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Low End Sedans (under $16k)

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,811
    Larry, if you were offened by my little joke about the styling of the ECHO, I apologize. I thought the pictogram I put after the comment would let people know the statement was in jest. I was also expressing an opinion about an inanimate object, a car, and my personal reaction to it, vs. an opinion about a class of people.

    I'm glad you think the Elantra is "the real deal". Since there IS an Elantra hatchback, I'm assuming you don't think it is stylish, based on your post. I happen to disagree, but its Saab-like styling cues aren't for everyone. I think it could benefit from a front grill redux and some rework on the tail lights. Maybe in 2004. A wagon would be nice, too--the prior generation wagon seemed quite popular, I see a lot of them around.

    Re your opinion on Civic, Protege, and Sentra's superiority in overall value, it would be interesting to see if the marketplace shares your opinion. For example, Civic sales were up strongly in October, up 23.5% from October 2000. But Elantra sales were up 69.6% in October compared to a year ago. I could not find sales figures for Protege and Sentra for October; perhaps someone knows where to get this info (Honda and Hyundai conveniently post their monthly sales figures, broken down by model, on their Web sites.) As you've noted, Hyundai and Kia are selling pretty well. Actually they're selling great if you look at their increases year-over-year compared to the rest of the market. There must be reasons for these strong sales increases vs. competitors like Honda, Mazda, and Nissan. I happen to think that value (feature content for the dollar) and peace of mind from the outstanding warranty are two major reasons.
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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,811
    Major, just to be fair on this... does your ECHO have the following features, which come on an Elantra GLS with CD?

    Power windows
    Power locks
    Remote keyless entry with alarm
    Power heated mirrors
    6-speaker CD
    6-way adjustable drivers seat with lumbar support
    15" tires
    Front-seat side air bags
    Air conditioning
    Variable ratio power steering
    Cruise control
    Full gauge cluster with tachometer
    Front seat arm rest with dual storage compartments

    If not, then to be fair we should add this equipment to the ECHO when doing price comparisons.
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  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Have a Malibu Maxx-- best 16K I ever spent.

    Close friend has a 2000 Focus ZX3. Like the handling but seats aren't too good as per lumbar support. Supposedly Focus has improved in both comfort and handling since then.

    Had a Hyundai Elantra 4 door before the Maxx. More comfortable than the Focus, Maxx is worth the extra 5 grand difference. However if I was looking at that size car I'd still be looking at the Elantra hatch (none was available when I was buying in 2001).

    Passed on the Kia because of poor initial crash scores, however Kia has now improved in that area and would definitely be looking at the car now. Nice looking although I still think the Maxx is worth the extra $$$, especially since the mileage is roughly the same. (I'm getting about 1.5 mpg less than I did with the Elantra 5-speed.)

    I also looked at the Scion xB and the Toyota/Pontiac hatch twins. All were far too noisy and the Suzuki Aerio SX-- really liked the 5-speed, interior is MUCH improved this year and there's a great level of standard features. Still, concerned about Suzuki dealer quality and the Aerio sales are tanking even with the recent improvements.

    Chevy dealers appear much better than local Hyundai dealer (they were always trying to nickel and dime me on services and don't like dealer addons and high pressure sales of closest dealer). Kia dealership tied to local Dodge dealer that's better than Hyundai but not up to my experience with local Chevy dealerships (I think they've been Saturnized for the better).

    Did drive a Forenza wagon (with the automatic), much less car than my Maxx--and MPG's were worse--- and cruder IMHO than the Kia/Hyundais. I assume the same would apply to the Reno.

    Drove a Mazda 3, but reliability not as good as the Maxx.

    All in all, I wish we had many more wagons and hatches to consider. A decade ago both the Camry and Accord came in wagon form. Now there's only the Maxx and the Mazda 6 in that class and a handful of Focus class cars with hatches and wagons. Too bad-- got to get more 50 and 60 year olds (as well as 20-30-and 40 year olds) out of those SUV's.
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  • Backy, I am the resident Echo owner and I did not take offense to your statement although I disagree with you and feel you are wrong.
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  • Backy, some of the things you mention are on my Echo, some things could have been on my Echo, and some things are unavailable as a dealer or factory option no matter the price.

    The things on your list that are on my Echo are power locks, 6-speakers, and the air conditioning.

    The things you can get are power windows, remote keyless entry with alarm, and front-seat side air bags.

    The things you cannot get power heated side mirrors, 6-way adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, 15" tires, cruise control, full gauge cluster with tachometer, and front seat armrest with dual storage containers.

