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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    I dated an ugly girl once and your defense of the Echo's looks echoed my defense of her.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    As long as you were happy, that is what mattered.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    But the comfort, performance, reliability, fuel economy are living proof that real beauty is more than skin deep.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    as long as there are subjects, dumb wannabe car magazines like Clodsumer Retorts will continue to rake in American bucks. Like I've said before, Kia is supposedly the newcomer in America but they have the fat veterans Toyota beat BIG time in styling. Mazda too. If Protege is the best styling Mazda can come up with in a smaller 4-door sedan, there probably is something then to the fact that the Japanese car companies poo-poo spending any time and money with small cars that don't make them big money. Kia designers decided to stop and think first. Hey, if we style our cars with a nice looking design we'll sell them to an American public STARVED FOR NICE LOOKING SMALL CARS. Rio, Spectra and Sephia are pulling away Civic, Corolla and Protege shoppers when the people get a look at the body styles. No problem, Toyota's got the Calty Corolla on the books and up for sale in 2003. Gotta get a look at that thing. I KNOW TOYOTA can still design a nice looking small 4-door sedan.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Toyota has the best reliability in all vehicles. True, some may not be as stylish to some people. DaimlerChrysler minivans greatly outsell Toyota Sienna and probably because of more attractive styling. Kia is like DC in that styling is emphasized over reliability. Neither have yet developed the reputation equal to Toyota for reliability.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    As long as there are people such as yourself who are willing to overlook issues like safety and reliability and buy their products, Kia and Hyundai have no reason to change in those areas.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Sephia design... I can sum that up in one word: outdated.

    Most modern designs use the wedge shape, meaning that the front end of the car is lower and overall profile escalates from front to rear. This is done for three reasons: profile gives the vehicle a sense of forward motion; profile is more aerodynamic; increased trunk volume.

    The Sephia's profile has a sloping hood and sloping trunk. This design was used unsuccesfully on the Contour/Mystique and 96-00 Taurus/Sable. As a result, the Sephia has only 10.4 cubic feet of trunk space. That is small considering that most of its competitors have right around 13 cubic feet of trunk space.

    The Sephia uses a straight character line which appears from the fenders to the rear quarter panels. However, the Sephia's hood and trunk profile are rounded, contradicting the character line and giving vehicle a bulbous appearance.

    The window frames are painted body color. Traditionally, this is a trait of a base model vehicle, with the upper models having black window frames. Black window frames give the vehicle's greenhouse a more integrated look. The Sephia's monochrome treatment of the window frames lend to a choppy look. However, monochrome window frames can be done successfully if the monochrome treatment is carried throughout the design. However, the Sephia's black plastic sail panels on the rear windows and black plastic mirror-base treatment add to the awkward look.

    The interior is just plain outdated. Those door panels? Exact replicas of the 1995 Protege. The switchgear? Exact replicas of the 1995 Protege. The steering wheel? Exact replica of the 1995 Protege. Or are they? I wouldn't be surprised if they are Mazda parts, just like the engine and platform. Everything's based on a design Mazda got rid of years ago.

    Here's a 2001 Sephia and the same car with the character line removed, trunk redesigned to achieve the wedge shape (and two more cubic feet of trunk space), and window frames blackened:


    I prefer the modified version. What do you guys and gals think?
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Looks like PhotoPoint isn't sharing anymore. Well, for the Sephia photos, go here:

    Then click on the Vehicles album and then click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Jstand, thanks for auto design 101. I had to pick up my roommate and your post had me looking at cars all the way there. After I picked her up, we both were looking at cars. You are right, the pillars look better black as opposed to the color of the rest of the car. Would improve the looks of the Sephia if they did what you showed.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    I'm finding it much more entertaining than watching Gary Condit duck flying accusations. From Sephia's finely shaped headlights with just the right amount of mirroring inside to the lines gently sloping back from the inside edge of the headlights back towards the windshield she's nicely appointed all the way around. Beats the blocky chunkyness of Protege which conjures up images of Mitsubishi's Mirage or Mitsubishi's whatever. Feel free to post something that actually starts to argue against the fine body design of this hot-selling Korean import. So far it all adds up to one painstakingly long wait for Shaq to put up another UGLY free throw attempt that bounces desperately off the top of the backboard and over the top out of bounds.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Having looked really closely at a lot of cars since Jstand's post about the Sephia, I have come to the conclusion that the best looking cars have black b-pillars as opposed to body color pillars.

