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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I'm reluctant to buy AC because I look at it as being environmentally quite nasty. :(
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    up north you may need it less anyway, eh?

    In most of the U.S., it is very useful for either cooling (the southern half) or for defogging (all the areas that get really humid in the summer - Midwest, eastern seaboard).

    Anyway, the environmental angle is an important one, but they did go to the non-ozone-damaging refrigerant (R134) more than a decade ago now...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    We need AC perhaps 3 weeks a year and most of the people I've asked mention the defogging as the main advantage :)

    R134? Oh, yes...the deadly carcinogen. Not a win-win situation for anyone.
  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I apologise if I sound a bit sanctimonious in my last post. I do have paper towels in the house and I will probably end up with AC anyway :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I am of an environmental bent myself, and the unfortunate thing about cars is, we only consider the environmental impact we see, when in fact more than half the energy our car will consume in its entire life is burned up building it, and believe me, the chemicals they use to build and especially PAINT a car are far from harmless!

    So the amount of cancer-causing R134a we might leak into the air over the life of the car might be as nothing compared to all the pollution that went into building the darn thing, with or without A/C!

    The only way to satisfy those concerns is to never buy a car again, because even if you buy used, your purchase has probably spurred someone else to buy new, which causes the same damage as if you had bought new yourself. It's a conundrum.

    But I placate my conscience by buying the car with the best gas mileage on the market. Last year, that was the Echo, excepting hybrids (millions of poisonous batteries into the waste stream) and diesels (particulate crap into the air, not to mention extremely high NOx emissions). At least I can keep greenhouse emissions from my transport to a minimum.

    It looks like for MY 2007, the Yaris will hang onto that prize (highest FE in a straight gas car) for Toyota.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I am also attracted to the Yaris because of it's lower emissions and high fuel economy. I don't know how the Versa is rated, but it's disappointing that the Fit has higher emissions. LEV2 according to the specs vs. ULEV2 for the Yaris.

    In fact, low emissions is one of the Yaris' main selling points. It compensates somewhat for the disappointing rear headroom, and lack of flat folding rear seats in the base trim.
  • good4ugood4u Posts: 18
    I haven't had any regrets in buying my 2000 Accent with 45K from a local small dealership in May of '04. Paid $4500. It now has 70K, and not one problem. It runs great and has a ton of room for a small car. The only thing I did to it was install a CD player. The overdrive is AWESOME, too! It really saves on gas.
    This car is so much better than our piece of garbage Plymouth Voyager we bought brand new in 1998.... that is the family vehicle, and it's a lemon!!
    Hyundai makes reliable cars!
    I hope this is helpful for all of you buying a cheap, used car. You get more for the money, and save on gas!
    The only thing I would change would be Power windows/locks, but those are luxuries. It's a reliable and quiet vehicle whether going 25 MPH or 75 MPH! Great car, and surprisingly, it's a tough cookie! My co-worker accidentally rammed into it with her Blazer. Not one single scratch on my Accent. Her bumper fell off, and she had dents. She pushed my Accent back 4 feet, too! Things bounce off of it! (although I can't guarentee EVERYTHING will bounce off of it, don't try that on a daily basis!)
    Anyway, looking for a small car that has a good turning radius, excellent foot room, and top-notch gas mileage? (oh, did I mention it's INEXPENSIVE?) GET THE ACCENT! You won't be sorry. I wasn't. I think next time I'll get an Elantra, which is one size larger. But, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY ACCENT!
    Just take good care of yours, and you'll love it too!
    They make American automakers look like trash. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Wow, we should put that to music! It is an accolade worthy of a Hyundai commercial! :-P

    Just kidding good4U! I am glad you like your car so much. these little cars are great, and it would be cool if more people in the U.S. started realizing that.

    Any idea what mileage you are actually getting?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • good4ugood4u Posts: 18
    We've figured out that our Accent (at this time) gets about 34MPG in town, and maybe 38MPG on the highway...... about 41MPG if overdrive is on.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I noticed something interesting--and distressing--while looking at the NHTSA crash test scores today. The Accent's scores have been posted, and they are better than those of the Rio: 5/5/4/3 on the Accent, 4/5/3/3 on the Rio. This continues a disturbing (to me) trend where Kias built on the same platform as their Hyundai counterparts have worse crash test results than the Hyundais. It started with the Elantra and Spectra and continues now with the Accent and Rio. It's also not a good sign that the scores for the Accent for side crashes have gotten worse in comparison to the previous design (although frontal scores have improved). It would be nice to see improvement across the board.

    It will be interesting to see how these cars fare in the IIHS crash tests.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I wouldnt really read into the NHTSA tests, there seems to be significant inconsistency in tests of the same cars, without any explanation. For example, in the past, as follower of Toyota vehicles, the previous generation Camry without side airbags has scored anywhere from 2-4 stars for the driver, and 5 to 3 stars for the rear passenger; I'm not aware of any modifications by Toyota, and certainly, since the vehicle started with a 5 star rating for rear in '02, I dont know why they would modify to decrease the rating?

    Bottom line: For me personally, I have very little confidence in the NHTSA testing.

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    Everyone I've talked to likes their Accent. It's a very popular car up here! Solid, cheap to buy, cheap to run... highly recommended. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    The NHTSA only tests a car if there have been changes that could make a difference in crash tests. That explains, for example, why Toyota didn't test the 2006 Camry, and why on the 2005 model it ran only the frontal impact test, which did have a different score from the 2004 test.