    I think you are reaching with the last two, especially the last one. Should I ask if the Elantra comes with two glove boxes? Should I ask if the Elantra comes with an under the seat drawer? Should I ask if the Elantra comes with a storage bin under the steering wheel?

    There is one item on your list that I have not mentioned and that is the power steering. My Echo has power steering, but I have no idea if it is variable ratio power steering.

    When I figured out the MSRP of a "comparably equipped" Elantra to compare to the MSRP of my Echo, I had to think about what was important to me. Honestly, I detest power windows and if I bought an Elantra and I could have it without power windows, I would. Even if it meant paying to have them removed.

    BTW, how much does it cost to get the Toyota quality option on the Elantra?
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  • According to one source, which is JD Powers, the 2001 Echo is better than the 2001 Elantra in the areas of mechanical quality, feature & accessory quality, and body & interior quality.

    This seems born out by the fact that the 2001 Elantra has one recall, eight technical service bulletins, and fifteen customer complaints detailed on the NHTSA site.

    Compare that with zero recalls, zero technical service bulletins, and six customer complaints for the 2001 Echo.

    Finally, Consumer Reports relates that owners of the 2001 Elantra had more complaints in the areas of the fuel system, transmission, electrical system, brakes, power equipment, and body hardware than owners of the 2001 Echo.

    Three different sources researched and ALL three seem to indicate that the 2001 Echo is a better car than the 2001 Elantra.
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  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    are you actually trying to prove whose car is the better one??? I think you are getting a little carried away. Lets just enjoy what each of our cars have to offer and why we enjoy them so.
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  • Is Honda actually going to bring to the US a new model that would be below the Civic in size and price range just as Toyota has with Echo/Corolla? And is VW considering bringing on the Polo?
    By the way, there is no comparison between Echo and Elantra other than price similarity. Elantra wins all categories (Styling, value content, fun to drive factor, ride comfort) with the exception of the "Toyota" reputation. Drive both cars back to back if you wanna know what I mean.
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  • Funny, how you dismiss the quality "win" of the Echo by calling it the Toyota "reputation". And it is not just reputation, it is a fact as demonstrated by the results of the JD Powers' survey and Consumer Reports' survey.

    I guess quality is not important to you.
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  • I hate to rehash old arguments, but the whole "pride of ownership" thing is another way of saying "My ego won't allow me to own one." You are so afraid that your neighbors will stop talking to you if you don't drive a Toyota or Honda or whatever everyone else has to drive that you can't buy one. Don't worry about your co-workers or anyone, get a great car at a great price and enjoy the heck out of it!
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  • Ego or worry about what others were thinking had nothing to do in my decision to buy a Toyota. None of my close friends had Toyotas and none of my family had/have Toyotas.

    I bought it simply because, overall, it hit my hot buttons the hardest. And quality was one of those issues.

    Simple as that.
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  • But I still think "Pride in ownership" means you could not imagine going to work Monday and exclaiming with pride "I just bought a new Hyundai!" That is what I meant by ego getting in the way. I'm glad you love your Toyota, I'm not faulting anyone for loving their non-Korean cars.
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  • No, that has nothing to do with why I did not buy a Hyundai.

    In fact, when time comes to replace the Echo, if a Hyundai or other Korean car hits my hot buttons the hardest, then I will be buying a Korean car.

    Same thing goes for my roommate who is in the initial stages of looking for a new car. If a Korean made car hits her hot buttons the hardest, that is what she will get and other people's opinions be darned.
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  • They don't say "It's not a Hyundai. It's not a Kia." They say Mercedes and then Toyota. That has to mean something.
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  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    but not as good as Hyundai or Kia.Then again it could mean ??????
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  • Maybe they should have called it the GMC Envy. ; )
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  • The issue of pride has come up and I want to know what one or two things makes you proud of your car? Are you proud that it is made by a certain company?

    Personally, I am not sure proud is the right word. I think asking what makes you happy is a better question.

    I am happy that my car gets great gas mileage. I am happy that it is of high quality and should be very dependable. I could go on, but I did specify one or two things.

    Who makes it does not figure into the happiness question because that was not important to me other than when it came to the question of dependability.

    Now it is your turn.
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  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"Since there IS an Elantra hatchback, I'm assuming you don't think it is stylish, based on your post. I happen to disagree, but its Saab-like styling cues aren't for everyone. I think it could benefit from a front grill redux and some rework on the tail lights. Maybe in 2004. A wagon would be nice, too--the prior generation wagon seemed quite popular, I see a lot of them around."<

    I have no opinion on the styling of the Elantra hatchback, since I didn't even know Hyundai produced a Elantra hatchback! I guess they introduced the hatch in late summer? Are they selling well? Can you post a link to a picture of the Elantrahatch?