    I don't think any disrespect to the Sephia was intended.
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    I always thought the Protege was a nice-looking, classy car (sort of like a miniature Audi A-4). Personally, I think Kia would have done well to imitate the 1999 Protege body redesign, especially considering the Mazda bloodline already imparted upon the Sephia. Although I have to admit that I also think the Sephia is friendly-looking, too.

    Lately I've noticed a real bloom in Kias on the road, especially in the Rio and Spectra 5-door. The Spectra, IMO, gives 5-door buyers (all 36 of us, it seems) a nice styling alternative to the Elantra GT. The GT is kind of odd-looking by comparison, whereas I think the Spectra styling is cleaner. I should know, because I have to look at the but-ugly back end of my GT every morning when I go out to the driveway! Woof!!

    I read in USA Today (7/27) that 35% of Kia owners are under the age of 35. Food for thought.

    Happy Motoring!
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331 has released lists of the safest cars in almost every market category.

    I am providing the link for anyone interested in checking where a particular car ranks.

    Of the currently produced sub-compacts, I believe Echo ranks first. I say believe because they rank the Escort as #1, but that is not produced anymore except by Escort they might mean the ZX2 which is still produced.

  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    this is very suspicious result. Civic is runked low, while latest Civic is a top in safety. I don't think you can trust "smart"motorist.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I don't know who came up with those safety ratings... they totally contradict the findings of the NHTSA and IIHS who actually crash the cars.

    iluvmysephia1... Hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you love the styling of your car, then more power to you. I personally think the Protege is still one of the best looking cars in its class. The Sephia is not ugly, but IMO it could use some easy improvements to spruce up the styling.
  • jarednoahjarednoah Posts: 20
    IMO, Korean cars are generally attractive to most people. But it just ends there. Otherwise, who would give a second look considering their reliability and resale value. This is exactly what in the Korean car designer's mind. Build something attractive, then worry about anything else. Look at the Hyundai XG, it certainly is attractive in a retro kind of way, with all the near luxury gadgetry thrown in for just a price of an Accord EX 4cy. But it just ends there, now as in other Korean cars, things starting to fall apart. Just visit XGs forum in the Sedan section and you will see what i am talking about.
    Bottomline is, if i am a gambler, i would choose KIA or Hyundai because they have the coolest looking cars (according to Iluvmysephia) regardless whether they last or not. Whereas if i am frugal and i need to make a very wise decision, i would go for the Hondas and toyotas, probably the civic or the echo. They maybe funny looking or bland or whatever, but the thing is- they have bullet-proof reliability. They may have issues but mostly minor. While Korean auto owners worry about engine problems or something major- Japanese auto owners are worried about things like, cupholders, disc changers, etc.. Get my drift. Koreans are improving but they are just not there yet. Honestly, i will buy something from the big three but not anycar Korean.

    Buyers buy car for their specific needs. Whether to go from A to B, or just to have some extension to ones ego... etc. But as they say, the car you drive speaks a lot about you. So if ever i would have to choose, I would go for Japanese (excluding Mitsus) then American, then if there really is no other choice, then maybe Korean. or I would rather buy a bike... LOL
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Interesting post about vehicle safety.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Your profile says you own a BMW, you are looking to purchase a Ferrari, and your dream car is a Land Rover. What are you doing here?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Saw a Rio and I noticed that the pillars are black. Yes, I have seen Rios before, but this is the first time I paid attention to the pillars. Are the pillars on all Rios painted black? If all Rios come with painted black pillars, why doesn't the Sephia?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    if they didn't it wouldn't make a bit of difference to me. The Sephia is still the best looking Asian 4-door sedan available on the market (yes, this does include Mazda's Millenia and 626 sedan)so if Kia wants to black out the next-generation Sephia side pillars they may as well have at it. If they paint them the color of the car I'll still be as happy as a clam with my purchase. Oh, Mr.major I just thought of a question I wanted to ask you. On the Daewoo bankruptcy site you mentioned something about the "name it and win it Daewoo U100 contest" and how it doesn't matter now what it's named (or something like that. I'm going on short-term memory here). Do this mean that you've heard something eternally dooming about Daewoo that I missed? As far as I know Daewoo is in bad shape but the huge sledgehammer has not quite hit Daewoo on the middle of the head quite yet. Naming should go on until Daewoo has declared the contest null and void, don't you agree? They're still alive (on life support) and looking for a buyout/bailout as I type this.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

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