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Low End Sedans (under $16k)

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  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Nice photos Dinu. Holy schnikey does that sedan version of the new baby Mazda ever look like a 3 series BMW! One nice thing about the current Pro is that the new 6 looks like a giant version of it. So even though there will be a new small Mazda, the old one will not look horribly out of date. This is a complaint I have have from some buyers of the 2002 Corolla which was only made for about 3 months before the early intro of the totally revised '03 (though I really like mine).

    Iluv: Do you still own a Sephia (judging by your name). I have a colleague here who drives the Acura version of the Civic (Canada only) and seriously needs a second car to replace one that has gone to a better place. She drove a Sportage in Florida as a rental and absolutely loved it. She is now sold on Kias and is thinking about a Spectra or Rio. I see quite a few Kias around here in Toronto. I have not had any personally experience with them but they look do nice
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I saw a Suzuki hatchback (forget the name) in the most recent Automobile Mazagine with a 1.3l engine making 110 horsepower, and 4wd. I think they said the price would be around $10,000. I'm sure it will never come to north America, but I wish it would.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Look closely at the new BMWs' front end from a profile look, then compare that to the 3 - very close.

    The HB has soem hints of Murano in it.

    Dinu
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    You are right about the Murano influence on the hatchback. I really like it.

    I saw the spy photos of the new 2005 Nissan Sentra recently and that also looks quite BMW ish albeit with a truncated rear. That could be interesting. I like Nissan cars but the current Sentra is built in Mexico and not much to look at. It is also one of the old Nissan designs - where they copy what Toyota does and make it even duller looking. The interior or the Sentra looks a lot like the last generation of the Corolla.

    muffin: If you are in Japan you must get to see all kinds of interesting small cars that we do not get in North America. The only Suzuki car we get is the quirky Aerio - IMHO the worst interior available on any car today. Even worse than the Cavalier/Sunfire. The Aerio has a really cheap looking steering wheel and a digital dash. The car does drive well though and I do not mind the unique exterior styling. I am sure like other Suzuki products, it is a very reliable car.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I lived in Japan for a few years, and left the flag on my profile, but I'm in California now.

    A friend of mine owned a Suzuki dealership there, and the cars available are much different from here, as you might imagine. I agree with you about the Aerio, I was really turned off by the test drive, even though it's a good value.

    Suzuki's strengths are in its small cars. They were building 8500rpm Swifts back in the late 80s. I'd love to see them build a presence based on their sport hatchbacks in the US.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 and have really enjoyed it. It rides like a truck but handles itself fairly well around town for a 4WD rig. I usually get around 25 mpg, too, if that's a consideration. Kia is working on a new Elantra-based unitized body Sportage replacement for early 2004 as a 2005 model that will be FWD w/an available option of AWD. That should be interesting, too and not real expensive. No actual pricing is available on it yet. That Suzuki Aerio sedan looks interesting though I doubt I would be interested in it as a purchase it looks kind of lovably quirky. My mind seems stuck on the new Tibby...nice pics of the new M-6 dinu01! They've done what looks to be a fine job with it!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The M6 is out and we can all agree it's the best-looking midsize out there, right? :)

    Dinu
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    Just goes to show you how our minds can more accurately decipher and interpret information that we're MOST interested in, eh? Know what I mean?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Mazda3 or Mazda Mazda3 or Mazda M3 or M3 or MZ3 - you got the idea.

    Dinu
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    Looks great, in and out. But... did they have to put the ION-esque (or Maxima-esque, to be kind) forward-slanting C-pillar on it? I'm already getting tired of that styling trick. If Mazda has dialed in a little more ride compliance on the 3, ala Focus, it will be the low-end car to beat (assuming they start at under $15k).
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Yes dinu01 the Mazda6 is the best looking midsize on the market - inside and out. No argument there. But there is no competition. I find the Camry/Accord too large and ungainly in the cheaper trim levels. I like the exterior of the Altima but not the interior and I find the whole car too large. Appearance wise I also like the current Sonata and the Kia Magentis/Optima (although the new chrome grill is not as nice as the old plainer grill).

    iluv That new Tiburon is gorgeous. Absolutely the best looking coupe on the market, although I prefer the Acura RSX to drive. The Tib is no slouch to drive either, especially with the V6 but is is after all based on an Elantra (which I have owned). In the import tuner mags, they are really focusing on the Tib as well.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    to watch throughout 2003 as they tune the silver '03 GT V6 Tiburon. Hyundai has really been advertising the aftermarket possibilities-it was gonna happen naturally anyway, but with the Las Vegas SEMA show, etc. publicity was really spread on this coupe. BTW-I need to go see the newest Import Racer for the latest!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I saw the Tib being featured in several other mags as well that we get up here in Canada (like Sport Compact and some others). I just can not keep track of them all.