    It seems that small wagons are red hot in the market at present. It's a shame Hyundai did not continue that body style? Nevertheless, I did not care for the old Elantra wagon styling.

    -Larry
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  • Larry, where have you been? How could you have you missed the commercial with the two guys where one of them is sitting in the boss's leather chair and the other is pushing him around? The boss shows up and says that's his chair (or words to that effect). The boss then leaves and admires a car in the parking lot whereby the two guys come up and one of them says that's my chair (or words to that effect). The car is the Elantra GT aka the Elantra hatchback.

    Memo to Hyundai, if you are going to name a car a GT, at least give it a more powerful engine than the sedan version.
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  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Backy, I never said, those makes were SUPERIOR? I think a superior rating is VERY subjective and I have no reasonable claim to that kind of knowledge. However, I am of the OPINION that those vehicles are very well made, hold their value, are packaged with the features folks want and are priced fairly.

    >"It is still my opinion that Honda Civic, Mazda Protege and/or Nissan Sentra offer a better long term value, better reliability, and the features people really want at a very fair price. JUST MY OPINION."<

    -Larry
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  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Jeesh, I have a 5 year old son, if I'm not watching NICK, the Disney Channel or the Cartoon Network, I'm watching Digimon VHS tapes! I doubt, car manufactures do much advertising on those channels, lol! I have seen TV commercials for the Chevy Venture Warner Brothers edition, while watching the Cat-Dog cartoon!

    -Larry
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  • Backy, I was reading old posts and came across your post where you take me to task for not mentioning wanting a tach and a real engine temperature gauge.

    I explained that I felt you were exaggerating (meaning to make it seem greater than it really was) my words. You thought I was accusing you of lying about my words.

    What I really had issue with in your post #943 was your use of the word bemoan and I did not make that clear in previous posts.

    I do not feel I was bemoaning the lack of a tach or temperature gauge.

    In my little pocket dictionary, the definition of bemoan is given as lament and lament means to feel or show deep sorrow. I was definitely not feeling or showing deep sorrow about the situation.

    Now do you understand why I said you were exaggerating my words?
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  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"What I really had issue with in your post #943 was your use of the word bemoan and I did not make that clear in previous posts."<

    Tom, that was over 70 posts ago. Holy Mother of All thats Good and Pure, you sure know how to beat a dead horse!

    -Larry
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  • The number of posts has no bearing on how dead a horse might be. Sometimes there have been fifty new posts in this thread in the space of a day. It was not like I was dredging up something from last year.

    It was something that I feel did not adequately address and so I simply did so now.
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  • It has been argued (here or elsewhere) that perhaps people don't admit to problems with Toyotas or Hondas because they feel guilty at paying so much and are ashamed to admit when they have problems.

    Could the same (about feeling guilt) be said about owners of lower quality cars? Perhaps they are ashamed to admit that they do have problems with a car that their friends (and others) warned them might be trouble?

    They went against what their friends said; they went against what JD Powers said; they went against what Consumer Reports said; and now, they are paying the price.

    Perhaps that is why some people are so ardent in their support of their car.
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  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    I had a moment of clerity and actually visualized a person whipping a dead horse.It actually fits the situation perfectly.Major you seem to have indicated the desirability of these features at some point.The extent of your "need"will never be known.Backy did not seem to imply you had a desperate need for these features.
    All can lament about is that I be moanin if I hear mo in the moanin.
    In the majors defense whipping dead horse is harmless to the horse.
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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,811
    Or put up Christmas lights, or go for a drive, or something other than posting here on a beautiful Sunday? :0


    Where to start... Larry, you can get some good pix on the Elantra GT at the Hyundai USA site, http://www.hyundaiusa.com. There's also an entire Edmunds.com forum devoted to the GT, if you want to get some impressions from owners. I've been following this board since its inception and most owners seem pleased with the car. Hyundai doesn't break out GT sales from GLS sales, so it's hard to know how well they're selling, but I'm beginning to see more of them on the road around my town.


