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Vibe/ Matrix v. PT Cruiser v. ZX5 v. Protege5 v. Elantra GT v. Aerio SX

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  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    Have not had a recall.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Even Edmunds can't decide what the PT Cruiser is ;-D

    If it's any help, the State of Maryland classes the PT Cruiser as a 4 door sedan.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Insightful as ever. Pro, that was an almost troll like post.....
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    No need to post in topics if all you're planning to do is put down models you don't own. Golden rule: if you don't have something that contributes to the discussion, don't post.

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  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    contributes? never heard of the word ;-)

    Actually, the cars listed in the topic are all good cars in there own ways. Right now this is a hotly contested section. Not like the midsize sedan line where you'll have a lot of dead wood. (Malibu, 626, Sable, etc...)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    true enough, kev. If I were shopping for a Hatchback, all but one of the cars on in this topic would be on my test-drive list, and the one would be excluded only because I've already driven it.

    There seems to be a resurgence of the hatchback market. When the old-style Escort hatchback went the way of the Dodo, the rest of the market seemed near extinction as well. I'd love to see sales trends over the past 5 years, inclusive of 2002, for hatchbacks.

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  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    The only one that I didn't seriously consider was the PT crusier because it isn't as fun (to me) to drive as the others above. Still it is a very effective layout, and it is stylish.

    Problem with some here is that they think everyone else has the same exact needs in a car and prefers the exact same things. While the PT cruiser's not for me, it is still a very competent offering.

    By the way, if, and when, do you think Honda will bring over the 5-door civic? Or do you think that they'll only hurt CRV sales by doing that?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    The PT Cruiser is the only one I've driven, and that was as a rental car in -- get this -- downtown San Francisco. Needless to say, it wasn't the car for THAT particular job! But kudos to Chrysler for taking the chance on a really different looking car.

    I'm really not knowledgeable about the 5-door Civic, kev. It'd be great to see, since it would expand Civic's market to include young families with children who prefer NOT to have kids climbing over seats to get into the back. The CR-V is a totally different vehicle. I like to think of it as the urban SUV - An SUV, yes, but small enough to park in high-density street parking areas.

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  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    by the way, if you don't like the styling of the Si, you're not going to like this:


    http://www.honda.co.uk/new_cars/images/big_cars/Family_10400_5_front.jpg


    But I think they should still offer it here. Of course, I wish they'd sell the Jazz here too. Bet they could sell more of them than the Toyota Echo does.


    http://www.honda.co.uk/new_cars/images/big_cars/Compact_10409_5_front.jpg

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    OK, I'm not trying to be funny here, but add two doors to this 1974 Civic, and you'll see a similarity! Sure, the new one is more sleek, but you can tell they're related.

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  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    that things in pretty darn good shape.
  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    Whatever your preference is, I think its great that five door hatchbacks may finally be having thier day. I have always had European car tastes, small light cars that handle well, five doors and a hatch. I like a hatch much better than a trunk. My second car was an Acura Integra which I was amazed what I could fit into it. (I think I killed the trans from overstuffing it), and than I had a Saturn sedan. I missed the conveniance of the Hatch.

    The only downside I can see is it is much harder to cool when its really hot. the interior because it is much bigger. I wouldn't trade the space for anything. I hope this bodystyle finally makes inroads in the country, be it a PT, Pro5, Focus, Elantra, or Civic, send em our way.
  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    How would you compare the comfort of the driver's seat in these cars? I have a 2002 LE4 Camry with a power driver's seat which I think was designed by the Marquis de Sade. I've been to 3 auto upholsterers and have tried sheepskin and just about every seat cushion on the market but still can't get comfortable. I really wish I could have the Renault 4 I bought new in 1966 in Paris for just over $1,000. It was designed for farmers taking their eggs to market and could go up a flight of stairs without breaking anything. It had only 3 gears (shift looked like an undersink pipe and came out of the dashboard), no power anything, no A/C, 25 hp, max speed of 50 mph, but made 40+ mpg and had the most comfortable car seats I've ever sat in. I loved it, but it couldn't meet US safety or emission specs, so I couldn't bring it back. Anyway, I'm looking for a car in the Camry's price bracket - low 20s - with a seat that is gentle on the back. Any experiences with these - or other - car's seat would be most appreciated.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Brush up on your reading comprehension would ya?