    I am in my late thirties so I am a little older than the usual reader of such mags. Still I love cars and I like looking at well done tuner cars. When I was younger (ie the appropriate age for tuner) I was in engineering shcool and too poor to afford to buy a nice sporty car (non-tuned). Now that I have a decent job, also I have a family, so an RSX, Tib, Celica, or Eclpise no longer makes sense. Still, I can take my 5 year old to the car shows and both of us can enjoy the cars.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    the Internet has made so much information readily available that I feel as if I'm a car junkie of sorts! I'm in my 40's and could afford to buy a more expensive car than my last two('99 Kia Sephia and a '01 Kia Sportage 4x4)but truly love the Kia lineup better than anyone elses. I know that's easily picked up as entertainment but these cheesy large SUV's and HUGE pickups are like a pimple in the middle of one's forehead when you're 14 and want to impress that certain girl...eh? I find them so...ummmm...dull and dumb. I really do. I like the imports and Hyundai's new Tiburon is built with some serious design thinking going on. I love that! I'm content with the Sport for now but it's so fun to look ahead for your next purchase, ya know what I mean? The new-gen Tiburon and Kia's 2005 Sportage(which may not be named Sportage)are at the top of my list. The Sportage-replacement's FWD and option of AWD with crisp and zippy styling will fit the bill for this 40-something just right. Over to Import Racer now...I'll take a gander towards it tomorrow.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I too dislike the giant SUVs although, to be fair they are much less popular up here than in the US where people have more disposable income and gas is cheaper. In Canada, the best selling vehicle class is the small car (compacts especially). Our best selling models include the Civic, Corolla, Cavalier/Sunfire, Neon and Focus. Popular truck types are the smaller utes like the Sportage, CRV and Rav4 and minivans.

    I am helping a good friend buy a car this week. He has it down to an Elantra, Corolla or Saturn ION(one Korean, one Japanese and one American). They all have a similar MSRP around C$18,300 plus freight and tax. The difference is the interest rate. This makes the cheapest car (Elantra) $80 per month less than the most expensive (Corolla). The ION is mid pack. Oddly the Echo works out only $10 per month cheap than the Corolla despite having less equipment. The only way to buy a cheaper Echo is to buy a 2003 not a 2004. All Corollas up here are 2004 now.

    The Corolla is the industry benchmark for quality but I actually prefer the ride and the room of the Elantra. The ION drives and rides well but is quirky looking (but he really liked it. He is not familiar enough with the Kia Spectra which is a new model for us. Kia is also a new brand in Canada having been here only a few years.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    You may know this already but the Kia Rio won a rally race up here in Canada. Here is a link.

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/news/030820-2.htm
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    As a Mazda fan I have to do my duty and say this:

    Protege LX stickers at $16.750.

    Options:

    A/C - $1.000
    Auto - $1.000
    ABS w/EBFD - $500

    Packages:

    GT Package - $1795
    Includes Power windows, Power Adjustable Body Coloured Mirrors, Cruise Control, Fog Lights, 15" Alloy wheels, Moonroof, Rear Spoiler.

    or

    Convenience Package - $1750
    Includes Air Conditioning, Power windows, Power Adjustable Body Coloured Mirrors, Cruise Control.

    And Mazda offers 0%/48mths!
    And it's one of the few trully "Made in Japan" cars left over in NA. The Protege just got back from Montreal yesterday - 65.000kms and tight as ever.