    Major, you've been very busy today. First, if you're going to pick apart my choice of the word "bemoan" and quote from Webster's to explain how you posted a few months ago that you would like a tach and temp gauge on your ECHO, then denied you said it, that's fine with me. I will try to use simpler language in the future in my posts to you so there is no misunderstanding, and so you won't need to refer to the dictionary. ;-)


    Second, regarding quality of the ECHO vs. the Elantra, and Toyota vs. Hyundai in general, I don't believe I've ever said that the Elantra is a better quality car than the ECHO--because I don't believe that. I believe that Toyota is the industry leader in quality, and the target for Hyundai to shoot for. But all signs indicate that Hyundai is making great strides in quality, if not yet up to Toyota's level. For example, as you noted earlier, the '01 Elantra, a new design that year, has had one recall, 8 TSBs, and 15 customer complaints reported by NHTSA. If we compare that to another new-for-'01 design, the '01 Civic, we see that it has had 3 recalls, 22 TSBs, and 91 customer complaints to date. Of course, since about 3 times as many Civics are sold than Elantras, that explains in part the high number of customer complaints vs. Elantra--but 91?? Since I know you like to be fair, we should compare how the new-for-'01 Elantra compares to the new-for-'00 ECHO. (The '01 ECHO had a full year to get the "kinks" out.) According to NHTSA, the '00 ECHO has had 2 recalls, 10 TSBs, and 36 customer complaints. This is for a car that sells in much lower numbers than the Elantra. So going by the NHTSA data, it looks to me that Hyundai is not doing that bad a job with its new designs, compared to new designs of top-tier Japanese automakers.


    Third, you asked for two things that make us proud to own our cars. I agree that "happy" may be a better word, or maybe "satisfied". Anyway, if I had to name just two I'd say owning/driving a good-looking car, and one that is very well equipped considering its bargain-basement price.


    Finally, I found your post about "guilt" rather odd. You state that owners of lower-quality cars (and who may those owners be??) are ashamed to admit that they have problems with their cars. Let's see... I own a car that you consider low quality, but I have been very honest about its shortcomings--even posted a list of about a dozen of them awhile back--and its problems (of which there have been very few, but I've noted every single one for all to see). Meanwhile, the owner of a high-quality car--that would be you, Major--can't even admit that he might like a tach and a temperature gauge in his car, and writes several posts explaining why his earlier posts, in which he said he would like to have those features, were misunderstood. You also started an Edmunds.com forum dedicated to explaining to all comers why ECHO is the best low-end car. Now, if that is not being ardent in support of one's car, I don't know what is.

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  • commercial where the guy and girl are driving through a deserty area? The girl is driving and the guy is reading the car's manual. They eventually get to a breathtaking panoramic viewpoint and stop the car. The girl is looking out over a beautiful view of a huge canyon and yells back to the guy-"Hey,you still reading that?". He says "yeah" and tilts the manual open vertically (like it's a centerfold or something). His jaw kind of drops and he mumbles "Wow!". OK-I know the criticism is going to come gushing and spilling out all over about how dumb this commercial is. AAAAAHHHHHHH-but WAIT A SECOND! The beautiful 2002 Kia Spectra hatchback in Classic Red is given nice camera coverage. Great job on that body Kia! You guys have scored again!!! The commercial works for those that it's going to grab in. It's all about showcasing the car. The car is showcased and it's....fabulous. A great bargain as well. Point made by our South Korean/American Kia friends very successfully!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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  • As far as I know, this thread is dedicated to comparison discussion on "Low End Car - Japanese vs. American vs. European vs. Korean", not on specific cars.
    More and more I have feeling that this thread becomes Echo vs. Elantra discussion. Is that a conclusion of this thread?
    I know they are good car, but there're more cars out there.
    How about Neon, Escort, Focus,Sentra, Saturn, Esteem, and other Domestic & Japanese cars?

    Mr.Major, Backy, I am very impressed by your vast knowledge.
    I'd like to know how do you think about domestic low-end cars.
    Have you test-driven them?

    -Spiritz-
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  • Backy, do you take everything so personally? Just because you have a low end car does not mean I think you are not posting the problems you might have with the car.

    I was merely pointing out that it is a two way street because (as I posted) some have postulated that Honda or Toyota owners don't divulge problems because they paid more and thus feel like they have to uphold some sort of reputation.

    People who drive the cheaper (is that okay instead of lower quality?) cars might not want to divulge their problems because they were warned not to buy the cars.

    If you see yourself in that scenario, so be it. Or should I start typing "not including Backy?"

    I was not using the dictionary to deny I said something. I was just supplying some outside source to back up why I objected to your use of the word bemoan to describe my statements. I feel that your use of the word made the lack of some items a bigger deal than it was.

    I did know what bemoan and lament meant beforehand so don't feel that you have to tone down your word usage.

    I share this computer and it is now someone else's turn so I have to turn the computer over. I will post a further response to your post later on.

    Remember, just because you may see yourself in my words does not mean I do.
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