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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi friends,

    Catherine Heins is looking for people to interview who have switched from American to Japanese cars in the past few years-- especially folks who wouldn't have given a Toyota or Honda the time of day in the 1970s.

    She's a business reporter at the Yomiuri Shimbun, which is the biggest daily paper in Japan with a circulation of 14 million. They are writing a feature story about Japanese automakers' continuing success in expanding production in the U.S. and snatching market share from the Big Three even on their former home turf of light trucks.

    If you fit this description and are willing to be interviewed, please call her directly at 212-582-5827 or e-mail her at As always, you can contact me at if you have any questions.


    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    The Toyota Echo looks a lot like it never got over the lasagne and wilty salad served at the value buffet on that busy Sunday afternoon 4 months ago and had to resort to uncomfortable measures to breathe again. All of that drivel you posted about Kia from Consumer Guide (like we're going to start drooling in instant appreciation) adds up to hill of dried livestock chips when it's all said and done and expired. Those car magazines are slanted, paid off, uninspiring, uneducational and stuck in a huge Japanese rut that needs to exposed for the lie that it is. I see Mr.major's going to leave his trail of anti-Hyundai/Kia literature at every site that Kia is slandered at. Okee-chokee! Kia and Hyundai are here selling cars with great warranty's, low prices and great looks. Japanese models are overpriced and uninspiring. The Echo can't hold a shakey candle to Kia's Rio in looks. Mechanically the Rio's there and the warranty, price and better looks make it an easy decision.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • bluffhousebluffhouse Posts: 33
    J.D. Powers does not mention reliability in thier report. All they report are defects. Defects range from very small like a warpped trim piece to quite severe like a transmission. Either way, most the cars built today are quite reliable. With the Korean cars, Hyunda/KIA is the current leaders in safety with Daewoo not having released it's new Leganza. As for performance, the the four cylinder category, the Leganza has the highest top speed, highest skidpad and compareable braking to Both the Accord and Camry. The Camry has safety weaknesses in side impact structural integrity. Other ares untested and unconfirmed are roll over and rear end crashworthiness. Outside of that, the Koreans are all ready also buiding more attractive vehicles than the Japanese. In al respect, the Japanese are no longer a benchmark for the Koreans, but the Koreans are the benchmark for the Japanese.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    It is funny that 9 times out of 10, people have to fall back on attacking my car's looks.

    Okay, I take it that you (Iluv) don't trust car magazines. What about actual owners?

    AutoPacific does surveys of actual owners annually and how satisfied they are with their cars. 1,000 points is the most you can score. Kia Sephia owners gave their cars a score of 576. The Sephia is in the compact car class and only the Dodge Neon had a lower satisfaction score out of the 28 vehicles listed.

    Also, what do you say about the fact that J.D. Powers results come from actual owners? You make the claim that Korean cars are just as good as Japanese cars. The number of defects per maker overall shows that is not the case.

    Bluff, I mentioned J.D. Powers in reference to build quality, but I think it would be reasonable to think that low initial quality of things you can see or know will probably translate to long term reliability problems.

    Bluff, some time back you made a statement and I asked for a source. The statement was that the new Leganza surpasses the Accord and Camry. Again, I ask how does it surpass the other two and what is your source? More recently you claimed that the Leganza has the highest top speed of the three, highest skidpad, and comparable braking. What is your source for this information. I have checked the listings for performance tests in Car and Driver, Motor Trend, and Consumer Reports. I have also checked the Daewoo website. I cannot find any substantiation for your claim. If this were true, you would think that Daewoo would tout it on their website.

    Again, I think the Koreans are doing a lot better, but they are not as good as the Japanese. And when they get as good as the Japanese are today, well, the Japanese will have moved on higher up the road of quality.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I thought you might be talking about the Magnus when you were talking about the Leganza so I went and read every post in that discussion. Yes, every 178 of them.

    I found it really funny how insulting you were to supporters of Honda and Toyota cars.

    I also found it funny that you made the same claims about the Leganza being better that you made here. Someone asked you for your source and strangely, you were silent. Will you remain silent or give me some proof to back up your statement?

    Yes, the Leganza does get a better side impact rating for the front occupant than the Camry in the NHTSA tests. What you fail to mention is that the rating for the rear occupant is the same and the Camry does much better in the frontal collision test.

    Also, you fail to mention the fact that the Leganza got the lowest rating from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. It got a poor overall. The Camry got the highest rating from the Institute. It got a good overall.

    Nice try at trying to make people think the Leganza was as safe or safer than the Camry.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    Let's take the bit about GM buying out the Japanese makes. I believe it went something like....

    "The Japanese can't build good cars for cheap anymore. That's why they charge so much for cheap cars. Most of their profits went into real estate, not their factories. With GM buying Daewoo, you will only watch the Japanese cars disappear into the sunset, or be partially bought out by GM (the small part worth buying)."