    Let us know what you friend goes for, the options and obviously cost :)

    Dinu
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    have two cars, she a Mustang GT(newer model-dark blue)and he a Saturn(sorry I don't know the exact model but it's newer and grayish in color). Anyway, we were chatting cars and he says his Saturn's doors and quarterpanels will pop back out if they're dinged. I could not counter and say my Sportage's will match that! It's the composite materials(I won't say fiberglass but fiberglass might be a part of it). That is a nice feature on the Saturn. My Sportage didn't have any door moulding on it when I bought it(I don't have the bodyside cladding that the more deluxe Sportage version has)so I ordered some over the Internet and put it on. I can't tell you that it's saved any potential door dings(I HATE door dings!)but I don't have any to speak of. I have a slight small pea-sized ding on the hood up towards the windshield. It was a rock bouncing off of a log truck on I-5 north of Seattle over a year ago. It hit the hood first, then the windshield(just a tiny dot left on the windshield)and over the top of the mini-ute it went behind me. I don't know about you guys but it seems trucks are starting to rule the roost on the nation's smaller highways AND larger freeways and they mean business in a large way, eh?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,727
    I stopped by the car exhibits at the Great Minnesota State Fair today. The most interesting for me was the Chevy exhibit, as they had the new SSR as well as the Malibu. Neither is a low-end car, although the current Malibu can be had for well under $15k. If the new Malibu drives as well as it looks (inside and out), it should be much more competitive (and fetch a higher price). They had pictures and information on the Aveo but no cars. Next door was a Scion exhibit, but alas no cars to see. Toyota was there too, with Corolla (I didn't see an ECHO) and many others; I took a close look at the Sienna since I'll be replacing my minivan next. The smallest vehicle I saw was at an exhibit for the Segue. Very cool, but very impractical. 15 mph top speed, 15-20 mile range, and no place to carry anything.
  • website this weekend and kind of like the little buzzbomb. It has that same spunky, neat look that the old Chevy Sprint had. By neat I mean small and appointed-not that I really like it. It looks like it wouldn't satisfy me though after sitting up higher for so long in the Sportage 4x4 or dreaming of sitting WAY lower in the Tiburon GT V6. I read that they(Hyundai)are dropping Carbon Blue and Mystic Teal from their color lineup for 2004 Tibs and replacing the Carbon Blue with another variety of blue(sounded vague like I'd need to see a real Tib in that shade-therefore my mind quickly blocked it out)and they're not-I repeat NOT going to add the burnt orange color that Tib owners are drooling over. None of these developments are causing me distress as Rally Red is staying as an available color. DUH! If ever there was a DUH to DUH! A sports car NEEDS to be available in RED to be considered a sports car. What if MG never offered an MGB in red? What would you think of calling those people?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dinu - Thanks for the Mazda info. My friend however has not included the Pro due to the lack of cheap financing for 60 months - it is available for 48 only.

    iluv: I really liked the Aveo at the Toronto car show in February. It is too small for me but pretty neat , like that new Echo hatchback we are getting.

    I was at the Hyundai dealer this weekend with my friend. While we were there for an Elantra, I was drooling over the XG350. The refresh looks really nice. There were a couple of sharp looking Tibs there as well.
  • (European name for the Tiburon)at the Frankfurt Auto Show that is in concept form right now but will be a convertible. It is designed by Hyundai and the sub-contractor is the respected Karmann. The driver can choose from shut glass roof to partially open roof to full down(slid)roof as is slides down into position shut. Hyundai and Karmann have designed it to not take any more room up with this option which is a nice feature. I posted a link to the article in the Hyundai Tiburon(Owners & Experiences)thread. I'm gonna want to see this concept-form Tib in a real picture(or even better in person!). Yeah, the Aveo is sort of like Suzuki's Aerio 4-door sedan, I can see why they didn't want to take on selling the Aveo in America. I do think Aveo will be a decent small car for those who are are looking for good fuel economy and small-car benefits for a low price. I believe Aveo 4-door sedan base will sell for right around $10,495.
        dunworth-what did your friend decide about the Elantra?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • No he has repaired his 1988 Corolla for now. I expect it will be good for a couple of more weeks. The decision between Elantra VE, ION2 and Corolla CE has not been made yet. Each car offers value but he is still trying to sort out the best deal. I expect now that he has seen the cars, and has brochures he will start doing some research on the pros and cons of each.

    BTW in Canada we will also get the Aveo as the Suzuki Swift which will be priced slightly lower than the Aerio. I suspect that it will end up like the Echo and Corolla sedan where the cheaper car is not cheaper once you add on basic options.