    It's clear that there were changes to the tested Camrys from 2002-2004; for example, the weight of the test cars went up almost 200 pounds between 2003 and 2004. Also, it is possible that one year, a score was right on the borderline between two star ratings, and the next year the score was almost the same but it fell into a different star category. This might have happened between 2003 and 2004 for example. The 2003 front side TTI was 73 and for 2004 it was 70. That might have been just enough to put the 2004 into the 4-star classification. I've seen this kind of thing on the IIHS tests also. The line between classifications has to be drawn somewhere, and there's no such thing in these tests as "almost four stars" or "just squeaked into the Good category".

    As to why the side impact score declined a lot between 2003 and 2004, maybe you could ask Toyota about that.

    I prefer the IIHS testing myself, but we don't see very many cars get low scores on the NHTSA tests and then get high scores on the IIHS tests. The reverse does happen, though, which makes sense because the IIHS tests are more severe than the NHTSA tests.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The weight of the Camry did not change by 200 lbs during those years. The weight of the test cars may have changed based on trim, but looking through the manufacturer brochures and a few comparison tests, the Camry weights did not change when holding engine, transmission, trim line consistent.

    I do not know about the methodology behind when NHTSA tests vehicles, but even ASIDE from the side impact, the Camry received varying between 4 and 5 stars in the frontal during those years as well. Now, if that WAS the case, the IIHS would have had to retest based on THEIR methodology.

    "I prefer the IIHS testing myself, but we don't see very many cars get low scores on the NHTSA tests and then get high scores on the IIHS tests. The reverse does happen, though, which makes sense because the IIHS tests are more severe than the NHTSA tests."

    Ok, well that pretty much sums up why the NHTSA tests clearly dont provide a full picture.

    IMO, the frontal tests compliment each other as the IIHS has stated- the NHTSA test is demanding of restraint systems, and the IIHS test demanding of structure (and restraints). However, the NHTSA side impact and IIHS impact do not have this type of relationship; the NHTSA test does not expose weaknesses that the IIHS test does not, while the converse is true.

    I just dont think I'd really be concerned with the NHTSA side ratings for the Accent and Rio....

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Not concerned? OK, show me any car equipped with side bags and curtains (as the '06 Accent and Rio are) that got three stars on a NHTSA side impact test and also got a "Good" score on the IIHS side impact test. I haven't found any yet.

    P.S. As I noted, it was the test car weights that changed on the Camry. That is curious in itself, because I would think that Toyota would want the crash test car to be the lightest weight possible, all else being equal, since weight plays a role in the frontal impact results.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747

    With regard to the Camry weights, your comment was

    "It's clear that there were changes to the tested Camrys from 2002-2004; for example, the weight of the test cars went up almost 200 pounds between 2003 and 2004."

    Your statement led me to believe you were expressing changes made to the Camry resulted in a weight increase, and affected the ratings. If I misread it, I apologize, but I feel this is a logical interpretation.

    "OK, show me any car equipped with side bags and curtains (as the '06 Accent and Rio are) that got three stars on a NHTSA side impact test and also got a "Good" score on the IIHS side impact test. I haven't found any yet."

    Touche, point taken.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It just proves that no matter how clearly someone tries to explain something, it is subject to mis-interpretation. Now we know why lawyers make those big bucks. ;)
  • just how good a small car can really do on a test like the one given.

    Perhaps it's not physiologically possible to pass their test with a small rig. They are people who probably drive the large GM SUV's and pick-em-up trucks and worry excessively about getting into an accident all of the time.

    Yikes. I say this: extra driving tests for your types. Forget about the stupid tests.

    The Rio LX and Rio5 remain on my futures list, irregardless of any Hollywood trumped-up safety test.

    Good driving can do wonders for safety. I will always think that. If I'm smutted out by a large Detroit pick-em-up truck I'll die instantly, anyway, so I won't have to wonder, wait and worry about some silly little things that don't add up to nothing, will I? I take the Tom Petty stance from 'Here Comes My Girl' off of the 'Damn the Torpedoes' album on this one.

    Safety tests are for the crappy drivers and the worry warts.

    Isn't it interesting that I love the lineup of Kia cars that don't do excessively well at these tests? Humm.

    Give me one good extendo-thought reason why I should worry about those tests, after considering the comments I've already made here?

    Then tell me the Super Bowl wasn't tampered with this year. What a travesty of justice that affair was.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    would fare more or less OK when hit by another small car, except at really high speeds. Pretty much all of them would be nicely creamed if t-boned by a Hummer or Extinction or Escrapalade. Even a 5-star crash-rated econobox will be flattened by a semi. You pays your money and you takes your chance. The airbags will help, but if Sally Soccermom comes along in her H2 land yacht blabbing mindlessly on her cellphone and plows into you, you're toast whether you're in an Ion, Rio, Focus, Jetta, whatever.

    Seems I end up liking the cars with average crash test scores...the Rio5 and Focus ZX5 hatchbacks. Neither are all that impressive in that regard. My Escort ZX2 did pretty well in a side-impact crash...but that was being hit by a Honda CRX. Dished my door in, scratched the Honda. Body shop had to get a door off a junked ZX2...came out well though.

    I still am impressed with the Rio5 for my next car...

    Todd in Beerbratistan
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