    Sorry, Mr. (or Ms) iluvmysephia....if anyone does the buying , Toyota will buy GM, not the othe way round. They're the only ones who have the cash to do so. And Toyota and Honda both continually improve their production systems -- it's called "kaizen." And Nissan is already beginning to be a force to be reckoned with again, now that Carlos Ghosn squared them away.

    It continues, "For now GM has it's focus on Daewoo because of it's state of the art factories, all new. Daewoo currently owns the most productive plants in the world. They are setting next to the largest steel producer, have all the electronic expertise, top notch engineers and inexpensive highly skilled labor."

    So why couldn't they turn a profit on their own? I have a friend who works at Daewoo headquarters here in Torrance, and his opinion of the way they do business would make you squirm.

    Which isn't to say that I don't think they make some kinda nice cars -- I believe they do, as do Hyundai and Kia. But as has been said before, they only charge the prices they do and offer the warranties they do because that's the only way they can get people to buy them. For now, at least.

    I hope for their and our sakes that their quality will continue to improve, because that gives us all more choices and forces the other automakers to do better themselves. But the Toyota Production System is still the envy of the manufacturing world, and has yet to be duplicated with the success of the original. Ford is preparing to go to that system in order to save its own hide. I don't believe they've benchmarked Daewoo.

    Dream on, little Sephia, dream on....
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    and posting you do when do you get a chance to drive your Echo?You make some intersting observations,but tend to overkill.Just enjoy your car--lighten up.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Thanks for the concern Fangio, but I find plenty of time to drive my car. But you know, the same could be said about a lot of other people. : )
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    What a joke! If Toyota is the envy of all of the production world why couldn't they make an attractive 4-door sedan? Kia's Sephia blows all Japanese models outta 'da water. No competition at all. No, badtoy, you're wrong. I could have sprung for a dull looking Civic or Corolla but they look so dull and ininspiring I couldn't even bear looking at them. I wasn't worried about quality because I know that all makers have quality control problems because people aren't perfect. A perfect car can't be made. I bought my Sephia before the Long-Haul warranty came out so I got a lesser warranty but it's not a selling factor anyway. Now after 2 years of driving my Kia I see through personal experience that quality is not and was never something to make me shake silly in my cowboy boots. You "all Japanese or nothing types" crack me up! People are that wimpy with their cash and listen to their biased relatives and friends that easily that straying away from Japanese models is like spitting on your traffic cop when he's handing you your speeding ticket? Kia and Hyundai have arrived and are smart enough to realize that the Japanese models don't have a grip on ALL Americans. It's nice to have a car manufacturer making quality cars at great prices with a great warranty. Bring on Sephia II boys!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Iluv, I am sure glad that you don't worry about quality and I am sure that Kia is glad too.

    I have said it before, but the Sephia had 255 problems per 100 vehicles in the latest J.D. Powers survey. Who knows how many problems there were with the 1999 Sephia. I also know there were three recalls involving the 1999 Sephia. Finally, there were many reports of brake problems.

    Yeah, Kia and its quality sure has the rest of the automotive world worried.

    Personally, you crack me up. You cannot beat people on a little something called facts when it comes to measures of quality, reliability, overall safety and resale values so you resort to name calling.

    But if it makes you feel better about your purchase, be my guest.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    Yeah, right. Like I'm supposed to bow down to somebody who overly praises a Toyota Echo. Major, I'm not going to memorize a bunch of stats from the automotive "experts" or copy them down from articles from all over the place to try to prove my point. No need. I've found a car manufacturer that makes a great looking, quality car at a low price. Oh, that's right. You're busy finding trash on Hyundai-ooops I suppose it's just Kia that you hate. Sorry to bother you. If that Echo ever gets that lasagne uncorked please have the decency to not dump it on public land. There's enough Honda and Toyota quality all over the place as it is. I'll let you borrow my sledgehammer for free, though. No charge-that's just the kind of guy I am.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    the only thing you find to criticize about Toyotas and Hondas is the styling -- which is an entirely personal matter anyway. There's more to a car than the sheetmetal, guys -- and I'm perfectly willing to concede the point that the Echo is a homely little mutha. But if that's all you can say bad about it, I think the rest of us will stick to a proven quantity until time and experience prove us wrong.

    In the meantime, enjoy your cars -- just try not to be so defensive and shrill about them, because it gives us the distinct impression that you're just trying to convince yourselves. You certainly haven't convinced us.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Where have I said that I hate any car company? I do not hate Kia, Hyundai, or Daewoo.

    The problem I have is that people are running around claiming that cars from these companies are so great and so much better than anything put out by the Japanese or anyone else.

    The facts, which you conveniently pooh pooh, show otherwise.

    Yes, the vehicles from these three makers cost less, but that does not mean they are a better overall value.