    My quote:
    "By the way, if you don't like the styling of the Si, you're not going to like this:"

    ie if you don't like the styling of a 2-door version of a car, you're not going to like the styling of the same 4-door version.

    figure it out would ya. If you don't like the 3-door Focus, ya ain't gonna like the 5-door. Got it?

    By the way, if I'm pleading for Honda to sell the 5-door Civic hatch here, what do you think? Jeez, and yet I got called the troll by you.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    Do not argue with the hosts on-line. It is a waste of your time, my time, and more importantly, your fellow Town Hall members' time. If you have a question about our policies, please feel free to contact us by e-mail.

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  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    I would try the PT Cruiser first. It has the most comfortable driving position of any car I know. The seats are superb. Car and Driver gave it tops in this category in their recent comparison of these cars. As far as my car goes (ZX5), they are take it or leave it. I find them quite comfy, but some (including some owners) can't stand them and get aftermarket immediately.
    Wasn't it the Citroen 2CV famous for being able to drive across a field and not brake any eggs?
  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    The Citroën 2CV was the one car that my Renault 4 could look down on. The 2CV had only 2 doors, while the R4 had 4 doors and a large hatchback, which made it much more suitable for transporting produce - or anything else. We had a new baby then, and could put her and her German Sportwagen
    (baby carriage) on the back seat. Also, the 2CV was unbelievable noisy - but it was a real fun car, especially in urban conditions, where you could park it anywhere simply by picking it up and putting it down wherever you wanted it (well, that's what people used to say).

    You note that some owners of the ZX5 don't like their seats and "get aftermarket immediately." Do you know what seats they get?
  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    You might want to post that query in "interior design" at myfordfocus.com. I have no idea, no $$$ for that mod, and it ranks low on my list....

    You ever have a ride in a Citroen DS or CX? There was a car with a great ride. The DS had an extrmely confortable driving position too. Something about French design, too bad the cars roll like a whaling vessel at the first sign of a curve...
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    an R16 and a LeCar. In some ways my Elantra reminds me of those cars more than the Japanese cars I've owned. Softly sprung (although much more sophisticated than the Renaults--not suprising given 20-30 years) and extremely comfortable, upright seating.

    Drove a PT Cruiser last week. Base model with five speed. Tremendously versitile package but AC wasn't quite up to fast cooling such a big space (odd for American car), soft springing-- but not as sophisticated feeling as my Elantra GLS, nice seats-- but again-- not up to the Elantra. All in all, I'm still very happy with what I bought 11.5 months and 22K miles ago. Putting extra miles on car because it is so pleasant. Drove the 97 Cavalier today....OOOOWWWW!!!
  • th003gth003g Posts: 149
    comfort of the seats is more of an opinion thing... if you liker hard seats... elantra has thichkly padded foam filled and in the GT's case leather covered seats that are stiff but I've never gotten numb from sitting in them too long... If you like livingroom couch type feather stuffed couches... go buy a caddy or lincoln apparently the harder the seat is the less likely you are to get numb from it and the more orthopedically correct it is ( according to Mercedes Benz) but I never liked their seats... made me feel like I was sitting on a set of mattress coils covered with leather... ( ever see a cutout of an MB seat... thats what they are)
    with the elantra seats I actually bought a floor model Gt to take advantage of the softer seat... people had sat in it already.. Sat in a Focus Se rental a few weeks ago... holy lack of seat adjustments.. and the i was never able to find a comfortable seating position nor was I able to warm to the interior design
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    The seat (at least the drivers) has to be very adjustable. My Hyundai GT's are great for that! I like the leather and all the adjustments so you can put the seat where YOU want it. Not where some engineer thought it should be!
    During a long drive I mess with the adjustments to change positions without moving the seat to and from. This helps comfort, and makes the trip go faster.
  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    Keep in mind the seats in a Focus SE are totally different than a ZX5. Those are called "lowback" as in no support, especially for your bum. They would probably get a do not buy from me. The ZX3 and 5 has what are called the "sport" seats with extra padding on the bottom and along the sides for cornering. Seats have always been subjective. I have never owned a car that has had the "perfect" seat. The PT Cruiser, and mid 80's Saab 900 are the ones I remember liking the most...
  • th003gth003g Posts: 149
    true I have different seating positions for highway driving/around town/long distance/city... depending on the amount of attention i need to devote to driving...
  • tdoghbmtdoghbm Posts: 1
    Hello! I am looking for an opinion between the Pontiac Vibe and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I test drove both of them and cannot decide which to choose! I have 2 big dogs, which is my main reason for these vehicles...help!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    there will be a five door SVT focus available. Looks like a SVT-ized ZX5. Looks good, but of course I'm biased ;-)


    http://www.focaljet.com/

  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    According to Edmunds their will be a lot more trim levels next year. It has a base model with the 15 inch wheels, all the way up to SVT. 2002 Zx5 only one trim level, loaded....