    What do you think about the the full size Kia Opirus. The XG350 is really nice and in general I like the look of all Hyundai/Kia's cars but I can not warm to the front of this car. The silhouette looks is pleasant, like a Lincoln, the inside looks like an Avalon and the lights are Jag. But that grill is early 1950s Austin A40.
  • would put up at this point. The car is absolutely loaded-I think Kia is going for the most "grab your attention appeal" they can with the front-for what it's worth IMO! Should be a spacious and comfortable car to drive that is styled quite nicely as well for a great price.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I used to travel to Korea quite often in a previous job and got to ride in the Hyundai Grandeurs (XG) quite often. I like the four-seat configuration. Over here we get the Americanized version that is a five seater - kind of a prettier Korean Buick but value priced with better fit and finish. Although I must say I prefer the Buick to drive. The XG is doing well over here in the nicer suburbs of Toronto where I live. I am not sure that the we will get the Kia Opirus/Amanti in Canada. If we do it will probably be priced cheaper than the XG as most Kias are versus their Hyundai cousins. Not that I am in the market for a car like the XG (too old for a tuner not old enough for boat!).

    Speaking of big luxury cars, the name Amanti is awfully close to Amati which was supposed to be the high end Maxda division to compete with Acura, Lexus and Infiniti. I believe the Serenia or its replacement the Millenia were supposed to be the first Amatis. Mitsubishi in Japan sells a version of the XG called Debonair which is slotted above the Magna/Diamante.
  • You mentioned Toronto so I had to ask. They're from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, so I've read. They are one of my favorites(2 of my top three favorites are Canadian, The Guess Who and The Tragically Hip)and the last show I saw in Seattle was The Tragically Hip at Pier 62/63 on August 24,2002. They grow on you and Gordon's booming vocals and fun writing style are great. Really good drumming and guitar work as well. Not to digress too far, the Amanti is too big for this 40-something, I may want one in 20 years or so..<gasp>...20 YEARS! Never mind! I'm into Sportage-sized mini-utes and GT V6 Tiburon sports hatch-coupes!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • The Hip were an unknown local band when I was in university in Kingston (there are two universities, Queen's where I went and Royal Military College). They were pretty popular even then and always put on a good show.

    Yeah really big cars are not my thing and likely never will be. I d not need the space since I am quite small myself -plus I like to drive. Give me a well engineered compact any day.

    I see lots of Rios around here and the Sephia was fairly popular too but I do not see many Spectras. Part of the problem may be pricing and I think Kia in Canada lost one if its main sources for sub-prime financing. Could be that the deals on the Cavlier/Sunfire are just too tempting for potential Kia buyers.
  • and tribulations of a Kia Sorento owner' in the Kia Sorento thread here on Edmunds? If you have time go to post# 2703, 2771, 2780 and 2816 and read of mikesf's troubles after he tipped over his 2003 Kia Sorento in icy conditions near Montreal. Oh, what a story...he includes all the gory details of what fun dealing with service departmnets can be like when problems mount during the investigation period and what types of parts should I order time frame. Sounds like he has a legitimate complaint with Kia Montreal and Kia Canada on this one. He was without his rig for WAY too long and talk about the runaround...it can get ugly when tech.'s are stumped, ya know? Then the Service Advisor has to bluff out answers to you to just stall you, etc. He's got his rig back and it's running but is suing those two entities...that was about 2 weeks ago and I haven't read anything from him since...I'm sure that part just kind of adds to the frustration of it.
         As far as true low-end cars go I must say that Hyundai's Accent is evolving into a much better looking little car and they are offering them now for as little as $8500 in US funds. As far as I know they are not trouble prone in their mechanicals either.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Poor guy with the Sorrento. Kia's dealer body up here is pretty poor (though my local one is very good) and the Canadian importer does not seem to have its stuff together. I know people who have bought the vehicle and got the run around from the dealer and no follow up from head office. Fortunately the cars themselves have been pretty good.

    You make a good point about the Accent. It really is a great little car. Very solidly built and nice looking. I am not crazy about the 5 speed manual but I could live with it. It offers good value for those not keen on the Echo sedan's styling. Here's a recent review.

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/hl/03accentgsi.htm
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