    A word of advice. If you are using your insults trying to get a negative reaction from me, save your fingers. It is a waste of time.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    My 2001 Echo has not had one recall. Not one. Iluv, can you say the same about your 1999 Sephia?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    and not hide them. I'm just stating a point that nothing in my Kia experience or my treatment from my dealer or Kia themselves has caused me alarm. I'm not saying Kia's or Hyundai's are the best cars in the world. What I am saying is that they've produced a nice solidly-built car for a very affordable price. The warranty ain't bad, either. The looks can't be beat. No kidding. I like the Sephia's looks over ANY car on the road. That includes the whole snotty circus you can find out there. I like that. I like the looks of my Sephia with it's Yokohama's and Konig's. I saw another one at the store tonight that's the same color but with another brand of wheel on it. Looked great. Across the way sat a Hyundai Santa Fe. Looked fantastic. What I'm saying is that all you "it's got to be Japanese or it don't shine" types are real dim-witted about Hyundai's and Kia's. Just because some stupid magazine like Car and Dribbler prints a bunch of paid-off drivel putting down Kia you believe it? Think for yourselves. Oh well, I'll just sit back, enjoy my Sephia and continue to enjoy Hyundai and Kia's sales success as it climbs up. Continue to dig your bland looking overpriced Japanese vehicles. It's your choice.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Would you care to give us proof as to what problems (that have been hidden) you are talking about? Are you talking about Mitsu? That is true that they hid problems, but my car is from Toyota. What problems do you say Toyota has hidden?

    I am not saying that the Japanese cars are the best in the world. I am just saying that Japanese cars in general are better than Daewoo, Hyundai, or Kia.

    You say, "they've produced a nice, solidly-built car for a very affordable price." You know what? That is the same way I feel about my Echo.

    You also say, "the warranty ain't bad, either." I believe you said that you bought your vehicle before the 10 year/100,000 mile power train went into effect. If so, you must agree with me that Toyota does not have a bad warranty either. I feel very confident that I will need to use my warranty less than you will. I also feel confident that I will have less non-routine work done out of warranty than Kia owners with a longer warranty will have done within the warranty.

    Here you go again with the insults. You say,"all you "it's got to be Japanese or it don't shine types" are real dim-witted about Hyundai's [sic] and Kia's [sic]. Just because some stupid magazine like Car and Dribbler prints a bunch of paid-off drivel putting down Kia you believe it. Think for yourselves."

    You might want to brush up on libel laws because you just libeled Car and Driver unless you can prove that they are paid off.

    I don't really trust Car and Driver's opinions about cars, but I use them as a source for performance data along with some other sources.

    I have two facts that prove Car and Driver is not paid off.

    For what is worth, they have not been that complementary toward the Echo. Not that I agree with them. If they had been paid off, they would have heaped praise on the Echo.

    The second fact is that they did a review of the Rio. If they had been paid off, as you allege, they would have savaged the car. They did point out the car's faults, but in the final analysis, the verdict was that the Rio was "a decent ride."

    I guess in your mind, good review for a Korean car means independent source and bad review for a Korean car means paid off hack?

    Yes, I think for myself. I take information from many different sources (including my own personal observations) before coming to a decision.

    Finally, you say, "the looks can't be beat." Well, that is the way I feel about my Echo. Yes, there are some styling points I would change about it, but overall I think it is the best looking car on the road today. Definitely not bland.

    One more thing. I challenge you to find any post of mine where I say that I hate the looks of any of the Korean offerings. You won't be able to do it. I stay away from things like style generally because they are subjective. My posts deal mainly with things like skid pad numbers, 0 to 60 times, initial quality surveys, and satisfaction surveys. I feel these are more objective. Yes, I do bring up issues of comfort and value, but I am trying to give a well rounded view. When I am posting in my comparison discussion about the Echo versus other cars and another car beats the Echo in some measure, I will let people know. It is just the kind of guy I am.

    Care to try to answer the fact that Sephia owners reported 250 initial quality problems in the most recent J.D. Powers survey?

    Care to try to answer the fact that Echo owners were more satisfied with their vehicle than Sephia owners were with their vehicle in the most recent Auto Pacific Vehicle Satisfaction Survey?

    Care to try to answer that without using insults or bringing up style?
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Since I guess the Kia Sephia is SO much better than any Japanese car... would you care to enlighten me on how it bests my Protege ES?

    I'm sorry, but the Koreans are still attempting to catch up to the Japanese, not the other way around! It seems to me that in most comparison tests, the Korean cars fall way behind the Japanese vehicles. I'm not saying they're unreliable or have poor quality... I'm just saying that they still don't match the standards set by the Japanese and their refinement is still way off.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I am sure that in the final analysis, Iluv will say that his Sephia is better than your Protege ES because your car is so bland and his is so stylish. ; )
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    A few posts ago, I asked Iluv to explain about the fact that the Sephia was reported to have 250 initial quality issues. I need to make a correction. The Rio is the one with 250 initial quality issues. The Sephia actually has 255 issues. This according to the most recent J.D. Powers survey.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805

    That VW Passat is looking mighty nice! Drove one last year and came away absolutely impressed!! But you are right... That Passat I was looking at was only the GLS model (GLX being top) and it was already rapidly approaching $30k!!!
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