    I wish I had two big dogs....

    I like the Cruiser much better. It doesn't look like a bad photocopy of my car, nor is a Toyota underneath. PT made in in America, and every one still catches my eye every time I see it. The reasons I did not get one are fuel mileage, price, and heft. Cornering ability was way high on my list, if comfort was tops, this would be the car...
  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    The current issue of Consumers Reports has a review of these type vehicles this month: Jetta Wagon, Matrix/Vibe, ZX5, Pro5, and Subaru Outback.
    They liked the Jetta and Matrix twins the most, but thought the driving position in the Matrix and Vibe was not good at all. The Focus handled best, but guess what, far below average relibility kept it off recommendation. The Pro5 was too noisy and rough riding for them, and the Subaru had issues too...
  • winlet28winlet28 Posts: 19
    Yeah they drive and handle great but just look at the problem area to see if you want to purchase that car. I sold my 2000 Jetta due to lots of "little" electrical problems. Loved the car too. Fun to drive and built really well.

    My neighbor sells auto parts for a major dealer in our area and he talked to the service men at VW and NONE of them will own one. Same issue, electrical problems and in the shop a lot....maybe not now......

    But hey, if you like the car buy it. Just get the extented warrenty. :-)
  • mrolandmroland Posts: 129
    I saw a Cruiser with the Woody package last night. White with the wood trim, and special factory chrome spoke wheels. Very nice looking. However the grey interior just didn't match quite right. Too bad its not real wood like a 1948 Town & Country...
  • hardoohardoo Posts: 31
    These cars have attracted lots of interest in the past year or so, with big articles in both Car & Driver and Consumer Reports in the last few months. And I expect that in the coming year even more people will be drawn to 5-door hatchbacks, which offer some SUV functionality with a better driving experience, better gas mileage, and a better price than the trucks which have dominated the roads in the last decade. In the next year, I plan on purchasing one of these vehicles. The contenders:

    1. Ford Focus ZX5 -- decent looking car that apparently handles very well, with the added bonus of an SVT 170 hp version in 2003. Unfortunately, the Focus has had a host of reliability problems, and I even saw a piece on TV last night about melting parts under the hood. As someone looking to buy and keep this vehicle for 8-10 years, I pass.

    2. Hyundai Elantra GT -- great value and a great warranty for an improving product. However, I am not ready to be a Hyundai man, nor will I buy a Daewoo, a Kia, or a Suzuki.

    3. Pontiac Vibe -- Toyota reliability with Pontiac styling equals GM's best small car. However, I can't see paying more for a Pontiac with less residual value and a lesser warranty.

    4. Toyota Matrix -- the economy of a Corolla combined with a sportier stance and more useful cabin make for one intriguing vehicle. I really want to want this car, but as Car & Driver wrote, I "couldn't find love for it." Its looks, beyond eccentric, strike my tastes as odd. My head keeps telling me that I should like this car, but every time I look at it, my gut objects.

    5. Chrysler PT Cruiser -- unique retro looks combined with cargo capacity and affordability make this vehicle a strong contender. This is the vehicle that I wish I didn't want, as my head tells me that it's risky to gamble on 8-10 years from a Chrylser product. And these concerns received some confirmation this week, as Chrysler recalled all 2001 and 2002 models for some fuel pump modifications. But despite every objection from my head, this vehicle is the one which most speaks to my gut. It is definitely one of my finalists.

    6. Mazda Protege5 -- perhaps the best compromise vehicle in the bunch for what I'm seeking. While it may not be as distinctive as the Cruiser, it has a sporty look that I admire. And while it may not have the reputation of a Toyota, it is a well-constructed vehicle still made in Japan. Basically, it offers a driving experience recommended by Car & Driver as well as a reliability record recommended by Consumer Reports. And while it doesn't speak to my gut like the Cruiser, it is a car that I think I could grow to love.

    Ultimately, the Matrix, Cruiser, and P5 look like my 3 finalists with the Matrix a distant third at this point. My final decision will probably come down to which dealership will provide me with the best value and which manufacturer is offering the best incentives when I'm ready to make a move. Thoughts?

    Pat
This discussion has been closed.