to the new Elantra and other compact cars available today.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    You know
    Accent and Lancer and Sonic and Yaris,
    Rio and Scion and Forte and Focus,
    but do you recall
    the least pricey small car of all?

    Versa, the smallest Nissan,
    has a very pleasing price
    but if you'd ever drive one
    you wouldn't think it's quite so nice.

    All of the other small cars
    used to laugh and call him names;
    they never let poor Versa
    join them driving down the lanes.

    During the recession of twenty-eleven,
    Santa came to say,
    "Versa, with your price so light,
    Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

    Then all his owners loved him,
    and they shouted out with glee,
    "Versa, you have a low price,
    almost but not quite free!"
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What does that Versa get for mileage? My 09 Yaris with automatic got 42-44 mpg at 60 mph on a trip to Alaska this summer. In northern Canada gas was ~ $7 a gallon including 10 cents American to by a Kanuck dollar.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    30/38 for CVT, 27/36 for the manual, on the 2012 sedan according to the EPA.

    If the Versa does as well in real-world FE as my 2010 Sentra (with the CVT and a larger engine), I'd expect the Versa to easily get low-to-mid-40s mpg on the highway at 60 mph, which is in the sweet spot for most cars for high FE. My Sentra will top 40 mpg at 60 mph on the highway, and it's only rated 34 mpg highway by the EPA. The CVT is very low revving. On my Sentra it's just a hair over 2000 RPM at 70 mph.

    While Nissan improved the FE for the 2012 Versa sedan and kept its roomy back seat, from all reports I've seen the car is a big disappointment otherwise, probably worst in class now that the Aveo is gone and the Accent and Rio are all new and much improved. I'll probably get to drive the new Versa a few times next year as I often get Versas as rentals, then I'll be able to see if it's really as bad as the reviews make it out to be. I've driven the new Accent and Rio and looked at the Sonic and Fiesta and Yaris. They can't match the Versa in rear seat room, but most of them have enough for me.
  • if it was between a 2012 Kia Rio sedan and a 2012 Nissan Versa sedan which one would you pick? Also, are the 2012 Kia Rio and 2012 Hyundai Accent pretty close in build and handling and performance to you, since you've driven both of them?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    I'd take the Rio sedan, based on what I've seen of the Rio5. Are the 2012 Rio sedans out yet? I haven't seen any on dealer lots yet. The hatches have been out for awhile. The redesigned Versa hatch isn't out yet either... due in 2012.

    Between the Rio5 and Accent, I prefer the Accent based on ride (Accent's was smoother), interior styling, and cargo room. But I've taken the Accent off my shopping list because it didn't score that great in the IIHS crash tests, while other hatches I'm looking at (Mazda3, Impreza, Focus, Golf) did. Maybe by the time I'm ready to buy, Hyundai will fix that.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 3,064
    edited December 2011
    Great little car and my daughter loves her light blue car. The front seats are great for me, as they are comfortable and I can just slide over. Some little warranty issues which have been taken care of with no fuss. Can't wait to see the new hatch also. And I'd be happy to own this as my d d as it does almost everything right! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

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